From the Vault...


Elvis Presley
"NBC TV Special"

© RCA/BMG Records

Year of Release: 1969

track listing
  • Trouble/Guitar Man
  • Lawdy Miss Clawdy/
    Baby What You
    Want Me To Do
  • Heartbreak Hotel/
    Hound Dog/
    All Shook Up/
    Can't Help Falling
    In Love/
    Jailhouse Rock/
    Don't Be Cruel/
    Blue Suede Shoes/
    Love Me Tender
  • Where Could I Go
    But To The Lord/
    Up Above
    My Head/
  • Baby What You
    Want Me To Do/
    That's All Right/
    Blue Christmas/
    One Night/
    Tiger Man/
    Trying To Get
    To You
  • Memories
  • Nothingsville/
    Big Boss Man/
    Let Yourself Go/
    It Hurts Me/
    Guitar Man/
    Little Egypt/
    Guitar Man
  • If I Can Dream

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    Elvis Presley
    "NBC TV Special"

    C L A S S I C ! !

    December 3, 1968, a date in music history... Elvis Presley appeared on NBC, as the TV show was released as an album. It was classic for Elvis, and a perfect time for him, making him the Comeback Kid. His movies hadn't been doing well, (let's face it, has ANY of his movies been good?), and his records hadn't been as popular since the Beatles and Psychedelic Era took over. Yet, in watching the performances of this TV special, it was classic. In reading about this particular album, which later surfaced on CD, there was another CD that would later be released, Memories, which consisted of many of the songs unedited and assorted outtakes.

    The music and spoken dialogue on this original CD is truly classic, and one of the dialogues that was a major standout was Elvis' look on gospel music, as his 3-song gospel medley "Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/Saved" stands out as Elvis being an excellent gospel singer, since gospel music was Elvis' first love of music, before he became the King of Rock n Roll.

    The first 3 medley tracks captures Elvis at his roughest (vocal style) and his best (in stage performances). "Trouble/Guitar Man" (the first track) is classic Elvis, as many can remember seeing his upclose face starting out the "Trouble" song: If you're looking for trouble, you've come to the right place... The medley of Lloyd Price's "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and Jimmy Reed's "Baby What You Want Me To Do" also shows Elvis at his best, with his grit vocals and raging frontman appearance.

    It goes the same with his roughest best with a medley of his beginning hits: "Heartbreak Hotel"/"Hound Dog"/"All Shook Up"/"Can't Help Falling In Love"/"Jailhouse Rock"/"Don't Be Cruel"/"Blue Suede Shoes"/"Love Me Tender." Elvis returns with the rough and grit style with the medley of "Baby What You Want Me To Do"/That's All Right"/"Blue Christmas"/"One Night"/"Tiger Man"/"Trying To Get To You." (A note, on both of his early hit medleys, the combination of fast songs as in "Hound Dog" to the softer "Can't Help Falling In Love" on one medley and the fast "That's All Right" to the softer "Blue Christmas" blends the two different styles beautifully.

    "Memories" (which would be a CD later released with the unedited concert footage) is a beautiful song, one song that could be used in anyone's past memories, as think about their personal memories, mostly good memories. Barbra Streisand's "The Way We Were" comes to mind as well, looking back at one's personal memories. The last medley is another assortment of the rough-and-grit with some slower tunes: "Nothingsville"/"Big Boss Man"/"Let Yourself Go"/"It Hurts Me"/"Guitar Man"/"Little Egypt"/"Trouble"/"Guitar Man."

    The last song is another Elvis classic: "If I Can Dream" -- a song that makes all want to dream of another Elvis comeback that could have happened in 1977. The death of his mother, bad movies, divorce, drug addiction, weight gain were all major issues in Elvis' life. We can imagine what could have happened if Colonel Tom Parker approved Barbra Streisand's choice of leading man in her movie A Star Is Born. Elvis died way too young, and we also dreamed of Elvis taking on the issues, and losing the weight, and looking as great as he did in 1968. We can only dream of what could have been...

    Elvis Presley left behind a legacy of great music, from his prime years in the birth of Rock n Roll, to the early 1960s before the Beatles. Despite the bad movies, the music from these movies were exceptional, although many may not have recognized that there was some great music from these movies. Changes in music occurred too, and personal issues mentioned would take its toll on Elvis' life. He is still The King, and will always be. The NBC-TV Special captures how we will remember him best, as well as other performances. Elvis Aaron Presley will always be THE KING OF ROCK & ROLL.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of RCA/BMG Records and is used for reference purposes only.

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