"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 huiman 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)


















































































































































































































































































'Elvis: A Legendary Performer Vol.5'

– (Madison)

- CD review

Back in the 1970s “Elvis: A Legendary Performer Vol.1.” started RCA’s series of collectable LPs. With excellent packaging (giving fans a glimpse of rare and exciting memorabilia) the LP would contain a selection of classic tracks, plus a couple of unreleased songs just to make it an essential purchase for the true fan.

Sadly these “bits & pieces” compiles would often outsell Elvis’ genuine new albums. I remember the bizarre experience of hearing “A Cane & a High Starched Collar” for the first time – and wondering if this really was the best RCA could find in its vaults?!

Now 30 years later ‘A Legendary Performer Vol.5’ is released and knowing that many of the tracks had been previously issued elsewhere I was, once again, a little wary.

However, Madison have done their usual great work and the CD is a delight. With a fabulous quality 16 page “bonus booklet” - just as RCA’s LPs were! - and great liner notes it is a real homage to old RCA producer Joan Deary.

It is clever, very stylish and cheeky, all at the same time! I also like the fact that Madison do own up to the majority of the songs have been previously available to hard-core collectors, and even detail where some have been released.

They also steer clear of tracks that are already available on the BMG or FTD label, unlike other unscrupulous bootleggers! While the packaging itself must be the highlight (check the clever juxtaposition of the front & back photos, both of Elvis in a one-piece jump suit & belt!) there is plenty on the CD to enjoy especially Elvis’ studio banter & asides.

These are a few of the musical highlights definitely worth pointing out.. .


‘I Beg Of You’ Tks 9,10 (in binaural sound) features Elvis’ remark, “This thing ain’t full enough on the opening. I think it should be fuller - by about 4 more musicians!”

Elvis’ vocal sounds extremely raw here and the band would actually return to the studio the following month to create the single version.

‘Have I Told You Lately That I Love You’ Tk 14 - again in binaural sound - compares favourably with recent Take 6 on ‘Flashback’, but has a lighter feel and less intrusive piano. The ending charmingly falls apart when bassist Bill Black stops and Elvis comments, “I told you I was going to repeat the last line, Bill !” Very cute.

A fabulously raw ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’ (Tk. 14) (from Madison’s own ‘Totally Stung’ CD) balances nicely against the cool ‘Loving You’ and a heartfelt ‘No More’ (Tk 9) which begins with a lovely burp from Elvis! Hey, he was human!

‘Please Don’t Drag That String Around’ features an odd false start with Elvis saying, “Hold it!” He appears to be playing with his teeth as he says, “Hold it a second, I’m performing an operation gentlemen. Excuse me!”

While the sixties material is similar to what we already have officially released, ‘Home Is Where The Heart Is’ is a fabulously sincere song and Take 12 (which didn’t make it to the packed Kid Galahad FTD) is another treat. It is however in mono & with added echo. We also get a few tracks that didn’t make FTD’s Viva Las Vegas their best extended soundtrack release.

‘Yellow Rose of Texas’ is the unedited Master but, unfortunately, I just wish it was shorter! ‘Night Rider’ has no added echo (so did the recent FTD version) but runs on to a fabulous complete ending.

This is where FTD will always be compromised. Should they (as they usually do) release the often dissapointingly early-faded original Masters to “keep Elvis’ musical legacy intact” or add new intros and endings (i.e. ‘Reconsider Baby’, ‘Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming’ on Promised Land)? Whatever they do, someone will not be happy!

‘Do The Vega’ for some reason I don’t understand is the same Master as on the FTD ‘Viva Las Vegas’, since it never did have an early fade or edit.

‘500 Miles’ – This stereo version is easy to explain since the official FTD release used ‘mono left channel only’ to try and emphasise Elvis’ vocal which is somewhat buried on the left channel. Here we also get the right channel with Charlie Hodge’s vocal dominating, but it is a nice addition since it does have a greater ambience of being in Elvis’ Rocca Place lounge room while they recorded just for fun.

There is a real change of pace - from ‘Wisdom of The Ages’ to Live 1969 in 6 minutes - as Elvis blasts his movie-blues away and jumps back into live performing.

‘Heartbreak Hotel’ sets the exciting tone, but it is ‘Blueberry Hill/Lawdy Miss Clawdy’ which delights as Elvis has fun playing piano on Closing Night Feb 1970.

