Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by hodgo, Feb 15, 2015.
There's No Room To Rhumba In A Starship
They could have called the soundtrack Desert Storm Trooper.
The Tie Fighter Was a Lady
It Is No Secret (What the Force Can Do)
Flaming Death Star
Bosom of Obi-Wan
Only the Sith Survive
Princess Leia's Papaya
Blue Moon of Hoth
Greeg, Green Grass of Endor
Hard Hearted Vader
Received my copy of The His Hand In Mine Sessions. Gorgeous book.
One question for the FTD buyers, who is your preferred vendor? ShopElvis or ShopGraceland?
Graceland seems to have a higher mark up.
I have actually ordered the exact same product from both vendors and ShopGraceland usually gets brand new releases to you in a more timely fashion. I do still order older titles from ShopElvis that are out of print on the ShopGraceland site.
Being in the UK I used to use the Elvis Shop London but have now switched to Now Dig This as they give postage costs upfront...
My copy of His Hand in Mine showed up as well. Can’t listen to it until tomorrow, but the booklet is lovely.
I lied, I made time to listen to CD two, the first sessions disc. I’m a big fan of stuff like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and editing and overdubs and using the studio as an instrument and all of that, but, as with previous volumes in this series, most notably The Complete Fun in Acapulco Sessions, you really can’t beat putting the best singers and musicians in a room and having them play live as a unit until they get the right take with the right feel.
“Milky White Way” might be my favorite Elvis song, and this might be my favorite Elvis album. My top five have long been Elvis (1956), Elvis Is Back!, His Hand in Mine, From Elvis in Memphis, and On Stage (1970), but this album might the best of them all, because this is the music that mattered most to Elvis. Given his relationship with Gladys, one assumes the lyrics to “Milky White Way” hit very close to home:
Child, I’m gonna meet, meet my loving mother
Oh child, one of these days (when I get there)
Child, I’m gonna meet, meet my loving mother
Child, one of these days (well, well, well, well)
Child, I’m gonna walk on up and take her hand
When we reach that promised land
That’s when we walk, walk that milky-white way
Child, one of these days
Aside from the personal lyric, this song has the lilting swing I associate with Elvis’s best work. As it had on Elvis Is Back!, his voice simply floats above the music. He never sang better than he did from 1960-62. Just an A+ song.
The first take of “I Believe in the Man in the Sky” really rocks, perhaps almost too much. They seemed to have consciously toned it down for the later takes.
“He Knows Just What I Need” is interesting to follow through the sequence of takes. Charlie Hodge, bless his heart, was a good wingman for Elvis, but his voice is out of control on this song, and eventually they wisely cut him out and let Millie Kirkham take over. Elvis, the Jordanaires, and Millie Kirkham were world-class singers; Charlie Hodge, not so much.
“Surrender” is pretty interesting to follow through the multiple takes as well, as the band experiment with different rhythms and percussion effects. Not sure what the five-minute “work part” sequence at the end is: did Elvis just go back through every take and sing only the ending, looking for a good vocal take of the ending to splice onto the master? That seems to be what’s going on here.
As with every other volume of this series, this is the ultimate, final word on this session. If you’ve bought this session or this album multiple times before and don’t want to buy it again, I get that. I never had the old FTD of this, so it was a no-brainer for me. Once again, thanks to Sebastian Jeansson and Vic Anesini, and thanks to the original musicians and engineers, these CDs sound about as good as CDs can sound. The booklets in these sessions sets are absolutely top-notch. Always chock full of great liner notes, session notes, photos, and memorabilia.
Job well done, FTD.
I went through the exact same thought process myself, literally word for word, listening to the first disc master version of Milky White Way. Is this the best album Elvis ever made? Is this the most passionate and evocative vocal Elvis ever put down on tape. It is so fascinating that my two favorite male singers of all time delivered two amazing performances on this beauty. Charlie Rich gave his all to Milky White Way late in his career on his Grammy nominated gospel album, Silver Linings, when his sudden and rapid trajectory into the stratosphere just about killed the artist. Charlie was rapidly looking for a way out shortly before he recorded his gospel album, when he burned the envelope with the name of the brand new CMA Entertainer Of The Year in it; John Denver, on live television during the awards show. Elvis sang his version in what is probably considered his vocal and creative musical prime, thinking about the woman that mattered most to him in his young life. The two singers approach the song quite differently, but both sing it as though their very life is hanging in the balance.
I would have to say yes, it is, although On Stage rivals it for me, and the latter album’s “Let It Be Me” rivals “Milky White Way” for me as the single greatest expression of Elvis’s uncanny ability to cut to the heart of a lyric and a melody.
