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Elvis Presley: A Life in Music : The Complete Recording Sessions [Hardcover]

Ernst Jorgensen
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 15 1998
The definitive story of Elvis's recording career -- filled with unseen photos and unexpected revelationIn the last decade, the image of Elvis Presley has been changed forever -- spurred in part by a major CD reissue campaign covering Presley's entire recording career. Once merely a subject of scandal, Elvis Presley is coming back into focus for what he was: the greatest performer of our time.Elvis Presley: A Life in Music completes the picture. Ernst Jorgensen -- the man behind RCA's reissue program -- has been given unlimited access to the Presley recording vaults, and with this book he puts us in the studio for every late-night session of his 24-year career. Far more than a recording-sessions guide, A Life in Music reveals -- in an in-depth narrative and hundreds of photographs -- a figure far savvier and more complex than we've known: instinctive musician, driven perfectionist, a one-man industry brought down by the very system built to support him. The most complete picture we've ever had of Elvis Presley the artist, this book is a musical landmark.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

As director of RCA's Elvis catalogue, Jorgensen is one of the key figures behind the Elvis Presley CD box sets RCA has issued in recent years. This book makes a worthy companion to those historic releases. All of the King's known recordings?including rehearsals, live recordings and recordings made in the privacy of his hotel rooms?are approached with the same reverence that his studio sessions inspire, providing a framework for a narrative of Elvis's life. Indeed, eminent Presley biographer Guralnik (Last Train to Memphis) writes that, given Jorgensen's attention to detail, the author is "either a madman or a great detective." While so many Presley books are written by authors who never seem to overcome their poetic sense of awe regarding the King, Jorgensen, being an RCA executive, couches the story of Presley's life in the gritty details of the artist's work and gets past the myths, giving readers a glimpse of what it might have been like to be Elvis. Hence, his is a truly insightful book. 150 photos in color and b&w. Editor, Calvert D. Morgan.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Ernst Jorgensen produced many RCA Elvis box sets, for which he was nominated for a Grammy Award. He lives in Denmark.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
Este libro es fundamental para conocer los detalles dentro del estudio. Paralelamente a los datos referidos a músicos que intervienen en cada uno de los temas, referencias a los compositores, datos muy particulares sobre los posibles problemas que tenían los compositores, Elvis con algunos temas en particular, o Scotty o Bill, los Jordanaires, quien fuese, las diferentes tomas ... o la interferencia del Coronel, que lo único que le importaba eran las cuestiones referidas a fechas, contrato, derechos de publicación de los temas, etc. En este libro se constatan todas las sesiones cronologicamente con sus datos técnicos y no técnicos, comentarios objetivos de lo que allí estaba pasando, fotos muy interesantes. Es un auténtico disfrute para cualquier fan de Elvis, porque acompañado de los discos que comenta entiendes y conoces más produndamente a Elvis, el porqué de los temas, porque unos u otros, un montón de cosas. Se refiere estrictamente a la música y no cuenta chorradas subjetivas. Éste libro junto a los dos de Peter Guralnik los podría comparar al libro sobre Frank Sinatra de Will Friedwald "Frank Sinatra the Song is you", en cuanto a rigor y lo buenos que son. Lo único que hecho de menos es que solo está la referencia de una canción a el disco en el que fué editado por primera vez, me hubiera gustado que se hubieran hecho referencias a otros discos en los que también se hubiera includido el tema en cuestión. Pero bueno, esto es algo muy subjetivo y no afecta en absoluto a mi crítica sobre el libro. Repito: ESENCIAL.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Songman May 7 2000
At last a book NOT about Elvis the man, the myth, the legend...but about his MUSIC! Finally a decent describtion of his recording sessions. A must have for every Elvisfan and musiclover!
Ernst Jorgensen, together with Roger Semon, THE expert on Elvis' music, compilating all the Elvis CD's beeing released since the late 1980s/early '90s, has written THE book about Elvis' recordingsessions.
