Like with the two previous releases from the UK based Memphis Recording Service there was a lively discussion on the product before anyone had held a copy in their hands. This time for good reason, the press release promised unreleased fifties footage with matching audio, to be exact: Elvis in concert in the fifties! And not just any footage, it was from Elvis’ homecoming in Tupelo from September 26, 1956! Were these expectations met?
The package comes as a fold out digipack containing a DVD, which contains both video, and DVD-Audio content.
The DVD (video and audio)
The most important part of this audio-visual presentation is of course the before mentioned footage, and it blows you away! Not because of the quality of the footage and audio, but because of the combination! Never before did I see Tupelo’s own Elvis, which hangs in my living room on a big poster, perform in my living room.
Elvis rocks through six classic songs and really appears to be enjoying himself and the audience; he performs with a big grin on his face while the audience scream their lungs out. He sure must have felt welcome. During his performance he gets more and more into it and especially during “I Got A Woman” (unfortunately only a short clip) and “Hound Dog” he really shows he is the world’s first “atomic powered” singer gyrating that atomic powered pelvis. So this is what it was like to see Elvis perform in the fifties! If only more of this material had been made (and rediscovered!). This actual concert footage shows a very different Elvis than the one we knew from the television shows. This is real live action, Elvis playing to 8000 fans and friends contrary to the middle aged television studio audience.
Joseph Pirzada is a smart businessman, did something no one did before, he approached Fox to see what they actually had filmed. Only snippets ended up in the newsreel. But of course more raw material was filmed and hopefully survived. Fortunately it did. Cleverly dubbed with remastered audio of the concert, which was already released in the eighties by BMG on the "A Golden Celebration" box. The afternoon and evening show are also added.
The other video footage – in color from the Homecoming Parade and Elvis on back and on-stage - is cleverly presented with matching (unreleased) interviews with Elvis’ parents, Anita Wood as well as with Judy Hopper, the girl who got on stage. The DVD also includes 45 seconds of color footage taken of Elvis' evening performance, nice to have, but unfortunately the camera’s were not that good back than, so it is a bit dark, despite being in colour.
The problem we have with the presentation of the material is that it is a bit too flashy and too complete. The navigation menu is hardly readable due to the amount of text (simply too much information pointing out what’s unreleased) combined with the use of only half the screen. Also irritating is the permanent colour logo of the MRS on the black and white footage.
The 172 pages book is done in the same style as the 1955 and 1956 books, full color and a soft cover, in my opinion, too soft making it floppy (please hard cover next time!). The book itself is great, just browsed through it (could not stop watching the concert) and became very envy of the publishers to have all this material. So many pictures and so much memorabilia to work with. The text is written by Tupelo's own, Roy Turner and will provide a treasure of archival material and background information for the eager fan.
Looking at the images, especially the parade, this book captures the timeframe very well. Gladly only a handful of pictures has been colorized this time, so we get history, as it was back then, black and white :-). Oddly enough the cover shot of Elvis in a red shirt is only used on the cover, we don’t see it in the book.
The event itself must have been very special to Elvis and his parents, returning to the city to be honored by officials from the city and the state after having fled from that same city due to poverty.
With their third outing the Memphis Recording Service produced an essential Elvis release. This package – although a bit over designed – is the first release of a virtually complete Elvis concert form the fifties no fan should be without it. It shows the “Atomic Powered” Elvis who conquered the world only to return triumphantly as The King to receive the traditional key of the city he was borne.
Content Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley:
PART 1: DVD- VIDEO
1) Tupelo Welcomes Home Elvis Presley – UNRELEASED footage of the Parade in Tupelo on 26th September 1956 as well as some backstage footage with Elvis. The audio accompanying the clip are the interviews with Elvis, Vernon and Gladys Presley, Nick Adams and Judy Hopper. Running time: 7 min 41 sec
2) Tupelo’s Own Elvis Presley – UNRELEASED film from the afternoon performance ‘The Mississippi-Alabama Fair and Dairy Show’ at the Fairgrounds in Tupelo Mississippi on 26th September 1956. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50’s with sound. Until Now! Running time: 13 min 09 sec.
1. Heartbreak Hotel
2. Long Tall Sally
3. Presentation to the City
4. I Was The One
5. I Want Need Love You & I Got a Woman*
6. Don’t Be Cruel
7. Hound Dog*
* Songs available in parts as no footage exist
3) Tupelo Evening Show Clip - UNRELEASED footage from the evening performance. Running time 0.46 sec.
4) Original Fox Movie tone News Reel 1956 – running time 1min 24 sec.
5) Elvis in Tupelo 1957 - Includes an UNRELEASED AUDIO interview with Elvis Presley and Anita Wood. The footage contains performance clips from the 27th September 1957 show as well as backstage and more. 10 mins 12 sec.
