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Elvis: The Concert Years 1969-1977 (by Stein Erik Skar & Pal Granlund)

reviewed by Geoffrey Mc Donnell

Stein Erik Skar first published this book in Norweigen in 1992. Back then it was still an excellent book to English readers because of the SUPERB Colour pictures, concert song and stage wear listings. In 1997 an up-dated English Text version was published and very well received too. For those of you out there still wondering whether this book is worth buying hopefully my review should help you make up your mind!.

This is a larger than A4 sized book with 272 pages printed on GOOD quality paper.The up-dated and expanded version here was published by Erik Skar and Paul Grunland in 1997. This version certainly is better with added information about the songs performed and corrections to ‘stage wear’ listings , such as for 1976 telling which one of the 2 different Bi-Centennial suits he was wearing at each show. I found some of the beautiful large full page photos from the previous edition are represented here as much smaller photos (i.e. the Indian Feather picture from the 31.5.75 A/S) Also most of the ‘classic’ concerts from the 70’s are not given the ‘run down’-(like in the last printing) yet both the 11.12.76 M/S and the 26.6.77 show are examined in detail. This Book covers the time period from July 1969 – October 1977. Every Tour, Las Vegas, Tahoe Season is covered here with each chapter covering one such Season or tour or in the case of the Pontiac 31.12.75 show (Event). Each chapter is nicely presented with a fair balanced Text, FULL PAGE photos as well and the BEST examples of the many PRESS REVIEWS . Here in this book you will find 98% of all the best information in one place about his on stage concerts with many,many superb Colour Photos.

In this edition Highlights would have to be the 1.8.71 M/S photo on page 34, The ‘Gold Vine’ Suit photo from 1974 on page 102 and a Full page photo of the ‘Memphis Suit’ from the 20.3.74 show on page 106. Many were seen in the 1992 edition such as the ‘King of Spades’ photo from the 28.3.77 show, but are still very worthy (reflecting that time) again here. Las Vegas this time has Great photos from his last 3 shows (i.e. the 11.12.76 D/S,11.12.76 M/S and 12.12.76 closing show.) Also the DETAILS of this Dec 76’ Season in this book are VERY detailed and a satisfying read.

I couldn’t find many ‘negative’ things to say about this book at all. So starting with the Suits he was wearing It is now generally accepted that for Elvis’s opening 2.12.75 show he was wearing the V – Neck Puffy Sleeves Suit – yet in this book we are told it’s the INDIAN FEATHER SUIT!- (Wrong!) At the 16.10.76 show Elvis was wearing the ‘Red Eagle’ suit , not just a White Suit!. While most listings of songs performed ‘on tour’ or at Nevada Seasons are very detailed and extensive the Lake Tahoe 1976 Season listing misses quite a few! - i.e. CRYING IN THE CHAPEL, LOVING YOU from the 6.5.76 show and ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT from the 7.5.76 M/S! Maybe they didn’t have all the tapes at hand to listen too when the book was written?.

Reading Stein Erik Skars text NOTHING IMPORTANT is LEFT OUT . If the show was good – he says so, if it was poor – he says so. If the tour (as a whole) was O.K. again a balanced view explains why. Elvis was of ‘unique’ Calibre! and if you haven’t bought this book already-then buy it now - ESSENTIAL Reading for all Elvis fans in 2000!. , and certainly worth spending your cash on- you WILL NOT be disappointed.