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 title of the album is a little strange as it contains a Dinner Show from the ‘Closing Night’ of the 1972 Vegas Summer stint and a recording of the rehearsals for that engagement. 
Having said that, 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. 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?

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.

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

Monday, September 18, 2023

September 18 - Golden Boy Elvis

The fall issue of the German Golden Boy Elvis magazine was published. 

This new edition - with a smashing cover - is another entertaining and insightful read with insightful reviews of many of the last Follow That Dream and Legacy releases. Added to that are articles on Ann-Margret, who is still going strong with a new release, P.J. Proby, B.J. Thomas and Ricky Shayne. Interesting to read these background stories to Elvis music. 

With 3 In Memoriam articles makes m realize once more that the Elvis world isn't getting any younger. Besides these articles the full color glossy magazine features several other long-reads on Elvis' songs, 45 RPM singles, Elvis' clothing style and more. 

For more information, or to order your copy, visit the >>> Golden Boy Elvis website. 

Saturday, September 16, 2023

September 16 - Charts September 2023 - Week 2 (Updated)

 The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. 

There is not too much movement on the charts around the world for Elvis. In the United States his albums climb slightly on the Billboard charts. In the United Kingdom Elvis' releases climb, drop Off) or remain steady on the charts. 

In Ireland Elvis' releases did  both and in Greek he climbed one spot. 

Additional charts will be added when they become available over the weekend. 

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #197 to #181.  
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #32 to #29. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #44 to #43.  

Official U.K. charts:
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #51 to #47. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #37. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #17 to #35.
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #27 to #29.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #60 to #80. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' dropped from #33 to #43. 
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #28 to #33. 

Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' climbed from #80 to #75. 
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #16 to #39. 

Greek IPFI charts:
  • Greek IPFI Album Top 75 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #15 to #16.
(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / IPFI)

Friday, September 15, 2023

September 15 - His Changing Digitale Style (Updated)

Released in the U.S. in the 'Pop Icon' series is the 98-page magazine 'Elvis His Changing Style- A Scrapbook of His Looks').

SynopsisFrom oversized blazers and simple white shirts to all-leather get-ups and rhinestone-studded jumpsuits, Elvis Presley defined what it was not only to be a rock god but to look like one.

Sure, he was destined to be a pop-music idol based on his versatile, beautiful voice alone, but the combination of his onstage swagger with his cooler-than-cool wardrobe meant he would be a trendsetter for generations to come. In this special issue filled with gorgeous photos, we trace the origins of Elvis' sartorial tastes and the evolution of his style through decades of concerts, movies and appearances

Live In Las Vegas

The Expensive Woodland Recordings record label announced the October 20, 2023 release of the LP 'Live In Las Vegas' featuring a live performance recorded on 5th February 1973 at the Hilton Hotel, Las Vegas. 

A Fantastic Las Vegas recording from the King of Rock 'n' Roll with the classic hits: 'Blue Suede Shoes', 'Hound Dog', 'Suspicious Minds', 'Steamroller Blues' and 'Fever'.

Tracks: Op 20 Side A: 2001 A Ruimte Odyssee / C. C. Ruiter - Ik Heb Een Vrouw / Amen - Tot Het Tijd Voor Jou Is Om Te Gaan - Je Hoeft Niet Te Zeggen Dat Je Van Me Houdt - Steamroller Blues - Je Gaf Me Een Berg - Koorts - Hou Van Me - Blauwe Suède Schoenen - Hou Van

Side B: Johnny B. Goode - Jachthond - Wat Nu Mijn Liefde - Suspicious Minds - Introductie van de Band - I'll Remember You - I Can't Stop Loving You - Een Amerikaanse Trilogie - Can't Help Falling In Love

Note: Who is that on the cover? He has been identified as ETA Donny Edwards.

Based on the tracklist the LP may be wrongly dated. It probably contains the February 3rd, 1973 Dinner Show, previously released as 'Vegas Rhythm' (correctly dated) or 'It's A Matter Of Time' mistakenly which was incorrectly dated as the February 5, 1973 Dinner Show.

Beyond Digital

The digital book 'Elvis UK Beyond RCA The Ultimate Guide To Elvis Presley's British Non-RCA LPs 1974-1997' by John Townson and Gordon Minto has been re-issued as a physical 377-page paperback edition. 

This second edition has been updated and slightly revised. However, those who bought the digital version will also receive the updated version which will be despatched to them - free of charge - soon. And the digital copy will still be available to buy for those who prefer that medium. 

