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Elvis Presley: '68 Comeback Special Deluxe Edition 3 DVD Boxset New (long box)




Item Price/Item Quantity
Elvis Presley: '68 Comeback Special Deluxe Edition 3 DVD Boxset New (long box) $69.00

Elvis '68 Special with Outtakes 3 DVD Long Box Set

  • Special Review
    Unless some heretofore untapped NBC security camera footage surfaces in the coming years, this should be the final word on this legendary musical event. With over six hours of bonus material spread out over this three-disc set (much of it never released officially), you not only get the classic special in its entirety, but all the pieces of the production in raw, unedited form (mostly in the order of shooting) that put you smack dab in the middle of a most pivotal period of Presley's career.

    On Disc 1, both of the sitdown shows from the night of June 27th, 1968 are released in their entirety for the first time (including performances of Are You Lonesome Tonight that were cut from previous releases due to publishing rights). With virtually no filler, one can't help but wonder why only 10-12 minutes from nearly two-hours of stellar material wound up in Binder's original cut of the television special. From the early gig's rendition of That's All Right to the rarely performed When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again that closes the late show, Presley and friends are constantly mesmerizing whether revisiting gems from both the Sun and early RCA eras, cracking in-jokes, recallling memorable incidents from the peak of 1950s Elvis-mania (including a memorable Jacksonville, Florida appearance filmed by police) and poking fun at the script rundown ('Elvis will talk about....not touching hands with, touching body with hands'). But it's the electric, nothing-held-back performances that make this section one you'll revisit again and again courtesy of hard-driving highlights including Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Blue Suede Shoes, and especially the uninhibited 8pm show performance of Trying to Get to You, where Presley's facial expressions are almost identical to the black-and-white concert photo that adorned the cover of his first album; as the wild crowd roars its approval upon the extended thrashing of its final 'E' chord, watch his reaction: a mixture of orgasmic post-song relief and a sense of pleasure that seems to say, 'I made it. I'm back'- truly one of the most transcendent moments in the history of rock 'n roll music.

    Revelatory as the sitdown shows were, the more traditional stand-up shows of June 29th, 1968 contained on Disc 2 rival them for sheer excitement, thanks to Presley's revived confidence and the wonderful support by NBC's resident orchestra supplemented by girl group The Blossoms (including legendary Phil Spector vocalist Darlene Love) and some of L.A.'s best sessionmen of that time, including drumming legend Hal Blaine and six-string wizard Tommy Tedesco. Egged on by highly supportive audiences, Elvis' initial nervousness disappears within seconds as stellar versions of Blue Suede Shoes and Don't Be Cruelemerge among others. However, the peak performance of both shows surfaces via an inspired, impromptu jam on Baby, What You Want Me to Do? to fill time due to a technical delay in the production booth. Also included are pre-concert audience warm-ups by producer Bob Finkel ('Does anybody have to go to the bathroom?') and between-take banter between Elvis and fans at the front of the stage (including a wacky spin at MacArthur Park and a hilarious moment when he gets so in the zone that he momentarily forgets that there's a piece of musical equipment on stage he needs to utilize in order to be heard ('Shouldn't I be in front of the microphone?')

    In a special treat for longtime fans who have bought every home video version of this material, all four concerts contained on the disc have been re-edited from scratch by Miller, co-directors Todd Morgan(creative development director for Graceland) and Gary Hovey. Using a rare video source taken from one camera angle, the end result compliments original director Steve Binder's creative visuals (midway cross fades, overhead angles) by adding livelier, appropriate cutting, more prominent close-ups of Presley and additional interaction between him and his band mates.

    Filling out the remainder of Disc 2 and all of Disc 3 is every take from the four production numbers. With over 100 chapters allotted to these sequences, watching them all in one sitting is next to impossible. Not that the material isn't great, but witnessing the amount of work that Presley and his cast go through (sometimes for edit pieces lasting no longer than :30s to :45s) is draining yet inspiring; you get a sense of how tight the Comeback unit was by many moments of applause following the end of a successful take along with abundant smiles and laughter. I also admired the non-censoring of those rare working moments when Presley's legendary temper came into play, not to the point of embarrassing anyone, but agitated with himself over not coming in on cue, missing a dance step and so on. But there's more hilarity than huff including what may be the first recorded example of 'wardrobe malfunction' and an inspired practical joke courtesy of the production crew. 

    Great stuff

    In addition to this digital treasure chest of archival goodness, a brand new music video for If I Can Dream (incorporating the original white-suit finale with lip sync footage recorded during the arena shows), the complete shooting session for the rare NBC Huh-Huh-Huh promo for the special, a multi-page booklet with many unseen photos supplemented by an essay by noted rock writer Greil Marcus (Mystery Train) and the restoration of the smokin' Let Yourself Go to the main special (part of a risque sequence that the sole sponsor of the show forced to be cut) round out an indispensible set.

    Extras Grade: A+
    Final Comments

    One of the defining moments of Elvis Presley's career is given its DVD due in an amazing multi-disc set. Joining the ranks of Monterey Pop, Gimme Shelter, The Last Waltz and A Hard Day's Night, Elvis: '68 Comeback Special-Deluxe Edition is truly an essential 'must-have' for any serious rock-and-roll fan. 

    Region: 0
    Time: 440 minutes
    Colour: Colour
    Sound: Dolby 5.1

    Disc 1 (running time: 2:40:49) 
    Chapter 1: Elvis, NBC TV Special Original December 3, 1968 Broadcast (Adapted) (15 tracks) 
    Chapter 2: Black Leather Sit-Down Show #1, June 27, 1968 (15 tracks) 
    Chapter 3: Black Leather Sit-Down Show #2, June 27, 1968 (15 tracks)

    Disc 2 (running time: 1:48:32
    Chapter 1: Black Leather Stand-Up Show #1, June 29, 1968 (10 tracks) 
    Chapter 2: Black Leather Stand-Up Show #2, June 29, 1968 (12 tracks) 
    Chapter 3: Trouble/Guitar Man TV Show Opener - All Takes and Raw Components, June 30, 1968 (10 tracks) 
    Chapter 4: If Can Dream TV Show Closer - All Takes, June 30, 1968 (4 tracks) 
    Chapter 5: Huh-huh-huh Promo June 30, 1968 
    Chapter 6: Elvis Closing Credits Scene Without Credits Roll, June 30, 1968 
    Chapter 7: If I Can Dream - Special Music Video 2004 
    Chapter 8: DVD Credits Roll (A Little Less Conversation)

    Disc 3 (running time: 2:51:27) 
    Chapter 1: Gospel Production Number - All Takes and Raw Components Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child / Where Could I Go But To the Lord / Up Above My Head / Saved (21 tracks) 
    Chapter 2: Guitar Man Production Number - All Takes and Raw Components Big Boss Man / It Hurts Me / Let Yourself Go / Nothingville / Guitar Man / Little Egypt / Trouble (65 tracks)
    'It's been a long time, baby!' - Elvis Presley 

    Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, D.J. Fontana, Charlie Hodge, Alan Fortas Other Stars: Lance LeGault, The Blossoms (Darlene Love, Jean King, Fanita James), Susan Henning, Tanya Lamani, Barbara Burgess, Buddy Arett  Director: Steve Binder, Gary Hovey, Todd Morgan.

    My Comment: Truly the king raw and at his best!
    A+ A+ A A- A+ 0
     * New and sealed *

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Item Price/Item Quantity
Elvis Presley: '68 Comeback Special Deluxe Edition 3 DVD Boxset New (long box) $69.00

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