Saturday, September 30, 2023

Review Elvis UK – Beyond RCA (Physical Edition)

Early in the year, renowned Elvis Presley researchers and authors John Townson and Gordon Minto published the digital flip-book ‘Elvis UK - Beyond RCA - The Ultimate Guide To Elvis Presley’s British Non RCA LPs 1974-1997'. Together with Nigel Patterson and Piers Beagley from the Elvis Information Network website I reviewed this mammoth work on Elvis post-RCA vinyl catalog. 
Our conclusion: 

“‘Elvis UK – Beyond RCA’ is another winner from the Elvis UK team. It is an important release offering a treasure chest with so much to discover. It is the perfect book to leaf through on a lazy Sunday afternoon (or any other day). You will be all the better, and better informed, for the experience … but John and Gordon, please consider a softcover edition for us digitally challenged, oldies.”
How great is it to see authors responding positively to the wishes of their readers. Because half a year after the digital release, we now hold a physical version of the book in our hands! 
The design of this 377-page hardcopy edition is exactly the same as both the original ‘Elvis UK’ books in size, and the digital book regarding the content. Although the authors did update and slightly revise the latter for this second edition.
Design-wise readers of the ‘Elvis UK’ books know what to expect. The format of the text-heavy book changed only slightly from a 2-column design to a 1-column design, probably because this book was written for a digital platform. The glossy cover and quality paper add to feel that you’re holding a significant piece of work in your hands. It fits in nicely with the other 'Elvis UK' books in your Elvis library.
A big pro to the new release is that it comes full color which is a big improvement when compared to previous physical editions in this series (I can only compare it to my physical copy of ‘Elvis UK 2’ which only contains black and white images). Not only is the book a much more attractive read, more importantly, the use of color discloses so much more detail on the different variations presented on the 377 pages of this reference.
On the downside, you lose the advantages of a digital format like a search option, or new updates from the authors. But being born over half a century ago, I still know how a reference works, and so will most of the buyers of this book. 
Given the authors’ pedigree, readers know what to expect: a comprehensive and thoroughly researched account of Elvis’s British non-RCA LP releases issued between 1974 and 1997. And there is more than “just vinyl” in these books. The authors did not only go “beyond“ the RCA LPs presented in this book, they also went beyond the production and business-side of these releases thanks to the stories from those who actually were involved in the production, design, marketing or creation of these albums. 

Some discographies are simple books with label and sleeve scans, which is a bit of a cheat as they need to be seen and considered within a context, and that is where the hard work of researching and writing comes in. This is where the ‘Elvis UK’ distinguish themselves from other discography books. 
Please read the review of the digital version for our appreciation of the content >>> in the review archive
The book holds so much content, it is too much for me to really enjoy and take it all in when presented in a digital format. It really makes a difference whether you "quickly look something up digitally" or actually pull a reference-book off the shelf. In the latter case you absorb the content much better. 
There is a real difference between the digital and physical format when it comes to distributing and documenting information. My Elvis Day by Day blog and books illustrate this. Where the blog works great for sharing news and reviews on new releases nearly “real-time”, it is the expanded physical format of the blog that really allows you to take in the events of the year as a while and reviews of various releases. 

Even author Gordon Minto looks happy signing the physical copies of 'Elvis UK - Beyond RCA' :-) 
So I for one am grateful that the authors had an ear for the wishes of part of their readers and - together with Now Dig This / Elvis The Man and His Music - published a physical edition. It will keep me indulged for weeks to come. 

Let’s hope that this edition, with a really modest price-tag, will be “sold-out” soon as that might encourage the authors to re-issue more old titles or new projects as physical references. 

Overall fans of "discography" books are well served this year, with an English re-issue of the 'Elvis German EP Record Guide' and the upcoming 'From Memphis to Tokyo - A Reference Guide to the Absolute Mastery of Elvis' Japanese Vinyl' and Paul Alners first volume on Elvis' U.K. vinyl releases (1956 - 1965)
For more information on the Elvis UK book(s) please visit >>> or >>> to buy this hardcopy edition.

Picture of Gordon Minto courtesy of Now Dig This.

September 30 - Elvis Remembered By Sally

Firefly Books Ltd. published Sally Power's 240-page hardback book 'Elvis Remembered: Interviews With the People Who Knew Him Best'. 

Description: When Shelly Powers was 7, she told her mother that she'd marry Elvis Presley when she grew up. She did -- though he was an impersonator, a tribute artist she met in Las Vegas.

But over her 12 years living in Vegas, she joined an Elvis fan club. After a few Elvis conventions she met Presley's personal photographer, Ed Bonja, and with him made her first Elvis Interview.

What started as one interview became many more, and with them many more friendships with people in Elvis' circle. Each of the 11 of Elvis' intimates interviewed here has a good story to tell. Each is accompanied by period photographs of Elvis and the friend, movie posters, concert memorabilia, and unusual memories that every fan or Elvis will want to read.

Interviewees include:
  • Ed Bonja Tour manager and official photographer 1970-77
  • Cynthia Pepper Co-star in the movie "Kissin' Cousins"
  • Darleen Thompkins Worked with Elvis on "Blue Hawaii" and remained close till his death
  • Patti Perry Met Elvis when she was 17 and only female member of "Memphis Mafia"
  • Myrna Smith Elvis backing singer 1969-77
  • Joe (Diamond Joe) Esposito Lifelong friend, body guard and best man when Elvis married Priscilla
  • Sonny West Lifelong friend of Elvis and bodyguard
  • Jerry Schilling Lifelong friend and managed the Beach Boys, Jerry Lee Lewis and Lisa Marie Presley
  • Larry Geller Spiritual advisor and personal hair stylist. Shaped Elvis' look
  • Jimmy Velvet Friend for 20 years and ran an Elvis memorabilia museum in Memphis.
Packed with remarkable photographs, this will be a memorable fans' resource and enjoyable reading for anyone.

