We don’t think that Arjan Deelen needs an introduction anymore, since he used to be involved in many Elvis-related releases, like the Danish “Elvis Unlimited” magazine and the “Czech CD’s”. Laurens van Houten is a professional photographer who caught many top artists before he took the chance to focus on Elvis in 1973. Arjan convinced Laurens to publish these Elvis pictures and last week we got the final result.
The hardcover book, which is printed on glossy paper, looks very tasteful. The chosen font is a bit big, which makes the text “jump at you” at first. On the other hand, there are many Elvis fans getting older, and they might need a bigger font to prevent reading problems. Sometimes it looks like the spacebar got broken, which disturbs the punctuation a bit. It’s a pity, since such small things make the finishing touch.
Overall the lay out of the book is great. The composition of the pictures, text and memorabilia perfectly fits the eye in general. Only sometimes one feels sorry that parts of pictures are covered by something else. The balance between black and white and full colour pictures is good. They did some imprecise cutting on the reviews from the papers, with the result that some images look to be rotated a bit. But we have to say that this is one of the better looking concert books we have seen so far.
After the introduction by Glen D. Hardin, Arjan Deelen explains how he experienced Laurens’ pictures for the first time. This is very recognizable; we know exactly which book he’s referring to. The foreword continues with an open minded explanation of the book title, and we couldn’t agree more this time.
Of course it’s impossible to go to the primary content of the book, the pictures, without the story behind it. Laurens tells his story in a fascinating way and it is very interesting to read how a non-fan, surrounded by fans, experienced the Elvis Presley-circus in Las Vegas in 1973.
It’s time for the reason to buy a book like this… the pictures themselves. Three shows are represented in this book, the dinner shows of August 31 and September 1 and closing night on September 3.
The best pictures (from closing night) are known, since they were already used back in the seventies and showed up every now and then. Regarding the difficult circumstances they were taken in, the quality is pretty good. Of course there are some lesser pictures, but they still deserve to be printed to paint the complete picture. Quotes from interviews with the TCB-band members and fitting memorabilia, mostly Dutch, decorate the pictures perfectly.
There's one minor to this book comparing it to other photo books. The photos are from three concerts, so after browsing through the pages it gets a bit "too much of the same" because the images start to look the same.
Obviously a lot of effort was put in the book and that really shows. It stands out from a lot of other themed concert books, almost regarding anything. We can only say that when you like Elvis in the 70’s this book is a must, without any doubt!