Tearing 'Em Up!

- The November 1971 Tour -

The King In Motion Vol. 3


Venus Productions

.....a review

by Piers Beagley and Nigel Patterson (May 2018)

The latest release from Venus Productions, Tearing ‘Em Up! The King in Motion Vol. 3, showcases Elvis’ November 1971 tour.

To date, the tour has been well served by a number of excellent book releases. The definitive account of the tour is Kieran Davis’ superb 2010 hardcover release, Elvis On Tour November 1971. Davis’ book distinguishes itself through its wonderfully expressive mix of narrative, archival material and imagery of the King live on stage. Another solid release showcasing the tour is the Joseph Tunzi and Paul Lichter collaboration in 2011, Elvis By Special Request ’71 at 40 (128 pages), while Erik Lorentzen's Elvis Files 1971-73 devotes 35 pages to the tour.

The Venus release differentiates itself to the Davis and Tunzi-Lichter books as it is the first multi-media release devoted to the tour, comprising a book element, enhanced DVD of Elvis “live” during the tour and a CD of Elvis’ show from Boston on Nov 19, 1971.

There is also a bonus CD unrelated to the theme of the release, featuring 15 tracks from the upcoming Venus project, Unedited Masters The Next Generation.

As a multi-media set Tearing ‘Em Up does not lend itself to an “apples with apples” comparison with the other two releases (however, see above for an indicative photo comparison between the three books).

In my view, a proper evaluation of Tearing ‘Em Up! must have regard to the sum of its constituent parts, i.e the book, DVD and CD elements.

Book component

So how does the 210 pages book component of the Tearing ‘Em Up! compare with the other books? In size Tearing ‘Em Up! measures a US trade size 17.7cms (7 inches) x 24cms (9.5 inches), compared to Davis’ larger portrait size 29cms (12 inches) x 21cms (8.25 inches) for his 150 pages book.

Tearing ‘Em Up! is essentially a photo book as 95% of its content is imagery of Elvis on stage. There are a few pages of archival material opening the book before it is structured into each concert of the tour from Minneapolis on Nov 5 to Salt Lake City on Nov 16. The opening page to each chapter (concert) includes as complete a song set list for each performance as the producers have been able to compile, the crowd size, gate gross and jumpsuit worn for each show.

The visual element of the book is solid. The photos, of which there are hundreds, are a mix of full color and b&w, but mostly color. The imagery varies between full page and double page single image shots to multi-image pages and two page mosaic spreads. The variation in size and number of images presented as you turn each page serves to enhance your interest. The quality of most images is generally a little fuzzy but more than acceptable and interesting for the viewer. There are close up shots and more distant (taken from the audience) images (a number of these distant images are somewhat disappointing due to Elvis and the band being indistinct, but thankfully there aren’t too many).

The chapters vary in size from only a few pages (Cincinnati Gardens – incorrectly listed as Cincinnati Garden, Nov 11) to 60 pages (Boston Garden, Nov 10). Not surprisingly, the mix of more than 100 color and b&w images of Elvis in his Black Matador suit at Boston Garden is among the best showcased in Tearing ‘Em Up!

Some of the highlight images are two wonderful b&w images on pages 84 and 85 (Boston Garden, 10 Nov), in full color; Elvis with his leg draped over the stage cliff (page 114); Elvis in full flight in color (page 129); a double page single image shot of Elvis doing his regal pose in Dallas on Nov 13 (pages 138-39) in full color (see above) , and a full page animated Elvis on stage in Kansas City on Nov 15 (page 173).


We have seen many, if not most of the photos before, but that in no way detracts from their interest as a visual set of a discrete tour. Elvis is in great shape, looks good and the range of images is diverse and interesting. A cursory check of images suggests they correspond with the correct date/concert.

While not the complete set of known photos from the tour, the book features the most photos yet to be published. In my view, all images in Tearing ‘Em Up! are easily enjoyed.

Photo comparison between Tearing ‘Em Up and Elvis On Tour November 1971 (Kieran Davis) and Elvis ’71 at 40 (Tunzi-Lichter):

There appear to be a number of photos that are unique to each of the three releases and many that are common to all three (it should not be surprising that most photos originate from the same source). And there is variation in the size of some images that are common to each book. For example, some images which appear in the Venus and Kieran Davis releases are of larger size in Tearing ‘Em Up! than Elvis On Tour, despite the former’s smaller book size. This occasionally results in a degree of visual clarity being lost with the larger images, but this loss is not to the point that it is a negative.

For instance, two photos from the Elvis' performance show in Minneapolis on 5 Nov 1971, presented as quarter page sized images in Elvis On Tour (page 29) appear as full page images in Tearing 'Em Up! (pages 6-7).

As a general observation, the advantage of larger sized books such as the Davis and Tunzi-Lichter releases is that the strengths of “good” photos are maximised. On the flip side, the disadvantage is that the weaknesses of fuzzy or long shot visuals are emphasised.

All three books have their fair share of “fuzzy” images.

Piers Beagley adds:

While Tearing 'Em Up! has by far the largest number of photographs of Elvis' November 1971 tour there are still some dates where other books have concert photos that are missed from Tearing 'Em Up!

For instance Kieran Davis' book features several more photographs from November 5 concert not included in Tearing' Em Up!

For November 7, 1971, the better researched Kieran Davis book also has seven photographs of Elvis from the Louisiana date - as does Tunzi - whereas Tearing 'Em Up! only has three.

There are however several concerts where Tearing 'Em Up! has a plethora of photographs that I have never seen before and this is where it excels over any of the other 1971 books.

For Elvis' November 9 concert Tearing 'Em Up! features 65 photographs whereas Kieran Davis book has 40.

For Elvis' famous November 10 Boston Garden concert Tearing 'Em Up! features more than 130 photographs presented over 60 pages. It's incredible to be able look through so many photographs of Elvis at this dynamic concert while at the same time listening to the CD. This is the real joy of this new Venus release.


Elvis' final concert of November 15 in his Red Lion jumpsuit features some of the best photographs of Elvis in action, looking stunning, and also presented here over 30 pages with some fabulous full-page photos.

Some of the more distant November 15 photographs included were taken by super fan Peggy Elzea, although since Venus is a bootleg book there is no credit to the photographers. This is where Kieran Davies book (although with are far fewer concert photos) perhaps wins out since Davies actually worked with Peggy Elzea for his publication and so included excerpts from her actual 1971 diary that helped capture all the excitement and the feeling of being at the performance and watching Elvis in concert on this marvellous tour.

Of course Tearing'Em Up! has the exciting bonus of actual DVD footage of Elvis so fans can see the onstage action for themselves rather than reading text or reviews from the time.

While, unrelated to the November 1971 tour, I found the closing section (17 pages) of Tearing ‘Em Up! to be an interesting and informative narrative-visual presentation of Venus Productions’ impressive back catalog - Piers and I disagree on the value of its inclusion.

Overall, the book design of the Venus release is strong. The pages are high quality reflective paper stock with each page securely bound into the hardcover. The page design is very good alternating between white and black space on different pages to enhance the imagery. While the book is compact (US trade) rather than portrait (Kieran Davis release) there is nevertheless effective image representation.

The CD.
Anyone who buys this new VENUS package will already own this great soundboard, probably via the FTD 'As Recorded At Boston Garden '71' or the earlier 'One Night Only' Madison bootleg.
Fans will surely remember that while it is a great quality soundboard recording - the best we have from 1971 - the original cassette recording had some high frequency distortion as well as annoyingly loud backing-vocals and trumpet at times in the mix.
And while FTD's version was released eight years ago nothing magic has been done on this VENUS version to really upgrade the original cassette quality.
The audio here is very similar to the original Madison release, if not identical, with the distortion still apparent on the top-frequencies.
The FTD version still has the toned down top-end and sounds better on my Hi-Fi but truly there is very little between all three versions.

