Sunday, December 31, 2023

Review - Elvis Back In Memphis (Music On Vinyl)

We close the year 2023 with a review of the ‘Elvis Back In Memphis’ LP as released by the Music on Vinyl record label as a Limited edition of 2,500 individually numbered copies on translucent red colored vinyl. 
 
Design
 
When Elvis returned to record non-soundtrack material it seems like he also stopped making promotional photos. With the exception of the first Camden releases and the ‘Elvis Country’ LP, nearly all of his albums feature a live shot on the cover. But more than the similar covers for ‘In Person’ or ‘On Stage’, this very simple design is a very recognizable. It is strong in its simplicity. 

The glossy cover contributes to a deluxe feel, and the fact that this is a numbered release, emphasizes the exclusivity. The red-colored vinyl adds a visual element and is a fitting choice that matches the bold red “Elvis” of the cover. 

And as we’re used to from the Music on Vinyl record label, the quality of the vinyl is great, it plays smoothly with a sharp reproduction of the midrange, bass, orchestra and background singers.
 
Content
 
Elvis Presley's ‘Back in Memphis’ LP was the split-up of the 1969 double-album ‘From Vegas To Memphis / From Memphis To Vegas’. And while many consider this 1970 release a ‘left-over’ album containing 10 tracks from the 1969 sessions at the American Sound Studios under producer Chips Moman and backed by the Memphis Boys that yielded the classic ‘From Elvis in Memphis’ LP, the album is much more than that. Looking at the tracklist and listening to the performances, it is a very fine LP, with more than a few Presley masterpieces . And while not all tracks are as strong as those on ‘From Elvis in Memphis’, the album can stand on its own and deserves a place in Presley's LP chronology as a stand-alone album.
 
While the latter LP has many intensely performed soul songs, this album adds a touch of country with songs like ‘The Fair's Moving On’ and ‘And The Grass Won’t Pay No Mind’ to the more soulful ballads, ‘Inherit the Wind’ and ‘Stranger in My Hometown’. 
 
The album kicks off with a powerful ballad ‘Inherit the Wind’ where Elvis delivers a soulful performance, showcasing his emotive vocal range. The song's melancholic lyrics and the depth in Elvis' voice set the tone for the album. ‘This Is the Story’ is a slow track with a gospel-inspired feel. Elvis doesn’t sing it badly, but for me it “drags along” too much. 
 
The highlight of the album is without a doubt Percy Mayfield's, ‘Stranger in My Own Hometown’. This song oozes with that “dirty blues” feel, I love it! Elvis's raw and gritty delivery, supported by those horns, captures the essence of the blues genre, a surging performance that stands with his greatest work, making it the standout track on the album.
 
‘A Little Bit of Green’ is a touching country-style ballad that showcases Elvis's ability to evoke emotion through his vocals. The song's tender lyrics and Presley's heartfelt performance make it a poignant and memorable performance.
 
With Neil Diamond's 'And the Grass Won't Pay No Mind’ Elvis moves towards the then popular pop and folk-genre, blending it with elements of country and rock. Just listen how Elvis's smooth vocals carry the gentle melody.
 
‘Do You Know Who I Am?’ is a soulful, introspective song where Elvis showcases his vocal control and emotional depth. Not as strong as the other recordings, but still a heartfelt performance. 
 
The album closes with three country-flavored songs; ‘From a Jack to a King’ is a strong country song with a touch of blues, very fitting in the mix of songs on this LP. Apparently, this Ned Miller song was one of Vernon's favorites. ‘The Fair's Moving On’ is a sweet song that builds up very nicely to the climax, you feel his pain, even with the echo, which is a bit too much for me. I like the metaphor of the packing and vanishing carnival for the fading love affair.

Elvis’ rendition of Mort Shuman's ‘You'll Think of Me’ is another highlight, Elvis sings it so passionately with the dobro guitar supporting his performance so well. 
 
With Clyde McPhatter’s ‘Without Love (There Is Nothing)’ Elvis closes the album on a high note with his soulful and impassioned performance of this the drama-themed song. There is very little to add to this performance, it’s simply great.
 
Conclusion
 
It seems that every great artist has at least one album in their catalogue that is universally ignored due to the greatness of the album that preceded it, for Elvis that may very well be ‘Elvis Back in Memphis’. Perhaps this album should have been a double LP, instead of coupling it to the ‘In Person’ LP. 
 
And that is a pity as this is a strong album that showcases Elvis’ remarkable vocal talent and his ability to make you really feel the emotion of a song, something only a few performers are able to do. Add to that the various genres he touches with the ten tracks on this album, showcasing the all-round singer he was. 

When originally released, the LP was almost hidden in the back sleeve of the ‘From Vegas To Memphis / From Memphis To Vegas’ double LP. That doesn't do the album the justice it deserves, as these ten performances are in fact one of the more cohesive compilations of Elvis’ strong and emotional songs and performances. For me it a timeless addition to Presley's discography.
 
