'Elvis In Concert'
Asian 'import' release of both Elvis shows filmed by
CBS in June 1977, as well as the final CBS TV special.
is no way that you can approach viewing these concerts
hoping to see a healthy Elvis performing his usual dynamic
shows. Instead these are a glimpse at two of Elvis'
final performances capturing a life ebbing away. While
everyone who has seen the Elvis In Concert TV special
knows what a travesty it was, interrupting Elvis' songs
with ludicrous audience cut-aways and featuring more
material about show souvenirs and weird fan comments
than Elvis himself!
At the time the producers must have thought that they were
limiting the damage by showing as little of Elvis as possible.
Either way, in 1977 it made little sense.
rumours of EPE eventually releasing this footage it is interesting,
for serious fans, to witness these sad concerts and decide
whether any kind of Special Edition can be salvaged for a
worthwhile future issue.
real positive about the DVD itself is that, at last, we have
all the shows in one place and it features 3 chapters - The
Omaha show, Rapid City & CBS TV special.
DVD also has segments that help you navigate, although they
are spread somewhat randomly throughout the material. This
in not real DVD quality of course and technically the video
varies in quality since the source is still bootleg VHS/VCD
footage. However, it is as good as most bootlegs that I have
audio is quite acceptable but of course it is not true DTS
or 5.1 surround sound, but has been recreated from the original
VHS audio using dolby pro-logic. This is nothing that your
surround sound amp at home cannot do itself. After all these
years the reputation of these shows are just so bad that,
having not seen them in ages, I expected far worse. The
front cover ludicrously carries a picture of Elvis in TWII
and with the strange by-line, "He is sick. But he will pull
Omaha June 19th it seems that Elvis is struggling through
a mountain of sedatives. You can do nothing but acknowledge
that he should have been resting in hospital and feel so sorry & sad for what he was going through (being forced to do?).
Rapid City June 21st Elvis seems in much better form, perhaps
buzzing a little from uppers. At least he seems a far happier
man and it is not as painful to watch. Elvis also appears
to have lost 5 pounds in 2 days which supports the view of
his water-retention/liver problems & not just being fat. Watching
these shows can be very distressing for those fans who only
want to see their hero in perfect health.
they are an important part of Elvis' legacy that can't be
ignored. In fact, seeing the complete show is far less painful
that just listening to them on audio bootlegs like the 'As
I leave You' CD from Omaha. There are some touching moments
here & times when you can see the real Elvis shining through
his sickness & the pills.
we all know that Elvis should not have been struggling through
these arduous tours it also seems that being on stage, surrounded
by his adoring fans, was one of the few places he could find
happiness in his final six months.
treat with the 2 concerts here is that the video is the raw
complete mix and with different camera shots than the version
used on the CBS TV special. There are also none of those
ridiculous lame crowd insert shots that were used to interrupt
the vision of Elvis himself.
Omaha concert is a very sad affair and the audio mix is a
disappointment since Charlie Hodge's voice over-compensates
for Elvis' low vocal. Elvis looks bloated and is on very low-battery.
The moments where Elvis tries to shake are embarrassing because
they are such a poor parody of himself. It's almost as if
he is sleepwalking or has taken too many painkillers. However
there are still times when the grin & smile of the real Elvis
can be seen breaking through that sadness in his eyes.
is hard to believe that for a TV special they hadn't organised
a microphone for Elvis' acoustic guitar for both 'That's All
Right' and 'Are You Lonesome Tonight'. Elvis looks bemused & Charlie Hodge has to hold the extra microphone. (This stops
either of these songs being used as cut-aways in the TV special.)
there are several songs here that were never played in the
Rapid City show making this the only professional filmed versions.
'Fairytale' tells the story of his life and he also tries
a slow 'Little Sister'. 'And I Love You So' is touching and
definitely worth seeing as Elvis puts some real emotion into
the song. The showpiece of 'How Great Thou Art' was spoilt
in the final TV special with dreadful, pointless, audience
cut-aways but here it is complete. All these songs, with necessary
overdubs, were issued on the posthumous 'Elvis In Concert'
LP but these are the raw versions.
band introductions & solos seem to go on forever with Elvis
slurring & still sounding asleep but you can skip straight
to 'Early Morning Rain' where Elvis gives a cute grin at the
end and a worthwhile 'I Really Don't want To Know'. At the
start of a fine version of his last single 'Hurt' Elvis acknowledges "I need all the help I can get on this one!" This is the final
anymore rare performances (the poor 'Hound Dog' is really
too painful to watch) you need to move onto Rapid City for
a better show.
in the heavy make-up Elvis oddly looks more like an imitator
than the real thing. He does comment about the heavy make-up
in both shows!
