Vinyl Elvis: Building Dreams on 1982’s SUSPICIOUS MINDS

Although I have restored about 85% of the posts from the first iteration of The Mystery Train Blog, I still have many Elvis posts that I first published on my pop-culture blogs. Since those blogs are now retired, I will occasionally revisit, brush off, and update one of those Elvis entries as a “Special Edition Bonus Post” here on The Mystery Train Blog. As a Labor Day Special, here is the first such bonus post. I am starting with this one because I want to begin adding new posts in the Vinyl Elvis series soon.


For some modern fans, enjoying the music of Elvis Presley is a family experience. This has certainly been the case with me. Mom became a fan in 1956. She later passed her “Elvis gene” on to both my older brother and me. Some of my best memories involve listening to Elvis music with my family. By the time I was in middle school, my brother allowed me to borrow his Elvis records. I would take albums one at a time from his bedroom and carefully play them.

I heard so many Elvis songs for the first time via my brother’s albums. As much as I enjoy listening to CDs and iTunes, there is nothing quite like hearing Elvis on vinyl. These days, my brother no longer has a turntable. Since he felt they would be in good hands, he gave me all of his Elvis albums. His touching generosity more than doubled my Elvis record collection. It has also inspired this series of posts that will examine a variety of Elvis records – starting today with one I received from my brother.

SUSPICIOUS MINDS (Camden, 1982; from Tygrrius’ collection) | Click image for full-color version

Suspicious Minds
Label: Camden
Catalog Number: CDS 1206 (Label) / CDSV 1206 (Outer Sleeve)
Recorded: 1956-1969 | Nashville, Hollywood, Memphis
Released: 1982

Since the title song is one of my brother’s favorites (mine as well), I have decided to kick off this series with Suspicious Minds, a 1982 compilation album released by the United Kingdom’s Pickwick International on the Camden label.

I remember loving the “in your face” cover of this album when I first played it around 1988.

As far as I have been able to determine, there was not a United States version of this album. This appears to be a German pressing that somehow made its way here to the US.

Side 1 of SUSPICIOUS MINDS (Camden, 1982; from Tygrrius’ collection) | Click image for full-color version

Side 1

  1. Suspicious Minds (1969)
    Though a great choice to open the album, the sound is slightly “muddy.” This is the stereo version, which actually had only first been released a year earlier on Greatest Hits, Volume One. I remember noticing the horns and the double fade-out on this version way back when, as the only studio version I had probably heard to that point was on The Number One Hits and The Top Ten Hits. Rather than use the vintage mono or stereo mixes, those albums used a 1987 mix with an early fade and no horns that was created for The Memphis Record.
  2. Got A Lot O’Livin’ To Do (1957)
    This one sounds great! I cleaned up the record prior to playing it, and I have yet to hear a crackle or static on it at all. Though it was recorded in mono, I suspect this version is electronically processed to simulate stereo. If so, I am surprised to admit that I actually do not mind the effect at all.
  3. Return To Sender (1962)
    Good sound quality continues. Definitely a nice series of opening selections for this album – despite being all over the map in terms of when recorded. That is actually part of the fun of some of these older compilations, though. The only theme here is “Elvis Music,” and that is enough. There seems to be a little edit or something on the sax solo as the song fades that I am not used to hearing.
  4. A Big Hunk O’ Love (1958)
    This one sounds really loud! It also sounds like the treble is turned way up. Welcome to the 1980s, Elvis. Really loving this album, though.
  5. In The Ghetto (1969)
    The pace finally lets up, with the beautiful “In The Ghetto.” The treble still sounds high to me, oddly enough.
  6. One Night (1957)
    One of Elvis’ best songs, and it sounds incredible here. What an extraordinary first side to a record.