Thanks to the Music on Vinyl record label, this album is back where it belongs, in the record store.



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December 31 - Elvis Sings If I Can Dream

Due for release from an unknown import record label is the 5 CD / 1 DVD set 'Elvis Sings If I Can Dream' featuring a collection of audio and video material from the 1968 'NBC TV Special'. 

Tracks: CD 1 - The Original Mono Album - The Outtakes - 20.06.1968: Nothingville / Guitar Man (Part 1 - Guitar Man's Evil Section 1) - Let Yourself Go (Part 1 - Guitar Man's Evil Section 2) - Guitar Man (Part 2 / Escape Section 1 - Fast) - Callope Carnival (Escape Section 2) - Big Boss Man (Escape Section 3) - It Hurts Me (Part 1 / Escape Section 4)

CD 2: It Hurts Me (Part 2 - After Karate Section 1 - 21.06.1968) - Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child / Where Could I Go But To The Lord / Yes, Yes, Yes / Up Above My Head (Intro - Gospel Section 1 - 21.06.1968) - Up Above My Head / I Found That Light / Sved (Intro - Gospel Section 2 - 21.06.1968) - Trouble / Guitar Man / Guitar Man Opening (22.06.1968) - If I Can Dream (Record Version - 23.06.1968) - Memories (Vocal Overdub - 24.06.1968) - It Hurts Me (Vocal Overdub & Playback Amusement Pier Part 2 - 27.06.1968) - Trouble / Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub Of After Karate Section 3 - 29.06.1968 6pm Show) - Trouble / Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub Of After Karate Section 3 - Guitar Man With Road - 29.06.1968 8pm Show) - Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub Road #2 - 30.06.1968) - Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub Road #3 - 30.06.1968)

CD 3: If I Can Dream (Vocal Overdub - 30.06.1968) - Trouble / Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub & Playback Opening Section #1 - 30.06.1968) - Guitar Man (Vocal Overdub - Alley - 30.06.1968) - Little Egypt / Trouble (Vocal Overdub - Nightclub - 30.06.1968) - Trouble (Vocal Overdub - Disco - 30.06.1968) - Trouble (Vocal Overdub - Supper Club - 30.06.1968)

Bonus Songs: Memories (Vocal Overdub) - Saved (Part 1) / Preach For The Sky / Saved (Part 2 - Gospel Section 3 - 22.06.1968)

CD 4 - Soundtrack Versions: Road Medley Composite - Gospel Medley Composite - It Hurts Me (Spliced Master) - Saved (Spliced Master With Edited Intro) - Trouble / Guitar (Stereo Version) - Tag - Uh Uh Uh (30.06.1968)

CD 5: The Original Singer Commercials - The ´68 Comeback Radio Special (One-Hour Radio Special - August 2008)

DVD: I'm Saved (A Different Perspective On The 1968 Comeback Special With Elvis´ Own Comments).

Chart Record Broken


Taylor Swift has broken Elvis Presley's longstanding record for the most weeks spent atop the Billboard 200 album chart by a solo artist. She set a new mark of 68 total weeks, as “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” landed on top of the chart for a fifth time in the final full tracking week of 2023
From 1956 to 2002 Elvis scored ten #1 albums that spent a combined 67 weeks at #1 on the Billboard album charts. 67 weeks was the most weeks a solo artist had spent at #1 on the Billboard albums charts. Elvis held that record for many years until Taylor Swift has just broken it. Taylor Swift has 13 number one albums that have spent a combined total of 68 weeks on top of the Billboard album charts. 

(Source: Elvis Club Berlin / FECC / Variety)

Saturday, December 30, 2023

December 30 - Picture Disc Debut

The Wax Time record label released a Picture Disc Edition of Elvis' debut album. The album contains 'Hound dog', 'Love Me Tender', 'Shake rattle and Roll' and 'Heartbreak Hotel' as bonus tracks. The album was set for release January 12, 2024.

Side A: Blue Suede Shoes - I’m Counting On You - I Got A Woman - One Sided Love Affair - I Love You Because - Just Because. Bonus Songs: Hound Dog - Love Me Tender.

Side B: Tutti Frutti - Trying To Get To You - I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry Over You - I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin) - Blue Moon - Money Honey. Bonus Songs: Shake, Rattle And Roll - Heartbreak Hotel.

(Source: UEPS)

December 30 - Charts December 2023 - Week 5 (Updated)

In the United States Elvis' Christmas sales really got a boost from Santa, climbing on almost all charts and topping the Rock Streaming Songs chart with 'Blue Christmas' for the first time this year. 