Total uunning time: 33 minutes 12 seconds
PART 2: DVD - AUDIO
21 tracks of the Afternoon and Evening performance from the 26th September 1956 shows. All tracks accompanied with photographs. Total running time 51.13
01 Heartbreak Hotel
02 Long Tall Sally
03 Presentation Key To The City
04 I Was The One
05 I Want You, I Need You , I Love You
07 I Got a Woman
08 Don't Be Cruel
09 Ready Teddy
10 Love Me Tender
11 Hound Dog
12 Love Me Tender
13 I Was The One
14 I Got a Woman
16 Don't Be Cruel
17 Blue Suede Shoes
19 Baby, Let's Play House
20 Hound Dog
Tupelo’s Own Elvis PresleyBy ElvisNews.com / Kees, June 10, 2007 | Video
Lecelvis wrote on June 10, 2007
Hi. This appears to be a great release. It is so rare to see and listen to Elvis when he war originally named "The KIng". Where do we buy it?
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on June 11, 2007
Hit one of the links either amazon or Elvis matters!
Lecelvis wrote on June 11, 2007
Thanks for the info. This set will be released June 26, 2007
Tony C wrote on June 11, 2007
My copy arrived on Saturday, and I have been playing the thirteen minute live footage segment over and over. I have only looked at the book briefly, as I could not take my eyes off of the TV screen! It is a wonderful release, and my thanks go to Joseph for bringing it to us.
Bestoftherest8301 wrote on June 11, 2007
This has to be the most significant release for a very very long time. I have just received my copy and the video footage is brilliant. I have seen stills of the concert and some of the Fox footage without sound before. I have had the CD of the concert for many years and it has always been my wish that if the concert was filmed and survived that it would be released. I did not however expect anything like this, it just blows you away and it knocks any of the other 1950's videos like the Ed Sullivan shows into a cocked hat. This was a live open air concert, and it seemed Elvis was treating it like a party, so cool, relaxed and clearly enjoying himself. If you don't buy anything else this year, buy this and you'll never regret it. The only downside is that some of the footage is either missing or parts were not filmed and I Got a Woman and Hound Hog have only survived in small parts. But.....I am so grateful to MRS for putting this together. Thanks.
Viva wrote on June 11, 2007
I agree. I received my copy on Saturday, and I have to say they have done a remarkable job in giving us as complete a picture of the event as we are ever likely to get. I know it sounds a bit greedy, but did anyone else out there feel a bit annoyed that more footage wasn't filmed? I call it Vegas '69 syndrome. I was really impressed with the book and the huge amount of photos, press clippings and documents reproduced, I especially liked the photo showing Elvis as a boy wearing glasses, I don't believe I've seen that before. This package, taken in it's entirety, is a wonderful insight into the period, and when you see the parade and hear the interviews it really hits home just how big Elvis was, they treated him like royalty. But this package is really about the footage, and despite those pre-release nerves we all had about the quality of the lip-sync and amount of footage, I think it is fair to say that MRS have not let anyone down. 10 out of 10, and superb value for money.
2kisses&3scarfs wrote on June 11, 2007
Just ordered my copy of this DVD/book set. I can't wait to see it! Thanks, everyone, for all your comments. unanimous
memphisblues wrote on June 11, 2007
Another top release from Joseph and MRS, get it while you can
Matt W wrote on June 11, 2007
Question: The review notes: "Also irritating is the permanent colour logo of the MRS on the black and white footage." Can someone clarify what is meant by this? Does the concert material have a logo superimposed over the whole thing?
Viva wrote on June 11, 2007
Matt W: The MRS logo appears throughout on the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You know, like they do on satellite channels? It does not dominate the picture, and you hardly notice it until it's pointed out, although I suppose it could have done without it really. And just in case you, or anyone else for that matter isn't sure, this is a legitimate release, not a bootleg. Although you may be forgiven for not hearing of the name "Memphis Recording Service" as a merchandiser, this set is produced in the professional way you would expect from a major label. And to be honest, with this release, in both content and presentation, they have really shown 'em all how it should be done. So, in short: don't worry about the logo! Watch and enjoy - It will blow your socks off.
Matt W wrote on June 11, 2007
Thanks Viva for clarifying. I find it astonishing that with the importance and historical significance of this material MRS would then make the stupid decision, after all the effort to make the release itself deluxe, to imprint the footage with their logo. Unbelievable.
Tony C wrote on June 12, 2007
I would have thought the logo was a sensible business decision rather than a stupid idea, as it will hamper those wishing to pirate the footage contained on this DVD. I look forward to any further releases from the MRS people. Who knows, perhaps they will be the people to finally deliver the 1955 Cleveland footage. If anybody can, I feel confident it will be them.
