Sony ups the stakes with 8-CD THAT’S THE WAY IT IS set

Sony will release in August an eight, count them, eight CD set for That’s The Way It Is, according to Elvis Australia. While the site notes that the release is “100% confirmed,” full details are not yet available.

If you will excuse me for just a moment here…


…Okay, I am back.

According to Elvis Australia’s source, the CDs will include “unreleased concerts.”

Of the six known 1970 concerts that RCA recorded for That’s The Way It Is, only two have not yet been officially released in relatively complete form: the August 11 Dinner Show and the August 12 Dinner Show.

There is even a possibility that the set will also contain two DVDs – likely duplicating the contents of Warner Home Video’s 2007 reissue of That’s The Way It Is.

This all comes on the heels of Warner’s recent announcement that it will release That’s The Way It Is on Blu-ray August 12.

Elvis on stage in Las Vegas (August 12, 1970, Dinner Show)

Elvis on stage in Las Vegas (August 12, 1970, Dinner Show)

For me, the That’s The Way It Is event, starting with the June session in Nashville and concluding with the August 1970 Vegas concerts, represents the pinnacle of Elvis Presley’s career. He was never quite as incredible again as he was in the summer of 1970. It may go against what others may do, but when I think of Elvis, I think first of Summer 1970.

Since we have no other details on the CDs as of yet, I am going to indulge myself and speculate.

My hope is that the original album, singles, and related Nashville studio outtakes are saved for a 2-CD Legacy Edition apparently due out at the same time. That way, there would actually be a reason to buy both the 8-CD set and the 2-CD set. [This approach would, of course, open Sony up to complaints, but let’s be honest and realize some people will complain no matter what they do.]

Were it up to me, based on what is known to exist, I would create a release something like this, with all material newly mixed and mastered by Vic Anesini:

CD 1: August 12 Midnight Show

CD 2: July 15 Rehearsal

CD 3: August 10 Opening Show

CD 4: August 11 Dinner Show

CD 5: August 11 Midnight Show

CD 6: July 29 Rehearsal

CD 7: August 12 Dinner Show

CD 8: August 13 Dinner Show

Of course, if additional concerts from the timeframe are hidden in the vault somewhere, those would take precedence over previously released performances above. I would also fill up each CD that had additional space with highlights from the remaining rehearsals.

Amazing that even at eight CDs, I am still having to edit back what I would really want to release on a That’s The Way It Is multi-CD set.

It appears that Sony has come to the table in a big way in terms of a definitive That’s The Way It Is audio release. Will Warner Brothers raise the stakes even higher and go all-in by 2020 with a similarly comprehensive video release? Only time will tell.