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The double LP soundtrack album of this TV special was Elvis Presley's last album to reach #1 on the charts. See more »
Thank you very much. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you ladies and gentlemen! Good evening, and uh... I hope you enjoy our show tonight. We're gonna try to do all of the songs that you wanna hear.
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It irritates me no end when people refer to Elvis Presley's rhinestone-studded jumpsuits. They are demonstrating their ignorance because Elvis never wore rhinestones. The spectacular American Eagle jumpsuit he wore on January 14, 1973 was studded with jewels (not rhinestones)and weighed in excess of 70 pounds. The jeweled cape he wore for the closing number (which he then flung into the crowd) weighed 40 pounds and cost $8,000.00 alone. I have never heard what the jumpsuit cost, but one has to figure that it was even more expensive. The belt that he tossed into the audience after singing An American Trilogy was a replacement for the original. Elvis' costume designer, Bill Belew, had to hurriedly make a new belt in time for the show. Elvis had impulsively given the first belt to Jack Lord's wife a day or two before the Aloha telecast. Elvis' personal jeweler had to fly back to the States for more rubies before Belew could complete the new belt. Also, regardless of what you have read or heard to the contrary, Elvis was in superb shape for this show. He looked great and was in good voice, particularly on What Now My Love and An American Trilogy. If he seemed a bit distant or preoccupied at times, it could be due to the fact that he had filed for divorce from Priscilla less than a week earlier. Due to the time constraints of a live telecast, Elvis could not be too spontaneous. The only real complaint I have of this show is the perfunctory rendition of Hound Dog. Elvis had always hated the song and recorded it in 1956 only at the urging of then RCA president Steve Sholes. He performed it grudgingly and his ambivalence is evident when he performs it live. He also hated Burning Love, which was a recent hit for him at the time of the Aloha concert. Almost every other recording artist saves their most recent hit for the end of the show. Elvis did Burning Love at the very beginning of Aloha, right after C. C. Rider (which opened the concert). Perhaps he wanted to get it out of the way. I suppose he hadn't had time to loathe Burning Love as much as Hound Dog, because he actually gave it a decent effort here. All in all, this performance shows Presley at his finest. His decline started soon afterward. The 1977 CBS TV special is a testament to how far Elvis had fallen, and is truly heartbreaking to witness.
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