Side 2 of SUSPICIOUS MINDS (Camden, 1982; from Tygrrius’ collection) | Click image for full-color version

Side 2

  1. Good Luck Charm (1961)
    Another hit opens this side of the record, though not nearly as perfect as “Suspicious Minds.” This also marks the first time I have heard any popping noises on this record.
  2. U.S. Male (1968)
    This is a fun song. Sound quality slightly lower here than I am used to, though. It is kind of “tinny.” This might be another instance of the treble being increased. I am pretty sure this record was the first time I had ever heard this song. I remember getting a kick out of it back then, and I still do. “You’re talkin’ to the U.S. male. The American U.S. male,” Elvis says in his best country voice.
  3. Party (1957)
    And it is back to 1957 with this rocker from Loving You. This was also “new to me” back when I first played this record. Still sounds great all these years later.
  4. Fever (1960)
    In 1988, I only knew “Fever” from the live Aloha From Hawaii version (1973). I remember not liking the studio version nearly as much, though finding the additional lyrics of interest.
  5. Old Shep (1956)
    This song about a loyal dog can be a difficult listen for dog lovers like me. It does exemplify the variety of songs included on Suspicious Minds.
  6. You’re The Devil In Disguise (1963)
    Though it gets repetitive, it is hard not to like “Devil In Disguise.” It is an odd choice to close this album, though. I was ready for another song!

Back cover of SUSPICIOUS MINDS (Camden, 1982; from Tygrrius’ collection) | Click image for original black & white version

While Suspicious Minds did not contain any previously unreleased material, it is an entertaining album that is well worth picking up if you ever come across it in vinyl format. Thank you to my brother for giving me the Elvis records that inspired this series of posts.


“A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.”
Proverb 17:17

New and upcoming Elvis releases focus on slices of a diverse career

Get those sound systems (and wallets) ready, folks, new Elvis releases are on the way.

Stay Away, Joe

Stay Away, Joe (concept cover art)

May 2013

Follow That Dream Records, Sony’s collectors label for Elvis fans, is releasing this month:

  • From Elvis In Memphis (2-CD): One of Elvis’ best albums finally receives the FTD Classic Album treatment. This should make an excellent companion to the recent Back In Memphis release. Surely an “imaginary album” will be in the works at some point to feature the rest of the recordings from the 1969 American Sound Studio sessions.
  • Stay Away, Joe (CD): Speaking of imaginary albums, here is one that compiles October 1967 and January 1968 sessions. In addition to the Stay Away, Joe soundtrack, it includes “Too Much Monkey Business” and “US Male.” The January session features Jerry Reed on guitar, which is why I consider this a follow-up of sorts to the fantastic Elvis Sings Guitar Man.
  • On Stage-February 1970 (2-LP): This vinyl release includes the original On Stage-February 1970 album, recorded live in 1969 and 1970, as well as additional material Elvis recorded during his early 1970 Las Vegas engagement.
  • Summer of ’61 (Book & CD): In conjunction with Flaming Star publications, this book primarily focuses on the making of the movie Follow That Dream. A brief CD containing previously released Elvis tracks and two demos for “What A Wonderful Life” is also included.

June 2013

FTD has scheduled the following for release in June:

  • Sold Out! (2-CD): The ambiguous title of this one could refer to almost any Elvis concert from 1956 and beyond. [May 19, 2013, Update: The concerts on this release will be March 1, 1974, Tulsa, Oklahoma and June 21, 1974, Cleveland, Ohio.] This one is from the creative team behind Forty-Eight Hours To Memphis: Recorded Live On Stage In Richmond, Virginia – March 18, 1974 and 3000 South Paradise Road, so a quality presentation is expected.
  • Hot August Night (CD): This one features the August 25, 1969, Midnight Show in Las Vegas. The 1969 shows are all must-haves. Portions of this one contributed to the From Memphis To Vegas/From Vegas To Memphis (Elvis In Person) release in 1969. Many tracks are previously unreleased, however.
  • Elvis Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis (2-LP): This vinyl release features the complete March 20, 1974, Memphis concert, from which selections made up the original 1974 version of this album. I have to admit, I enjoy the truncated version of this show more than the full version. Other than “Steamroller Blues,” the songs edited out of the 1974 1-LP release featured some disappointing performances by Elvis.
  • Best of British: The HMV Years (Book): This is a reprint of the popular book exploring Elvis’ 1956-1958 releases on the HMV label in Great Britain, which sold out upon release in February. Though not noted in the press release, presumably the two CDs of previously released Elvis material from the original printing are also included.

