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My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 7:24 pm

Favourite Box-sets, my top-ten
Call me corny but I have always been very fond of boxes, therefore I compiled my own little list of longtime and recent favourites featuring LP, CD and DVD-formats. It’s very hard to rank them but I’ll start from the bottom end.

10. COLLECTORS GOLD (BMG Music, PL90754-3) My very first Elvis Presley-box, I remember it was delayed somewhat but finally arrived in Kalmar during the early fall of 1991. I was a seven-grader and unimaginable excited when I dropped the needle on record one, side A. This still holds many memories and feature some superb sixties music, back then, I felt that more was to come. The set includes several mind-blowing studio and live outtakes of such songs as; What A Wonderful Life, One Broken Heart For Sale, How Can You Lose What You Never Had, Memphis Tennessee, Goin’ Home, Inherit The Wind and Rubberneckin’. I sincerely thank the producers and executives at BMG for releasing this narrow set, a bold step that promised a bright future.

9. ELVIS ’77 - THE FINAL CURTAIN (Boxcar) After getting several DVD-R’s featuring poor quality TV-footage of Elvis’ final tour Boxcar finally released this lavish DVD/CD/Book-combo. Among others, it contains the legendary but sad CBS-footage in near full S-VHS quality. By now I’m sure EPE won’t ever release the unedited material, like they did with Aloha, so this set is our only chance of watching these hurting events. Much as I love Elvis’ music it’s hard to fully enjoy his final pro-material but this box is such a beautiful tribute to our Man with its fantastic artwork, footage and audio-material. Highlights for me are the many versions of If You Love Me, Let Me Know and Hurt.

8. REBOOKED AT THE INTERNATIONAL (Backdraft) Elvis’ second season in Las Vegas after his comeback in 1968 has always been a firm favourite of mine. We’ve been quite well-catered for regarding material from this period, an original RCA-album, two FTD’s and several bootlegs in varying quality. What makes this season so special to me is the cheer steady drive in the music, courtesy of a hard-working young drummer, 22-year ole Bob Lanning. I love Ronnie Tutt’s style, but Lanning had a slightly different approach and it’s so unique. Fort Baxter first released half of the opening show on their WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES in 1992 and other imprints followed in ok quality, Laurel and Madison to name but a few. For this box though, Backdraft probably had access to original tapes as the sound is amazing on all four discs. I love this box and return to it frequently, the front-cover alone is worth some of my hard-earned pennies, beautiful. I never tire to listen to all these early versions of the ultimate swamp-rocker, Polk Salad Annie. Great fidelity!

7. A PROFILE; THE KING ON STAGE (Fort Baxter161095) Come December 1995 and the Baxter-people surely produced the ideal christmas-gift. The set includes some rare and fine moments with Elvis on stage, all in great quality and I especially enjoy the first disc. This was the first time I listened to a soundbooth-recording, two mikes captured the midnight show on August 20, 1973 and it’s such a vibrant sound. Since then, no release has matched this sound but I’m sure there must be other recordings just like this, for only one night seems highly unlikely. Please Baxter, more of these. Other highlights include some, at the time, fascinating rehearsals from the summer of 1970, a great show from June 1974 and some nice performances from the final year. The super sonic fidelity combined with the great booklet written by W.A. Harbinson and filled with rare pix makes this set a must-have, Fort Baxter at their finest! In retrospect 1995 was my busiest year collecting new Elvis-material, too many bootlegs were released but I decided to keep up with the tempo, though it was hard.

6. THE BLUE HAWAII BOX (Laurel Records, BPM-501A) Almost three hours in total, indeed Laurel’s finest moments. I love the fun-filled and charming soundtrack to Paramount’s Blue Hawaii and even now in 2013 we have yet to see a CD-set devoted to these recordings in the original high fidelity. So far it seems that all the bootlegs have used inferior vinyl-transfers as their source but I hope that someone in Europe, where it originated, will use the original tapes or cassettes for a high-quality re-release on shiny. Great box, cool booklet and magnificent mono sound, glorious. Thank you Laurel, come back soon with the CD-set.

5. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Audiofon Records, AFNS-66072-4) When I was twelve or thirteen this was the holy grail and impossible dream. Never would I own this unbelievable box, or so I thought. This was constantly referred to in the magazines I read, something which only wet my appetite even further. Now in 2013 this collection of studio and live outtakes from the original tapes or acetates still hangs together beautifully, much thanks to perfect sequencing and extremely high fidelity. The box-cover sports a cool-looking Presley just outside the closed doors of the bordello scene of his 1968 TV-special. I only wish the producers could have added a little booklet with some information and photos, but you can’t win them all. The soundtrack-recordings from 1960-1966 are clear as a belland we have to remember this was well twenty years prior to the launch of FTD. To the producers; splendid material, thanks for your braveness.

4. ELVIS ARON PRESLEY (RCA Records, CPL8-3699) The official answer to the previous set of this list came one year later, in 1980 at the 25:th anniversary of Presley’s signing with RCA Victor. Just like BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, this was another dream to own for little junior-me. I finally located in ’91 and plunked down some heavy cash for a well-worn copy. Credit where credit is due, so thanks Mom I’m forever grateful for your subventions over the years. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with the high-quality of this set. I personally think that it’s a beautiful package with recordings in great fidelity considering the many private sources, i.e. the early Las Vegas and Honolulu-recordings. Fabulous booklet with previously unseen and unpublished photos, intelligent liner notes, in all just a wonderful tribute to The King. Knowing that it was re-released on CD in 1998 I still prefer the original LP-box, probably due to the grand size. This was undoubtedly Joan Deary’s greatest work excluding the Legendary-series, and finally soundboard-recorded tapes became accepted by the company.

3. THE COMPLETE WORKS (International) This set blows my mind every time I merely look at it. The combo must certainly be every Presley-fans’ dream come true and ultimate desire. In the summer of 1970 Elvis was at his peak at least artistically and physically and it shows big-time on this extreme goldmine. The features are hours of unreleased professional footage and soundtrack-recordings for MGM’s documentary Elvis – That’s The Way It Is. Never could I imagine that anyone outside the film-companies could produce a work of this magnitude, at the same time I’m sure an official company never could match this quality. Amazing and essential, it’s not cheap but it’s worth every penny I paid for it, and I’m on a tight budget.

2. A BOY FROM TUPELO (FTD/Sony 506020-975049) Upon its longawaited release last year, this set immediately received the highest praise from music-critics and especially us fans from all over the world. Finally, Ernst Jorgensen’s dream-project of a set that included Presley’s entire production for Sun Records had been realized. Amazing is just the forename, the sound quality on the CD’s is amazing, often first generation sources had been located to offer stunning mono fidelity. Finally we got to hear unheard exciting radio-acetates and stunning outtakes from the many legendary Memphis-sessions. This is a belter and the book is worth the price alone as it’s filled with many unpublished pictures and recording-information fully complimenting Jorgensen’s picturesque writing. The credit includes some famous names and without their help this set could never be, so thanks again to everyone involved with it. I’m still speechless; I bought it upon release and play it often. The back of the box notes that; “This is Elvis Presley before he becomes worldfamous”.

1. THE COMPLETE ELVIS PRESLEY MASTERS (Sony 88697118262-30) In all sincerity, this is everything you’ll ever need; all master-recordings with additional rarities and a huge superb book. The sonic fidelity is out of this world, I’m positive Vic Anesini put his Midas touch on the tapes during the transfers as everything sounds unbelievably fresh. This is my definite number one, an easy ranking

Just under top-ten:
THE KING OF ROCK’N’ROLL – THE COMPLETE 50’S MASTERS (BMG Music, 07863-66050-2)
CELLULOID ROCK VOLUME 1 & 2 (Cool Romeo 001-007)
FROM NASHVILLE TO MEMPHIS – THE ESSENTIAL 60’S MASTERS (BMG Music, 07863-66160-2)
UNSURPASSED MASTERS VOLUME 1-4 (Cool Romeo, 008-022)
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Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:35 pm

My favorite is the There is Always me box set from Bilko

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:38 pm

WOW That is very Cool,you must be very proud of your Collection,extremely well written post,I enjoyed reading this very much,thank you. :smt023

The only thing I have never liked about the Complete Elvis Presley Masters and why I still have not added this to my collection is because why in the world did they not use photos of Elvis on all 30 CDs,i absolutely hate what they used.I really cant stand this,it just looks ugly to me.If they ever re-release this set I really hope they use photos of Elvis on the CDs,and if they do I will spend the $ 750.00,becouse i would love to have this set.

