REVIEWS of thE ELVIS DAY BY DAY SERIES
An overview of reviews by various Elvis-experts, reviewers and readers from around the world.
ELVIS DAY BY DAY 2022
It's ElvIS TIME REVIEW BY ROGIER VAN LUYKEN
From an interview with Kees Mouwen in the Memphis Flyer: “In the 'Elvis Day By Day - The Year In Review' yearbook series, I try to capture everything about Elvis Presley, day by day and year by year, because we don't always realize how quickly we forget everything that happens. Do you remember what you were doing three years ago, let alone what was happening in Elvis Presley's world three years ago?
This ‘Elvis Day By Day - The Year In Review’ book series preserves Elvis Presley's modern legacy, the future collectibles so to say. All the news, as it happened, featured all new book, music, and movie releases, including in-depth reviews of the major ones. The ‘Elvis Day By Day’ yearbook series is your Elvis Presley reference, today, tomorrow and forever.”
You only have to blink your eyes once and another year has passed. But that also means that a new yearbook will be released by Kees Mouwen, the driving force behind these books as well as his website ElvisDayByDay.com. Prior to that, he was also one of the co-founders of the well-known - but recently defunct - website ElvisNews.com.
We have previously written about Kees' yearbooks. And once again, the I had the honor to make a modest contribution to this year’s publication, so writing a review requires an objective view to inform you as honest as possible. Fortunately, Kees makes it very easy for me, because even without my contribution, this voluminous, 400+ page edition is another finger licking book. And if I may say so, this 2022 edition is the best of all Yearbooks to date.
Kees has discovered a niche in the market and with success. Because my goodness: there is so much to do every year in regard to our hero. In the news, but also in terms of the never-ending, almost swirling stream of releases in all kinds of areas. And you can now read all about it in this beautiful new book, which now deals with the year 2022.
I’ve spent hours of browsing, reading and marveling at all those releases. It does not seem to me that it is feasible for a fan to purchase all those releases in a year. I read a lot about our hero, but I also see a lot of things passing by in this book that I apparently missed and that really should still be included in the collection.
A number of releases receive a very extensive and informative review. The analysis of all released mixes of 'Aloha From Hawaii', following the FTD release, stood out for me. Very readable and beautifully designed. But besides this huge overview of 2022, this book is much more. There is a foreword by the well-known and respected Phil Gelormine (Elvis World) in the Elvis world. Bizarre and sad fact is that Phil sadly passed away recently and it is probably one of the last things he did. Phil also provided a beautiful photo to accompany his foreword, taken by himself on April 9, 1972, Hampton Roads, during the afternoon concert.
In addition to reviews, you can read interesting interviews with Mariusz Ogieglo from Poland who published his third Elvis book (translated: 'Elvis: All The King's Records') and that provides a very intriguing look at how Elvis is viewed in the former Eastern Europe. Also special: an interview with writer Gary Parker about his book: 'The Sonic Swagger of Elvis Presley - A Critical History of the Early Recordings'. In connection with the 'ELVIS' movie there is also a very good new interview with the well-known writer Alanna Nash.
So besides just a summary of what came out in 2022, this is really a book that has much more to offer. You can find and read all this and much more in a beautifully designed 'Elvis Day By Day - 2022'. And yes; Objectively speaking, I can say with confidence that this 2022 edition is highly recommended and that Kees has once again delivered a marvelous piece of work!
Elvis Presley biographer Paul Belard reviewed the 2022 edition of 'Elvis Day By Day'. This is the 6th review since the release of the book 1 month ago.
First, let’s get what’s unwelcome about this release out of the way! I’m beginning to accumulate years and every time a new copy of this book arrives, it’s a reminder another one has been added to the pile. I know, nothing I can do about it; still, at my age, it can’t be ignored.
But this forlorn feeling disappears as soon as the package is unwrapped. Here we have a hefty volume, well over 400 pages, the largest of all the books published so far in this series. The color cover is attractive with an Elvis semi crouching on the stage in one of those poses he favored in the seventies. He holds the mike in his right hand, the left with fingers curled as if he wanted to grasp and hold on to the meaning of the song he was performing. Great picture!
In the first pages, there is a detailed table of contents that is a real help in navigating the ocean of information overflowing from this book. The foreword is heartbreaking. It was written by Phil Gelormine who since sadly passed away in early February. Phil was a freelance photojournalist who worked on Billboard magazine.
He reviewed Elvis' records, concerts and even the 'Aloha' TV special. His photos were featured in magazines, TV shows and Rolling Stone magazine. Phil was lucky to be in the audience at thirty-two of Elvis' performances. Along with his main collaborator, Dave Wolven, Phil attended Elvis' seventies personal movie sessions at the Memphian.
When Elvis died, he began publishing the magazine Elvis World which ran for quite a few years. I subscribed to it and it was always a pleasure to read it. This foreword is a timely, albeit sorrowful, reminder of how great a fan Phil was.
What follows is a seemingly endless list of events that happened in the Elvis world in 2022. Of course, the highlight was the release of the Baz Luhrmann's No. 1 award winning 'ELVIS' biopic and soundtrack. Its worldwide success was an immensely gratifying pleasure for us Elvis fans. A ten-page review does justice to this film which is destined to become a classic. Since the movie is in a way narrated by Tom Parker, Alanna Nash who wrote a book about Elvis’ manager updated it to coincide with the release of the movie. She was interviewed by Kees and Nigel Patterson of the Elvis information Network. It is an exhaustive and informative piece to which I had the privilege of being invited to add my two cents!
Of course, every book, every vinyl, every CD released in 2022 is reviewed by Kees and others, often with original material. As an example, to support the release of the Volume 2 about Polish records released between 1966 and 1977 by Polish author Mariusz Ogielo, Kees and Nigel Patterson interviewed the author. It is a fascinating look at the way Elvis was ostracized in that country under the communist regime and the clever extremes the Polish fans went to to obtain his records. I was delighted to learn that Elvis has a star on the Avenue of Stars in Krakow.
The presentation is very well thought out. The text is laid out on two or three columns, making the read stress-free on the eyes. The pictures are sharp and easily blend with the writings on pages of different colors. I have published a series of books myself; I must say with a hint of envy that Kees’ books are a lot more attractive than mine.
It is a reference book that does not need to be read in one sitting. One can pick a subject, randomly or intentionally. Kees’ books are ones that one will go back to regularly, if only to be reminded that Elvis’ legacy is not moribund. Their pages are proof that indeed it is alive and well. Elvis often said he was afraid that he would be forgotten. “They’re not going to remember me; I’ve never done anything lasting.” He may have left the stage in mid-song, but little did he know that his legend is forever encased in stone like King Arthur’s Excalibur sword.
Thank you for the kind words Paul, nice to read how you connected the various elements in the book as a whole.
MARIUSZ OGIEGLO EXPLAINS WHY YOU SHOULD GET THE 2022 YEARBOOK
Mariusz Ogiegło, author of the book ‘Elvis All the King's Records 1966 - 1977’ and webmaster on the Polish Elvis Promised Land website, wrote a review explaining why you should buy the book ‘Elvis Day By Day 2022 - The Year In Review’.
There are some ironclad truths about the Internet. One of them is that the Internet is an inexhaustible source of information, the other is that nothing ever gets lost online. And it's hard to disagree with either one of these two.
After all, it is enough to enter the subject we need information on in any search engine and within seconds a complete list of results will displayed on our screen. When we want to know when our favorite book or album was released, all we have to do is enter its title in the search-box and seconds later you will get all the necessary information.
