"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges…. producing....no propelling...an unstoppable, fundamental and primordial shift in not only musical... but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)

















































































































































































































































































Book Review: "Elvis on Screen"

Available from amazon.jp, ISBN: 4764820404

When you mention "Japanese Elvis photo book" it normally conjures up images of a glorious production rich in color, imagery and substance.

Unfortunately the latest photobook from Japan, Elvis on Screen, fails to live up to the standard set by many of 'land of the rising sun' predecessors (titles like Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!; Elvis On Tour; Elvis 1935-1977).

The 'dust jacket' cover on glossy paper is classy and suggests something special, but on opening the book I was disappointed. That's not to say that Elvis on Screen is a bad release.

The essential problem with Elvis on Screen is its lack of color photos. Apart from its back color cover photo there aren't any. Color would really have enhanced its appeal and made it a "must have" release.

As it is, the many black & white photos are well presented on semi gloss paper. The page design is good as are the visuals, but this still doesn't compensate for the lack of color!

As its title suggests, the release is essentially a compilation of stills from each of the 33 narrative and concert releases comprising Elvis' film career. Many are full page visuals (the "Portrait" section) while others are comprised of several photos to the page. For me, the latter structure works better as many of the full page photos come across as quite bland.

While many fans will have seen most of the photos before, there are a number of "off camera" shots that are rarely seen.

Highlight: Undoubtedly, the highlight of Elvis on Screen is its 5 black & white photos taken from Elvis' triumphant return to live performance in Las Vegas. Attired in a striking black two piece karate gi, the five visuals are a stunning record of the 'Tiger Man' really letting loose on stage. Great stuff!

The book also includes several photos taken at the time of Elvis' funeral in August 1977.

Elvis on Screen also offers a Japanese text Elvis biography. The text is quite brief.

It is interesting to note that Japanese publishers seem to have a fascination with Elvis' films as subjects for photo book treatment. The early 70s releases for 'Elvis That's The Way It Is' and 'Elvis On Tour' are among the best ever Elvis photo books.

Opposite: Front cover

Verdict: While there are better Japanese Elvis photo books around, this one will probably sit comfortably on many fans coffee tables. The inclusion of the stunning 1969 Las Vegas photos is arguably a good enough reason for buying this release.

Click to comment on this review



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"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"

(Dr. Gary Enders)


" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"



"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)


"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")


"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)