Elvis Presley once said, "My favorite part of the business is a live concert." After a long break from touring, Elvis made a triumphant return to the stage that confirmed his status as one of the era's most exciting live performers. Those landmark concerts sound better than ever on the newly re-mastered CD set, "Elvis Presley On Stage."
There were some tough acts to follow in 1969. It was the year Richard M. Nixon became the 37th President of the United States; Apollo 11 made the first-ever landing on the moon; and, as rock fans on the East Coast traveled long and winding roads to the Woodstock Music Festival, Elvis Presley was back on stage at the new International Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, his first series of live performances in eight years.
Elvis had spent most of the 1960s in Hollywood making movies. By the end of the decade, he was anxious to play live again. The success of his 1968 "Comeback Special," taped before a studio audience and seen by millions on television, planted the seed for his dramatic return.
By June 1969, Elvis was topping the charts again, following the release of his critically-acclaimed album, "From Elvis In Memphis." It included the hit singles "Suspicious Minds," "In The Ghetto, "Don't Cry Daddy"" and "Kentucky Rain."
Next was his historic run of 57 shows before a nightly crowd of 2,000 in the International Hotel's lavish showroom. Once Elvis overcame opening night jitters, he gave a concert so moving that Rolling Stone magazine suggested that Elvis had singlehandedly resurrected his career.
Elvis returned to the International Hotel in early-1970 for another series of groundbreaking concerts, later released on the album "On Stage." To date, "On Stage" has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide.
The re-mastered "Elvis Presley On Stage" contains additional recordings from both sets of concerts at the International, as well as nine bonus tracks and a rehearsal take of his hit single, "The Wonder Of You."
Elvis continued to have success in the 1970s, but his abusive drug habit and a grinding tour schedule soon caught up with him. Elvis Presley, only 42 years old, died at Graceland Mansion in Memphis, Tennessee on August 16, 1977.
Of course, many who witnessed Elvis at the International still remember him giving the performance of a lifetime
Looking back, singer Tom Jones remembers, "That was Elvis at his peak; his voice was still as strong, he looked great, he performed great, and he was Elvis Presley once again."