Click here to read the review I wrote with Nigel Patterson and Piers Beagley of the >>> digital edition

The print edition can only be obtained through >>> Now Dig This and Elvis The Man And His Music. 

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Amazon / Elvis Club Berlin/ Gordon Minto)

Thursday, September 14, 2023

September 14 - Christmas Star

The German ZYX record label released another edition of the 'Greatest Christmas Songs' CD, this edition comes with an additional metal led-light Christmas star.

(Source: Amazon / Pascal Matteo)

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

September 13 - Elvis Les Dieux Du Rock (Updated)

Released in France in the 'Album Magazine Special' sub-titled 'Elvis Les Dieux Du Rock'.

It also features articles about the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Elvis.

Content - Elvis Presley:
- Le King Du Rock
- La Voix D'Elvis
- L'enfance D'Elvis
- That's Allright Mama
- Le Chanteur Qui A Vendu Le Plus De Disques Au Monde
- Le Phènoméne International
-Elvis The King

Roger Whittaker Died

British singer Roger Whittaker died, he was 87. Elvis recorded the song 'The Last Farewell' which Whittaker co-wrote for his 1976 album 'From Elvis Presley Boulevard'. 

This version was released as a posthumous single in the UK in 1984, peaking at number 48 in December.

Henri Dauman Died

The U.S.- based French photographer Henri Dauman, best known for his pictures for Life magazine, died. He was 90. 

Dauman photographed Elvis Presley at Fort Dix, leaving for Germany and returning home almost 2 years later, celebrating his 25th birthday at Graceland in 1960. 

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Journaux / Elvis Club Berlin / Various / WikiPedia / PetaPixel)

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

September 12 - Christmas at Graceland

Graceland announced the start of the Holiday Season and invited fans to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Graceland, surrounded by the beauty of Elvis’ traditional holiday decorations, with our limited-time Christmas tours, November 16 to December 23.

For more information visit >>> Graceland.

Monday, September 11, 2023

September 11 - Shaped Vinyl

The French Culture Factory record label (V.P.I. / L.M.L.R. record label) announced the November 24, 2023 release of the two Limited Edition Shaped picture discs 'Jailhouse Rock' and 'Blue Hawaii' containing alternate versions of well known film hits. 

Description 'Jailhouse Rock': 66 years ago the classic movie 'Jailhouse Rock', directed by Richard Thorpe, was released. The movie premiered on October 17, 1957 in Memphis and opened nationwide on November 8, 1957.

The film's soundtrack, written by the duo Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber, has become iconic thanks to the famous prison scene, considered "Elvis Presley's greatest moment on screen".

Description 'Blue Hawaii'
62 years ago the famous film 'Blue Hawaii',directed by Norman Taurog, was released.

The film's soundtrack includes memorable songs like 'Can't Help Falling in Love' and 'Blue Hawaii', which helped popularize Hawaiian music around the world. This catchy, sunny soundtrack perfectly captures the tropical atmosphere of the film and remains a timeless favorite among Elvis fans and lovers of 60s music.

To celebrate these cinematographic and recording monuments, we present two Exclusive Limited Edition Shaped Picture Discs of the soundtrack albums. 

Tracks 'Jailhouse Rock' Side A: Jailhouse Rock (Take 5) - Young And Beautiful (Take 19) - I Want to Be Free (Take 9).

Side B: Don't Leave Me Now (Second Version, Take 18) - (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care (Take 1) - Treat Me Nice (First Movie Version, Take 19).

Tracks 'Blue Hawaii' Side A: Blue Hawaii (Movie Version) - Almost Always True (Take 4 & 5) - Aloha Oe (Master "The Surfers" & Take 6) - No More (Take 1) - Can't Help Falling in Love (Movie Version) - Rock A Hula Baby (Take 2 & 3) - Moonlight Swim (Take 1 & 2).

Side B: Ku-U-I-Po (Take 1) - Ito Eats (Take 4 & 5) - Slicin' Sand (Take 13 & 14) - Hawaiian Sunset (Take 2) - Beach Boy Blues (Movie Version, Take 3) - Island Of Love (Take 9) - Hawaiian Wedding Song (Take 1).

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / FNAC)

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Review Greatest Christmas Songs

Released by the German ZYX record label are a CD Limited Edition LP titled ‘Greatest Christmas Songs’. Although the sun is shining brightly, and I used to play Italo disco releases from this label with temperatures this high some 30 years ago, I now found myself playing the Christmas carols loudly!
The design of this seasonal LP really suits the Christmas theme. Looking at the promotional SUN picture with the Christmas decorations, the name Bing Crosby crossed my mind. It doesn't get more like Christmas than that! 

