'Elvis In Concert, 1977'

Should it be officially released?

EIN contributor, Gary V, considers.

Should the CBS TV 'Elvis In Concert' 1977 shows be released officially?

There is always a heated debate within the hard-core Elvis community about this dilemma. Should we accept Elvis for all his faults and his painful last concerts, or should we accept EPE's policy of glorifying the god-like Elvis mega-star and deny that anything changed after 'Aloha' and 1973?

We also know that Elvis produced some very fine concerts in the period from 1974 all the way through to New Year's Eve 1976, maybe these concerts, filmed by fans, should be released first. Some fans scream YES for the release of 'Elvis In Concert', yet they are often labelled as idiots for wanting Elvis' good clean image sullied by the sad final footage.

In this stimulating article, Gary V explains why most of us are deluded!

So are we to believe that anyone who wants 'Elvis In Concert' to be released is intellectually backward??
Let's dig a bit into that proposition, shall we??

Those who propose that EPE is correct to withhold 'E.I.C' cite a few reasons consistently for it being officially withheld. Let's test their intellectual merit.

So, 'E.I.C' would damage Elvis' image and set back the artistic reclamation project 15 years, eh??
- That may well have had some merit at one time........but that time is long past.

Psssssssst.....c'mhere. Lean in real close so you can hear. I'll remain as monosyllabic (ooops...sorry) as possible.
In EPE related projects no less. Repeatedly. Incessantly. It is an enduring and indelible image that the ongoing censorship has failed to erase.

As for damaging Elvis' reputation,..........please!! EPE's policies to date as to the manner, quality, and integrity of their releases both musically and in merchandise render this argument ridiculous.

The damn Elvis ducks, Elvis wastebaskets, comforters, faux foreheads, cheap knock-off sunglasses, paste-on sideburns, jumpsuits, compilations, $4.99 Wal Mart bargain bin movie releases etc, etc, etc, ad nauseam, have done far more to damage and sully his artistic reputation than anything Albert Goldman's fevered mind could envision. Give it a rest.

Also, another tidbit, ... 15 years of artistic reclamation have done NOTHING to wipe the images of an overweight, medicated, jumpsuit clad icon from the public imagination. 15 more years..or 30...or 50..will not accomplish it either.

Do you folks read anything beside "The Man And His Music"??? (EIN editor; Actually, no!) For goodness sake, can any of you point to a decline in the image indelibly imprinted all those years ago??
Has the censorship suddenly made the General Public think that Elvis Presley was 175 pounds and arrow-straight when he died??

What the hell makes you think that 50 years more will accomplish what EPE revisionism hasn't been able to accomplish thus far nearly 30 years post-mortem??

And don't trot out that old glue horse of "Well, he's being taken seriously as an artist now" and try to tell me it's a thoroughbred. The two points, as anyone with a modicum of common sense could tell you, are mutually exclusive (as history attests).

Today Elvis is indeed being taken more seriously as an artist. The misapprehension some hard-core fans labor under though, is that the elevation of Elvis as an artist will necessarily and reciprocally diminish what the General Public ALREADY KNOWS.

Well then, I give you 5 minutes to point out exactly how Elvis' artistic reclamation has diminished the perception of how his life ended.

Tic Toc Tic Toc..........DING!!!!!! Time's up.........

It's an indelible impression. It's not going away. The reclamation's only possible and realistic goal must be to put the sad end INTO CONTEXT. It CANNOT wipe out the facts of history.
All it can do is attempt to achieve balance. Anyone who thinks (and I use that word loosely here) otherwise is tilting at windmills.

Tell me.. Have the recent books and documentaries delving seriously into the accomplishments and travails of JFK done anything to ameliorate the indelible impression of how he died?? No..........they give balance, yet they have done nothing to erase the jarring images of his last day. He is now taken more seriously as a President, so that the ONLY image isn't of the events of Dealy Plaza. But they HAVE NOT erased those images. Indeed they CANNOT. And Elvis' is an exact corollary.

The supposition that public perception is a see-saw tottering upon a fulcrum comprised of carefully managed information is ludicrous. When one end of the see-saw elevates (Elvis' artistic integrity), the other end (embedded image of Elvis' last years) does not automatically decline correspondingly like a see-saw.

The idea that if we flood the market with Elvis in '68 Comeback Glory it will correspondingly diminish the images of him in 1977 is patently stupid.

The fact that the General Pubic now takes Elvis more seriously than at any time in his career has done NOTHING to erase the perception surrounding his last years. Why not, if the theory subscribed to by EPE and some hard-core fans is valid?? We've had nothing but Elvis '55-'73 for AGES, yet the images of Elvis from '76-'77 are still virtually everywhere right alongside them.

If this were an actual scientific theory, it would have been abandoned a very long time ago. It's been an abysmal failure.

The true aim can only realistically be balance and context. The idea some fans cling to that public perception works like a see-saw is particularly an apt descriptive in one way though. It, like a see-saw, is decidedly childish and belongs in the realm of the fiction of the Brothers Grimm. Nice bedtime stories, but devoid of rationality.

As for the issue of profitability, I dare say the clamor for 'E.I.C' dwarfs the clamor (such as there was) for either Aloha or '68 Comeback.

These shows had already been released in several formats and edits over the years. There was no huge groundswell of agitation and demand for these new products. No endless petitions or badgering. When we heard of their plans, we were naturally thrilled, but they were not a product of incessant unrelenting demand.

