Memphis Recording Service’s latest project is a re-release of Elvis’ legendary show in Hawaii on March 25th, 1961. Is it an improvement over previous outings of the show?
As we are used to by now, the production is beautiful. Tons of newspaper clippings, memorabilia and pictures fill the 92 pages (not counting the advertisements for other MRS products). All of this is presented in a very attractive way.
The booklet starts with background information on the USS Arizona and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Chronologically there is attention for the planning, Elvis’ arrival, the press conference and of course the show itself. Last but not least the monument itself and Elvis’ visit to it fill a chapter. Everything is well documented by newspaper clippings and first hand stories.
I guess all of us know the show from previous outings. In my ears MRS really made an improvement to it. Still it’s not of a quality that you play for everyone’s listening pleasure… a pity since this is one of the, if not the best show Elvis ever gave. Material like this makes me realize once again why I put all this time in this website and enjoy the man’s music so much! The addition of the radio show broadcasted for promotion only makes it more complete.
Such A Night In Pearl Harbor is a must for every fan! The sound quality has really improved and the package is outstanding!
Thanks Lex. You are so right, material like this is why we visit this site. Alas, material like also reminds us of how much the music world was robbed of the real Elvis as he 'went Hollywood' at the peak of his powers.
The first Aloha from Hawaii! MRS sets the standard, making me wish that FTD/Sony would learn from their playbook.
yes lefty, I agree. For MRS it has always been quality first, costs later. For FTD, they consider costs and profit first, before quality. I should be getting my copy any day now and ill let you know what I think.
I didn't think this was being released until April.. ? Anyway, I Pre-ordered mine from Amazon in the UK so hopefully they'll have it stock & ready to ship soon. Looking forward to this one.
Probably the best concert Elvis ever gave and again Parker being the crappy manager that he was , with no sense of art or history, did not have it filmed or properly recorded.
I Heard samples. I will be buying. Orion, I pre ordered The Complete Louisana Archives. from Amazon. They had problems getting it. I had to obtain from a different source Maybe the UK is different. If I were you I would cancel. It will be available a few days after release date on Amazon be several sellers.
A am sure it has been said before but FTD have to play by the rules and pay copyright holders their fees plus royalties etc etc. FTD could probably put together a package of equal quality but you would complain about the price. I doubt MRS have any true overheads apart from the manufacturing costs of their releases. So stop complaining about FTD - they do a damn good job from what I see and if you don't like what they offer, then don't buy it.
FTD, should have made sure they were the first to release this in better sound, with good liner notes and pics. I agree its an amazing concert, and wish too, it had been recorded better by the sound techs.
Emjel, FTD / RCA / Sony had ample time to release great cds for so many years. I am not saying they are not doing a great job, but with these items they have misjudged the great need of the fans. Instead of releasing the outtakes of mediocre film sessions they ould have focused on these releases. They should have seen this comin' as MRS follows the 50 years line. I greaa that their prices/product quality are not in balance with the imports, but rest asure I would buy FTD upon release and won't care for imports. Yet they don't. So if FTD comes with this later on, I will pass. The first (good) one takes it all. That's business. They should have learnt that from Parker. And Dgirl, you ar right Parker did not have any idea how to proceed after the initial years as to how to let ELVIS keep on g(r)o(w)ing, as to taking the lead as he did in the fifties!
Must agree with everyone. FTD should have released a deluxe edition of this years ago. Maybe even a book/cd combo. Instead we get retreads, countless outtakes(which Elvis rejected) and soundboards. I personally stopped caring about FTD releases a while ago since they really offer liitle in what I am interested in. But they ignore a piece of history? Kind of boggles the mind. Its not like they dont have it since it was already released by the main label. Missed opportunity. Bravo MRS!
I agree with d-girl,why in the HELL this concert wasn't filmed I'll never know.I've always loved this concert.The set list was inceredibile.Swing Down is the ultimate.I'll definitely get this. Another performance that should been filmed or at least recorded was the 61 Ellis Auditorium show.As far as I know it was the only time he ever performed Doin The Best I Can. Once again thank you RCA and Uncle Tom.
Thanks for the advice Scudder. I'll give it a few days to see if I get a notice of shipment. I only ordered it from Amazon because I got the MRS GI Blues set from them. With all the discussion that MRS was going to have to pull the plug on the Cafe Europa set due to copyright, I figured it'd be easier to get a refund from Amazon if that happened. Luckily, it didn't and I got the set in a week. Hopefully, that happens again and I get this one soon.
