Nearly two months after its release… my view on Ernst Jorgensen’s A Boy From Tupelo. It’s not only my fault or laziness that it took so long. I was waiting for the package and then found out not everyone can be trusted to keep his word… Anyway, I got the book with 3 CDs only a couple of weeks ago and needed some time to experience it.
Only 10 never before released recordings are on the 3 CDs according to the book. Well, to me it sounded like they were all new recordings. The remastering has been done so well, that I still need to get my jaw closed. E.g. when playing Fool, Fool, Fool I had to check if was the same as on the 50s box. Not only the obscure live and radio recordings have improved a lot, but also the masters sound better than ever before. The parts of How Do You Think I Feel are fun and a complete new song like Little Mama is just a marvellous extra. Elvis’ Sun recordings were always among my favourites, and that only got stronger with this release.
It’s just too much… to read I mean. If I waited with a review until I am finished, it will take a couple of months extra. Just thumbing through the book takes a couple of hours, especially since your eye falls on something you want to read every time.
The dedication put in this project is amazing. As Ernst stated in his foreword it is a cooperation of many Elvis fans, EPE and many others. At times like this I feel proud again to be a fan and actually having met some of the people makes it even more enjoyable.
After some introduction the book really starts in the week of Elvis’ first professional recording, July 1954. Seventy-eight chapters are used to describe every week – day by day - of the remaining of 1954 and 1955. I think no-one’s life is documented as well as this period of Elvis’s. The lack of unreleased music is completely compensated with the tons of unseen pictures and unknown information in this book.
The last two parts of the book are dedicated to the recordings and the song influences.
The book is put together in a very tasteful way. If I have to name a minor on it, it would be the weight. It’s bloody heavy and you have to put it on a table to enjoy it, unless you are a weight lifter.
This book is one of the best parts of my collection. Anyone complaining about the price is totally nuts, it is worth at least 10 times as much. Especially knowing what I paid for garbage compared to this over the years. Personally I take a deep bow for Ernst and all the others who put their time in the project. A humble thankyouverymuch is all I can add.