Memphis Recording Service II – 1955 The Rise of Elvis Presley
Volume two of this colourful series is available, this time with video footage.
Like volume one this edition comes as a pretty complete package with a book, DVD and vinyl single, presented in a keep-box.
This soft cover book is a hefty one with 350 full colour pages. The wordt "colour" is perhaps the most controversial item regarding this release, as it was its predecessor. The book contain material from 1955 and most pictures are black and white, or should I say are originally black and white. The author decided to add some colour to history. Some of the colourization looks very good, but often the colours chosen for the pictures are too bright. I prefer the original black and white. Just think of the great “Elvis At 21” book from Alfred Wertheimer in full colour … With material like this the occasional colour image is like the cherry on the cake, let’s keep it that way.
With quite a few fifties books on the shelves we still found a lot of new pictures and memorabilia of this historic year, really fun to browse through. It makes me realize what we will miss over 25 years with electronic e-cards and other electronic promotional material.
Browsing through the text we get a detailed story of a young man with his three partners working their way through the south of the United States – burning thousands of miles and an occasional Cadillac - and to the top of the music industry. With a few free days coming up we’ll do some studying with this material. A minor of the book is the floppy cover, we can understand that it doesn’t fit in the package, but a big book like this needs a hard cover.
The DVD contains the earliest known Elvis footage, fun to see, nice to have but very short. Joseph Pirzada did some real searching to discover little gems like this.
The audio part contains 40 remastered live (1955) and studio (1954) tracks. They sound really good especially regarding the source. But unfortunately nothing new but a few intros. With an interesting book like this we enjoy the matching soundtrack. The minor is that the setup of the DVD is widescreen, and not all televisions have that.
The vinyl disc is a nice touch, especially the use of the original mother stamper to produce it.
The conclusion is very simple, if you like Elvis’ early years, this is a real nice package to have; a well written and “colourfully” illustrated history of 1955 with a matching soundtrack. Looking at a nice package like this we do wonder what Ernst Jorgensen will come up with (any time soon we hope). How much material can there be out there?
You can still participate in (y)our interview with the author and win a copy of the set. Use the banner "Ask Joseph Pirzada" on the left.