The Devil's Fingers

Mueve Tu Lengua published Carlos Fidalgo's 164-page Spanish book 'Los Dedos Del Diablo' ('The Devil's Fingers'). 

Description: Midnight at a crossroads. A mediocre musician calls on a stranger to tune his guitar. And overnight he becomes a virtuoso.

'The Devil's Fingers' narrates the origins of the sound that changed the world, linking black music, blues, jazz, soul and country, hillbilly and folk, in a collection of stories, like the songs on an album. 

This book tells the story of the King of Rock and the darker areas of his enormous impact on popular culture.

Fidalgo writes and starts from the remote origins of rock, how it caused a cultural revolution to the 'Summer of Love'. Did an offering to the devil instigate Rock and Roll?

(Source: Amazon)

September 30 - Charts September 2023 - Week 4 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update is becoming a shorter list every week. Elvis is currently only listed on the U.S. Billboard and Official U.K. and Irish IRMA charts. 

In the United States Elvis dropped off the main Billboard Album Top 200 chart. In the United Kingdom Elvis' musical legacy wins a few spots and the 'From Elvis In Nashville' compilation makes a re-entry on the country charts. 

Official U.K. charts:
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #53 to #49.   
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #46 to #45. 
  • Official Country Compilation Album chart: 'From Elvis In Nashville' re-entry at #19.
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #17 to #35.
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #26 to #32.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #68 to #80. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' dropped from #32 to #41.
  • Official Music Video chart: 'The King of Rock and Roll' makes a re-entry at #40.
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #25 to #31. 
Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' dropped from #86 to #89.  
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #17 to #20. 

U.S. Billboard charts:   

  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #30 to #31. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #49 to #47.  
(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum)

Friday, September 29, 2023

September 29 - October Vinyl News Report

Emiel Maier posted the October 2023 Video News Report video. This look-back on the main news of September 2023 covering the NBC Christmas Special, the 'Priscilla movie, Vintage footage of Roanoke Elvis fans, From Memphis To Tokyo new book and many other interesting news-items.

Red Picture Discs

Released by the Reel To Reel record label are the picture disc 'Number Ones USA And UK' featuring 18 hits from the years 1956 - 1962, and the LP 'Elvis Presley Christmas' as an exclusive release on red colored vinyl . The latter LP will also be available as a picture-disc.
: Get in the festive spirit with this exclusive red vinyl LP of Elvis Presley's Christmas Album. This limited edition release features classic hits such as 'Blue Christmas' and 'Here Comes Santa Claus'. 

(Source: Emiel Maier / Banquet Records / Pascal Matteo) 

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

September 26 - The Rock 'N Roll Legend

Danny Zumwalt published his 130-page (A.I. generated) biography 'Elvis Presley - The Rock 'N Roll Legend'. 

Synopsis: This is a look at the legacy of the great Elvis Presley'.

Most Popular Museum

Graceland, the Memphis mansion owned by Elvis Presley, is named the most popular museum in America, according to a study of museums.

Researchers at Airport Parking Reservations at looked into online reviews of museums and examined the number of positive conversations surrounding each museum in the United States.

The King of Rock and Roll’s estate took the number one spot. APR says the mansion has received over 1.2 million total online reviews, with 19.5% of conversations being positive.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, also known as The Met, ranked second after Graceland. It had a total of 781,558 reviews with an 18.5 positive score.

At number three is The Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. It had 219,608 reviews with a 12.5 positive score.

(Source: Amazon / Yahoo News)

Monday, September 25, 2023

September 25 - Summer of '76 (Updated)

The Follow That Dream collectors label announced the October 23, 2023 release of the 3-CD-set 'Summer of '76'. 

Publicity stated: As part of its ongoing live on-tour series, FTD is pleased to announce the release of 'Elvis: Summer of '76'. Released as a 3-CD 5-inch digipack, this set features three 1976 concerts: Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia. Afternoon show July 24; Civic Center, Springfield, Massachusetts. Evening show July 29; Hampton Coliseum, Hampton Roads, Virginia: Afternoon show August 1.

Disc 1 – Charleston, West Virginia, Afternoon Show, July 24
Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - You Gave Me A Mountain - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel - And I Love You So - Jailhouse Rock - Fever - America The Beautiful - Band Introductions - Early Morning Rain - What’d I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Love Letters - School Day - Hurt - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Disc 2 – Springfield, Massachusetts, Evening Show, July 29
Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - You Gave Me A Mountain - Help Me - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel - And I Love You So - Jailhouse Rock - America The Beautiful - Polk Salad Annie - Band Introductions - Early Morning Rain - What’d I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Love Letters - School Day - Hurt - Hound Dog - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Disc 3 – Hampton Roads, Afternoon Show, August 1.
Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - I Got A Woman / Amen - Love Me - If You Love Me (Let Me Know) - You Gave Me A Mountain - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don’t Be Cruel - And I Love You So - Jailhouse Rock - Fever - America The Beautiful - Return To Sender - Band Introductions - Early Morning Rain - What’d I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Love Letters - School Day - Hurt - Hound Dog - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Note: The august 1st. show was released by fort Baxter yrs ago and that’s where he does a rough rendition of Return To Sender as asked for by someone in the audience. It’s a sound board recording so be interesting to see what the FTD guys do with it

This show was originally released by the Fort Baxter label in 1995 on 'The Bicentennial Elvis Experience' and re-issued by the Gravel Road Music label in 2012 on 'Star-Spangled Spectacular'. The Audionics label released this show in 2019 as 'Return to Sender - The Summer of '76'. The only song of interest is a rough version of 'Return To Sender' but that song has already been released by the collectors label. 