CITY: First treat is the rare footage of Elvis arriving
backstage wearing his tracksuit. Elvis is obviously
in better health and he meets up with the Mayor as well
as a local Sioux Indian girl, Monique Brave.
an incongruous twist she presents Elvis with a Sioux “Medallion of Life” while she gets a kiss from Elvis.
Vernon & Ginger Alden are also there in his dressing
room. Fascinating material if you haven't seen it. Here
we also get Elvis' walk to the stage & the tension of
the build up.
The vision on this show has been cropped from
the original to appear 16x9. As soon as he arrives on stage
he takes a rose from an audience member & puts it between his
teeth. Immediately you can sense a spark in Elvis that was so
missing in Omaha.
'See See Rider' has twice as much energy and
Elvis is well enough to shake his legs and joke about why his
mother could never get diapers onto him as a baby!
comment, "I bit my tongue" gets a whistle from the crowd that
amuses him. Yes, his fans still adored his every move! The
majority of these songs were the ones used in the TV special
but thankfully here the audience cut-aways are missing. There
is the poignant comment at the start of 'Are You Lonesome
Tonight' when he says, "I am and I was." You feel thankful
that Elvis seems happy & smiling as he says, "Just enjoy yourselves
and leave the driving to us" and you feel that this time he
means it. Again several of these tracks never made the TV
soulful 'Trying To Get To You' should definitely have been
included as well as astounding solo of 'Unchained Melody' (later used in Great Performances The delicate 'Hawaiian Wedding
Song' is also a treat to see, with Kathy Westmoreland getting
a touching kiss at the end and it is strange that 'It's Now
Or Never' was also omitted. These songs were also released
(with overdubs) on the Elvis In Concert 1977 LP.
Gave Me A Mountain' was performed here and emotionally Elvis
seems to connect with the song more than in the restrained
Aloha version. Sadly of course he didn't have too many more
mountains to climb. With this concert the band solos have
been edited although Elvis' rambling introductions again seem
interminable. Even Elvis comments, "I can sing but I can't
Disappointingly the last few songs used in the TV
special 'My Way', 'Early Morning Rain', 'I Really Don’t Want
To Know' & 'Hurt' are strangely missing from the actual concert.
the complete 'Unchained Melody' makes up for it with Elvis
explaining that it is a new recording and suggesting that
the song is about to come out in 2 weeks on his new album
called 'Unchained Melody'! Elvis thanks the crowd, "Anytime
you want us back, just let us know and we'll be back." Sadly
he never was.
TV Special: In better quality to the recent VCD releases
(but again from VHS) this needs no explanation but is interesting
to compare with the actual concerts that were filmed. You
can also appreciate what the producers were trying to achieve
but, like the original TTWII film, the fan comments seem totally
irrelevant and intrusive.
try and improve Elvis’ appearance better camera angles are
chosen, more sideways shots, but unfortunately the tight jumpsuit
was never going to hide his extra bulk. It is bizarre that
they used some extraordinarily tight close-ups of Elvis in
'I Really Don't want To Know' as well as 'Hurt', which are
compelling & emotional images. 'My Way' is of course outstanding
and seeing Al Dvorin also means so much more nowadays. Vernon’s
speech at the end is as upsetting as ever.
Verdict – Watching all 3 hours is an emotional & sad experience
but there is also the fascination of seeing glimpses of a
happier Elvis and knowing that just 6 weeks later his pain
& suffering would be over. There is the fabulous emotion of
'My Way' and the curiosity of seeing the songs that never
made the TV Special, plenty of which like 'And I Love You
So' & 'Trying To Get To You' deserved inclusion.
you want to preserve your memory of Elvis on stage to Aloha & before, then this DVD is not for you. However for the understanding
Elvis fan this is a part of his legacy that cannot be ignored
and is important, if heartbreaking, viewing.
- Now that Elvis’ true cultural importance has been reclaimed
from the tabloid trash by ‘ALLC’, TTWII and the recent 68
Comeback DVD I do not want this material released to the general
public which will only open Elvis up to public ridicule all
over again. This is should be for interested fans only.
Review by Piers Beagley. EIN copyright 2004
Go here for EIN's Spotlight on 'Should Elvis In Concert' be released?'
EIN personally believes that EPE will eventually release 'Elvis In Concert' as it their last remaining "major" unreleased footage of Elvis that they can make money from.
Do we think 'E.I.C' should be released to the general public?
- Our answer would be NO.
Should 'E.I.C' be released as a FTD DVD?
- Our answer would be YES. As for true Elvis fans this material will do his image no harm, and it is emotionally very sad but involving viewing. It is also part of his legacy.