Elvis 68 comeback concert, also known as the “King of Rock and Roll,” rose to fame in the 1950s with his iconic voice, captivating stage performances, and unique style. However, by the late 1960s, his career had taken a hit due to mediocre films and a lackluster music career. Determined to make a comeback, Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker came up with the idea of a TV special to reignite his popularity.
On December 3, 1968, NBC aired a groundbreaking television special that would go down in history as one of the most iconic performances of all time – the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert. This concert marked a significant turning point in Elvis’ career, cementing his status as a legendary performer and solidifying his place in music history. In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the history, significance, and impact of the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert.
Significance of Elvis 68′ Comeback Concert
The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert holds immense significance not only for Elvis himself but also for the music industry as a whole. It was a pivotal moment in his career, marking a shift from his previous image and sound to a more stripped-down and authentic performance style. The concert was not just a musical event but a cultural phenomenon that captured the hearts and minds of people all over the world.
The concert’s timing was crucial, as it came at a time when Elvis was struggling to find his place in the ever-evolving music landscape. He had not performed live since 1961 and was mostly known for his film career, which was not well received by critics and fans alike. The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert was a chance for Elvis to prove himself once again as a talented and dynamic performer.
Impact of Elvis 68′ Comeback Concert on his career
The impact of the Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert on his career cannot be overstated. Not only did it revitalize his popularity, but it also helped him reconnect with his fans and regain their trust. The intimate setting of the concert allowed for a more personal and authentic performance, which resonated deeply with viewers.
The concert also marked a change in Elvis’ image and style. Gone were the flashy costumes and choreographed dance moves, replaced by a simple black leather outfit and raw, powerful vocals. This transformation showed Elvis’ versatility as an artist and solidified his status as an icon.
Apart from the immediate success of the concert, it also had a lasting impact on Elvis’ career. It paved the way for his successful Las Vegas residencies, where he performed to sold-out crowds for several years. The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert served as a reminder to both Elvis and his fans that he was still at the top of his game and capable of delivering unforgettable performances.
Setlist of Elvis 68′ Comeback Concert
One of the most memorable aspects of the Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert was its diverse setlist. The concert was divided into four segments, each showcasing different styles and genres of music. The setlist included songs from Elvis’ early years, gospel numbers, and even a tribute to his film career.
The first segment opened with a high-energy performance of “Trouble” and “Guitar Man,” followed by a medley of classic hits such as “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog.” The second segment featured slower ballads and gospel songs, including “Love Me Tender” and “How Great Thou Art.”
In the third segment, Elvis paid homage to his film career with a medley of songs from his movies. He also performed a new song, “Memories,” which would go on to become one of his most beloved tracks. The final segment brought back the energy with a rock and roll medley, including “Jailhouse Rock” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
The diverse setlist and Elvis’ dynamic performance kept viewers captivated throughout the concert, showcasing his versatility as an artist.
Behind the scenes of Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert
Behind the scenes, there was a lot of preparation and hard work that went into making the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert a success. Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker worked closely with director Steve Binder to create a unique and groundbreaking TV special.
Binder wanted to capture the essence of Elvis’ live performances and make it feel like an intimate experience for the viewers. He also convinced Elvis to ditch his scripted lines and have a more natural and spontaneous approach to his performance.
The rehearsals leading up to the concert were intense, with Elvis and his band practicing for hours to perfect each song and segment. It was during these rehearsals that Elvis came up with the iconic unplugged performance of “If I Can Dream,” where he sang from the heart about unity and peace.
Reception and reviews of Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert
The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert was met with critical acclaim and positive reviews from both fans and critics. The concert received one of the highest ratings for a TV special at the time, cementing Elvis’ popularity and influence. Many praised the raw and authentic performance of Elvis and how he managed to connect with the audience on a personal level.
The New York Times wrote, “Elvis Presley’s comeback last night…wasn’t just good television; it was extraordinarily good television.” The Washington Post called it “the show of the year,” and Time magazine declared it as “a brilliant performance.”
The concert’s success was not just limited to the United States, as it aired in over 30 countries worldwide and received similar praise. The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert was a global event, with people from all corners of the world tuning in to witness Elvis’ triumphant return to the stage.
Memorable moments from Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert
The Elvis’ 68 Comeback Concert was filled with memorable moments that have stayed ingrained in the minds of viewers even after decades. From Elvis’ powerful vocals to his charismatic stage presence, there were countless unforgettable moments from the concert. Here are just a few highlights:
- The iconic unplugged performance of “If I Can Dream.”
- The raw and emotional rendition of “Memories.”
- Elvis reuniting with his original guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana for the first time in years.
- The energetic and dynamic dance moves in “Jailhouse Rock.”
These moments captured the essence of Elvis as an artist and showcased his versatility and talent.
Comparison to other Elvis concerts
While Elvis had many successful concerts throughout his career, the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert holds a special place in the hearts of fans and critics alike. It showcased a different side of Elvis and marked a significant transformation in his performance style. The concert’s intimate setting also allowed for a more personal and authentic experience, making it stand out amongst his other shows.
The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert was also unique as it combined elements of a live concert and a TV special, creating a one-of-a-kind event. It set a precedent for future TV specials and concerts, with many artists following in Elvis’ footsteps and incorporating similar elements into their performances.
Legacy of Elvis 68′ Comeback Concert
The legacy of the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert continues to live on even after over 50 years since its airing. It is considered a defining moment in Elvis’ career and a pivotal moment in music history. The concert not only revived Elvis’ career but also changed the trajectory of popular music.
The stripped-down and authentic performance style of the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert influenced many artists in the years to come. It also set a standard for music television, paving the way for future concerts and specials that were not just about the music but also about creating an experience for viewers.
Influence of Elvis 68 Comeback Concert on the music industry
The Elvis 68 Comeback Concert’s impact on the music industry cannot be overlooked. It showcased the power of television in promoting and shaping an artist’s image and popularity. The concert also introduced new elements to live performances, such as the use of multiple camera angles and incorporating storytelling into the show.
The success of the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert also had a significant influence on the music industry’s marketing strategies. It showed the potential of TV specials and concerts in promoting an artist and creating a buzz around their work.
In conclusion, the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert was a groundbreaking event that left a lasting impact on music history. It marked a significant turning point in Elvis’ career, reviving his popularity and reaffirming his status as a legendary performer. The concert’s unique format and intimate setting allowed for a more personal and authentic performance, showcasing Elvis’ versatility as an artist.
The legacy of the Elvis 68 Comeback Concert continues to live on, influencing future generations of musicians and shaping the music industry’s landscape. It will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic and influential performances of all time, solidifying Elvis’ status as the King of Rock and Roll.