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Elvis Presley / ’68 Comeback Special 50th anniversary box set

50th anniversary • All existing audio and video • 5CD + 2 x blu-ray


Sony will celebrate Elvis Presley‘s ’68 Comeback Special will a seven-disc super deluxe edition box set, due to be issued at the end of November.

The TV special was actually called Singer… presents Elvis (the Singer corporation being the sponsor) and was rescued from being a schmaltzy affair (with The King singing Christmas Carols) by producer Bob Finkel and director Steve Binder who combined to produce something that would appeal to a younger demographic and help to update Elvis Presley’s sound.

The really memorable section of the show was the ‘sit down’ element, that had Elvis on stage dressed in black leather, guitar in hand, with guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana. This performance included raw takes of some of Presley’s best records, including ‘That’s All Right’ and ‘Heartbreak Hotel.’ Great versions of  ‘Baby, What You Want Me to Do’ and ‘Lawdy, Miss Clawdy’ signaled Presley’s return to rock ‘n’ roll, after years in Hollywood making  forgettable movies and dubious soundtracks.

The ’68 Comeback Special, as it became known, aired on 3 December 1968 and helped rejuvenate Presley’s recording career.



The new box set features five CDs and two blu-rays and collects all of the existing audio and video from the show, including including the original album, both ‘sit-down’ and ‘stand-up’ performances, rehearsals and sessions recorded with the Wrecking Crew in June 1968, including outtakes. The box set includes an 84-page book with the story told through interviews conducted for this year’s HBO documentary ‘The Searcher’.

This 50th anniversary ’68 Comeback Special box set will be issued on 30 November 2018.

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Presley, Elvis

Elvis: '68 Comeback Special: 50Th Anniversary Edition

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Elvis Presley, “68 Comeback Special (50th Anniversary Edition)


CD 1
The Original Album
1. “Trouble” / “Guitar Man” (Opening)
2. Medley:
“Lawdy, Miss Clawdy”
“Baby, What You Want Me To Do”
Dialogue; Medley: “Heartbreak Hotel” / “Hound Dog” / “All Shook Up”
“Can’t Help Falling In Love”
“Jailhouse Rock”
Dialogue; “Love Me Tender”
3. Medley:
Dialogue; “Where Could I Go But To The Lord” / “Up Above My Head” / “Saved”
4. Medley:
Dialogue; “Blue Christmas” (5:34)
Dialogue; “One Night”
5. Memories
6. Medley: “Nothingville” / Dialogue; “Big Boss Man” / “Guitar Man” / “Little Egypt” / “Trouble” / “Guitar Man”
7. “If I Can Dream”
Bonus Cuts
8. “It Hurts Me” (splice/edit of part 1 – take 7, part 2 – take 7 & part 1 – take 6)
9. “Let Yourself Go” (splice/edit of part 1 – take 1 & part 2 – take 2)
10. “Memories”
11. “If I Can Dream”

CD 2
First ‘Sit Down’ show
1. “That’s All Right”
2. “Heartbreak Hotel”
3. “Love Me”
4. “Baby, What You Want Me To Do”
5. “Blue Suede Shoes”
6. “Baby, What You Want Me To Do
7. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy”
8. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
9. “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”
10. “Blue Christmas”
11. “Trying to Get to You”
12. “One Night”
13. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
14. “One Night”
15. “Memories”

First ‘Stand Up’ show
16. “Heartbreak Hotel”
17. “Hound Dog”
18. “All Shook Up”
19. “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
20. “Jailhouse Rock”
21. “Don’t Be Cruel”
22. “Blue Suede Shoes”
23. “Love Me Tender”
24. “Trouble”
25. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
26. “If I Can Dream”

CD 3
Second ‘Sit Down’ show
1. “Heartbreak Hotel”
2. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
3. Introductions
4. “That’s All Right”
5. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”
6. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
7. “Blue Suede Shoes”
8. “One Night”
9. “Love Me”
10. “Trying to Get to You”
11. “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy”
12. “Santa Claus is Back in Town”
13. “Blue Christmas”
14. “Tiger Man”
15. “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”
16. “Memories”

Second ‘Stand Up’ show
17. “Heartbreak Hotel”
18. “Hound Dog”
19. “All Shook Up”
20. “Can’t Help Falling in Love”
21. “Jailhouse Rock”
22. “Don’t Be Cruel”
23. “Blue Suede Shoes”
24. “Love Me Tender”
25. “Trouble” / “Guitar Man”
26. “Trouble” / “Guitar Man”
27. “If I Can Dream”