So when it seems that everything important is already available on the worldwide web, do we really need anything else? Until recently, I thought, no I was almost convinced, that the answer was “no”. However, my opinion changed drastically quite when I received the book ‘Elvis Day By Day 2022 - The Year In Review’ by Kees Mouwen. He is the author of the blog Elvis Day By Day, which is appreciated by fans around the world.
A beautiful, 400+ pages, richly illustrated reference, in which the author meticulously presents and discusses all the Elvis Presley publications that were released (probably) around the world last year. Everything that is important to me as a fan and collector has been collected in one place. All the discs - official and bootleg - as well as books, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and more, are presented in chronological order.
The author provided solid commentary or in-depth reviews for some of these releases, so that I - and every other reader of this book - knows which release is worth getting and which ones to avoid.
And although what I wrote above should be reason enough to add this book to your Elvis library, it is also worth mentioning that the author also included interesting interviews, including my favorite one with Alanna Nash, and reviews and articles on Baz Luhrmann's ‘ELVIS’ movie. So we get absolutely everything here, the complete year 2022 in a nutshell (everything Elvis Presley, that is).
In addition, the book has been beautifully designed, is illustrated with many color photographs and has been published on good quality paper. This makes reading ‘Elvis Day By Day 2022 - The Year In Review’ a real pleasure, especially when listening to Elvis' music at the same time, like the new box ‘Elvis On Tour’ set.
And there is something else that makes this book absolutely unique and for me personally the reason why it has a place of honor in my collection. Namely, the fact that Kees also included a review of my book ‘Elvis All the King's Records 1966 - 1977’ and the interview we did in 2022. Thank you very much for that!
You will understand that I highly recommend getting ‘Elvis Day By Day 2022 - The Year In Review’.
Thank you Mariusz, I appreciate the kind words, and you are right, when you read the book you get the concept.
REVIEW BY MICHAEL SANDER
Kees Mouwen has just published the 5th volume in his ‘Elvis Day By Day’ yearbook series. With the 2022 edition just out, which includes two articles co-written by me and Kees - a modest 10-page contribution on a total of 420 pages - I thought it was time for a review. Despite my participation, I tried to be completely objective.
By Michael Sander.
Shortly after the announcement of the release of this new volume you could read the usual comments on various forums; “what's the point of this book when you can basically read most of it online?” Well, you could say the same thing about fan club magazines, although there is still the difference as the latter are not limited to today’s Elvis news and new releases, but also cover a wide variation of other Elvis topics. Nevertheless, the new releases with the corresponding reviews, are often the most interesting reads for me.
You could think of Kees' books as a collection of bundled 1 year fan-club magazines. And anyone who is a member of a fan club is probably well taken care of with their fan-club magazines. These fans know that the reviews they read in their favorite Elvis magazines are, in most cases, much more in-depth than what they find online. The articles in these magazines are usually written by experts who usually don’t participate or write (much) online. This is what makes these physical paper releases so great!
About the book
It's the same with Kees Mouwen’s book, the core of the book are the numerous and detailed reviews. Although I've been following all the new releases throughout the year, I actually discovered a few that I somehow didn't really pay attention to during the year, but which in retrospect, turn out to be interesting. The new mix of ‘Elvis Is Back’, released by the Danish Memphis Mansion record label as ‘Soldier Boy 53310761’ is one such example.
Anyone who thinks that the reviews are all taken from the corresponding websites is wrong. On the contrary I should say, the majority of the reviews is written specifically for the book. Several of the reviews and articles written by Kees himself were previously published on his blog, so he is both the main contributor and competition to his own book. But presented on paper, with the additional illustrations and pictures, it looks and reads a lot better than online.
Speaking of “reading better”, the large print is very pleasant too. There are books that make you lose interest, because you first need to find a pair of glasses before you can actually read it. The author consistently uses paragraphs separated by blank lines in the text - a virtue sometimes forgotten by writers - that makes reading it a real pleasure. The great advantage of a book is also that it has a table of contents, which makes it easy to find any review. How often does it happen that I want to read something again online, but have to search forever to find it. This is something you won’t find online that often.
As for the further structure of the book, it is a chronological listing of all events and new releases, as we know it from the author’s Day By Day website. This listing is divided into three columns per page, with the corresponding photos and the official text and publicity blurbs from the publishers.
I said I would be objective, so to be honest, I'm still skipping these pages at the moment, because they consist of a lot of still well-known releases - news that happened not all that long ago - so it doesn't contain anything new at the moment. The official press releases and announcements of future releases are often just exaggerated advertising and usually unnecessarily long. The author once stated that he writes reference books, “to preserve future memorabilia / content in a digital world where everything disappears after a while … and don’t we all love books with old newspaper clippings, advertisements and so on?”.
That said, the listing of all these new items makes a lot of sense and does make the book colorful in the truest sense of the word. There is no saving on pictures, everything is illustrated. Visually, the books are real treats, beautiful colors on quality paper and, as I said, very pleasant to read.
The reviews are inserted at the appropriate place and stand out visually. Apart from the table of contents, you can clearly see where the next review starts when you flip through the book. And you can see right away whether a release has any relevance. Positive or negative, all essential releases are presented with a review. With the abundance of reviews, however, it is now difficult to go into further details. As an example I want to show you the Follow That Dream ‘It Happened at the world’s Fair’ LP review, which I think is spot-on.
My first thought, like last year, was what a ton of work must have gone into these books. You can only do that if you're an absolute hardcore fan. Even if a lot of content could be read on the author's website over the course of the year, it still has to be checked, corrected, and sometimes rewritten, illustrated and designed for publication in a physical book. The care and attention to detail that Kees also shows on his website can be found here too.
What is particularly pleasant, as I also know from working with him, is that Kees always maintains the necessary objectivity. Even for fans who are well informed this is exciting, because you may not always share the same opinion or have reservations about a release, but here you get to read perspectives from him and other fans, authors and Elvis experts that shed a different light on some releases.
For me personally, the whole book could be just the reviews, those alone would be worth it, but the mix makes it more attractive in the end. A complete Elvis year, summarized in a book, unique in this completeness and a nice yearbook to browse through every now and then. And in a few years it may grow into a that future reference the author mentioned earlier, just like the old Elvis Specials and magazines.
Thanks you for the honest review Michael, much appreciated and it motivates me to continue the series!
GERRIT's ROCKING BOPPING HOPPING REVIEW
Gerrit de Jong reviewed the 2022 edition of 'Elvis Day By Day - The Year in Review'. Here is his straight rocking bopping hopping review:
How can one not enjoy the design of the new 2022 ‘Day By Day’ book from Kees Mouwen? With ‘Elvis On Tour’ celebrating its 50 anniversary in 2022, this book pays tribute to the event by using the overall poster design.
‘Day By Day 2022’ covers all the events and news of 2022, including reviews of the years releases. I'm extremely jealous of the artwork department of this book as it's a treat for the eyes. In my opinion it is the best of the series so far and because 2022 was a busy Elvis year the amount of pages has increased also... It has become a book that you will pick up time after time.
Am I truly immodest to say how glad I am to provide a very small part in this book? I am a 100% proud of it that in contrast to some other projects I worked on last year and I want to thank Kees for allowing me to do this.
The book is over 400 pages and it includes also interviews with Alanna Nash among others which I extremely enjoyed. It's also nice that, while reading the reviews, you find yourself agreeing or not agreeing and realizing that it's always about taste. And in my taste, this book is absolutely positive.
The 2022 Day By Day book is available in soft and hardcover and it's a recommended read which proves that Elvis is still a force to be reckoned with, and as long as guys like Kees Mouwen continue their work Elvis will be on everyone's lips every day.
For more on Kees Mouwen also check out his Day By Day blog and order your copy on Popular Tunes. You have Gerrit’s straight rocking bopping hopping fun loving guarantee you won't regret it!