The amount of work that went into this set and decide on the CD pictures Ernst used makes no sense to me at all,this set could have been so beautiful if they had used the coolest photos of Elvis for each period in his career.When it comes to putting out an ELVIS Album or CD you really need to use nice cover art,and that is a photo of ELVIS,eye appeal to me when it comes to buying any new Album or CD is very important to me,I'm sorry but this was a bad decision to me.
Last edited by SUN-RCA on Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:51 pm

There are some wonderful selections on your list. I do recall treasuring Behind Closed Doors from the moment I got it. It was amongst my first "big" Elvis purchases, and I found all the material on it thrilling.

A year later, RCA's Elvis Aron Presley seemed like a step-child by comparison. Producer Joan Deary even managed to choose a less-exciting February 1970 version of "Kentucky Rain" to put on her set.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:12 pm

Good choices, only two missing for me, because at the time of release, they brought something new to the "official" market .....
Live in Las Vegas 4 CD SET and That's The Way It Is - Special Edition ............

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sat Jun 22, 2013 9:51 pm

Great list, thanks for your hard work! Very enjoyable read.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:04 am

Great list, only one i got from the photo is a Boy From Tupelo. It, and the 50's, 60's boxsets are amongst my favorites. Hopefully one day I will be able to get the complete works and final curtain set, just seem to be must have's for 70's fans.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:28 pm

I actually bought the "Behind Closed Doors" box back in the day because I actually thought there was a studio or live recording of Elvis singing the Charlie Rich signature hit. I was sooo naïve back then. Young and foolish as they say.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 2:56 pm

Here are my favourite 10 box sets i have in my collection:

1. A Boy From Tupelo.
2. Young Man With The Big Beat.
3. Today, Tomorrow & Forever.
4. Platinum/A Life In Music.
5. King Of Rock'n'Roll.
6. From Nashville To Memphis
7. A Golden Celebration.
8. There's Always Me
9. Behind Closed Doors
10. Close-Up.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:19 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Here are my favourite 10 box sets i have in my collection:

There's Always Me


This wasn`t a box,..was it..?

It is 4 Volumes which came out at different times and not in one box..

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:30 pm

Ciscoking wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:Here are my favourite 10 box sets i have in my collection:

There's Always Me


This wasn`t a box,..was it..?

It is 4 Volumes which came out at different times and not in one box..


The "There´s Always Me" Boxset is from Wonderland Records and contains all four volumes from Bilko´s There´s Always Me Longdigipaks.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 8:41 pm

Well,..does this really count..? The idea is to name products which were released as boxes in the first place..

Wonderland is just copy and paste efforts and work done already by others.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 10:47 pm

TCB-FAN wrote:I actually bought the "Behind Closed Doors" box back in the day because I actually thought there was a studio or live recording of Elvis singing the Charlie Rich signature hit. I was sooo naïve back then. Young and foolish as they say.

This box set was IT !!
The feeling, the memories, the wealth of totally new music, the design, the sheer overwhelming amount of 8 sides of music, just e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g that made this set so special. No matter how great all later box sets were (and there were quite some awesome box sets!), never again would I ever be able to top that certain feeling from a long time ago. Nothing but good memories!

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:10 pm

Wonderful post, Ghanem. Thanks!

My favourite for listening, and also because of the memories I have of it, is The Silver Box. Got the CD version some years ago. I had read many good things about it. I like the themes and the many different sides of Elvis it presents. There are many other great boxes but this is the one as far as I'm concerned.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Mon Jun 24, 2013 8:04 am

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Audiofon Records, AFNS-66072-4) was at that time such a beauty from start to end.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Mon Jun 24, 2013 10:14 am

drghanem wrote:Favourite Box-sets, my top-ten
Call me corny but I have always been very fond of boxes, therefore I compiled my own little list of longtime and recent favourites featuring LP, CD and DVD-formats. It’s very hard to rank them but I’ll start from the bottom end.

