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Elvis UK3

Elvis UK3

(24 customer reviews)

£50.00

The ultimate reference guide to Elvis’s UK compact disc releases in the UK between 1983-2005.

Remember, Elvis UK3 is a digital download.

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Description

  • Over 4000 illustrations, many of them in colour
  • Full description and detailed account of every mainstream release in the UK (both on album or single) – on RCA, BMG, FTD and third party label releases, each one fully cross-referenced with subsequent – or earlier – releases
  • Full track listing and writer details for every release
  • Additional information added to live releases, including recording locations and times
  • Separate sections dedicated to CD singles, promotional CDs, in-house promos, CD-Rs, etc.
  • Extensive section devoted to various artist CD releases that feature Elvis material, each one discussed separately
  • Each section features full chronological and alphabetical listings
  • A huge song title index detailing writers, recording dates and showing where every version of every song can be found

24 reviews for Elvis UK3

  1. Peter May (UK)

    Having already owned the first 2 volumes I can say that this 3rd publication in the series certainly carries on from the others in the amazing amount of detail included about not just the CDs but also the background of the music industry, his recordings and much more besides. Makes most other discographies look like picture books by comparison. A must for any collector.

  2. Kees Mouwen (Holland)

    John Townson and Gordon Minto have released the third volume in their ‘Elvis UK’ series which covers all of Elvis Presley’s CDs released between 1983 and 2005. With the release of the first CD, music became digital. The authors followed this example and released the book as a digital Flip-book. Let’s flip through the pages.

    Design

    Readers familiar with the previous volumes will recognize the format of the book and the quality of the research behind the content.

    The design is similar to the first two discographies by these authors. First it details the facts like cover-art, disc-label and tracks, followed by the story behind the release, the marketing and specifics of the tracks and takes featured on the discs and existing variations of the CD.

    These facts are illustrated with relevant pictures like original promotional photographs, studio-sessions, marketing material and more. The big difference is that this digital version is full-color where the previous editions were released in black and white.

    Reading a digital book differs a lot from reading a physical book. And it probably differs between generations. This book comes as a flip-book for use on your own digital device – a computer, laptop, iPad etcetera. You don’t download it as an e-book to your device, but you access a website. Although I work digitally on a daily basis, navigation took some getting used to but once you get the hang of it, it works pretty simple.

    Having just read ‘From Memphis To Taipeh’, Asian record guide the images in this flipbook are a bit small. For easy access scrolling the many pages they could have been a bit bigger. But this release compensates this with detailed information on each and every release featured in the book.

    Content

    Co-authors John Townson and Gordon Minto previously wrote ‘Elvis UK’ (1987) and ‘Elvis UK2’ (2002) and both books were extremely well-received by collectors, earned critical acclaim, and have become invaluable reference sources for Elvis collectors all over the world. With this third volume, over six years in the making, the authors added another chapter to their life’s work.

    The first two volumes were massive books, but this third volume beats both volumes by a landslide with over 1,400 pages containing over a million words and 4,000 plus illustrations.

    On these 1,400 pages no less than 450 CDs, starting with the 3-CD-set ‘The Legend’ (RCA, 1983) and ending with ‘Elvis’ a budget compilation on the Rolled Gold label(November 2005). Added to this are CD-singles, various kinds of promotional releases and compilations featuring songs by Elvis Presley.

    The book opens by setting the scene, the introduction and specifics of the Compact Disc format, followed by CD albums, CD-singles, various artists compilations, promotional CDs, CD-recordables (mainly promotional releases) to end with Songs, Interviews and Spoken Word releases.

    Usually discography books focus on vinyl, in 2020 we got the second volume detailing the Argentinian Elvis catalogue and early 2021 the first Asian vinyl reference book was released. And now we have the first U.K. CD discography book.

    “Flipping” through the digital pages is like a trip down memory-lane as I grew up in the CD-era building up my collection with the ‘Elvis In 90’s’ CDs and the odd budget CDs and bootlegs that filled the gaps.