What can I say Gerrit, other than "Thank you "big bopper from Fryslan"!"
REVIEW BY ADRIAN TEDESCHI
Adrian Tedeschi received his copy of ‘Elvis Day By Day 2022’ and allowed me to share his first impressions:
Just to let you know the books arrived yesterday and all i can say is WOW!
When I eventually opened the packages (initially thought it was the new ‘On Tour’ set) I had a quick flick through or so I thought! I was literally still reading it going back and forth over the pages 2 hours later! I don't know where the time went but that shows me what an enjoyable and great product it is.
If I can compare it to other book releases, I have never, when receiving a new Lorentzen book, spent 2 hours let alone 1 browsing it as I always feel so let down by the over promise under delivery of his books. I cannot believe the amount of products released worldwide that go largely unnoticed, sure we know all about the imports from the FECC-forum and the like, but some of the other lesser known stuff is incredible.
I must admit when you released your first volume I was really skeptical thinking why do you need a book when it’s all on the net, well I am truly converted these books are as invaluable as a discography in my eyes .
Great work Kees, SUPERB in fact!
Thanks Adrian, I really appreciate the kind words; guess you really need to read it, to get to know, understand and like :-) the concept of this series.
Graham R Knowles on Facebook: Love these books. What I usually do is backtrack to the better CDs books etc featured within because the info is precise and I can pick only the items I want to own. Also I look forward to a new year with this book(s) leading the way.
Anthony Stuchbury summed it up nicely: "Once again Kees Mouwen provides an essential reference book for all things Elvis from 2022. You just can’t beat dipping into a real book for this kind of thing, and personally, to me, it’s easier on the eye than keep looking at a damn screen!"
Martin Kloster posted: "A must have every year".
Jayne Bhardwaj said: "I’ve got to buy these. Anything Elvis as I’m addicted!. Look compelling reading!"
The Elvis Files magazine reacted: "Looking great as always".
Martin St. Pierre reacted: "I received my copy and it is simply fantastic. You are doing an amazing job. Thank you for all these hours devoted to our Elvis and especially for us. I'm going to have hours of fun reading and watching all of this. Thank you, thank you very much!"
Jean Christophe Escleine wrote: "I have just read it with, and as always, the reviews are very good! What a pleasure to see all the titles that were released over the course of each year, and particularly in 2022. Thank you again for the dedication and especially for the enormous effort that you make to collect all the information over each year and present it like this!"
Pascal Dorschner posted on Facebook: "I recommend these books to everyone! This is a perfect summary of the ELVIS universe over the past year. And so much has happened in a year!"
Susanlouise Maud reacted: "I have got this book I think it is fantastic. I collect Elvis Presley books and anything to do with Elvis Presley on amazon."
5-star review on Amazon: Fifth volume of this magnificent series. I am impressed with the thoroughness and detail of this book. A titanic job. Thanks to the author of this book. Elvis left us over 45 years ago and it's amazing what we can still find out about him. This book is a bit of a bible or testament devoted to everything that came out only during the year 2022. In fact, I don't just recommend this book, but the whole series of books. These are essential books. Many thanks to the author and I am already looking forward to his next publication.
REVIEW BY GIUSEPPE CASTIGLIA
Giuseppe Castiglia shared his first impressions of the 2022 edition of ‘Elvis Day By Day’. All I can say is, “thank you, thank you very much!”, this really inspires my to continue the series.
I have to say that I have zero knowledge on design, but I can tell what looks good on the eye. First of all, the graphics within the book are excellent! I love that everything has a corresponding picture to it. Items gone at auction, magazines, records etc. The reader is never left to imagine what the subject of the article / write up, looks like.
I love the use of different colors for the pages that match the background or main color of the item displayed. I enjoy also the way you take elements from a release (title or logo), blow it up and place within the article, it looks really good. Love the bright colors and the fact that you made sure the text is easy to read, very important.
The articles are, as usual, varied and well written. I enjoyed your review ‘Boston '71 Back To Back’, very comprehensive, the "ELVIS’ soundtrack and others. I really appreciate your honest review of ‘Prodigy’ and ‘The Airplanes and the King’ books. It is important for a book like yours to stay impartial and occasionally criticize when needed.
I though the audio analysis of FTD’s ‘Aloha from Hawaii’ was exceptional! I really enjoyed that one. The best of the best for me, is the review of the movie ‘ELVIS’. Rogier Van Luyken has delivered the best and most intelligent overview of this biopic. I have found that people in the Elvis world are too emotionally attached to the subject to be able to relax for 2 hours and 40 minutes and enjoy a great performance.
It makes me smile how people got upset because they're not included in the movie or they feel they should have been involved somehow. Then there are the ones that don't know the difference between a documentary and a biopic that complain about mistakes. Baz knows very well that ‘Trouble’, was recorded in '58-for example, but he needed it at that point to help the story and it's very effective. Rogier’s review is very thorough and pleasant to read. I particularly like what he says about the positive financial impact Elvis had on movie studios, something that has been forgotten. He really "got it" and does an amazing job illustrating it. Magnificent!
Alanna Nash's interview is interesting, even more when she moves on from the movie discussion. I thought ‘The Lost Session’ FTD release deserved more, but I'm being picky. It's great to read about the many books that have come out, there are so many that you need some sort of guide to decide the ones that are worth reading and your book helps immensely. Interesting interview with the Polish collector. How interesting would be talking to someone from Poland when Elvis was alive to hear what it was like back then.
These are some of the thing that stand out for me, on my first read. I hope you can find these comments of use to you, I know how important feedback is when we present a project that we invested a lot in. Before I go back to read the rest, let me thank you again for allowing me to share some of my thoughts in your book.
Giuseppe Castiglia, January 2023.
Day By Day 2021
Carlos Varrenti, author of the new 'The Airplanes and the King' book reviewed the the copy of 'Elvis Day By Day 2021' he got in Memphis during Elvis week 2022.
Sometimes it’s hard to imagine life without the usual things we do every day in our daily routine. Since 2010, when I’ve discovered the Elvis Day by Day blog, it’s been part of my routine every morning. Every day when I wake-up I pick up my coffee and turn on my computer, read my emails and the local news and check out what’s going on in the Elvis world. Yeah I know, the guy has been dead for 45 years, so what possible can there be new? Well, let me tell you, after all those years there is almost something interesting going on in the Elvis world. And this is exactly the beauty of the project Kees Mouwen conceived with his daily Elvis Presley news blog. Elvis legacy keeps being updated, even 45 years after his death.
I remember back in the early 90s I had to wait for months to read the news in the magazines I subscribed to for some Elvis news (and those magazine usually featured just a small news section), or from time to time I got an email from my usual Elvis dealer with a poorly edited newsletter, filled of new and old Elvis CDs, VCDs, DVDs and even some good old VHS tapes, books and sometimes other artists CDs like Johnny cash or Jerry Lee Lewis at the end of the newsletter.
When internet become popular, some great Elvis websites started with some news, but those were not updated 24/7. And then the day arrived when this amazing blog came out with this fresh new idea that make us remember at the first glance the Elvis Day by Day book by Ernst Jorgensen and Peter Guralnick. Since the very beginning, this website was not limited only to be an everyday surprise for what’s new in Elvis world, but also a unique archive of Elvis information. It covers Elvis’ modern legacy in news and reviews in much (daily) detail. A true and unique project that will give the future fans the possibility to see what happened in Elvis life after his death.
And in 2019 Kees came up with the idea to publish his first book. The blog, transferred to paper, became a magnificent physical archive of Elvis legacy.
Reading that first book, I remember buying some of the items he wrote about or reviewed. Getting my parcel from the postman and opening the package watching the King came out from the wrapper. It’s pure magic, and I love it!