The only physical store in the US authorized to sell FTD releases is Good Rockin’ Tonight, a Graceland gift shop in Memphis. However, FTD products may be obtained online from a variety of other Elvis stores, including Graceland’s ShopElvis.com.

August 2013

Sony has scheduled Elvis At Stax: Deluxe Edition, a 3-CD boxed set, as a main label, wide release in August. The set will include all of the masters Elvis recorded in Memphis at Stax Recording Studio in July and December of 1973. It will also include alternate takes of many of the songs. Here is the track listing:

DISC 1: The R&B and Country Sessions – The Outtakes

1. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body – take 1
2. Find Out What’s Happening – take 8/7
3. Promised Land – take 4
4. For Ol’ Times Sake – take 4
5. I’ve Got A Thing About You, Baby – take 14
6. It’s Midnight – take 7
7. If You Talk In Your Sleep – take 5
8. Loving Arms – take 2
9. You Asked Me To – take 3A
10. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues – take 8
11. Talk About The Good Times – take 3
12. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel – take 1
13. She Wears My Ring – take 8
14. Three Corn Patches – take 14
15. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body – take 4
16. If You Don’t Come Back – take 3
17. Promised Land – take 5

DISC 2

Part 1 – The Pop Sessions – The Outtakes

1. Mr. Songman – take 2
2. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming – take 4
3. Spanish Eyes – take 2
4. Take Good Care Of Her – takes 1,2,3
5. It’s Diff’rent Now (unfinished recording)
6. Thinking About You – take 4
7. My Boy – take 1
8. Girl Of Mine – take 9
9. Love Song Of The Year – take 1
10. If That Isn’t Love – take 1

Part 2 – The July 1973 Masters

11. Raised On Rock
12. For Ol’ Time Sake
13. I’ve Got A Thing About You, Baby
14. Take Good Care Of Her
15. If You Don’t Come Back
16. Three Corn Patches
17. Girl Of Mine
18. Just A Little Bit
19. Find Out What’s Happening
20. Sweet Angeline

DISC 3: The December 1973 Masters

1. Promised Land
2. It’s Midnight
3. If You Talk In Your Sleep
4. Help Me
5. My Boy
6. Thinking About You
7. Mr. Songman
8. I Got A Feelin’ In My Body
9. Loving Arms
10. Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues
11. You Asked Me To
12. There’s A Honky Tonk Angel
13. Talk About The Good Times
14. She Wears My Ring
15. Your Love’s Been A Long Time Coming
16. Love Song Of The Year
17. Spanish Eyes
18. If That Isn’t Love

I have mixed feelings on this release. I think it is wonderful for the main label to focus on an overlooked period in the recording career of Elvis Presley. For those fans who do not already have the corresponding FTD Classic Album 2-CD sets (Raised On Rock, Good Times, and Promised Land), this is an excellent, budget-conscious alternative to hear highlights of this material.

However, the first thing I noticed is that Sony really blew the sequencing of these tracks. Why, oh, why would the compiler of this collection choose to kick things off with the dreadful “I Got A Feelin’ In My Body”? Especially when “Promised Land” is sitting there, practically begging to begin this set in the right manner?

Short of starting from scratch, one simple alternative that I can suggest would be the following:

  • Swap Disc 1 with Disc 3
  • Swap Disc 2 – Part 1 with Disc 2 – Part 2

Just making the simple changes above would result in a much better listening experience from start to finish. Again, it is great to see a release focusing on 1973, but it should not just be grudgingly thrown together. While Sony’s Elvis team may disagree, some of us love this material. Treat it right.

Sony is also releasing in August a 1-CD version and a 2-LP version collecting some of the above Stax material.

Guest Blog: A Trip Down 2012 – Part 2

The Best News Stories 2012 (A) by Kees

Halfway through the year, as part of a “double post” with Ty, I compiled an article listing what I considered the Elvis news highlights of 2012 through that point. Now, on the verge of 2013, it is time for me to finish with what I consider the most important Elvis news stories from the last six months. Let’s pick it up where we left off.

