Saturday, June 24, 2023

Review Elvis Almanaque 2022

My blog and books were inspired by 'Elvis Day by Day: The Definitive Record of His Life and Music' by Ernst Jorgensen and Peter Guralnick and the 'Elvis Specials' by Albert Hand and Todd Slaughter. 
Brazilian author Waldenir Cecon in turn, found inspiration in my yearbooks. In March 2023 he published his book ‘Elvis Almanaque 2022’, the first of what should become an annual yearbook series from Brazil. 
Reason enough for me to have a look at this 2022 yearbook. 
The 268-page paperback, written in Portuguese, comes in two editions. A black and white edition for the Brazilian / South American market and a full color edition for Europe (and the rest of the world). Simple market economics are the reason behind the two editions. 
The design of the EU edition is modern with a fresh cover and an easy to read two-column page lay-out. The illustrations fit in nicely with the texts. The use of a shadow effect makes the images seem to float above the text on a “smudged surface”. 
The book-size is 16 x 23 cm, so easy to hold in your hand. I like the addition of QR-codes, making the book interactive by linking the content of the book to various (fan club) sites, social media pages and even on-line streaming option for CDs covered in the book. The articles itself are written or translated by various contributors. Translating the articles, they provided some entertaining reading. 
Waldenir Cecon describes his book as “Organized by Waldenir Cecon, the book … was based on the publication by Kees Mouwen, ‘Elvis Day by Day’. A large part of his research is done on major websites from Europe and Australia” which he considers the most reliable ones.

However, despite being inspired by ‘Elvis Day by Day’, the content of the Almanaque is more diverse and not only a retrospective of the previous year. It includes special articles, such as a tribute to Lisa Marie, an article telling the stories of Elvis fan clubs in Brazil, and also 45 important facts about Elvis' life.”
The book can be divided in two section; the first 200 pages contain various articles while the last 70 pages contain an overview of some of the 2022 book, CD and movie releases, auction results and an In Memoriam of the people we lost in 2022.
Looking at the table of contents I'm a little confused, a 2022 yearbook that opens with one of the main "news events" of 2023, the untimely death of Lisa Marie Presley .... 

This is followed by articles about Yvonne Lime's memories of her weekend with Elvis (from April 1957), a review of the 2004 Follow That Dream CD release 'Closing Night', written by Piers Beagley, with Anne Nixon, who did not know that his work was published in this book. 

Added to that are 45 facts on Elvis - as it was 45 years since his passing in 2022 - on his life, career, family, jumpsuits, concerts, and more. This section reads like an Rough Guide on Elvis’ or ‘Elvis for Beginners’ and covers one-third of the book. 

Completing the table of contents are stories on the history of various Brazilian fan clubs and an article from August 17, 1977, the day after Elvis passed away. 
In between all this general Elvis content, there is one article on 2022, an article on Baz Luhrmann’s ‘ELVIS’ movie. Also on 2022 are the last 30 pages covering the before-mentioned selection of book, CD and DVD releases and auction results. 
Having these listed in separate sections works well for a yearbook. Closing the book is an 2022 In Memoriam. 

To be honest, I’m a little disappointed, I had expected a 2022 yearbook, as it was inspired by the reference books I make. And it would have been interesting if Waldenir Cecon could have added another perspective and language to this for fans to enjoy. 

Reading this book reminds me more of the ‘Elvis Specials’ that Albert Hand ,and later Todd Slaughter, released in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. So wrapping things up, this book provides an interesting Elvis-read with something for everyone, and something special for Brazilian fans, but it is not an 2022 yearbook, it's an Elvis Special.

More information available at the >>> Elvis Presley Brasil fan club.