The latest team work by Flaming Star/FTD resulted in another themed book. This one, by David English and Pål Granlund, focusses on the period from August 16 until September 30, 1956.
Overall the design of the book is fine, there are some cases of split pictures (over 2 pages) that do the shot no justice, but those choices are always personal, I guess. The text lay-out and balance with pictures makes the book easy on the eye and a joy to thumb through.
Nice detail is that the CD has the same front and back cover picture wise.
Not surprisingly the book is chronological and starts (after the introduction and already a couple of amazing shots) with Elvis’ arrival in Los Angeles 21 years before his untimely death. No one could have thought that this young godlike guy would turn into a burlesque of himself in less than two decades. His stay in Hollywood, the sound track sessions of Love Me Tender and the story behind the movie pass by. The information is not really new, but collected from many different sources and put in a nice overview. Stunning pictures, some of them in full colour are decorating the story. Many of the pictures I saw for the first time.
The RCA Victor recording session of early September gets a nice track by track overview, with comments from authors and musicians.
Of course the link with Natalie Wood gets attention too before kicking into the first Ed Sullivan show, with many pictures of the rehearsal, dressed rehearsal and broadcast itself. More Natalie and some fan pictures show up before we enter a stunning collection of shots from the set of Love Me Tender, again some in full colour.
After some (well known) publicity photos we head back to Memphis, where the collection of Tom Salva shines. The Tupelo event gets some primary attention too, with mainly shots from the afternoon show, but also some backstage and of the evening show. More surprises from the Salva collection in Memphis show up before going back to the west coast on September 20.
The CD has one real highlight: the print is the original HMV label. Content wise it is nothing special, and because of the poor sound of the Tupelo (afternoon) show it is not a pleasant ‘flow’ to listen to. Still it fits the book perfectly.
Another great co-production by Flaming Star and FTD. Well researched and with many rare pictures it is certainly worth the money.