On the back a more modern design with the lightbulbs or Christmas balls we know from the more recent releases like ‘Elvis Presley - The Classic Christmas Album’. 
To top it off, the music is pressed on green colored vinyl. It is nice and flat, even if it didn’t feel like 180 Gr. vinyl, it played smoothly throughout the album. The occasional click from the static, playing this new LP straight out of the paper sleeve, added to the authentic sound of an original Elvis album.  
Bothe the CD and vinyl edition contain 14 Christmas classics, well 7 actually as 5 songs are Gospel classics and the 2 bonus songs are pop songs. The album contains the 12 songs from Elvis’ original 1957 Christmas album, but in a different sequence, mixing-up the original secular Christmas songs and carols from side A and the Gospel numbers from the B side. 
Listening to these sincere performances, I can’t understand what the fuss was about when 'Elvis' Christmas Album' was released some 66 years ago; there isn’t a bad performance on this album. Compared to what Elvis did with Arthur Crudup’s ‘That’s All Right’, he approached Irving Berlin’s ‘White Christmas’ sincerely and with respect.
But the highlights remain the "new" Leiber and Stoller classic ‘Santa Claus Is Back in Town’, just listen to Elvis and the band’s full-throated rendition, which we also hear on the classic ‘Blue Christmas’ with those recognizable backing vocals by Millie Kirkham. 
With the new pop-like Schroeder / Demetrius composition ‘Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)’ Elvis gave his young fans something new and familiar sounding too. And the song still stands strong today. 

Like on more of his early albums, Elvis was very involved in the recording of the songs, perhaps as it allowed him to record some songs from the musical genre closest to his heart; Gospel music. The fact that he personally arranged ‘Silent Night’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’ underlines his dedication on these recordings even more.
That leaves the two bonus songs; ‘That’s When Your Heartaches Begin’ and ‘I Beg of You’. Odd choices for a Christmas album, especially when there are so many more suitable alternatives available. The first one kind-of fits the Christmas theme, but Elvis didn’t sing ‘I Beg of You’ under the mistletoe …
The album looks authentic, with an entertaining and diverse Christmas listening experience ... and two "odd-balls" dangling in the Christmas three. But let's be honest, you can't really go wrong revisiting Elvis’ original ‘Christmas Album’. 

For me this new album nicely fits in the Christmas tradition of buying a “new” Elvis Christmas album (almost) each year. And for those who prefer the originals, those two LPs will be re-issued on vinyl by Sony Legacy in October 2023.

The album is available from the >>> ZYX website and Amazon.

September 09 - Closing Night In Steel City

The Straight Arrow import record label released the ‘Steel City '73’ CD featuring an audience-recording of the June 25, 1973 Evening Show performance. 

This should be the first of several volumes in the label’s new ‘From The John Herman Mastertapes’ series.

Publicity stated: In memory of John Herman (June 25, 1942 - July 5, 2017) “I first met John Herman around 1974 - 1975. We met the old fashion ways - by mail. He was running ads in the record collector’s magazine Goldmine as well as in want ad sections of fan club newsletters. I belonged to several - it’s how we networked with other fans and collectors.

John and I swapped letters and traded Elvis items. Once our relationship was established we began speaking on the phone. Eventually those phone conversations about Elvis turned to more friendly topics. Family, sports and as the years went by - our health issues. He often relayed the story about being a young guy in South Carolina where he was born and being turned on to Elvis from the early days at SUN Records. 

One funny story involved getting the SUN release of ‘I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine’ and disliking it so much that he used it for target practice one day. Imagine shooting a SUN label record! It was of course available in stores back then and before Elvis’ popularity exploded. 

Eventually John and his family relocated to Uniontown, Pennsylvania. A small town about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh along the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Pittsburgh would eventually figure greatly in his love for Elvis. John helped me immensely in building my Elvis collection. He was generous to me including trading audio cassettes, reel to reel tapes, video tape, films and records. We became such good friends he gifted me 3 Sun Records, two 45 RPM’s and one 78 RPM. 

As the years progressed he recorded many Elvis concerts. He saw Elvis on tour in Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, Virginia as well as other places including Elvis’ last two engagements in Las Vegas. He shared a lot of that with me as well as other fans. He even helped me get to some of those shows and shared his access with me - I’m forever grateful. 