A Boy From Tupelo

July 28: The Holy Grail

One of the best news stories of 2012 was, of course, the announcement of the release of A Boy From Tupelo by Ernst Jorgensen. July gave us the tracklisting, confirmation of a previously unreleased song entitled “Little Mama,” and several live performances of songs we only knew from studio recordings.  Three days later, the box was released. Funny to see how all details were kept secret, especially in this day and age when nothing appears to be safe.

Wire Machine

July 13: A Miracle

Miracles do exist. On July 13, news broke that YouTube user “amberola1b” posted a previously unreleased recording of Elvis singing “I Forgot To Remember To Forget” live at the Louisiana Hayride on October 1, 1955. How ironic it is that after ten years of work, Jorgensen finally announces the release of Elvis’ body of work from that era and then this recording surfaces. News went through the Elvis world like a wildfire.

The song was recorded on an early Silvertone “wire” recording machine. We initially hear Buzz Busby and the Bayou Boys before Horace Logan introduces Elvis, Scotty, and Bill with their “modern-day type” new single, “I Forgot To Remember To Forget.” 
The reaction from Jorgensen was, “Wow – it’s unbelievably beautiful. I’m still trying to recover from the shock.”

The audio quality was very good, especially considering that it was a camcorder capturing the antique machine playing the wire. It almost sounded better than the new concert recordings on the A Boy From Tupelo set. This discovery showed that miracles can still happen. Who knows what is still out there ready to be discovered?

Especially because you could listen to the newly discovered song, this was one of the highlights of the year for me. I enjoyed being an Elvis fan again.

It was sad that Elvis Presley Enterprises did not appear interested in this news. I mailed them several times but got no other answer than, “Thank you for sending your email concerning a new live recording of Elvis. Unfortunately, I don’t know anything about the new recording besides the link that you shared with me in your prior email.” EPE never mentioned the newly discovered recording.

One day after the song hit the Elvis world, the owner discovered the potential value of what he had put online and threatened all those linking to his video with copyright violations. The song was bootlegged by various fan clubs and appeared on a handful of CDs, so fans could still enjoy this recording. An official release still has yet to see the light.

Graceland book

July 6: Graceland Through The Years 1957-1977

Boxcar Enterprises released a book, Graceland Through The Years 1957-1977, on July 6. The first edition of the book, limited to 2000 copies, sold out immediately. I enjoyed reading this book very much. It brought back a lot of memories of walking through the famous mansion in 2001. I still cannot believe that a former bootlegger can produce a book like this, rather than EPE, which is sitting on a wealth of original information and memorabilia. Graceland Through The Years contains 450 pages with over 1000 photos, many never before published.

Bootleg Elvis book

July 3: A Bootleggers Treasure

Speaking of bootleggers, the book Bootleg Elvis was also released in July. With the Graceland and Tupelo books, this release marks another essential book release. It documents all known vinyl bootleg releases, with additional background information from the original bootleggers themselves. It is not the kind of book you sit down and read cover-to-cover, but it is an essential reference and fun book to browse through every now and then. It is always fun to look up the vinyl in your own collection (no I found no hidden treasure …). When will the follow-up on all bootleg CDs appear?

August 1: The Holy Grail From Another Planet

August 1, 2012 marked the release of A Boy From Tupelo book and CD set – an essential release for any fan who wants to know everything from the early years of Elvis Presley’s career in music. I’m still reading it and will be for some time. Thank you, thank you very much, Ernst!

Sony Legacy also spread the news on the Prince From Another Planet double CD/DVD set containing Elvis’ legendary concert performances from Madison Square Garden. Sony simultaneously released three Madison Square Garden products:

1.) A vinyl re-issue of the original 1972 album As Recorded At Madison Square Garden. [Music On Vinyl also re-issued this same title.]

2.) A double CD containing the original mixes of Elvis’ June 10 shows as originally released on As Recorded At Madison Square Garden and 1997’s An Afternoon In The Garden.

3.) The Prince From Another Planet double CD/DVD set containing new mixes of both June 10 shows, with the DVD including audience footage from the afternoon show.

