Monday, January 7, 2013

Elvis Presley's 2012 box set

What better way to celebrate Elvis' birthday than by listening to last year's fine box set? In case you didn't see my overview a few weeks ago, here it is again...

Artist: Elvis Presley    
Title: Prince from Another Planet  
Just a couple years removed from his acclaimed run of shows in Las Vegas, The King did his first-ever shows in New York City on June 10, 1972. 
Long regarded by many as one of the best live recordings of the Seventies (if not the rock ‘n’ roll era), “Elvis…As Recorded at Madison Square Garden” has been spruced up and expanded for this 40th anniversary edition. I grew up listening to the original LP version, so just hearing the opening fanfare “Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey)” triggers instant memories.
The deluxe edition of “Prince from Another Planet” couples that day’s afternoon (CD 1) and evening (CD 2) hour-long performances together for the first time with remixed audio. Despite a few dozen people onstage, including the great James Burton on guitar, the sound isn’t too overbearing and Elvis is in supple voice. About 20 songs are packed into both hour-long shows.

The DVD includes a 25-minute documentary on the event, with recent interviews from Elvis associates like Burton, Glen D. Hardin (TCB Band), Joe Guercio and Jerry Schilling. Noted music historian/Patti Smith Group guitarist Lenny Kaye says it was “a reminder of the power of rock ‘n’ roll: to transport you…to function as a god, very seldom do you get to do a show at Mt. Olympus.”

There is also a hilarious 12-minute edited version of the media press conference (such inane questions from the reporters) and rare unseen fan footage from the afternoon show. The latter 20-minute segment is kind of bizarre as you watch Elvis flicker in and out of the frame with newly mixed audio to match.

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