Mike Sander from Germany reviewed the new "The Complete '68 Comeback Special" four CD set. The title he used was "Just another compilation".
Why doing a review about an official release, that shouldn't include too many surprises? Because every Elvis fan is expecting something extraordinary from a 40th anniversary box-set, and might want to know, what he gets in real time.
The box fits exactly to the Japanese paper sleeve editions, and therefore can easily find a place in your collection. It features a beautiful booklet; unfortunately the inner sleeves are not the best protection for the CDs. Maybe in times of internet downloads we must say bye-bye to high quality packages like Platinum and welcome the more economic style.
Surprisingly Sony/BMG selected the "old" mix of the TV-Special, which has been released many times on CD. In Europe usually with some bonus live tracks, featuring most of the studio recordings in stereo. This version is similar to the long time ago Japanese release R25P-1004, but features some bonus songs. Most interesting the versions of 'It Hurts Me' and 'Let Yourself Go', that were taken from A Legendary Performer Vol.3 and find their first release on CD here. Although the sound has been slightly improved, it can not live up to the high sound quality of the alternate BMG-release Memories -The '68 Comeback. The live segments, again, weren't separated by different track-numbers, so, except for the two bonus tracks, nothing new.
CD 2 and 3:
It's a little bit irritating, that Sony/BMG cut the first minute of every show and left out the introduction. Since time on CD 3 is already 77 min, it looks, as if it has been "A matter of time“.
The previous releases Tiger Man and Memories are the only official releases, that are featuring the complete "Sit down shows", so you still shouldn‘t take them out of your collection.
The "Stand up shows" were officially released as a best of mix on Memories and the rest of it on the FTD-label. It's a pity, that now, on their first official CD release, they still are not complete, since all the introductions and 'One Night' (first show) are cut out. So we all must go back to the DVD-release.
Which brings us to the question about the purpose of this release? It's certainly too detailed for the average customer and there's nothing really new for the true Elvis fan. The second rehearsal has already been released on the FTD-label. The other rehearsal finds it's first official complete release here, but the sound quality is average, compared to bootlegs like From Burbank to Vegas (CD) or "Elvis Rocks And The Girls Roll" (vinyl) (which by the way is the best, so far).
So here we have a 40th anniversary box, that's celebrating one of the highlights in Elvis‘ career. Usually we were expecting something special, but everything has been copied from previous CD-releases. It's just another compilation.