Elvis On Tour meets the wonder of Blu . . . but without Johnny B. Goode?

Elvis On Tour Countdown: 1 week to theater event, 12 days to Blu

Hey folks, we’re only seven days away now from the return of Elvis to movie theaters across the United States. Elvis On Tour: 75th Anniversary Celebration appears in over 460 locations on the night of Thursday, July 29. It primarily features the newly restored for high definition Elvis On Tour, but also includes what is being billed as “never-before-seen” footage of Elvis. Also included will be a message to fans from Elvis’ ex-wife, Priscilla Presley.

The event celebrates not only this 75th anniversary year for Elvis’ birth, but also the August 3 release of 1972’s Elvis On Tour to Blu-ray and DVD. Tickets are still available in many locations, so be sure to check out Fathom Events’ Elvis On Tour page to buy your tickets and support Elvis. Opportunities to see Elvis on the big screen don’t come along very often.

On Blu-ray, the film can be enjoyed at home in its new high definition glory. Some skeptics have stated that Blu-ray is wasted on a 38-year-old movie like Elvis On Tour. This is certainly not the case.

I’ve watched dozens of Blu-rays, including recent hits like 2009’s Star Trek, and I can tell you that two of the best-looking Blu-rays I have are movies that are even older than Elvis On Tour: 1971’s Dirty Harry and 1963’s How The West Was Won. Released by Warner Home Video, both titles have crystal-clear video and take full advantage of the high definition format.

How is that possible? I don’t want to stray too far into technical details here, but the simple explanation is that the film used to make most movies actually stores much more image resolution than even Blu-rays can display. Old-style TVs, VHS tapes, and even DVDs can only show a fraction of most films’ image quality, while Blu-ray, combined with a high definition television or projector, can show much more.

The key in whether older movies take advantage of high definition lies in how much effort is put into the restoration process. Did you take note of which company released the top-notch Dirty Harry and How The West Was Won legacy Blu-ray titles? That’s right, it’s Warner Home Video . . . who just so happen to be on the verge of releasing Elvis On Tour.

We’ll know for certain on July 29 and August 3, but I think we Elvis fans are in good hands and are in for a real treat.

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Or . . . maybe not? There are now strong rumors circulating throughout the web that the “Johnny B. Goode” opening of Elvis On Tour has been replaced by a poorly edited live version of “Don’t Be Cruel,” meaning that this will not be the original theatrical version of Elvis On Tour after all.

If true, this is a huge disappointment, to say the least. I hope that the rest of the film is unchanged, but talk about starting the movie off on the wrong track. A 1972 live version of “Don’t Be Cruel”? Ugh. Whose bright idea was that?

If the “Johnny B. Goode” rehearsal was not available (presumably due to music clearance issues), they should have used a “Burning Love” rehearsal instead, then it wouldn’t seem quite so bad. Even “Burning Love” would still lack the thematic hook of “Johnny B. Goode” that worked so well after Elvis’ opening narration, though. Still, it would be much better than a double-play of “Don’t Be Cruel.”

Oh well. Maybe they’ll get it right next time . . . in another 38 years?

Update: As far as I’m concerned, this is still a rumor, and I’m trying to treat it as such. I’ve requested more information from a source and will update you as soon as I learn anything official.

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Elvis On Tour Countdown

  • 7 days until Elvis On Tour 75th Anniversary Celebration theater event
  • 12 days until Elvis On Tour Blu-ray and DVD releases

* * *

For more information (official sites):

Selected posts about Elvis On Tour from The Mystery Train:

12 thoughts on “Elvis On Tour meets the wonder of Blu . . . but without Johnny B. Goode?

  1. Dissapointed with the replacement of JBG for DBC regardless of the reasons. Your right Burning Love would have been a better option and the edit on DBC is terrible..IMHO see for yourself at Elvis Unlimited or search Youtube.

    http://www.elvisunlimited.com/news.asp?page_id=79&news_id=2959&cmd=

    But hey when all is said and done a crisp EOT is fine by me and I’m sure I’ll fork out more money for the Boxset of blu-ray EOT in a year or two complete with outakes rehearsals maybe even JBG and more.

    regards Ray

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    • Thanks for commenting, Ray. Unless there are other significant changes, I would still buy Elvis On Tour for the reasons you mentioned even if this rumor turns out to be true. Let’s hope it’s not.