Matt W wrote on June 12, 2007
The footage was not filmed with a logo over it, That's The Way It Is doesn't have a logo over it. There's no need other than to state ownership over the material. A good business decision? Perhaps. Hinders the quality of the product? Yes.
Mr Scrapbook wrote on June 15, 2007
You can say whatever you like BUT: I'm damned sure that if I had spent the long hours, time, effort , costs ($$$$'s) in licences and royalties in Europe, then done all the hard work to secure the footage legally from FOX then had it all edited together for this release that I too would put my logo on it. I mean come on..... you know some thief out there is going to bootleg your footage if you didn't put your logo there and then profit from all your hard work and effort. Remember that MRS is a company run by someone who is a fan just like you and me, he's not a no face corporate entity. Cut him some slack folks, he's spent thousands putting this together for us and deserves some credit, this release is just AWESOME ! Would you rather not have it all then? HELL NO !
Natha wrote on June 21, 2007
As I watched this DVD after reading all this about the logo, I have to admit that the size was quite noticable. (I watched it appr. 2,5 by 5 meter, so it was there! However . . . after a second or two, seeing ELVIS on stage my sight and mind were fully drawn to the unbelievable view and sound. It is incredible. Even after watching it several times it was and is amazing to see the king of music at his purest. Paramount joy and pleasure. And after a sort of recuperation period I remembered this discussion about the logo. Well, I only noticed it during the preliminary program. I for one would not miss this DVD for the world. This is a hard to beat product. And therefore I agree with Mr. Scrapbook. To MRS goes the credit of presenting this 50 years later. Even the multi-nationals, the companies that earned so much over the years on producing ELVIS cds and dvds, did not present us this unique stage show. So MRS may show it and be proud of their achievement.
secondrichard wrote on June 21, 2007
I have a rarity here... received the set today, but the DVD doesn't play. In the DVD player it constantly gives the message "DVD player is set on DVD-Audio, please reset to DVD-Video, film footage is not available". Bullocks offcourse, a production error in the DVD itself is more likely. Tried to play 10 different DVD's afterwards, seeing of my player was in error, but that one's doing a prefect job. Tried to play it on the pc also which results is a message "disc with an unsupported format". Anybody else with a not working DVD in this set? So finally there's some new 50's footage and I can't watch it. That's what they call a bad day?
Steve V wrote on June 22, 2007
secondrichard - got mine today and i got the same message as you. Luckily my manual told me how to switch from audio mode to video mode. Now it plays fine. Didnt know there were 2 modes. So check your owners manual.
Mystery Rider wrote on June 22, 2007
This is the Tupelo Mississippi Flash as he was ment to be seen, only Johnny Reb got to see the Real Elvis, because while he was on Sun Records he never left the South, RCA and Northern exposure changed Elvis to what we see on ed Sullivan # 3 and Loving You and even jail house rock (hollywood Elvis). But this film will bring our Flash back as he was.
coll wrote on June 23, 2007
Firstly thanks to MRS for this release and great idea. However, I was slightly disappointed on first viewing, as I found the presentation abit sloopy in places. For example, the text explaiing the missing footage before the Hound Dog clip overlaps with teh MRS logo in the corner, making it difficult to read, and on my TV the whole text does not even fit on the screen. Likewise the packaging feels cheap, and there are type errors and misplaced lines of text in the book. But more importantly there are many scratches running down the screen on the film of the the afternoon show. Now I have a freely available household software to remove scraches from photos, so surely a similar technology exists to clean up old film negatives? I mean is that really the best quality that could be achieved? I don't want to complain, but for the ONLY film of a 50's Elvis concert, one of the most exciting events of the 20th century, I feel it could have been done abit better.
Steve V wrote on June 23, 2007
coll - i agree with you. The footage is fantastic to have but I feel it was rather cheaply packaged myself. For what I spent to get this in the US, I expected a more lavish box perhaps with better packaging. Cant complain too much about the actual DVD, since this footage is 51 yrs old, but the menu navigation bugged me a bit. Still , I recommend this to all fans of the 50's Elvis. Pity the Colonel didnt know how to preserve more of the 50's. Guess he didnt realize this was history in the making. Think of all the concerts he could have filmed in 1956-1957! Hey but he was too busy hawking 50 cent black & white photos!
pasa-ryu wrote on July 12, 2007
amazing footage and the book contains some very rare pics of elvis!..a true collectors item and what made it more enjoyable was the fact that i recently went to memphis and went to 'tupelo' to visit the birthplace and visited the park where the 'welcome home elvis concert' was!..pity graceland cannot release great books like this!