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THAT'S THE WAY IT IS - 30th Anniversary Edition - 07863 67938 2
Recording By Elvis 1970

 1. Review by Michael Cheah

 2. Review by Daniel Siciliano.
That's The Way It Is (30th anniversary edition) - long awaited - is finally released. For the first time ever we get to hear a complete live recording prior to 1972. About time!

Below are some short comments to every CD. However, what should be said first are some words about the packing and artwork. Sure this release deserved the best work ever done on layout and packing. Just as sure, THAT DID NOT HAPPEN!

This so-called deluxe edition is among the cheapest packing I have ever seen... It comes is a plastic box (is that what they call "keeper box"?) And inside is three digi-pack CD's, all in black and white or two colors. Also you will find a little booklet that in reality says nothing!

I have the feeling that BMG somehow got in a hurry releasing this box set. Why on earth isn't there any extensive liner notes? This release is supposed to be promoted like no release before on Elvis. Wouldn't it have been appropriate to let the packaging match the content a bit more than it actually does?

What is it we all say, but very few really mean; "It's what inside, that counts". Of course the inside matters most, but it is not all that matters! Well, the inside, or in other words the content is another story for sure! Se below for comments on this part of the release.



The original That's The Way It Is,
plus bonus songs.

 1: I Just Can't Help Believing
 2: Twenty Days And Twenty Nights
 3: How The Web Was Woven
 4: Patch It Up
 5: Mary In The Morning
 6: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
 7: You've Lost That Loving Feeling
 8: I've Lost You
 9: Just Pretend
10: Stranger In The Crowd
11: The Next Step Is Love
12: Bridge Over Troubled Water
13: Love Letters
14: When I'm Over You
15: Something (Live, Aug. 11)
16: I'll Never Know
17: Sylvia
18: Cindy Cindy
19: Rags To Riches
Short comments:

# The in fading of 'Just Can't Help Believing' is nervous and this track also has a minor dropout at 0:59.

# 'Mary In The Morning' starts before 'Patch It Up' has been faded out, and the talking in the right channels at the end of the song is still there!

# 'Bridge Over Troubled Water' is the overdubbed version. Why?

# Personally I think that 'Something' should have been placed on CD-3. Somehow it seems a bit mal-placed here on CD-1, together with mostly studio takes...

# In general all live takes, also on CD-1, should have been re-mixed as they are on CD-2 and CD-3. It's a bit irritating to listen to 'Just Can't Help Believing', 'Patch It Up' and 'I've Lost You' when you know that the sound quality could have been much better.



Las Vegas, Aug 12 1970 (M. S.)

 1: That's All Right
 2: Mystery Train/Tiger Man *
 3: Hound Dog
 4: Love Me Tender
 5: Just Pretend
 6: Walk A Mile In My Shoes
 7: There Goes My Everything
 8: Words
 9: Sweet Caroline *
10: You've Lost That Loving Feeling **
11: Polk Salad Annie ***
(Elvis in the audience edited out)
12: Heartbreak Hotel*/***
13: One Night *
14: Blue Suede Shoes *
15: All Shook Up *
16: Little Sister/Get Back ****
17: I Was The One *****
18: Love Me
19: Are You Lonesome Tonight
20: Bridge Over Troubled Water
21: Suspicious Minds*
22: Can't Help Falling In Love *

Featured on:

* That's The Way It Is (Video)
** That's The Way It Is (Album).
*** The Lost Performances (Video).
**** Elvis Aron Presley (Silver Box).
***** Essential 70's Masters.
Short comments:

# This is one fantastic show!

# The sound on this concert is absolutely marvelous. Elvis is mixed way up in the front, but still the instruments and the audience are very clear. I doubt that it could have been done any better than it is here, although some parts is a bit hissy and the introduction on 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling' is a bit damaged... (Only the bass channel).

# Highlights are 'Just Pretend', 'Words', 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling', 'Polk Salad Annie', 'Love Me' and 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'.

# Is it the best show ever? Hmm! Not far away, but I think I could find some as good, and perhaps even better. The live takes from the dinner concert on August 13 ('Stranger In The Crowd', 'Don't Cry Daddy/In The Ghetto', 'Make The World Go Away', 'Polk Salad Annie' and 'The Wonder Of You') suggest that this concert is just as good, if not better?!