Well luckily, the Elvis dealers got their copies 2 weeks before the likes of Amazon. but its only 2 weeks away so im sure some can wait a little longer. And im sure they are cheaper too.
A lot of negative people. I'm sure if it would have been released by FTD a lot of you would have said something like: "what are they thinking? We already own this concert, and the sound improvement isn't worth buying this concert again."
We don't need outtakes, we don't need another live show, we don't need rehaersal, we don't need. So stop buying them!
Pieter, the point is not that we don't want/need ... The point is that at least I wonder why FTD has not yet released this before. They have a highly professional studio (I imagine) and they knew that this was about to pass the line. I also wonder whether they will be able to improve more than MRS did. Hence for me if they release this one I'll pass.
Also the ageing of the older fans who are so much looking forward to early materials should be taken into account. Yet their focus has been basically on movies and reissuing live concerts. So I am not stating they are not doing a good job, they are doing a better job than Sony did for decades.
Spot on Steve - FTD have got lazy with releasing albums with outtakes and 70's concerts. Surely they should be targeting the historical side with releases such as this. MRS blows them away when it comes to supposed bootleg releases. There are far too many FTD's released that you just can't get excited about. They should remember less is more. But then again it is easy money for them.
I'm glad MRS is putting this out instead of FTD. The packaging would not be as nice had FTD released it. You would get the same tired pictures, less pages in the book etc. I will buy this because it's MRS.
So if FTD doesn't change, should they stop?
Bottom line, FTD, is doing a great job ! The point, a few of us, were making is, FTD should be the first to get the product out, to the fans, in the best sound quality possible. We have been hearing for years, this concert was being re-released on CD, in improved sound, by FTD & RCA, but it didn't happen, so another Music company got the job done !
The argument that FTD puts out sub-standard releases because they have higher costs to contend with is lame. They charge a high price for their CD's. Throw a book in there, and the price to the consumer is astronomical. In order for this argument to make sense, the average cost of and FTD CD should reflect the quality of the product. Hence, cheap product equals cheap price. But what we have is cheap product for an expensive price. That's called a rip-off where I come from. Sony Legacy does a great job with the material. The Legacy release of On Stage is phenomenal, and it costs about half of the FTD release. Why would anybody opt to pay double for the cheaply made FTD of the same material? I've bought a lot of FTD's, and I've been disappointed just about every time. It's no wonder Ernst said they've got about three years of life left before they're gone for good.
I think Ernst was referring just to the 1970's concerts possibly being used up in 3 years. But there's enough original "Classic" albums to keep going for much longer than that, & I expect & hope they will!
To Parker's credit (never thought I'd be writing that), he did propose filming the concert and selling the rights to NBC for a TV special, but these plans eventually collapsed. It's a tantalising prospect, but I still remember the thrill I had upon discovering that this recording existed!
Benny - How is the sound compared to the 25th Anniv box set version?
Steve V, you can listen to snippets of each song on Amazon. Despite the much lauded claims made for this release - the improvement in sound quality compared to the Silver Box is very subjective. It certainly seems clearer, less dull, if you like. However with clarity comes a much harsher treble and a suppressed bass response and contricted imagery - it appears they have boosted the middle frequencies through compression of the top and bottom ends. I can make the Silver Box sound as good, if not better, on my Meridian DSP speakers. However, obviously, the original recording wasn't exactly top notch and some may like what they've done with it, others not. It's not better, just slightly different.
The MRS release offers perceived enhanced clarity and punchiness on Elvis' vocal. However, there is less bass response and the treble is harsher, manifested in a 'metallic' souding mid top-end, even though it isn' as 'extended' or 'open' at the extremes of the recording as before. What was already challenging in terms of limited dynamic range is now even more so. However, I think some people will prefer the increased focus upon Elvis' vocal rather than presenting the total sound as naturally as possible - in some ways, it's quite similar to how Elvis' records were compressed for AM radio play, although done in a more sophisticated way, ie the vocal also appears clearer - it isn't really, just that the recording is presented in a different way. As I said, it's a matter of personal choice. Whatever, it's easily worth the £15 or so price.
