Elvis in New Zealand, Elvis in Australia, Elvis in Great Britain, Elvis in Spain, Elvis in Brazil, Elvis in Ireland, Elvis in South Africa ….
It’s no secret this beauty has been on my wish list for a few years now.
I was introduced to it only a short while ago and once discovered, I realized just how much I needed it. The journey has been like exploring a foreign land you knew very little about but once actually treading those distant shores, it becomes a much loved adopted homeland. There is a new and beautiful kinship that is forevermore a part of you.
Living in a sea to shining sea stateside bubble with the well known RCA cuts and covers had it’s safe and protective edge, especially for my pocketbook. For many fans and fanatics, it has sufficed. In short, you don’t know what you don’t know, until you do know.
Outside of the King superimposed in the middle of a highway on Separate Ways or a Girl Happy head happily perched atop a Frankie and Johnny body on the soundtrack album of the same name, there seemed to be little thought or imaginative creative liberties accompanying much of the U.S.A. distribution. It is simply the way it was and that’s ok. The home base RCA kept a low key and standard fare. Not so with many other countries who adopted our homegrown son as their extended family, showing their devotion in tangible illustrative ways. To be fair, album cover art in the states didn’t come into vogue until post Elvis era.
If the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, it wages a tremendous battle of power of outside the box thinking and artistic endeavor. These beautiful spoils of foreign competition capture the senses and please the eye as the viewer is similarly intrigued by the contents. Elvis sounds wonderful regardless of the packaging but it is nice to see the extraordinary glittering ribbons and bows lovingly wrapping the gift of a voice like no other.
Pictured is the 1957 Elvis Presley New Zealand Christmas album. Three adorable red robe adorned choir boys on a picturesque snow covered village lane with a tiny sliver of a moon above a simple church steeple and barren tree branches encase all the symbolism of a silent and holy night. This couldn’t be anything other than a Christmas album.
Direct contrast of sunny yellow lettering and the pale blue encircled famous face give ownership to the picture painted below on the canvas. It simply makes one feel good to see it. All is right with the world. The glow of the cover’s emotion washes over the viewer. This is by far a favorite of mine and I was thrilled to recently receive it. I am wondering if there are many variations as is common in foreign pressings?
If writing about and describing international Elvis record covers was a literary work, then entire libraries could be worthily dedicated. The same could be said of the many stories behind the songs, the composers, the arrangements and so on. Sometimes a rose is a rose, but sometimes the sum is greater than it’s parts and the all descriptive names encapsulate the bloom.
A journey is much more than a trip and often outshines the intended destination. Much is learned on a journey.
You really do not know what you do not know …. until you finally and thankfully do.