10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 12 September 2014
If you like Elvis' Vegas years, as I do, then this box set is for you! A quick breakdown of the 8 CD/2 DVD set:
CD 1 - The original album and some singles/outtakes
CD 2 - Show from 10/08/70
CD 3 - Dinner show from 11/08/70
CD 4 - Midnight show from 11/08/70
CD 5 - Dinner show from 12/08/70
CD 6 - Midnight show from 12/08/70
CD 7 - Dinner show from 13/08/70
CD 8 - Various rehersals
DVD 1 - Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Special Edition 2001 film)
DVD 2 - Elvis: That's The Way It Is (Original 1970 film)
This box set provides a very specialised look near the beginning of Elvis' residences in Las Vegas performing at the International Hotel in 1970 (though he had played there a year earlier in 1969 as potential dry run). As you can see by the film it captures Elvis at arguably his best (in physical and vocal form) after the '68 Comeback Special and before the slow decent into ill-health from around 1973/4 to his untimely death in 1977.
Whilst there are quite a few tracks that are marked unreleased, many others have already shown up on the Live In Las Vegas or Walk A Mile In My Shoes box sets.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2014
What on earth has Sony Music done to That’s The Way It Is?
I don’t own a CD player so any CD’s I play on my Blu-ray player and have the sound going through my Bose Solo.
The sound quality is absolutely fantastic, stunning in fact. I was able to hear things on this release which I never heard on the 3 CD set of the same name which was released some years ago.
As for the picture quality of the DVD’s, again this is fantastic. You would never think this was recorded 44 years ago.
Initially when the press release came out for this set along with the price, a lot of fans complained about the cost as it were out of reach for a lot. Due to the hard work involved in putting this set together I personally can see how the cost is justified. It is certainly a must have for any collection.
It is by far one of the best releases to date. Keep up the good work.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 26 August 2014
AWESOME... but what are they still holding back!!!!!
I didn't need to read any reviews about this box set. As soon as I saw it advertised knew I wanted it. In fact it was more a case of I had to have it. And like the earlier Prince From Another Planet boxset. Which I think is truly great.
This boxset is simply AWESOME. Its just superb in every detail. There is so much stuff and the remastering, or whatever they did, have made it better than anything that has so far come out. I haven't read a single bad review of this box set. And I understand why. There is just so much 'new' stuff. Yes, bits and pieces have been released on various other box sets. But non of them, were of this quality.
7 whole concerts on CD. 1 rehearsal CD. 2 movie DVDs. Its fantastic.The CDs and DVDs are easy to take out of their slots. No messing with individual cases, This is Elvis in his prime, and 'Knockin em Dead!' Although he never liked being called 'The King', this is the 'King of the Jungle' as he should be. Caught maybe, but Wild and Untamed. This is Elvis as he was at the start of the 70s. And its all beautifully put together.
All I wonder is? What else have they got, that they have yet to release? Tbh I can't wait to find out.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2014
I do partly agree with the last reviewer however to say Elvis was bored at this point in his career is simply not true that did not come until 1973 when Elvis was sick of performing in Vegas, remember that Elvis performed two shows a day so of course some of the repertoire and banter will be similar but his performances was faultless okay some of his 50s numbers was rushed or was he really trying to be more contemporary and keep the show flowing who knows but to hear him sing songs like Bridge over troubled water,Just Pretend,Ive lost you,Wonder of you and the rip roaring Polk salad Annie is pure magic the set also includes rarely performed songs such as Twenty days and twenty nights,Stranger in the Crowd,Make the world go away.There goes my everything and Walk a mile in my shoes.I know most of the content as been released many times over but not in this quality you also get two unreleased shows and the packaging and the book that comes with it is first class, i actually sold all my previous outings to buy this set and i am glad that i did.My only criticism is the DVDs that come with it are not the new Bluray discs that is why i gave it four stars and not five however do not be put off by that this set is a winner and should belong in every fans collection but if you are just a casual Elvis listener opt for TTWII legacy 2 disc version that can be bought for less than a tenner.
on 21 August 2014
this was elvis at his most showmanship, entertainmentship (is that a word...?) naughty , tongue in cheek best
after the awful repetitive scripts of the movie years everyone was waiting to find out what elvis was going to do next
and many critics says that elvis was finished and that the movies had damaged his career , and then BANG elvis let loose with this spectacular season of concerts in aug. 1970 and proved once again to all his critics and non-believers that there is no other greater entertainer in the world than ELVIS PRESLEY.
