In 1970, Elvis Presley fans were thrilled by the arrival of two cultural milestones: one an album, the other a full-length concert/documentary and each of them called Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. 2014 saw Legacy recordings revisit the original album, but this time with additional recordings from five other Elvis concerts of the period and several out-takes from the sessions.
Totaling some 150 tracks there is naturally some repetition, but the clarity of most of the live performances allows the die-hard Elvis fans to cherry-pick their favourite cuts, among them BJ Thomas’ I Just Can’t Help Believing, Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline and George Harrison’s Something.
A separate disc of insightful rehearsal highlights, featuring unusual song selections showcases both the hard work and the playful atmosphere that governed Elvis’ relationship with his band of the period.
There are some further attempts for Elvis to visit what he terms on the album as “The Beatles songbook” in a series of out-takes which make interesting listening.
That’s The Way It Is is available as both a highly-collectible 8CD/2DVD box set and That’s The Way It Is (Deluxe Edition).
- A version of this review by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide during August, 2014.