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ELVIS PRESLEY The Definitive Elvis
Universal (2006)
A life in five DVDs... Elvis Presley

The first question you have to ask yourself is Ďwhy?í Because this gargantuan box set - clearly aimed at Elvis acolytes - is a repackaging of Elvis - The Ultimate Collection and Elvis - The Ultimate Collection II released in 2002 and 2003 respectively.

Those discs ran to a fairly massive eleven hours and consisted of 13 documentaries from the American TV series Elvis: The Ultimate Collection.

So itís perhaps a little disappointing to find that the only additional material here is a further 3 episodes from the series. In this case The Many Loves Of Elvis, All The Kings Disciples: The Fans, and The Spiritual Soul Of Elvis.

If youíre looking for an introduction to the music of The King this isnít the best starting place - performance footage is sparse.

But if youíre after an insightful a-z of the life of The King from friends, employees, girlfriends, co-stars, musicians and fans then this is for you. You also get restored film clips, rare home movies, photos from his private collection and more.

Joe Esposito acts as Executive Consultant having spent 20 years with Elvis from 1959 - 1977 as his road manager. He met Elvis in the army, was best man at his wedding and was there when he died. He gets a fair amount of screen time in the series.

This is an extensive and at times repetitive reference work. Itís probably not an advised purchase for the casual Elvis fan (unless you suffer from insomnia). But if you want to probe beneath the surface this is an excellent starting place.

For Elvis anoraks and those who want an in-depth insight into the man.


Review by Pete Whalley

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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