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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 26 March 2013
Elvis Presley's January 14th, 1973 concert from Honolulu in Hawaii was seen by some 1.5 billion people and was the first time that a rock concert had been presented in this way, using what was then revolutionary technology. Often considered to be the last great high of Presley's career, the show was captured on the double-album ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE for posterity. But did the spectacle of the show itself overshadow the music that was performed?

Well, compared to his previous live album, which had been recorded at New York's Madison Square Garden in 1972 (also as available as a Legacy Edition), the mix of the ALOHA FROM HAWAII album is noticeably superior, although the sound of one of the brass musicians does come through a little intrusively at times, particularly during Presley's rendition of The Beatles' 'Something', during which the singer also sounds rather bored. As usual by this stage in his career, The King was rattling through his oldies like 'Hound Dog' and 'Blue Suede Shoes' with an almost perfunctory abandon (although 'A Big Hunk O' Love' is given a fuller and far more committed work-out towards the close of the show), and it is with the ballads where Presley gives more dedication. 'You Gave Me A Mountain', 'My Way', 'What Now My Love' and 'American Trilogy' are notable highlights, while 'Burning Love' - a song that Presley infamously didn't particularly like - and 'Steamroller Blues' are arguably the best of the harder-edged selections on offer.

Maybe it was nerves on the big night, but The King's voice does actually sound in better shape on the accompanying ALTERNATE ALOHA concert featured on disc two, where a rehearsal performance from January 12th was recorded for safety reasons in case the money ran out of the satellite's meter at the wrong moment. In fact, this listener enjoyed the "alternate" concert rather more than the "official" show, not least for the inclusion of the five after-hours songs; one of these, a truly lovely take on Gordon Lightfoot's 'Early Morning Rain', is quite possibly the highlight of the entire album: here Presley sounds thoroughly relaxed and his delivery of the song is beautifully poised. These extra selections - four of which are songs from Presley's BLUE HAWAII movie - were taped for inclusion in ALOHA's American broadcast, which didn't occur until April of 1973.

Needless to say, ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE was a huge success upon its release, giving The King his first American chart-topping album since the relatively forgettable ROUSTABOUT soundtrack in 1964. Originally released to standard in quadraphonic sound (but compatible with conventional stereo systems, apparently), it would have been nice if Sony could have released this reissue as a dual layer Super Audio CD, so that those with the right equipment could listen to the album as it was originally intended (a surround mix might help that brass player blend in better with the band too!).

All in all, then, ALOHA FROM HAWAII VIA SATELLITE remains a key event in Elvis Presley's career, but it doesn't represent the best live Elvis. His first two concert albums, ELVIS IN PERSON and ON STAGE, FEBRUARY 1970, are rather superior to this. However, that beguiling version of 'Early Morning Rain' is something I could listen to again and again.
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on 23 March 2013
Compared to the 25th Anniversary edition, the original album on this Legacy edition sounds exactly the same (to my ear at least) minus the extended talking by Elvis heard on the 25th anniversary edition, as the Legacy edition is a faithful reproduction of the orginal double LP album released in 1973. The linear notes are more extensive and informative as you would expect (with more photos) in this Legacy edition, but for the music itself (at least in regards to the original album) doesn't add anything new. The 2nd CD of the rehearsal concert though, which was previously released in 1988 as the Alternate Aloha (and which I first heard on cassette), is a lot better than the original and has been re-mixed in such a way that it sounds much fresher. If you don't have either album, then I think this purchase is probably worth the extra few pounds over the 25th Anniversary CD, although I also think the latter CD is good enough production wise with the after show songs already included, and the complete original(uninterrupted) recorded concert from start to finish. If you have the original album already, then I think this purchase will probably appeal to die-hard fans only.
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on 24 March 2013
At last a copy of the rehearsal show in good quality sound. This Legacy edition brings all the recordings of Elvis' momentus world wide satellte show from 1973 in one very affordable place. I believe this was the last big challange for Elvis in his life time and he nailed it big time!
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on 20 August 2016
This is the only cd version I've got as I bought the original vinyl version in 1973 (and watched the live broadcast....which makes me feel really old) and it really wasn't a favourite. I've just been searching around to read opinions on various blogs and fan sites and I'm thinking I'm hearing a different concert.

For me (on the rehearsal disc particularly) he sounds tired, slightly disinterested and his voice is weak. Many of the songs are rushed through, lyrics forgotten and the phrasing not crisp. The actual real concert is better. And I know many people will disagree with me - but I've never really like him doing Something or Fever. I've never really like either song much.

I've read other people say that disc 2 (rehearsal) is better than the concert - but I'm listening to it now and I'm still not sold (although American Trilogy always seems to get him to raise his game, no matter how he was feeling). And I like What Now My Love. Put it this way - it's not a concert I'd recommend to someone who was a new Elvis fan. For me it's one of those albums I will listen to a couple of times and then put at the back of the cupboard. Maybe after putting 1 or 2 tracks in my digital playlist.

PS - part of the problem may be that I've been listening to Way Down In The Jungle room and the vocals are brilliant on it. Kind of colouring my judgement.
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on 4 July 2016
In the late '90's, Sony/BMG released a terrific upgraded CD of Elvis Presley's 1973 album 'Aloha From Hawaii' to mark the global telecast's 25th anniversary. It included bonus tracks, featured a much more polished stereo mix and was sourced from the first generation master tape - there was none of the fading made necessary on the '70's double vinyl set and more of Elvis's banter was included. Inexplicably, they have mastered the concert in this 2013 edition from the old double LP. I am incredulous that a better mix has been passed over and that the fades-in and fades-out have been restored - do Sony/BMG imagine we're at home pretending to change the vinyl over for nostalgia's sake? The rehearsal show on disc 2 is at least as good as the rather stiff broadcast, but only its tight-as-a-nut 'Steamroller Blues' is significantly better than the version that went to air. The 1998 disc is easily the best document of this patchy but historic concert.
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on 5 April 2013
I have been an Elvis fan since before he died and like everything from the 50s, 60s, and 70s but I love the live concerts the most, he was the best live performer ever and having these shows together in one package is great
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on 12 June 2016
Love having both concerts since I find many songs being better on the rehearsal show. Now I don't have to watch the DVD to swap between the 2. Iconic Preformances and Elvis voice is strong showing again who's The King!
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on 23 March 2013
Bought this only because i never got a chance to purchase the alternate aloha on cd.On this cd, the alternate show seems to be lacking Elvis' voice to the fore front.My ears are trying hard to listen to Elvis without the band drowning him out.If you have previous Aloha shows i would advise you not even spending the money on this.If anyone has bought the aloha 3 dvd set that came out years back,then you dont need this release.Just because a supposed re-master has been done on a new release,do not be fooled to think that this will be the best audio to date, or you will in for a pleasant surprise.Just another reminder of a record company milking it with another re,re,re,release with the only exception,if it is one anyway, of a new RE-MASTER???If your die hard fan,then stick to the Follow that dream releases instead!!
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on 14 April 2013
This new Legacy addition gives us the Rehearsal show in excellent new, balanced and mixed form for the first time BUT the actual Aloha show is just dubbed from the old LP Master - LAZY and not a patch on the sound of the DVD release !?!?!?!
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on 21 December 2015
This is the go get to cd for these two world famous satellit shows. It is great to have both shows as there are songs on both that are not on the other, and the songs that are on both are sometimes a little different on each, so you need both to get the best versions of all the songs. And this also comes with a nice little booklet and the remastering of the rehearsal show is way better then everything we have had before.
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