CD 4
First rehearsal
1. “I Got A Woman”
2. “Blue Moon” / “Young Love” / “Oh, Happy Day”
3. “When It Rains It Really Pours”
4. “Blue Christmas”
5. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” / “That’s My Desire”
6. “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin”
7. “Peter Gunn Theme”
8. “Love Me”
9. “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”
10. “Blue Christmas” / “Santa Claus is Back in Town”

Second rehearsal
11. “Danny Boy”
12. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
13. “Love Me”
14. “Tiger Man”
15. “Santa Claus is Back in Town”
16. “Lawdy, Miss Clawdy”
17. “One Night”
18. “Blue Christmas”
19. “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”
20. “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again”
21. “Blue Moon of Kentucky”

CD 5
The Wrecking Crew Sessions
1. “Nothingville (Guitar Man’s Evil #1)” – takes 5 & 6
2. “Guitar Man (Guitar Man’s Evil #1)” – take 2
3. “Let Yourself Go, part 1 (Guitar Man’s Evil #2)” – take 5 & 7/M
4. “Let Yourself Go, part 2 (Guitar Man’s Evil #3)” – take 7/M
5. “Guitar Man (Escape #1, fast)” – takes 1, 2 & 5
6. “Big Boss Man (Escape #3)” – take 2
7. “It Hurts Me, part 1 (Escape #4)” – take 5
8. “It Hurts Me, part 2 (After Karate #1)” – take 3
9. “Guitar Man (After Karate #2)” – take 1
10. “Little Egypt (After Karate #2)” – take 6
11. “Trouble / Guitar Man (After Karate #3)” – take 2
12. “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” / “Where Could I Go But to the Lord (Gospel #1)” – rehearsal & take 1 (5:23)
13. “Up Above My Head” / “Saved (Gospel #2)” – takes 4 & 7
14. “Saved (Gospel #3)” – takes 2 & 4
15. “Trouble” / “Guitar Man (Opening)” – takes 6 & 7
16. “If I Can Dream” – take 1
17. “If I Can Dream” – takes 2, 3 & 4
18. “Memories” – takes 3 & 4/vocal overdub #1
19. “Let Yourself Go” (closing instrumental)

Blu-ray Disc 1:
Elvis NBC TV Special originally broadcast on Dec. 3, 1968
Black Leather Sit-Down Show #1 – June 27, 1968
Black Leather Sit-Down Show #2 – June 27, 1968
Black Leather Stand-Up Show #1 – June 29, 1968
Black Leather Stand-Up Show #2 – June 29, 1968

Details as follows:


  1. Opening Production Number

  2. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

  3. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  4. Medley: Heartbreak Hotel / Hound Dog / All Shook Up

  5. Can’t Help Falling In Love

  6. Jailhouse Rock

  7. Can I borrow your little whatchacallit?/This leather suit’s hot

  8. Love Me Tender

  9. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

  10. Rock & roll music is . . .

  11. Gospel Production Number

  12. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  13. Blue Christmas

  14. Man, I just work here./No strap.

  15. One Night

  16. Memories

  17. Guitar Man Production Number

  18. If I Can Dream – Show Closer

  19. Credits Roll

  20. Elvis takes the stage.

  21. Elvis introduces band-mates.

  22. That’s All Right

  23. Heartbreak Hotel/Spoken Word

  24. Love Me

  25. Swapping axes./Are we on television?

  26. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  27. Touching body with hands./Rock & roll music is . . .

  28. Blue Suede Shoes

  29. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  30. Something wrong with my lip./He’s gotta be crazy.

  31. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

  32. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

  33. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

  34. Blue Christmas

  35. Trying To Get To You

  36. One Night – Somebody pulled the plug, man.

  37. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  38. Man, I just work here./No strap.

  39. One Night

  40. Memories

  41. Audience warm-up./Mr. Elvis Presley.

  42. Heartbreak Hotel

  43. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  44. Elvis refers to script./Introduces band-mates.

