Elvis - A Celebration

I just received this new book by Mike Evans and published by DK Publishing. This book was done with the images of The Elvis Presley Archive at Graceland.

This book features over 600 photographs and is somewhat the life of Elvis in pictures. The book is certainly impressive with his 608 pages and should delight everyone. Most fans and casual buyers will be please with this work as it's fairly complete photo wise, and mostly cover everything about Elvis' life from the day he was born until the end of his life.

Obviously the main core of this book goes from 1955 to 1977. The book is divided into 10 chapters and some of them are a mixture of two eras. As an example, the chapter 7 titled " Intermission " is devoted to the years 1964-1976, and contains pictures of Elvis relaxing (horse riding, at the beach, having fun with his family, etc…). The next chapter titled " TV & Vegas " (The Comeback ) would cover the ' 68 TV Special and his comeback in Vegas.

Each chapter starts with a short text of introduction and in the following pages you have short captions for commenting the pictures and explain what's this is all about.

Given the above I was a bit disappointed with the end result. Why ? Well if you don't have too many photo books in your collection then a lot of pictures will be new to your eyes. On the other hand if you have all the best photo books around then you might not find there are many never before seen photographs.

I was expecting much more surprises picture wise. Indeed when going back to 1992-1993 we've got the superb series " The Elvis Collection - The Cards Of His Life " (660 cards + bonus ones) with hundreds of never before seen photographs, and in great quality too. The book contains a lot seen pics and sometimes the reproductions in the book are of less quality. As an example, the book contains three shots from the Aloha concert, one in color that was taken from a TV screen so needless to say the quality isn't the best, one in black and white we've seen numerous times and another in black and white we've already seen as well. Now if you take a look at " The Cards Of His Life " you have roughly 12 colors pics from the Aloha show and one black and white. Those latter pics being superior to the ones used in the book. It would be easy to make other comparaisons of that type with the cards.

There a few mistakes with the captions related to the pictures but overall the informations are accurate. On page 521 there's a caption about the 1974 Houston Astrodome shows and I quote "…., Elvis returned to the Houston Astrodome on March 1 for two shows, starting at 2 pm and 7 pm respectively. " Obviously the correct date should had been March 3rd since Elvis started the tour in Tulsa,OK on March 1st. Yet it is almost impossible to make a book of this magnitude without a few mistakes here and there, and therefore shall be forgiven.

There area a section at the end titled " Facts, Figures, and statistics On The Life Of Elvis " that can certainly be useful from time to time.

I do recommend the book to all the fans out there as this is a quality book for the price tag. It's not everyone who have all the books in their collection, the " Cards Of His Life ", etc… so it should please all the fan out there who would like to see his life in pictures.
You can buy this book on-line for only $35.00.

The Crazy Canuck (August 2002)