Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite (Legacy Edition)

Elvis Presley

RCA/Legacy, 2013

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


And now ladies and gentlemen, all the way from Honolulu, Hawaii via satellite, it’s Elvis Presley again, 40 years later.

Over one billion people worldwide tuned in to view Elvis’ historic January 14, 1973, concert at the Honolulu International Center Arena. The show aired in the United States on April 4, 1973 and was one of the most watched television programs of the year. The RCA label released the album, Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite in February and it topped both the Billboard Pop and Country Charts. Today, it has sold in the neighborhood of five million copies.

Elvis also recorded what was called a full dress rehearsal concert just in case there were problems with the broadcast. It was finally released in 1988 as my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 The Alternate Aloha. Finally, at about 3:00 a.m. after the audience had left, Elvis and his band recorded five additional songs. Four were from his Blue Hawaii album, plus a cover of Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain.”

Now, all the material from the concerts is being released together for the first times as Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition. The official release date is March 13. The music is as clear as the original tapes will allow. There are also new liner notes and pictures.

Presley’s Hawaiian concerts were in many ways the apex of the second half of his career. He had gotten himself in shape and showed none of the deterioration that would begin to plague him in the years ahead. He also seemed involved and committed, which would also become an issue as the years passed. All of this added up to a memorable event and album. When I want to listen to a live Elvis album, this is usually the one I turn to.

In retrospect, it was a good combination of material, as they combined some of his well-known hits with some at the times rarely performed live songs. They also were trying not to duplicate very much of the material used on his Live At Madison Square Garden concerts from June 1972. Classic hits such as “Hound Dog,” “Love Me,” “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Can’t Help Falling In Love” share space with some of his newer hits; “Suspicious Minds,” “Burning Love,” and “Steamroller Blues.” Add in such cover songs as “My Way,” “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” “Fever,” and “Welcome To My World” and you have a varied, interesting, energetic, passionate, and always entertaining concert.

Most Elvis fans will have this material already, but having all of it in one place – as well as hearing these songs after they’ve been given the cleaning process of modern technology – is a plus. If you are not familiar with this concert, then this new release is a must have.

Rating: A

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