For those who question this unarguable fact, simply do a search of Elvis message-boards and tell me how many Aloha or '68 threads were there begging, pleading, demanding their release in the years before the projects were undertaken. Now repeat that search and tell me how many threads over the years have begged for, plead for, demanded 'Elvis In Concert'.

1977's 'Elvis In Concert' has been agitated over and demanded for YEARS. That demand has never abated, it has never ceased. Neither Aloha nor the '68 Comeback had anything near this sort of impassioned advocacy over such a large majority of the fanbase.



(Left: RCA's LP cover for 1977's 'Elvis In Concert')

Anyone on the other side of the issue with any degree of intellectual honesty must admit that there is no comparison. The demand is there......the sales will follow. Hell, I had Aloha and '68 in a couple of formats EACH before I laid out cash for the new ones. Many have not as yet picked up the sets because they have them already in much better sound/picture than any 'E.I.C' bootleg release that we have ever seen. No one has 'E.I.C' in anything of comparable quality. That in itself is powerful incentive to buy.......and buy they will.

I am not a fan of book burning (unless the name Goldman appears on the spine), I'm not a fan of revisionist history, I'm not a fan of censorship, and I haven't been a fan of see-saws or fairytales in an awfully long time.

I've yet to hear an argument against the release of 'Elvis In Concert' that can stand up to rationality. And, after yet another umpteenth argument, I still haven't. Just the usual irrational fears, coupled with the shallow hope that some day everyone will forget what they can see freely (Elvis post '73) virtually everywhere they turn ......... if only we are careful to whisper about the truth only among ourselves alone.

Shhhhhhhhhhh.........if we don't acknowledge it, it will go away...... like the monsters in the closet when we buried our heads under our pillows as kids.
- It's ridiculous.

Even without the EPE releases of this material, the image they are trying so hard to erase is out there in so many mediums that their efforts are as effective as the Iraqi Information Minister during the Gulf War.

Remember him??? The guy who used to trot out in front of the dupes at CNN and proclaim confidently that the "infidels" had been repelled, and that Baghdad was not under assault..... while the cameras showed the city in flames amidst billowing clouds of smoke behind him??

Here's a hint for EPE management. You can trot out before the cameras and assure us that Elvis died in January of 1973. You can refuse to let the footage that proves otherwise see the light of day. But, there behind your back, in plain view of everyone watching, the screen is filled with images from sources you can't control or censor. And the fact that they are playing all around you while you insist that they aren't there simply makes you look foolish.

The Brothers Grimm's fertile imaginations never concocted a scenario so utterly stripped of reality.


Spotlight written by EIN contributor Gary V.
-Copyright Gary V/EIN, September 2006

Do you think that 'Elvis In Concert' should be released officially?

Click here to add your comment

(Plenty of readers' comments already added below)

EIN Footnote -

Dr John Carpenter on the FECC messageboard insightfully states that ..
"Fact: there is a tremendous amount of unseen material from 1955 to 1975 on film and video "of far greater cultural/historic/musical value" than the tragedy caught by the CBS cameras in June, 1977.

To cry out for the latter before we've had a chance to enjoy the former is indeed selfish, not to mention short-sighted and just plain ignorant. But then, there are obviously plenty of Elvis fans who fit that description."
- And that's the way it is.

Dr. J.C.

Unfortunately for us this home-video material is not yet owned by EPE whereas the CBS tape are. Of course there is hope that with FTD (in the past) mentioning the possibility of releasing DVDs this could be a 'Fan Club' release but cost may well make it prohibitive. However if EPE are to release them, then the CBS concerts could be upgraded with surround sound and hopefully better edited to show Elvis in a better light than the rush-released TV versions.

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.

However ..
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.

Go here for other relevant EIN 1977 articles:

Go here for the EIN review of the Asian released DVD of 'Elvis In Concert'

FTD CD 'Unchained Melody'

'Once Upon A Time in 1977' February 1977 home-video DVD review

FTD CD of Elvis' 'Spring Tours 77'

FTD CD Elvis New Year's Eve 1976

Elvis 'The Jungle Room Sessions'

Larry Geller's interview about Elvis' final years

EIN review of the Asian released DVD of 'Elvis In Concert'

CD review of 'Elvis Has left the Building'

EIN feedback & some readers comments:

From: Lon tcb
EPE should work with FTD and FTD should release Elvis in Concert in remastered picture. Perhaps the sound rights clearance would make it  too costly to release. I don't know. But if it's financially feasible  think FTD should release.
I disagree that the CBS TV Special does not capture any of Elvis'  final glory. His verison of Hurt is amazing. His How Great Thou Art is Amazing. And I've always been moved by his version of Early Morning  Rain in the Special (more than the version on the soundtrack released  on record). Sure Elvis didn't look great in the special. But he went  out and faced the lights and cameras and overall did a good job. This  is where his "realness" shines through. Elvis was nervous. He was very  much human and it shone through. And to me I leave the experience  loving him more. And honestly whenever in my life when I've had to  face something big I've drawn inspiration from Elvis and his facing  the CBS Special.
Part of me wishes Elvis had been able to be more open with everyone about his illnesses. He would have had an easier time today with  Facebook and Twitter communicating directly with the fans. Elvis was a  tough guy and didn't want to admit his sickness and his colon issues. 
That's understandable -- just look at the ridicule and jokes you read on blogs from Dr. Nick's recent comments about Elvis dying because of his colon.
Here's the bottom line - Elvis faced the cameras and put on two shows that had some very strong points. The issue isn't is Elvis in June 1977 up to snuff and "good enough" for release. The issue is are we as Elvis fans "good enough" to watch the shows at face value. Is EPE "good enough" to let us remember our hero and the fact that he truly was human.
Here's the thing about the CBS Special. It's never as bad as we let on. I've watched it with non-Elvis fans and they are all like, "You  know - he's not that big...wow, he could still sing..."
Merry Christmas to Elvis - rest in peace!
- Lon