Also due is a second edition of the 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' FTD re-issue.This 2-LP was first released on March 2023 as a limited edition of 3.500 copies on blue colored vinyl.

And finally, also available again in October is a re-issue of the 'His Hand In Mine Sessions' CD-set. 

Tracks From Elvis Presley Boulevard: 
Side A: Hurt (Take 6, 5) - Love Coming Down (Take 4) - For The Heart (Take 5A) - Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (Take 4) - I'll Never Fall In Love Again (Take 1, 3).

Side B: Never Again (Master) - Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall (Take 6) - Moody Blue (Take 5) - The Last Farewell (Composite Of Take 3 & 2) - For The Heart (Take 3B, 4B, 5B).

Side C: I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Take 4, 5) - Hurt (Take 1, 2) - Danny Boy (Master) - Way Down (Master) - Solitaire (Take 5, 7).

Side D: The Last Farewell (Master) - Love Coming Down (Master) - I’ll Never Fall In Love Again (Master Rough Mix) - For The Heart (Master) - Hurt (Take 3) - Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall (Master).

Barry Beats Elvis

Singer-songwriter Barry Manilow has beaten Elvis Presley's record for the most performances in Las Vegas with his 637th show at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

The late King of Rock ‘n’ Roll did 636 performances at the Las Vegas Hilton between 1969 and 1976. Manilow’s residency is in the same theater, though the property is now called the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. At the time, Elvis's residency at the hotel made him one of the highest-paid performers in the history of Las Vegas. The last show he performed at the hotel was on December 12th, 1976.

In homage to the King, Manilow donned a leather jacket and sang Elvis' hit song 'Hound Dog', which received a standing ovation.

(Source: Facebook / Elvis Shop London / Westgate / Daily Mail / UEPS / FTD) 

Sunday, September 24, 2023

September 24 - 827 Thomas Street (Updated)

Now available from the Memphis Music Today record label are the 3 gatefold double LP’s ‘827 Thomas Street’ stretching Elvis' 1969 Memphis sessions and live in-concert versions over twelve sides of bootleg vinyl.

Publicity stated: Now available are these 3 gorgeous gatefold double LPs ‘Memphis Music Today 827 Thomas Street’.

Includes multiple outtakes plus undubbed masters and live versions. Rarities such as, Gentle On My Mind - Overdubbed Master Organ Mix Version, Suspicious Minds - Extended Master Without Fade, In The Ghetto - Partially Overdubbed Master Unrepaired Vocal, Poor Man’s Gold and  Inherit The Wind - Partially Overdubbed Draft Composite.

These limited editions are available in various but limited quantities on red, blue or mixed color editions vinyl.

This set is only available as a set of 3 double LPs:

Volume 1 : blue or mixed (red/blue) colored vinyl.
Volume 2 : blue or mixed (red/blue) colored vinyl.
Volume 3 : red or blue colored vinyl.

What wasn't announced was that there were 10 to 15 copies made in different colors: 
Volume 1: red colored vinyl.
Volume 2 : red colored vinyl.
Volume 3 : mixed (red/blue) vinyl.

Volume 1: 

Side A: After Loving You (Unedited Master Take 4) - In The Ghetto (Take 5, 6, 7) - If I’m A Fool (For Loving You) (Take 4, 5) - If I’m A Fool (For Loving You) (Unedited Undubbed Master Take 9) - Hey Jude (Take 6 + Undubbed Master Take 7) - Long Black Limousine (Take 1, 2)

Side B: I’m Movin’ On (Fully Overdubbed Take 2) - Inherit The Wind (Fully Overdubbed Vocal Overdub #2) - From A Jack To A King (Take 4 - Inclusive False Starts) - Long Black Limousine (Take 3, 4 , 5) - Long Black Limousine (Vocal Repair Master Take 9) - Only The Strong Survive (Rehearsal, Take 2, 3)

Side C: Rubberneckin’ (Partially Overdubbed Take 2) - In The Ghetto (Take 8, 9, 10) - In The Ghetto (Partially Overdubbed Master Take 22) - From A Jack To A King (Undubbed Unrepaired Master Take 5) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 4 - Inclusive False Starts) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 8, 9) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 3)

Side D: And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind (Take 4) - And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind (Unrepaired Undubbed Master Take 6) - Kentucky Rain (Take 4, 9 - Inclusive False Starts) - Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 2 - Inclusive False Starts) - Any Day Now (Take 3 - Inclusive False Starts) - Gentle On My Mind (Vocal Overdub Master Take 3)

Volume 2

Side A: Any Day Now (Unrepaired Undubbed Master Take 6) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 7, 8 - inclusive False Starts) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 11) - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (Take 5) - Wearin’ that Loved On Look (Take 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) - Wearin’ that Loved On Look (Take 11) - Wearin’ That Loved On Look (Draft Tape Mix)

Side B: A Little Bit Of Green (Unedited Unrepaired Master Take 3) - This Is The Story (Take 1, Partially Overdubbed Master Take 2) - Don’t Cry Daddy (Acetate Version) - Inherit The Wind (Partially Overdubbed Draft Tape Composite) - Suspicious Minds (Partially Overdubbed Master Take 8) - It’s My Way / This Time / I Can’t Stop Loving You (Jam)