During Elvis week 2022 I got my copy of the 2021 yearbook in Memphis, and I really like the modern design of this edition, it’s a must for every fan that wants to have Elvis’ legacy in his library. The balance of the text, illustrations and colors of this edition it’s a true delight.
As always, the objectivity that characterize Kees reviews is key to avoid spending money on the wrong items. Especially in these days when there are so many “cut-and-paste” job releases being pushed out by producers wanting to make a quick buck. Or the many books rehashing old material or being re-re-republished for the zillionth time. I was happy to buy the originals in 1995, I don’t need a new copy!
On a personal note, the review that Kees did of my Book “The Airplanes & The King” was so good-natured and truly objective. It’s a true honor to be featured in this 2021 edition of ‘Elvis Day By Day’.
The ‘Elvis Day by Day’ books are here to stay and I’m truly anxious to get my hand on the 2022 edition. Keep flying high Kees!
Thanks for the kind words Carlos, I appreciate it!
MEMORIES OF ELVIS REVIEw DBD 2021
The ‘Elvis Day By Day 2021’ book was recently reviewed by the German Elvis Club Berlin for their ‘Memories of Elvis’ magazine and on-line by the Belgian ElvisMatters fan-club.
The Elvis Club Berlin noted: The book is neatly organized and all the events related to Elvis in some way are listed on a day-by-day basis. Of many publications there is also a more or less detailed discussion. A very nice compilation.
ElvisMatters noted: All the Elvis news from 2021 nicely organized in this book with more than 60 in-depth reviews about the important music, film and book releases by and for Elvis fans, Elvis experts and Elvis authors from around the world, making this book has become a real 'international edition'.
Originally the first book Day By Day was somewhat labeled as 'superfluous', today it appears that this book has been picked up several times when listening to the many releases of recent years. So in short, an informative book that can give you even more pleasure after purchasing so many handsome Elvis items!
Wow!!! Amazing layout and so massively illustrated, it's a fantastic product that stands high in terms of quality and content! (reader's reaction)
Now after the first hours of reading I can only say: perfect as always! Keep on releasing these kinds of books! (reader's reaction)
Elvis Day by Day 2021 - the ideal reference book for Elvis collectors and fans who want to be up-to-date
Giuseppe Castiglia reviewed the 2021 edition of 'Elvis Day by Day' on the Facebook page of the Elvis Italian Collector Club.
Poplar Tunes Publishing and Memphis Mansion, just released “Elvis Day by Day 2021”. The fourth volume of this series, collected all the news and events of 2021 with additional insights and reviews on the most important releases. This is the ideal reference book for Elvis collectors and fans who want to be up-to-date.
This edition has 350 pages and is illustrated with hundreds and hundreds of photos, mainly in color. The graphics and the presentation are very attractive, making this a high quality release. The introduction is written by songwriter Michael Jarrett, the author of “I’m Leavin’” and “I’ll be home on Christmas Day”.
The book follows the same line as Ernst Jorgensen’s “Day by Day”, but with the addition of 60 reviews and articles that analyze the important releases and events. Some of the most authoritative names in the Elvis World contributed with detailed reviews including Carlos R Ares (Argentina), Piers Beagley, Nigel Patterson, Geoffrey McDonnell (Australia), Andy Pendl (Austria), Robert Gilbert (Canada), Michael Sander, Thomas D Weiß (Germany), Rogier van Luyken (The Netherlands), Phil Gelormine, Trina Young (USA). I had the pleasure of contributing to this edition too, with two reviews (written together with the editor Kees Mouwen).
2021 has been a year full of news and excellent releases like Sony’s Nashville 1971 set, FTD’s ultimate Jailhouse Rock box, the unreleased Las Vegas 1970 soundboard and the unreleased soundboard recording from Kansas City of 1974.
An impressive amount of vinyl albums saw the light this year, in a wide variety of colors. The “Welcome Home, Elvis” TV Show was - for the first time - released complete and with excellent audio quality. Numerous books covering the many aspects of Elvis’ career, have appeared in online bookstores this year: in particular discographies on Elvis releases from the United Kingdom, Japan, EP's, demos and acetates, the Follow That Dream catalogue and more.
Among the reviews, you will find a good article on my book “Follow That Dream!”, which has also been selected for the Top 10 Elvis releases of 2021. A nice result!.
It is interesting to read about the various items that once belonged to the King that were auctioned, including the prices they fetched, as well as reading the tweets and Instagram posts by Linda Thompson, James Burton, Baz Luhrman and others on various Elvis events.
In this volume you will find many news items that passed by in 2021 and you may have missed, like the fact that Elvis has received over 10 gold records (including one from Italy!) all the bootleg releases and much more. The book ends with an overview of the year month by month and a Top 10 of 2021 releases.
Conclusion: a beautiful and classy release, beautifully illustrated. A reference that you will consult continuously. Highly recommended!
Elvis Day by Day 2021 - Review On Amazon
In 2003 the German language edition of “Elvis A. Presley - The Music, The Man, The Myth”, written by Fleming Marc Hendrickx. A pile of books, A4 format, over six hundred pages thick and heavy.
The author, who is on the road on behalf of the Lord, self-confident and zealous to the point of parody, claims in the foreword, like all prophets, that this is the "complete story". "It tells the facts as they happened and the role played by Elvis Presley, his staff and his fans." Amen.
The book, which is nevertheless very readable, introduces - as far as I know as the first - the word of the "Elvis industry". After each year, Hendrickx's running copy accurately summarizes the sales and worldwide chart hits of Elvis' singles, EPs, LPs, movies, etc. However, Hendrickx' overviews of the press and book publications about Elvis are much more exciting. Here even the experienced Elvis disciple learns a lot of new things.
The chapters on the "Elvis industry" do not end in 1977, the year of Elvis' ascension, but continue page after page until the year 2002. In the epilogue, the author asks the rhetorical question: "Will it never end ?“. He answers her three lines further with a curt “No”.
Hendrickx himself has stopped observing the exploitation machinery, a quick, superficial googling reveals that he has written young adult and children's books and published a book about Leonard Cohen. [From Elvis to Cohen; rather crude, this line, Hallelujah].
The Elvis industry, according to my observation, really got going after 2002! Keywords: Follow That Dream, Sony Legacy, Memphis Recording Service, fat releases around the 1968 comeback special, TTWII, films like 'The Searcher', 'Elvis by The Presley', newly dug up home recordings from Bad Nauheim, tons of new ones books from Elvis' environment deep into the think tanks of popular culture. Perhaps the Prophet thought it was good now. He's done his job. Let others continue the service of the Lord.
Kees Mouwen is Dutch and has been publishing Elvis yearbooks for a number of years. He doesn't use the word "Elvis industry"; his books are called "Elvis Day by Day - The Year in Review", but they are, bottom line, nothing more than a sequel from above.
Kees Mouwen goes a little further, not only reviews and lists official and unofficial books, CDs, LPs, DVDs, but also gives space to people, mostly deceased people, from the Elvis cosmos. So we learn that on July 14, 2021 Becky Yancey passed away. Anyone who can say right away what relation Mrs. Yancey had to Elvis Presley is part of the Elvis cosmos. For whom that was an easy exercise: On September 6, Sam Bell died at the age of eighty-five. Hmm, who was that again?
A page back (September 2nd) we learn the realized auction prices in US dollars of Elvis memorabilia, including the legendary "Eyelet Jumpsuit" designed by Elvis' personal menswear designer Bill Belew and worn by the King at Madison Square Garden in 1972. So how much did you have to shell out? US$637,500.
