Reviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN- August 2003
Elvis Has left the building - (Rock Legends. 78 minutes)
The cover states "August 16th 1977 – The heart of rock ‘n’ roll stopped beating and the entire world reacted with shock and disbelief."
London, where I lived, was enveloped in storms & lightning that night and I can remember the moment extremely well.
This CD perfectly captures those emotions of that surreal night and is a very poignant & moving reminder that this extraordinary personality, that is all so important to all of us, was only human and really did leave this building of ours over 26 years ago.
Featuring all kinds of news reports and interviews, it is fascinating to hear the differing comments made by the various Networks with the predominant feeling being of complete disbelief. (The same reaction that I remember feeling myself).
I found myself captivated by it all and felt extremely moved, especially by the interviews.
There is a great interview with Chuck Berry who reminisces about Elvis and also mentions the shock he felt when he found out that both Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr. were in the audience at one of his shows.
One highlight is a delightful and honest interview with Elvis’ friend & country singer T.G Sheppard who talks of sharing special times with Elvis. He also expresses everybody’s idea that Elvis became such an icon that one began to believe that "Nothing could happen to them". T.G’s thoughts are very touching. . .
"He’s the same now as many, many years ago when I first met him.
While sentiments like these capture what we all felt, the seedier side of "Elvis what happened" is not ignored and alternate news reports are also included as well as a short interview with Sonny West. And it just made me want to strangle smart-arse ‘Good Morning America" reporter Rona Barrett!
A real treat is hearing an interview with Vernon Presley just hours after Elvis’ death.
I find it incredible that so many of the broadcasts were actually recorded since, although I was there listening at the time, I was in far too much shock to think of recording anything for posterity.
A final section of the CD features Tony Prince from Radio Luxembourg. His radio show was Live on that fateful night and Tony comments on many thing including his fear about the possibility of Elvis fans taking their own lives. He also interviews England’s Todd Slaughter and it is really fascinating, 26 years later, to hear them talk about what might happen in the future.
While we now know that Elvis’ flame will burn brightly forever, at the time no one could foresee that he would still be having Number 1’s hit singles or still be such an important influence in this new millennium
Being a true fan of Elvis’ music I was amazed just how enthralled I was by this CD which doesn’t even feature Elvis talking, but people talking about Elvis!
However there actually is a final unreleased ‘bonus track’ of Elvis briefly interacting with some fans backstage in 1973, which is kinda’ cute, along with a secret surprise which I won’t reveal!
The cover design is extremely well presented on a deluxe digi-pack and include photos from Arjan Deelen's book 'Caught In A Trap.'
Verdict: This excellent CD is an emotional reminder to us all that Elvis really did ‘leave the building’ in 1977 but it also reinforces our belief that the power of Elvis’ spirit is sure to continue and be discovered by future generations of new fans. If you are interested in the way that Elvis influenced not only our lives but also the media as a whole, then this is a fascinating historical CD that you should search out.
This CD was reviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN, August 2003. - Copyright EIN.