Similarly ‘I’ve Lost You’, albeit with poor audio, gives us a chance to hear Elvis rehearsing this great song on stage. Of course the first live concert version, the very same night, was fairly muddled with Elvis even apologising afterwards! (See One Night In Vegas)

It is in fact surprising that with so many unreleased/rare songs, the overall audio is in pretty good quality - although ‘I’ve Got Confidence’ Tk.1 from the 1971 ‘He Touched Me’ LP disappoints in sounding so telephone-line ‘thin’.

‘Trying to Get To You’ is an excellent taster from the 1974 Houston Astrodome show (Event # 8) with the great feel of Elvis performing live but without the orchestra - and therefore working even harder!

Let’s hope that FTD can find a good quality recording of this rare concert Event for future release.

Two studio tracks ‘It’s A Matter Of Time’ and ‘Woman Without Love’ show just how good Elvis and the band sound without Felton Jarvis’ excessive overdubs.

‘Woman Without Love’ is particularly interesting since it was a “One Take Master” so there are no alternates. This version comes from an acetate and, while I prefer the added overdubbed slide guitar, it definitely benefits from the lack of those cloying ‘choral’ backing vocals.

While the previously unreleased live March 1975 tracks ‘My Boy’ and ‘Big Boss Man’ are best presented on the recent FTD Big Boss Man they do segue nicely to the final track, ‘And I Love You So’ from 1976 which is presented in a fascinating Live “binaural” mix.

Elvis’ vocal is on the left channel only with most of the musicians, while the right channel basically contains the drums & organ and it is from the same source as ‘Let Me Be There’ on Movin’ Mobile. Elvis sings the song beautifully - but the oddity is Elvis forgetting the words at the start, and having to ask for a lyric sheet. It is still a cool treat.

Playing the CD through I felt that maybe ‘I’ve Got Confidence’ & ‘Do The Vega’ should have been left out, but didn’t I feel the same way about “A Cane & A High Starched Collar” all those years ago? Some hard-core collectors will also complain of the amount of already available bootleg material but it is certainly a fascinating selection and incredibly well presented.

Verdict – This is so clever, and with such exceptional packaging, that I only wish FTD had got there first as an official release. There is also no doubt that the most important tracks here will come out on FTD in the future. “Undubbed Masters” is already in the planning and the Houston Astrodome concert will be an essential upcoming release, so in some ways this feels like an FTD sampler!

With a song section running from Elvis’ 1956 advert for the “Victrola” gramophone to the 1976 live ‘And I Love You So’ the journey is a strange but fascinating one, which reflects nicely on Elvis’ own life.

The unusual ‘bits & pieces’ feel of the original ‘Legendary’ series is preserved and with a packed CD of 32 tracks in 77 minutes, this is worth seeking out.

(Note – My new CD copy had a annoying print fault on the last 3 tracks)

Click to comment on this review


1 - Elvis Presley "Victrola" Special Offer Oct. 1956
2 - I Beg Of You (binaural, Tks. 9-10) Jan. 13, 1957
3 - One Night Of Sin (with sax overdub) Jan. 18, 1957
4 - Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (binaural, Tk. 14) Jan. 19, 1957
5 - Loving You (" main title 2", Tk. 16) Feb. 14, 1957
6 - I Need Your Love Tonight (Tk. 14) Jun. 10, 1958
7 - No More (Tk. 9) Mar. 21, 1961
8 - For The Millionth And The Last Time (Tk. 7) Oct. 15, 1961
9 - I Met Her Today (Tk. 14) Oct. 15, 1961
10 - Please Don't Drag That String Around (Tks. 3, 5) May 26, 1963
11 - Home Is Where The Heart Is (Tk. 12) Oct. 26, 1961
12 - Night Life (unedited master, no added echo, Tk. 14) Jul. 9, 1963
13 - Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas (unedit master, Tk. 9) - Jul. 11, 1963
14 - The Climb (previously unreleased, Tk. 3) Jul. 11, 1963
15 - Do The Vega (unedited master, no added echo, Tk. 7) Jul. 10, 1963
16 - Wisdom Of The Ages (Tks. 1-2) Feb. 25, 1965
17 - Easy Come, Easy Go (Tk. 9) Sep. 28, 1966
18 - 500 Miles (stereo home demo) 1966 
19 - Heartbreak Hotel (soundboard) Aug. 24, 1969 MS
20 - I Can't Stop Loving You (soundboard) Aug. 24, 1969 MS
21 - Blueberry Hill/Lawdy Miss Clawdy (soundboard) Feb. 23, 1970 CS
22 - I've Lost You (previously unreleased rehearsal) Aug. 7, 1970
23 - I've Lost You (rehearsal) Aug. 10, 1970
24 - I've Got Confidence (previously unreleased, Tk. 1) May 18, 1971
25 - It's A Matter Of Time (undubbed master, Tk. 5) Mar. 29, 1972
26 - Conversation With Elvis (excerpt) Mar. 1972
27 - " Elvis On Tour " radio ad Nov. 1972
28 - Trying To Get To You (soundboard) Mar. 3, 1974 AS
29 - Woman Without Love (undubbed master, Tk. 1) Mar. 12, 1975
30 - My Boy (previously unreleased soundboard) Mar. 1975
31 - Big Boss Man (previously unreleased soundboard) Mar. 1975
32 - And I Love You So (previously unreleased binaural) Mar. 21, 1976 .