Honestly i do not know...i'm an avid fan..from day one...i have not "clamored for any releases, but i am happy that i have them...
Nothing tarnishes elvis' image except the habitual claims and stories of his so called "loyal intimates" all telling it differently...and all the imagined love affairs from unheard of women....who cares!?
Some of those live performances in june had rave reviews from the local press...but no one
Remembers or mentions that!
I am sick of the "died on the toilet", "drug fog" stories and jokes...
The unadulterated fact is elvis' voice was phenominal and he always gave his all for
His fans in all his concerts . We still miss him and always will regardless of anything put out. If e.i.c. is released by epe i will most assuredly buy it and enjoy every minute of it. I only hope that his wonderful talent is the focus, not any decline, etc...which should not be the point, but rather that regardless of anything he still had charisma, he still sold out concerts, he still had the most amazing voice....and had he lived for that next tour all of the above would have still been true.
Long live "the king"!!

From: Gail B
NO, it should absolutely not be released on DVD.  It shows Elvis at his worst and when there
is such wonderful footage of everything else, plus stuff that has not been released.  NO NO
never should it be released.  It would give the media a real "eat up elvis" food. and make
fun of him.  I have it on video, and have only watched it twice.   I cried each time I watched
it, and I can't watch it again.   It is sooo heartbreaking to see him thus.

From: JerryNodak
I think they should release it officially so those who want it can purchase it in the best quality possible.
Personally, I watched Elvis In Concert when it firsst aired back in October '77.  It was painful to watch.  Each time I see a clip the pain is still there.  Go ahead and release it.
But I won't be buying.

From: Anna S 
I have seen Elvis In Concert, as was released for the 77 TV Special. I'd long wanted to see this, but once it arrived to my home, I stood statued, poised to place the dvd in the player, but frozen in a state of 'will I, or won't I?' Finally I did, and I shed a few tears during its viewing. I felt like I was at a wake, but not at the drunken, funny anecdote kind of a wake.  I felt as though a near stranger,  a mere acquaintance, a near to non-appreciator, had slapped together a 'homage' of this man I'd had the biggest crush on since I was 7 yrs old, my Elvis. And I could have slapped them, for what I felt was left laying on the cutting room floor, the best bits of my adored one. Everyone has a bad hair day, a bad angle, a least favorable side of the face, when it comes to being photographed, but it seemed to me that someone chose a lot of those kind of shots for Elvis In Concert.
My answer to the question? NO, at least not as it was presented. It didn't do him justice, despite ill health. Surely to God there were reels and reels of footage from 76/77 concerts, that could be put together with so much more love and honor, than I feel the TV Special was. But yes, end the new compilation with the entire last concert. Be true to historical fact, but be a true appreciator of the gift that Elvis is to music. REVEAL WITH RESPECT!!

From: Jeanne Pellicani
I've heard and read every argument EPE and others have presented for not releasing the complete footage of "ELVIS IN CONCERT", and I don't buy any of it. This was Elvis, too! And although it may not have been his best performance, or his best appearance, it was still Elvis. We longtime fans, who were there when he started in 1956, want to see  every  performance.
It may not be the image the estate wishes to foster or the Elvis we want to remember, but let's not forget that Elvis was only human. He'd be the first to admit it. "The image is one thing and a human being is another. . . It's very hard to live up to an image." After all, we fans no longer look as good as we did in '68 or '73, so why must we expect Elvis to look the same? If he were alive today, he wouldn't look and sing the same! Why should we be denied seeing him as he was in 1977? This is the LAST footage we have of him!
Okay, so the media and critics might have something to say- It's more than 30 years after his death, and Elvis is certainly beyond this.  EPE should release the complete 1977 footage for us fans- after all, didn't Elvis belong to us?  Wasn't his goal to entertain and make us happy?
The "'68 Comeback Special" was phenomenal and "Aloha From Hawaii" was awesome, but how many times can you repeat these performances. EPE pretends that Elvis' career ended in 1973, and that he never gave another great performance. This is ridiculous and it really serves no purpose. We all know the story of Elvis' last years. It is unfair to keep "Elvis in Concert 1977" from us- especially when the recordings are available on CD, and some of the video appears in EPE sanctioned productions. As time goes on, even we die-hard, super fanatic fans are going to have to see something different and new from EPE.

From: Mclellan, Elaine
I love ELVIS. The last concert reflects a man who had many health problems. Elvis wasn't fat…he was bloated. This tells you, his health problems were out of control. I believe if Elvis had a REAL doctor…he would be alive today. Elvis bloated up in a very short time…less than 2 years. I know, because I saw him in concert. What was Dr. Nick thinking?????
The last concert SHOULD be released..because Elvis' voice was so rich and alive!!!!  Thank you Elvis for thinking of your fans first..even in your last days.

