The new two-part Elvis Presley documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher premieres on HBO this Saturday, April 14, at 8 p.m. ET. The three-hour film takes an in-depth look at Presley’s life and career, from his childhood to his final recording sessions in 1976.
The Searcher also examines the profound influence the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll had on other musicians, and the struggle he faced trying to be a relevant artist while also being the world’s biggest pop star.
The movie features rare archival footage of Elvis, interviews with notable musicians including Bruce Springsteen and the late Tom Petty, as well as with his ex-wife Priscilla Presley, and an original score by Pearl Jam‘s Mike McCready.
The documentary was directed by Thom Zimny, who previously has worked on various Springsteen documentaries, including 2015’s The Ties That Bind. Springsteen manager Jon Landau co-produced the film, while Priscilla was one of its executive producers.
“Really, Elvis was all about the music, and people did not get that,” Priscilla says in an interview featured in a preview trailer for the doc. “You know, people try to complicate it. The music was so much a part of his life that in sharing his music, you lived it with him.”
She adds, “This is the definitive documentary. There’s no vanilla here. It is the real deal.”
Meanwhile, a companion soundtrack to the film was released last week as a single CD, a two-LP vinyl collection and a deluxe three-CD box set.
The box set features 45 Elvis recordings — including hits, rehearsal performances, rare alternate takes and more — spread across two discs, as well as a third disc containing songs by artists who influenced Presley, plus two selections from McCready’s score for the flick.
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