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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 17 August 2014
Released as a tie-in to the Denis Sanders-directed documentary THAT'S THE WAY IT IS (1970), this superb album represents the maturation of Elvis Presley's Las Vegas stage show. Dispensing with many of the vintage rock and roll classics, Presley was now filling out his set with a broad range of emotive songs tackling the more adult aspects of love and romance.

By today's standards, THAT'S THE WAY IT IS presents something of an odd programme, in that it mixes live tracks inter-mingled with brand new studio cuts, in this case songs which Presley had recorded in Nasville during the summer of 1970. However, the blending of such superlative ballads as 'Twenty Days And Twenty Nights', 'Mary In The Morning' and 'The Next Step Is Love' with in-concert powerhouses like 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' - two songs already on their way to becoming standards - manages to gel easily into a convincing and cohesive whole. Along with ELVIS COUNTRY, THAT'S THE WAY IT IS is easily a contender for Presley's finest album of the 1970s.

The first disc of this package is rounded out firstly with mono single mixes of 'I've Lost You' (a comparatively inferior live version is used on the album itself), 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' and their respective b-sides, the truly delightful 'The Next Step Is Love' and a studio version of the up-tempo 'Patch It Up'. We then get a series of early takes, most notably a studio rendition of 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' which is particularly impressive.

Disc two contains the entire "Dinner Show" from the 12th August 1970. While it may be true that some of Presley's on-stage banter and in-jokes get a little lost in translation, the bulk of the performances come across well enough, with previously unreleased versions of 'I Just Can't Help Believin'', the vibrant rocker 'Polk Salad Annie' and the de rigeur 'Suspicious Minds' more than making up for what had already become Presley's perfunctory lip-service renditions of the likes of 'Hound Dog' and 'Blue Suede Shoes'. The message was clear: Presley had moved on; he was by now 35 with a wife and young daughter and a song of depth and feeling like 'I Just Can't Help Believin'' seemingly meant more to him now than the rock and roll cornball of yore.

As the beautifully written booklet points out, less than a year after this film and album project, Elvis Presley's Vegas seasons were already losing their lustre. One could blame it all on his growing physical and emotional problems, but maybe it was also to do with Presley and manager Colonel Parker simply staying faithful to a good idea for too long and just taking it all too far.

Never mind, though. During the summer of 1970, Elvis Presley was unquestionably back where he belonged, creating some of his finest music in the studio and clearly in his element as a live performer. THAT'S THE WAY IT IS has it all.
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on 21 September 2010
This is my favourite Elvis album. It is nothing less than FANTASTIC! Seventies Elvis is my favourite period; I love how his recordings during this period reflect his own interests and how human he sounded. That's the Way It Is is full of passion, tenderness and spine-tingling power. Elvis' version of Bridge Over Troubled Water left me open-mouthed when I saw him perform it in the original movie (it's a pity it is not included in the re-mastered dvd release). If I could take only one album on to a desert island, this would be the one. Listen to it for yourself, you won't be disappointed!
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on 12 March 2017
Wonderful! I bought the original album back in the 70s with only 12 songs on it but sadly that album is worn out.
This version is far more supreme in its quality of sound and compilation.
Worth every penny.
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on 26 May 2017
I've been an elvis fan since I was thirteen years old back in 1973 and these are my favorite kind of songs that he sings when he was at his best. Great stuff.absolutely love it.
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on 8 November 2010
I have collected hundreds of elvis recordings over the years since 1970, and i must say if i had to give one album to someone who didnt rate Elvis, than this would be in my top three. it certainly represents elvis in his third phase, in the best light. while he was still burning brighter than any star ever had before, and before he tired of the las vegas grinde and life in general. it's a shame he didnt sing these songs more often because they are thrilling in their performance. I will never grow tired of this album !
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on 10 September 2017
He was always and will always be, 'The Best'
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on 10 March 2017
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on 14 May 2017
Must-have if you're an Elvis fan.
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on 27 November 2012
Originally released in 1970 in conjunction with an on-stage documentary movie of the same title, Elvis That's The Way It Is has achieved true legendary status. And not without good reasons.

Elvis Presley is strongly renowned for his voice, his on-stage performances, and of course his looks. In this release you get the vocals in lorry loads while the movie glaringly reveals all three attributes. Get both the cd and dvd and remain happy for the rest of your life.

We are so lucky that Elvis recorded the titles in this album. Listening to just the opening bars of the first track, I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVIN', you are overcome with a warm feeling that you are about to experience something special - and you do. This song alone is worth the entire set. Then track after beautiful track, amazing demonstrations of Elvis Presley's powerful and multi-range voice reveal themselves.

Halfway through you suddenly realise you are not just marveling at Elvis' voice but also at his massively talented band and backing singers. Elvis handpicked this ensemble in the previous year and they prove to be a colossal bonus!

Though the album shares the same title with the movie That's The Way It Is, it is not strictly a live album. However, most of the tracks are studio recordings of songs that Elvis performs live in the movie, while just four of the tracks were lifted from the August 1970 Las Vegas live recordings, namely: I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVIN, PATCH IT UP, YOU'VE LOST THAT LOVIN FEELING, and I'VE LOST YOU.

This is an album that should be included in every music fan's collection. I guarantee you a phenomenal listening experience.
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on 9 February 2011
A very enjoyable cd. I did have the original lp many years ago. It sounds better now and anyone who enjoys the music of Elvis in the 70's will not be disappointed. Well worth the cost.
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