The Complete '68 Comeback Special

By LexAug 28, 2008
The Complete '68 Comeback Special

For the 40th anniversary of the NBC TV Special Sony/ BMG released a 4 CD set containing The Complete '68 Comeback Special. Do we really need it?


It’s been a long time, but finally we have a Sony/ BMG product in a top notch presentation. The box contains 4 different sleeves for the CDs. The first has – of course- the original cover art of the soundtrack album. The second carries the famous shot that was also used for Always Elvis – The Dutch Album. A nice memory is on the third: a great black and white shot; the forth has a great color shot of E in the blue shirt.
The thick booklet (32 p) contains enjoyable (and readable!) liner notes by Harvey Kubernik – a rock journalist that was also on the 50th anniversary DVD of Jailhouse Rock. The article is decorated with great shots of The King and nice memorabilia. 


The last few weeks once more proved that the special belongs to Elvis’ most critically acclaimed work. Phrases like “It’s an excellent collection and rightly deserves a place on the shelf of any fan of the King.”, “has become one of the major moments in music history” and “Presley roared back into the public consciousness with an hour-long blend of power and intimacy” by unbiased reviewers makes it almost impossible for me to say something usable from a fan’s point of view.
Personally I mostly stick to the original album when listening. To have it with some bonus tracks in this set is more than nice. The sitdown shows are marvelous of course – when watching them – just listening isn’t something I do too often, since I find the tambourine pretty irritating most of the time. For the standup shows it is about the same, I prefer watching over just listening. I’m certainly not gay, but how I love to see this tiger roaming through this cage with invisible bars.
The rehearsals are good to have here, but I’m afraid the quality isn’t much better (if at all) than on previous outings of them. Overall the sound is the same as on previous official outings; at least in my ears.


All together I can only conclude that to me personally it isn’t an essential release. Partly because I got it all several times before, partly because I prefer watching the material. On the other hand the sales seem to prove that it is an essential release, and of course it is a lovely package. So half hearted I agree with the first phrase I quoted; “It’s an excellent collection and rightly deserves a place on the shelf of any fan of the King.” And obviously on other people’s shelves too, otherwise it wouldn’t do so well.


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JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 20, 2008report abuse
All I want is disc 1. Sooner or later FTD WILL release a 'classic' version of Elvis-TV Special with bonus tracks. I'll wait. 'Til then I'm content with my vinyl album.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 18, 2008report abuse
I don't find that to be the case, Mature. I've heard some say this about disc one, but frankly my ears (or equipment) didn't hear this but then I haven't broken out "Memories" in a while. I do agree that Vic did a great job on the rehearsal tapes which seem upgraded from the FTD versions. But still, what a package...! I saw the slightly-less deluxe version (but akin to the "T/T/F" or "Close-Up" style BMG boxsets) for $24.99 at local COSTCO and didn't flinch to pick it up -and I wasn't even sure what version it was...I've considered getting the pricier one but for now I'm satiated as it's a handsome package in itself.

