Elvis Presley

Elvis’ Comeback Special 1968 Full

Elvis comeback special 1968 full an iconic figure in music history, known as the “King of Rock and Roll”. After a string of successful hits in the 1950s, Elvis’ career took a turn in the 1960s with his focus on acting in Hollywood. However, in 1968 he made a monumental comeback with his TV special, simply titled “Elvis”.

This special, also known as the “Comeback Special”, marked a turning point in Elvis’ career and solidified his status as the King of Rock and Roll. In this blog post, we will take a deep dive into the full version of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special and explore its impact on music history.

elvis comeback special 1968 full

Elvis comeback special 1968 full: A Full Recap

At the time of the 1968 Comeback Special, Elvis’ career was at a standstill. His music had taken a backseat to his acting career and his record sales were declining. To revive his career, Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker arranged for him to tape a Christmas TV special with NBC. However, Elvis had a different vision for the special. He wanted to perform live in front of an audience, showcasing his musical talent and reconnecting with his fans.

Finally, the legendary “Elvis” special aired on December 3, 1968. It consisted of segments filmed before a live audience as well as pre-recorded musical numbers. The special was a huge success, attracting over 42% of the American TV viewing audience and earning rave reviews from critics. It was a milestone moment for Elvis and marked the beginning of his comeback.

Elvis' Comeback Special 1968 Full

The Iconic Moments of Elvis comeback special 1968 full

The “Elvis” special was filled with memorable moments that left a lasting impression on viewers. One of the most iconic moments was when Elvis performed “If I Can Dream”, a powerful and emotional song written specifically for the special. In this performance, Elvis stood alone on stage in a black leather suit, belting out the lyrics with raw emotion and passion. It was a defining moment in his career and showcased his vocal range and stage presence.

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Another memorable moment was when Elvis performed his classic hit “Hound Dog” in a new and stripped-down arrangement. This performance, along with other rock and roll classics, reminded viewers of Elvis’ roots and solidified his status as the King of Rock and Roll.

A Look Back at Elvis comeback special 1968 full

The “Elvis” special was not just a musical event, but a visual spectacle as well. The set design, directed by Steve Binder, was innovative and ahead of its time. It featured a circular stage surrounded by TV monitors, giving viewers a 360-degree view of the performance. The lighting and camera angles added to the overall aesthetic of the show and made it visually appealing.

In addition to the music and visuals, the special also included interviews with Elvis’ friends and family, providing insight into his personal life and career. These segments humanized Elvis and allowed viewers to see a different side of him.

Elvis' Comeback Special 1968 Full

The Impact of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special on Music History

The “Elvis” special was a pivotal moment in music history, not just for Elvis but for the entire industry. It marked the resurgence of rock and roll, which had been overshadowed by other genres in the 1960s. Elvis’ performance style and energy on stage were a reminder of the power and influence of rock and roll.

Furthermore, the special reinvented Elvis’ image and solidified his status as an icon. He shed his clean-cut, wholesome image and embraced a more rebellious and edgy persona, which attracted a new generation of fans. This rebranding of Elvis inspired other artists to break away from their established image and experiment with new styles.

Behind the Scenes of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special

While the “Elvis” special was a success, it was not without its challenges and controversies. The show’s director, Steve Binder, faced resistance from Colonel Tom Parker, who wanted more control over the production. However, Binder ultimately won out and was able to create the innovative and groundbreaking show we know today.

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Elvis' Comeback Special 1968 Full

Another challenge was convincing Elvis to perform in front of a live audience again. He had not performed live since 1961, and he was feeling nervous and insecure about his comeback. However, once he stepped on stage, his passion and energy took over, and he delivered an unforgettable performance.

The Setlist of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special: A Breakdown

The “Elvis” special featured a mix of old and new songs, including old hits like “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Hound Dog”, and new songs like “If I Can Dream” and “Trouble/Guitar Man”. Here is a breakdown of the setlist:

Segment Songs
Sit Down Segment “That’s All Right”, “Heartbreak Hotel”, “Love Me Tender”, and “Hound Dog”
Gospel Segment “Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child” and “Where Could I Go But To The Lord”/”Up Above My Head”
Stand Up Segment “All Shook Up”, “Fever”, “I Got A Woman”, “Blue Suede Shoes”, and “Don’t Be Cruel”
In Concert Segments “Lawdy Miss Clawdy”, “Are You Lonesome Tonight?”, “Trying To Get To You”, “Tiger Man”, “Baby What You Want Me To Do”, “One Night”, “Memories”, and “If I Can Dream”

How Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special Revived His Career

After the success of the “Elvis” special, Elvis went on to release a live album and a documentary film, both titled “Elvis: That’s The Way It Is”. These projects further solidified his comeback and brought him back into the spotlight.

Elvis' Comeback Special 1968 Full

The special also marked a shift in Elvis’ career trajectory. He returned to live performances and embarked on successful tours, reclaiming his title as the King of Rock and Roll. The “Elvis” special also paved the way for future music specials and live concerts on TV, setting a new standard for visual and musical production.

The Fashion and Style of Elvis comeback special 1968 full

Aside from the music, Elvis’ fashion and style in the “Elvis” special also made a lasting impact. The black leather suit he wore during the “If I Can Dream” performance became an iconic outfit that is still imitated and referenced today. This suit, along with other outfits worn by Elvis during the special, showcased his personal style and set new trends in fashion at the time.

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Elvis was also known for his signature hair and sideburns, which became even more prominent in the special. His unique style and fashion choices added to his overall image as a rock and roll rebel.

The Legacy of Elvis comeback special 1968 full: Still Relevant Today

More than 50 years after its original airing, the “Elvis” special continues to be relevant and influential in the music industry. The iconic moments and performances from the special are still referenced and celebrated by fans and artists alike. The special has also been re-released and remastered multiple times, introducing it to new generations of viewers.

Elvis' Comeback Special 1968 Full

Moreover, the “Elvis” special has influenced other music specials and performances, such as MTV Unplugged and Beyoncé’s Homecoming. The impact of this special on music history is undeniable and continues to inspire and entertain audiences today.

Where to Watch the Full Version of Elvis comeback special 1968 full

The full version of Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special is available to watch on various streaming platforms, including Amazon Prime Video and YouTube. It has also been released on DVD and Blu-ray for those who prefer physical copies. So, if you want to experience the iconic moments and performances from the special, be sure to check it out.


Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special was a defining moment in his career and in music history. It marked the revival of rock and roll and solidified Elvis’ status as the King of Rock and Roll. The special remains relevant and influential today, showcasing the power and legacy of one of music’s greatest icons. Hopefully, this ultimate guide has given you a deeper understanding and appreciation for the “Elvis” special and its impact on music history.

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