Side C: Do You Know Who I Am? (Take 6, 7 - Unrepaired Undubbed Master) - You’ll Think Of Me (Take 14) - Only The Strong Survive (Take 5, 6 - inclusive False Starts) - My Little Friend (Unedited Undubbed Master)

Side D: Who Am I? (Undubbed Master Take 1) - Without Love (Undubbed Master Take 5) - It Keeps Right On A-Hurtin’ (Undubbed Master Take 3 - inclusive False Starts) - Mama Liked The Roses (Harmony Vocal Overdub Master) - Power Of My Love (Take 4 - inclusive False Starts)

Volume 3

Side A: Power Of My Love (Take 5, 6a, 6b) - Stranger In My Own Home Town (Unedited Undubbed Master) - I’ll Be There (Alternate Master #6 With Excessive Vocal Echo) - The Fair’s Moving On (Vocal Overdubbed Master Take 1)

Side B: Gentle On My Mind (Vocal Overdubbed Master - Organ Mix Version) - Suspicious Minds (Extended Master Without Fade) - In The Ghetto (Partially Overdubbed Master Take 22 - Unrepaired Vocal) - Poor Man’s Gold (Take 1 With Vocal Overdub) - In The Ghetto (21.08.1969 MS)

Side C: Suspicious Minds (21.08.1969 MS) - Hey Jude (24.08.1969 MS) - Inherit The Wind (26.08.1969 DS) - Rubberneckin’ (26.08.1969 MS) - This Is The Story (26.08.1969 MS)

Side D: True Love Travels On A Gravel Road (26.01.1970) - Kentucky Rain (23.02.1970 CS) - Don’t Cry Daddy (23.02.1970 CS) - After Loving You (Home Recording February 1966) - Memory Revival (Instrumental) - Poor Man’s Gold (Instrumental Track)

Blue Hawaii Guitar

The Gotta Have Rock and Roll auction featured multiple Elvis pieces up for auction. Several items came via Charlie Hodge and also from the Eddie Hammer Collection.

An Elvis Presley owned and film played Gibson Acoustic Guitar, used in the movie  'Blue Hawaii' and 'G.I. Blues' (photo-matched) was sold for US$82,000 after 16 bids. The estimate was US$200,000 - US$500,000.

Description from the auction website: Elvis Presley's film-used Gibson J-45 acoustic guitar that he also personally owned and used. 

The "Gibson" on the headstock was blacked out. Elvis used this guitar in his Paramount films 'Blue Hawaii' and 'G.I. Blues'. According to the letter from Charlie Hodge, he may have also used the guitar in "King Creole" as that was a Paramount production as well.

The guitar is stamped inside "Property of Paramount Prop Department" and Elvis's name is stamped inside as well.

According to Charlie Hodge, Elvis would usually take home his movie-used guitars, and he played this guitar at his home in Los Angeles and at Graceland.

Provenance: Originally from the collection of Charlie Hodge. Charlie first met Elvis when he was with the band the Foggy Mountain River Boys. They two met again when they served in the U.S. Army in Germany. They quickly became close friends and Hodge lived at Graceland until Elvis passed away in 1977. Charlie was Elvis's stage director and sang harmony on stage with him and handing him his scarves. Charlie also appeared as an extra in many of Elvis's films.

Other items sold were:

Elvis owned and stage worn oversized and heavy 5ct diamond and 14kt gold ring.

Elvis gifted this ring to George Klein his close personal friend who said Elvis wore the ring both on and off stage.

One day when Elvis was trying on some new rings he was purchasing, he took this ring off his finger, and asked George to hold it for him. When he had finished with his purchases, George handed this ring back to him and Elvis said "GK you keep that one." - Estimate: US$10,000 - US$20,000 - Final Bid: US$30,000.

Elvis stage worn, owned, and personally worn Florsheim black patent leather boots.

With side zipper and "Imperial Florsheim" stamped on the bottom of the sole. Elvis gave these boots to his long-time, close friend Charlie Hodge. Size 12, Charlie notes that Elvis's foot size could vary a great deal depending on the boot and whether Elvis had any swelling in his feet.

Condition: Very Good. - Estimate: US$5,000 - US$7,500 - Final Bid: US$2,750.

Elvis "Verschollen en Harem" (Harum Scarum) Vintage Original German Movie Poster.

From the Eddie Hammer Collection, a writer for Goldmine and Discoveries magazines who was an Elvis expert. At one point he had what was believed to be the largest Elvis Presley collection in the world.

Condition: Vintage, sold as is. Estimate: US$200 - US$400 Final Bid:  $60

Elvis Presley "La Mujer Robada" (Love Me Tender) Vintage Original Spanish Movie Poster. Condition: Vintage, sold as is.

Estimate: US$200 - US$400  Final Bid: US$50.

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Gotta Have Rock and Roll / Elvis Club Berlin / Elvis Information Network)

September 23 - Elvis Now In Person 1972 (Updated)

During a Flaming Star fan-club event Ernst Jorgensen and Pål Granlund shared some exclusive news about the new upcoming box set from FTD / Flaming Star. 

The title is 'Elvis Now In Person 1972' which they hope is ready for release in November. Ernst Jorgensen also played some samples which sounded amazing according to Kenneth Dokkeberg on Facebook. 

