Elvis Presley - The Albums and Singles Thread pt2 The Sixties

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Oct 7, 2018.

  1. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    That is one of the sad things about the way some folks see Elvis. He doesn't get recognition for some quite major innovations stylistically, in my opinion.
     
    Tord, artfromtex, RSteven and 2 others like this.
  2. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    MY BABE
    The original track was already awesome and, If I remember correctly, it was based on another wonderful Rhythm & Blues number titled THIS TRAIN (by Sister Rosetta Tharpe.) Elvis plays here with the vague borderline between Blues and Rock'n'roll in the best possible way: a smoking and tight band and his own powerful voice. The sense of fun is clearly audible from start to finish which makes the whole performance even more memorable. 1969 Elvis could do no wrong, even in Vegas.

    BTW, here is a fabulous live version of THIS TRAIN:



    MYSTERY TRAIN / TIGER MAN

    Despite MYSTERY TRAIN (the 1955 Sun Recording of course) being my all time favorite Elvis song, I can't say anything bad about its use as a medley, at least in those 1969 / 1970 frantic and powerful versions. Again, we are talking about (Rhythm &) Blues based compositions and, in this particular context, they are both used as a beautiful tribute to those early years at Sam's recording services. On MYSTERY TRAIN, we've got a very different approach compared to the 1955 studio master but the energy and the panache remain the same 15 years later. And as @mark winstanley very well said earlier, the ferocious TIGER MAN works as a perfect coda to those magical 1954/1955 years. The version in the movie "That's the Way it is" (2001 edition) has some fantastic visuals too.
     
    Tord, Dave112, EPA4368 and 6 others like this.
  3. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Ah she is playing about a 1962 Les Paul Custom, GREAT TONE.
     
  4. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I agree. I just got through playing this song earlier this morning right before I read your great post and I said to my gal, "You have got to come and listen to My Babe and check out Jerry Scheff's fantastic bass playing on it. It's a killer version and the whole band is terrific." I also really dig Larry Muhoberac's stellar piano intro to the song.
     
    MRamble, Dave112, Shawn and 1 other person like this.
  5. Revelator

    Revelator Disputatious cartoon animal.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    Classic electric piano has such a wonderful sound--cool but raunchy, artificial but still analogue. Larry Muhoberac was a superb electric pianist and an integral contribution to what he described as Elvis's "punk lounge music." I still haven't forgiven the producers of the Live in Las Vegas box set for mixing Muhoberac out of set's '69 concert.

    "My Babe" and "Johnny B. Goode" show that Elvis was more interested in other people's oldies than his own. These songs are better arranged and simply rock harder than his re-conceived 50s hits. Their hard-hitting exuberance is irresistible. "Words" is the sort of out-of-left-field, but in retrospect perfect, selection that was a highlight of Elvis's early concerts. I especially love how the Sweet Inspirations echo Elvis like a sonic hammer. "Mystery Train" / "Tiger Man" benefits from the recent memory of '68, when Elvis savaged the latter song, and "Mystery Train" obviously felt fresher to Elvis than a mega-hit like "Hound Dog." The difference shows.
     
    Sebastian, MRamble, DirkM and 3 others like this.
  6. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Agreed. Fans had waited decades for an officially released complete concert from the 1969 tapes, and BMG botched its first release on the Live In Las Vegas box set (quickly rectified by FTD's Elvis At The International the next year).

    I disagree, at least with respect to Elvis' execution in 1969. Post-1970, yes, Elvis was less interested in his own hit-laden catalogue.
     
  7. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    'Words' is now my personal favorite from this album (and yes, with a number of strong contenders for that position). I honestly never noticed the Bee Gees version until many years later but Elvis' performance on this gives a different pathos to the lyrics.
     
    RSteven, Dave112 and mark winstanley like this.
  8. Ace24

    Ace24 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Ohio
    Blue Suede Shoes is one of the songs most identified with Elvis. It's first line makes it a great concert opener and especially here for Elvis getting restarted on his career as a live performer.