From: David McClellan
Yes I do.  So that we can come full circle with his life.  I mean we should see the good with the bad.  He's still the king.  No one will ever take that away.
But I also think the  family should give their blessings.  And that it should be their decision.
I also think all concerts that could be found, should also be released for the market. That is also with the family blessings.

From: Lillian Sormani
Please release it before it is too late for all of us. My 97 year old Mom adores Elvis and would give anything to see the concert.

From: Ellwood McKiver
Elvis was so protected throughout his life and for that reason his bodyguards were blamed for a lot of his problems. Denying the public the last true encounter with Elvis is protecting him in away that cannot now hurt him but certainly cheat his fans of this only last viewing of their idol!
Give the fans some credit for loving him because true love is not what one looks like but the contents of one's character and the support that was given in good times and bad throughout his life.
It is ok to stop protecting him. Let him be human for once. He deserves that.

From: "Tom Hallick"
 Absolutely, Elvis in Concert should be released on DVD!! That special was the first time I had seen Elvis on TV. Because of that concert, I ended up over the years getting the CD, the vinyl LP and the 8-track!!!

From: Ida
I have to agree with the fact that there is a lot a material between 1956 and 1975 to be released that will contributed a lot to Elvis legacy and that should be taken into consideration and nothing has been done about it for one reason or another, this part is so sad.
I disagree with EPE trying to desperately deny an Elvis era that is out there everywhere and that has been seen by us fans in all kinds of forms. Denying it is denying his existence pass 1973 and yes it is foolish because is something that is part of his life, part of his music, part of every minute of his life, not to take into account the fact that Elvis himself agreed to make this a part of his legacy when he agreed with CBS for the filming of this concert.  I was sad to watch this concert for what it refers to his health and the sadness in his eyes that anybody could see, but I could not feel anything else but admire this man, his charisma, his voice and the way he gave away his soul in every song he performed, for anybody with a little knowledge of what he really mean to the world of music, what he really represented, is what it really should be taken into account, but of course as a lot have said, there will always will be the ignorant part of everything that will only look at the way he looked and not the way he performed of the way he sounded.  But even knowing it as it really is, nothing will change ELVIS LEGACY, THAT IS PROVEN ALREADY.

From: Jason
Of course this should be released even towards the end as so many people have said his voice was as good as ever if not better. Infact Bonno from u2 has been quoted saying his voice was very much like an opera singer at this time. Even though he was in poor health he still put everything into his performance and still put on a great show. I've seen some footage on you tube and to be honest its not too bad check out" i got a woman" its fantastic. I think this still has alot to offer for true elvis fans why should we miss out because he might be open to ridicule all over again? Lets face it he's survived over 30 years of ignorance and small minds. I would give anything to have this when does it go on sale

From: Tony
When I saw the CBS broadcast in October, '77 & the re-broadcast in May, '78, I was shocked like everyone else. There was quite a contrast
between the slim and perfect looking "Aloha" Elvis from four years before and the heavy Elvis in '77.  Other than a few clips here and there, I didn't see the show again until 2005. Until then, I strongly agreed with EPE's decision to not release the show to the public. But now, I see things differently. In the CBS show, Elvis is still a very handsome man and he's really not that heavy. He has a paunch but it's nothing to get upset about. He had slimmed down quite a bit from some of the still photos I've seen that were taken during the 'fat years.' He gives some great performances during the show;"Hurt," "You Gave Me A Mountain," "I Really Don't Want To Know," etc.

From: John Forester
Psst.  Lean in closer so you can hear this...yes, the public did see Elvis in Concert...IN OCTOBER OF 1977.  Subsequently, for 15 years after, he was the subject of many tabloid articles.  Read Ernst's recent interview.  Sorry...EIC did hurt Elvis' legacy and will do so again.  Members of Elvis' inner circle, his family, those who have worked to restore his artistic legacy (Ernst, Roger, etc.) all have acknowledged this.  The only ones who want it released are those "fans" who feel the need to have everything.  I could see it on the collector's label because the people that buy those have enough knowledge and can place it in context.

From: Mike Sanders
A great article and very well written.
Of course EPE should release it, because as you say, it’s for others to decide whether to a) watch or b) purchase it.I, like you, can’t see how it can possibly denigrate what Elvis achieved during his lifetime. If you prefer to watch the ’68 special, no-one’s forcing you to watch this instead. This is another part of the Elvis Presley story and should only engender compassion and sympathy for someone who gave so much but did not have access to the help and support he would doubtless have received today. Furthermore, Elvis was a pioneer of and sadly in the end, a victim of the rock and roll lifestyle, which I’m sure has provided a salutary lesson to those in the business today.
Thank you for taking the trouble to voice your opinion in such a clear, entertaining and lucid way.