  45. That’s All Right/Spoken Word

  46. Are You Lonesome Tonight?

  47. Baby, What You Want Me To Do

  48. Can’t even touch myself./You gonna get arrested, boy.

  49. Blue Suede Shoes

  50. We don’t have a strap?/Lines from MacArthur Park.

  51. One Night

  52. Love Me

  53. Hanky flies about./The new music./My style came from . . .

  54. Trying To Get To You/Spoken Word

  55. Lawdy Miss Clawdy

  56. Girl saves Elvis tissue lint./Never ceases to amaze me, baby.

  57. Santa Claus Is Back In Town

  58. Blue Christmas

  59. Tiger Man

  60. Another tissue girl./MacArthur Park lines.

  61. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again

  62. Memories/Spoken Word

  63. Audience warm-up./Here’s Elvis Presley.

  64. Heartbreak Hotel/One Night – Sound Goes Out/Spoken Word

  65. Heartbreak Hotel/Hound Dog/All Shook Up/Spoken Word

  66. Can’t Help Falling In Love

  67. Jailhouse Rock

  68. Don’t Be Cruel

  69. Blue Suede Shoes

  70. Love Me Tender/Spoken Word

  71. Anybody got a handkerchief?

  72. Trouble/Spoken Word

  73. Baby, What You Want Me To Do – Impromptu Jam

  74. If I Can Dream – Lip-Synch Performance.

  75. Audience warm-up./And it stars Elvis Presley./Heartbreak Hotel – False start.

  76. Heartbreak Hotel/Hound Dog/All Shook Up

  77. Can’t Help Falling In Love

  78. Jailhouse Rock

  79. Don’t Be Cruel – Moby Dick!

  80. Blue Suede Shoes – False start. One more time, gently.

  81. Blue Suede Shoes

  82. Can I borrow your little whatchacallit?/This leather suit’s hot.

  83. Love Me Tender

  84. Preparation./Who’s that strange man out there, Elvis?

  85. Trouble – Should I be on the microphone here?/Spoken Word

  86. Trouble – I got my lip hung on the microphone./Spoken Word

  87. Trouble/Guitar Man

  88. Lines from MacArthur Park and Tiptoe Through The Tulips

  89. Trouble/Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  90. If I Can Dream – Lip-Synch Performance./Spoken Word

Blu-ray Disc 2:
“Trouble” / “Guitar Man” TV Show Opener – June 30, 1968 – All Takes and Raw Components
If I Can Dream TV Show Closer – June 30, 1968 – All Takes
Huh-Huh-Huh Promo – June 30, 1968
Elvis Closing Credits Without Credit Roll – June 30, 1968
“If I Can Dream” Special Music Video 2004 – June 30, 1968
Gospel Production Number – All Takes and Raw Components
“Guitar Man” Production Number – All Takes and Raw Components
Blu-ray Special Feature Re-Cut

Details as follows:


  1. Trouble/Guitar Man

  2. Trouble/Guitar Man

  3. Trouble-Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  4. Trouble/Guitar Man

  5. Trouble/Guitar Man

  6. Trouble/Guitar Man

  7. Trouble/Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  8. Trouble/Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  9. Trouble/Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  10. If I Can Dream

  11. If I Can Dream/Spoken Word

  12. If I Can Dream

  13. If I Can Dream

  14. Huh-Huh-Huh Promo

  15. Elvis Closing Credits Without Credits Roll

  16. If I Can Dream – Special Music Video 2004

  17. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head

  18. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/Spoken Word

  19. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/Spoken Word

  20. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child

  21. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Spoken Word

  22. Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/Where Could I Go But To The Lord/Up Above My Head/Spoken Word

  23. Up Above My Head/Saved/Spoken Word

  24. Up Above My Head/Spoken Word

  25. Up Above My Head/Saved/Spoken Word

  26. Up Above My Head/Saved/Spoken Word

  27. Up Above My Head/Saved/Spoken Word

  28. Up Above My Head/Saved/Spoken Word

  29. Saved/Spoken Word

  30. Saved

  31. Saved

  32. Saved/Spoken Word

  33. Saved/Spoken Word

  34. Saved

  35. Saved/Spoken Word

  36. Saved/Spoken Word

  37. Saved/Spoken Word

  38. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  39. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  40. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  41. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  42. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  43. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  44. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  45. Big Boss Man/Spoken Word

  46. Big Boss Man

  47. Big Boss Man

  48. It Hurts Me

  49. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  50. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  51. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  52. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  53. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  54. It Hurts Me

  55. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  56. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  57. It Hurts Me

  58. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  59. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  60. It Hurts Me

  61. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  62. It Hurts Me/Spoken Word

