ON JULY 11, RCA RECORDS will release what it considers to be the greatest concert ever recorded by the biggest name in the history of pop culture.
Or so goes the thinking of Ernst Mikael Jorgensen. The respected producer currently oversees, along with longtime co-producer Roger Semon, RCA's reissuing of the Elvis Presley catalog. On that date, the label will release a greatly expanded, three-CD version of a previously run-of-the-mill movie soundtrack called Elvis - That's The Way It Is.
Originally released, the 12-track album was a hodgepodge collection of live performances and studio tracks, loosely serving as a companion piece to the concert movie of the same name, which didn't even crack the national Top 20. But the live tracks were key, as they came from a period when Jorgensen believes Presley was at the peak of his performing powers.
RCA has assembled a three-CD set which starts off with those 12 tracks, for the sake of completeness, but also embellished them with 54 more tracks, most of them previously unreleased. The extra material is drawn primarily from six concerts recorded by RCA during Presley's triumphant stand at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in August1970, plus the rehearsals for those shows. Disc Two of the new That's The Way It Is presents one of those shows in its entirety - the best of the six, in Jorgensen's opinion.