ELVIS PRESLEY ‘Best Of The ’68 Comeback Special’ – CD


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In 1968 – after 7 years away from rock n’ roll – The King made a comeback appearance on an NBC TV special. “Elvis was hardly ever nervous – but he was then,” drummer D.J. Fontana tells Rolling Stone, reflecting on the performance that relaunched Presley’s career. “We played a couple of songs, and it got loose after a while, and it turned out fine. He just had been out of the public eye for a long time.”

Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of its broadcast, this CD continues to enchant. That is partly because the singer is on form here, performing in a way he probably never would again, harking back to his charismatic 1950s pre-army, pre-Hollywood prime. The singer makes a medley of some of his biggest hits – including Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog and Lawdy, Miss Clawdy – and they sound newly minted.

“It just fired him up to be in front of people again,” guitarist Mike Deasy says of the comeback special. “He had a charisma where he and the audience became one thing.” “Everybody there was on cloud nine,” drummer Hal Blaine remembers. “It was an amazing time, because the electricity just floated through the air.”