Like many of us he began recording the shows on cassette tape. A process that was a learning experience for those of us who did such a thing. The more shows you’re recorded - the better you became at it. The same applied to shooting still pictures or Super 8 film. At some point you got better and better. The interaction between Elvis’ staff, his father and eventually Elvis himself gave John pretty good access to his hero. It’s a story I’ll relate in later editions. Elvis loved policeman and that was John’s profession - a police officer for his hometown. John became friendly with his hero on a personal basis.

The audio recordings he made, the photographs he shot and even the iconic films he shot have become legendary in the world of Elvis. With the passing of many of the original guard of Elvis fans and collectors - his is one of those names and stories that needs to be kept relevant. He left us with many great moments and memories that we all still share and enjoy.”

Straight Arrow was fortunate enough to obtain recently recovered 1st generation copy of the original audience-recorded tape of this show, coming from the collection of an American fan. This historic concert was never before available in good sound quality - until now! Every second was enhanced to achieve the optimal listening experience. The sound was remastered to the correct speed. If you have enjoyed our previous 1973 CDs, we believe that you will love this one as well. 

Presented in the usual Straight Arrow fashion with the top notch digipak including the photos of Elvis in Pittsburgh and Uniondale, June 1973 and great liner notes written by close friend of John Herman, this new release is another beauty that you must not miss! Straight arrow is planning several volumes of “From The John Herman Mastertapes” similar with our legendary 2015 ‘From The Rick Rennie Mastertapes’ series. 

Note: Elvis super fan John Herman also taped the legendary Pittsburgh 1976 New Year’s Eve show, widely released by bootleggers and by the official FTD label. 

Tracks: 01. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra - 02. C. C. Rider - 03. I Got A Woman / Amen - 04. Love Me Tender - 05. Steamroller Blues - 06. You Gave Me A Mountain - 07. Love Me - 08. Blue Suede Shoes - 09. Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On / Mama Don’t Dance / Flip Flop And Fly / Jailhouse Rock / Shake Rattle And Roll / Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On - 10. I’m Leavin’ - 11. How Great Thou Art (with reprise) - 12. Hound Dog - 13. Fever - 14. What Now My Love - 15. Suspicious Minds - 16. Introductions of singers, musicians, orchestra - 17. Happy Birthday to Colonel Parker - 18. I’ll Remember You - 19. I Can’t Stop Loving You - 20. An American Trilogy - 21. Johnny B. Goode - 22. Help Me Make It Through The Night - 23. Can’t Help Falling In Love - 24. Closing Vamp.

Note: This concert was previously released in 2009 by the Rocky Record label as 'Help Me Make It In Pittsburgh' (audience recording). 

Closing Night Vinyl

The new Memphis Recording Service LP 'Closing Night 1972' has been released, the first dealers and fans received their copies. 

Publicity stated: This CD features a live performance recorded on 4 September 1972, during the last night of Elvis’ seventh engagement in Las Vegas at the Hilton Hotel. For the first time ever, the show is presented in stereo. A bonus CD of remastered rehearsal tracks, recorded days before the engagement began, is also included. 

The accompanying booklet - featuring rare photographs and memorabilia from the final evening – also includes liner notes that set the scene.

Tracks CD 1 - Las Vegas Hilton December 4, 1972 Dinner Show: Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - Johnny B. Goode - Until It’s Time For You To Go - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Polk Salad Annie - Elvis Talks To Audience - What Now My Love - Fever - Love Me - Blue Suede Shoes - Heartbreak Hotel - All Shook Up - Love Me Tender - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - Little Sister / Get Back - Hound Dog - I'll Remember You - Walk That Lonesome Road (J. D. Sumner & The Stamps) - Suspicious Minds - Band Introductions - Elvis Welcomes British Fanclub - For The Good Times - A Big Hunk O' Love - You Gave Me A Mountain - Can't Help Falling In Love

CD 2 - August 4, 1972 Las Vegas Rehearsals:

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Until It's Time For You To Go - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - Burning Love - What Now My Love (Take 1) - What Now My Love (Take 2) - My Babe - For The Good Times - True Love Travels On A Gravel Road - Fever - Blueberry Hill - Little Sister / Get Back (Incomplete) - I'll Remember You - An American Trilogy - Something - Faded Love - You Gave Me A Mountain - I'm Leavin' - My Way (Take 1) - My Way (Take 2)

Tracks LP: Side A - 04.09.1972 DS (Las Vegas): Also Sprach Zarathustra - See See Rider - Johnny B. Goode - Until It’s Time For You To Go - You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - Polk Salad Annie - What Now My Love - Fever - Love Me - Blue Suede Shoes - Heartbreak Hotel - All Shook Up

Side B: Love Me Tender - (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel - Little Sister / Get Back - Hound Dog - I'll Remember You - Suspicious Minds - For The Good Times - A Big Hunk O' Love - You Gave Me A Mountain - Can't Help Falling In Love

Note: This material was previously released on the Follow That Dream CDs ‘Destination USA’ and ‘3000 Paradise Road’ and the Madison bootleg 'A Hilton Double Shot 1'. Both released in mono.

