NBC-TV Special ['68 Comeback]
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Performer: Elvis Presley
Distributor: Sony BMG
Notes: Personnel: Elvis Presley, Charlie Hodge (vocals, guitars); Billy Goldenberg (conductor); Al Casey (guitars, bass); Scotty Moore, Tommy Tedesco, Mike Deasy (guitars); Larry Knechtal, Don Randi (keyboards); Tommy Morgan (harmonicas); Charles Berghoffer (bass); Hal Blaine, D.J. Fontana (drums); John Cyr, Frank DeVito (percussion). The Blossoms: Darlene Love, Jean King, Fanita James (vocals). Recorded live at NBC Studios and Western Recorders, Burbank, California in June 1968. Broadcast December 3, 1968. By 1968, Elvis Presley's career appeared to be in irreversible decline, torpedoed by the innumerable inane films he had made throughout the previous decade. While Elvis had wiled away the '60s playing characters named Lucky and Spike, artists like the Beatles and Bob Dylan had altered the pop music scene, making Elvis' previous accomplishments appear quaint but outdated to most young record buyers. Searching for a vehicle to revitalize his career, Elvis and the Colonel decided on a 60-minute television special. The show, quickly dubbed The Comeback Special, accomplished its goal in spades, reestablishing Presley's artistic validity and preparing the public for a string of great singles that arrived early the following year. NBC-TV SPECIAL opens and closes huge, kicking off with Elvis sneering "If you're looking for trouble, you've come to the right place" and ending with one of his most impassioned performances, "If I Can Dream." In between, Presley reunites with original band members Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana on eight numbers, among them a blistering version of "One Night," and blazes through several production numbers and medleys of his hits. NBC-TV SPECIAL documents a defining moment in Presley's career, and is a must for any fan of the King.
"Before Elvis, there was nothing," John Lennon once said. An overstatement, of course, but Elvis Presley's ascendance to superstardom in the mid-1950s kicked off a musical and social revolution whose impact has yet to abate. After the charming young man from Tupelo, Mississippi was discovered by Sun Records honcho Sam Phillips, the wise studio owner took Presley under his wing, leading to the landmark recording of his first single, "That's All Right (Mama)." The rest, of course, is well-documented history, with Elvis going on to conquer the pop charts, the box office, and beyond. He truly was the King, and his blend of country, pop, and R&B became the cornerstone of rock & roll.
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