I could do this review with just one word: brilliant. Since it wouldn’t do the release any justice, I’ll spend a few more words on it.
The design is beautiful. It’s amazing that – according to the publisher – only amateur pictures were available. Maybe it’s even more amazing that there are so many amateur pictures in useable quality. Amateur is obviously not about the quality of the photographer(s) and the equipment, but the fact they weren’t paid. Anyway, all those pictures are presented in a tasteful way.
Also the information is not forgotten in the 100 page book. It mainly consists from a firsthand report of a lucky fan who was present. You will also find newspaper clippings and information about previous outings of the show, from the first release of Rockin’ With Elvis On New Year’s Eve to the FTD-outing. The first happened to be my first bootleg back in the late 70’s. I was a real newbie collecting Elvis and traded it for 3 regular albums because I liked the quality better. Luckily THE Jordan made up for my mistake and I am still thankful for that!
Next to the book content described above we have of course a DVD and 2 CDs.
To start with the CDs: it is not a bit better than the FTD-release, it is a zillion times better. The bass is pushed up a bit, so the sound is fuller, well, it is from a different world compared to earlier outings. It comes close to a soundboard, but with audience reactions as a bonus (which is a pain on some releases, but not on this one).
The DVD is even worse – uh, all its predecessors that is. Where on most previous outings Elvis wasn’t much more than a white spot or the contrast wasn’t very good… that’s all repaired. Of course out of focus images are still out of focus, but overall it easy to watch because of the improvements and the fact that the show is nearly complete (!). Add the new sound and you have a more than decent Elvis DVD more in your collection. The extras in the form of Sweet Inspiration and an image comparison with previous outings are both a one-time look, but not really value added.
Backdraft did an outstanding job, in one word: brilliant!
I also received the jewelcase version of both the DVD and 2CD-set. Of course the complete thing above is THE thing, but those two separate releases are jewels on their own. High quality cases (you know, with the rounded edges and "lock"), beautiful booklets and the same content on the discs. If you missed the opportunity to get the ultimate experience, these are the things to go for. Both beat all other previous releases hands down.