In 1999 this book was released, as the first of a series. In the introduction the author states that “You will not find another compilation of Elvis facts that is more accurate, in-depth, or interesting than this book”. Let’s find out if that’s true. But first a small word on the design. The book is delivered on good paper, and in a very clean print. As you can see the cover is plain, with a classic picture, very tasteful. The facts are numbered with a kind of fancy font, which wasn’t really necessary to us. Unfortunately the quality of the pictures is not too good, which is a pity since there are quite some (more or less) rare pictures in it. The facts are just numbered, without era dividers or such, which makes it hard to find something specific. Chronological order alone is not enough with so much information; an extra index certainly would have helped. The content is indeed a large amount of something presented as facts. When errors are made in “facts” that are very easy to check (like the recording date of “Blue Moon”, foreign streetnames), we have our doubts about the accuracy mentioned in the introduction. Speculation is certainly a better word for those ancestors from more than 3 centuries back. It might be fun to do, but we don’t believe in those things being hard facts, without any proof. We have already had 200 of such “facts”, before Elvis shows up. Overall we saw too many “facts” starting with “It is rumoured that…”, and it seems that about 500 facts are about merchandising stuff EPE released in 1956 (and later)… “Yawn” is about the only word we can find for that. With a grain of salt this book is a nice time killer in the smallest room, but it certainly is not an essential Elvis book, we do certainly prefer the books where Jim sticks to pictures mainly (still can’t get enough of “Unseen Elvis”).

 

 In 1972, Elvis Presley was still riding high from the commercial and critical rebirth that started with the ’68 Comeback Special and continued with his return to live performances the following year. His previous documentary, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is was a success, showing the King at the height of his physical and vocal ability. Hoping to recapture some of that magic, directors Robert Abel and Pierre Adidge followed Presley on his 15 cities in 15 nights 1972 tour, the results of which became Presley’s 33rd and final film, Elvis On Tour. Long out of print on VHS, it makes its DVD and Blu-Ray debut with this release.

Not just a concert performance, Elvis On Tour gives a behind-the-scenes look at Presley’s tour with plenty of backstage moments. We see Presley just before he hits the stage, candid moments with the Memphis Mafia in his limousine, studio footage and footage of Presley and his band singing gospel songs on their off hours. A true highlight comes when Presley leads them through a rendition of “I, John.” Gospel music moved Presley and it shows in these scenes.

There are also a number of complete live performances, filmed in Hampton, VA; Greensboro, NC; and San Antonio, TX including the first-ever performance of Presley’s last U.S. top-10 hit, “Burning Love.” The song is so new that Presley reads the lyrics off a sheet of paper while he sings, but the performance is dynamic. Other highlights include a rocking “Polk Salad Annie,” powerful versions of “Bridge Over Troubled Water and “An American Trilogy” and a fine version of “Funny How Time Slips Away” that is made ever more poignant as Presley would be gone just five years later. Elvis On Tour also features a career-retrospective montage supervised by Martin Scorsese and the middle of “Love Me Tender” is intercut with love scenes from Presley’s movies.

Keen fans may notice the intro to the movie is different and that’s because Chuck Berry’s classic, “Johnny B. Goode” has been replaced by ‘Don’t be Cruel.” Seems Presley’s people could not get a hold of Berry’s people and they were unable to get the licensing for the song. As “Don’t be Cruel” is shorter, one section of the lyrics had to be repeated, making for a clumsy intro. Still, some movie is better than no movie. The DVD is also included as part of the Elvis 75th Anniversary DVD Collection, while the Blu-ray is in the Blu-ray book format, featuring 40 pages of photos, quotes, biography, and set lists for the shows filmed.

While both discs feature remastered video and audio (The standard DVD has Dolby Digital 5.1 while the Blu-ray has DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround) the content is identical. The picture and the sound quality are fantastic, especially on the Blu-ray, but there are no extras included on either version. This will be disappointing news to Presley fans, many of who are aware a plethora of footage for these shows exists. There would have been plenty of room on either disc (the Blu-ray especially) to include commentary, cut scenes, behind the scenes footage or even the new 20 minutes of footage shot for the recent theatrical rerelease. Instead, all fans were treated to was a bare bones version of the film. The film itself is great — something any Presley fan would do well to have in his or her collection — but for such a big release, the presentation disappoints.

 This documentary was released last week and handles B&K Enterprises, the firm that makes jumpsuits with permission of Bill Belew and Gene Doucette, who designed the originals

 The Elvis Presley of the mid 1970s bore little resemblance to the lean rock icon of the 1950s and early 1960s. As the seventies progressed and his addictions and weight spiraled upward, he would increasingly put less effort into his recordings and live performances. By the time of his death in 1977, in many ways, he had become a caricature of himself. Despite all this, his voice remained strong and thus there are some gems to by culled from his 70’s music.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes: The Essential 70’s Masters is a huge 5 disc, 120 track box set that followed on the heels of similar sets that covered his 50’s and 60’s material. The production is first rate as the sound is crystal clear. The 90 page booklet of photo’s, biographical material, and notes about the included songs is essential to any Elvis collection. There is even a sheet of stamps, each of which portrays one of his 70’s album covers.

 ELVIS PRESLEY: PATRIOT

 

This special three track CD was issued years ago and has been long deleted! The quality of the songs on this CD is far superior than versions issued before. All tracks have been digitally processed and remastered, as they have never been before, with the most up to date of equipment and process. 
1) AN AMERICAN TRILOGY (April 9, 1972, Hampton Roads, Va.) (from CPL2 4031 THIS IS ELVIS vinyl LP!!) .
This did come out on CD before but.......the version from the ESSENTIAL COLLECTION (from all countries), and ALL TIME GREATEST HITS are taken from far inferior quality masters and the sound quality is full of hiss!
2) If I CAN DREAM (June 23, 1968 Burbank, Ca) - ALTERNATE TAKE 4 from AFL1 2772 HE WALKS BESIDE ME vinyl LP!!
This was released many years ago on CD from Canada and Australia but the quality on this is far superior to those.
3) AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL (Dec. 13, 1975 Las Vegas) - REMASTERED VERSION! This version is far improved from what BMG has issued and even what has appeared anywhere else officially or unofficially. Elvis' voice can be heard MUCH CLEARER than ever before!!