According to a discussion on the FECC Forum, confirmed by Elvis expert Keith Flynn, the content of the box should be:
  • CD 1 - February 1972 Las Vegas multi-track recordings. 8 unreleased tracks
  • CD 2 - Copy and paste of the Record Store Day vinyl release, "Burning Love - The RCA Rehearsals" without the live version of "How Great Thou Art" at the end.
  • CD 3 - Copy and paste of the vinyl release "Live 1972."
  • CD 4 - April 5, 1972 Buffalo rehearsal.
The Elvis Club Berlin forum quoted a German FTD seller: We just had an interesting conversation with an FTD insider and it was revealed to us that we would soon - at least this year - with the long-awaited or perhaps better said "hoped for" book and CD set on the subject of 'Elvis On Tour' can be expected.

The book itself is not the reason for the delayed release. It's more the content of the included CDs, which shouldn't overlap with the content of the official 'On Tour' box from Sony. Therefore, it is very likely that the official RCA recordings from February 1972 in Las Vegas will be released as an essential component. Anyway, we'll definitely find out soon.

(Source: Kenneth Dokkeberg on Facebook / FECC / Elvis Club Berlin)

Saturday, September 23, 2023

September 23 - Charts September 2023 - Week 3 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update is becoming a shorter list every week. Elvis is currently only listed on the U.S. Billboard and Official U.K. and Irish IRMA charts. 

With the exception of the U.K. Soundtrack album chart and the Irish Video chart, our man's musical legacy dropped on all charts and off the Greek IPFI Album Top 75 chart. 

On the U.K. Video charts, Elvis' legacy is climbing, with  'The King of Rock and Roll' makes a re-entry at #40 on the Official Music Video chart.

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #181 to #195.  
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #29 to #30. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #43 to #46.  

Official U.K. charts:
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #47 to #53.  
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #37 to #46. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS Soundtrack' makes a re-entry at #44.
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #17 to #35.
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #29 to #26.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #80 to #68. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' climbed from #43 to #32.
  • Official Music Video chart: 'The King of Rock and Roll' makes a re-entry at #40.
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #33 to #25. 

Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' dropped from #75 to #86.  
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #27 to #17. 
(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / IPFI)

Friday, September 22, 2023

September 22 - Love Me (Bar)Tender

The Memphis Tourism Board, in cooperation with Elvis Presley’s Graceland found a new way to market Memphis and Elvis Presley with the “Love Me (Bar)Tender” a pop-up bar appearing in New York City October 5 and 6, in Boston October 10 and 11 and in Chicago October 18 and 19. 

Publicity stated: Get your blue suede shoes ready for 'Love Me (Bar)Tender', a pop-up bar from Memphis Tourism and Elvis Presley’s Graceland that’s bringing the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s famed Jungle Room in Memphis to Manhattan Boston and Chicago for two nights only.

This two-day event will feature the visual spectacle of a bar that’s been transformed into the King’s famous room at Graceland - making guests feel like they are sitting in his very home in Memphis. You can expect Instagrammable moments and a photobooth. Following the launch event in NYC, Love Me (Bar)Tender, will then travel on to Boston and Chicago.

The Jungle Room is a homage to Elvis’ time in Hawaii, and was used by the Presley family as a den. It features green shag carpet, a rock waterfall, a lacquered tiki bar and other tiki-inspired furniture. The room’s acoustics allowed Elvis to record songs such as 'Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain' and 'Moody Blue' at Graceland for what became known as 'The Jungle Room sessions'.

We’re bringing a piece of Memphis to New York, Boston and Chicago for two nights only for a limited time - and hope you can join the retro-inspired fun. 

For more information visit the >>> Memphis Tourism website

(Source: Memphis Tourism)

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

DBD 2023 – Review Closing Night 1972

The latest escapes from the U.K. based Memphis Recording Service are a 2-CD / book set and single LP titled ‘Closing Night 1972’. 

The CD features the September 4, 1972 Dinner Show on the first disc and rehearsals for the engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton recorded one month earlier. Both newly mixed from mono to stereo. The LP itself is a single disc, so it only contains the concert.
Usually released a few months apart, now the CD and LP arrived together, so we can review them back-to-back. 
The design by Kev Reape is done very tastefully, as we have come to expect from the MRS label. A hardcover digipack with a great cover and a nice booklet inside, containing short but to the point liner notes and many pictures, most of them provided by Elvis fan and author Judy Palmer. The CDs - presented as picture discs this time - are housed in sleeves attached to the cardboard package. 
The LP, available on black and on clear vinyl, features a different picture on the cover. I like it better than the one on the CD as Elvis looks more engaged. The LP came in a protective plastic sleeve, now that is what I call service. 
Elvis seems to be counting down his working hours on this ‘Closing Night’ as he opens the show with fast versions of ‘See See Rider’ and Johnny Be Goode’. The results are sloppy versions. On the latter song he slurs the words a little, fortunately James Burton makes up for that with some fast fingerpicking. 
‘Until It’s Time For You To Go’ and ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ are better performances, but there is a little distortion audible which originates from the source used. 
There is even a little distortion between Elvis and Ronnie Tutt, missing a beat on ‘Polk Salad Annie’; “What are you doing Ronnie… What are you doing fool?“ But they have fun about it finishing the song. Jerry Scheff seizes the opportunity and steals the performance playing some mean southern bass with the Sweets joining in for a wild finale! That’s how you rock!
On ‘What Now My Love’ we primarily hear Elvis and the orchestra, with the band and Kathy Westmoreland joining in halfway the performance. This has always been a great song for Elvis as he surely knows how to deliver it! It is one of the better performances from this show.
Listening to ‘Fever’ you hear the added value of mixing mono recordings to stereo, extracting the various audio elements and putting them back together again. The snapping fingers, key to this song, stand out very nicely.
‘Love Me’ is a mess, due to Elvis making the rounds pleasing the ladies. After that it sounds like he want so make up for lost times as he speeds through all the rockin’ classics before catching his breath again with ‘Love Me Tender’. On this ballad he can’t escape from the ladies either; all they want is for him to be their ‘Teddy Bear’, while he asks them “don’t be cruel to a heart that’s true”, handing out scarves for the ladies to dry their tears; "
you gotta work for it kid". These songs were throw-a-ways too.
With ‘Little Sister / Get Back’ he is back on track as this is one of the stronger  performances of the afternoon. The slower performance ‘Hound Dog’ has a long lead-in, as Elvis plays with the audience and his band before he picks up the pace for the finale, but the performance remains tame and without any energy or effort. 
On ‘I’ll Remember You’ we hear the performer and showman Elvis can be when he wants to. This is followed by J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, singing the gospel ‘Walk That Lonesome Road’. A segment like this is part of the Elvis show, but an unnecessary intermission in my book as The Stamps make it sound like vocal gymnastics. 