Best Actrice

Cailee Spaeny won the best actress award at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, at the age of just 25, for her portrayal of Elvis Presley's wife in 'Priscilla'. Coppola did not wil in the category 'Best Movie'.

(Source: Otto Meszaros on Facebook / Eddy Vodden on Facebook / France 24)

September 09 - Charts September 2023 - Week 2 (Updated)

The weekly global Elvis Presley chart update. 

With the exception of the U.K. Streaming Album chart, Elvis' music and movie releases are dropping on and off the charts. 

Additional charts will be added when they become available over the weekend. 

U.S. Billboard charts:

  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #185 to #197. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #30 to #32. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Albums chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #42 to #44. 

Official U.K. charts:
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #47 to #51. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #38 to #37. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #17 to #23.
  • Official Country Compilation chart: 'From Elvis In Nashville' dropped from #13 to #15. 
  • Official Americana Album chart: 'Elvis: Back in Nashville' dropped from #26 to #34.
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #14 to #17.
  • Official DVD chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #27 to #22.
  • Official Blu-ray chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #54 to #60. 
  • Official Video Chart Top 100: 'ELVIS' dropped from #29 to #33. 
  • Official Films On Disc chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #23 to #28. 
  • Official Music Video chart: 'Elvis The Searcher' climbed from #46 to #34. 

Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits'  dropped from #77 to #80. 
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #16 to #39. 
Greep IPFI charts:
  • Greek IPFI ALbum Top 75 chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #13 to #15.
(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / IPFI)

Friday, September 08, 2023

September 08 - French Vinyl

The French French V.P.I / LMLR record label re-issued the two  45 RPM Japanese single re-issues on colored vinyl.

'Good Rockin' Tonight' (coupled with 'I Don't Care if The Sun Don't Shine') was released on white, gold, yellow, black and red colored vinyl and 'Wooden Heart' (coupled with 'What's She Really like') on white, burgundy, brown, black and green colored vinyl. 

All colors limited to 200 copies each. 

Priscilla Postponed

Deadline has reported a change of release date in North America for 'Priscilla', which allows Sofia Coppola's film to take the place in the release-schedule once occupied by 'Dune: Part 2', which has been delayed until 2024. The new date for 'Priscilla' to go on wide release is November 3, 2023, international release dates remain unchanged. 

Most Instagrammable Tourist Attraction

Elvis Presley’s Graceland has been named the most Instagrammable tourist attraction in the state of Tennessee, according to a recent study led by the travel site, Places To Travel. Graceland topped the list with 573,800 posts under Graceland-related hashtags.

Head over to Instagram and help us celebrate being Tennessee's #1 tourist hotspot by posting your favorite photo from your visit to Graceland! #Graceland #VisitGraceland 

(Source: Elvis My Happiness / Deadline / Graceland)

Thursday, September 07, 2023

September 07 - Elvis Retro Christmas Memories From Japan

Dick Dekker and David ward announced that the book 'From Memphis to Tokyo - A Reference Guide to the Absolute Mastery of Elvis' Japanese Vinyl' will be available October 2023. 

Publicity stated: For 36 years, the only reference guide for collectors has been the 'Elvis Presley Complete Japanese Record Covers', published in 1987. Until now!

We are proud to present to you our updated and upgraded guide to Elvis Presley’s Japanese record releases. Over ca. 700 pages, we’ll show more than 2,700 full colour pictures of front and back covers, labels, inserts etc. Many entries are accompanied by extensive notes and tables to find all variants at a glance.
For the first time ever, you’ll now be able to find out when your record was pressed by looking at the information in the run-out portion of the record. This also allowed us to get more exact release dates of the records and their variants. It’s all extensively described in our “Guide to Dating Records”.
Also described are topics like:
-  differences in label design
-  colour differences on obis and covers
-  stamps on covers and labels
-  record prices
-  company sleeve designs
-  free gifts and special offers
-  Victor and RCA promo records
and many more
'From Memphis to Tokyo' is a hardcover, almost LP-size book, weighing in at no less than 4 kilos, that will answer almost everything you ever wanted to know about Elvis’ Japanese vinyl.