So that you don't get the wrong impression: the main part of the book revolves around books, CDs, LPs and DVDs. There are lots of pictures, lots of text, a clean design. You leaf through the book and day by day it seems more unbelievable how many products, reissues, compilations continue to pour into the market. Even more incredible that there are buyers for all of this.
The book can also make sensitive characters tired and sad. It doesn't change the fact that the king is dead. At some point you look at your collection and ask yourself: Isn't that enough? I'd love to talk to Mark Hendrickx about it over a good Belgian beer.
By Jernigan on Amazon
Day By Day 2020
Elvis Day by Day 2020 - A Fantastic Initiative and Reference
Rogier van Luyken reviewed 'Elvis Day by Day 2020' for the latest It's Elvis Time magazine.
As he noted: As far as I am concerned, Kees set a new standard with his 'Elvis Day By Day' books when it comes to an Elvis yearbook and reference guide for “everything Elvis Presley” from around the world. I am already looking forward to the 2021 edition and I am also trying to get the 2019 edition. A must!
In 2019 there suddenly was a new Elvis book: "Elvis Day By Day - 2019", written by Dutch Elvis fan Kees Mouwen. A book which offered an overview of everything Elvis from the year 2019. At first, this edition raised some questions. What exactly does this book bring to what we have not already been able to read during the year 2019 on the internet and in the various Elvis magazines, including your own "It's Elvis Time"? The book looked attractive in terms of design, but I decided to wait a while before purchasing it.
Recently the announcement of "Elvis Day By Day - 2020" came out and it looked very attractive again. It made me to contact the author, Kees Mouwen, who was kind enough to provide a review copy of his latest book. That's how I first came across this "Elvis Day By Day". And I have to say: I am pleasantly surprised and also very enthusiastic about what is presented here.
Not many can say that their book contains a foreword by the well-known, American Elvis biographer Alanna Nash: Kees can, and you will read it in this 2020 edition. This carries weight and shows that this is not just any book. Kees himself is also no stranger to the Elvis world either: he is one of the original founders of the website ElvisNews.com and since 2010 also of the blog: ElvisDayByDay.com.
About the origin of the concept for this book, Kees says in an interview with Nigel Patterson of the Elvis Information Network website: “The idea for an Elvis 'yearbook' is a long-cherished ambition ... a complete overview of that happened in a year… This book is to hold in your hand, read and keep for reference. This is a new concept and fans may have to get used to it. When I announced the book, there were many reactions that all the information is already available for free on the internet. Until people saw what this book really is: a complete and illustrated reference to everything Elvis from the past year, complete with reviews and backgrounds”.
And that is exactly what makes this book so unique: you think you already know everything, but when you start reading and browsing through this book you cannot stop.
Released by Kees through his own "Popular Tunes Publishing" in cooperation with the Danish 'Memphis Mansion' (Henrik Knudsen), this book makes you realize how much Elvis news and releases there actually are in a year. It is almost impossible to keep track of all of this on the internet, as well as having to buy and collect it all. In this book you can (re)read it all.
A nice design and lay-out with color photos and text. Clearly arranged: first all the news and new releases for each month, followed by a few reviews or articles that go deeper into events or releases of that month. Of course: some releases are also discussed in your own IET and so there may be some overlap in what you read in your own IET-magazine and in this book. The added value of this book is that it covers all books, official, import and public domain releases. There is not enough space in your IET-magazine to cover them all.
And so there are many releases that I did not know existed, or knew the backgrounds or quality of. Also: many articles and reviews have also been written exclusively for this book and therefore cannot be found or read on the internet or other Elvis magazines. Everything Elvis of the past year will appeal to you: news items, birthdays of acquaintances from the Elvis world, book releases, vinyl releases and new Elvis merchandise that has been released ... It is too much to mention. Also current affairs are discussed: on page 45 we find a chapter entitled "Elvis and COVID-19".
I also noticed a few remarkable releases that had completely escaped my attention. Like the one about the booklet "Heli & Elvis". Heli von Westrem turns out to be a lady from Germany who was more than friends and who seems to have been through quite a bit with Elvis during his stay in the army in Germany. She describes life on Goethestrasse 14 as well as an almost kidnapping in Johannisberg, Bad Nauheim. Exciting and I'm going to check that booklet thanks to the tip in this book.
The research of this book is so complete that - as an example - we can also follow the Blu-ray DVD releases of "King Creole" throughout the year - as an example - with a separate review of this new release.
The highlight of this 2020 edition is a 12-page back-to-back review of the FTD "That's The Way It Is" 8-CD / 2-book release versus Erik Lorentzen's books with the same theme. The quality and care of this book is very high. Complete with a clear index and a Top 10 of best releases of the past year.
The book comes in two versions: a paperback edition and a hardcover edition with 24 bonus pages and 8 additional reviews. When the first book by Kees came out - the 2019 edition - there was a review that described the book as' a 2.0 version of the annual 'Elvis Monthly Specials' that appeared between 1963 and 1985. A nice and rightful compliment. And hopefully it gives you an idea of what to expect when purchasing this book.
Kees: “Over the past ten years, many Elvis books from the "Elvis Files" and Follow That Dream teams have been published about certain periods in Elvis's life. All look back on his life back then. But the Elvis world today is more than "alive" and very active and so I thought there is room for a book about Elvis "Today" (to quote a classic Elvis album title)".
As far as I am concerned, Kees set a new standard with his "Elvis Day By Day" books when it comes to an Elvis yearbook and reference guide for “everything Elvis Presley” from around the world for a certain year. I am already looking forward to the 2021 edition and I am also trying to get the 2019 edition.
It is expected that Kees' books will also be for sale through the new web-shop of your own It’s Elvis Time. A must.
May 2021 / Rogier van Luyken
GORDON MINTO's REVIEW
In his review of 'Elvis Day By Day 2020 - The Year In Review' Elvis expert Gordon Minto made some interesting observations on the - state of the - Elvis world today.
2020 The Year In Review
The year 2020 may have been like no other in living memory for just about everyone in the world, gripped as it was in the midst of a global pandemic, with a corresponding impact on every aspect of our lives and a tragic loss of life, but in the Elvis world - delays to releases notwithstanding - things were pretty much business as usual, as Kees Mouwen’s second volume in the 'Elvis Day By Day' series chronicles in what is, at times, depressing detail.
Don’t get me wrong: like its predecessor, this book – all 300 pages of it – drawn from Mouwen’s daily blog, is an interesting and useful round-up guide to just how much Elvis stuff is available out there, and the author carries out his mission well, ably assisted by a number of well informed (and fully acknowledged) contributions from Piers Beagley and Nigel Patterson of the Australian Elvis Information Network website. And his summation of the major – and minor - releases and events in 2020 is thorough. The book is colourful and easily accessible, though some of the images used are dull – not helped by the use of matte paper, I suspect – though that is of secondary importance overall, as it’s the information that is of primary importance.
Personally, I would like to have seen a greater editorial rigour applied to how much space was allocated to certain products or reports, for not all entries are equally deserving, I believe. For example, reproducing countless detailed live concert reviews (issued on CD, either as bootlegs or FTD soundboards) and the ever-increasing ‘limited edition’ vinyl releases of old titles, hardly warrants multiple pages of comment. I would also like to see a clearer distinction made between what the producers of a product say (the inevitable advertising hype) and what constitutes an objective review – perhaps by using italics or different colored font? Equally, I think some of the entries are spurious and could have been omitted. For example, who cares that Bono, of U2, thinks that ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ ranks fifteenth in his list of ’60 songs that saved my life’? Oh dear! Pretentious or what! (That’s Bono, not the author, by the way!)