10. COLLECTORS GOLD (BMG Music, PL90754-3) My very first Elvis Presley-box, I remember it was delayed somewhat but finally arrived in Kalmar during the early fall of 1991. I was a seven-grader and unimaginable excited when I dropped the needle on record one, side A. This still holds many memories and feature some superb sixties music, back then, I felt that more was to come. The set includes several mind-blowing studio and live outtakes of such songs as; What A Wonderful Life, One Broken Heart For Sale, How Can You Lose What You Never Had, Memphis Tennessee, Goin’ Home, Inherit The Wind and Rubberneckin’. I sincerely thank the producers and executives at BMG for releasing this narrow set, a bold step that promised a bright future.

9. ELVIS ’77 - THE FINAL CURTAIN (Boxcar) After getting several DVD-R’s featuring poor quality TV-footage of Elvis’ final tour Boxcar finally released this lavish DVD/CD/Book-combo. Among others, it contains the legendary but sad CBS-footage in near full S-VHS quality. By now I’m sure EPE won’t ever release the unedited material, like they did with Aloha, so this set is our only chance of watching these hurting events. Much as I love Elvis’ music it’s hard to fully enjoy his final pro-material but this box is such a beautiful tribute to our Man with its fantastic artwork, footage and audio-material. Highlights for me are the many versions of If You Love Me, Let Me Know and Hurt.

8. REBOOKED AT THE INTERNATIONAL (Backdraft) Elvis’ second season in Las Vegas after his comeback in 1968 has always been a firm favourite of mine. We’ve been quite well-catered for regarding material from this period, an original RCA-album, two FTD’s and several bootlegs in varying quality. What makes this season so special to me is the cheer steady drive in the music, courtesy of a hard-working young drummer, 22-year ole Bob Lanning. I love Ronnie Tutt’s style, but Lanning had a slightly different approach and it’s so unique. Fort Baxter first released half of the opening show on their WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES in 1992 and other imprints followed in ok quality, Laurel and Madison to name but a few. For this box though, Backdraft probably had access to original tapes as the sound is amazing on all four discs. I love this box and return to it frequently, the front-cover alone is worth some of my hard-earned pennies, beautiful. I never tire to listen to all these early versions of the ultimate swamp-rocker, Polk Salad Annie. Great fidelity!

7. A PROFILE; THE KING ON STAGE (Fort Baxter161095) Come December 1995 and the Baxter-people surely produced the ideal christmas-gift. The set includes some rare and fine moments with Elvis on stage, all in great quality and I especially enjoy the first disc. This was the first time I listened to a soundbooth-recording, two mikes captured the midnight show on August 20, 1973 and it’s such a vibrant sound. Since then, no release has matched this sound but I’m sure there must be other recordings just like this, for only one night seems highly unlikely. Please Baxter, more of these. Other highlights include some, at the time, fascinating rehearsals from the summer of 1970, a great show from June 1974 and some nice performances from the final year. The super sonic fidelity combined with the great booklet written by W.A. Harbinson and filled with rare pix makes this set a must-have, Fort Baxter at their finest! In retrospect 1995 was my busiest year collecting new Elvis-material, too many bootlegs were released but I decided to keep up with the tempo, though it was hard.

6. THE BLUE HAWAII BOX (Laurel Records, BPM-501A) Almost three hours in total, indeed Laurel’s finest moments. I love the fun-filled and charming soundtrack to Paramount’s Blue Hawaii and even now in 2013 we have yet to see a CD-set devoted to these recordings in the original high fidelity. So far it seems that all the bootlegs have used inferior vinyl-transfers as their source but I hope that someone in Europe, where it originated, will use the original tapes or cassettes for a high-quality re-release on shiny. Great box, cool booklet and magnificent mono sound, glorious. Thank you Laurel, come back soon with the CD-set.

5. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS (Audiofon Records, AFNS-66072-4) When I was twelve or thirteen this was the holy grail and impossible dream. Never would I own this unbelievable box, or so I thought. This was constantly referred to in the magazines I read, something which only wet my appetite even further. Now in 2013 this collection of studio and live outtakes from the original tapes or acetates still hangs together beautifully, much thanks to perfect sequencing and extremely high fidelity. The box-cover sports a cool-looking Presley just outside the closed doors of the bordello scene of his 1968 TV-special. I only wish the producers could have added a little booklet with some information and photos, but you can’t win them all. The soundtrack-recordings from 1960-1966 are clear as a belland we have to remember this was well twenty years prior to the launch of FTD. To the producers; splendid material, thanks for your braveness.