    The story of Johnny B. Goode resembles Elvis' life story. That's why it was used as the opening song in the film Elvis on Tour.
    So it works well here as the second song in this album, and rocks wonderfully with great work from James Burton.

    I like the feint towards a ballad and then full volume start to Hound Dog. Yes, the high-classed verse would have been a plus.

    I may like I Can't Stop Loving You as much as Elvis seems to have. I always enjoy hearing him sing this song.
    I could do without the woman carrying on here x3 though.
     
    RSteven, Shawn and mark winstanley like this.
  9. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I'm not a huge fan of this era of the Bee Gees, but no denying they were fine songwriters, and I really enjoy some of the covers I've heard. Both Nina Simone and The Flying Burrito Brothers did fantastic renditions of To Love Somebody. And Elvis's version of Words is really excellent, in my opinion. Elvis has a gravitas that Barry Gibb did not, and to me it takes the song to a different level. This actually might be my favorite song on the album here.
     
  10. SKATTERBRANE

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I like the Bee Gees just fine UNTIL they went disco. And once they did they never seemed to leave it.
     
  11. Revelator

    Revelator Disputatious cartoon animal.

    Location:
    San Francisco
    That's the reason why Dave Marsh regretted that Elvis never covered "Bye Bye Johnny"--it's what Elvis wanted his life story to be.




    As did the James Carr--his version is my favorite.
     
  12. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Those really are two of my favorite Barry Gibb songs as well. I would have loved to have heard Elvis take a crack at To Love Somebody as it is one of my all time favorite songs. I really dig this arrangement by Michael Bublé from a few years ago and check out the cool all female back-up band, although they are only miming along with the studio version, but they sure look nice doing it.


     
    mark winstanley likes this.
  13. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Elvis would have done an amazing job with To Love Somebody. That Buble version does have a nice arrangement, but I'm afraid I'm just not a fan of his voice. Sometimes you meet a voice you just do not like, and his kind of grates on me.
     
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    In The Ghetto
    This version is a little quicker than the studio version, or at least seems to be. It is a very good version, but perhaps loses the feel of the studio version slightly. With this kind of song, that isn't unusual though. It is still excellent.
     
    RSteven likes this.
  15. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Suspicious Minds
    This is one of the great songs for a live show, because it is this pumping rolling track that really takes on all comers. Once that guitar kicks in and then the band kicks in, I doubt there is anyone that isn't getting into it. I generally find the live version is like a powerful wave that takes out everything in its path. The bridge, or slow section works wonderfully. In the early days it is obvious that Elvis had a lot of fun with it, but obviously it become somewhat of a burden for him to play as is shown in several later performances. The way the coda plays out generally works really well, and is a bit of a "moment" at concerts. The fade and then explode effect was a very effective arrangement.
     
    Tord and RSteven like this.
  16. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Can't Help Falling In Love
    I figure this must have been Elvis' top selling single, because it seems to be a live fixture. Generally I am not a big fan of the live versions, because it seems to generally be sung with little interest, and more as a requirement. This version is pretty good though, as it seems he isn't sick of it yet. Generally I like this in a video presentation because watching Elvis wander around kissing all the ladies is so odd and yet somehow really interesting and funny.
     
  17. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
  18. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley Pick up a fast car, burn my name in the road Thread Starter

    Yea, I had seen that, and as you say, it is a little on the expensive side. It looks like it would be good, but I doubt I will scrape the money together for it.... I am nervous enough about how much the concert box is going to be lol
     
    RSteven and artfromtex like this.
  19. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    I’ve pre-ordered the Dylan 1975 box, and, if the Elvis 1969 box comes out and I have money left over, I would seriously consider buying this book. I haven’t delved into the world of these oversized Elvis photo books, but, although I can’t figure out how to link to the pictures I’ve seen from inside this book, this was Elvis at his visual peak, looking as good as he ever would, with the minimal black jumpsuits/karate outfits looking amazing without the over-the-top nature of some of the later Vegas costumes.
     
