Thursday, October 30, 2008
Having already read reviews of these albums (somebody obviously has a faster mailman than I do) they seem worth waiting for. Nevertheless, it's becoming more and more clear that Ernst Jorgensen and company put their energy on the classic album series rather than on the original 5" digipacks. Also, it's pretty obvious that the 5" albums are turning into a kind of soundboard label.
This is certainly no surprise, but just for the fun of it I counted the smaller digipacks and these are the statistics:
Of the 40 5" digipacks released so far (I'm not counting The Way It Was re-release) 21 contain live material. That may not seem much, but if you concentrate on the later FTD years (2004-2008) 12 out of 17 are soundboards or professionally recorded concerts.
So why isn't that surprising? Simply because there is no use putting together alternate takes albums like Made In Memphis or Nashville Marathon when all the outtakes sooner or later wind up on on the classic albums.
I'm all for the 5" digipacks becoming a soundboard label, but I would like to see them treated with the same care as the classic albums gets. As the price is the same, it would be nice to have a booklet included with photos from the show and some nicely written linear notes. After all, if the bootleggers can do it, then why not FTD?
PS: Maybe I'm wrong and the next 5" won't be a soundboard. Maybe it will be the re-release of Flashback from the FTD book with the same name. I wouldn't be surprised. Would you?
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Thursday, October 16, 2008
For you not familiar with his work, Mr Cussler is a bestselling American novelist writing action adventures involving lost ships, heroes, megalomaniacs, beautiful women and sunken treasure. I've loved his books since my early teens, and apart from being highly entertaining they've been great textbooks when it comes to me learning English.
Anyway, there I was, reading one of his latest books, The Navigator, when suddenly Elvis makes an appearance in it. Well, almost. The situation is this: The hero of the book, Kurt Austin, has invited Italian beauty Carina Mechadia over for dinner. As she arrives, she compliments his flowered silk shirt. Kurt answers:
"Thanks. Elvis Presley wore the same design in the movie Blue Hawaii."
I thought it was a great line, and a nice detail in the dialogue. Apparently Clive Cussler had done his homework, as he both knew that Elvis made a movie called Blue Hawaii, and that Elvis wore flowered shirts in it.
Unfortunately, that was the only appearance Elvis made during their date, and I was a bit disappointed when:
"Austin put on a recording from his extensive jazz collection..."
In my opinion, the soundtrack from Blue Hawaii would've been a better choice, what with the flowered shirt and all. Still, being both an Elvis Presley and Clive Cussler fan, it was nice to see their paths cross, so to speak.
PS: Turns out Elvis and Clive have at least one thing in common, their love for cars. Actually, there's both a Cussler car museum and an Elvis Presley automobile museum. You can read about Elvis' cars here and Clive's cars here.
Monday, October 13, 2008
Apparently the guy who created this animation is a freelance animator named Tim Pope. He writes on YouTube that it was a personal project done with Lightwave animation software, and that it took "2 years of blood, sweat, and tears to complete."
I don't know about you, but I was very impressed with the result and have watched it many times tonight. Granted, the resemblance isn't perfect but still very close. Just imagine what will be possible in the very near future. It'll make Christmas Duets seem like child's play...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
But then again, so much has been written about Elvis that is seems there is nothing more to tell. However, one of the projects I've been fantasising about is a book about his time in Las Vegas, another an in depth look at the making of a certain movie or a certain recording session with the help of, for example, interviews with former musicians, co-stars and crew.
My third, and maybe most realistic project, is to compile a book with quotes from his movies. The idea comes from a little paperback I have, called The Quotable Star Wars. In it, Steve Sansweet, a journalist until he joined Lucasfilm as a promoter of Star Wars, has collected his favourite quotes from the first trilogy made in the 70's and 80's.
"The Star Wars Generation took great delight in the dialogue: the funny lines and the philosophical ones," Sansweet writes in the introduction. And, being a member of that generation, who isn't familiar with quotes like "Use the force, Luke" and "I'll never turn to the dark side!" to name just a few.
There's just one problem with my idea. Despite the fact that Elvis made 33 movies, it's hard to remember dialogue that stands out like in Star Wars. After all, who goes around muttering "You'll be surprised what you can do if you'll only try" (from Clambake) or "You'll scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" (from Paradise, Hawaiian Style).
Nevertheless, there are some quotes that comes to mind that might qualify:
- "It ain't tactics, honey. It's just the beast in me." (Jailhouse Rock)
- "Now you'll know what I'll do for an encore" (King Creole)
- "You go to school. I'm going out to make a buck." (King Creole again)
- "I don't care if you pilot a jet or a flying carpet." (Kissin' Cousins)
- "You godda be kiddin'. On second thought, you wouldn't wear your head like that for laughs." (Elvis talking to the bald Lord of the assassins in Harum Scarum)
Monday, October 6, 2008
"Elvis online: Visit the Website of the Official Elvis Presley Fan Club on www.elvispresleyfanclubuk.co.uk for Elvis news, views, pictures, travel offers and the new on-line shop featuring a wide range of dvds, cds, books, vinyl and miscellaneous merchandise."
I nearly choked on my coffee. Could this be true? As you may know, I've written earlier about how strange it is that the English fan club in this time and age doesn't have a site on the Internet where you can read the latest news and pay your membership fee, amongst other things.
Quickly, I scrambled to my computer, punched in the address and was greeted by this:
Not the most imaginative of layouts, but that isn't the problem. Actually, I prefer simple solutions on the Internet without blinking adds and so much information you don't know where it begins or end. (Would've been nice with a picture of Elvis, though...)
No, the problem with this site is that it isn't updated. Clicking on "News" I noticed the last posting was from August 7 this year, two months ago! Also, on the first page, Todd Slaughter writes:
Like our fan club magazine, this site is your site. You will have the opportunity to contribute, support, and participate in its development. The only "editorial" control, will be my daily utterings, and the reading and vetting of contributions for libel and decency.
Unfortunately, there aren't any "utterings" and how I as a member and reader can "contribute, support and participate" is, to say the least, pretty unclear. I tried to register but nothing happened, and nowhere on the site did I find a messageboard or any other way to contribute to the page.
Under the capture "Galleries" I found two fan photos, dating from the summer of 2007, and no fans pictures whatsoever. I'll gladly contribute with some of my own photos from Memphis, but how?
The one thing that seems to be working on the site is the shop, which have a decent selection of CDs, both from Sony BMG and FTD. Also, the paintings by artist Teresa Winston look cool, although expensive, to say the least. But the range of DVDs and books is unimpressive with only two titles in each category up for sale.
I for one applaud the fan club for finally being online, but if it's gonna work the site must be regularly updated. And if the fans are to play an important part, then the possibility for that must exist. Otherwise, no one will visit www.elvispresleyfanclubuk.co.uk, and it will fall into oblivion.