Up next is the classic ‘Suspicious Minds’, but Elvis gives us another sloppy performance, which nevertheless pleases the crowd. 
After the introductions of the band and 200 fans from the United Kingdom that made the passage across the Atlantic to see Elvis in concert, he does a good version of Kris Kristofferson’s ‘For The Good Times’. With OK versions of ‘A Big Hunk O’ Love’ and ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ Elvis closes the show before the closing theme ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ sets in.
The rehearsals, recorded just 6 hours before the opening of the engagement, are fun to listen to, as they learn us how Elvis and the band prepared for the shows. But they remain rehearsals, with everything that comes with those kind of performances like incomplete songs and Memphis Mafia members and others talking in the background.
(Possible) Sources
The September 4, 1972 show on CD 1 was first released on the Rock Legends bootleg ‘I'll Remember You’ (1998), the Madison bootleg CD ‘A Hilton Double Shot’ (2009) before the Follow That Dream label released it officially and complete on ‘Destination USA’ in 2014. 
The rehearsals were first released on the FTD collectors label CD ‘3000 South Paradise Road’ (2012). So this isn’t the first official - at least in Europe - release of this material, but it is the first time they are widely available outside the fan-club circuit. 
The overall stereo-picture is good. The engineer who restored, remixed and remastered the audio at Studio D, opened-up the concert but he still placed most elements around the middle with Elvis’ voice is placed upfront and the audience in the back. The backing vocalists are a bit high in the mix. He probably couldn’t separate all the audio-elements from the original mono source to place them wider apart, mimicking the set-up of the big Hilton Showroom. 
The concert sounded better when listening through headphones than it did playing it over a stereo-set. Comparing this new stereo mix to the mono mix on the ‘Destination USA’ CD it did sounded better, especially through headphones. When listening to the concert over a stereo-set the difference was less audible. 
Playing the CD back-to-back with the LP, the sound on the latter was more powerful, so that will be my go-to version for a stereo mix. 
The rehearsals were recorded on what sounds like a small cassette-recorder. You can compare the result with a good audience-recording, but without the audience and Elvis a little closer than during a concert performance. 

Compared to the original ‘3000 South Paradise Road’ release the rehearsals sounded better and cleaner. It was probably easier to work on these recordings without the big sound of the orchestra melting all the audio together.
After having listened to the concert and rehearsals I’m left with mixed feelings. The CD-audio sounds better through a headset than through a stereo-set while the vinyl sounds better than the CD on that same set … 
The concert itself is average, Elvis sounds uninspired and the ballads distinguishing themselves just slightly from the other performances. 
As stated, the LP sounded better, so if you’re interested in the concert, that’s the one to get. Perhaps it is time to move on to better sources, and with 1973 just around the corner, let’s see what the Memphis Recording Service record label will bring us next. 

The CD and LP are available from the >>> Memphis Recording Service website and Amazon.

September 19 - A 50's Stereo Christmas (Updated)

Due for re-release on November 3, 2023 from the Select-O-Hits record label is the 2022 CD 'Elvis' 1957 'Christmas Album' featuring Elvis' Christmas classics in stereo. 

Tracks: Santa Claus Is Back In Town - White Christmas - Here Comes Santa Claus - I'll Be Home For Christmas - Blue Christmas - Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) - Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem - Silent Night - (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me) - I Believe - Take My Hand, Precious Lord - It Is No Secret (What God Can Do).

Note: this is not the first time Elvis' Christmas album has been released in stereo. 

Vintage Rock

The upcoming Vintage Rock magazine features an article on Elvis' Stax recordings, is it a hit or a miss? The magazine delve into the much-debated merits of Elvis' Stax sessions – Did The King drop the ball - or have the fruits of his labors at the home of Southern soul in Memphis been unfairly overlooked?

Memphis Recording Reissues

The U.K. based Memphis Recording Service announced the November 24, 2023 re-release of the 3-CD-set 'The Complete 1950's Live Recordings', the 2-CD-set 'Elvis On Television 1956 - 1960' (2 CDs) and the single CD-set 'One Night In Pearl Harbor' on their new alternate label, MRS CAMDEN.

The titles have slight changes in the name and on CD content and come in a Digi-Sleeve pack. Each comes with a small booklet. The releases on this specific new label are scaled-down budget version of the previous, priced for the mainstream market. At the same time however, some of the CD’s include newly sourced audio upgrades. 

The original titles were released as:  
'Such A Night In Pearl Harbor' in 2012 with an 100-page booklet.
'Elvis On Television 1956- 1960' in 2016 with an 172-page hardcover book.
'The Complete 1950's Live Recordings' in 2016 with an 100-page booklet. 

