The official Elvis Presley Enterprises site reports that the folks behind Viva Elvis: The Album have released a new music video for “Burning Love.” Sadly, the Elvis.com news item states, “The video features archival footage of Elvis’ iconic Las Vegas performance.”
Uh, hello official Elvis site? Are you there? That footage is from Elvis’ iconic Aloha From Hawaii performances. You know, the ones that Elvis Presley Enterprises owns and occasionally promotes on DVD? The Aloha From Hawaii concerts took place, oddly enough, in Hawaii. White jumpsuit does not always equal Vegas. E! and other idiotic entertainment sites make this kind of mistake all of the time, but the official Elvis site should know better.
I loved the Viva Elvis album, including this track, so I figured I’d check this video out (“Burning Love” from Viva Elvis: The Album video — YouTube). First of all, it is miles ahead of the horrible video released last month for the otherwise incredible Viva Elvis version of “Suspicious Minds.” At least this “Burning Love” video doesn’t shy away from featuring footage of Elvis singing the song.
The first video, on the other hand, would have you believe that Elvis sang “Suspicious Minds” during the ELVIS (’68 Comeback) special. “Because, like, black leather is just so much cooler than a white jumpsuit,” was their way of thinking, I’m sure. That video mostly stars shadowy images of either 1968 Elvis or, it appears at times, an elvis impersonator dancing around on the screen. At least, that’s what I remember of it. I couldn’t bare to watch that thing twice.
By the way, they could have actually featured “archival footage of Elvis’ iconic Las Vegas performance” of this song. There was a fantastic 1970 version of “Suspicious Minds” filmed in Las Vegas for That’s The Way It Is. Granted, Elvis Presley Enterprises doesn’t own that movie footage (they only own Elvis’ three 1968-1977 television specials), but I’m sure they could have worked something out with Warner Home Video. They cross-promoted and worked together on Warner’s recent Elvis On Tour release, after all.
Though it may represent a switch in the targeted market for Viva Elvis: The Album from newcomers to established fans, I love the fact that this “Burning Love” video actually embraces the jumpsuited Elvis as he appeared in the Aloha concerts. Elvis did not die in 1968 (or, worse, 1958), despite what some would have you believe.
What doesn’t work for me at all, though, is the juxtaposition of Viva Elvis musicians thrown into the Aloha footage. Perhaps it is because I have watched the real Aloha so many times, but there is no illusion established that these people are all playing together on stage. It looks like you are watching two different concerts at once. Maybe that’s one of the problems some fans have with Viva Elvis: The Album. I guess the visual mash-ups bother me more for some reason than the audio ones.
The “Burning Love” video also suffers from a bit of the same problem as “Don’t Be Cruel” on the 2010 version of Elvis On Tour. About halfway through “Burning Love,” the video producers decide to cut to Elvis dramatically taking off his guitar (in reality, from the end of the song). This allows Elvis to move around freely, dance a bit, and interact with the audience. Suddenly, he is back with guitar at the end of the song – and then dramatically removes it again for the song finale. Ugh.
It makes Elvis look silly to apparently do this guitar removal bit twice in this “Burning Love” video – much like hearing Elvis apparently sing his funny “Please let’s forget the past, before I kick your —” line twice for “Don’t Be Cruel” did in the 2010 Elvis On Tour. That’s the problem with the realm of video and audio trickery. Some people do not know how to properly use the toys.
If they just had to show him with the guitar again, why not at least show him putting the guitar back on first? Then, just have him leave the guitar on when the song ended. The footage was there to do both, using elements from “See See Rider.”
The whole thing just seems sloppy, cheap, and rushed. At least it’s better than “Suspicious Minds,” though.