    The beauty of this release is the tremendous amount of research behind these pages, all CDs are presented individually in meticulous and unprecedented detail and carefully cross-referenced.

    The book also includes sections on various artist CDs containing Elvis material, as well as company promos, including BMG in-house CDs, etc. The huge song index is presented in forensic detail, indicating exactly where each master (and any known outtakes) can be located and, in the case of live performances, when and where they were recorded.

    Adding extra depth to the information are the contributions by former RCA / BMG personnel who helped with key background information and thereby adding the inside story. Especially the insights from Greg Geller, Mike Omansky and Klaus Schmalenbach clearly show that each CD – especially from Elvis’ official record company – was the product of a multi-year strategy.

    One name missing in the introduction is Ernst Jorgensen. I would have loved to see his perspective, as expert and as keeper of the flame, on bringing Elvis Presley back and re-branding ‘Elvis the artist’ through key-releases.

    The book simply holds too much and too detailed information to do the content justice in a review. For CD collectors this is the essential guide, and I can only hope the authors find the time and courage to do a follow-up covering all CDs until present day.

    On a critical note, the authors might have been caught in a trap when they decided to go digital, there was less pressure to prevent them from adding more and more content to this labor of love. Looking at the table of contents this book would have been equally interesting and essential to Elvis collectors if the introduction chapters on the history of the CD-format were shorter, the various indexes would have been combined (a chronological index, followed by an alphabetical index for all CDs and a complete song index cross-referenced to all CDs) and the ‘Various Artists’ compilations section was deleted. This would have saved a lot of pages.

    CD

    A book on Elvis Presley CD releases can’t be released without its own CD. The producers added a nicely designed 23-track digi-pack CD, entitled ‘Beyond The Legend’. It includes songs which were featured in the U.K. charts (up to 1962) but were omitted on the first Elvis Presley CD ‘The Legend’. The CD is an enjoyable compilation, including some favorites like ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’, ‘I Feel So bad’ and ‘Rip It Up’, but more important are the liner-notes. The text is insightful, and fitting to the book. It looks like Elvis’ catalogue was a mess from the start (with released by both RCA and HMV in the early years in the U.K.), so it is good someone documented it. With this CD the project comes full-circle.

    Conclusion

    I can only compliment the authors on the quality of their work, I take a deep bow. This book is essential for all CD-collectors, period.

    I’m glad I’m not a die-hard Elvis Presley CD collector, I noticed I missed quite a few CDs over the years. And I probably see more releases than the average fan due to my blog trying to cover everything Elvis Presley on a daily basis. And this book only covers official U.K. releases from 1983 to 2005… And did anyone keep track of all CDs released since that date? And let’s not forget all the bootleg CDs that were released. I see several potential new book in the making.

    I can also understand that in this day and age, with the Elvis fan base getting older and a falling interest in Elvis products, it is not viable to release a paper version of this massive body of work. But I would have preferred to hold this wealth of information physically in my hands. Reading the first reactions from fans and collectors I’m not the only one.

    Could it be an option to do a three volume set, with around 450 pages in each volume, and put them out separately at say a 6 month interval? Presented like this fans can save up for each one as it wouldn’t be cheap – and impossible to lift at 1,200 to 1,400 pages – as one volume? Erik Lorenzen’s ongoing series of 400-page hardback books shows there is a market for these kind of releases.

    • Gordon Minto

      Hi Kees. Many thanks for your detailed and positive review of Elvis UK3. We understand very well that some collectors are disappointed not to have the option of a physical copy of this book. In an ideal world, we would have liked one too! However, as we’ve said repeatedly, it was not for the want of trying as we investigated innumerable ways of achieving this but to no avail. Essentially, as two private individuals – fellow collectors – as opposed to an organisation, we were not in position to fund the publication of physical copies by any of the means suggested. Therefore, it was either go down the digital route or abort the project entirely and, thus, effectively throw away six years’ worth of hard work. Gordon.

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