Publicity for 
The Complete 1950's Live Recordings' 
statedThe 3CD set represents the complete archival live concert recordings by Elvis Presley in the 1950’s. All 82 tracks have been remastered and restored and the accompanying booklet chronologically follows Elvis from the very first, to the last shows performed.

Please note, a newly remastered version of the live track I' Forgot to Remember to Forget’ has been upgraded for this release.

CD1 - 16th October 1955 - Louisiana Hayride
Hayride Begins Jingle - Introduction / That's All Right - Blue Moon Of Kentucky

15th January 1955- Louisiana Hayride
Hearts Of Stone - That’s All Right - Tweedle Dee

22nd January 1955 - Louisiana Hayride
Money Honey - Blue Moon Of Kentucky - I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine - That’s All Right - Radio Spot Commercial For Performance 23.02.1955 In Pine Bluff, AR - Radio Spot Commercial for Performance February 23rd 1955 in Pine Bluff AR

5th March 1955 - Louisiana Hayride
Tweedle Dee - Money Honey - Hearts Of Stone - Shake, Rattle And Roll - Little Mama - You’re A Heartbreaker

19th March 1955 – Eagles Hall, Houston, Texas
Good Rockin’ Tonight - Baby Let’s Play House - Blue Moon Of Kentucky - I Got A Woman - That’s All Right

Apr 30th 1955 - Glatewater, Texas:
Tweedle Dee 

May 26th 1955 -  Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival:
That's All Right

July 16th 1955
I’m Left You’re Right She’s Gone

July 29th 1955, Jacksonville, Florida 
Mae Axton Interviews Elvis

August 10th 1955 Louisiana Hayride:
Radio Spot Commercial for Performance in Gladewater Texas 

20th August 1955 - Louisiana Hayride
Jimmie Rodgers Memorial Festival:

August 31st 1955 Memphis TN:
Bob Neal Interviews Elvis, Scotty and Bill.

October 1955 - Louisiana Hayride
32. I' Forgot to Remember to Forget (2023 Remaster) 
33: Hayride End Jingle 

CD2 - 6th May 1956 - New Frontier, Las Vegas
Heartbreak Hotel - Long Tall Sally - Blue Suede Shoes - Money Honey
16 May 1956 Little Rock, Arkansas:
Interview At Little Rock Arkansas - Heartbreak Hotel - Long Tall Sally - I Was The One - Money Honey - I Got A Woman - Blue Suede Shoes - Hound Dog

3rd June 1956:
Radio Spot for Elvis Concert in Oakland, CA
26 September 1956 Tupelo, Afternoon Performance:
Heartbreak Hotel - Long Tall Sally - Presentation Key To The City - I Was The One - I Want You, I Need You, I Love You - I Got A Woman - Don’t Be Cruel - Ready Teddy - Love Me Tender - Hound Dog

Sep 26th 1956:
WTUP Interviews Elvis Presley

CD3 - 26 September 1956 Tupelo, Evening Performance
WTUP Interviews Elvis’ Parents, Vernon And Gladys - Love Me Tender - I Was The One - I Got A Woman - Don’t Be Cruel - Blue Suede Shoes - Baby Let’s Play House - Hound Dog - Announcement
15th December 1956, Louisiana Hayride
Heartbreak Hotel - Long Tall Sally - I Was The One - Love Me Tender - Don’t Be Cruel - Love Me - I Got A Woman - When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again - Paralyzed - Hound Dog - Elvis Has Left The Building
April and August 1957 - Canadian Fragments 1957
Heartbreak Hotel (Toronto Radio Broadcast Fragment - 02.04.1957) - Hound Dog (Ottawa Fragment - 03.04.1957)

Heartbreak Hotel - I Was The One - I Got A Woman - Thats When Your Heartaches Begin

02 September 1957:
Interview At Portland Oregon

27th September 1957:
WELO Interviews Elvis Tupelo, Mississippi

Publicity for 'Elvis on Television' stated
The 2CD’s contain the complete archival sound recordings of Elvis Presley’s television appearances from 1956-60 remastered and restored. They include interviews as well as the live performances from the Dorsey Brothers “Stage Show,” Milton Berle, Steve Allen and the Ed Sullivan shows. 

For the first time on this MRS release, unlike the previous version, is a newly sourced, recently discovered acetate of Elvis' appearance on the 'Frank Sinatra Timex' show in 1960. MRS took the operation to completely remaster the tracks direct from the original transfer files with the best of results. 

CD 1 - The Dorsey Brothers – Stage Show (CBS)  
28th Jan 1956
Introduction & Bill Randle Introduces Elvis Presley - Shake Rattle And Roll / Flip Flop And Fly - I Got A Woman

4th Feb 1956
Introduction - Baby Let's Play House - Tutti Frutti

11th Feb 1956
Introduction - Blue Suede Shoes - Heartbreak Hotel (With Orchestra)

18th Feb 1956 Stage Show 
Introduction - Tutti Frutti - I Was The One

17th March 1956
Introduction - Blue Suede Shoes - Heartbreak Hotel

24th March 1956
Introduction - Money Honey - Heartbreak Hotel

The Milton Berle Show (NBC) - 3rd April 1956
Introduction & Shake Rattle And Roll (In Part) - Milton Berle Introduces Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - Milton Berle & Elvis Presley Comedy Sketch - Blue Suede Shoes (Reprise)

NBC Studio – Hollywood, California - 5th June 1956
Introduction - Hound Dog - Milton Berle & Elvis Presley & Debra Paget Comedy Sketch - Milton Berle Introduces Elvis Presley - I Want You I Need You I Love You - Milton Berle Presents Elvis Billboard Award

