Elvis on Tour Reviews
For Elvis fans though, 'On Tour' still is a gem. Sadly enough the movie has not yet been remastered and released on DVD.
On tour is a great way to experience Elvis as a performer altough he does not look as fit and energetic as in 'That's the way it is'.
The documentary opens with Elvis singing 'Johnny be goode' at a rehersal. It continues with the artist preparing to enter the stage. Altough he's obviously nervous he goes out on the stage and gives a confidant perfomance. The rest of the movie concists of rehersals, live performances and interviews with fans.
In the original movie the producers use a split screen tecnique wich works great, especially in scenes from the concerts. In the later released VHS version, the spilt screen has been removed and a "normal view" is adapted. Sadly this takes away some of the artistic quality of the original documentary.
The quality of Elvis performances at the beginning are not as good as one might expect but this improves troughout the movie. Elvis has now definately reached the point in his career where he no longer cares for his old 'rock and roll act' and runs trough his old 50's hits with no enthusiasm. Instead he now proves his talent when he croons his close to operatic version of the song material he showed so much affection for during the 70's.
One of the most interesting feats of this movie is seeing that Elvis fans still at the time almost 20 years after his rise to fame, shows an affection for Elvis that at some points are borderline hysterical. It is quite obvious that we today are not really able to comprehend just how big a phemomenon Elvis actually was 'back in the days'.
Even so I personally will recommend taking a look at his 1970 documentary 'Thats the way it is', especially the 2001 remastered version, if you want to see Elvis peak as a live artist. For die hard fans though, 'On Tour' still is a milestone. Lets just hope that it at some point will be remastered with the same quality as 'That's the way it is'. In the vaults there are som 15 hours of raw material related to the filming of 'On Tour' and considering the fact that this material contains extreamly rare footage of 5 Elvis concerts, it will be a shame not to publish the material in it's complete form.