Elvis - The Ed Sullivan Shows Review
by Zane Ewton
Elvis fans must bow down at their velvet shrine and thank the powers that be who have unearthed this wonderful three DVD set.
The Ed Sullivan show was required viewing for every American for over 20 years. It was on his stage that rock and roll's most important figures were introduced to Middle America. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Doors made famous appearances on this show, sometimes by controversial means, but none of these were more important than Elvis paving the way almost 10 years before these bands.
Elvis horrified stuffy parents but electrified everyone else. This collection is no doubt Elvis as he is best remembered, a humble, funny kid from the American south who knew how to rock and roll like Little Richard and croon a ballad with the best of them.
Presley performed on the Ed Sullivan Show on three different occasions, performing in at least three segments on each show. Not only is each of Presley's performances here, each entire episode is included.
Cutting to Elvis after some acrobats, a ventriloquist and an in-show commercial for Lincoln/Mercury is a funny reminder of things that would never happen on television these days. Elvis kept his performance tame in respect for Sullivan, who wasn't even present for the first show. The DVD bonus materials explain Sullivan's absence as well as his initial rejection to have Elvis on the show.
When Sullivan saw the ratings other shows were getting with Elvis, he quickly changed his mind. I guess some things don't change in TV land.
There are quite a few special features along with the behind the scenes moments of Sullivan's show. Some Elvis home movies are included, some interviews with a few music and TV bigwigs, and an option to play the DVD with Elvis-Only.
Elvis fans will absolutely love this collection. It is a fun reminder of when Elvis was dangerous and exciting. In that, it is also an interesting snapshot of show business in the 1950s and how the first big rock and roll star was like an alien from a far off planet.
Imagine if they would have let Chuck Berry on the show.
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