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Deluxe 2-CD Package Commemorates the 40th Anniversary of "Aloha From Hawaii"

January 07, 2013

The 40th anniversary of the historic one-hour satellite broadcast of Elvis Presley from the Honolulu International Center Arena in January of 1973 is now commemorated with the release of "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition." This deluxe 2-CD package will be available everywhere March 19, 2013, through RCA/Legacy, a division of Sony Music Entertainment.

"Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition" marks the first time that both shows performed by Elvis, released separately in 1973 (the original double-LP Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite) and 1988 (the CD The Alternate Aloha), have been coupled together in to one package. At the same time, the show that "The Alternate Aloha" was based on has been completely remixed from the original multi-track tapes.

Accompanying the 2-CD set will be a booklet with rare photos and a new liner notes essay written by BBC presenter, producer and musician Stuart Colman. This new Legacy Edition was produced by Rob Santos and Ernst Mikael Jørgensen, who along with Roger Semon, are the respected directors of RCA’s Elvis catalog for over two decades.  

Elvis' love for Hawaii began in March of 1961, when he raised $62,000 for the funding of the USS Arizona Memorial. In January of 1973, “Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite” was the first time that a full-length concert was broadcast around the world. It was the most expensive entertainment special at this time, costing $2.5 million, and was viewed by over 1.5 billion people. Over 6,000 fans were in attendance for both shows at the Neal Blaisdell Arena. In early 1973, Elvis Presley was performing at one of the highest peaks of his career, and "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition" is proof of this milestone.

The original broadcast of “Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite” was a second show, that started at 12:30 a.m. in Hawaii on Sunday morning, January 14, 1973. Clearly at the top of his game, Elvis delivered a 24-song show that pulled songs from every phase of his career. It was a painstaking process to develop material that did not duplicate very much of his "Live At Madison Square Garden" concerts of June 1972 (as heard on RCA/Legacy’s most recent "Prince From Another Planet" commemorative 2-CD+DVD package, released November 2012). Nor did Elvis want to duplicate very much of his then-current MGM theatrical release, "Elvis On Tour," filmed in March and April of 1972, the Golden Globe award-winning film which turned out to be the final motion picture of his lifetime.

Following the 12:30 show, at about 3:00 a.m., the ensemble regrouped to record five additional songs exclusively for the U.S. broadcast, four of which originated on Elvis’ old "Blue Hawaii" movie soundtrack of 1961: “Blue Hawaii,” “Ku-U-I-Po,” “No More,” and “Hawaiian Wedding Song.”  The fifth was Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain,” emblematic of the contemporary folk-rock singer-songwriter boom to which Elvis was surprisingly well attuned in the ’70s.

“Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite” was broadcast to more than 40 nations, and broke viewing records in Japan, the Philippines, Korea, Hong Kong and Australia. "Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite," the double-LP containing all 24 songs from the broadcast, was rush released to arrive in stores the first week of February in 1973. It debuted in the February 24 Billboard 200 albums chart, and sold a half-million units in its first four weeks. The single from the concert, Elvis’ version of James Taylor’s “Steamroller Blues,” debuted in April and reached the Top 20, selling in excess of 400,000 copies, and ranking #10 in Cashbox and #17 in Billboard.

In the United States, the broadcast was in fact postponed so the performance would not conflict with MGM’s "Elvis On Tour."  When “Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite” was finally aired in the U.S. on April 4th, the Nielsen ratings had the show in 33.8% of homes and reaching 51% of those watching television. The double-LP immediately vaulted up the charts, taking the #1 spot in Billboard’s May issue. It stayed on the chart for 52 weeks, and was certified 5X Platinum by the RIAA. The album was Elvis’ first #1 since the "Roustabout" movie soundtrack from January 1965.  

It was not generally known at the time that the Friday evening (January 12th) dress rehearsal had also been recorded, as a safety backup.  Fifteen years later in June 1988 (more than a decade after Elvis’ death), the show was finally issued on CD as "The Alternate Aloha." However, to make room for three of the four Blue Hawaii songs (from the 3 a.m. session) at the end of the CD, it was necessary to omit “Johnny B. Goode,” “I Can't Stop Loving You” and the “Long Tall Sally/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On” medley.  "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition" now restores those tracks in the sequence where they were originally performed, and adds the four "Blue Hawaii" songs plus “Early Morning Rain” as five bonus tracks.

As Ernst Mikael Jørgensen writes in his essential research guide, Elvis Presley: A Life In Music (St. Martin’s Press, 1998), “The immense pressure of being beamed live to one billion people didn’t seem to phase Elvis a great deal; showing little evidence of nerves, he was highly focused, and he executed a flawless set that sparkled with all the flash of his image.  The unparalleled media attention and size of the audience, not to mention the worldwide number one album that followed, were perhaps the most effective statement ever engineered of one artist’s worldwide power.”

Learn more about the upcoming release of "Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite: Legacy Edition" by visiting Also, learn more about the 40th Anniversary Celebration of "Aloha From Hawaii" by visiting

The “broadcast” [second] show recorded January 14, 1973 (originally issued February 1973, as "Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite," RCA
The “dress rehearsal” [first] show recorded January 12, 1973 (originally issued June 1988, as "The Alternate Aloha," RCA)

1. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra
(Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey)
1. Introduction: Also Sprach Zarathustra
(Theme From 2001: A Space Odyssey)
2. See See Rider
2. See See Rider
3. Burning Love
3. Burning Love
4. Something
4. Something
5. You Gave Me A Mountain
5. You Gave Me A Mountain
6. Steamroller Blues
6. Steamroller Blues
7. My Way
7. My Way
8. Love Me
8. Love Me
9. Johnny B. Goode
9. It's Over
10. It's Over
10. Blue Suede Shoes
11. Blue Suede Shoes
11. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
12. I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
12. Hound Dog
13. I Can't Stop Loving You
13. What Now My Love
14. Hound Dog
14. Fever
15. What Now My Love
15. Welcome To My World
16. Fever
16. Suspicious Minds
17. Welcome To My World
17. Introductions by Elvis
18. Suspicious Minds
18. I'll Remember You
19. Introductions by Elvis
19. An American Trilogy
20. I'll Remember You
20. A Big Hunk O' Love
21. Medley: Long Tall Sally/ Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
21. Can't Help Falling In Love
22. An American Trilogy
22. Closing Riff
23. A Big Hunk O' Love
23. Blue Hawaii
24. Can't Help Falling In Love
24. Ku-U-I-Po

25. Hawaiian Wedding Song

26. Early Morning Rain.