Taylor Swift has scored one more major accomplishment by tying one of Elvis Presley’s biggest Billboard chart records. Back at No. 1 on this week’s Billboard 200 chart she has now controlled the Billboard 200 for a total of 67 weeks throughout her career. With one more turn atop the tally, the superstar ties Presley’s record for the most weeks spent at No. 1 on the ranking among solo acts, according to Billboard.

In the United Kingdom 'Blue Christmas' keeps Elvis present on the singles chart, not reaching the Christmas No. 1, but with 2 songs on the Top 100 chart. 

In the Netherlands 'Elvis' Christmas Album' jumped from #33 to #10 on the Album Top 100 chart.

Elvis returned to the charts in Australia, Belgium Finland, Germany and New Zealand with the 'Blue Christmas' single and his 1957 Christmas Album.

Other charts will be updated over the weekend when the updates are published on the various chart-websites.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #65 to #41.
  • Official Streaming chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #51 to #37.
  • Official Streaming chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' re-entry at #86. 
  • Official Audio Streaming chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #48 to #38.
  • Official Audio Streaming chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' re-entry at #82.
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #70 to #48. 
  • Official Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' re-entry at #84. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #54 to #36. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' re-entry at #60. 
  • Official Soundtrack Album chart: 'ELVIS' soundtrack re-entry at #23. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #36 to #30. 

Billboard charts:   
  • Billboard Hot 100 Single chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #27 to #25.  
  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #42 to #36. 
  • Billboard Global 100 (excl. U.S.) chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #149.
  • Billboard Global 200 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #50 to #33. 
  • Billboard Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #21 to #19. 
  • Billboard Top Streaming Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #41 to #30. 
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #18 to #16. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained steady at #11. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' dropped from #33 to #34. 
  • Billboard Top Streaming Country Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #5 to #4.
  • Billboard Top Streaming Country Songs chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' re-entry at #16. 
  • Billboard Rock Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #2 to #1. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained climbed from #8 to #7. 
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #5 to #4.  
  • Billboard Rock Digital Song chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #11 to #9.
  • Billboard Top Holiday Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' climbed from #13 to #12. 
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #18 to #20.  
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' is listed at #76. 
  • Billboard Classical Albums chart: 'Elvis Christmas With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' climbed from #21 to #16. 
  • Billboard Christian Streaming Songs chart: 'Oh Little Town of Bethlehem' climbed to #3. 
  • Billboard Artist 100 chart: 'Elvis Presley' climbed from #36 to #31.

Canadian charts:
  • Billboard Canadian Hot 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #31 to #22.
  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #34.  
  • Billboard Canadian All Format Airplay chart: 'Blue Christmas' new-entry at #43.

Irish IRMA charts:
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' climbed from #100 to #96.
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'Elvis Classic Christmas Album' is a new entry at #64.
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' is a new entry at #74.
  • Official Irish Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #69 to #39.
  • Official Irish Singles chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus' re-entry at #86.
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' climbed dropped from #17 to #26. 

Dutch Charts:
  • Dutch Singles Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #56 to #29. 
  • Dutch Singles Top 100 chart: 'Here Comes Santa' re-entry at #67. 
  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' climbed from #33 to #10.

Swedish Charts: (to be updated)
  • Swedish Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' new entry at #80.
  • Swedish Album chart: 'Elvis Christmas Album' climbed from #35 to #30. 

French Charts: (to be updated)
  • French Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #192.

Finnish Charts:
  • Finnish Album Top 100: 'Elvis Christmas Album' re-entry at #28. 

German Charts:
  • German Mtv Album top 100 chart: 'Elvis Christmas Album' re-entry at #45.
  • German Mtv Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #95.

Australian ARIA charts:
  • ARIA Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #42.

New Zealand Chart: 
  • New Zealand Single Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #38.

Belgian UltraTop charts:
  • Belgian UltraTop Album Top 200 chart (Wallonia): 'Elvis Christmas Album' re-entry at #96.
  • Belgian UltraTop Album Top 200 chart (Flanders): 'Elvis Christmas Album' re-entry at #62.
  • Belgian UltraTop Album Top 200 chart (Flanders): 'The King - Collection'' re-entry at #129.
Portuguese Charts:
  • Portuguese Single chart: 'Blue Christmas' re-entry at #192. 

Austrian charts:
  • Austrian Single charts: 'Blue Christmas' is a new entry at #70. 
  • Austrian Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' is a re-entry at #54. 

Swiss charts:
  • Swiss Single charts: 'Blue Christmas' is a new entry at #41. 
  • Swiss Album chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' is a re-entry at #20. 

Norwegian charts
  • Norwegian Album chart: 'Elvis Christmas Album' climbed from #37 to #19. 

