'Elvis On Tour'
'An Exploration of Elvis' 1972 Spring Tour'
E-Book Review by Piers Beagley
Fans can now carry the king with them wherever they go with the first ever Elvis Presley Enterprises produced e-book covering the monumental 1972 concert tour that resulted in the Golden Globe award winning film, “Elvis on Tour.”
The “Elvis on Tour” e-book is available for most digital e-reader devices and can be downloaded at Amazon.com for $4.99.
Utilizing the resources of the Graceland Archives, readers get backstage access to the 15-city, 15-day tour with rare photos of Elvis on stage, press clippings and reviews of the concert tour, and an up-close look at artifacts from both the actual tour and the awarding winning “Elvis on Tour” documentary film.
Fans also get an in-depth look at the tour schedule, song lists from each concert and the jumpsuits Elvis wore on stage.
EIN's Piers Beagley sees whether EPE's first E-Book lives up to their publicity - and can you get anything worth reading for under $5!
‘Elvis On Tour’ is EPE’s first official E-book subtitled ‘An exploration of Elvis’ 1972 Spring Tour’. You can download the Kindle App to your home p/c.
While there are plenty of other Kindle/E-books out there about Elvis, this is the first "official one" and so is probably an indication of future releases.
Released in August last year I thought it worth waiting to review it in comparison to the other fabulous SONY/EPE release of 2012 ‘Prince From Another Planet’.
The ‘Prince’ book is 50 pages long, features plenty of quality shots of Elvis on stage in June 1972 along with press cuttings, memorabilia plus a lengthy essay about Elvis at the Madison Square Garden concerts. - see EIN in-depth review here -
The Kindle book in comparison is 120 pages long, again featuring plenty of fabulous Elvis photos from April 1972, along with some memorabilia and some very short text.
Looking at a normal size laptop/pc screen both are of similar size.
The ‘Elvis On Tour’ cover design is eye-grabbing - as you can see above - and the first thing you notice about the E-Book is that the design is modern, funky and colourful.
Unfortunately an index of Chapters is actually missing.
After a short two-page introduction about ‘Elvis On Tour’ the first chapter is ‘Elvis On Tour: Dates’.
‘Elvis On Tour: Dates’
The first date is April 5, 1972 Buffalo in New York, the page is set out with photos and paper cuttings but these are unfortunately of too small resolution. The book does note that complete images of the articles can be viewed starting on page 88 but they are still hard to read.
My complaint here is that while it is nicely laid-out, the poor quality newspaper articles make the pages a little irritating and hard to read.
And if this is supposed to be an official list of Elvis’ April tour dates - then why is Richmond on April 10th and Roanoke on April 11th so obviously missed out from the list.
Other dates like Macon, Georgia are similarly absent which is most annoying as this is EPE’s first official book and there is no reason for not including them. In fact the introductory text states that it was a 15-city tour yet only 10 dates and cities are then mentioned!
This is quite funny when you consider that EPE prosecuted BoxCar for the ‘Final Curtain’ deluxe package which of course was extremely well researched and included every date and appropriate image of Elvis’ final 1977 tours!
‘Elvis On Tour: The song lists’ is the second chapter.
Again this details only six of Elvis’ set-lists from the 15-city tour and of course shows little variation in Elvis’ overall song choices. Why six concerts only when the publicity states "song lists from each concert"? No explanation is given.
Both the Richmond and Greensboro setlists show 'Funny How Time Slips Away' being performed after 'Can't Help Falling In Love'. This is such an obvious mistake as to be laughable. Did anyone who knows their Elvis facts check the content?
‘Elvis On Tour: Jumpsuits’ is chapter 3 and this is probably the crux of the book for most fans.
All of Elvis’ famous On Tour jumpsuits are featured each with some nicely laid out and appropriate photos.
The first suit is the fabulous ‘Owl Suit’ which the book states was "only worn twice on stage" in Greensborough which we know, and then once more in Oakland, California. This is odd as I believed Elvis actually wore it in San Bernardino rather than Oakland. Wasn’t it also worn for the first time during the January/Feb 1972 Las Vegas season?
Seven pages are given over to pictures of the ‘Owl Suit’ some very nice indeed
‘Burning Love’ is the second suit featured again with seven pages great photos.
It’s interesting to note that none of the photos featured here are the same as the seven photos used in FTD’s ‘Fashion For a King’ book.
