Thursday, January 18, 2007

DVD Review: Elvis, still a hero to most....

Elvis Presley
The Ed Sullivan Shows
Image Entertainment

For Members of the Web 2.0 Generation the Ed Sullivan Show may seem like an ancient relic of days long gone. Yet in its heyday the show was considered the equivalent of a popular Myspace page or, for the less idealistic, an appearance on American Idol.

With that considered it’s fair to say that Presley’s three appearances on the Ed Sullivan show were paramount in not only cementing Presley’s image in the American conscious but also, along with "Beatlemania," helped launch America’s, and eventually the world’s, infatuation with celebrity.

Presley’s appearances on the show, all occurring between late 1956 and early 1957, made him both a hero to the youth and an enemy of the state. By the time his final appearance on the show (January 6th, 1957) rolled around, his influence had become so bothersome to the moral majority that the show refused to let the cameras shoot him below the waist. The contrast of this, compared to today’s flesh-bearing television standards, is a stunning, and somewhat disturbing, reminder of how much America has changed in the last fifty-years.

Presented in a lavish three-disc set, all three shows are included in their entirety and provide a great keepsake for hardcore fans. They also provide a time warp like glimpse of the creation of one of music’s biggest stars for younger fans.

These days it’s hotly contested, especially by the hip-hop community, if Presley deserves his long standing title as “The King,” but there is no denying that in the late 50s Presley’s popularity made the success of American Idol look like boring reruns of C-SPAN senate hearings.

Brandon Daviet

No comments: