Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii - Deluxe Edition DVD Review

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by AVForums Jul 1, 2004 at 12:00 AM

    SRP: £29.95


    Like the NBC TV Special DVD, scan lines are again noticeable, but overall the 1.33:1 image is reasonably clean and sharp. At times colours seem a little gaudy and over saturated with a slightly unnatural appearance; still, compared with the Comeback Special the image here shows a small, but noticeable improvement and Elvis has rarely been seen as sharply defined - this Deluxe Edition DVD release is certainly a far better package than the lacklustre VHS version we have had to make do with for so long.
    Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii - Deluxe Edition Picture


    As with the Elvis '68 Comeback Special, Elvis Presley Enterprises has gone for stereo and 448Kbps Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtracks. I remember my original L.P. of this show proclaiming the fact that it had been recorded in “Quadraphonic”, (I never got the most out of that format!), and I found the 5.1 track here by far the better of the two - it seems so much more spacious, and much bassier. Talking about bass - there's no doubt, the rehearsal concert has lots more of it... and it makes a big difference. Having said that, the January 14th show comes across as a little more balanced and professional sounding - it's clear that all concerned had learned lessons from the first show, although I've read that the acoustics in the stadium were far from ideal, but I've often wondered if that's code for, “Elvis was off, here”.

    Ultimately, this is as good as I've ever heard these live shows, but for me... well, I'd rather turn off the TV and just listen to a man who looks, and sounds, passed his peak, otherwise it's all a little too painful to see what was happening to a great entertainer.
    Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii - Deluxe Edition Sound


    If all that had been included was the January 14th show and the after show recordings, I would have been tempted to score this with a -1... I've never seen Elvis look as out of it as when he stands alone, still dressed as per the live show. A quote attributed to the man himself from around 1956 comes to mind, “If I stand still when I sing, I'm dead!” Hmm. Watch and listen as Elvis stands very still hitting bum note after bum note, ruining Ku-u-I-po, The Hawaiian Wedding Song... in fact every song he sings here is so awful that I am quite surprised they were ever included and gives me hope that one day someone will have the gumption to release Elvis In Concert on DVD. I live in hope!

    I guess what most people will be interested in is the Rehearsal Show - seeing Elvis arrive by helicopter is OK, but as I've already alluded to - the Insert Songs are painful to watch.

    As an aside, the booklet that comes with this DVD suggests there are three DVDs in this set. There are, of course, only two.
    Elvis: Aloha From Hawaii - Deluxe Edition Extras


    Whilst not up to the quality of the Comeback Special, Aloha is still an entertaining watch. But can I recommend it as a purchase? The answer to that question is... yes, just about - but not for the reasons I would like to be recommending it.

    Of course, if you're an Elvis fan this just has to find it's way into your collection.
    Suggested retail price when reviewed: £29.95

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