Why didn't Elvis record anything from Gram Parsons?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by peerke, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. Parsons should have been hanging with Elvis instead of Keith Richards. That could have been a fruitful musical partership. But Parsons lifestyle would have certainly made him on the outs with Elvis and his cohorts.
  2. Chris M

    Chris M Forum Resident

    Baton Rouge, LA
    I don't know about that. Elvis' habits were just as destructive as Gram's.
  3. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    That was going to be my point. But Elvis drew a distinction in his own mind between the "street" drugs that Parsons abused and the "prescription" drugs that he abused. Obviously, this was a distinction without a difference, as the tragically pointless early deaths of both men proved.
  4. I was trying to look through Elvis' eyes. Any intimation of heroin use or whatever else that Parsons was doing and he's have been gone, I'm sure.
  5. JLGB

    JLGB Well-Known Member

    After the movie contracts Elvis recorded what he liked within the framework of what was presented to him. He did record a few bad songs..simply as favor to "friends".
  6. JLGB

    JLGB Well-Known Member

  7. JLGB

    JLGB Well-Known Member

    Just remembered another example of Elvis' last "studio setting" sessions at Graceland 1976....Felton Jarvis (his last "producer") actually travelled with demo,studio tracks...of a song called "There Is A Fire Down Below"...and EP would put it aside and never did attempt at putting down his vocal.. I am glad he didn't! Not a good song imo. Also Elvis ordered Felton to erase some songs or performances of those sessions..and he obliged. Felton's widow ( burned ..not erased) more tapes! Bless her and Elvis! Elvis said something along the lines of "I do not want RCA to have this".... sad that if this is 100% true... that Elvis was trying to get back CONTROL..but obviously too late.
  8. czeskleba

    czeskleba Forum Resident

    "Fairytale" was a big hit for the Pointer Sisters in 1974, and was ALL OVER country radio. There were a few months in 1974 where if you listened to a country stationi for more than an hour you'd be guaranteed to hear it at least once. My parents only listened to country radio and I remember hearing that song all the time.

    And regardless of what the Country Music establishment thought of Newton-John, her songs were big country hits and also got played extensively on country radio. I heard them all the time, too. So you didn't need to be cutting edge at all to be aware of those tunes. They were mainstream country, as far as radio programmers and record buyers were concerned.
  9. JLGB

    JLGB Well-Known Member

    Olivia Newton John was mainstream period....it was cutting edge kinda because COUNTRY music became huge not too long after he died. anyways it was fresh different and NOT DISCO!!!
  10. Fox67

    Fox67 Well-Known Member

    RI USA
    Return Of The Grievous Angel is the song you're thinking of.

    The news I could bring I met up with the king
    On his head an amphetamine crown
    He talked about unbuckling that old bible belt
    And lighted out for some desert town

  11. BRush

    BRush Well-Known Member

    Gram sings back up on "Honky Tonk Women" and I suspect he had a hand in the lyrics, the Stones haven't written a great Country tune since he died. Ry Cooder came up with the Riff for "Honky Tonk Women". I bumped into him at the gym once, while he was doing Yoga, and he confirmed that the Riff was his, but the Stones did more with it than he would have.
    Keith Richards has mentioned recently that he and Gram worked on "Wild Horses" together. He woke up after an all night jam and the song was on his tape deck. He couldn't remember who wrote what.
    I don't think Elvis was very adventurous in the '70s. Charlie Rich and Jerry Lee Lewis made better records than he did. According to Tony Brown, Elvis recording session were extremely unproductive and that was after having to pull the King into the session. I suspect that's why the market was flooded with live lps. "Burning Love" was the last Elvis record I really liked, that was until I heard the Arthur Alexander original, which totally smokes it. Too bad he had an amazing talent, needle and the damage done.
  12. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Is this documented? What is your source for this?

    As always, this view treats Elvis's "70s" as one monolithic entity. The reality is that the 1969 - 1972 period was among the most productive of Elvis's career, and that he was still pushing himself in terms of his live repertoire through 1974. The self-parody years didn't begin in earnest until 1975, and the real problems with recording sessions didn't start until 1973 or so, with the nadir being reached with the 1976/77 Jungle Room sessions.
  13. czeskleba

    czeskleba Forum Resident

    In the last five years of his life, Elvis basically recorded music from three sources:
    1. New material written for him and pitched directly to him by his publishers or Felton Jarvis
    2. Covers of rock-n-roll, r&B, or country oldies
    3. Covers of recent country hits.

    There are exceptions, but I'd bet 95% of the material he did in 1972-77 fits in one of these three categories. My point being, Elvis was not seeking out obscure new stuff by cutting-edge artists. His awareness of new music primarily extended to what was hitting on the country charts. So it's reasonable to presume he may not have been aware of GP at all. I'm not saying he wouldn't have liked Gram's music if he'd heard it.
  14. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    Although Col. Parker was reportedly so taken with David Bowie's "Golden Years" that he enquired as to whether Bowie would be interested in writing similar material for his RCA labelmate.

    You've backed up your point well, but I still have to slightly disagree. Like I said, his record collection shows that he owned Mott the Hoople records. Until I found that out, I never would have guessed it. From the time that he was a little kid listening to Big Boy Crudup to his death, Elvis was a music fan. I'm sure the bubble around him grew harder to penetrate in the final years, but I think he was slightly more aware of new music outside the Top 40 country genre than you seem to think he was. As to whether he had heard any of Gram Parsons' material, we'll never know. Let's not forget that hardly anyone appeared to have bought Gram Parson's two solo albums while Gram was still alive.
  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Forum Resident

    That's all I'm saying. GP was fairly obscure, and at that point it seemed Elvis didn't devote as much energy to seeking out new music as he did at earlier points in his life, no doubt due to his addictions and general apathy. I do agree his taste was broad and always remained that way, and I bet if someone had pitched the right GP song to him he would have gone for it. I didn't know about the Mott the Hoople record. Who would have thought?

    I'm a big Charlie fan but I wouldn't agree with that. Charlie's mid-70's records were a lot like Elvis's, in fact. Moments of sublime brilliance side-by-side with sappy, sentimental dreck. Behind Closed Doors is the closest thing to a consistently good album he did in that decade. The reasons were different... for Elvis, it was about apathy and addiction sapping his energy, and with Charlie, it was about the conflict between following his muse and being pushed to do commercial stuff. But the result was the same: inconsistency.
  16. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    West Hollywood, CA
    Actually, I find the 1975 Elvis album Promised Land to be excellent; beyond the outstanding title track, it's well worth a listen in its entirety IMO.

    1976's From Elvis Presley Blvd. has its moments too, including Hurt, Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain and For The Heart.

    And Moody Blue would have made a killer EP if EPs were still viable in 1977, with Moody Blue, He'll Have To Go, She Thinks I Still Care and Way Down.

    Two of my personal Top 10 Elvis recordings (Promised Land and Moody Blue)were recorded during this period... not too shabby :)
  17. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Forum Resident

    I agree that there are great individual songs to be found on Elvis albums right up to the end in 1977. My point was that sometime around 1973/74, Elvis became so resistant to going into the studio that Felton Jarvis, RCA, etc. almost had to drag him into it at times. Finally they gave up and brought the mountain to Muhammed during the Jungle Room sessions.
  18. mr_mjb1960

    mr_mjb1960 I'm a Tarrytowner 'Til I die!

    Elvis recording Gram's "Hickory Wind" would've been right up his alley-I can just imagine him singing it! :love: Michael Boyce

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