Review by Piers Beagley, copyright EIN - September 2005.

Note - EIN does not support bootleggers since they do deprive songwriters & musicians of their well-deserved earnings, but the hope is that something like this will inspire FTD to consider a similar release. This is a RCA legacy that is worth continuing for all Elvis fans.



Latest Reviews
The King's Ransom (book)
The King (graphic novel)
'Elvis On Tour Outtakes' DVD review
'Hitstory' CD EIN in depth review
CD: Hitstory (USA edition)
FTD: Summer Festival
DVD: Born To Rock
Book: Elvis Aaron Presley: A Candle In The Wind
FTD: Too Much Monkey Business
Book: Desert Storm
Book: Elvis On Stamps
Photobook: A Tribute To The King
DVD: Lilo & Stitch 2
FTD: Elvis Today
Book: Elvis-UFO Connection
Book: Behind The Image Vol. 2
Book: Elvis on Screen
DVD: Elvis & Me
FTD: All Shook Up
FTD: Tickle Me
CD: Elvis by the Presleys
Book: Warman's Elvis Field Guide
DVD: Why Elvis?
Book: Dewey and Elvis
CD: Black & White Elvis
CD: All Shook Up
Book: Rough Guide to Elvis
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys
FTD: Rockin' Across Texas
FTD: Elvis Is Back
TV Special: "Elvis by the Presleys"
Book: Elvis by the Presleys
CD: Tom Green
Show: Sonny West
CD: A Legendary Performer Vol. 5
CD: Young & Beautiful (TV Guide)
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys "Target" bonus disc
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
VCD: Joe Esposito's Home Videos of Elvis
Latest Articles
Graceland 2005
Elvis and Las Vegas
The man who bought Elvis (Robert Sillerman)
Presley Commission Report
Paul McCartney on Heartbreak Hotel
Barbara Pittman
Mario Lanza meets Elvis
A Kick Upwards For Elvis' Movies
How Mario Lanza influenced Elvis
Enduring economic power of Elvis
Graceland - the ultimate bachelor pad
Elvis was not a racist!
The Definitive Elvis "blues" album
Elvis on The Creative Edge - Part 2 - The CD
'Elvis Seriously'- Why is Elvis' voice too often ignored
Elvis & Ed Sullivan - The Real Story
It's Over - Gordon Minto on 18 #1's
Elvis - symbol of freedom or not?
The importance of being Elvis
Elvis rules on television! (updated August 2005)
Tribute to Elvis (16 August 2005)
Elvis in the 50s - Maxine Brown
Meeting Elvis & Priscilla
How & where to sell your Elvis collection
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
The King and I
Schism between Elvis' stage & studio work
Tupelo, Miss....Elvis 2005
Elvis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Elvis & the treasure chest of blood money
Priscilla - "no angel"
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
Elvis & other major artists miss out on Grammy Awards
How did Elvis die?
Latest Interviews
Lamar Fike (Part 1)
Marty Lacker (part 2)
Marty Lacker (part 1)
David Bendeth, producer of 'Elvis 30#1s'
Ernst Jorgensen
Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon 2002 FTD discussion
Bernard Lansky
Albert Wertheimer
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
All about Elvis
All about Elvis tribute artists
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
Elvis was a racist? (archives)
Elvis Week 2005
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio

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

(Dr. Gary Enders)

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


Quote:"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"

(humorist Dave Barry)

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

(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")

Quote:"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"

(Nick Tosches)

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

(Carl Perkins)

Quote:"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)

Quote:"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"(Sir Paul McCartney)