Elvis Presley, the King of Rock 'n Roll, played four shows in three days at Madison Square Garden in June of 1972. Out of all the King's shows, not to mention all of the legendary Madison Square Garden concerts, these are regarded (in retrospect) as the last great performances put on by Presley, before he began to decline physically. Those shows have been captured and released by Sony Music in a 40th Anniversary CD and DVD combination box-set, called Prince from Another Planet.
It's Good to Be the King
The name comes from the headline of a glowing New York Times review of the '72 concerts. Vinyl albums of selected songs from that weekend were in stores in a shockingly short amount of time, but the new collection proves that the Prince from Another Planet concerts remains as relevant as Presley himself. As the box set proves, the back-story contains as much intrigue as it does music.
A Long Hiatus
His agent, Tom Parker, had kept him out of New York City for 15 years following poor reviews of his televised appearances on Jackie Gleason's and Ed Sullivan's programs in the late 1950s. When asked about it by the New York press, Elvis joked, "We had to wait our turn in order to get the building. Couldn't get a good building in fifteen years." It was an obvious nod of respect toward Madison Square Garden, one of the great entertainment venues of all time.
Elvis had evolved considerably by 1972. He still liked to mix in what he called his "hard rock" songs, like Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes, but that MSG set list is stocked with a who's-who list of cover tunes. Elvis touched on everything from opera to country, from early blues influences like Lowell Fulsom to country contemporaries like Willie Nelson, with hints of Kris Kristofferson, Don Ho and Ike and Tina Turner mixed in as well. The DVD portion of the Prince from Another Planet box-set also includes rare footage of the MSG concert, shot from a fan's hand-held camera, bringing the King to life through the eyes of his fans.