Wink Martindal - Top Ten Dance Party (WHBQ TV) - Local TV Network -  16th June 1956
Wink Martindale Interviews Elvis Presley & Dewey Phillips Singing Money Honey

CD 2 - The Steve Allen Show (NBC) - 1st July 1956
Introduction / Dialogue With Steve Allen - I Want You I Need You I Love You - Hound Dog - Yippee Yi Yo Yippee Yi Yay (Comedy Routine With Steve Allen, Elvis Presley, Imogene Coca & Andy Griffith)

Hy Gardner (NBC) - 1st July 1956
5. Calling Elvis – Interview

The Ed Sullivan Show (CBS)
9th September 1956
Introduction And Charles Laughton Introduces Elvis - Don't Be Cruel - Love Me Tender - Ready Teddy - Hound Dog

28th October 1956
Introduction Ed Sullivan - Don't Be Cruel - Introduction Ed Sullivan - Love Me Tender - Introduction Ed Sullivan - Love Me - Hound Dog - Elvis Talks Farewell

6th January 1957
Ed Sullivan Introduction - Hound Dog - Love Me Tender - Heartbreak Hotel - Don't Be Cruel - Too Much - Elvis Talks - When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again - Ed Sullivan Speaks - (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley - Ed Sullivan Farewells Elvis

The Frank Sinatra Show (ABC) – 2023 Remaster
It's Very Nice to Travelling (With Frank & Nancy Sinatra, Joey Bishop & Sammy Davis Jr.) - Fame And Fortune - Stuck On You - Frank Sinatra And Joey Bishop Talk To Elvis - Witchcraft / Love Me Tender (With Frank Sinatra) - Love Me Tender (Reprise With Frank Sinatra) - Frank Sinatra And Nancy Sinatra Farewells Elvis

Publicity for 'One Night in Pearl Harbor' stated
On March 25, 1961, Elvis Presley performed what would become his final live concert for eight years! This benefit charity show, in aid of the USS Arizona Memorial fund at Pearl Harbor has been remastered and restored and includes 25-minute press conference taken just before the show. 

Please note that the ‘Elvis Salutes the USS Arizona’ that was on the original MRS release ‘Such a Night in Pearl Harbor’ is not included on this release. However, the 25-minute press conference taken just before the show is now included for the first time on CD with MRS.    

Introduction - Heartbreak Hotel - All Shook Up - (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I - I Got A Woman - Love Me - Introductions - Such A Night - Reconsider Baby - I Need Your Love Tonight - That’s All Right - Don’t Be Cruel - One Night - Are You Lonesome Tonight - It’s Now Or Never - Swing Down Sweet Chariot - Hound Dog

Bonus: Hawaiian Press Conference and Awards Ceremony - March 25th 1961.

Double Trouble

Warner Bros. announced the October 31, 2023 Blu-ray release of the 1967 movie 'Double Trouble' featuring a new 2022 1080p HD Master from 4K scan of the original camera negative. 

Synopsis: When crooner Guy Lambert wraps his London show and travels to Brussels, two beauties secretly follow. One (Annette Day) is a lovestruck heiress, the other (Yvonne Romain) an enigmatic temptress. And they could be two too much for the attached Guy. 

Comedy, mystery and mayhem combine when Elvis Presley plays Guy in Double Trouble, a romp involving stolen gems, trenchcoated defectives - that is, detectives! - and more. Through it all, a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do. That means performing a tune array that include the title tune 'City By Night', 'Could I Fall in Love?', 'Long-Legged Girl' and 'There’s So Much World to See'. 

Trouble was never this cool and this much fun.

Technical specs:
Run Time: 91 Minutes
Subtitles: English SDH
Audio Specs: DTS HD-MA 2.0 Mono
Aspect Ratio 16x9 2.35:1 Letterbox
Product color: Color
Disc Configuration-BD 50
Special Features: Chuck Jones Tom and Jerry Cartoons: 'Rock 'N Rodent' (HD) and 'Surf-Bored Cat' (HD); Original Theatrical Trailer
Cast: Elvis Presley, Annette Day, John Williams.

EPE Estate Hit With Lisa Marie Unpaid Loan 

It has only been a few months since Riley Keough was declared the sole trustee of Elvis' estate but now it faces a legal battle over an outstanding million-dollar loan to Lisa Marie.

Investment and lending company Naussany Investments are seeking the US$3.8 million they say Lisa Marie owed them in a lawsuit.

Allegedly Lisa Marie failed to fulfill her payment obligations for the 2018 loan. According to court documents the loan in question was acquired by Presley in May 2018, with her ownership stake in EPE / Graceland offered as collateral.
The exact purpose behind the loan remains undisclosed.

The lawsuit notes that Lisa Marie borrowed US$450,000 in 2016 which was then repaid in full within the following month. Lisa Marie apparently signed a letter agreeing to repay the US$3.8 million loan in full by May 16, 2022.

However according to the attorneys Naussany Investments allegedly lost contact with Lisa Marie after March 2022, despite their purported efforts to communicate and collect the outstanding debt.

As part of the ongoing legal wrangle, NIPL has offered a potential resolution: they are willing to drop the case if Lisa Marie's estate, which is now under the control of Riley Keough, repays 75 percent of the loan, amounting to US$2.85 million, within 45 days.

This may be a little worrying however back in 2020 an EPE exec revealed that Elvis' estate was "estimated to be worth between US$400 million and $500 million". And according to Forbes EPE earned US$110 million in 2022. This is likely at least in part due to the successful ELVIS biopic.

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Amazon Japan + Spain / Plastic Head / Pascal Matteo / Elvis Information Network)