Yet, unintentionally perhaps, Kees’ decision to diarise such events into a book form has turned a spotlight on what I think is a serious issue and one which has made me think carefully about the whole Elvis ‘scene’. Yes, I knew there was a lot of stuff out there but had no real comprehension of just how extensive it was – and this book only relates to 2020! There’s no reason to suppose that 2021 will be any different.
Truly, when browsing through the myriad of news items and countless releases (CDs, books, DVDs, a welter of vinyl releases – many of them promoted as ‘limited editions’) and peripheral information (anniversaries and other minutiae), I was not only taken aback, but actually found myself quite depressed at the degree to which the Elvis brand has been hijacked and exploited by all and sundry. Product relating to Elvis – some of it only tangentially – is being manufactured on an industrial scale – and I’ve not even factored in stuff bearing Elvis’s image pedalled by the ever-thrifty EPE. Incidentally, with respect, I would take issue with the legend on the front cover which says that this is ‘a yearbook about him’. Actually, it’s not. Essentially, it’s a yearbook about how many people have chosen to produce merchandise of whatever sort (and quality) as a means of making money out of his name. I can almost hear Colonel Parker whooping ‘Attaboy!’
The Elvis fiefdom is often referred to as a ‘broad church’, encompassing a wide range of interests and tastes – and, for once, I think the religious connotations are relevant – as, to my mind, a great deal of the product written about here borders on being sacrilegious in that it only serves the vanity and greed of those peddling what are gratuitous and pointless releases. For example, I love Don Robertson’s songs and Elvis’s sensitive handling of them but who, for Christ’s sake, needs a vinyl EP of some of them? And who is actually going to play them, as opposed to listening to a CD or even a downloaded version?
And it is this re-kindled and irrational love affair with vinyl (bordering on the obsessional, in my view) and producing it in every conceivable color and format that runs like a main artery throughout the whole book. As a former serious collector of U.K. vinyl (who needs no reminder of how irrational, addictive and expensive such collecting can be!), I find myself genuinely dismayed that new (and old) collectors are being beguiled by the idea of collecting what are either quirky and questionable re-treads or revised compilations – each which comes with a hefty price tag, I might add - when much of it is junk and will, like last week’s papers, be quickly worthless.
Now I realise that some people will radically disagree with my view of this, arguing - quite rightly, I suppose – that this a free market and that within the law people can buy and sell what they want. Except that it isn’t. It’s anything but free: it is highly costly, even if you only buy a small amount of the stuff on offer. Of course, supporters of the free market would claim that this comes down to individual choice – which, admittedly, is hard to challenge. The fact is, though - as even a cursory glance at the author’s detailed overview amply illustrates - the Elvis market is saturated and my chief concern is that worthwhile product (of which there is still quite a bit - and not simply confined to official sources) that offers entirely new or a different angle, boasting decent production values, risks being swamped and so lost.
Of course, what I need to make absolutely clear here is that this isn’t Kees Mouwen’s fault in any regard (no more than we should blame crime reporters for writing about an upsurge in crime) and is certainly no reflection on the merits of his book which simply sets out to chronicle faithfully events from the relevant time-frame – and succeeds. However, seeing it all laid out in such graphic detail did make me feel rather uneasy – and queasy.
One of the main things we can extrapolate from this book is that there is virtually no control of the Elvis market – nor can there be, of course. It is largely unregulated, and anyone is free to produce and retail whatever they want, irrespective of merit. And lest you think that this is a direct swipe at bootleggers or other third parties, it’s certainly not, for some of their product is imaginative and worthwhile. Indeed, it is fair to say that some people have expressed similar anxieties regarding the amount of material marketed by FTD – which far exceeds its original concept and planned release schedule – and contributes to the strain on the financial resources of many collectors.
In conclusion, despite my reservations, this book represents a useful adjunct to the ever-growing library of Elvis-related literature. If you are a regular visitor to the many websites and blogs, then this may not hold much appeal, but as someone who is very cautious about accessing social media platforms - and concerned how they have infiltrated and influenced our lives (much of negatively, sad to say) - distilled into book form, I found it instructive.
Gordon Minto – April 2021
Review Graceland Magazine - Four Stars! (Germany)
The German Elvis Presley Gesellschaft reviewed 'Elvis Day By Day 2020' in volume 258 of their Graceland magazine. The book received four stars!
The review by Andreas Pendl noted: The concept is reminiscent of the British 'Elvis Specials' which were published from 1962 to 1985. These books were a kind of best of the "Elvis Monthly" booklet and offered a look back at the past year.
That is what Kees Mouwen does with this yearbook - only with much more extensive research and more detailed information. A very good overview of what happened to Elvis in the past year ... with additional exclusive reviews and pictures.
Review Elvis Day By Day 2020
Bill Shute, writer for the 60's Music Magazine 'Ugly Things', wrote a review of 'Elvis Day By Day'.
Documents the Elvis releases and Elvis-related happenings in the year 2020.
If you're the kind of person who checks Elvis-related websites and discussion lists a few times each week to find out about new "import" CD's or what will be the next Elvis FTD release, then this book is for you.
It compiles pretty much every Elvis-related activity or release, week by week, throughout the year 2020 and features a number of fascinating close-analyses of some of the major releases (and some of the minor ones too).
It is a very attractive book with lots of color pics of and information on obscure reissues of audience-recorded shows, European public domain reissues of 50s and early 60s material, every release from Follow That Dream, Elvis One, or Straight Arrow, and Elvis-related books and documentaries.
The writing is insightful and very knowledgeable, so I'd highly recommend this and the previous 2019 volume to anyone who is seriously into Elvis. I can't imagine someone reading this book and not buying some more "import" or FTD CD's afterwards.
Thankfully, the book deals with Elvis' work, not his personal life (or worse, speculation about his personal life). An excellent job, and I'm looking forward to the 2021 volume, which I hope will come out in 2022.
March 2021 / Bill Shute
Elvis still has a presence to be reckoned with
Elvis biographer and author Paul Belard (U.S.A.) reviewed the 2020 edition of 'Elvis Day by Day'.
A great book proving Elvis is still present and influential. If you have been an Elvis fan, but living as a hermit for the past 44 years, you’ve missed the news of Elvis passing. If you decide to end your years of seclusion in 2021 and your first stop back to civilization is a book store to catch up on Elvis’ career, the last book by Kees Mouwen would still not confirm the King’s final departure. With a title 'Elvis Day By Day 2020 - The Year in Review', how could Elvis be dead?
Well, unfortunately, he is! As incredible as it is, it will be soon half a century since he left us. So, as Alanna Nash writes in the foreword: “Why do we still care?”
Kees’ book answers the question straightforwardly. Impeccably written, in an attractive and easy to read composition, it is peppered with facts accompanied by high quality B&W and color pictures. It demonstrates in detail that Elvis is still present and influential. And those news items are plentiful since, as the book clearly proves, something still happens almost every day in Elvis world.
In a clever fashion, interviews, film and record reviews are inserted in the day to day listings. The recording sessions that produced two of my favorite albums are examined. They resulted in 'Something for Everybody' and 'His Hand in Mine'. Elvis’ voice had never been so accomplished, with a suppleness and a smoothness, an “effortless grace” as Ernst Jorgensen qualified it in his book 'Elvis Presley A Life In Music'. The spirited interaction with the Jordanaires was faultless, the backing from the Nashville greats pristine.
I want to take this opportunity to thank Kees for listing my books published in 2020, notably for the three-page review of 'Elvis 1960 March 7 to 31'.
Kees should be congratulated on two points. Firstly, to have brought to the 21st century the idea of Guralick and Jorgensen’s 'Elvis Day By Day'.
Secondly, for the time and effort that such an endeavor requires. Believe me, I know. I have written several books. It is hard work. Long hours of research resulting in blurry vision and sore wrists. I can also tell that Kees does not do this for the money. To sell a 312 page book of this quality, with color throughout, for only $44 does not leave any room for profit.