One would expect that the two CD sets would be the same, but Sony instead decided that the sets would contain different mixes and masterings of these concerts. Also, the footage on the DVD does not cover the entire concert, so Sony chose to show a black screen while the audio continues. Why not create a mini concert with only the available footage?

Elvis with Sheila Ryan

Elvis with Sheila Ryan

September 18: Sheila Ryan Died

This year quite a few people from the Elvis world died. Bernard Lansky, who dressed him in the early days, friends like Patti Parry and Lance Legault, people he worked with professionally or admired, like Tony Curtis, musicians, directors, and concert promotors.

One stood out from the rest for me – his one-time girlfriend Sheila Ryan. She passed away at the age of 59 after a battle with cancer. After Elvis and Linda Thompson broke up, he dated Sheila for a while in 1974. They first met in Las Vegas. Elvis performed “And I Love You So” many times during his concerts and dedicated it to Sheila.

October 23: Hits From The Seventies

The Follow That Dream Collectors label released the Hits Of the 70’s compilation in October. Is it a very important release? I guess not, but it does mark a new direction for the collectors label. Could it be the bottom of the barrel is finally in sight after 100+ FTD releases?

The CD itself got mixed reactions and reviews, mainly because it did not contain any previously unreleased material. For me personally, that’s no problem, the music on this compilation is very good and I enjoy listening to it very much. Releases like this bring back memories of discovering Elvis when I was young.

November 28: Elvis Inducted into Memphis Music Hall of Fame

Elvis, among other Memphis music greats, was inducted into the Memphis Music Hall of Fame during a musical tribute held at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis.

Memphis is often known as the cradle for legendary musicians in blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll. Until now, there was no Hall Of Fame – which was new to me. Walking around Memphis and enjoying all the different links to many kinds of music, this had escaped me.

The event was sponsored by the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. The ceremony consisted of 25 inductees who maintained strong ties to the Memphis community and were pioneers in the music industry. Other Memphians honoured were Sun Studio founder Sam Phillips, DJ Dewey Phillips, blues legends BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and Isaac Hayes, among many others.

According to the Memphis Commercial Appeal, Priscilla Presley accepted on behalf of Elvis and noted that Elvis’ musical influences included several of his fellow inductees. “I know he would be humbled and pleased to be included in standing with them tonight at this inaugural event,” she said in a video message presented during the ceremony.

Back In Memphis, 2012 FTD Edition

November 5: Back In Memphis

The Follow That Dream label announced the release of Back In Memphis in their Classic Album” series. This is one of my all-time favourite albums with great recordings like “Inherit the Wind”, “Stranger in My Own Hometown” and, of course, the fan-favorite “Suspicious Minds” – which FTD added as a bonus track. The additional alternate takes of these and other songs from the original album never sounded so good.

November 26: Elvis Files Vol. 1 ’53-’56

Erik Lorentzen shared a preview of the first volume of his Elvis Files anthology. This volume contains the years 1953 through 1956. These years turned the boy into a man and finally the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. If I think of Elvis, images from this era come to mind. For me, this is what embodies Elvis. Two volumes are still shrink-wrapped and will probably be after I receive this volume. The first volume chronicles Elvis’ rise from his pre-SUN discovery to becoming the world’s biggest new sensation – over more than 500 pages and 1,200 photos. Featuring all Elvis events from 1953-1956, every working moment, the early tours, the first Las Vegas trip, recording sessions, the TV shows, and lots of unseen and unpublished images (according to the press-release). Originally announced for release in December 2012, it will be available early 2013.

December 21: Aloha From Hawaii – 40th Anniversary Edition

The year closes with a bang! Boxcar Enterprises announced that, in association JAT Publishing, it will release a 40th Year Anniversary special book in celebration of Elvis’ iconic Aloha from Hawaii, titled Elvis – Aloha via Satellite, in February 2013.

This massive, comprehensive 450-page volume is packaged and housed the same as Elvis Presley’s Graceland Through The Years. The book comprises hundreds upon hundreds of photographs, many of which have never before been seen.  Also collected exclusively are scores of historical memorabilia and the Colonel’s original internal documents and scripts. According to the press release, this is intended to create a time-travel experience of sorts documenting the most ground breaking event in the annals of television history.