Hi Steve, when I wrote "great release" it was partly for the whole product, i.e. (small, but really nice) "book". As for the sound, that's a matter of personal opinion and/or. I re-listened to the (vinyl) silver-box version and to be honest, the difference is not spectacular, but all in all, (imo) the sound has been improved.Having a decent, but not spectacular hifi ( Sony CD player, Technics amplifier and B & W speakers) I'm pleased with the sound. Of course it will never be "the max", the audio source has it's limits, in spite of all the current technology one cannot expect miracles. As I wrote before, I'm glad I have on CD.(and from historical perspective too). I bought it for a (imo) nice price of 15,75 euro, i.e. +/- 21 usd, and for such price I think it's worth the purchase. In any case,it's part of our man's musical history. Take care. Always El.
Thanks, I'll prob get it - I buy so little these days!
Steve, I don't think you will regret it ! Together with the Complete Hayride Recordings one has a nice piece of musical hisitory. Agreed, I won't be playing these CD's every day ( and probably you won't either), but to have 'em is a nice thought and the "books" are nice too ! I checked Amazon USA, but untill now it's not offered. Hope for you it will be (soon). In the UK it's ready for pre-order, should be available from April 2nd . Here in Belgium we have it a little sooner 'cause MRS provides the owners of Elvis shops a bit sooner.In my previous post I should have written " a matter of personal opinion and/or TASTE. Always El.
Thanks Benny, yeah I have a supplier in the USA for the MRS stuff. Got the Hayride and the Army packages. Neat liitle items they are. I like them better than FTDs for the packaging alone. I am very disappointed in the direction FTD has taken. Actually re-releasing songs they had out before under different titles and the same takes then appear in classic album series, etc. It smacks of exploitation of the worst sort. Also not a fan of anything concert wise past 1970, so I guess this will fill the bill. I will be happy with it.
I got the CD. I didn't have the whole concert on CD, unlike some others here. So I am thrilled by this CD. This concert has that spunk of the fifties and I must say I am very impressed by the sound improvement (related to the incomplete one I have). I think I will play this CD definitely very now and then, but I must admit I listen to ELVIS a lot. The small book (a novelty of lately!) is nice addition and makes the whole package/price more than attractive. Soundwise it is more to my taste as ELVIS is more up front. There was no real professional recording, so that limits the options. I am more than pleased with tis addition to my collection. One of the best I bought in the last months.
Steve you're right about the MRS packagings, they're a real treat. In my previous posting I forgot to mention The Army packaging ! Great too ! Was really glad the songs on the Complete Hayride Recordings were for the very first time ( correct me if I'm wrong) listed in correct cronogical order. In the past I bought several CDs with Hayride recordings, but after visiting Keith Flynn's site it was unbelievable to see how many songs were wrongly dated on these CDs. Historical accuracy is very important to me. The best sound improvement (imo) is the CHR release, but I really can recommend ANIPH to anyone who is interested in our man's earlier period. The sound HAS been improved and it's , as i wrote before, a niece piece of musical history. As for FTD I must confess I'm beginning to be a little disappointed too, but I take the good with the bad. That won't stop me to buy FTD in the future if the release seems interesting to me, but I'll probably wait for some reviews by Lex or other members before buying. Wonder what MRS has in the can after the release of the forthcoming Hawaiian stuff ( I know you're not a too big fan of this , but you know, no problem, matter of personal taste, so to be respected). All in all, great times for us, Elvis fans ! Take care. Always El.
I have this performance in the "Silver Box" I love it. I wish this and the 61 Memphis performance had both been professionally recorded! My question to those who have both the Silver Box version and this one: is the new one THAT much better in sound quality? I do not want to buy it just for the book and packaging.
I really do not care how I get factual information, expressed with impatience or kindness, it does not matter, as long as the information is factual, and not simply repeated myths.
I am on a Les Paul forum and I also get a bit impatient when I see things repeated that are not factual but instead deeply intrenched myths. When I have the energy, I love to delve into the various mixes, remasters, takes, dubs etc of Elvis and Beatle recordings. I love the mistaken releases such as the wrong take being released on certain RCA/BMG/Sony LPs and CDs throughout history. The single version vs the LP version of Doncha Think Its Time and the EP vs LP version of Lover Doll and Dixeland Rock started it all for me.