I rate On Stage very highly as well, and although I am a huge Everly Brothers' fan, I personally feel that Elvis's live version of Let It Be Me blows their very fine version right out of the water. I also am big fan of the rest of the album, especially Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Polk Salad Annie, Proud Mary, and Sweet Caroline, whereby Elvis pretty much makes you forgot about the original hit versions of each of those songs.
Spent the morning listening to the whole box set. The main album on disc one, with the bonus tracks “Crying in the Chapel” and “Surrender,” really is something special. I like the ballads, but the uptempo tracks - “Milky White Way,” “I Believe in the Man in the Sky,” “Joshua Fit the Battle,” and “Working on the Building” - have a special feel and energy to them.
One thing I never grasped before this release is that this entire album, plus “Crying in the Chapel” and “Surrender,” was recorded in one marathon 24-hour session. Once we entered the era of Sgt. Pepper and Dark Side of the Moon, this way of making records was largely abandoned. Even by the standards of the time, they got a lot accomplished in just one day here.
As anyone who’s ever spent time in a recording studio knows, the hardest part of getting a live take is making it through the first ten seconds. There are a lot of false starts and breakdowns here, but, usually, once Elvis and the band make it through the beginning of any given song, they get what they’re looking for pretty quick. “Crying in the Chapel,” a U.K. #1 hit, was achieved in basically two takes. “He Knows Just What I Need” and “Surrender” are the two tracks that require some work to nail.
As always, the raw session takes aren’t something I’ll listen to every day, but, if you’re into music enough to geek out about how records are made, they are fascinating to hear at least once. CD one, however, is one I’ll be returning to a lot, I’m sure.
On Stage is clearly a high quality album due to the strength of the performances and many of the arrangements, but it has never resonated with me as a great Elvis Presley album and that is probably due to the fact that nine out of the ten tracks are well-known covers by other artists. Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with Elvis covering material (he did that throughout his career). Elvis does a lot of the material justice and in some instances puts his own stamp on the songs, but because of the level of popularity associated with the originals, it really feels more like a "covers" album than a bona fide Elvis album.
It is a bit of an outlier for me as well, rating a live album of cover songs so high on my list of great Elvis albums, but then again, I guess I could say the same thing about my love for Elvis Country, which is mostly made up of country cover versions of hit songs, Lol.
I've listened to On Stage since I was about 5 through my Dad, although I know now a lot of material on there are covers, they are still deeply rooted in me as Elvis songs, so I've never had a problem with it (nor Elvis' Today album either).
It's a great album from my perspective...
From “That’s All Right” and “Blue Moon of Kentucky” onwards, pretty much every song Elvis ever sang was a cover, not sure why On Stage is any different than any other album in that regard.
I've often felt that Charlie's 60's stuff on the Smash label is what I wish Elvis was doing instead of those mid 60s dreadful soundtracks.
Charlie Rich's 60's Smash label recordings clearly influenced him as we all know that Elvis owned many of Charlie's recordings, including that fantastic Smash single, Mohair Sam/I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water. Without a doubt, Elvis influenced Rich as well; Lonely Weekends is most definitely a strong attempt at the Presley sound. I think they had a bit of a mutual admiration thing going on over the years. Charlie Rich even gave Elvis a bit of a shout out when I saw him at the Las Vegas Hilton on his closing night show in 1975. Elvis was set for his opening night show on the very next night.
No one disputes that Elvis recorded a lot of cover material, but On Stage is loaded with many big hits or well-known songs by others, so it doesn't identify as much with Elvis. At least that is how some view it.
A lot of the tracks off On Stage are "Elvis songs" to me, too, as I heard his versions first. This one, in its original form) plus MSG are probably my two favourite live Elvis albums.
I think it was a clever concept.
I hate to be cynical here, but I don't think there was a pre-conceived idea by Jarvis/RCA that they should produce an album consisting of acclaimed cover material as some sort of thematic concept. I suspect it just materialized that way, and frankly, I am not sure if the public saw it for what I suggest it was. The objective for the album was including "new" material, and because the publishing companies were not delivering enough quality submissions of "new" or off-the-radar material, Elvis was forced to consider more obvious material, some unquestionably marketable (e.g. from a marketing perspective, who would not want to hear Elvis' rendition of Yesterday? -- a holdover from 1969). I could be wrong, but I am not aware of a conscious effort by RCA and Elvis' representatives to produce a project consisting of mostly well-known hits and staples by other artists.
after 1972, no, not particularly
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