The Complete '68 Comeback Special: 40th Anniversary Edition

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The King of Rock & Roll's 1968 Christmas television special and corresponding LP needed no other title than ELVIS (emblazoned in letters as tall as the record itself), but it became enshrined as "The '68 Comeback Special." During the late '60s, several years removed from live performance of any kind, Elvis had become something previously unimaginable: safe. His recorded output and material were strictly controlled to maximize profits, his appearances were limited to movie theaters, and only his friends saw the uninhibited rebel that had shocked America during the mid-'50s. But when Presley and Colonel Tom Parker agreed to record a Christmas television special to be ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - John Bush
The King of Rock & Roll's 1968 Christmas television special and corresponding LP needed no other title than ELVIS (emblazoned in letters as tall as the record itself), but it became enshrined as "The '68 Comeback Special." During the late '60s, several years removed from live performance of any kind, Elvis had become something previously unimaginable: safe. His recorded output and material were strictly controlled to maximize profits, his appearances were limited to movie theaters, and only his friends saw the uninhibited rebel that had shocked America during the mid-'50s. But when Presley and Colonel Tom Parker agreed to record a Christmas television special to be directed and co-produced by Steve Binder, it became the catalyst for a comeback. Binder's previous involvement in television (the widely respected T.A.M.I. Show and Hullabaloo) had proved that he understood the best way to present rock music in a television context. On the eve of recording, Binder and his tested crew were on track to produce an excellent show (with dramatic and thematic set pieces tied to Elvis' performances), but it was Binder's chance witnessing of an informal after-hours jam in Elvis' dressing room that transformed a sturdy television vehicle into one of the signal moments in Elvis' career. Binder proposed that Elvis perform part of his special in an informal sit-down jam session, spending time reflecting on the Elvis sensation of the late '50s while he performed some of his old favorites with a group of friends. Although initial reception to the idea was lukewarm (from the Colonel especially), Elvis finally agreed and, with only a few days before taping, invited two of his earliest bandmates, Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana, to join him. Although he exhibited more nerves than he ever had in the past -- a combination of the importance this chance obviously presented plus the large gap between the psychedelic music culture of 1968 and the rather quaint rock & roll of ten years earlier -- Elvis delivered an incredible performance throughout the television special. His vocal performances were loose and gutsy, and his repartee was both self-deprecating and sarcastic about his early days as well as his moribund film career ("There's something wrong with my lip!...I got news for you baby, I did 29 pictures like that"). He was uninhibited and utterly unsafe, showing the first inkling in ten years that life and spirit were still left in music's biggest artistic property. The resulting LP, NBC-TV Special, combined sit-down and stand-up segments, but probably over-compensated on the stand-up segments. Several previous RCA compilations (Memories: The '68 Comeback Special and Tiger Man) issued more of the sit-down shows, but for the 40th anniversary of its recording, RCA released The Complete '68 Comeback Special, a lavish four-disc box set. It collects the original LP plus bonus tracks on the first disc, then presents Elvis' complete performances of the two sit-down shows and two stand-up shows on two successive discs. A fourth disc includes earlier rehearsals for the special that find Elvis incredibly loose and joking with friends as well as the audience. Although four discs centering on a single show verge on overkill for any but the most enthusiastic fans, what impresses about The Complete '68 Comeback Special is how much it prefigures the rest of Elvis' career. Dramatic, intense, driven, and earthy, frequently moving but not without the occasional cloying note, Elvis during the '70s was the apotheosis of rock music, a righteous blend of rock and soul, gospel and pop, blues and country.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/5/2008
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 886973062623
  • Catalog Number: 730626
  • Sales rank: 38,914

