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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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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superlative and exhaustive work Aug. 21 2002
Not JUST a complete sessionography, but as detailed and thorough account of Elvis' life as exists in print form. There are longer tomes, but none as accurate and as wonderfully presented. The interposition of the biographical text with the session listings works well in letting the reader see the progression of Elvis through the years.
Mr. Jorgensen's inter-relationship with BMG (nee RCA Victor) makes certain that the accuracy is as good as it's going to get. And, the story itself unfolds in an "eager-to-read" fashion.
Whether you are an Elvis fan or just a rock-n-roll fan in general, this IS the Elvis book to own. All others pale by comparison.
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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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4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering 'The King' April 19 2004
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. I can tell that it was a book of passion for the people who worked on it.
There are not as many pictures as I would have liked ( I love picture books. ) However, it is very interesting and one of the better materials I have found about the man.
The writers are also not afraid of showing Elvis's downward spiral during the last few years of his life.
Like Buddy Holly and John Lennon. A lot of people still believe that Elvis left this Earth too soon.
But the good thing though is that we still have his music and memories. That still make people happy even to day and I hope they still will. In the future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference book Jan. 5 2004
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 musicians. Ernst Jorgensen is obviously a fan, but he has the ability to look at the music objectively. By the way, this book is not titled "Elvis Fashion: A Life in Music" as Amazon lists it. It's "Elvis Presley: A Life in Music." Strange typo, great book. Buy it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars 5 for Content; 1 for Poor book production Sept. 19 2003
By A Customer
This is a must have book for any Elvis fan. Unfortunately, the paperback version is a poor cousin of the original hardback. First, the paperback was produced from the same proofs as the hardback, but on smaller stock. As a result many pictures - and a few captions - have been cropped; this is quite irritating. In addition, the binding is awful. After only a few weeks perusing it, the pages in my copy began to fall out. The publishers should not have allowed this to happen to such a superb reference work.
I hate to harp on the production values, because I do love what Jorgensen has done here, but advise you to order the hardback instead.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great (if you don't have the internet!) May 23 2000
By Jules
I loved this book. In England we have a term for the obsessive fan with an unhealthy fascination for trivia. Taking note of the favored coat of the trainspotter (chap at rail station writing down train serial numbers), we call 'em "anorak"s. This is book for "anorak"s. Guess that makes me one.
The text is really well written. Jorgensen is the world's premier expert on Presley's music, and an excellent archivist for his record label too. However, all the factual information contained here (dates, take numbers etc...) is easily found here on the internet. Thus very nearly making this book superfluous.
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