With it's hard cover, black and white picture of the '50s Elvis and over 150 pictures inside, this book really is a beauty to look at. Chronologically, ALL recordingsessions are described, from "My Happiness" in 1953 to "Moody Blue" in 1977. All songs officially recorded by Elvis can be found in this book and from each song is mentioned:
* when it was recorded;
* where it was recorded (which studio, place):
* who wrote the song;
* which musicians are playing;
* all matrixnumbers;
* the kind of soundcarrier, the song was first released at.
Further, the book contains a complete list of all legal Elvis LPs and CDs updated to 1997, including the chartposition the song(s) reached. Quite a lot pictures in this book have never before been published and all together, this is one of THE best books ever written about Elvis' musical legacy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Elvis' Musical Legacy Revisited July 3 1998
If you only have the slightest interest in the recording career of Elvis Presley, are a fan/collector or student of music history, this book will be a great reference guide for you.
For over a decade the author has been responsible for completely overhauling Elvis' catalog resulting in state-of-the-art box sets reinstating the musical legacy of Elvis Presley in an ever growing music market to the place where it belongs.
The continuing interest in his music and life simply remains a phenomenon, even the more astonishing twenty years after his passing.
The majority of books about Elvis have focused on his life and have offered little or nothing to understand the music behind the man. This book focuses on the one thing that defined Elvis Presley and remained a center piece throughout his life: making music.
Putting Elvis' music into historical perspective - after all those years - was certainly a challenging task to begin with, and the author has succeeded in providing a critical view and a thorough re-evaluation of his music and its place in music history today.
The material is carefully conceived and structured around his recording sessions starting with the earliest SUN acetates in 1953 (which were only discovered and made available a few years ago) and ending with the painful recordings to the June 1977 CBS TV-Special, which probably would have never aired, hadn't Elvis passed away untimely on August 16th, 1977.
For each recording session the stage is set in terms of background, song selection process and marketing decisions by his company as well as insights into Elvis' likes or dislikes of the material. All songs are listed including matrix numbers, take numbers, publishers and reference CD's.
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By A Customer
Ernst Jorgensen has pulled of a remarkable feat. He's managed to turn an Elvis Presley reference book into something which will appeal not only to Elvis fans, but to everybody who ever caught a few bars of Jailhouse Rock on the radio. Not only that, he has written a book that will leave the reader depserate to hear the music he is describing.
Unlike the similar tomes by Joe Tunzi (Recording Sessions 1 & 2) this book does not claim to be the last word in trivia. If all you care about is knowing when and where a particlar song was recorded, or what it's matrix number was, then stick to Joe. If however you want an appreciation of the music, and want to know the circumstances surrounding it's recording, the text which accompanies the (still very detailed) session information will have you enthralled.
If you are a fan, you will want this book, and having bought it you will never regret it. If you are not a fan, you NEED this book. And having read it, you will become a fan.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering 'The King'
This is a very informative references book about Elvis. I was wanting to find a good book on Elvis Presley and this was the best one that I saw. Read more
Published on April 19 2004 by BADASSGIRLHEAD
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book
This is an amazing and exhaustive look at Elvis' recording sessions. Lots of great detail and anecdotes as well as references to in-studio comments by Elvis, producers and... Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2004 by AC
3.0 out of 5 stars 5 for Content; 1 for Poor book production
This is a must have book for any Elvis fan. Unfortunately, the paperback version is a poor cousin of the original hardback. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative and exhaustive work
Not JUST a complete sessionography, but as detailed and thorough account of Elvis' life as exists in print form. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2002 by "crazycjh"
4.0 out of 5 stars Great (if you don't have the internet!)
I loved this book. In England we have a term for the obsessive fan with an unhealthy fascination for trivia. Read more
Published on May 23 2000 by Jules
5.0 out of 5 stars Music not gossip
This book is for people who really care about the making of Elvis's music. The authors go into detail about the origin of songs and how they were recorded. Read more
Published on Dec 2 1999 by Richard J. Silverberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate Elvis recording guide hands down.
Ive never seen a recording guide like this one.It has all the recording info,serial numbers,recording dates and who played/produced all the sessions. Read more
Published on Feb. 27 1999
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