this box set is after all his legacy to all fans of the great man,
i love this period of elvis , i even have this set in bootleg form that was titled THAT"S THE WAY IT IS ...THE COMPLETE WORKS
which has 6 C.D.s / 3 D.V.D.s , i also have the TTWII special edition 5 LP vinyl set and another 5 LP VINYL 4 C.Ds , 2 dvd BOXSET titled THAT"S THE WAY TO REHEARSE which was released in 2012 , as well as the F.T.D. sets ( vinyl and cds)
so i think you can guess how much i love the aug. 1970 concerts and this just makes my collection complete.
probably the best format of this fantastic show that has ever been released , most elvis fans shall know about these but for those who don"t ....hold on tight because this will blow your mind ......FANTASTIC
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2014
Quite simply an absolutely fantastic and comprehensive deluxe package of that period-one of the highlights of his career. 8 cds, 2 dvds and an 80 page LP sized book with great colour and b/w photos. Yes with 6 live concerts you will get 'repetition' of tracks but if you are a real fan you will still love them all as well as the banter with the audience! If you're tempted and can afford it-don't hesitate!
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 18 August 2014
A great package, but what a let down. Why bother releasing the same material over and over again. I now have over twenty different versions of these concerts and so called rehearsals except for the 15% of unreleased material in this box set. I was more exited 15 years ago when I heard this material on import records and CD's than the build up of this release. Why bother saying a CD recording is unreleased when it has been released in video form. It is also important to note that the so called rehearsals were mock rehearsals done for the camera to put in the film. I hope one day The Lost Performances or Elvis in Concert will come out on DVD, not to mention Elvis and the Beauty Queen. Thank-you to the wonderful people that put out these releases years ago (i.e. Bilko, Fort Baxter, 2001 and Madison just to name a few) because, those were the wonderful memories I will cherish when I heard these recordings for the first time. FDT is also a joke for releasing repetitive material apart from a few gems like Jungle Room with the hidden track, Nashville Marathon and the Disc 2 on the Classic CD releases. The deluxe packaging that RCA has put together is flawless i.e. wonderful booklet and packaging however, not worth the big dollars. For future releases RCA need market the product "Buy the new Elvis picture book and receive 6 CD's of realised material and a bonus". I am now waiting for Rapid City and Omaha to be released.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2015
I CANNOT BELEAVE HOW GOOD SONY HAS DONE HERE, EVERYTHING AND I MEAN EVERYTHING IS BRIL WITH THIS PRESENTATION OF MY HERO, COSTLY, BUT WORTH EVERY PENNY, ITS A MUST FOR EVERY TRUE FAN TO HAVE, SOUND, PICTURE BOOK, ETC, ETC, ECT, I AM SO SO PLEASED I FORKED OUT IT, ELVIS AT HIS VERY BEST,
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 August 2014
This is a great set, which I am compelled to write about in glowing terms.
The reasons being that, in the time frame of 1968-1970, rock and pop was reborn. You had some amazing albums coming out at this time, i.e. The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed: The Beatles' White Album, Abbey Road, and Let It Be. Elvis' immediate contemporaries were also in the ascendancy, as Jerry Lee Lewis was making a country comeback, Johnny Cash had come out of an amphetamine abyss with the Folsom and San Quentin prison concerts, and was bridging the gap between country and rock by recording with Bob Dylan. Carl Perkins was even returning to the country charts with Daddy Sang Bass, as a writer, and Restless as a performer.
However, at the time that Elvis was making his comeback, revisiting his oldies with passion on the 68 TV Special, producing soulful contemporary material in Memphis in 1969, recordings from the South were in vogue. There was Bobbie Gentry recording and hitting the charts, Tony Joe White also obtaining critical acclaim, Stax in the ascendant, and even jazz artists like Herbie Mann recording in Memphis. These years also saw the rise of southern rock in the form of the first two Allman Brothers albums, and songwriters like Eddie Hinton and Dan Penn having their tunes recorded by Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, Wilson Pickett etc.
So coming to Elvis; the hybrid studio-live That's The Way It Is, initially released in November 1970, was mostly recorded in June 1970, with, unlike the Memphis Sessions from 1969, some of the Muscle Shoals swampers, and James Burton. Also, unlike the Memphis Sessions, the soulful touches were put on the backburner mostly, and replaced with an almost adult contemporary sound. The songs were Elvis as an adult recording artist, and showcased just how varied he was as a 1970 contemporary recording artist. There were ballads such as I've Lost You, I Just Can't Help Believing, and an amazing underrated rocker in Patch It Up. You also had a mostly Elvis movie soundtrack writer like Ben Wiseman come up with Twenty Days & Twenty Nights, which certainly surpassed his previous efforts. Throw in Stranger In The Crowd, and Next Step Is Love, and you'd be mistaken that the future certainly looked good for Elvis. Alas, it wasn't to be, as song choices soon were a reversion to post 1962, and awful numbers.
However, moving on to the live discs, Nos 2 - 7, you soon find that Elvis continued in the same seam of form from the Comeback special, and the 1969 early Vegas concerts. This is Elvis sans bombast, no Also Sprach Zarathrusta intros, mostly no rushing through the oldies, and no version of I Got A Woman spoilt by JD Sumner, as on the recently reissued 1974 Memphis concert. This is the serious Elvis, albeit good humoured, but intense. One disc has a 6 minute 42 second killer Suspicious Minds that is worth the price alone. Likewise, there's versions of Hound Dog that are heard to be believed, unlike 50 second versions on Aloha From Hawaii, or Prince From Another Planet. One thing this box set highlights too is just how much the TCB Band were able to jam, as highlighted with the various Polk Salad Annies on this set. Thereafter, it became a bass solo tune for either Jerry Scheff or Duke Bardwell, and became perfunctory sadly.
Finally, the rehearsals showcase some great material, such as Little Sister / Get Back, and the bluesy cover of Percy Mayfield's Stranger in My Own Home Town, though some of the bawdy lyrics are excised from this version.
19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 11 August 2014
This is a neatly packaged set with a good quality paperback coffee table style booklet included. It contains 8 CD's and 2 DVD's. The value of this set to the consumer depends largely on two factors: how much you're prepared to hear Elvis repeat himself and how much of the core material you already own. Do I mean this material has largely been released before? Of course I do!
The 2 DVD's have existed together since at least 2007 and can be purchased for a fiver. At least 4 of the 6 concert recordings have previously been released, not to mention the original album countless times (on Disc 1) and a useless disc of jamming and throwaway cuts inappropriately referred to as "rehearsals" in two separate issues. So just two concert recordings are actually new.
I am a slightly "lucky" customer as I bought this at a lower Amazon price than it is currently selling for AND I also did not own all the 4 previously released concerts apart from one - the Midnight show of the 12th August. Even for me purchase of this set under those conditions was certainly not a "no brainer" exercise so individuals will have to decide whether it is worth it for them.
What about the music though? Well, first off, the original album is great, really great. I would put it up there in the top five Elvis albums of all time. You can't go wrong with that but what of the rest? I'll ignore the DVD content and the "rehearsal" disc for the reasons outlined above. That leaves 6 concerts as the main thrust and reason for owning this. Are they worth the money on their own? I'll hesitate to answer but probably conclude that they aren't, sadly.
The main issue for me is that whilst Elvis is undeniably in good voice and his supporting band are uniformly brilliant, the material is a bit "middle of the road" and pedestrian for a live performance to really crank up the energy levels, but it also gets repetitive hearing one show after another with essentially the same songs played out in exactly the same manner - very repetitive, actually. Hearing all these shows is also slightly disappointing for me as it highlights a well documented problem with Elvis at this time - clearly he was already bored creatively and was simply going through the motions all over again. That short-lived burst of enthusiasm and energy following the '68 Comeback Special was to be sucked out of him by poor management and artistic choices. Whoever pushed him into a Las Vegas residency should have been shot on the spot. All Elvis' material gets turned into that show biz style of presentation which works with only some of the material. Oh, Elvis, if only your manager hadn't been quite so dishonest and could have left the country. Then you too could have toured the world and not been stuck in that Vegas hell of a rut. Sadly it wasn't to be......
You can hear the boredom when the same stale jokes are used repeatedly twice a night for over twelve months. What I once heard as spontaneity and quick witted stage banter now comes across as horribly rehearsed, bored and stale, lacking any sign of passion and commitment that ideally a great live show should offer. So is it a terrible sad experience to hear? Well no, it isn't really. The bad stuff would be about 6 months away. Elvis is still in top vocal form at this point and the band is really good. However for most consumers the 2 disc Legacy version will suffice as it contains the essential original album and one of the two previously unreleased shows, which is about as good as any other at this point in time.
This large box will be eaten up by ALL the true Elvis aficionados, whether they carp about the lack of new content or not. It is wonderfully presented and is a complete snapshot of Elvis on stage in August 1970, a time when many knowledgeable Elvis fans claim he was at his live best. I personally disagree and feel that '69 was better. In fact it is possible to see August 1970 as the start of the downward spiral all the way to August 1977. In one sense it's almost impossible to rate this large box set being as flawed and repetitive as it is and yet it does serve a function for those who maybe haven't heard Elvis at this point, the last great hurrah of his live work, excluding the big event of Aloha From Hawaii. Indeed it is also a great and generous delving into this much celebrated period, hence 3 stars overall.