2012 Wrap-up

So this wraps up 2012. Was it a good year? Browsing through the 290 posts I did on my Elvis Day By Day blog I can only say it was. On only 75 days, I did not find anything interesting to post. After years with only a few outstanding releases, 2012 raised the bar on CD and book releases, while vinyl made a comeback.

I did not get much of the 35th anniversary celebrations, but we got A Boy From Tupelo, for many fans a “holy grail”, we got a lot of vinyl, we got the Prince From Another Planet, a newly discovered recording of “I Forgot To Remember to Forget”, many import releases, and a series of great books. A few years ago, we thought the well had run dry, but I believe we may still get a few surprises in the years to come. See you around next year!

/Kees, Elvis Day By Day

The Best News Stories 2012 (B) by Kees

Prince From Another Planet highlights an unreachable star

Sony released three new Elvis titles to US stores on Tuesday, all of them related to his 1972 appearances at Madison Square Garden. While I commend Sony for bringing these releases to market, they have also brought along with them much confusion over the similar contents.

I’m no miracle worker, but I’ll try to clear this up for you as best I can.

Prince From Another Planet: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden is a 2-CD/1-DVD boxed set. CD 1 is a 2012 mix by Michael H. Brauer of Elvis’ June 10, 1972, afternoon show at the Garden, mastered by Vic Anesini. CD 2 is a 2012 mix by Brauer of Elvis’ June 10 evening show at the Garden, mastered by Anesini. The DVD contains a new documentary (Like A Prince From Another Planet), footage from Elvis’ June 9 press conference in New York, and fan-shot 8-millimeter footage of the June 10 afternoon show. Also included is a 50-page book, featuring liner notes by Lenny Kaye.

Elvis Presley's 1972 New York press conference

Elvis at his June 9, 1972, press conference

Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden: Legacy Edition is a 2-CD set. CD 1 is a vintage 1972 mix of Elvis’ June 10 evening show at the Garden, mastered by Anesini in 2007. This represents the 1972 album Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden, which hit store shelves only a week after the actual show. Due to Anesini’s mastering, which was first released on 2009’s Elvis: The Complete Masters Collection and 2010’s The Complete Elvis Presley Masters, the sound quality is improved over the 1992 CD release. CD 2 is a vintage 1997 mix of Elvis’ June 10 afternoon show at the Garden, mastered by Anesini for this 2012 edition. This represents the 1997 album An Afternoon In The Garden.

Sony has also released a new vinyl version of Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden. This 2-LP release of the June 10 evening show is a newly mastered version of the vintage 1972 mix. Despite the fact that it is now two records, this does not contain the afternoon show. The original 1972 vinyl issue of this album was only one record, but the two record format is for better sound quality.

As you can see, fans of Elvis in 1972 have a nice selection from which to choose. As for me, I went with the deluxe Prince From Another Planet set because I wanted to hear the 2012 mixes. The Legacy Edition was not appealing to me because I already have the vintage As Recorded At Madison Square Garden mix as mastered by Anesini on The Complete Masters Collection, and I was not interested in a new mastering of the 1997 mix of An Afternoon In The Garden. I may eventually pick up the vinyl, though I tend to gravitate more towards records produced while Elvis was alive.

Prince From Another Planet (2012)

I’m not going to do a formal review, but I can’t close out without saying that Prince From Another Planet is incredible. Brauer has done a fantastic job mixing these shows. Crank up your sound system and maybe, just maybe, you can be transported back to June 10, 1972, and experience Elvis at the Garden.

As you might expect, the difference is most striking on the evening show. To say that the 1972 mix was rushed would be an understatement. This new 2012 mix finally illuminates this show in the fashion it deserves.

The Like A Prince From Another Planet documentary is worthwhile. I would like to see more documentaries of this nature, highlighting specific points in Elvis’ career. It does “spoil” a lot of the fan-shot footage, though, so you may want to watch that first.

The amateur video of the June 10 afternoon show looks about as good as 8 millimeter footage can possibly appear. Do not go in expecting professional Elvis On Tour or Aloha From Hawaii quality, though. This understandably looks grainy on large television sets. Though the original footage was silent, Sony has meticulously synched the 2012 mix of the show’s audio with the footage. To put it mildly, the footage is stunning and makes for a terrific experience . . . almost.

Elvis on stage at the Garden

Elvis on stage at the Garden

Only about twenty minutes of footage from this sixty minute show actually exists. During parts of the show for which there is no footage, the screen goes black while the audio continues. There are several long stretches of songs with no footage at all. To be honest, I cannot imagine a member of the “general public” (i.e., someone who is not an obsessed Elvis fan) sitting through this. Even I became restless at times, afraid to take my eyes off the big blank screen for fear I would miss the video. Sony should have provided an option to “View All Footage” and skip over the blank portions. This is but a minor quibble, though. Keep in mind while watching this that Warner Home Video is sitting on hours of professionally-filmed 1972 tour footage of Elvis. Unfortunately, Sony has no control of that footage, so kudos to them for at least bringing us this grainy alternative.

My larger complaint with the set has to do with the packaging. It is beautiful, but fails miserably at its primary job – protecting the CDs and DVD. Good luck getting them out without scratching the discs and/or creasing the packaging. As it is, my DVD has a fault during the press conference, and I have no doubt that the packaging and my admittedly anxious hands are to blame.

Elvis and the music more than make up for these shortcomings, though. If you are a fan of Elvis in 1972, Prince From Another Planet is a must-have. If you are not a fan of Elvis in 1972, I do not think this release will change your opinion. That’s okay, though. Everyone is entitled to be wrong!

* * *

Coming so soon on the heels of the recent storm, this New York themed release also reminded me to think of those in New York and neighboring areas that are affected. I think it would be a great gesture, and certainly within the spirit of Elvis’ generosity, if Sony were to release a single from this set with proceeds to benefit disaster relief efforts. In any event, we fans can also help on our own by donating funds to the American Red Cross.

No particular place to go

All right, this will be one of those off-the-top-of-my-head posts – so who knows what you’re gonna get out of reading this.

I’m just sitting here on a rainy Saturday afternoon listening to Elvis.

Blue HawaiiI’m getting back into vinyl after pretty much being all CDs all the time for the last twenty years. I pulled out my old collection, and the first one I played was Blue Hawaii.

I couldn’t believe how incredible it sounded on record. I sense a new obsession coming on.

The good thing is, I already have about 25 LPs and 25 45s from the old days before I had a CD player, so those should tide me over for awhile.

* * *

So, there were a bunch of great posts around the web for Elvis Week 2012. My favorite was probably Indisposable Johnny’s “When Elvis Moved On” over on The Round Place In The Middle blog. If you haven’t already, be sure to read it.

One post that I didn’t want to read because I knew what was coming was “Treat Me Nice”, a farewell of sorts by Thomas Melin over on his Elvis Today Blog. After five years and 500 posts, he’s taking an indefinite break from blogging about Elvis in order to spend more time with his family. It’s hard to fault him for that. I’m sure gonna miss his posts, though. Best wishes to Thomas.

While Thomas’ absence leaves a huge void, all is not lost. For instance, Sheila O’Malley continues her excellent series of Elvis Essays on The Sheila Variations blog. Meanwhile, artist Joe Petruccio just began a brand new blog called My Elvis Journal. Petruccio’s unique posts are definitely worth checking out.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

* * *

August 28 Update: I’ve just found that there is yet another new Elvis blog, and it’s one I definitely want to mention. Elvis audio expert and frequent For Elvis CD Collectors Forum poster elvissessions recently began elvissessions.net, which will cover “Elvis Presley in the studio — and beyond.”

I love his informative FECC posts, so I’m looking forward to following elvissessions’ blog. Here’s a recent entry about obtaining Ernst Jorgensen’s autograph on his copy of A Boy From Tupelo during Elvis Week 2012.

Speaking of FTD’s mammoth SUN project, my copy will supposedly be in the mail this week. No autographs, though. I guess that’s one of the many perks of being in Memphis during Elvis Week. Either way, I can hardly wait for this release.