Disc One, September 9, 1956: Elvis debuted the title track for his upcoming movie Love Me Tender, even though it wasn't even available to buy in the shops. In fact, this show was recorded from the CBS Studios-Television City in Hollywood, California where Elvis was still filming his first feature movie. Following that were "Don't Be Cruel," "Ready, Teddy" and "Hound Dog."
On Disc Two, from October 28th of the same year, he again played "Don't Be Cruel," "Love Me Tender," and "Hound Dog," but added one more tune, the Lieber/Stoller penned "Love Me."
Finally, Disc Three, on January 6, 1957, Elvis made a medley of "Hound Dog," "Love Me Tender," and (for the first time on Ed Sullivan) "Heartbreak Hotel." Right after that he again performed "Don't Be Cruel." Later on in the show, "Too Much" and "When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again," are sung back-to-back. One final song closes out that final performance: a soulful version of one of the gospel songs he loved so dearly, "Peace In The Valley."
The packaging for this set is well thought out as it folds out for easy access to all three DVDs. Inside is also a booklet, liner notes, written by well known rock critic, author, editor and historian Greil Marcus. While Greil has put pen to paper about Mr. Presley before, for these notes he concentrates on these three special nights, how they affected him and the world in general.
What struck me most about this set was how well it represents the face that Elvis put on for us. Even back in those early days, he knew how to work a crowd, enjoy the music, and draw people in with his own humility and grace. And that is not something that time or money can buy, though many have tried. He had it all, right from the start to the bittersweet end; but the end is almost too sad to bear for those of us who are Elvis fans. It's a very cool thing to be able to have this collection, and be reminded of this beautiful man and all he gave the world - the world back in the 1950s and the world today.