I got my name mentioned in Presleyana by Osborne and Hamiltion because of my refering them to a couple of facts. One included the omission of the "false starts" on Legendary Performer Vol 2. on some released versions done in error.
The first pressing did NOT include the false starts to Such A Night, the subsequent ones all did (as indicated in the booklet). I was also the one to point out there was a "Silver top Stereo" version of Roustabout and also is MONO (vs monaural) counerpart. So I can appreciate SuziB's frustration at times.
People, please keep me out of your discussions! I prefer that the name Elvis gives more hits on this site than Lex :-).
I know I am off topic here, but are there any new pictures in the booklet, lol?
dgirl, I must confess I did not check all the pictures yet (and I also don't know them all by heart, there are so many pics of him) but I'm really happy with all these MRS releases in general. I have to agree with a remark of Natha in one of this previous postings : this concert has indeed the spunk of the fifties, and though I like some of Elvis' work of the 70s, our man's early period is my favourite one, being from the ,let's say, older generation.I have bought many FTD releases as well, but when I look at what MRS released in connection with the 50s, I have to thank them for what they did so far. Such A Night In Pearl Harbour, The Complete Hayride Recordings ( with, in good sound, the last Hayride Show Elvis did, imo, being the icing on the cake, also released by RCA, but I found their release Young Man With The Big Beat too expensive), Tupelo Welcomes Elvis Presley, The Beginning Of Elvis Presley Volume 1- 1953-1954, The Rise Of Elvis Presley Volume 2 - 1955, are releases to be treasured. I hope, but probably in vain, the original footage of a short film from 195..? featuring also Pat Boone and some others ( how was the correct title ? something with Sandpiper or so ? Someone help me, I consider myself not too old to learn new things or to obtain new info) will see the light of day, and, who knows, maybe one day will be available on DVD. That's one of my dreams I wish It'd come true before I leave this world. Always El.
Benny - I think you are referring to The Pied Piper Of Cleveland which was a film relating to Bill Randle the local jock who was behind the project. The rumor was he was set to release it (he owned it), then passed away. We never heard anymore about it. It was shot in 1955 at the dawn of rock and roll and featured Elvis, Boone and Bill Hayley. Maybe more , not sure. Sure would be nice as it was supposed to be filmed professionally.
Steve, thanks a lot ! Now I remember the correct title indeed. There is probably a chance the footage still exists. Would be nice if somebody would do some researchwork, contacting Bill's family or relatives. But this has been done already I'm afraid, otherwise we all would have known for a long time. Well, nothing wrong I guess with keep on dreaming from my part. Best regards. Always El.
Please do it without the namecalling! Otherwise just deleting all the stuff is the easiest way to solve this, no time for selections...
There is doubt whether the Pied Piper of Cleveland ever actually existed as a movie. Yes, film was shot in 1955 of Bill Haley, Pat Boone and others performing at mainly High Schools - principally Brooklyn High School on October 20th, 1955 - but that doesn't make it a movie. There was supposed to be two versions a 'long' one at 48 minutes as a shorter one at 20 minutes - however, obviously neither was ever released. Polygram supposedly brought the rights to the film but again that doesn't make it a movie per se - merely buying the rights to produce one from the film shot. As for Elvis' involement, yes, he was part of the Brooklyn Show and obviously Bill Randle mentioned filming a 'movie short' on Stage Show, but where is the contract? Mindful, Elvis was a minor, he couldn't have signed one without Vernon and/or Gladys countersigning. Where is there any evidence this happend? There's none. It is possible that Elvis and Bob Neal saw the film as a means of 'cracking' the market in the Northern States' - Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts was an another, albeit ill-fated, earlier attempt in the same year, but, once again, there is no evidence whatsoever. By mid 1956, Elvis was the biggest star in the world - so why was it not rush-released to 'cash-in'? Possibly, the Colonel killed it off, in which case it's unlikely it will ever be released, at least not involving Elvis. But another explanation is that the movie simply never existed.
Well I got this. I honestly cant say I hear any real improvement in sound. The drop outs are the same, the mic overloads are the same. Maybe a bit less hiss? Hard to tell. The packaging is real nice but if you are not into that stick with the anniversary boxset CD.
You must have bought the wrong product. ALL the dropouts are gone and sound is light years ahead of the box set. Its already are forgone conclusion by many.