Early 1999 I had a poll on my site, asking which concert the fans would prefer to be released next time. You can see the result by click here...:-)




Live takes August 10, 12, 13 and
rehearsals July 15, 24, 29 and Aug. 4, 7

 1: I Got A Woman
 2: I Can't Stop Loving You
 3: Twenty Days And Twenty Nights *
 4: The Next Step Is Love
 5: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
 6: Stranger In The Crowd
 7: Make The World Go Away *
 8: Don't Cry Daddy *
 9: In The Ghetto *

10: Peter Gunn Theme
11: That's All Right
12: Cotton Fields
13: Yesterday
14: I Can't Stop Loving You *
15: Such A Night
16: It's Now Or Never
17: A Fool Such As I
18: Little Sister/Get Back
19: I Washed My Hands In Muddy Waters
20: Johnny B. Goode
21: Mary In The Morning
22: The Wonder Of You
23: Santa Claus Is Back In Town
24: Farther Along
25: Oh Happy Day

* Featured on The Lost Performances (Video)

Rehearsals on bootlegs:

July 15, 1970

# Electrifying.
# A Profile Vol. 1.
# Get Down And Get With It.

July 24, 1970
# The Brightest Star On Sunset Blvd.
# The Brightest Star On Sunset Blvd (2).

July 29, 1970
# There's Always Me Vol. 4.
# Electrifying.
Short comments:

# The sound quality on the live material is again top-notch!

# 'I Got A Woman' is a typical "1970" version. After this Elvis talks about MGM and their filming. "Hey, you big mother..."

# 'I Can't Stop Loving You' is a brilliant version! 'Twenty Days And Twenty Nights' is featured two times on this box set. Here we have the live version. This was used on the video "The Lost Performance". Elvis says he not particularly digs singing this song, but it is on the program, so...:-)

# 'The Next Step Is Love' is actually no good, in my point of view. Elvis seems very nervous when singing this, and the song is rushed and lacks the smoothness of the studio version!

# 'You Don't Have To Say You Love Me' is solid. 'Stranger In The Crowd' is brilliant. Elvis mention this coming out in 1982. A pity Elvis didn't use this song more often in his live program.

# 'Make The World Go Away' is the same version as used on "The Lost Performances". Again, solid! The same goes for 'Don't Cry Daddy/In The Ghetto'. I must say the Elvis seemed very concentrated and focused on this dinner concert from August 13, actually more so than the live concert on Disc 2.

# 'That's Alright' from July 15 is not the same version as the bluesy one on Electrifying.

# In general the sound quality on the rehearsal material is very good, although a bit flat.

Before the release:
Promotional disc
A short preview of That The Way It Is (3CD).

Judging from the sampler - "30th anniversary sampler", the sound on the live takes seems to be top-notch. Especially the songs from August 12, Midnight show, that will be released in full on the 3 CD set, Elvis' voice are way up in the mix. Refreshing change!

The sound on Johnny B. Goode from a rehearsal, on the other hand, seems to me a bit flat. It looks like BMG are doing their best to reduce hiss one these recordings, and the result is a "sound picture" that have lost some of it's dynamics. In general I think it is better to have a punchy, dynamic sound with some hiss, then a flat...almost dead non-hissy sound.

1. I Just Can't Help Believing (regular)
2. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me (regular)
3. Polk Salad Annie (12.08.70 M.S)
4. One Night (12.08.70 M.S)
5. Make The World Go Away (13.08.70 D.S)
6. Johnny B. Goode (rehearsal 24.07.70)

1. Review by Michael Cheah

RCA's revisionists are saying this is a peak moment in Elvis' live show. When he had a hot band, singles that charted in the Top 20 and was still slim and vital as a performer. History however remembers Elvis resisting the Colonel over these shows. Las Vegas was the mecca of Mammon and in '68 Elvis had made his comeback re-establishing his blues and rock roots and recorded the social commentary of 'In The Ghetto' and reflected about himself on 'Stranger In My Own Home Town' and the pointed 'Do You Know Who I Am?'. Regrettably, he succumbed to the easy money from touring and denied himself the opportunity to make classic albums in the studio.