4. ELVIS ARON PRESLEY (RCA Records, CPL8-3699) The official answer to the previous set of this list came one year later, in 1980 at the 25:th anniversary of Presley’s signing with RCA Victor. Just like BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, this was another dream to own for little junior-me. I finally located in ’91 and plunked down some heavy cash for a well-worn copy. Credit where credit is due, so thanks Mom I’m forever grateful for your subventions over the years. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with the high-quality of this set. I personally think that it’s a beautiful package with recordings in great fidelity considering the many private sources, i.e. the early Las Vegas and Honolulu-recordings. Fabulous booklet with previously unseen and unpublished photos, intelligent liner notes, in all just a wonderful tribute to The King. Knowing that it was re-released on CD in 1998 I still prefer the original LP-box, probably due to the grand size. This was undoubtedly Joan Deary’s greatest work excluding the Legendary-series, and finally soundboard-recorded tapes became accepted by the company.

3. THE COMPLETE WORKS (International) This set blows my mind every time I merely look at it. The combo must certainly be every Presley-fans’ dream come true and ultimate desire. In the summer of 1970 Elvis was at his peak at least artistically and physically and it shows big-time on this extreme goldmine. The features are hours of unreleased professional footage and soundtrack-recordings for MGM’s documentary Elvis – That’s The Way It Is. Never could I imagine that anyone outside the film-companies could produce a work of this magnitude, at the same time I’m sure an official company never could match this quality. Amazing and essential, it’s not cheap but it’s worth every penny I paid for it, and I’m on a tight budget.

2. A BOY FROM TUPELO (FTD/Sony 506020-975049) Upon its longawaited release last year, this set immediately received the highest praise from music-critics and especially us fans from all over the world. Finally, Ernst Jorgensen’s dream-project of a set that included Presley’s entire production for Sun Records had been realized. Amazing is just the forename, the sound quality on the CD’s is amazing, often first generation sources had been located to offer stunning mono fidelity. Finally we got to hear unheard exciting radio-acetates and stunning outtakes from the many legendary Memphis-sessions. This is a belter and the book is worth the price alone as it’s filled with many unpublished pictures and recording-information fully complimenting Jorgensen’s picturesque writing. The credit includes some famous names and without their help this set could never be, so thanks again to everyone involved with it. I’m still speechless; I bought it upon release and play it often. The back of the box notes that; “This is Elvis Presley before he becomes worldfamous”.

1. THE COMPLETE ELVIS PRESLEY MASTERS (Sony 88697118262-30) In all sincerity, this is everything you’ll ever need; all master-recordings with additional rarities and a huge superb book. The sonic fidelity is out of this world, I’m positive Vic Anesini put his Midas touch on the tapes during the transfers as everything sounds unbelievably fresh. This is my definite number one, an easy ranking

Just under top-ten:
THE KING OF ROCK’N’ROLL – THE COMPLETE 50’S MASTERS (BMG Music, 07863-66050-2)
CELLULOID ROCK VOLUME 1 & 2 (Cool Romeo 001-007)
FROM NASHVILLE TO MEMPHIS – THE ESSENTIAL 60’S MASTERS (BMG Music, 07863-66160-2)
UNSURPASSED MASTERS VOLUME 1-4 (Cool Romeo, 008-022)

Why haven't you got this one? —

IMG_1131.jpg


IMG_1145.jpg
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Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:32 pm

Ciscoking wrote:Wonderland is just copy and paste efforts and work done already by others.


true no effort, but just as legal, well not really but you know what I`m saying...sony reps I`m sure would say A BOOT IS A BOOT...no matter how you slice it
Last edited by sweetangeline on Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Mon Jun 24, 2013 1:43 pm

Let me give it a try (just realized they're only offical releases):

10. Elvis Aron Presley
9. A Golden Celebration
8. Live In Las Vegas
7. That's The Way It Is - Special Edition
6. The Complete '68 Comeback Special
5. Platinum - A Life In Music
4. Close-Up
3. Today, Tomorrow And Forever
2. A Boy From Tupelo
1. The Complete Masters

No "On Tour" Box yet... :cry:

@drghanem: Unfortuately Vic didn't master everything on the "Complete Masters"-Set. Discs 28-30 were "mastered" by somebody else.

Re: My top ten favourite Elvis Presley boxed sets

Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:51 am

Live in Las Vegas was my first box set - what a way to get started with the live material...!