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Still the King (includes track listing)
on 24 October 2015
To be honest this is a wee bit disappointing and it's about time they released a longer, cleaned up version. If I was going to recommend you watch an Elvis performance film I'd advise on (1) the NVC TV '68 Special then (2) That's The Way It Is and then this one. Although for a little over £7 I can't really complain.
Yes, it's nice to see him backstage and singing gospel to wind down and so on - but there's some rubbish in there - such as a full 3 minutes of some old bloke (venue manager?) being quizzed by journos as to what door Elvis is going to come in and where he's going to walk....for heavens sake. And I've always hated the 70s idea of having a screen split into 3 panels, usually with Elvis in the middle and the backing singers in the outer panes - really not bothered about who else is on the stage and as the film is a letterbox style it just reduces the size of his image to about 40% of the screen.
The DVD is a German release so the back cover is in German and there is no track listing or additional information. I didn't think the sound quality was great and the level is very low. I normally have my tv on about 33 and had to turn it up to 54. Hadn't realised before that Martin Scorsese was responsible for "montage supervision".
He's as lean as he was in TTWII (with a pert behind) but he looks pale and his face is puffy in the first 18 minutes or so (and again towards the end when they return to the same concert). Whatever concerts (of the 15 dates) start around 18 minutes (Proud Mary) he looked more alert.
And there's some nice moment (holding up a pair of knickers someone threw on stage and asking "are these yours, honey?"). For anyone new to Elvis you get to see him singing gospel to wind down, looking bemused when women are going hysterical at his slightest move...but then teasingly drawing attention to his lower regions (trying to stop my review getting blocked here!) by pointing at his belt and saying "for those of you down the back that can't see - this is an owl").
But he's in good voice in many of the tracks - although Bridge Over Troubled Water is not as good as the TTWII version. Stand outs for me were Never Been To Spain / American Trilogy / I, John / You Gave Me A Mountain and some bits of Suspicious Minds played over montages - which include footage of him going into the army, photos of his childhood, Ed Sullivan appearances etc.
Lawdy Miss Clawdy wasn't a favourite for me as the addition of the orchestra and all the backing singers joining in turned it into a bit of a big band plodder. If you want a great version of this listen to him screaming it on the '68 special.
Burning Love was a bit more powerful than the single version - but he sang from a lyric sheet and tossed it halfway through.
Track listing (not all sang to the end) : Don't Be Cruel / See See Rider / Polk Salad Annie / Separate Ways / Proud Mary / Never Been To Spain / Burning Love / Ready Teddy (Ed Sullivan) / Lighthouse / Lead Me, Guide Me / Bosom Of Abraham / Love Me Tender / Until It's Time For You To Go / Suspicious Minds / I, John / Bridge Over Troubled Water / Funny How Time Slips Away / American Trilogy / Mystery Train (master track over montage) / I Got A Woman/Amen / Big Hunk O' Love / You Gave Me A Mountain / Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Can't Help Falling In Love / Memories (over closing credits and backstage footage).
On reflection - I'm giving it a 5 for the quality of his performances...but the DVD presentation/sound really deserves more like a 3.