'Elvis' performances visually remixed for the new millenium'
From its opening psychedelic assault on your senses to its more subdued offerings, Born To Rock criss-crosses rich musical territory and stimulates your senses. While it won't be to everyone's taste, you can't help but be impressed by the creativity expressed by many of the tracks.
The audio and visual remixing varies between the impressive obvious to small touches which add immense value to our viewing enjoyment.
The DVD comprises four sections. The Rockin' 50's, Swingin' 60's and Killer 70's represent the traditional phases of Elvis' music career while 'Remixed' frontlines the contemporary approach to producing music videos.
The selections in each section are a thoughful and appropriate group:
Born To Rock is striking from the opening track, the titular remixed version of C'mon Everybody. Using a neo-psychedelic visual, this is surreal stuff! Also included in the Remixed section are the video clips for Elvis vs. JXL and Rubberneckin'....but with a visual twist!
The section Rockin' 50's opens with another neo-psychedelic offering of an underrated classic, I Was The One. Let Me (from Love Me Tender) stands up well on its own as a video track and the video for Dixieland Rock is lifted straight from King Creole with an audio overdub. Paralyzed neatly plays out to a series of still shots of The King, and fittingly we get the "bump & grind" version of Hound Dog on The Milton Berle Show that so outraged parts of middle America.
Not surprisingly, the Swingin' 60's is a collection of videos taken from several of Elvis' movies (OK, Little Sister is from the 1970 release, Elvis That's The Way It Is). The inclusion of If You Give Me All Your Love (from Double Trouble) is arguably a surprise, but it works very well. The laid back Clean Up Your Own Back Yard, itself taken from the most innovatively filmed of Elvis' narrative movies, The Trouble With Girls (and how to get into it), shows some nice flourishes.
The Killer 70's It also includes a nicely constructed visual montage to background Way Down. It is cleverly done. The inclusion in Jailhouse Rock of unofficial concert footage from the 1970s adds real interest to what is a good, fast version. Walk A Mile In My Shoes is sung to a varied and well compiled visual background.
One of the main attractions of releases like Born To Rock is the nice use of visual overlays (sometimes two or three at a time) to add spice to the original visual. As many of Elvis' performances look dated today, contemporary video remixes offer an effective way to give them greater appeal.
The DVD copy we screened came with chapter menu and an attractive picture disc.
Verdict: Born To Rock is a labor of love fused with stimulating visual overlays and montages. While we wait for BMG to release (a long overdue) Elvis' greatest hits DVD compile, Born To Rock will offer us many hours of audio-visual pleasure. Sit back and enjoy!
"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"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"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"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"