  63. It Hurts Me

  64. Let Yourself Go/Spoken Word

  65. Let Yourself Go

  66. Let Yourself Go/Spoken Word

  67. Let Yourself Go/Spoken Word

  68. Let Yourself Go/Spoken Word

  69. Let Yourself Go

  70. Let Yourself Go

  71. Let Yourself Go

  72. Let Yourself Go

  73. Let Yourself Go

  74. Let Yourself Go

  75. Let Yourself Go

  76. Let Yourself Go

  77. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Words

  78. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Word

  79. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Recording

  80. Bordello – Insert Shots

  81. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Recording

  82. Bordello – Insert Shots

  83. Bordello – Insert Shots

  84. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Recording

  85. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Word

  86. Bordello – Insert Shots

  87. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Word

  88. Bordello – Insert Shots/Spoken Word

  89. Nothingville

  90. Nothingville/Spoken Word

  91. Nothingville/Spoken Word

  92. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  93. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  94. Guitar Man

  95. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  96. Guitar Man

  97. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  98. Guitar Man

  99. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  100. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  101. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  102. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  103. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  104. Guitar Man/Spoken Word

  105. Guitar Man

  106. Little Egypt/Trouble/Spoken Word

  107. Little Egypt/Trouble

  108. Little Egypt/Trouble/Spoken Word

  109. Little Egypt/Trouble/Spoken Word

  110. Trouble/Spoken Word

  111. Trouble/Spoken Word

  112. Trouble/Spoken Word

  113. Trouble/Spoken Word

  114. Trouble/Spoken Word

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38 Comments

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Ged

Can anyone confirm two things for me? Blu-ray only. First the sound. What is the sound mix? Dual mono, stereo or multichannel? What sound codec? DTS HD MA, Dolby True HD or PCM? – or is the sound basic compressed DVD quality?

Secondly the picture. Is this sourced from true HD, from film, or is it a videotape upscale?

Not remotely interested in the CDs, so it’s a lot to spend on 2 Blu-rays, I’d like to know that I’m getting full high definition sound and picture for this price.

Had the – not sure, I want to say “40th Anniversary Deluxe DVD Box Set” but that would have been 2008 and I feel sure I bought it closer to 2001, whatever. I found it very repetitive and I’m certainly not interested in the CDs, only the Blu-ray. It’s currently £88 at time of writing- is that more or less than it was when it was released? I’m seriously thinking of having it delivered tomorrow.

[…] ’68 Comeback Special was reissued last year as a 5CD/2 Blu-ray box set. This new single CD best of is released on 15 February […]

Agusti Baillo Tubau

Does anyone knows if the american blu ray are playable in an european player?

Ged

Yes, the back of the box states, regions A, B & C.

David J. Pike.

If the Blu rays are issued as a ‘Stand alone’ set, then I will be interested. I have all the audio, including the original bootlegs of the two sit down and two stand up performances.. I’m also sure that this will NOT be the final word as talk of another rehearsal tape has recently came to light.

joemesk

the Follow that dream edition is a the best available with the best sonic satisfaction , Forget the blu ray

Garry Roche

As technology has changed so much since the last 68′ Comeback box set was released, it may be time for a fresh look at this amazing project.

The price may be a tad expensive, depending on the size of your wallet, the content worth every penny, especially if this will be the ultimate version available for a while, in quality of sound & vision, blu ray at last, with updated cd mastering.

The only way to know for sure will be in the tasting of the product, we’ve know the ingredients quality for 50 years, but with new chefs in the archive kitchen, let’s hope when served it gains the 5 Star Michelin status it deserves.

mr mercury

Fantastic bit expensive glad we got bluray though.

MARK LEVY

How about a double LP version of this. Featuring the whole show.

Mylene

The first 4 discs are more or less the last box set (minus A Little Less Conversation for some unknown reason) The 5th CD is all stuff not released on regular CDs. The BDs are the old 3 DVD deluxe with It Hurts Me added to the show itself. I love Elvis but I’m not buying the whole thing again for one CD which will possibly mostly instrumental.

AndyB

Thank you for the detail. I have the 40th anniversary edition both cd and dvd. Don’t want to waste any more money. Will pass on this.

Felipe

At long last Elvis is getting lately more than decent packaging and design

Shane

Any chance someone can list just what is added that was not on the multidisc digipak book edition from many years ago, wheh the same treatment was give to Aloha but ikm white? This looks great but indeed the price is steep considering most has already been issued and actual content. Might buy if price drops. A lot.

Mt mark

I one big fan.

