This book by John Townson and Gordon Minto made a big entry. When it came in almost two kilo of Elvis’ British record releases dropped on our doormat with a big bang.
The book is a heavy 484 pages softcover book in A4 size. The front and back cover are colour with on the front some of Elvis’ sleeves and on the back a great picture From San Francisco 1957. All the images inside are black and white and the illustrative images (not the covers) vary in quality from good to very poor. This is about the only negative remark we can make on the design of the book.
The paper quality is very good which gives a good first impression when opening the book and it will prevent the book from damage when used very often.
The introduction to the book has been written by Roger Semon, remembering the days he went out to spent the little money he had on Elvis vinyl. The book starts with some introductions on the terms used and the different background material, label features and variations used for this book. Reading this you understand the rest of the book.
After these introductions the real content of the book starts. The British single, EP, LP, Miscellaneous Releases, Various Artist Compilation LP’s and Promotional Record releases. Just browsing the titles and looking at the covers we see a lot of gems we’d like to add to our collection. Each item is listed with all the facts, song information, including version / takes, from which album the single came, cover and label and so on. The book is very up-to-date, since most new releases also have a limited edition on vinyl, or are sometimes limited to a vinyl release only (‘Tickle Me’). It even includes the information for the remix single ‘A Little less Conversation’.
This book really is a detailed encyclopedia with all Elvis vinyl’ releases in chronological (releasedate) order. We wish we had a database with this content to use for reviewing (outtake)CD releases.
A remark we have to make is that although the book states it deals with vinyl releases (‘since it still holds a place in many collector’s hearts’) we miss the CD releases (although an odd CD release is mentioned) for the complete overview of the British Elvis Presley Releases. But the background information on most vinyl releases applies almost 100 percent to the content of the CD version so the information is still very useful as a reference.
In comparison with two other recently released Discography books (‘La Discography Francaice’ and ‘Elvis For Everyone’) this book stands out on the content side with all the additional information on each release, despite the omission of the CD releases. We will take it from the shelf many times when in need of background information for ourselves or a review.