      Still, if the rumor proves to be true, I would have to seriously question the wisdom of whoever made that decision.

      It would be one thing to replace “Johnny B. Goode,” that would be bad enough – but to replace it with a mediocre version of “Don’t Be Cruel” that suffers from a hatchet edit job? It would show a “They just didn’t care” approach, and I hope we are beyond that kind of thing on significant Elvis releases by now.

      If someone would think that fans wouldn’t notice or care about such a change, they have no idea who the real Elvis fan base is these days. They have no idea the storm that is brewing about this.

      Just a rumor of this potentially happening has upset you, me, and Thomas – and we’re what I would call “moderately tempered” fans in that we don’t tend to look for faults and whine.

      If the rumor turns out to be true, it would seem on the verge of unforgivable – especially since Warner Home Video has not announced that there have been changes to the film. Would they change the opening theme song of another classic movie that did not involve Elvis – and not even bother to tell anyone?

      Yeah, I would still buy Elvis On Tour if they replace “Johnny B.” – but I think it would just be one copy, instead of the multiples I plan to pick up.

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  2. Agree with both of you guys, I’m disappointed with the replacement, too! Still, seems like the rest of the movie hasn’t been tampered with, so…

    Have a great one at the theater, Ty, looking forward to a report!

    All the best
    Thomas

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    • Hey Thomas, I hope you’re enjoying your vacation! See what happens when you try to go away for a few days?

      If the rumor is true, the change from the perfectly-themed “Johnny B. Goode” opening to the amateurishly edited “Don’t Be Cruel” would not a deal-killer for me – but it sure would kill a lot of my enthusiasm for this release.

      Imagine if Lucasfilm replaced John Williams’ opening Star Wars theme with something else? “Oh, they’ll never notice.” Star Wars fans would tear the theater down.

      Even if “Johnny B.” is gone, I’m going to try to still enjoy the theatrical and Blu-ray releases, and hopefully I’d be over some of the shock of this by then.

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  4. Hi Again, harping once more on the so called NEW intro. I had another listen to it and the more i do the more i believe it to be NOT the case, take another listen to the very end of Don’t B Cruel and you’ll here the often used “Thank you, Thank You Very Much” but it isn’t Elvis?, that and the crap editing leads me to believe this is NOT true and JBG will still be there and this is just someone’s idea of a stupid prank.

    Wishful thinking? No, common sense. But of course stranger things have occurred where Elvis releases are concerned.

    Cheers

    Ray

    P.S looking forward to you US fans and the reviews of EOT on the big screen.

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    • I sure hope you’re right, Ray. For the theatrical release, at least, we’ll know in about 4 days. Even if Johnny B. is on the 75th Anniversary Celebration, though, that’s no guarantee it’ll be on the Blu/DVD because that event is already supposedly going to show some footage that won’t be on those home media releases anyway.

      We won’t know for certain until August 3 or Warner Home Video steps up to the plate and lets fans know either way.

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  8. When I saw it in the theater I noticed it right off the bat. (replacing JBG with DBC) it kinda sucks. BUT! I purchased EOT from Itunes several months ago ,and it has JBG and it’s in split screen. So al have to do is squint and I can see the original anytime I want. LOL The blue ray version is great. The other news is I from BB on July 31, They screwed up and put it on the shelf early.

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    • Hey Howard,

      Thanks for commenting. That’s a good point about the iTunes release from a couple years ago. I wonder if that version is now replaced with the new version for those who purchase it now, though? Definitely hang onto that file, that’s probably the best official version of the “Johnny B. Goode” opening that is available.

      I saw a couple reports about BB releasing it early in various locations. Good job getting it a couple days early. Not here, though.

      I had a great time watching it on Friday night! I’ll post a Blu review here eventually.

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