As Rolling Stone writer Jon Landau noted in an article at the time..
"Elvis sings like an angel and moves like a ballerina, and he left me struck dumb.... by the time he finished you knew that underneath the control and the lightness of most of the evening's music there stood a man with more natural ability, talent, and soul than I expect to see on the stage at any rock concert."

This concert is super-important for being such a fantastic quality soundboard recording of such a short tour. If you are a fan of Elvis this is the ESSENTIAL concert to own from 1971.
(see EIN's review of Elvis' Boston Garden performance here)


The DVD - 40 minutes
The DVD comprises the Boston concert audio synched to available video footage from the tour. The synching is not perfect but more than acceptable. Also, the audio for each is song is synched to a composite video of Elvis from different shows in the November tour which sometimes works better than others. The occasional photo is included to remind you that the audio is from Elvis' Boston Garden concert. While the audio quality is, in most instances, very good, the video quality is not surprisingly variable from good to fair.

Being a bootleg Venus have lifted the best quality 1971 amateur footage from Bud Glass' 'Behind The Image' DVD which is of Elvis performing in his 'Red Lion' jumpsuit from Houston, November 12. The quality of this is sensational, some of the best fan footage ever filmed and it is great to have it synced to Elvis' live concert audio. It is a disappointment however that any footage of Elvis in his fabulous 'Black Matador' suit is the poorest quality and doesn’t seem improved from previous outings.

However in 1971 Elvis was still on fantastic form, excited to be away from las Vegas and looking taut and terrific. The DVD shows just how much energy he was putting into his performances even if he didn’t know he was being filmed. Watching Elvis deliberately fall over backwards after 'Polk Salad Annie' is a treat. The footage also demonstrates how Elvis had changed down a gear by his "Elvis On Tour" filmed concerts the following year. Fans may be disappointed that there is no footage of Elvis performing the wonderful 'I'm Leaving' but this collection is still the best look at Elvis on stage in 1971 that we will probably get. Overall, I found the DVD an enjoyable audio-visual experience showcasing Elvis in fine vocal and visual form, full of energy and physical motion. Worth a repeat viewing.

Verdict: Tearing ‘Em Up! is a strong release which stands on its own - while Kieran Davis’ book is superior in its blend of narrative-visual content and the Tunzi-Lichter release has similar appeal, as a total multi-media package including book, DVD and CD elements, Venus Productions’ Tearing ‘Em Up! has considerable merit and continues a winning formula for its The King in Motion series. It is more than worth a look and will please many fans!

Review by Nigel Patterson / Piers Beagley
-Copyright EIN May 2018. Do Not reprint or republish without permission.

Tearing ‘Em Up! - The King In Motion Volume 3
On the DVD 40 minutes of spectacular footage from the November 1971 Tour. The footage is digitally remastered from the original sources and has been professionally synced with the Boston November 10th show.
DVD Tracklisting
2001 Theme - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman - Amen - Proud Mary - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling - Polk Salad Annie - Come Home Baby (Instr.) - Love Me - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - One Night - Hound Dog How Great Thou Art (Part) - Bridge Over Troubled Water - I Can’t Stop Loving You - Suspicious Minds - Come Home Baby (Instr.) - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp
Shows: Baltimore, Nov 9 - Boston, Nov. 10 - Cincinnati, Nov. 11 - Houston, Nov. 12 - Dallas, Nov. 13 - Tuscaloosa, Nov. 14 - Kansas City, Nov. 15 - Salt Lake City, Nov. 16

Boston Gardens CD
Tracklist: 2001 Theme - That’s All Right - I Got A Woman / Amen - Proud Mary - You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me - You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling - Polk Salad Annie - Come Home Baby (Instr.) - Love Me - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes - One Night - Hound Dog - How Great Thou Art - Band Introductions - I’m Leavin - Bridge Over Troubled Water - I Can’t Stop Loving You - Love Me Tender - Suspicious Minds - Come Home Baby (Instr.) - Funny How Time Slips Away - Can’t Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp

Free CD to promote the upcoming new CDs in our "Unedited Masters" series.
Tracklist: POWER OF MY LOVE Master no overdubs (Take 7)* - MY LITTLE FRIEND Vocal overdub of January 16 * - TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD Master different mix (Take 11)* - I WASHED MY HANDS IN MUDDY WATER Complete master, overdubbed (Take 1)** - IT’S YOUR BABY, YOU ROCK IT Alt. Master backup vocals overdub (Take 3)** - LIFE Master, different mix (Take 20)** - STRANGER IN THE CROWD Take 1 & 7* - EARLY MORNIN’ RAIN Unedited (Take 11)** - IF THAT ISN’T LOVE Different mix (Take 1)** - I CAN HELP Complete unedited session (Take 1 & 2)** - PROMISED LAND Motherfucker version (Take 1)** - BITTER THEY ARE 1980 re-recording** - FOR OL’ TIMES SAKE 1980 re-recording** - PATCH IT UP Alternate master (Take 9)** - AMAZING GRACE No overdubs (Take 2)**
* Unreleased ** Officially Unreleased

'Boston Garden '71' FTD CD Review: After the tremendous success of Elvis back on stage and touring in 1970, somewhat surprisingly, Colonel Parker arranged only one tour for Elvis in 1971 just 14 shows away from the routine casino atmospheres of Vegas & Tahoe. ‘ELVIS - As Recorded At Boston Garden '71’ from November 10, 1971 was the only time Elvis ever played in Boston - and with such a successful show it is a real surprise that he never returned.
It is always better hearing Elvis work a larger tour crowd than the usual Vegas audiences and this is no exception. Elvis always raised himself to a challenge and after the Vegas Summer Season, of 57 shows in a row, he was bound to be more inspired. This November 1971 Tour was also the first time Elvis used J.D Sumner & The Stamps who had just replaced The Imperials.
Click here as EIN’s Piers Beagley checks out the recent FTD CD release - and is it any improvement on previous bootlegs of the same show?
(FTD Reviews, Source;ElvisInfoNetwork) 

'Elvis On Tour November 1971' Book Review: Published last year by author Kieran Davis this hardcover book focuses on Elvis' famous tour of November 1971, and for some reason almost slipped under the radar. With every November performance examined in detail over 150 pages, it features more than 200 photographs many previously unpublished, plenty of memorabilia plus exclusive original tour documents. Packed with rare pics and full reviews for each show it is one of the most comprehensive books ever written about the somewhat forgotten Elvis year of 1971.

It has been described as a labour-of-love by a true Elvis fan who wanted to self-publish a worthy book for true Elvis fans.

Go here as EIN's Piers Beagley checks out whether the book lives up to the description.

(Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)

Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review): The latest Joseph Tunzi - Paul Lichter collaboration provides a long overdue visual focus on what some refer to as Elvis' 'lost tour".

EIN recently took time out to explore what '71 At 40 has to offer. What we found was a visually pleasing portfolio of images (many rare or previously unpublished) from the 12 cities visited throughout the tour supported by two informative essays by Paul Lichter and an array of press clippings published during the tour.


Read EIN's full review


(Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)

'ELVIS ON TOUR - 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition' IN-Depth Review: Amiga International's long awaited LIMITED-EDITION boxset featuring 9-CD’s, all remastered, of all known recordings made for the Golden Globe Award-winning concert documentary ELVIS ON TOUR is OUT NOW. It includes the premiere of the complete rehearsal recorded in Buffalo, NY on April 5, 1972, with three previously unreleased performances.
The 13-inch boxset also includes a huge 128-page hardcover book containing detailed essays of the entire April 1972 tour with RARE AND UNPUBLISHED photographs and related memorabilia.

When considering the lack of attention paid to this concert documentary, it seems a shame that so few official releases have emerged. It is for this reason that AMIGA International presents this deluxe package to honor the excellent recordings made for the much neglected "Elvis On Tour" film.

Go here as EIN's Piers Beagley supplies a 5,000 word indepth review - includes stunning photos and discovers that this AMIGA 'On Tour' box-set is the BEST deluxe Elvis release since the 2012 FTD 'Boy From Tupelo' (Book Reviews, Source;ElvisInfoNet)



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