(Notes: I spoke more freely with the video version, but still my original script for myself is below)
Hello Dwellers And Welcome To The Basement…
Lets’ Go Into The Vault… and Talk About The King… no not Jerry Lawler… but THE KING… Elvis Presley….
Born in 1935, and passing away in 1977…. Elvis left an impact on the world entertainment that many aspire to reach… he is without question one of the greatest performers of all time, he’s been often imitated but never duplicated…. And even though he passed away several years before I was born, thanks to the magic of home video, DVDs and digital distribution, people all over have been able to see just how incredible he was.
Which brings me, to The Elvis Aloha from Hawaii Deluxe Edition DVD Set, released in 2004, containing not only the concert that was broadcast live via satellite on January 14, 1973 (with the exception of the United States who didn’t see it until April 4, 1973…), but also footage of Elvis arriving in Hawaii, the rehearsal concert, the recording of five songs that would be used to ‘fill out the show’ for when it was broadcast in the United States plus the NBC version of the concert, where you can see how Americans saw it as opposed 3 months after the fact as opposed to everyone else.
In terms of being a near perfect time capsule, showing Elvis in all his glory following the 1968 Comeback Special…. And before his rapid decline over the next 4 years, as seen in the footage from the 1977 Elvis In Concert special that aired on CBS and later used for the This Is Elvis documentary in 1981.
The concert (regardless of the version you watch on this set), is pretty rapid fire, serving as a ‘Live best of...’ set, as it hits on songs (some done as part of a melody) from through his career to that point, including Burning Love, Hound Dog, Suspicious Minds, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Something, I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry, etc) Sometimes it seems like The King flubs a line or too, but that’s par the course with performing live and not lip syncing like a number of performers do today. The band that supports Elvis for this concert is huge, consisting of three sets of background vocalists , Elvis’s own Taking Care of Business Band… and a 20+ piece orchestra to give the big full sound that was beautifully remastered so you don’t miss a thing while watching
Of course the big thing about the concert that stands out, is Elvis himself, clearly this is his last major iconic performance, though he would tour and be a staple in Las Vegas. You see a guy who is putting on a great performance, being charming, knowing he has the crowd in the palm of his hands, and just having that charisma , that showmanship and at the same time a humble demeanor that made him a national sensation in the 1950s. Not to mention that jumpsuit he wears is simply awesome. Really a must have for Elvis Collectors.
Now let’s break down the set itself, the case is a beautiful white fold out, with Elvis Alooha From Hawaii on the front and gold logo of the King on the back. Its a simple case that opens like a book and you flip a flap to see both discs, that are just white and gold, fit snugly in their case slots, plus a booklet that gives some background on the concert, some photos, and basically just being a nice companion piece for the DVD set.
The Menus are basic, Play All, Chapter Selection Settings, etc, and the footage itself is displayed in the 4:3 format it was recorded in, but depending on your DVD / Blu-Ray Player’s abilities, it can be stretched to fill out the 16:9 format and it looks decent.
Now where can you get this set? Well amazingly not on Amazon.com… with prices for new copies ranging from $36 to $150…. and that’s even included the single version released in 2006. Over on eBay you get some decent prices, I’ve seen some copies for sale below $30, but some well above that. And you can go to Graceland.com and the shop there to get it for about $40, which seems to be current official retail price. The funny thing is I don’t remember paying $25 for this new at Tower Records back when it came out.
Something kind of interesting over on shopelvis.com (the official online store), they don’t have this version, they have the 40th Anniversary edition, which is sold at $15… quite a price difference, but that appears only to have a re-edited version concert itself plus footage from the 40th Anniversary of the concert from 2013.