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Trouble/Guitar Man (3:29)
  2. 2 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy/Baby What You Want Me to Do Medley: Heartbreak Hotel (14:42)
  3. 3 Where Could I Go But to the Lord/Up Above My Head/Saved [Medley] (7:35)
  4. 4 Blue Christmas/One Night [Medley] (5:34)
  5. 5 Memories (3:20)
  6. 6 Medley: Nothingville/Big Boss Man/Guitar Man/Little Egypt/Trouble/Guita (6:43)
  7. 7 If I Can Dream (3:22)
  8. 8 It Hurts Me (2:32)
  9. 9 Let Yourself Go (2:37)
  10. 10 A Little Less Conversation (1:46)
  11. 11 Memories (3:08)
  12. 12 If I Can Dream (3:09)
Disc 2
  1. 1 That's All Right (4:08)
  2. 2 Heartbreak Hotel (2:54)
  3. 3 Love Me (3:12)
  4. 4 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (5:44)
  5. 5 Blue Suede Shoes (2:20)
  6. 6 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (4:02)
  7. 7 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (3:02)
  8. 8 Are You Lonesome Tonight? (2:51)
  9. 9 When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (0:38)
  10. 10 Blue Christmas (2:36)
  11. 11 Trying to Get to You (2:49)
  12. 12 One Night (3:56)
  13. 13 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (5:10)
  14. 14 One Night (2:37)
  15. 15 Memories (3:26)
  16. 16 Heartbreak Hotel (1:28)
  17. 17 Hound Dog (0:46)
  18. 18 All Shook Up (1:57)
  19. 19 Can't Help Falling in Love (2:18)
  20. 20 Jailhouse Rock (1:59)
  21. 21 Don't Be Cruel (1:42)
  22. 22 Blue Suede Shoes (2:33)
  23. 23 Love Me Tender (4:17)
  24. 24 Trouble (3:01)
  25. 25 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (3:05)
  26. 26 If I Can Dream (3:16)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Heartbreak Hotel (4:12)
  2. 2 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (3:27)
  3. 3 Introductions (2:16)
  4. 4 That's All Right (3:07)
  5. 5 Are You Lonesome Tonight? (3:59)
  6. 6 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (3:24)
  7. 7 Blue Suede Shoes (2:26)
  8. 8 One Night (3:19)
  9. 9 Love Me (4:14)
  10. 10 Trying to Get to You (3:04)
  11. 11 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (2:57)
  12. 12 Santa Claus Is Back in Town (1:17)
  13. 13 Blue Christmas (4:02)
  14. 14 Tiger Man (3:11)
  15. 15 When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (1:17)
  16. 16 Memories (3:15)
  17. 17 Heartbreak Hotel (1:23)
  18. 18 Hound Dog (0:46)
  19. 19 All Shook Up (1:36)
  20. 20 Can't Help Falling in Love (2:25)
  21. 21 Jailhouse Rock (2:00)
  22. 22 Don't Be Cruel (1:37)
  23. 23 Blue Suede Shoes (2:46)
  24. 24 Love Me Tender (3:31)
  25. 25 Trouble/Guitar Man [Medley] (5:10)
  26. 26 Trouble/Guitar Man [Medley] (2:32)
  27. 27 If I Can Dream (3:20)
Disc 4
  1. 1 I Got a Woman (2:47)
  2. 2 Blue Moon/Young Love/Oh, Happy Day [Medley] (2:21)
  3. 3 When It Rains It Really Pours (2:55)
  4. 4 Blue Christmas (3:28)
  5. 5 Are You Lonesome Tonight?/That's My Desire [Medley] (3:12)
  6. 6 That's When Your Heartaches Begin (0:49)
  7. 7 Peter Gunn Theme (1:37)
  8. 8 Love Me (1:45)
  9. 9 When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (1:52)
  10. 10 Blue Christmas/Santa Claus Is Back in Town [Medley] (3:03)
  11. 11 Danny Boy (1:35)
  12. 12 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (3:22)
  13. 13 Love Me (2:38)
  14. 14 Tiger Man (3:14)
  15. 15 Santa Claus Is Back in Town (2:44)
  16. 16 Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (2:18)
  17. 17 One Night (2:18)
  18. 18 Blue Christmas (2:49)
  19. 19 Baby, What You Want Me to Do (1:25)
  20. 20 When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (1:14)
  21. 21 Blue Moon of Kentucky (1:43)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elvis Presley Primary Artist, Guitar
Don Randi Piano
Mike Deasy Sr. Guitar
Scotty Moore Guitar
The Blossoms Vocals
John Bahler Background Vocals
Hal Blaine Drums
Chuck Berghofer Bass
Gary Coleman Drums
John Cyr Percussion
Frank DeVito Percussion
D.J. Fontana Percussion
Billy Goldenberg Conductor
Charlie Hodge Guitar
Larry Knechtel Bass, Keyboards
Neil Levang Guitar
Tommy Morgan Harmonica
Sally Stevens Background Vocals
Tommy Tedesco Guitar
Joseph R. Gibbons Guitar
B.J. Baker Background Vocals
Bob Tebow Background Vocals
Lance Legault Tambourine
Charles Britz Guitar
Elliott Franks Percussion
Technical Credits
Joe Hill Louis Composer
Mac Davis Composer
Jerry Reed Composer
Henry Mancini Composer
Elvis Presley Composer
Lloyd Price Composer
Richard Rodgers Composer
Dave Bartholomew Composer
Jerry Leiber Composer
Billy Strange Composer
Otis Blackwell Composer
Rick Cartey Composer
Luigi Creatore Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Composer
Lorenz Hart Composer
Bones Howe Engineer
Carol Joyner Composer
Harvey Robert Kubernik Liner Notes
Hugo Peretti Composer
Charlie Singleton Composer
Mike Stoller Composer
Roy Turk Composer
George David Weiss Composer
Gene Sullivan Composer
Mae Boren Axton Composer
Luther Dixon Composer
William Robert Emerson Composer
Wiley Walker Composer
Vic Anesini Mastering
Tommy Durden Composer
Fred Fisher Composer
Lou Handman Composer
Pearl King Composer
Carroll Loveday Composer
Sam Burns Composer
Joy Byers Composer
W. Earl Brown Composer
Charles E. Daniels Composer
James B. Coats Composer
William Raskin Composer
Robert Brower Photo Courtesy
Don Koplow Composer
Sören Szameitat Memorabilia
Tim Mulrenan Photo Courtesy
Frederick Edward Weatherly Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    40th Anniversary '68 Special

    I ordered this thinking it was the DVD, but I have the music and it is Elvis at his very best. I would recommend this CD set to anyone who is a fan, and especially to those who have never actually listened to his music..

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The King's Comeback!!

    The King's comeback was an amazing success. After grinding out one lighthearted musical after another, Elvis Presley was becoming another relic of the `50s and his career was teetering on the brink of disaster. He tumbled from the top of the entertainment mountain to almost anonymity. The `68 Comeback Special added another dimension to this incredible performer and he reclaimed his rock `n' roll crown! An absolute must for diehard Elvis fans like myself, or anyone interested in pop culture. Sit back and enjoy!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews