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I Just Can’t Help Believin’: “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is” Goes Super Deluxe In 8-CD/2-DVD Box Set

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Elvis - That's the Way It Is Box

The title of the 1970 documentary That’s The Way It Is might have been plain-spoken, but nothing else was plain about the chronicle of Elvis Presley’s return to the concert stage.  And there’s certainly nothing plain about the extravagant treatment being accorded the film and its companion album this summer.  Why, we’d even say it’s fit for a – make that, The King.  On August 5, Legacy Recordings will team with Warner Bros. Home Video for a massive 8-CD/2-DVD box set including six full-length concerts, rehearsals and rare recordings on compact disc plus two complete versions of the film on DVD.

This new box set has more than twice the audio content of the previous 3-CD Special Edition, released in 2001 by RCA Victor.  Whereas that set included the original album with bonus material, the complete August 12, 1970 midnight concert and rehearsals/unreleased tracks, the new box features:

  • CD 1 – The Original Album plus outtakes and single versions
  • CD 2 – August 10, 1970 Opening Night concert at Las Vegas’ International Hotel
  • CD 3- August 11, 1970 Dinner Show
  • CD 4 – August 11, 1970 Midnight Show
  • CD 5 – August 12, 1970 Dinner Show
  • CD 6 – August 12, 1970 Midnight Show
  • CD 7 – August 13, 1970 Dinner Show
  • CD 8 – The Rehearsals

The August 11 dinner show and August 12 dinner show are both being released in full for the very first time.  The August 10 opening show, August 11 midnight show and August 13 dinner show have only been made available in the past from the collector-oriented Follow That Dream label on, respectively, One Night in Vegas, Live in Las Vegas, and The Wonder of You.

In addition, the two DVDs boast:

  • DVD 1: 2001 Special Edition, Restoration Featurette, Elvis Career Highlights, Director/Restorer Filmographies, Theatrical Trailer
  • DVD 2: 1970 Original Theatrical Version, Outtakes

An 80-page book, with photographs, memorabilia, recording data and more, accompanies the set.  Also on August 5, Legacy will issue a 2-CD highlights edition of That’s the Way It Is as part of the ongoing Legacy Edition series of Presley reissues.

After the jump, you can read the full contents of Legacy’s press release plus the complete track listing!  We also have provided pre-order links!

PRESS RELEASE:

In 1970, Elvis Presley fans were thrilled by the arrival of two cultural milestones: one an album, the other a full-length concert/documentary and each of them called Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. Since then, aficionados of Elvis have been clamoring for a package that included both the album and the film.

On Tuesday, August 5, 2014, Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, will release That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition), the most ambitious Elvis Presley restoration package ever created, bringing together—for the first time ever–the album, the theatrical and home video versions of the film, six full-length concerts (featuring previously unreleased performances), rehearsal highlights and other rare recordings in one astounding and essential package.  The result of an historic partnership between Sony Music and Warner Brothers Home Video, the deluxe set combines the video and audio assets of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is with unique and previously unreleased material.

A highly-collectible 8CD/2DVD box set, That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition), marks the first time the 1970 documentary and album have been available in a single package, with bonuses including unreleased material, remixed and remastered audio and a new 80-page book detailing the entire event with facts, songwriter and musician interviews, and photos in a deluxe 8CD/2DVD box set. A 2CD Legacy Edition of Elvis: That’s The Way It Is will also be available.  Elvis: That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) is available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.

Originally released on RCA Records in November 1970, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is combined eight studio tracks, recorded in Nashville, and four live concert performances recorded in Las Vegas during Presley’s 1970 “Summer Festival” season at The International Hotel in Las Vegas to create what the All Music Guide has called “…one of his best…” and “essential listening for Elvis fans, both die-hard and casual.”

Though never considered a soundtrack album, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is was initially released to accompany the first theatrical run of “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is,” a 1970 documentary feature, directed by Denis Sanders, which combined on-stage, off-stage and behind-the-scenes footage in Presley’s first non-dramatic film since his 1956 Hollywood movie debut. In the documentary, Sanders captured and illuminated a pivotal moment in Elvis’ transformation from teen idol to consummate showman, Memphis meets Vegas via Hollywood, the King’s return to full concert performances after years of film stardom.

Elvis Presley had made a dramatic comeback two years prior to these shows in a transcendent NBC-TV special, which aired in December 1968. The International Hotel, then-newly-built and the largest live venue in Las Vegas, booked Presley for an unprecedented 57 show run in July 1969, a four-week-long residency that would raise the bar and set the standard for superstar entertainment in Vegas and beyond. “There are several unbelievable things about Elvis, but the most incredible is his staying power in a world where meteoric careers fade like shooting stars,” Newsweek wrote of his incredible new approach to live performance at the time, while Rolling Stone lauded Elvis as “supernatural–his own resurrection.”

Early in 1970, Elvis returned to Vegas for a second engagement at the International, with RCA recording songs for the then forthcoming On Stage, February 1970.  Elvis was on a roll and making big plans–including a feature film–surrounding what would be his third Las Vegas engagement, scheduled for the summer of 1970

On June 4, 1970, Elvis arrived at RCA’s Studio B in Nashville, where producer Felton Jarvis had assembled a hot new session band featuring Elvis’ on-stage guitar legend James Burton. Five nights of recording generated material for no less than three future albums and four singles, including Elvis: That’s The Way It Is and the essential Elvis Country album.

On July 14, rehearsals for the movie and live shows commenced at the MGM lot in Culver City, California. The Hollywood cameras rolled for five different rehearsals prior to the opening night on August 10, including augmentation run-throughs with the singers and the orchestra at the hotel. Unquestionably, Elvis was keen to broaden his repertoire for the film, as more than 60 songs were attempted during the period, far more than the usual average of 20 to 25 that would normally be chosen. Over the four nights filmed by MGM, Elvis and his band worked tirelessly, trying out a broad variety of musical styles, emphasizing his desire to share the wide range of music he loved with his audience. Director Denis Sanders captured the end result magnificently, providing fans throughout the world with their first glimpse of the new contemporary Elvis performing at the peak of his vocal prowess both in rehearsal and on the stage.

That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) centers on the six complete shows recorded and partially filmed by MGM.  Two of the shows are released for the first time in their entirety; two more have only been available only through the mail-order Elvis fan-club network. The original RCA album is expanded with the four single sides from the period, and a selection of “fly-on-the-wall” outtakes from the June Nashville sessions that produced the majority of tracks for the album. Completing the audio section, a separate disc of insightful rehearsal highlights, featuring unusual song selections showcases both the hard work and the playful atmosphere that governed Elvis’ relationship with his musicians.

The original Elvis: That’s The Way It Is includes fiery renditions of “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” previously a hit for Dusty Springfield; “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,’” made famous by The Righteous Brothers, and a show-stopping rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” The original album and singles will fill Disc One of the new edition, with six CDs worth of concert performances and one of rehearsal takes from the Summer of ’70 International Hotel residency.

That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition) puts the original RCA album and the 1970 MGM documentary feature together in a single package for the first time. It includes both the original theatrical DVD version (1970) and the re-edited and extended DVD version from 2000.

Elvis Presley, Elvis: That’s The Way It Is (8-CD/2-DVD Deluxe Edition) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

2-CD Legacy Edition: 2-CD Legacy Edition (Contains CD 1 & CD 5 below): Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.

CD 1

THE ORIGINAL ALBUM (RCA Victor LSP-4445, 1970)

  1. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  2. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
  3. How The Web Was Woven
  4. Patch It Up
  5. Mary In The Morning
  6. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  7. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  8. I’ve Lost You
  9. Just Pretend
  10. Stranger In The Crowd
  11. The Next Step Is Love
  12. Bridge Over Troubled Water

THE ORIGINAL SINGLES

  1. I’ve Lost You (single version)
  2. The Next Step Is Love (single version)
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (single version)
  4. Patch It Up (single version)

THE OUTTAKES

  1. How The Web Was Woven (take 1)
  2. I’ve Lost You (take 1)
  3. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (take 2)
  4. Patch It Up (take 1)
  5. Bridge Over Troubled Water (take 1)

CD 2: August 10 – Opening Night

  1. That’s All Right
  2. Medley: Mystery Train/Tiger Man
  3. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  4. Love Me Tender
  5. The Next Step Is Love
  6. Words
  7. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  8. Something
  9. Sweet Caroline
  10. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  11. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  12. Polk Salad Annie
  13. Introductions
  14. I’ve Lost You
  15. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  16. Patch It Up
  17. Can’t Help Falling In Love

CD 3: August 11 – Dinner Show

  1. That’s All Right
  2. I Got A Woman *
  3. Hound Dog
  4. Heartbreak Hotel
  5. Love Me Tender *
  6. I’ve Lost You
  7. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  8. Something
  9. I Can’t Stop Loving You *
  10. Sweet Caroline *
  11. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  12. Polk Salad Annie *
  13. Introductions *
  14. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  15. Suspicious Minds *
  16. Can’t Help Falling In Love *

CD 4: August 11 – Midnight Show

  1. That’s All Right
  2. I Got A Woman
  3. Hound Dog
  4. Love Me Tender
  5. There Goes My Everything
  6. Just Pretend
  7. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  8. Something
  9. Men With Broken Hearts
  10. Walk A Mile In My Shoes
  11. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  12. Polk Salad Annie
  13. One Night
  14. Don’t Be Cruel
  15. Love Me
  16. Instrumental Vamp
  17. Heartbreak Hotel
  18. Introductions
  19. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  20. Suspicious Minds
  21. Can’t Help Falling In Love

CD 5: August 12 – Dinner Show

  1. That’s All Right *
  2. I Got A Woman *
  3. Hound Dog *
  4. Heartbreak Hotel *
  5. Love Me Tender *
  6. I’ve Lost You *
  7. I Just Can’t Help Believin’ *
  8. Patch It Up
  9. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
  10. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ *
  11. Polk Salad Annie *
  12. Introductions *
  13. Blue Suede Shoes *
  14. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  15. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  16. Suspicious Minds *
  17. Can’t Help Falling In Love *

CD 6: August 12 – Midnight Show

  1. That’s All Right
  2. Medley: Mystery Train/Tiger Man
  3. Hound Dog
  4. Love Me Tender
  5. Just Pretend
  6. Walk A Mile In My Shoes
  7. There Goes My Everything
  8. Words
  9. Sweet Caroline
  10. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  11. Polk Salad Annie
  12. Introductions
  13. Heartbreak Hotel
  14. One Night
  15. Blue Suede Shoes
  16. All Shook Up
  17. Medley: Little Sister/Get Back
  18. I Was The One
  19. Love Me
  20. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
  21. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  22. Suspicious Minds
  23. Can’t Help Falling In Love

CD 7: August 13 – Dinner Show

  1. That’s All Right
  2. I Got A Woman
  3. Hound Dog
  4. Love Me Tender
  5. Don’t Cry Daddy
  6. In The Ghetto
  7. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  8. Stranger In The Crowd
  9. Make The World Go Away
  10. Sweet Caroline
  11. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  12. Polk Salad Annie
  13. Introductions
  14. The Wonder Of You
  15. Heartbreak Hotel
  16. Blue Suede Shoes
  17. One Night
  18. All Shook Up
  19. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  20. Suspicious Minds
  21. Can’t Help Falling In Love

CD 8: The Rehearsals

  1. Alla En Al Rancho Grande
  2. Ghost Riders In The Sky
  3. Cotton Fields
  4. Froggy Went A-Courtin’
  5. Baby Let’s Play House
  6. I Was The One
  7. Money Honey
  8. Don’t
  9. (Now And Then There’s) A Fool Such As I
  10. Such A Night
  11. It’s Now Or Never
  12. What’d I Say
  13. Yesterday
  14. Medley: Little Sister/Get Back
  15. Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home
  16. I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water
  17. Stranger In My Own Home Town
  18. Farther Along
  19. Santa Claus Is Back In Town
  20. Oh Happy Day

(*) denotes previously unreleased track

DVD 1

  • 2001 Special Edition
  • Restoration Featurette Patch It Up: The Restoration of Elvis – That’s The Way It Is Presley Career Highlights
  • Director / Restorer Filmographies
  • Theatrical Trailer

Scene Selections

  1. Mystery Train/Tiger Man
  2. In The Studio
  3. That’s All Right
  4. Little Sister/Get Back
  5. Horseplay
  6. Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
  7. Las Vegas
  8. Cattle Call/Chime Bells
  9. Words/You Can’t Say That
  10. Mary In The Morning
  11. Countdown To Showtime
  12. That’s All Right
  13. I Got A Woman
  14. Hound Dog
  15. Heartbreak Hotel
  16. Love Me Tender
  17. I Can’t Stop Loving You
  18. Just Pretend
  19. The Wonder Of You
  20. In The Ghetto
  21. Patch It Up
  22. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  23. Polk Salad Annie
  24. One Night
  25. Don’t Be Cruel
  26. Blue Suede Shoes
  27. All Shook Up
  28. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
  29. Suspicious Minds
  30. Can’t Help Falling In Love

DVD 2

  • 1970 Original Theatrical Version
  • Outtakes

Scene Selections

  1. Credits
  2. Good Morning, Hollywood Camera
  3. Bonafide Fans Of Elvis
  4. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  5. Elvis’ Summer Festival
  6. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (rehearsal)
  7. A Romantic Wedding
  8. Opening Night Jitters
  9. That’s All Right
  10. I’ve Lost You
  11. Patch It Up
  12. When I First Started
  13. Love Me Tender
  14. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’
  15. Sweet Caroline
  16. I Just Can’t Help Believin’
  17. Presley Fans In Vegas
  18. Elvis Impersonators
  19. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  20. Heartbreak Hotel
  21. One Night
  22. Blue Suede Shoes
  23. All Shook Up
  24. Polk Salad Annie
  25. Audience Mingling
  26. Suspicious Minds
  27. Can’t Help Falling In Love

Written by Joe Marchese

June 5, 2014 at 10:25

6 Responses

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  1. This looks awesome–Unfortunately, my go-to online Presley recording guide has been offline for several months, and I’m not quite certain off of the top of my head what has and what has not been released on the FTD label and elsewhere. (There was a now-OOP three-disc special edition of TTWII released in about 2000; I’m not sure if there remains any tracks exclusive to that title, although there were at least a couple of rehearsal performances that don’t appear to be on this title.)

    I’ve not yet gone to the Elvis message boards, but I would imagine that there is a disappointed contingent of fans/collectors who for years have been clamoring for an expanded/deluxe/special edition of 1972’s “Elvis On Tour”–apparently there is quite a bit of outtake footage that has circulated on bootleg for years.

    Hank

    June 5, 2014 at 11:29

  2. This looks fantastic, but that over-sized packaging compels me to skip this one. I wish they had gone with something more compact.

    Mark

    June 5, 2014 at 13:28

  3. This looks fucking GLORIOUS!

    AlexKx

    June 5, 2014 at 14:20

  4. A little hunk of overkill!

    Mr MacGoo

    June 5, 2014 at 17:29

    • Of course this set is absolute dynamite, i can imagine a similar On Tour package would be considered
      should this be a succes. By the way, i think the Elvis reissues are among the best in the biz, judging by the
      fantastic Prince from another Planet and Elvis Stax releases the last couple of years. The producers seem to make it their mission to make Presley issues the polar opposite of the often cheap ‘product’ released during his lifetime, thanks in no small part to The King’s management.

      David Lee Waits

      June 6, 2014 at 04:58

  5. I wonder what the 2CD version will have on it. I assume it will be the same first disc, but I wonder if the second will just be one of the above concerts in tact or a compilation of assorted tracks from discs 2 – 8.

    Scott

    June 6, 2014 at 14:35


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