From: John Carpenter
Elvis would want this material released.  The book of eternal time and life has recorded that Elvis played those shows in 1977 and CBC were present to film them.  Nothing anyone says or does can change this fact. A lot of us have seen the special, probably more of us have heard the album, and many of us have seen clips from these shows in "This is Elvis" or "The Great Performances".  After watching the entire special, you have a sense of relief because "It is not that Bad" and infact, QUITE GOOD at times.  An emotional experience yes, but we have to remember that if Elvis did not want to be present at these shows, he would have cancelled them. If he did not want to be filmed or perform music anymore he would have stopped it there, but he allowed the cameras to film and he tried his best which is and was Great.  We know that this is not the Elvis of '68 or '73, but of June 1977.  We know he would die 6 weeks later and our hearts were broken and one wonders why and if Elvis could have stayed healthy and alive what the future from that point could have been.  The same argument applies to John Lennon and Kurt Cobain.  I think about it everyday.  The truth is that Elvis loved his fans and performed for his fans and this love and charisma and energy transcends generations and the entire scope of entertainment and music.  You cannot control what others say or think about you, only how you feel, and although Elvis is no longer with us, he gave us this music to enjoy.  It is now time for it to be remastered and given the proper treatments and shown because after 30 years, Elvis would not want it any other way.

From: Kissa
When this special aired, the jokes started and though they have let up a good deal, only the naive would think they would not start up on a large scale again and for that I trust EPE to keep it like it is.
That does not mean I deny his existence after '73. That's a preposterous statement. It means I don't want the masses to see Elvis dying. Anyone who wants to see it can get it.I have it, as I taped it, and I never watch it as it makes me very sad.
And in one of the countless arguments about this on this very board, someone summed it up for me by saying they would not want to see this sitting beside TTWII in a store or movie rental place.
Elvis was just not at his best at all.

From: grandmaloveselvis
I believe that none of the tawdry revelations of JFK after his death has marred Camelot. I want a clean DVD of 1977 released. I want to see the last time Elvis gave a concert, his last song, his last wave and his last smile.
NOTHING will alter what he accomplished while here on earth and nothing ever will.

From: AJ
It is my opinion that yes !! this should be released !! Why not??
I'm sorry Elvis "looks bad" in this; but don't you think this just adds to the legend that he wasn't ill if EPE,, etc . continue to make him look like Adonis ??
IMO; you don't love someone because of how they look or appear .....but IF you truly love someone; you continue to love them ," in sickness & in health."
It is a shame if you can't love them when they cease to become the image  you want to see.

From: Simon1
Elvis in Concert is something that did happen, whether it was wise to dothe special or not could be debated but to keep it from the fans is hilarious.
The media won't be bothered with it, I didn't see any hoopla for the TTWII-SE nor for Aloha and 68 Comeback Special DVD box sets. The public is very well aware that Elvis didn't look like he did in 1973 towards the end, it won't do his image any harm either, the footage is there already in excerpts here and there.
I have full confidence by the way that the Estate will release it, maybe not next year, but it will come, like it should.

From: Carolynlm
I don't think Elvis himself would want this released.....I truly believe that. Having said that, I don't think he had enough confidence in his fan base for us to forgive him...If he had been alive when this was due to go to air, I think he may have tried to stop it.  Did Vernon try to stop it????
We all saw it, and at the time I remember thinking that I didn't think Elvis was as ill as he was...but then Australian fans didn't get a lot of news on Elvis health at the time....
If this is released on the FTD label, then yes, I may purchase it.....I don't know, but it will be for my own personal use.

From: SUN Lover
Essentially, I agree with article's position. Yet I am reluctant to answer with a simple "click." A release of the original CBS special will NOT do. The CBS tapes should be re-edited and digitally/sound enhanced to give us a completely NEW upgraded version of "Elvis in Concert" as was done with "Aloha From Hawaii." This project would require expertise AND sensitivity. Done RIGHT, it would result in a high-quality FTD DVD of which Elvis and his fans could be proud. This was, after all, the final instalment in Elvis's incredible legacy and it should be treated with the respect it (and he) deserves.

From: Robin H
My feelings are "all over the place" on this subject. I don't believe in censorship, and people have had access to this for years, so if it's to be released I'd like to see it handled as mentioned in other posts, by EPE, with more flattering camera angles. I personally wouldn't buy it, nor can I watch it...I don't dwell in "Elvis was perfect" fantasy world, but seeing the severity of his decline brings on unbearable feelings of sadness and tears--not a place in which I care dwell. His decline, the  jokes, & the garbage has been done to death and will undoubtedly find new clueless people ready to weigh in if/when this is released, but I and any true Elvis fan can rise above it because we know that his love, generosity, kindness, talent, (I could go on forever) FAR out weigh the few negative things about which some people prefer to emphasize. 

From: Bill Waters
In my opinion, "Elvis In Concert" should NOT be officially released on DVD.  This is Elvis at his worst, a sad commentary on the greatest performer who ever lived.  I agree with those who say that is far more complimentary film of Elvis to be seen and enjoyed by the fans.  Let "Elvis In Concert" remain in the dust bins of history.

From: Luke Rowley
Of course it should be released, as has already been said, anyone wanting to see it has already, so why not give us fans a dvd quality final show.
This has tremendous historical content and the final show was made from 2 concerts with the worst parts edited out.
Elvis still had the ability to belt it out, even though he was burnt out, look at the way he finished off  HURT!!
Elvis didn't look that bad for 42, everyone seems to compare him to what he looked like at 32, sure he needed to de-tox and probably a long break, sadly it never happened and this is the last footage of the great man we have.


From: rockinrebel
I’ve always been against a mainstream release of this footage, and like many other people that post here I find the majority of it painful viewing. Having said that now that we have a collector’s label, I see no reason why the footage shouldn’t be made available via the collectors label for those that want to own it.
As others have already pointed out this footage is not particularly difficult to find. There are clips available via you tube, and there are also fan sites that are streaming the whole thing. If the media wanted access to the footage in order to put Elvis down, it’s already out there for them to tap into.

From: Pete Dube
I'm against all of the footage being released to the mainstream market. The Omaha show is by & large pitiful. However, I do think a compilation of the best performances (mostly from Rapid City) carefully edited would be a viable release. Think the original special with additional performances such as I Got a Woman/Amen; If You Love Me Let Me Know; It's Now Or Never; Trying To Get To You; Hawaiian Wedding Song; Unchained Melody; and perhaps Fairytale and Little Sister included. I'd also like the backstage presentation included as well. He is so sweet to that child, and if people see that it may deflect some of the "he's a fat redneck druggie" garbage.

From: ClintReno
I'm curious as to who some of you think the shallow people are that supposedly need spoon feeding the 'thin as a rake and handsomer than 10 movie stars' image whilst at the same time require shielding from the CBS Special Elvis image, in order that they take an interest in the man and his music. What a bizarre notion that people like that should be a consideration, if indeed any are that shallow.
Are we to believe that the 'A Little Less Conversation' remix would have been shunned by the public and not been the astonishing success it was had Omaha and Rapid City been available as a deluxe DVD package available through some sort of collectors label release at the time of the singles release - come off it !
A collector label type release over 2 or 3 DVD discs of both complete shows together with perhaps an expanded special, Indianapolis airport footage and anything else around that period which may be available would be a welcome release for many I'm sure.
It's all Elvis, and even those that don't 'get' the 76 and 77 stuff shouldn't be concerned that it negates anything that went before.
I suggest most of us that would like an official edition of these shows want them because we actually want to 'play them' and can actually look beyond the aesthetics and enjoy Elvis' performances, unlike those of you who are against the shows being available.

From: Dan
We (Elvis Fans) all have it one way or the other. FTD could be ok but mainstream would be a disaster. No one would look at it and say " Damn he's good". Just think of the advertisement trouble: "The King, Like You Never Seen Him Before ..." or how about "23 Years Right Down The Drain: Elvis In Concert". Don't get me wrong on this, I see it once in a while but there's no point in showing it global. It was shown on tv here in the E.U. every August from '78 to mid 80s, and I don't think it served his legacy.

From; PEP
Releasing "Elvis In Concert" as a general release would be a mistake. I personally would be totally against this....
Even releasing "Elvis In Concert" through FTD as example if they decide to do so and end up allowing the DvD in retail outlets or through the Graceland shops would be a mistake, or any public shop for that matter.
Going the FTD route in this case maybe, but if done, there should be restrictions put in place. Maybe the DvD could be available through mail order only.
Again we know the footage is out there and readily available to really anyone if they want it........
But No one seems to make an issue out of it the way its being done now and No one would either in my opinion if an
official release is available discretely through Elvis fan clubs.....

We all now know that the 77 concert was his swan song, after the fact, but i would love to see it again. i would cry knowing we'll never see him on stage again. i don't care what he looks like. in my eyes he's gorgeous at any size and he never lost his voice. epe/ftd could edit it for a better show, spin it their way and release it if they wanted to and we'd all buy it.

From: LovetheBoy
Yes I think they should release it and YES he was awesome and so powerful. I have to say that I have both shows and cbs special and Elvis gave a fantastic show both in Omaha and Rapid City... What a smile and what a powerful voice... he was sick and bloated oh well yes I guess we are not at 40 and than some like we used to be right????... People would want to have Elvis like in 68!!!! Sorry folks not real at all. and really I don't really care other than the fact he was sick and I wish he was not.. but he was the same man, the same love, the same attention given to HIS FANS, the same power, the same smile, the same music... HE WAS JUST AWESOME AND GREAT AND LOVING AND SMILING. Sorry my opinion and I watch these shows every week.... It was the human being, the wonderful boy that we always knew IT WAS ELVIS...
We love you Elvis... anyway we look at it.

From: Kylan
People who are even remotely healthy do not look like that at 42! He was walking death. It's tragic, and should not be released.

From: Cathy
I would buy it because i love anything to do with Elvis .I remember watching it on T.V. I was only 13 but i still thought he was amazing how he always performed for his fans. I love him for the human being that he was. I know he wasn't perfect but who is he shows his giving nature threw to the end. I would love to have this concert as part of my dvd collection because of Elvis love shines threw for his fans. God rest your good soul Elvis for you did what the good Lord wanted you to do. You touched people with your songs your lovely voice will live on forever. For the ones who don't want it don't buy it.


From: Matthias
As has already been pointed out, it has been officially released in October 77 on TV, albeit as a mishmash of songs and fan's comments, fading songs in the background, cutting out the best songs etc. Unchained Melody is officially available on Center Stage. Moreover, the CD, i.e. the "blackened DVD", is on retail sale.
So what does General Public think? Something like: "In the end, Elvis was a shadow of  his former self. He was thick and sang Love Me Tender and other 50s hits."
If it will be released, what will General Public notice? Probably that, yes, he was no longer Elvis the Pelvis, and that, yes, he did sing some old songs. But also that he sang new songs like Hurt and Unchained Melody, pitching his voice higher than ever before (head voice on Blue Moon excepted). That he reworked How Great Thou Art. That he still rocked on Trying To Get To You. And that some Elvis Tribute Artists are fatter now than Elvis was in 77.
Conclusion: Yes, it should be officially released on BMG. It should get the same treatment as Aloha and 68. Just like these, it is a piece of history.

From: david hartmann
yes !!!!!! without a doubt...
no one loves the man as i did, do, and always  will... but he was who he is.. THE KING !!!
i hear him for who he is/was and i would love to see him singing it, no matter what he looked like.

From: Geert
It indeed should be released in a nice de-luxe dvd package, maybe it's better for Elvis' image to release it under the FTD label so that only the true fans will purchase it. I think the footage is amazing, if you see how a man that looks so bad due to his health problems is still capable of giving away such a great performance, just great I know not every song gets the attention that it should have but honestly I don't listen to late 70s concerts to hear teddy bear/don't be cruel for the 300th time. It are the newer songs like America or hurt that do it for me.
The flaws in Elvis' singing on the "oldies but goodies" make the footage not suitable for a wider audience than the true fans, sadly it will only increase the amount of people who see Elvis as an overweighted drugged singer who tries to make a living with his old rock songs. That's why I think it shouldn't be released with to lot merchandise crap, but in FTD style.

From: Leroy
No matter how you look at it; Elvis in Concert was as much part of Elvis' life as any other aspect. It is no use to deny it, or let me put it in stronger terms: it's a crime to deny it. I have watched both shows on June 19th and June 21st and they ought to be released officially in a special way, like the Aloha shows.  If you deny this period of Elvis' life, you deny Elvis

From: Amzie
I think Elvis In Concert should be released, maybe having been restored and in a special format.
Elvis, despite being ill and unhappy, stood on that stage in 1977 and performed for us, the fans. He endeavoured to make people happy, and give them a memory, and that should be remembered. I don't see how it can be considered right to cut off several years of a man's life and hide them away as if they are something to be ashamed of. It WAS Elvis, no one else. He was ill and yes, he may not have been the perfectly flawlessly handsome man that he once was, but it was still him and his great talent was with him right to the very end.  His voice was amazing in 1977 and in EIC he put on some absolutely marvellous performances... Hurt, I Really Don't Want To Know, How Great Thou Art, My Way and more. No one should pick and choose sections of his life which they deem worthy of being seen... it was his life, and yes, it's tragically sad, makes me cry, but it was Elvis- he got on that stage himself, and people should be grateful and proud of his performances and strength. I can't imagine that people of the public would be so shallow that they could mock and condemn Elvis in his last year. Surely they would be able to see a wonderful man giving truly STUNNING performances.

From: Adam
This is the best article I've read on this subject. Somebody needs to send it to EPE. The movies did, and still do, more damage to Elvis' legacy than EIC ever could. Of course, I think that SE versions of TTWII and EOT should be released first. 

From: Elvisfan
If you showed EP from 1977 to kids today or to anyone not understanding of the reason he was like that then all they would do is criticize it and laugh at it and the "dead fat peanut butter banana sandwich eating Elvis" would be back. I don't know about any of you but I went through the 1980's and 90's hearing that. The new millennium has been somewhat different and strangely respectful to him and his image (aside from EPE and their imfamous ducks). Let's keep it that way.

From: Paul
Elvis in 1977 is a poignant image the music reflected his state of mind and where he was at emotionally. He was a mess he was human he was fallible unfit and more real than he'd ever been before. Its not the perfect rose tinted image we'd seen before- EIC shows Elvis warts n all and in bigger voice. I love him for having the guts to carry on and share his soul. If his name had been Johnny Cash he'd have been applauded if his name had been Jim Morrison his strange behaviour would have been cool. Those that don't want EIC released want a rose garden where everything Elvis is above criticism.  That's not rock n roll - that's playing safe.  I think its pretty disgusting that we have to resort to bootlegs to see the material filmed for the special. Why should Elvis fans be made to feel seedy watching this in substandard quality? 

From: Richard
Lets get all the 69/70 film released first as well as all the other film that Ernst say's is mind boggling and unseen and in the hands of collectors. Why worry about the 77 film when we have only scraped surface of 69/70/71/72.
Once everything else has been released including The Anthology- This Is Elvis -The missing TTWII reels-On Tour- Boston-Film from 69-Houston Interviews and concert etc etc Not to mention the remix album and all the other audio projects.  If a release of the 77 material wouldn't delay any of the above or effect it in anyway the above projects being done then no problem--but of course there is no guarantee of this is there.  The image is built back up so lets get the best of Elvis released first --yeah it's 2006 and unbelievably there is a massive amount of unseen film just rotting away out there.

From: Shirley
If any releases are done, I feel that they should released in the order of his life as he lived it. Whether it's negative or positive, we all do know that there were dilimmas. Myself as a fan didn't think any less of him or what he gave us.
This man wasn't only loved by his fans for his music. Elvis loved his fans, he was carrying, very giving, loved his family, but he knew that his fans made him what was right to his last breath. We gave him our love and support, and he gave back to us something that not one fan will ever forget and that it came through in his songs that he sang with so much emotion.
I sincerely hope that these things are kept in perspective, especially for the new and young fans that are joining the Elvis Era.