Disc one is the original 12-song album plus bonus songs recorded during the same sessions that were released elsewhere. The third disc is a sample of the July - August rehearsals for Elvis' long stay at The Hilton where the film, "That's The Way It Is", was shot. Much of it is previously unreleased. Disc Two is the complete midnight show from Aug 12, most of it has never been released before.

2. Review by Dan Siciliano

When Elvis decided to take to the Las Vegas stage over 30 years ago, I'm sure he had no idea the preparation and work he would have in store for him. Now from the great minds at BMG/RCA we have a rare intimate glimpse into what would become the greatest live performances of Elvis' career.

The 30th anniversary edition of "Elvis, That's The Way It Is" is truely a masterpiece of modern music, a work in progress retrospect of the world's greatest entertainer, Elvis Presley! This 3 disc set contains the complete album as released in 1970, plus two "filled to the brim" cd's containing a complete concert from august 1970 and some rare songs and rehearsals capturing Elvis at his artistic best.

The first disc contains the complete 1970 album plus bonus songs from the same recording sessions, nothing new here, but in the best sound quality released to date. I think that they could have included some alternate takes instead of cuts from the "Love Letters" album, even though they are from the same recording sessions. I always regarded the "That's The Way It Is" album as one of elvis' most serious and beautiful, the sheer nature of what was to come for Elvis' and the determination to get back on top after a great comeback in 1968, is heard in every note of every song.

The second cd is the gem. This complete concert from august 1970 is nothing short of FANTASTIC! From the classic opening riff to the close of the show, elvis gives 110%! The liner notes claim "this is probably the greatest concert we have". I think they mean that this a concert from the greatest time in elvis' adult life as he proves once again, he is the "king". The songs are great. A fantastic opening to 'That's All Right' and Elvis just rocks right into 'Mystery Train/Tiger Man' without loosing a breath.

The version of 'Words' is one of the best I've ever heard and Elvis gives a powerhouse version of 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling' complete with reprise! Although elvis seems alittle nervous at the beginning of the concert, he soon grabs the audience and takes them on the ride of a lifetime.

It's nice to have a concert that is "un-edited" and all the in-between song banter left in. It helps to set the mood of the show and create a personal performance not heard on most releases. Elvis many times during the show tells the audience to "hang loose" and that's just what they do, they are really into the show. The clapping during the opening of 'Polk Salad Annie' tells us how fired up they really are!

The sound quality on this concert is excellent, and it has much better sound than last years "On Stage" special "re-release" of similar material from 1970. The mix is clean and not dated and Elvis' voice is front and center. The third cd contains some extra live songs from the same concerts, some of which we have heard on "The Lost Performances" video released some time ago, but in much better sound quality. The real gems on this disc are the rehearsals before the concerts. There have been bits and pieces release before on the "Platinum" cd, but this is all new stuff. Elvis seems loose but very determined as he laughs and jokes his way thru these songs, entertaining both his ontourage and the "hollywood cameras".

Some neat songs including 'Mary In The Morning' and the film version of 'That's All Right" where the microphone falls off the stand,and 'Johnny B. Goode' (just fun stuff to listen to). None-the-less, is gives us a very rare glimpse of Elvis the artist, polishing up and experimenting with songs and arrangements that would be the catalyst for the greatest concerts of the greatest performer of our time!

This is the Elvis we all love to hear, at his best just knocking 'em dead. Las Vegas was his town and would never be the same again! The soon to be released re-edited movie just adds to the excitement of the cd release and I can't wait to see all the splendor i have heard on the cd's. 1970 was the start of the transformation of Elvis, from 50"s teen idol to fading movie star of the 60's, to the cementing of him as the "comeback" king of rock and roll in 1968!

Those lucky enough to see Elvis during the early 70's in Las Vegas have memories they will never forget, those who were not so lucky, or those who just want to relive the magic again and again, this is for you......this is pure, unfiltered, bottled at the source.....ELVIS!

Written by Siciliano family (Dan, Charlene & Nicole) on July 14, 2000

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