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Elvis A Celebration - Elvis Presley Book

Elvis A Celebration - Elvis Presley Book

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Elvis: A Celebration - Original Version

This book is VERY heavy so it is VERY expensive ($110) to post outside of Australia.

Available at the same time ....

- Elvis And Gladys By Elaine Dundy
-
Rough Guide To Elvis
- Elvis A Celebration
- Elvis A Celebration (Cute Mini version of the above)
- Everything Elvis : Facts About The King
- Double Trouble: Bill Clinton & Elvis Presley

- Last Train To Memphis

- Careless Love : The Unmaking Of Elvis Presley

Paperback 608 pages (August 16, 2004)

The ultimate celebration of the King of Rock 'n' Roll as seen from the archives of the Elvis Presley Estate at Graceland published on the 25th Anniversary of his death.

Compiled and written with the full authorization and assistance of the Elvis Presley Estate, and using exclusive material from the official archive at Graceland, Elvis: A Celebration is the ultimate tribute to the King of Rock 'n' Roll on the 25th anniversary of his death. This pictorial record of Elvis's life features over 600 photographs and illustrations, from his early days in Tupelo and Memphis, his rise to superstardom, his career in movies, his television and Vegas performances, and his posthumous ascent to the top rank of the pop-culture pantheon. Loaded with news photographs, memorabilia, and movie stills-many never before published-this is the one book that Elvis fans should not be without!

You don’t start a book called Elvis – A Celebration expecting an Albert Goldman-style trawl through the peaks and troughs of the great man’s life. Similarly, the word CELEBRATION, when taken alongside the fact that this weighty, weighty tome was produced and approved in accordance with the wishes of the Elvis Presley Estate, goes on to suggest that we’d be wrong to expect the level-headedness you’d find in, say, either of Peter Guralnick’s books on Elvis Presley (Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley - both highly recommended).

On a purely textual basis, what we have here is Airbrushed Elvis. There are no drug problems, there is just ill health. He didn’t divorce Priscilla, they merely stopped being photographed together. There is no sense of the pain Elvis suffered on his mother’s death (pain that has been well-reported and can in no way reflect badly upon the man himself), the event is pretty much passed over in a double page spread that includes a newspaper report and a photograph of Elvis and his dad.

But you don’t come to this book wanting to learn. You come to this book as you would come to a church. You come to worship the icon that is Elvis, and worship you can as the majority of these 608 pages are taken up with images of Presley. At the beginning, as a child, it’s amazing to see this kid (a blond kid at that) sandwiched between his parents, no idea of his future, just a kid like any other. Later as the quiff develops (but before there is any hint of fame), there are three maybe four shots of Elvis taken in a photobooth – his head hung low, his eyes staring up, lip curled – that give you a hint of something that becomes more and more apparent as the book proceeds: Elvis, the photographed Elvis, is a construct fashioned by the kid to project that idea of rebellious cool that was so important (and so keenly present) to him from the word go. You get no real sense of Elvis the man from the many, many photographs taken of him. Early on, you get Elvis the heartthrob. Later you get Elvis the showman. In-between there are army shots and fan shots and gig shots and film shots and more shots of him kneeling besides cars than you would think to expect, but rarely do you glimpse the man. When you do, however, when you glimpse the real Elvis (the Elvis who hasn’t had time to prepare a cool stare, or flash a winning smile or strike a pose), caught unawares by a snapper – well, those photographs are much more interesting. Furthermore, as the years go by, we see far less portraiture going on – Elvis dispenses with the glossy head shot and we begin to lose sight of his eyes (we see profiles, we see concert footage – we don’t see eyes). As such, when he is caught unawares (with his daughter, for example, at the beginning of the seventies) the blankness glimpsed therein is – even now – deeply disconcerting. Similarly the shot of Elvis and then-girlfriend Linda making their way onto a plane in 1972 – well, let’s just say . . . The King? He don’t look well.

Still, such criticisms are, for the most part, churlish. As I said before: you come to this book to worship and if you are fan that is precisely what you will do. This is a how-to book on the iconography of cool. Watch the man perform, watch the performer grow – he’s writing the rulebook.

Any Cop?: If The Beatles invented the modern pop song, Elvis Presley invented our idea of cool. You’re not worthy . . .

Review by Bookmunch.

Elvis A Celebration - Elvis Presley Book

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