The booklet (same in each version) alone is a beaut and having all these shows "under one roof" is a treat as well as having the rehearsals mated up correctly. Some might want to wait on this (your loss, Jerry N.) as there's nothing bloated about it. It's all value, value and more value and I say that as someone who was long satisfied with my LP record of the original Singer / NBC TV-Special (the creatively-named "Elvis") -and years later the "Memories" set and of course the two FTDs and various tracks that have come out on comps. Find room for it, folks! And thanks, RCA/Sony- better late than never!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Oct 15, 2008report abuse
No way Really? Im So Shocked!
Coronel Parker (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
Incredible! The sound is worse than in the CDs of 10 years ago.
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
oh yea one more thing,it kinda sucks that "it hurts me " is not in the medley,just my opinion.
genedin (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 10, 2008report abuse
maybe we can stick to the music discussion here instead of the video i for one do not buy things i already have but this is amust have. alsmot everything in one box,like i said almost everything. the production numbers from "let yourself go" are not here so thats one bummer and also didnt elvis have a false start at one of the stand up shows where he starts "heartbreak hotel" and then it goes into "one night"?i love the rehearsals one ond cd, makes for fun listening. someone correct me please id im wrong but isn't there one more version of "if i can dream" not on here?
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 8, 2008report abuse
Yeah absolutely right SteveV. I've been saying that since the horrible new version came out. What do EPE think they're doing?
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 3, 2008report abuse
The beta/VHS version that was released in the 80's should have been the version released on DVD. The single disc DVD version that is currently out is a disgrace since it has re-arranged the show around for no apparent reason. The directors cut was the way the special should have been shown had it been a 90 min special.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 3, 2008report abuse
The one in the deluxe box set isn't correct either as it relates to what was actually broadcast on NBC TV on Dec. 3, 1968. I know the booklet says it is, but as is often the case with EPE they are incorrect. I, too, prefer the "Directors" cut. Which I first purchased on Beta from Music Media waaay back in the day. Beta. Now there's a blast from the past.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 3, 2008report abuse
haha sorry Jerry that did sound confusing didn't it? I never saw the original version of the show in '68. My first viewing was the VHS version in the 80's. I preferred that because it was fuller and complete with scenes put back in that were cut out. I would have liked the soundtrack to refelct the VHS version. I know its a minor point but I'm just saying. I have a Brazilian DVD of the VHS version (minus a're you lonesome tonight' but that's ok) and it hardly leaves my DVD player, I never play the one on the deluxe box set.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 1, 2008report abuse
Excuse me. Do I understand you correctly? Are you suggesting that that original soundtrack album released in '68 should have reflected the VHS directors cut of the special released in the '80s?
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 1, 2008report abuse
the VHS version will always be the definitive version to me and the soundtrack should have reflected that.
lray (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
They did a great (Vic Anesini) job with the first CD. always one of my favorite LPs and now it is better than ever. The stereo tracks sound great and having the great songs, It Hurts Me and Let Youself Go out of the medley was the way to go. One does not have to listen to the instrumental filler that is fine on DVD but a waste of time on CD. Also the religious medley is the original LP short version also, good, we don't have to listen to the female vocalist on the CD. Again we want her on the DVD but on the CD we want to shorten the medleys , get to Elvis, and listen to It Hurt's Me and Let Yourself Go separate without the annoying instrumental filler. Great sound, great organizing. All four shows are great, as always, Elvis rocks and is at his best. The rehearsals are wonderful together and it seems to me that they sound pretty good this time around. Thanks Vic Anesini, please don't ever retire. Love it!!!
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
Over the years I bought every single legal release that had anything to do with "Elvis-TV Special."
Whether it was on vinyl, CD or DVD. Starting with the original U.S. release of the vinyl soundtrack in '68. I have everything I need. I don't need this bloated extravaganza.
Aron (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
With other words: "Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special [Deluxe Edition DVD]" could be enough?! Could one listen to the same rehearsals and outtakes?
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
In my opinion, if any Elvis release these days is a "must buy", this is it. It's BMG (and not FTD), it's a complete collection, it's looking darn good and the content is Elvis at his ultimate best. He never was any better, any decade.
elvistruth (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
The sound is this set is simply HORRENDOUS!
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 29, 2008report abuse
I will not buy this one. Allready have it.
Mofoca22 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2008report abuse
i have it and i love it. people may be fooled thinking they have it already and the answer is no they dont. maybe the 1st disc in the collection but not the remaining 3. not in there entierety like that anyways. its a must buy and it isnt that expensive either 44 bucks for 4 cds aint bad at all.
dressingroomrehearsa (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 28, 2008report abuse
I guess, aimed on a general customer it really makes a lot of sense accompaigned by the DVD's which are out for quite some time now. I don't have the rehearsal, except parts of it on on memories. But to publish it as a nearly complete oeuvre its a fascinating collection. Even if I don't buy it, having the essential tracks on Memories. It is a way to go for Sony/BMG. They should have done the same with a TTWII a few years back and put the complete Culver City Tapes out on CD. This maybe would be a six or seven CD box.

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