This year Joseph Tunzi celebrates 20 years of JAT Productions; the third installment book to celebrate this momentum is “Elvis Concerts”.
Like the previous “68 At 40” book on the “1968 Comeback Special” this book comes full color on glossy paper packed between a two hard covers. That’s the way I prefer my (picture) books. The printing is o.k. but it could be better, just like the before mentioned ’68 book you see a lot of dots on many pictures.
The quality of the pictures varies, probably due to the various sources they originate from.
Design-wise I miss the caption for the different pictures, the book contains an index but I prefer the info next to the image. Each page contains the text “Celebrating Twenty Years of Jat Productions”; that space could easily have been used for the captions. There is one exception, a live picture from June 28, 1973 contains the tracklisting of the concert. Some other pictures contain the JAT logo.
The book opens with a well-written discourse by Mike Eder on Elvis on stage; “the concert years for dummies”. After that we get the main part of the book; Elvis on stage from the early fifties to the final days of his career. The balance is as to be expected, two pages on the fifties, a handful on the sixties (fortunately the Las Vegas comeback) and a lot of images from the seventies.
Personally I prefer the images from the fifties, but this time Joe Tunzi managed to collect a wide variety of images creating a great pictorial of Elvis’ concert years. Some (of his) book deal with just one concert or engagement, I think those books are boring as it contains pretty much of the same, and sometimes even from one and the same camera angle.
Not many pictures are new, less than 15% I guess, but linked to the use of them during Elvis’ career on record covers we finally get the complete image of some of the cover we know so well. A very nice idea to present the pictures this way. Other images show Elvis on stage with the spotlight on our man, I really like those images of the old wooden stages with an old curtain to cover up the construction. It is nothing like the lights and laser-shows we get from today’s artist. The artist had to work for his money in the “old days” ... well Elvis surely had to.
This book also clearly shows how sloppy The Colonel and RCA wer eon designing record sleeves. The Aloha album didn’t contain a picture from the actual show, but images from the show ended up on a variety of albums that had nothing to do what so ever with the famous concert.
This book is an “Elvis In Concert For Dummies”; a well written overview of Elvis’ on stage, illustrated with great images of our man linked to the use of the images during his lifetime.