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Classic Albums - Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley
Classic Albums - Elvis Presley Elvis Presley
Actor: Elvis Presley
Director: Jeremy Marre
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2002     1hr 40min

"It was like the world went from black & white to Technicolor," says Keith Richards of the emergence of Elvis Presley in the mid-'50s, and this look at the King's first official album (the legendary Sun Sessions weren't...  more »


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Movie Details

Actor: Elvis Presley
Director: Jeremy Marre
Genres: Music Video & Concerts, Educational, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Pop, Rock & Roll, Presley, Elvis, Classic Rock, Educational, Documentary, Biography
Studio: Eagle Eye/Pioneer
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 02/12/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2001
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 40min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Later Edition "Classic".
plsilverman | USA | 03/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Maybe somewhere along the way they filmed somebody explaining to the viewer that they are *apparently* discussing the *reissue* of Elvis Presley's first album - it contained five additional songs. With that explanation, the viewer used to the original twelve track edition isn't confused. Whatever hit the editing room floor, the results are still top notch: the interviews are expertly conducted and provide fascinating details for diehards and casual fans.
Ofcourse many have wondered why the first album for RCA's biggest star would contain leftovers from his C & W past, in fact, cuts which on their own could not have supported Presley's global success. Unfortunately, this tape does not really address that question, the answer to which is rather obvious - before Rock and Roll, albums were not, as in later decades, the primary money makers for the company, so perhaps it was felt that if a teenager could afford the album and the single (and the Extended Play?) then the tentative Country ballad "I Love You Because and the innocuous uptempo "Just Because" would loom as worth-hearing but not essential material. To put it simply, hit singles (i.e. "Heartbreak Hotel") and contemporaneous hit albums ("Elvis Presley") were essentially two separate entities.
There are some amazing segments here, most notably *previously unreleased* 1956 television footage and recording studio outtakes on "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". The tape closes with a rare 1956 narrative beautifully delivered by the star.
One "missing" piece: a reported audio interview with Elvis conducted in New York around 04-56 in which he is asked if he actually likes his first album and he responds that he is pleased with about half of it and thinks "One-Sided Love Affair" is a standout."
The bopping hillbilly
Ring of iceman | Cape Town,South Africa | 11/29/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a truly great dvd for those interested in how Presley recorded that classic early sound and more specifically his epic first R.C.A album (which The Clash later paid homage to by copying the lettering for their most revered masterpiece, London Calling)and the effect that these recordings had on so many.It also gives us a view of the hurricane that Elvis created when he exploded on the scene.What is refreshing are interviews from other famous musicians and music aficionadas like Keith Richards and Peter Guaralnick(author of Last train to Memphis) as opposed to "those who were close to him" which are often very subjective.There is also some rare footage of Elvis in concert in 1954."
The history of this man in this classical dvd
Daniel Sarti | Sao Paulo, Brazil | 06/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The one-hour program (plus 40 minutes of bonus interview material on the DVD) combines performance footage (the early TV shows are not to be missed), photos, and more to limn Presley's early days, when he combined country, blues, and R&B to forge a unique, galvanizing style.1956 was the year of Elvis in my opinion, all the rockstar make history in rock and roll but "The King" is elevated the rules of rock in 50's.This dvd provides this"
Becoming Elvis Presley
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 09/02/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Over the past several months I have spend more than my fair of time investigating the effect of the career of Elvis Presley on my generation of '68, and on me personally. That has entailed listening to some CDs and looking at old footage provided in various DVD compilations. One such documentary, hosted by Jack Scott, traced Elvis's rise in the key year of 1954, the `dog days'. The present documentary breaks down a classic Elvis Presley album of 1956 (that is the title, and really all that is necessary as a title), his breakout year. The year he moved from Sam Phillips Sun Records to the big time- RCA Records.

This DVD is part of a series on classic American albums. I am not familiar with the others in the series yet but based on this introduction these efforts seem to be labors of love. Here we have the expected `talking heads' dissecting the meaning of each song, some anecdotes from various and sundry performers and music historians interspersed with very illuminating footage of Elvis's progress from Southern regional phenomena to national (and international) rock star at a time when the youth of my generation were desperately in need of a jailhouse breakout figure.

The highlight here is a very interesting discussion about Heartbreak Hotel, a song whose depressive lyrics would seem to be out of sync with what Elvis was trying to project (including various takes on Elvis's performance of the song on television). This segment makes a very strong case for Elvis's emergence as `king of the hill' in 1956. Whether he continued that role later is a separate question but 1956 was his year, and his alone. This little album also contained a very well thought out and performed mix of ballads, black bluesy numbers (Shake, Rattle and Roll), a little country, a little gospel. In short something any record producer would die for. If you need to know the history of rock and roll, or a slice of it anyway, this documentary is for you. If you just want the music grab the Elvis Presley CD- with both hands.