"What he said, exactly how he said it…"
First edition review
Exactly one year ago this book was released. Since the publisher has it on special sale now, it looks a good time to review it for you.
The book is a large and almost 300 page thick one, so there's a lot to read. The pictures in the book will be pretty familiar to most fans, but there are some less common ones. Unfortunately the quality of the pictures isn't too good, the print-resolution causes a lot of distortions in quite a few of them. This isn't basically a picture book, but still it is a pity.
Word for Word offers 'everything' Elvis said or wrote in public. There are even a lot of private things in it like a letter to Anita Wood ('P.S. No one ever reads this, o.k.!'). It starts with October 16, 1954 with some words during the Louisiana Hayride, and ends on August 5, 1977. Well, that last one is the most recent exact date, there is more, later in the book (exact date unknown, a last minute addition and some ads).
Jerry Osborne collected probably anything but studio-chat for this book. Stage talk, interviews, letters, cards, telegrams; it's all there. All information is displayed in a very readable style. You have a good description of the date, circumstances and good overview of what's been said. And that is about everything that can be said about this book. It is so complete, impressive and comprehensive that you must have it. If not to read it all, than still you must have it as a referential work. We can only add - in BMG terms of speaking - that this is an Essential, with a capital 'E', and you should have it in your collection.
Second edition additions
The second edition is published by Harmony Books and has a much better lay-out. The new headers and the column-wise print obviously improve the readability of the book, and which is more important, it makes you find items more easily too. We didn't compare the two editions word for word, but on first sight everything is about the same, except the ads that are gone and the "last minute additions" from the first edition are in place now. Only small remark we can make is the placement of some of the pictures that drifted away on the timeline.
The best thing for the buyer is that the second edition is much cheaper than the first.