(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / Dutchcharts / Billboard / Janne / Forbes / Ultratop / Billboard)

Friday, December 29, 2023

Review Jailhouse Rock and Blue Hawaii Shaped Picture Discs

The French V.P.I. closes 2023 with the release of 2 Shaped Picture Disc Limited Editions of ‘Blue Hawaii’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’. With the renewed popularity of vinyl, and recent picture disc releases it was a matter of time before the old-fashioned shaped discs would be released. 

 

The French label is the first to do so, to celebrate the 62nd and 66th anniversaries of these two cinematic and musical landmarks.







Design

 

The picture discs come housed in a plastic sleeve with a nicely designed single cardboard insert, with illustrations and recording information printed on both sides, allowing the shaped picture to take the spotlight. 


 The discs are 10-inch in size, and look like they were cut from a 12-inch record (they play at 33 RPM), creating space for the shaped-element. And the pictures chosen for both sides of each disc are spot on classics, something that will instantly appeal to the buyer . 

 

The quality of the pictures on the discs is sharp, although the ‘Blue Hawaii’ headshot is a tad stretched. Still, this is something you take off the shelf for a closer look when you see them in a record store. 



 

Content

 

I found myself being more careful than usual placing my needle on the shaped disc, afraid Elvis’ hand or head would cut the needle right off! Fortunately there is a big lead-in area for a  needle-drop. The discs feel solid, are flat and play fine. 

 

Like all their releases, the producers compiled an Alternate Edition of both soundtracks. The ‘Blue Hawaii’ disc features all 14 tracks of the original 1961 soundtrack in Alternate and Movie versions. It is a different and entertaining version of the album, probably more for fans that for the casual buyers as these are not the complete version they probably know and expect to hear. The tracklisting is clear though. 

 

On the ‘Jailhouse Rock’ disc we get Alternate Takes of all 5 songs from the original 1957 Extended Play with Take 19 of the Movie Version for ‘Treat Me Nice’ as a bonus. With just 6 tracks it is a short play compared to the Hawaiian disc. It would have been nice to replicate the tally of that album. But again, a fun disc to play. 

 

Conclusion

 

With these two shaped discs the V.P.I. record label added a new category to their already vast and varied Elvis Presley record catalogue. 

 

Next to the originals, these two novelty albums will look nice on display in your record storage cabinet or as part of your collection on display, just as these style of discs did back in the eighties. Let’s see what comes out next.




 
The records are available from the Culture Factory web-shop. 
 
Click here for the >>> ‘Jailhouse Rock’ disc, and here for the >>> ‘Blue Hawaii’ disc.

And while you are shopping there, you can also pre-order ‘Elvis Day by Day 2023’ yearbook which will come out in the second half of January 2024. Click here >>> to pre-order 'Elvis Day by Day 2023'


 

(Amazon Associate Links)

Thursday, December 28, 2023

December 28 - No 1 Christmas Classics

The 2023 Elvis Presley Fan-club Presidents CD is titled 'Holiday Classics' and features the songs 'Santa Claus Is Back In Town', 'Merry Christmas Baby' and 'Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me'. 

In the enclosed message the Presley family and EPE staff look back on the loss and celebration of the past year, thank the fans for their continued support and announced that they are preparing to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the recording of 'That's All Right'. 

Elvis at No. 1

Elvis Presley is the King, and his legacy has long been secure. The rocker has nothing left to prove to the world, but his music continues to live on. Now, decades after he passed away, the legendary musician is back at No. 1 on a Billboard chart.

On the latest edition of the Rock Streaming Songs chart, Presley climbs to No. 1. The singer-songwriter is back atop a Billboard tally with his favorite 'Blue Christmas'. The tune ranks as the most-streamed cut in the U.S. classified by the company as rock, with that determination being a bit subjective.

'Blue Christmas' reaches the No. 1 spot on the Rock Streaming Songs chart for the first time this year, but it’s actually risen to the summit before. The tune first peaked at the top of the tally back in December of 2018. It debuted on the roster in 2015–decades after it was first released, though that makes sense, as Billboard only began incorporating activity from streaming platforms in the past decade or so.

The song is one of Presley’s several hits on the Rock Streaming Songs chart. He has now sent just three tunes to the list, with two of them reaching the top 10. These two hits return to prominence every winter, and this trend seems like it will continue for the foreseeable future, as Americans can’t get enough of these seasonal smashes.

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Elvis Club Berlin / Forbes)

Pre-order Elvis Day By Day 2023

Coming January 2024 is the book you’ve been waiting for all year long; ‘Elvis Day by Day 2023 - The Year In Review’. Your annual wrap-up of the past Elvis year.
 

2023 is a year with two sides for the Elvis world as it took fans from splendour to tragedy and back. Kicking off in high gear with a Golden Globe and Oscar nomination for Baz Luhrmann’s ‘ELVIS’ movie, turning into a tragedy with the unexpected death of Elvis’ only daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

Fortunately, 2023 brought us many entertaining and interesting book, film and music releases with Deluxe Audiophile book and CD sets on the ‘Blue Hawaii’ movie, the Madison Square Garden concerts, the 1972 tours, ‘Aloha From Hawaii’, his early SUN and RCA recordings in stereo, new movies in the cinema and more new (colored) vinyl than CD releases. All of these illustrating the splendour of Elvis’ legacy that continues to resonate with old and young fans almost 50 years after his passing.

Perhaps we even got too much, as it got harder and harder to keep up with every new title that came out in 2023. This is where ‘Elvis Day By Day 2023 - The Year In Review’ comes to the rescue. It contains the complete “2023 Elvis year” in one physical reference; all the music, movies, concerts, books, and everything else that happened in the Elvis world that is worth preserving for future generations.

The yearbook distinguishes itself by identifying the most important releases of the year, in 70+ in-depth reviews. All written by well-regarded Elvis world writers and fans like you and I, sharing their perspectives and opinions, providing both a fun and insightful read, as well as helping you to select new additions for your collection.


This 6th volume in the ‘Elvis Day by Day’ series is all you need as an entertaining and fact-finding reference on everything Elvis Presley from 2023. As author Pål Granlund stated at the introduction of this new volume: “It’s a great book, I can tell you, I have them all”.

Practical information:

Published by Poplar Tunes Publishing, the new 480-page yearbook will be available from Amazon, fan-clubs and the Poplar Tunes web-shop in January 2024. 

For more information and previews please visit 

The Poplar Tunes webshop is also the place to keep your collection of Elvis Presley yearbooks complete, with individual volumes on the years 2018 to 2022 already available.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

December 27 - 2023, The Year In Review

Emiel Maier posted the 2023 Year In Review video. It features the the Elvis news highlights of 2023; the good, the bad and the sad in less than 20 minutes. The report includes the tragic death of Lisa Marie, the 'ELVIS' movie awards, the rise of Riley Keough, Agent Elvis, James Burton back on stage, the Elvis On Tour release, the ReInventing Elvis documentary and much much more



The Biography of a True Legend

Raymond Hugo published his 130-page paperback 'Elvis Presley - The Biography of a True Legend (History Lives on)'.

Publicity stated
: Elvis Presley personified a rebellious and unique attitude that defied social conventions in addition to his musical career. A new era of self-expression and honesty was made possible by his outspoken approach, both on and off the stage. Elvis encouraged generations to celebrate their individuality and stand out in a society that frequently values uniformity by living the lyrics rather than just singing them. 
Beyond the charts and performance halls, Elvis's influence could be felt in the emotions of people who connected with his music. His catchy songs served as a celebration and joyous backdrop, but his ballads addressed the delicate moments of love and grief. Elvis wasn't just a singer; he was a storyteller, capturing the essence of the human experience in each note and lyric.

Born in Tupelo, Mississippi, on January 8, 1935, Elvis Presley was destined to become a famous figure in the annals of music history. Talent, charisma, and a cultural revolution are all interwoven in this engrossing story of his rise from modest origins to global success. He was once said, “Rocks and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it."

We continue to say goodbye to Elvis Presley's physical presence while being grateful for the gifts he gave the world. Time will never be able to take away from the King's charm, music, or memories.

Even though Elvis has departed from this world, his influence endures in the lyrics he sings, the happiness he brings to audiences, and the memories he leaves behind. The spirit of Elvis, then, should live on—the love of life, the bravery to be oneself, and the conviction that music has the ability to bring people together. With the knowledge that his legacy will live on and inspire future generations, may the King rest in peace. We appreciate you ruling over our hearts, Elvis Presley.

(Source: Emiel Maier / Amazon)

Sunday, December 24, 2023

December 24 - Who Was the Man Behind the Legend?

Bruce Gray published his 91-page paperback 'Elvis Presley Biography: Rhythms, Realms, and His Rise to Rock Royalty - Who Was the Man Behind the Legend?'

Description: Visit the mesmerizing realm of the King of Rock 'n' Roll by immersing yourself in Bruce Gray's painstakingly researched biography, "Elvis Presley: Rhythms, Realms, and His Rise to Rock Royalty." This captivating story follows a cultural icon whose influence knows no bounds as it travels from the muggy streets of Tupelo to the glittering stages of Las Vegas.

Gray takes readers on an intimate exploration of Elvis's life, delving into the genesis of his revolutionary sound and the seismic cultural shift he ignited in the 1950s. With vivid storytelling, the author captures the raw energy of Elvis's early performances, the challenges of navigating the evolving musical landscape, and the iconic moments that defined his unparalleled career.


As the narrative unfolds, readers witness the transformative '68 Comeback Special, the glitz of Las Vegas residencies, and the global spectacle of "Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite." Gray navigates the complexities of Elvis's personal life, offering a nuanced perspective that goes beyond the stage persona to reveal the man behind the legend.


