Finally available, the Elvis clip collection, was it worth the long long wait?
This DVD comes in three different designs; one similar to the “ELV1S 30 #1 Hits” CD, one with an additional silhouette of our man and in the UK a completely different design matching the UK edition of this year’s “The King” compilation. We got the boring first one. This style was new and fresh when used on the before mentioned compilation, but several years down the line I expected something a bit fresher.
The concept for this release isn’t new. Bootleggers did it, even creating new clips and there is even a legal budget release entitled "Love Me Tender"featuring clips from the television shows and the “’68 Comeback” and "Aloha" specials. After the first try on the bonus disc compilation on the “Ultimate Film Collection” EPE and BMG stepped up to the plate and gave us this compilation. That it wasn’t that easy to get this product done can be seen in the differences in the fifteen track US and thirty track European release.
I enjoyed watching the “clips” very much. I usually listen to Elvis performing songs, seeing him do a variety of songs only adds to the joy. The compilation is build on the material available so we get the “usual” fifties television appearances with the addition “Blue Suede Shoes” screen test Elvis did for Hal Wallis; a nice colour clip but it looks like Elvis is playing a guitar without strings …? This footage could have been used to actually create a real video clip. The fifties television footage has been remastered and I have never seen this television material in this quality with the exception of the Frank Sinatra special, this contains a lot of distortion.
Following the mainly black and white material are excerpts from his movies. For once I’m glad Elvis made many musical comedies, otherwise we would have even less video material of Elvis performing his songs. The sixties era ends with clips from the “’68 Comeback” special; the stronger material of this part of the compilation since these are actual performances.
The compilation end with the seventies material from “TTWII” and the “Aloha” special. Again, no “On Tour” or “CBS Special” material has been used.
Missing on this set are the clips made to promote the more recent single releases. In Germany a clip was created for “Always On My Mind” in 2000, it would have been nice to actually release that as a special item on this set. Also missing are the clips for “A Little Less Conversation” and the “Rubberneckin’” remixes.
Audio wise there are two problems. The first is that Elvis isn’t lip-sync in several clips, this is annoying. Secondly the sound varies. One might expect the producers to create one coherent sound experience. The clips taken from the movies are Dolby Surround, but most fifties material are not. This should have been corrected for all clips on this compilation.
This release is one disc a lot of fans will enjoy and gives them something to show their friends. The experience could have been a little better if the clips had been mixed a little since DVDs don’t have a shuffle option. Quality wise this is the material the producers have to work with, with that in mind the result is almost the best result possible.