The latest Flaming Star/ FTD issue is about a period when Elvis was sitting on top of the world: late 1970/ early 1971: Taking Care Of Business - In A Flash by David English, Pal Granlund and Paul Richardson. Is this book also on top of the list?
Maybe it is bad luck that I got this book at about the same time as Elvis On Television and that one is still very fresh in memory. Anyway, this book can't compete with that one at all. Design-wise this book has several flaws. Golden text on a black background can be tasteful, but on a white background it does not work at all and is very hard to read. It isn't used very often, but still... Next to that the switching of font style and size is uneasy on the eye. Mostly I understand why it is done, but other solutions (indents, italics, framework) would have been a better solution. Photos in the background isn't a good idea either, especially when the contrast gets very bad because of it. All together the book gives a bit of a messy impression.
Not unimportant with books is the content. Factual and textual there is little to be desired here. It is obviously the result of dedicated investigation. Sometimes to the extend that I got the feeling is this a book about Elvis or the collected diaries of some groupies ;). All kidding aside, the book is a great addition to other factual books like this. The 450+ pages sums up the last quarter of 1970 and the first weeks of 1971 almost day by day. Several new facts, corrected dates and such show up. I simply have to take a deep bow for so much dedication. I do the same for the extensive acknowledgements and bibliography, something a lot of books are missing.
The many many pictures are in both full colour and b/w. Sometimes I wonder if the picture (especially quite some of the Portland ones) is worth to be blown up like that. It brings back memories from the 80s and early 90s when I was watching videos with a white spot moving around that sounded like Elvis (most of the times). Maybe it's just me being spoilt, but I don't get warm or cold from a real bad quality picture (anymore).
Some memorabilia is included, but not too much, where used it is to the point and thus fitting.
Like the design of the book the CD gives a bit of a messy impression: six superb sounding studio tracks, a promo, another studio track, an audience recording of a show and the Jaycees speech. Why not at least keep the studio work together for listening pleasure. The most positive is that the sleeve threatens to give the show in one track, but luckily that is not the case (which makes the numbering on the sleeve wrong).
Content wise it is a nice addition to the collection, but too bad it is missing the finishing touch.