With its gorgeous design, its amount of information, 'Elvis Day By Day 2020 - The Year in Review' confirms that Elvis has even now a presence to be reckoned with. It is a must for every Elvis fan. It is a book I will go back to time and time again. Thank you Kees for your work.
March 2021 / Paul Belard
A Helluva Idea
Elvis Author and Collector Carlos R. Ares (Argentina) reviewed 'Elvis Day by Day 2020'.
When I was just 12 years old back in 1961, thanks to the American 'Teen Screen' I discovered the existence of an English magazine devoted 100% to Elvis Presley: the glorious 'Elvis Monthly'. Very soon I began to receive my subscriptions of the mag from far away England. In them I discovered both the pen and heart of a true pioneer of the Elvis World: Albert Hand.
I vividly recall my anticipation and subsequent joy at receiving his incredible 'Elvis Specials' in which one could read about everything that had happened Elvis-wise in any given year not just once but over and over again.
"Day By Day 2020' brought me that same feeling.
Now, 43 years after Elvis’ passing, it is unbelievable that a 311-page book compiling all the Elvis Presley releases of 2020 alone can be put out.
And the book is far from being simply a list of the releases for it includes a thorough and exhaustive analysis of each and every single one of them.
Research, compilation, editing and design were carried out by Kees Mouwen, with editorial assistance and proofreading by Nigel Patterson. Many articles by (and with) Piers Beagley and Nigel Patterson were extracted with permission from the Elvis Information Network website to complete the picture of the year.
I must mention Kees' wit when analyzing some key releases such as ‘Elvis At The Hayride’ ('Little Mamma' with better audio, 'I Forgot To Remember To Forget' at its correct speed) by Henrik Knudsen - Memphis Mansion.
Also the fantastic in-depth analysis of the FTD's 'Something For Everybody' and 'That's The Way It Is - 50th Anniversary Collectors’ Edition' and many more.
Needless to say that I feel more than proud to be part of this great piece with my book 'Elvis@Argentina 1963-1969' that has gotten such a wonderful review. Thanks once again, Kees!
Just quit whatever you are doing and go out and get this wonderful piece of work available at Henrik Knudsen's Memphis Mansion before it sells out.
2021 is already in the works, no doubt it will be another hit!
March 2021 / Carlos R. Ares.
Praise from readers for the 2020 edition:
- I strongly recommend this magnificent book. An essential book, an absolute reference. The only regret is that this kind of book should have existed 40 years ago. This would could be a very interesting series of books, done by the same author, on everything that has been released since 1977. An absolute dream for me because I like this kind of reference material. I have already spent hours reading it and I'm going to spend more, that's for sure. I recommend this book and there is one from last year too, these books are just awesome. Well done
- I really liked the way you "built" them, with reviews, interviews and so on interlaced with the day to day stuff. I am very impressed! And it's like you say, holding one of the books in your hands really makes you realize how much is going on in the Elvis world.
- The books are a dream - in terms of layout, quality, and content.
- Just got the book. It is great. You must spend a lot of time on it. The result is worth it. The amount of news is incredible. Magnificent job (Paul Belard, Elvis author).
- I can really recommend it. A good reference book about what is happening in Elvis area and a detailed overview with reviews of what has been done in 2020. Highly recommended.
- Kees Mouwen has done a fabulous job, creating a beautiful, stylish and colorful look to the book with even more impact than last year's edition. It features a pile of unique reviews - some very interesting vinyl reviews - as well as a fascinating comparison between the two TTWII deluxe releases from Erik Lorentzen and FTD. There is also a delightful foreword by Alanna Nash.
- When I first heard about the book last year I thought “Why?” - but no longer. I love the concept and it makes sure you don’t miss anything. I really like it. The book make so much sense.
- I just received the books and quickly browsed through it and my first reaction is: Wow, the books look beautiful, neat and visually attractive. What a wealth of information and what a lot of work you have put into this!
- They say there's nothing like a good book, and this is nothing like a good book because it's way better than that !
- Received my copy today and my head is spinning around and around, OUTSTANDING!
- Kees Mouwen, you haven't said too much. The yearbook has become breathtakingly beautiful. Beautiful layout, beautiful photos and a lot to read, a must for the collector, on to the 2021 yearbook 👍
- These books are beautiful, the content is well laid out. I had a good time reviewing his last two years.
- This is a must have for all Elvis fans. Love it!
- I've been a fan since 1966 and Elvis has been with me ever since. I'm sure I'll like your book, the first one was beyond awesome.
- I just ordered it, I can't wait to receive it, I loved last year's one a reference and high quality book. I hope this will be repeated over several years.
- Super idea! Great overview, made by fans for fans. Five Stars.
Day By Day 2019
What an amazing book this is, THE NEW Elvis Special!
Review by Joan Gansky, Elvis author and fan.
What an amazing book this is! This book is not only a daily diary of all Elvis news for 2019, it contains precise and detailed facts on every album, CD, book etc. released, including European issues and "bootlegs" as well as FTD releases.. they are all here!
Older Elvis fans will probably remember the "Elvis Special" annuals put together by Albert Hand in the UK when Elvis was alive.
These were fairly basic, around 80 pages and with very little probing content. They often listed Elvis songs, films and included lots of (usually rather substandard) black and white photos. Occasionally they featured a skimpy film or album review from the year and then perhaps a lightweight article on what fans thought of Elvis!
To be honest I did have a few articles printed in them back in the day! But these, of course, were pre-internet and, my, how things have changed since then. Elvis has been gone 42 years and yet in this new 'Elvis Special 2019' author Kees Mouwen has put together a totally packed 300-page colour book of everything Elvis in 2019. As he notes in the preface, Elvis' legacy seems to be more alive in 2019 than it did back in those "Elvis Specials" years.
The real impact of this compendium is to discover that something "ELVIS" was published or announced, or featured in the media, almost every day last year.
- and that's without including the regular UK tabloid rubbish!
The day-by-day information is laid out in three-columns and is easy to read. With plenty of full-page images of Elvis, for a self-produced book, it is beautifully designed.
Along with the daily news there are detailed articles pertinent to these happenings of 2019, written by Elvis experts in their field (including EIN's Nigel Patterson, Piers Beagley and others).
I must also comment on the great quality of the photos included throughout the book, that definitely enhance the overall appeal and the carefully researched and detailed written information. Each month is also accompanied by at least one review of the month's major Elvis release.
The book's reviews look at all kinds of releases from SONY to MRS vinyl to Erik Lorentzen's books plus all the major FTD releases.
Taking January 2019 alone as an example, the month featured multiple vinyl and CD releases (bootleg and FTD), Elvis' Birthday, the Elvis Graceland auction, several new Elvis book announcements, Elvis magazines, Elvis on the front of the US TV Guide, Rick Stanley, Reggie Young and Harold Bradley died, 'Elvis In Concert' played in Mexico City, plus Elvis featured in the US charts. And January certainly wasn't the busiest month!
For January 2019 the book also includes a lengthy review of the FTD 'St. Paul to Wichita 74' double soundboard (the positive review makes one want to go and revisit it) plus a review of the two Paul Belard books released that month.
Of course almost all of this can be found if you want to search the internet - (the acknowledgements indicate just how many sources the author uses) - however the book puts it all together in a much more accessible way. And what a delight to find a detailed Index at the back.
Having this book handy to refer to when a thought or question regarding Elvis pops into conversation (or your own head!) - will prove invaluable.. especially the size being so compact! I find my heavy, over-sized "deluxe" Elvis books get "used" less and less these days.
