Searching for a real American idol? Well, look no further. Over the course of these three marvelous discs (totaling about 160 minutes and over 40 songs, including repeats), we are nearly overwhelmed by the charm, charisma,... more » and sheer talent that made Elvis Presley so extraordinarily popular and influential. There are songs from television shows (emphasizing the mid-'50s appearances that helped cement his iconic status), concerts, and movies, along with interviews, some revealing (mostly silent) home movies, and photos galore. And by favoring the music Presley made in his earlier years, as well as by loading the discs with complete, uninterrupted performances, executive producer Andrew Solt and company show us how Presley combined country, gospel, and R&B to make rock & roll the most vital pop culture phenomenon of the past 50 years. This is the mother lode, and a must-have for longtime adherents and newcomers alike. DVD bonus options include a discography, a filmography, and "trivia tracks" on all discs. --Sam Graham« less
"These recycled and re-energized Andrew Solt videos distinguish themselves with an embrace of Evis Presley the performer, primarily in his raw, younger years. The hits are all here, coming back to life via a remarkable Dolby 5.1 audio mix that gets and deserves the "Rhinosonic" seal of approval. Purists have the option of a stereo (2.0) mix, but they'd be missing out on audio that gives this rock `n' roll music a fresh, wide-open feel -- room to twist and shout. 5.1 mixes often sound forced when delivering straight-ahead rock, soul or country, but a quick A-B comparison makes the choice an easy one. Bill Black's bass thumping through the subwoofer is a thing of sonic beauty. The videos do a decent job of telling the familiar tale of a Memphis truck driver and mamma's boy who ascended to pop fame matched only by the Beatles. The definitive look at Elvis' greatest year remains the docu "Elvis '56," but Solt too understands the thrill and the importance of Presley's breakout run. The images are all full screen. Quality of the footage ranges from ragged to pristine, with the criteria seeming to be quality of performance. Discs 1 and 2 of the set ("Center Stage" and "The Man and His Music") are narrated by Presley pal George Klein, who keeps the chatter to a minimum, letting the music flow. U2 singer Bono narrates Disc 3 ("From the Waist Up"), which focuses on Presley's seminal TV appearances in 1956 and '57. Bono has a lot more to say than Klein, of course, but most of it is interesting. "Waist Up" aired on VH1 a few years back. Easter eggs include Presley "jamming" with Liberace in a dressing room (no audio, alas) and a terrific "King Creole" trailer."
Decent Set, Nothing More
Julie A Ross | Pleasant Hill, CA United States | 10/06/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first two discs of this set are really good, with much material that I had never seen before. The problem comes with disc three. The narrator (Bono of U2) will not be quiet, and frequently disrupts the music. To make matters worse, many of the performances on disc three are repeats. Surely they must have tons of footage they've yet to show. This is a good set, and one that I'd reccommend despite of the flaws. They includde songs from Elvis' movies, lip-synch performances, TV appearances, and home movies. What more could you want?"
I should have listened!
D. R. Bulley | Midwest, USA | 04/29/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I should have listened to the Amazon.com reviews. Many of them said it looked like the same footage on each disc just from a different angle or a different song from the same concert. I didn't want to believe it but its true. However, I would recommend that you buy disc 1 and not the set. It is the best and captures every side of Elvis you will see in the other two. The version of "Unchained Melody" was fascinating. Not only was it very emotional and definitely touched me, but also shocking how heavy he was and was filmed just two months before his death. It may sound crazy but for me it was like a farewell song."
Elvis- The Great Performances- Three Disc Set
rabon quicksall | Tacoma, Wa United States | 08/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Each disc keeps repeating what has already been shown on the other disc. I was disappointed because of this. One disc should
have been devoted to his rise in stardom and the other two should
have featured performances of Elvis doing what he did best
The way forward?
howardthomas | 08/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The packaging of this 3-disc DVD is outstanding. A mock blue suede covering, with images of Elvis etched on the back and front. The gatefold sleeve opens to reveal some beautiful artwork inside. It really has to be seen to be believed.So, why not 5 stars? Well, I can understand some songs being repeated throughout the three discs, but WHY repeat the SAME performance? And, an even bigger sin, WHY commentate OVER some songs and/or edit them? (Considering Part 3 was only recently released, this would've given the producers the ideal opportunity to include different performances).Parts 1 and 2 were previously released on VHS format some years ago, complete with limited edition booklets that are sadly missing from this box set. The DVD transfer is very good and the 5.1 sound quality fantastic. Seeing Elvis in colour performing "Blue Suede Shoes" (well, miming to the song) as part of his first screen test is still a thrill to watch.Anyway, until a DVD of all the 56/57 TV performances is (officially) released, this is the best we're going to get. Buy it and judge for yourself. It is certainly worth every single penny."