When in June 1968 Elvis Presley made a television special to be aired in December of the same year, he accomplished two things. He saved his career, and he made the best music of his life. Wearing a black leather suit as if he were born in it-Elvis sang his old songs, but they did not sound old. He invested them with so much emotion - emotions his original recordings of, say, "Blue Suede Shoes," "Tryin' to Get to You," "One Night," "Blue Christmas," or "Can't Help Falling in Love" did not contain - that each became a thing in itself. Suddenly these were less songs than events - where anything could happen, where everything did.
The 3 discs that make up this Deluxe Edition are a treasure chest of that moment: the special itself, as it aired on December 3, 1968; the two complete "Sit Down" shows - the rough, improvised, altogether explosive attacks on the likes of "One Night," "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," and "Blue Christmas," with the audience so close Elvis could touch the people in it, and did; the two "Arena Shows," Elvis appearing on his own, again before audiences, with a big band and chorus off stage; and three-and-a-half hours of BONUS MATERIAL, alternate stagings of the skits and dramatized musical numbers from the show - some of them a lot hotter than anything that made it to the screen.
3-DVD set, over 7 hours of material
Includes over 3 1/2 hours of PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN material
Original 1968 broadcast version of the special
Outtakes, false starts and alternate stagings of production numbers
If I Can Dream – Special music video combining white-suit finale w/ never-before-released black-leather performance footage
Huh-huh-huh promo recorded by NBC to promote the special
Incredible deluxe booklet with extensive historical text and never-before-seen photos and memorabilia
Critical essay by Greil Marcus
All material is uncut and uncensored
Sound and picture are newly remastered for optimum quality
Mastered in stereo and 5.1
Total Running Time: 440 minutes
DELUXE EDITION CONTENTS
Disc 1 (running time: 2:40:49) The original Elvis television special as it first aired on NBC on December 3, 1968 Both of the black leather sit-down shows – Elvis, clad in black leather, performing jam sessions with original band-mates Scotty Moore and D.J. Fontana,and friends
Disc 2 (running time: 1:48:32) Both of the black leather stand-up shows – Elvis, clad in black leather, performing solo on stage Trouble/Guitar Man opening of the special Gospel production number Guitar Man production number If I Can Dream show closer Elvis scene shot for the closing credits roll without the credits roll The complete taping session for Elvis's on-camera "huh-huh-huh" promotional tag for the television special The exciting new If I Can Dream music video created for this DVD set combining white-suit finale w/ black-leather performance footage
Disc 3 (running time: 2:51:27) All components/takes shot for the gospel production number and the Guitar Man production number.