"Rhythms, Realms, and His Rise to Rock Royalty" not only pays homage to the King's musical prowess but also explores the enduring legacy that resonates across generations. From the iconic quiff to the soul-stirring ballads, Elvis's influence extends into the realms of fashion, film, and the very fabric of popular culture.


This biography is more than a retelling of Elvis's life; it's an immersive journey that invites readers to experience the highs and lows, the triumphs and tribulations, and the indelible mark Elvis Presley left on the world.


Immerse yourself in the rhythm of a cultural revolution. Discover the realms of the King's life, from the birth of rock 'n' roll to the global stages that solidified his reign. "Elvis Presley: Rhythms, Realms, and His Rise to Rock Royalty" is a symphony of storytelling that captures the essence of an icon. Don't just read history; live the legend.


Note: buyer beware: another A.I. generated book. The image on the cover says enough ...


(Source: Amazon)

Review Kansas City ’74 Revisited On Vinyl

The Millbranch Music import label re-visited ‘Kansas City ‘74’ once more with no less than 2 good looking LPs of Elvis’, June 29, 1974 performances. 

Design

I can be short about the design; these 2 LPs look fantastic, I already loved the design of the CD-edition, but size does matter when you look at something beautiful! These are the kind of LP’s you may want to frame and hang on your wall, especially the Afternoon Show.

Just look at that gatefold cover, it is exactly as Steve Cooper observed for The SUN Telegram in 1974 in the liner-notes inside: “Imagine a hundred baby birds in a nest, all reaching for a worm dangling from the mouth of their mother. It was something like that around the stage at Municipal Auditorium yesterday as Elvis the Pelvis bestowed scarves damp with his sweat … His hairy chest showed the cleavage of his sequined white suit”. 

Inside more pictures from his June - July 1974 tour (tour No. 13, the FTD label released 2 concerts from this tour earlier in 2023 on the 3-CD-set ‘Houston Fort Worth Baton Rouge’), the complete original review and interestingly, a picture of the original tape-box for the Los Angeles show. There is only 1 issue with the design; blowing up the pictures to LP-size makes them look a little grainy, unfortunately not enough to distract.

The design of the companion album with the Evening Show Performance mimics the first LP, but it omits a review, that would have completed and make it an exact match. 

The LPs are available in classic black and clear vinyl. I got the latter and it is almost completely see-through, talking about transparency, very nice. The LPs come housed in protective plastic lined paper sleeves, adding to the overall quality feel of these albums.

The black edition comes with the two Kansas concerts on CD, omitting the bonus material from the LPs. Both have their individual design, but matching their “big brother”. But they don’t contain the bonus material.

Content

I reviewed these concerts when the original ‘Kansas City ’74 Revisited’ set was released in 2021; Kansas City was the place to go on June 29, 1974, because Elvis delivered two entertaining shows. Please read that >>> review for these entertaining concerts. 

New here are of course the “upgrade to vinyl” and the bonus material on the “D-sides” of the LPs. The audio quality is really great, we knew that from the CD’s we already had, but playing these concerts from vinyl, gives them that vinyl audio boost, adding to a more dynamic listening experience (well at least to my ears). 

On the Afternoon Show LP we get 3 performances from May 11, as recorded at The Forum in Los Angeles, and additionally ‘Big Boss Man’ from May 10th, San Bernardino, ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ from June 19th, Amarillo and ‘Fever’ as recorded on June 15th in Fort Worth. Especially the LA performances are great. We knew them from the ‘City of Angels’ (Audionics, 2015) but there they sound very clear and powerful, I hope to hear more of this! The closing  3 tracks on this bonus side aren’t bad either, the ‘Big Boss Man’ rocks the ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. And just listen to Elvis giving the Fort Worth audience ‘Fever’.

The bonus material on the Evening Show LP brings us 6 performances recorded on the road between June 14th and July 16th 1974. ‘How Great Thou Art’ (June 16th, Fort Worth), ‘You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me’ (June 21, Cleveland), An American Trilogy (June 30, Omaha), ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ (July 1st, Omaha), ‘Steamroller Blues’ (July 2nd, Salt Lake City) and closing with a ‘Suspicious Minds’ (June 15th, Fort Worth). From these tracks ‘How Great Thou Art’ and ‘Trilogy’ stood out for me. 

Conclusion

This new outing of these two concerts are a real upgrade; great looking and great sounding shows on a classic format. Added to that, we get two sides of bonus material. For me this was a great Christmas gift from Santa!

Saturday, December 23, 2023

December 23 - The King Revisited On Vinyl

The Millbranch Music import record label released 2 double vinyl sets featuring the Afternoon and Evening show performances from June 29, 1974 as recorded in Kansas City.

Publicity stated: Experience the essence of Elvis Presley's historic performances on June 29, 1974, with our very limited edition double vinyl releases 'Kansas City Revisited: The Afternoon Show' and 'Kansas City Revisited: The Evening Show'.

Following the success of our 2021 CD release, we now proudly present these great concerts on vinyl. Immerse yourself in the new stereo brilliance that captures the essence of Elvis' Afternoon and Evening Show performances on June 29, 1974 in Kansas City. The soundboard tapes have been restored extremely careful for the best sound quality possible. Capture the raw energy and charisma of Elvis in Kansas City.

Limited Edition – Choose Your Color!
Your voyage into musical history is offered in two captivating editions – classic black and clear vinyl. These Limited Edition colors add a touch of magic to your collection, making each record a unique and cherished piece.

Bonus CD – Pure Concert Magic!
Included with each black vinyl set is an exclusive BONUS CD (same on both Afternoon and Evening shows), featuring the complete concert recordings from the respective afternoon or evening show. Experience the raw energy and charisma of Elvis as he takes center stage in Kansas City.

Vinyl's Extra Mile – Bonus Songs Unleashed!
Flip over to sides D or 4 of the LPs to uncover hidden treasures – bonus songs from the May, June, and July concerts. These are unforgettable highlights that will transport you to the pinnacle moments of Elvis's 1974 tour.

L.A. Encounter – From Reel to Reel!
Indulge in the authentic recordings from the City of Angels. The Los Angeles concert tracks, sourced directly from the original Reel-to-Reel tape owned by the legendary Elvis producer Joan Deary, capture the magic in unprecedented clarity and depth.

Gatefold Splendor – Preserving History!
Behold the albums in all their glory with our meticulously crafted gatefold sleeve. Every fold tells a story, preserving the historical significance of these remarkable shows with elegance and attention to detail.

Own a Piece of History!
'Kansas Revisited: The Afternoon Show' and 'Kansas City Revisited: The Evening Show' are not just albums; they are time capsules of a musical era that shaped history. Don't miss your chance to own a limited edition piece of this iconic moment in rock 'n' roll. Secure your copies now, and let the legend live on!

Biography of an Enduring Legacy

Jennifer Turner published her 88-page paperback 'Elvis Presley King of Rock & Roll - His Life, Music, and Enduring Legacy'.

Description: Hear the Hound Dog Howl Again: Unravel the Mystery of the King in "Elvis Presley: King of Rock and Roll"

Imagine stepping onto Sun Studio's sticky floor, where a young Tupelo boy's raw talent unleashed a musical revolution. Elvis Presley. The name electrifies. The hips swivel. The voice chills and thrills. But beyond the rhinestone curtain, a complex man navigated fame, heartbreak, and the relentless demands of being King.

Did you know...?
  • His gospel roots fueled his soul-stirring ballads, making him a musical chameleon who defied genre.
  • From hip-swiveling rebel to Las Vegas legend, his performances were explosive spectacles that captivated the world.
  • Behind the glitz, he battled inner demons, revealing a depth of humanity that resonates with us all.

In 'Elvis Presley: King of Rock and Roll', author Jennifer Turner takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the King's life, music, and enduring legacy. You'll:
  • Witness his meteoric rise, from Mississippi juke joints to international stardom.
  • Feel the rhythm of his musical evolution, from rockabilly firebrand to gospel crooner.
  • Uncover the man behind the myth, with insights into his loves, fears, and vulnerabilities.
  • Explore his global impact, from shattering social barriers to influencing generations of artists.

This isn't just a biography, it's an invitation to dance with the King. Close your eyes and hear the 'Jailhouse Rock' echo through Graceland. Feel the goosebumps rise as 'An American Trilogy' soars. Rediscover the raw power of 'Hound Dog' that shook the world. So, are you ready to crown yourself an expert on the King? Dive into 'Elvis Presley: King of Rock and Roll' and let the legend come alive.

Note: buyer beware, another A.I. generated book.

(Source: Millbranch Music / Amazon)

December 2023 - Christmas Charts December 2023 - Week 4

 In the United States Elvis' Christmas sales seem to have come to a halt, remaining pretty much at the same spots as last week. 

In the United Kingdom 'Blue Christmas' keeps Elvis present on the singles chart, but he didn't come close to the Christmas #1. 

Other charts will be updated over the weekend when the updates are published on the various chart-websites.

Taylor Swift is close to breaking Elvis’ chart record for the solo artist with the most weeks spent at the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard singles chart. The King still holds the record with 80 weeks, but Swift is currently listed at No. 2, ready to take over the top spot from Nicki Minaj.