Charlie Waffles

I just purchased the four disc box set that was released in 2008 a month ago. A day late and a dollar short.

The price tag is just too much. There have been so many releases this year. I am exhausted.

Michael Platt

I think I’ll give it a miss i have the previous dvd and CD boxsets so I’ll stick with those

Tony King

Out of the price range for most fans. This is a collectors box, not a paycheck to paycheck fan box. Too bad the people that make these things are millionaires, maybe if they struggled like most people they might make something more affordable.

Tim Joseph

Well said Tony.

RJS

“they might make something more affordable”

They did that years and years ago with a one disc edition. You can pick up second hand copies for literally a few pence online.

SimonH

Agree. Luckily I just picked up the nice two cd version from a charity shop for £2:)

Mike M.

Hard to tell from the content list, just hoping the complete original 15 minute edit of the “Guitar Man” production number is presented somewhere. The 4 disc DVD deluxe edition version was missing about 2 and a half minutes, although the re-edited “68 Special” single disc released later did contain the whole thing. Maybe that’s what they mean by “Blu-Ray special feature re-cut”. I’m assuming the “originally broadcast” version is the shorter 7 minute edit. Damn I’m picky. I’ll probably end up getting it anyway.

SimonF

This one goes on the Christmas wish list!

Stephen

This has been released in so many configurations it’s hard to keep up. Does it make Memories and Tiger Man redundant? Will this be the ‘final’ and definitive version?

Roy Clay

Seriously how can anyone justify this price?

Mike

Is there anything different to the 40th box set? Is it worth paying again?

Kees

I missed that show because I was somewhere else at that time! Must have it.

Gerbrand

MTV Unplugged avant-la-lettre. An historical comeback and well worth to listen and watch. But this release is for diehards only. This performance has been (re)issued many times before.

Mister Stick

For E fans, this is paydirt in spades, even with the previous editions of the ’68 special. But I get romantic on this one because it aired first on my 4th birthday, and I still remember being plopped down in front of the TV by my older sister.

It’s not that much fun to listen to multiple takes of the same song in a sequence, as we find on Miles, Dylan, and Van Morrison sets. Interesting, maybe… maybe once, twice. But watching The King do take after take of “Trouble” until he hits it just right will actually be something worth owning. Elvis was the first of the great visual musicians. Television and the early movies gave memory to his magic… See him once, and you will see him forever. Every time you hear that voice, he will be standing right in front of you.

And just a little note from Chuck Berry’s U-S-A to all our friends elsewhere at the end of another frustrating, bewildering, tiring week: Elvis’s performance of “If I Can Dream”, the capper to the greatest night of TV at the end of a year that was also horrible in many, many ways is among the finest statements of freedom, freedom for everybody everywhere, that has yet been presented by any American. No moment in Elvis’s career can be said to be a greater one. Our country is one of question marks, and “Why can’t my dreams come true?” is the tallest of those questions.

Can’t wait for this one.

Thanks, as always, Paul.

Iain

That’s a LOT of content on the Blu ray discs!

Rob

Wow, that’s a pretty complete boxset.
With all the ’50th anniversary reissues’ I still missed this one.

For me personally it would be nice to get the Blu-rays as standalones.

Gisabun

Elvis has left the building!
Seriously, no individual parts? [Not that I would of bought it anyways.]

The Geordie Expat

. . .and that, is how you put together a REAL SDE. No stone left unturned.
One of the great moments in Rock and Roll getting the treatment it deserves.

Darren Linklater

Looks very nice for the Elvis collector but for those of us wiped out financially with the number of SDEs this year you can pick up the previous 4CD version in fatbox plus the show on DVD for less then £20. Now that’s a bargain.

Guy

Damn, this thing includes everything but a sample of his DNA

george glazener

Very Cool…!
More presents under the tree for me, and fewer for everyone else..! Oh well..!! Is the Blu Ray audio in 5.1?

Thanks Paul..!

Phil O.

This looks really nicely done and comprehensive! I might take the leap. (Although wasn’t there some editing done to the sitdown/standup audio discs – removing dialog to get everything down to a single disc in 2008? Can’t recall the details offhand, I might be wrong…)

I have and have always enjoyed the 1998 releases MEMORIES and TIGER MAN. I wonder: Is it possible to have too much material from the Comeback special?? Still, great to see this monumental special treated so well, even after all these years.

Florian M. Kranz

Tonight on Arte (French-German TV)

dwight

great tip, thanks from the netherlands