Following this the other jumpsuit sections of the ‘Blue-Nail suit’, The Pyramid suit’ as used on the front of the Madison Square Garden famous album cover.
But who let the incredibly obvious reverse image on page 48 (shown right below) get though the proof checking?
Other jumsuits featured are the ‘White Firework’ and the fabulous ‘Lion Head’ suit and the ‘Spectrum’ suit.
The ‘White Pinwheel/Lion Head’ suit looks superb and some of these photographs are ridiculously good although one wonders if they might be more in focus or more detailed in a quality printed book.
Almost none of these jumpsuit photographs - over 70 large size photos in all - are featured in the ‘Fashion For a King’ book .
Please note the pictures in this review are simple low-resolution scans and the images in the E-book are sharper.
The next chapter is ‘Elvis On Tour: Artifacts’.
This features some Bill Belew designs plus photographs of other suits on manikins, some of Elvis’ rings, sunglasses (below left), some of his acetates etc.
‘Elvis On Tour: Documentary’
Pictures and scans of articles again pretty unreadable. At the end it features a nice photograph of the Golden globe which the movie received as the ‘Best Documentary Film of 1972’
What should have been included here is an explanation of which cities were used for filming - and what songs from each concert were used to be assembled into the final ‘On Tour’ movie. It would be good to have an official confirmation.
For instance in the movie Elvis greets his fans in Roanoke, but what exactly was filmed there?
According to me the movie set-list and filming is something like this - although annoyingly none of this information is provided in this EPE official book...
- ‘Johnny B. Goode’, ‘See See Rider’, ‘Polk Salad Annie’ all from Hampton Roads, April 9, 1972
- ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Never Been To Spain’, ‘Introductions’, ‘Burning Love’ all from San Antonio, April 18, 1972
- ‘Love Me Tender’ - Hampton Roads, April 9, 1972 and Richmond, April 10, 1972
- ‘Until It's Time For You To Go’ - Richmond, April 10, 1972
- ‘Suspicious Minds’- San Antonio, April 18, 1972 combined with Richmond, April 10, 1972
- ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Funny How Time Slips Away’, ‘An American Trilogy’ all from Greensboro, April 14, 1972
- ‘I Got A Woman’, ‘A Big Hunk O' Love’, ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’, ‘Sweet, Sweet Spirit’, ‘Lawdy, Miss Clawdy’, ‘Can't Help Falling In Love’ all from Hampton Roads, April 9, 1972.
Plus extra footage also filmed in Buffalo.
‘Elvis On Tour: Press’.
This chapter features the newspaper cuttings shown in a slightly clearer format but still fairly unreadable! This seems pointless, as the only reason to include this chapter would be for fans to actually read the original articles!
The cuttings are still too small and with not enough resolution to read clearly. And, as you can see below, they don’t even fill the E-book page with the waste of a large white border.
I would certainly recommend this E-book more had they provided scans with more readable text of the original newspaper articles. Surely the first official EPE E-Book should have been better proofed for readability before being released.
There is no credit for the author or designer of the book anywhere I could find.
But one wonders what fans really would expect for the price of only five dollars?
To be honest I enjoy looking through the various photographs Elvis - a most impressive sight! These early 1972 suits were quite outrageously fabulous colourful designs!
Overall however there is very little to read and I wish there was more text or explanation about ‘Elvis On Tour’ and some input from the actual movie directors is obviously lacking.
Some stories or quotes from Elvis companions or musicians would have easily beefed up the content. And why provide lists of concert dates and songs if they are incomplete?
Of course Elvis gave extensive interviews to the Directors Robert Abel, Pierre Adidge of which only a few minutes were used in the movie itself. A chapter feature Elvis’ own recollections would have been a fabulous bonus.
This is where one realises what an amazing product the ‘Prince From Another Planet’ release is with some similarly stunning photos - plus the two concert CDs and as well as the DVD. One of the BEST SONY/RCA products ever!
Overall Verdict: Perhaps Elvis fans that purchase this on-line book are only interested in the jumpsuit photos of our man. If that is the case then I believe they should be more than satisfied.
After all, I have bought expensive photo-books for far more but with overall less enjoyment!
For me the letdown is the lack of text, poor readability of the featured newspaper scans plus the overall slackness of the basic chapters and lists. If this is the official first E-Book from EPE then it could have been much better.
However considering the cheap cost and the 140 or so photos I guess the book rates 7/10 value-for-money for me.
