Elvis – That’s The Way It Is: The BRWC Review. By Heidi Sharpley.
On Sunday afternoons, with bellies full from the traditional family roast, we’d settle in around the TV and lose ourselves in those magical Elvis movies where there’d be lots of wooing and swooning and groovy cool kids dancing on the beach. In the end he’d kiss the girl and we’d all live happily ever after.
This is not that movie. It’s 1970 and Elvis is sporting his fabulous wrap around gold glasses, all paisley synthetic shirts and lamb chop side burns. He is in rehearsal for his Las Vegas shows. The man has energy to spare and oozes charisma and a whole lot of sweat, while dripping in gold and diamonds.
We get to see him clowning around and having fun with the band but we also see a very considered Elvis working on the arrangements with his musicians and backing vocalists, Sweet Temptations. This is a tight unit, all dedicated to giving Elvis what he asks.
There is something for everyone with Elvis originals like “Little Sister”, “I can’t help falling in love with you” and covers of songs by the Beatle’s, Righteous Brothers, the Bee Gees, even some yodelling and country & western.
Opening night is a spot the celebrity as a who’s who of stage and screen come to hear the King. You can feel the expectation mounting. He has donned the white jumpsuits by this stage of his career but hasn’t yet acquired the extra pounds. Hysterical fans still go crazy for him and there is plenty of kissing (covid 19 not a concern in 1970). Sammy Davis Jnr sums up the show, “You started to rev up and never stopped”.
In hindsight, you know you are watching the tide about to turn. I’m no Elvis aficionado but this footage hasn’t done the rounds and potentially will introduce a new generation to what the Elvis phenomenon was all about – if they can be bothered to watch it.
If you want to see a highly talented singer, musician and masterful showman bring together a polished production and send his crowd in to a frenzy, “Elvis – That’s The Way It Is” brings it. Elvis is dead but long live the King.
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