The author notes that several of the reviews are brand new for the book and have never been published elsewhere. I was interested to read new reviews on releases such as the 'Elvis In Paris' book, Lorentzen's 'Elvis Now In Person', the Dutch 'De Elvis 100', 'Elvis Is Back Sessions' and others.
We are both honored and proud that this book features my husband Paul's photographs and my fond memories of August '69 at the International Las Vegas! When I wrote them back at that time, I never dreamed 50 years later they would be printed in any book, especially one of this high caliber. This ongoing deep interest is due to Elvis Presley and the enduring love for and appreciation of him by his fans worldwide.
The book neatly ends with Shane Brown's excellent look back at "2010-2019: Decade In Review". The 2020 Graceland Auction announcement demonstrates the book's stylish design
Overall Verdict: I do try to keep up with all things "Elvis" but was pleasantly surprised to read something new to me on nearly every page! It kept me engrossed throughout - as I learned details and facts that were either new to me, or I had, sadly, forgotten.
I thoroughly recommend this book - if you are reading this, then you are an Elvis fan, and I am sure you will enjoy and appreciate it too! My congratulations and thanks to author Kees Mouwen on an exceptional book project so very well done!
We wonder what Albert Hand would think if he was still alive today.
February 2020 / Joan Gansky
Reader's reactions on the 2019 edition:
- The German Elvis Presley Gesellschaft wrote: I definitely recommend this book. It not only offers an excellent overview of everything Elvis has done in 2019, but also a review of Elvis ’active time through the anniversaries, topics and reviews.
- Lee Dawson on the Elvis Express Radio Show: “It’s packed, there is so much color, it’s beautiful … It’s brilliant , nothing sure of absolutely brilliant”. “It is kind of like the old annuals, the Elvis Specials”. This could be the new one of those". “Get it if you can, you will not be disappointed”.
- The Elvis The Man And His Music magazine (vol. 128) complimented the design: ‘It is extremely well laid out - in full color, easily accessible and fully illustrated’.
- Henrik Knudsen from the Danish Memphis Mansion quoted: "This is an informative and easy to read book for fans and collectors, only when you read it you know what you missed. It should have been done years ago, I hope this is the start of a new series”.
- The Elvis Information Network may be biased (as we contributed to the book) but it is a it is a FABULOUS book.
Anthony Stuchbury Elvis audio guru and fan wrote: One word WOW! This is more like the Elvis 2019 diary of information, with reviews to boot.
I chose the hardback edition as I thought it might be something I'd be using in the future for reference purposes, and I was correct. The cover feels like velvet, it's got a smooth soft feel, and the printing quality of the pages is crisp, balanced and sharp.
I was initially going to wait to purchase it from the author in Denmark in August, but as everything everywhere is up in the air due to current events I decided to get it now, and I don't regret it !! I can only imagine the hours and hours that have gone into compiling this, let alone the patience required.
Do I recommend it? Hell, yeah !
Day By Day 2018
Ugly Thing Magazine Review
Author Bill Shute reviewed ‘Elvis Day By Day 2018’ for the November 2021 edition of the U.S. based Ugly Things magazine (you got to love that name!).
Shute considered the Day By Day blog as “an invaluable resource documenting everything that happens which is Elvis-related on a daily basis” and found the ‘Day By Day’ books “to be an invaluable resource”. Also great to read is that he valued the contributions of all the guest-writers without whom I couldn't have created these books.
On the 2018 volume he noted: “if you are looking for a book that includes exhaustive analysis of significant new Elvis releases … and new discoveries and new archival projects, Elvis Day By Day 2018 should be an essential purchase” and “I don’t care who The King dated or what he ate, but I do care about his music, and the Elvis Day By Day series of books treats that work with the care, respect, accuracy, and knowledge that it deserves”.
Thanks you for these kind words Bill!
Graceland Magazine Review
Thomas Weiss reviewed 'Elvis Day By Day 2018 - The year In Review' for the German Graceland fan-club magazine (volume 261).
The reviewer noted the complete and detailed chronology of the book in news, reviews, interviews and articles of everything that happened in 2018 in one illustrated physical reference.
In his detailed review Thomas wrote: "A very complete and enjoyable publication, which can be very helpful, especially when you're looking for information about new publications or their announcements. I highly recommend this book for fans who are interested in the theme Elvis."
It's Elvis Time Magazine Review
Rogier van Luyken reviewed 'Elvis Day by Day 2018' for the latest edition of the Dutch It's Elvis Time magazine, volume 296.
He wrote: "I dare say that Kees - compiler, producer and also the designer of these books - has outdone himself with this 2018 edition. The book looks top-notch from front to back. The cover is beautiful and inspired by the '68 Comeback Special; after all, in 2018 was the 50th Anniversary of this iconic TV Special of our hero. Each month covers all the news and releases of that month and the highlights are present as extensive reviews. ... An excellent book to read in the coming autumn. As reported, in my opinion Kees has outdone himself with this edition and I am already looking forward to 'Day By Day 2017', but 'Day By Day 2021' will be welcomed too!"
The Best One Of The Series Yet!
Review by Harald Feucht (Germany)
The 2018 book is terrific and superbly made. Congratulations to you and your team. For me the 2018 edition is the best one yet in this series yet! The other 2019 and 2020 releases are fantastic too, but a little bit different in the details. Isn't it amazing what still can be said and reported about the only King of Music and Entertainment, and the beautiful products keep coming out.
Unfortunately, Elvis passed away physically over 44 years ago; but what a fantastic musical legacy he left behind. Not only the 1128 shows he did between July 1969 and June 1977, but also the 33 great films he made and countless fantastic studio session recordings he left us.
It is always a pleasure to hear an Elvis record or CD or LP. No matter which one. The man was a phenomenon, and out of reach for any other musician. Only he is the only true King that the word has ever applied to!
Please continue this series with 2021 and volumes on older years, going back from 2017. Collectors and fans will love it. It makes a big difference to just browse on-line through a small or big screen or hold an exceptionally made book like this in your hands with an unbelievable amount of information and details. Well done Kees. Great job!.
Harald Feucht / September 2021
Reader's reactions on the 2018 edition:
- "As an Elvis fan of 47 years I thought I already knew all there was to know about Elvis and his life & career. Then I came across these great day by day volumes. Interesting, informative and full of new detail and stories of the King. If your looking for a definitive review of all things in the Elvis world I’d recommend all 3, you won’t want to put them down." Richard Chapman (United Kingdom).
- "This book is a bit like a bible for a CD, DVD and book collector" (Amazon customer)
- "I bought this book without any hesitation. I already have the first two books which are for me absolute reference. I will have hours of fun guaranteed with the third. I would like the producer to give us a volume on the year 2017, it's one of the biggest years of the 40th anniversary of Elvis's death ... that would be really great. I advise you to all those books which are very precious to me. They are of a very high quality worthy of the king of rock n roll, with superb photos. Thank you to the producer and his team, I wish them long life and keep up the excellent work. I am already looking forward to a fourth volume and more more more ... the sky is a no limit." - Martin St-Pierre (Canada).
- "This is gonna be a great book, and Kees, I wish you a lot of success with this book, what a great initiative." - Robert Frieser (The Netherlands).
- "I was very impressed with the first edition. Look forward to others. This is from a fan’s fan point of view. Carry on Kees." - Phil Gelormine (United States).
- "I may be slightly biased but my copy of the book has arrived in Australia and it is a real stunner. A very eye-catching design and reading back through some 2018 articles made me want to revisit some all-too-soon forgotten books, vinyl and DVDs. A very nice addition to the collection." - Piers Beagley (Australia).
- "Thank you for all the hard work that you continue to do. This 2018 retrospective really is bringin' it back." - Anthony Stuchbury (United Kingdom).