The 1977 CBS Tapes

By Dan SicilianoMay 3, 2002
Probably the the one dream that most Elvis fans have, I know it's mine, is to have E.P.E release the "Elvis In Concert 1977" footage either on VHS or preferable DVD. We have all seen grainy, smeary and muffled copies of this, but one can only dream of the day when it is released in crystal clear Dolby digital DVD. However, the powers at be don't seem to think that the general public or the die hard fans can handle such "trauma". Elvis, undoubtedly wasn't at his physical best, but vocally, he was superb. These historic tapes represent Elvis' last concert tour, and how loudly can we say this, "the fans want this stuff more than you know!" Not only is it Elvis in concert, but it is the last footage of him we have, the best quality, and being shot on video, it is lifelike in feel. I know, how can you top the recent remastering of "That's The Way It Is". That was Elvis at one of his best times, but the fact remains, there were other times, and 1977 is no exception. One may argue, as Elvis' website officially does, that there is just no way to get the footage to the real fans without "dishing him up" to the masses. But wait, i think they have the answer right under their noses... Was the FTD label set up for just such releases, those that would appeal to the super collectors or the ardent fans. Is the 1977 "in concert footage" something that all those fans in particular really want. We have had so many great Elvis releases in the past 5 years, more than ever, and in the best quality ever, so doesn't it make perfect sense to add the 1977 concert footage to this line up. Ask any fan who knows about FTD if they are not waiting, drooling for the may 1st release of the "spring '77 tours" CD, I certainly am. So I ask again, why not the DVD release of the last tour? Do Priscilla and Lisa hold the rains on this one, maybe so! But didn't they love Elvis with all their hearts even in his last year as much as when they first knew him ... well so do we! ... but that's just my opinion.
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dbacke1 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 9, 2009report abuse
I have written about this very topic a couple of times in response to other articles, and I feel just as strongly today as I did then that Elvis in Concert must be released, no excuses. I had a great idea about releasing it back in '07, right around the time of the 30th Anniversary of his passing, and I was upset that EPE didn't capitalize on the opportunity. People might find this hard to believe, but I feel that releasing this material in top-notch DVD quality in sound and picture would probably be EPE's greatest achievement, and it will revitalize interest in Elvis. I was actually watching "Elvis By The Presleys" the other night on TV, and there were a few clips from the Elvis in Concert special. I couldn't believe how good the footage looked, and it probably wasn't even remastered or touched up at all. Imagine how awesome it would look if todays high-tech techniques were used to refurbish it. A nice media promotion and advertising campaign could precede it, thus paving the way for a positive reception. Also, it could be packaged very nicely with nice liner notes and a picture booklet that talks about the last tour. In fact, if it were a multi-DVD set, which I have also proposed, it could be called "Elvis: The Last Tour". The emphasis should be to show Elvis as a man who was ill and dying, but that he took everything that he had left in him to perform during that last tour, which most artists of today wouldn't even think about doing. There could even be a re-released and remastered Elvis in Concert music CD to accompany the DVD release. I really hope I get some more responses from fans, because this is my number one goal when it comes to being an Elvis fan. I will keep praying that it happens soon.
Mofoca22 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2005report abuse
the image is one thing the human being is another, its very hard to live up to the image"
Abidaslam1 (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2004report abuse
Excuse me, haven't EPE released clips from the special in This Is Elvis and the Great Performances. These clips make him out to be sad and tragic, particularly AYLT.How were they protecting his legacy then? At least in the full concert versions people can see his warmth and sense of humour. People mostly love Elvis for his voice and personality. He at least seems more engaged and outgoing in the CBS Special than say Aloha. Had he lived he would have gotten older and lost his looks as everyone does. Does that mean we his fans would have stopped listening to his music? I sometimes can understand why Elvis felt like giving up, people just wanted to project their fantasies on to him and not see the human being behind the image.
TCBn with TLC Bet (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2004report abuse
Graceland staff told me that they are not releasing the '77 CBS special because it is not Elvis at his best, and it is their job to protect his image as best as possible. Elvis himself threw himself on the bed after the concert and said, "My fans have seen me at my best; now they have seen me at my worst." I agree this concert should not be marketed. His losing it during AYLT was bad enough, but then when he tried to hit the high note at the end of Unchained Melody, even he was not pleased and made a noise indicating that.

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