Official U.K. charts:

  • Official Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #77 to #65.
  • Official Streaming chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #53 to #51.
  • Official Audio Streaming chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #53 to #48.
  • Official Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #81 to #70. 
  • Official Streaming Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' climbed from #55 to #54. 
  • Official Film chart: 'ELVIS' dropped from #33 to #36. 

Billboard charts:   
  • Billboard Hot 100 Single chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #24 to #27. 
  • Billboard Top 200 Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #39 to #42. 
  • Billboard Global 200 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #51 to #50. 
  • Billboard Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #19 to #21. 
  • Billboard Streaming Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #39 to #41.
  • Billboard Catalog Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #16 to #18.
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' dropped from #10 to #11. 
  • Billboard Top Country Album chart: 'ELV1S 30 #1 Hits' remained steady at #33. 
  • Billboard Top Streaming Country Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' remained steady at #5. 
  • Billboard Top Rock and Alternative Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained steady at #8. 
  • Billboard Top Rock Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained steady at #5. 
  • Billboard Rock Digital Song chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #13 to #11. 
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #16 to #19. 
  • Billboard Holiday 100 chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' remained steady at #81.  
  • Billboard Holiday Airplay chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #48 to $47.
  • Billboard Holiday Airplay chart: 'Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)' makes a re-entry at #48.  
  • Billboard Top Holiday Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' remained steady at #13. 
  • Billboard Holiday Streaming Songs chart: 'Blue Christmas' dropped from #16 to #18. 
  • Billboard Classical Albums chart: 'Elvis Christmas With The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra' makes a re-entry at #21. 
  • Billboard Artist 100 chart: 'Elvis Presley' climbed from #37 to #36. 

Canadian charts:
  • Billboard Canadian Hot 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #34 to #31.
  • Billboard Canadian Album chart: 'The Classic Christmas Album' makes a re-entry at #42.   

Irish IRMA charts: (to be updated)
  • Official Irish Album chart: 'ELV1S 30#1 Hits' returned to the chart at #100. 
  • Official Irish Singles Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #79 to #63.
  • Official Irish Video chart: 'ELVIS' climbed from #26 to #21.

Dutch Charts:
  • Dutch Singles Top 100 chart: 'Blue Christmas' climbed from #66 to #56. 
  • Dutch Album Top 100 chart: 'Elvis' Christmas Album' climbed from #47 to #33.
Swedish Charts:
  • Swedish Singles chart: 'Blue Christmas' new entry at #80.
  • Swedish Album chart: 'Elvis Christmas Album' climbed from #35 to #30. 
Norwegian Charts:
  • Swedish Album chart: 'Elvis Christmas Album' re-entry at #37. 
Swiss Charts

Swiss Single Top 100: 'Blue Christmas' makes a re-entry at #82.

(Source: Official Chart Company / IRMA / UK Mix Forum / Dutchcharts / Billboard / Janne / Elvis Information Network)

Friday, December 22, 2023

December 22 - Hurry Home Elvis volume 3

The 2012 book 'Hurry Home Elvis Volume 3' by Donna Lewis has been re-printed as a limited edition paperback. 

Description: Donna's diaries gives a day-by-day account of Elvis' semi-public comings and goings, during the time he resided in Memphis. This third volume covers the years 1969 - 1977.

Another Biography

The Media Publishers published the 51-page book 'Elvis Presley - Detailed Biography of the Man Behind the Music'.

Synopsis
: Explore the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of the King of Rock and Roll in this comprehensive biography of Elvis Presley. From his humble beginnings in Tupelo, Mississippi, to conquering the music world with his revolutionary sound, this book provides a captivating journey through the highs, lows, and resurgences of Elvis's iconic career. 

Delve into the untold stories, personal struggles, and the profound impact he left on music and culture. A must-read for fans and those seeking an in-depth look at the man behind the legend.

Note: buyer beware, this is another A.I. generated book(let).

(Source: Elvis Book Discussion Group Facebook / Amazon)

Thursday, December 21, 2023

December 21 - Elvis On Record

Paul Alner's 594-page 'Elvis On Record Volume 1 1956-1965U.K. discography book has been releases. This is the first of a two-volume hardback set, limited to 175 copies.

For more information, visit >>> elvis4sale which will sell this book exclusively. 

1124 = 2024

The release of the book-trilogy 'Eleven Hundred and Twenty-Four' by Erik Lorentzen and Jean-Etienne Baduel has been postponed until January 2024. 

Publicity on ther Elvis Files website stated
: The collaboration between Jean-Etienne Baduel and Erik Lorentzen leads to a beautiful documentation that is not presented in previous forms. An asset to every fan who appreciates Elvis from 1969 to 1977. 1124 is at the printer as we speak (week 51) and soon out to all our loyal individual Elvis fans and wholesalers. Expected date for shipping to our dealers and customers: second week of January 2024.

(Facebook - Elvis On Records / Elvis4Sale / Elvis Files)