Steve, as I said a while ago - the sound is not better, it's just different. Yes, there are still drop-outs, but I think there is an artifical clarity created by boosting the midrange at the expense of the treble and bass., but the treble is now metallic sounding. Not a great advert for remastering at all. My Meridian DSP8000 speakers do a better job than MRS are capable of.
John - Lightyears? Come on now. You have stock in MRS? Its the same tape source (Im sure there is only one) so how could they get rid of the dropouts? When Elvis' voice disappears on some songs, its gone. No amount of remastering can make it reappear. To me, its all in the packaging. Agree davrid. Its different, not necessarily better. Up to personal choice. No mater what, its still the same lousy tape source with changes here & there.
Just a few thoughts on this one. First, I don't have this one yet. It was just dispatched from the UK earlier in the week. However, I do enjoy a well-packaged book or boklet to go along with the CD. However, I enjoy seeing the images that were taken at the show and reading some great liner notes to go along with the audio. That's the main reason, I ordered this set. I don't know much background on this show and would love to see and know more. Second, as far as the sound, I totally agree that's there's not mutiple sources for sound and that MRS had to have used what has been used before. However, in my own collection, I have this material on an old vinyl boot and can't enjoy it with the pops and click and 1980's mastering. My next source is the 1980's boxset, and I sincerely doubt much was done to improve the sound on there. So, my hope is that this set will present it in the best sound that can be acheived. Will it be perfect ? I already know it won't. As Steve said, where there's no vocals, you can't fix it, but I'm sure there is fixes that are subtle and simply make it more listenable. I was very pleased with what MRS was able to do with the Hayride matreial, so I took a chance on this one. Will it be light years better ? I'll know in a few days. However, I already feel confident it will be better than what I already have, and it will be the best sound we'll ever get as well as the packaging.
Orion - just to add to your point on the Hayride set. I thought that set had more of a sound improvement than this one. but thats just me. Yes, this will be better than any old vinyl you have. I maybe had my hopes set too high for this with all the hype it was given. Its probably better, but not as much as advertised. When I was listening to it, I'm thinking , ok here is where I rememeber the sound level dropping, and sure enough it did!
Steve & co - got the set yesterday. I was very pleased with the book and its contents. As usual, MRS does a nice job packaging its CDs. As far as the sound, it's been worked on no doubt, but as I already knew it wasn't going to be perfect. Still, it's a must have as this is as good as it's ever going to get regardless of who or what the provider is. No disappointment on my part. When Elvis annonces that they've run out of electricity on stage, it makes you appreciate the sound even more. I'm sure that the sound set up in the arena was far from state of the art for the time period. How on earth he sounds as good as he does without stage monitors is amazing. My advice to all is grab this one.
Glad you're not disappointed Orion ! Soundwise not perfect but I guess that's the best we will ever get, and that's more than good enough for me and many others I'm sure ! Nice to have this release in the collection. Always El.
I don't see the need of all the time holding FTD against other record manufacturers, in this case MRS. Let instead the different companies' releases complement each other. The over all important things must be that the fans get as many interesting releases as possible. Or am I wrong? If my wish came true, this is what I would like to have in the near future:
1) A Madison Square Garden 40:th anniversary box.
2) An official release of the 1974 Houston Astrodome event.
3) More demo recordings, both of songs that Elvis recorded and those that were rejected.
4) The complete 1977 concert recordings (no, I'm only joking).
All in all a fine release. The packaging is very nice. The sound although not perfect is very good.
Sound is quite good considering the conditions under which it was recorded and the fact that the microphone kept cutting out. I have listened to it several times and really enjoyed it. The book is excellent, but it is a pity there are quite a few typo errors (as there were in the Tupelo book). Nevertheless, thoroughly recommended. Elvis sings perfectly in tune, sounds in good spirits and that great band. As someone else said, he should have embarked on concerts, especially worldwide, instead of getting stuck in Hollywood. Here we get a glimpse of how great he was.
I finally had a chance to listen to this CD. The show sounds better than I remember from the Silver Box set. If you've never heard it, the sound quality is at par with the average soundboard recording. As for the performance, Elvis is fantastic. Too bad RCA didn't record it. A great marketing opportunity missed, no doubt. The only irritant is the endless screaming. By the end of the CD, I wondered to myself how girls can sustain a solid hour of shrieking without losing their voice. As for the book, top shelf quality. Just enough info to keep my interest.