From: Arne
Let’s have a premium quality official DVD release as a historical document! Concerned it may harm Elvis’ image? C’mon, since I became a fan ca in 1978 (12-13 years old), I must have heard countless remarks about people (rightfully) thinking Elvis got obese/ very unhealthy/ a drug addict in his later years (well, I guess he was an addict long before, speaking of amphetamine). Plus, there are still photos around… MORE IMPORTANT, I very strongly believe we should cherish a REALISTIC, facts-based view on Elvis, facing his life for better and for worse.
If EPE are hesitant to plaster him in this condition on promo posters for a DVD all around the world, then release it on FTD. This way, by and large only the fan community will know, and if some fans prefer to deny reality and not see it, it is their business.  Offer the rest of us something better than a bootleg TV-source release.

From: Brian
I think that the tv special should be released. Okay elvis was not in good shape but he still poured out his heart to his fans. His fans accepted his appearance and they still went to see him. I would also like to see other concerts after 1973 realeased on dvd.

From: Ida Ritter
I agree to the fact that Elvis did not die in 1973, EPE desperately tried to erased his last years without success, that video is everywhere in good and bad copies.  Denying his last years is denying part of his great legacy and I have to say that EPE is not achieving anything by avoiding to even talk about his last years.
I will say that YES IT SHOULD BE RELEASE, the world has the right to see that man in his last years still delivering to the world with his last breath the best of himself and in himself.  The sequela of his great voice, style and unique carysma that was behind him everytime he step in a stage walk with him until the day he died and is still walking with him today, THE LEGACY OF A MAN THAT CHANGE THE MUSIC IN THIS COUNTRY THAT DARE TO ROCK AND DRESS IN HIS OWN WAY at difficult times when this country was set in its ways enduring critizism, even to this day in time, but again with no success, he is stronger than time, and I am not saying that only as a fan, maybe EPE should take a look at all that.

From: David Martin
Elvis In Concert (that is the CBS 1977 program) should not be released.  It was terrible.  There was nowhere near enough Elvis and he was portrayed in a bad way as well.  The talking heads are also very annoying.  However, I would be excited to learn that a new program was being prepared from the original film elements of both shows, favouring the best performances and most charitable camera angles.  Placed within its historical context, in a documentary-like presentation, and using the associated film of Elvis' arrival and the backstage presentation, I think the program could work well.  But I don't think I would want to see it on the supermarket shelves - rather it should be distributed through fan networks, like FTD CDs.  We don't need to put the 1977 Elvis back out there among the wolves again.  I still see the worst angles from the 1977 special being used in an unsavoury way, even today.

From: Richbruce
yes i believe the cbs 1977 special should be released , it is part of elvis' life.

From: Terry
To deny the release of EIC is a grave mistake no matter what Elvis did in what manner or what health conditions he may have been in his legacy should be complete.  A lot of us know EIC tour had some very great moments in music by this man.  I was fortunate to witness some phenomenal music performances that should not be removed from history.  This man was such an articulate performer through himself in to his performances like no other before him or after.  Maybe FTD should release it so it reaches a different market. 

From: Mia Backe
I totally agree, this material should be released by EPE, and, if we're real lucky, they will totally clean up and revamp it, improving the sound and picture to bring it up to today's standards.  Could you imagine Elvis in HD, with Surround sound? 
I watch the original special, as well as the Omaha and Rapid City concerts every chance I get.  I truly feel that this material shows just how great and heroic Elvis was.  Here he was, just weeks from the end, and he was performing and pleasing the fans, and pouring his heart into it. 
Performing was the one thing that Elvis truly loved to do, and he is much more at ease and spontaneous than he is in "Aloha".  I believe these concerts are a fitting epitaph to his life and career.  The range of songs is excellent, with, as Elvis himself says, old ones and new ones. 
I actually have an idea for how this material should be released, and perhaps EPE is reading this and will take me up on my suggestion.  This should be a multi-DVD set.  The set should be called something like "Elvis: The Last Tour".  Of course, the original special, Omaha concert and Rapid City concert should be included.  Actually, if EPE feels that Omaha is too bad to release, that's fine, because the highlights of that show are included in the special anyway. 
There could also be a bonus DVD with the backstage footage previously seen and perhaps footage that has been previously unseen, if there is any.  I also think that perhaps there should be some new footage that includes interviews with people who were there, maybe even the ones that were interviewed for the original special,as well as the people who were part of Elvis' tour (Esposito, TCB Band members, etc.).  This bonus DVD could also contain a documentary on the last tour, with commentary on each concert, especially Cincinnati and the last concert, Indianapolis. 
Another idea would be to release a 30th Anniversary edition of "Elvis in Concert" in CD format to coincide with the release of the DVD material.  I truly feel that with the right spin, this could be a fantastic release.  The emphasis should be on Elvis as the dedicated performer who, though ill and dying, gave his all right to the very end.  Yes, it will be sad, but it will also be uplifting to see Elvis enjoying himself onstage and pleasing the fans like no other performer could and probably never will again. 
A good P.R. campaign of course is needed. I also feel that an upgraded DVD release of "Elvis on Tour" is in order and long overdue, as well as "This is Elvis".  Both of these should be totally revamped as well for top quality picture and sound.  But there has been more demand for "Elvis in Concert"  than anything else by Elvis fans in recent years.  EPE, please release this, even if you don't follow my suggestion


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