After all everyone can probably afford $5 for some photos of Elvis in his glorious 1972 jumpsuits.
Troy Yeary of the FECC Forum has kindly provided this detailed overview of the content for those that are interested.
|| Dates: This section includes newspaper clippings and photos, covering various dates of the tour (below). Note that some dates are skipped, without explanation.
April 5: Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo ["Presley Magic Still Strong As Record 17,360 Turn Out" (Thomas Putnam)]
April 6: Olympia Stadium, Detroit
April 8: Stokely Athletic Center, Knoxville ["Elvis Presley" - Uncredited review; notes that the show ended with "An American Trilogy," which is unlikely]
April 9: Coliseum, Hampton Roads ["Presley Reigns Supreme" (Henry Edgar)]
April 12: Fair Grounds Coliseum, Indianapolis ["Elvis Presley 'Takes Over'" (John Carpenter)]
April 13: Coliseum, Charlotte ["Audience Adores Presley's Squirms, Shakes... Voice" (Jerry Kennon)]
April 14: Coliseum, Greensboro
April 16: Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville
April 17: T.H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock ["Elvis Whips 10,000 Into Real Frenzy With a Lot More Than His Singing" (Bill Lewis)]
April 18: Convention Center Arena, San Antonio ["Elvis Is the Same - And at His Best" (Bill Graham);
April 19: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque ["Denise's Dream Comes True: Secret Song, Visit With Elvis" (Grace Prather)- a "Make-A-Wish" style story involving Elvis; includes a photo of Elvis with a terminally-ill 8-year-old]
Song Lists: This section features set lists for a few of the shows. Some of these were left out of the "Dates" section.
April 7: University of Dayton Arena, Dayton
April 9, 2:30 PM: Coliseum, Hampton Roads
April 9, 8:30 PM: Coliseum, Hampton Roads
April 10: Coliseum, Richmond
April 14: Coliseum, Greensboro
April 18: Convention Center Arena, San Antonio
The suits featured are:
"The Owl Suit" - 7 pages; 7 color, 2 b&w; 6 at/near full-page.
"The Burning Love Suit" - 7 pages; 8 color, 1 b&w; 6 at/near full-page
"Blue Nail Suit" - 5 pages; 2 color; 5 b&w; 4 at/near full-page
"The Pyramid Suit" - 8 pages; 4 color; 10 b&w; 4 at/near full-page
"White Star Firework Suit" - 7 pages; 0 color; 9 b&w; 5 at/near full-page
"The Lion Head Suit" - 7 pages; 3 color; 8 b&w; 5 at/near full-page
"The Spectrum Suit" - 6 pages; 6 color; 3 b&w; 4 at/near full-page
Artifacts: This is a random sampling of Elvis items from this time period, including jumpsuits, clothing, accessories, jewelry, and promotional material.
Documentary: This section covers the Elvis On Tour documentary, beginning, notably, with a misquote of Elvis' lines from the beginning of the film. This is another scrapbook-style section that mostly consists of clippings of newspaper reviews and ads for the film.
This section features the following newspaper reviews.
"Presley Magic Still Strong As Record 17,360 Turn Out" (Thomas Putnam, Buffalo)
"Elvis Shakes 'Em Up Here Just Like Way Back When" (JoAnna Moore, Jacksonville)
"'Tour': Super Version of Elvis Concert" (Bridget Byrne, film review)
"Tour film brings Elvis up close" (Cynthia Kirk, film review)
"Applause Deafening At Elvis Concert"
"Elvis Whips 10,000 Into Real Frenzy With a Lot More Than His Singing" (Bill Lewis, Little Rock)
Troy's Overall Verdict: Elvis On Tour: An Exploration of Elvis' 1972 Spring Tour represents a step in the right direction for Elvis Presley Enterprises. More time should be devoted to projects covering Elvis the performer and Elvis the artist. In addition, it's great to see them embracing a newer technology.
For those of you who have never viewed an e-book before, however, I would caution you that this is lower in quality compared to what I have viewed in the past. In this case, EPE is almost like an independent publisher. While it is a good attempt for the first time out, they still need to work out the kinks for any future releases. Once they do that, I would love to see additional material like this from EPE in the future.
The $4.99 price point feels right for this item. I would say anything higher than that (e.g., $9.99) would have been too expensive. Overall, this release is worth it at this price.
Review by Piers Beagley - with thanks to Troy Yeary at FECC.
-Copyright EIN January 2013
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