The book comes with a 45 RPM single of 'Your Cheatin' Heart/Memphis Tennessee'   that will only be available for orders, received and paid for, before October 8, 2023. For more information on how to (pre)order, contact >>> Dick Dekker by mail. 

Christmas At Graceland

Elvis' granddaughter Riley Keough has announced an inside Graceland first for fans this Christmas. Together with NBC, Graceland announced the new Christmas TV special 'Christmas At Graceland' which premieres in November. Riley is the executive producer of the upcoming special. 

Publicity stated: NBC is bringing together the legacy of Elvis Presley and the spirit of the holiday season in a new live music special, “Christmas at Graceland.”

The special is set to air Wednesday, November 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT and simulcast on Peacock. Viewers will be brought into the historic Graceland estate, Elvis’ treasured home that has been visited by millions of his fans around the world. “Christmas at Graceland” is the first live musical televised holiday special of its kind at the estate.

'Christmas at Graceland' will feature music’s biggest stars celebrating the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, his music and his favorite time of year, in an unprecedented holiday special live from his iconic home, Graceland. Participating performers will be announced at a later date.

My family and I are elated to open the doors to Graceland in this first-of-its-kind special,” said executive producer Riley Keough. “With intimate musical performances drawing inspiration from my grandfather Elvis’s cherished Christmases in Memphis, viewers will be invited to experience firsthand the magic that is Christmas at Graceland.” 

To celebrate the holidays at Graceland, and be a part of the King’s legacy, is both an honor and absolute dream come true,” said Jen Neal, Executive Vice President, Live Events and Specials, NBCUniversal Media Group. “We thank Riley and her family for allowing all of us to visit her grandfather’s iconic home and share an intimate musical experience that Elvis would’ve truly loved.”

'Christmas at Graceland' will air immediately following NBC’s highly rated annual presentation of 'Christmas in Rockefeller Center' on November 29 (8-10 p.m. ET/PT) for an evening of unforgettable holiday programming.


The U.K. based Yours Retro magazine published an Elvis Presley special in their 'Women's Special Series'. 

SynopsisElvis fans will not want to miss the latest Retro Collectors’ edition dedicated to The King of Rock ’n’ Roll. This A to Z guide celebrates Elvis’ life and work, revisiting his humble childhood and exploring the key relationships that helped shape him into the icon who continues to captivate us all.

Elvis 82

The Belgian ElvisMatters fanclub published volume 82 of their self-titled magazine (September 2023). 

For Gold members the club added a CD titled 'Elvis 82' featuring music that is linked to the content of the magazine by Elvis Presley and other performers. 

Tracks: Blue Suede Shoes (Salsa version by Maffio) / Lead Me, Guide Me (by Bouke and Glen D. Hardin) / For The Good Times (live) / Please Don't Stop Loving Me / Are You Lonesome Tonight? (live, June 21, 1977) / Softly As I Leave You (live, talking version September 3, 1973) / Softly As I Leave You (rehearsal, August 1974) / Softly As I Leave You (live December 13, 1975) / Softly As I Leave You (by Matt Monro) / Softly As I Leave You (by Andy Williams) / Softly As I Leave You (by Frank Sinatra) / Piano (1960) (by Mina).

My Precious Memories 

The Danish Memphis Mansion Publishing announced the re-release of Judy Palmer Bendewald’s 2009 book 'My Precious Memories of Elvis'. 

This 200-page paperback edition has completely been redesigned and almost doubled in size compared to the original book with the addition of new material and never before seen pictures from Judy’s collection.

Judy Palmer posted on Facebook: Very proud and excited to announce the reprinting of my book, 'My Treasured Memories of Elvis' by Henrik Knudsen, owner of the Memphis Mansion in Denmark.   

It has my original book in full, plus has been newly redesigned. It's 220 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, soft cover. Soren, the graphic artist who put it together, used a photography theme because of my photos of Elvis, thus, the dark room cover of the photos being developed. 

My book has been and are my stories being an Elvis fan since 1956 through  the current time and the photos I took of him 1965-1976. It contains my 200 photos of Elvis and some given permission to add.  

It will be out in October in an English and a Danish Henrik version I hope everyone will enjoy it.

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Elvis On CD / Henrik Knudsen / Judy Palemer / Graceland)