Thursday, December 31, 2009

The '68 Comeback Special

December 3 – The '68 Comeback Special marks the concert return of Elvis Presley.

Recorded in late June, the special aired on December 3, 1968, as a Christmas telecast called simply Elvis. Later known as the '68 Comeback Special, the show featured lavishly staged studio productions as well as songs performed live with a band in front of a small audience—Presley's first live appearance as a performer since 1961. The live segments saw Presley clad in tight black leather, singing and playing guitar in an uninhibited style reminiscent of his early rock and roll days. Director and coproducer Steve Binder had worked hard to reassure the nervous singer and to produce a show that was not just an hour of Christmas songs, as Parker had originally planned. When the ratings were released the next day, NBC reported that Presley had captured 42 percent of the total viewing audience. It was the network's highest rated show that season. Jon Landau of Eye magazine remarked, "There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home. He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect of rock 'n' roll singers. He moved his body with a lack of pretension and effort that must have made Jim Morrison green with envy." The New Rolling Stone Album Guide calls the performance one of "emotional grandeur and historical resonance."

No comments:

Post a Comment