    RSteven and mark winstanley like this.
  20. Iceman08

    Iceman08 Forum Resident

    You know what- me as a German never noticed this until some years ago. ;) But then for about the first 15-20 years of beeing an Elvis fan I didn't observed the song lyrics at all. It was all about his song presentation/ his voice/ the rhythm. Nowadays it's nearly the opposite as I can concentrate hardly on anything other when there's sung music in the background because I'll have to figure out the story. :tiphat:
     
    RSteven, Shawn and mark winstanley like this.
  21. Iceman08

    Iceman08 Forum Resident

    I'll have to admit I enjoyed the movie and the music a lot as a child. This movie was one of his most screened ones on German tv (with Double Trouble ans Spinout), imagine that. Of course the storyline is thin and bad and it's a lot about bad clichés but it was a nice kids' adventure movie with nice rhythm songs as Harem Holiday/ Shake That Tambourine. And my a bit older sister really enjoyed So Close Yet So Far From Paradise and Golden Coins.
     
    Shawn, Sebastian and mark winstanley like this.
  22. NumberEight

    NumberEight Came too late and stayed too long

    This is relevant to 1969, honestly...

    One thing I’ve noticed while playing The Fun In Acapulco Sessions is that there are (at least!) two kinds of song on Elvis soundtracks.

    There are those in which Elvis is singing alone or to a single individual (love interest, small child, a bull named Dominic, or whatever), and there are those in which he’s singing to an audience in the context of the movie.

    Even without seeing any particular movie or reading a synopsis, it’s clear which songs are which from Elvis’ performance alone.

    Which, of course, leads me to think that - albeit in a limited way - Elvis continued to draw on his live persona even through the worst of the movie years. Staying in practice - sort of - for the 68 special and his return to live performance in 1969.
     
    RSteven and mark winstanley like this.
  23. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    I really like the IP version of In The Ghetto. It jettisons everything I don't like about the studio version (the heavy-handedness, the solemnity that the song isn't quite meaty enough to sustain) and turns it into a more enjoyable number from a purely musical perspective. I know that in that sense it strips the song of its meaning, but that doesn't bother me...it's not Dylan, or even If I Can Dream.

    This live version of Suspicious Minds is one of Elvis' absolute greatest performances, imo: electrifying, passionate, dynamic, and endlessly joyous to hear. It's the highlight of the album for me, and it gets the perfect slot as the penultimate song, positioning it for maximum effect. It's every bit the equal of the single version, and in some ways, it's even better (conversely, the studio version has qualities that this version lacks, I should add; they're both fantastic interpretations in their own right).

    I have a soft spot for the live versions of Can't Help Falling In Love. Yeah, I know they quickly devolved into kiss-the-girls-and-then-we're-off-goodbye routines, but for some reason, I like the arrangements so much that I can even put up with an indifferent Elvis vocal. Anyway, the 1969 versions are by far the best, with those strings and a more majestic pace than later incarnations (not to mention Elvis sounding genuinely invested), and the IP version is particularly effective, especially as a cool-down after the intensity of Suspicious Minds.
     
  24. PepiJean

    PepiJean Forum Resident

    SUSPICIOUS MINDS
    Kick-ass version although I prefer the one on the "Viva las vegas" 2Cds set for that tambourine in the mix that reminds me of the fire of the Tv comeback special. I love Elvis endless energy: it seems he did not want to let it go even after 7 minutes of what had to be an exhausting musical marathon. A gem.

    CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE
    It's the best version from the vegas years but still inferior to the TV show performance during the first stand-up show. In fact, I for one would have prefered WHAT'D I SAY to close the disc with a bang. And again, the "Vlv" set offers a dynamic version with Elvis at full blast plus some nice guitar work from Burton.
     
  25. Shawn

    Shawn Forum Resident

    This is a bit off topic, but wanted to share as we're getting in to the TCB band era and I know there's many James Burton fans in this thread. James has a foundation, and with a donation of $10 (plus S&H) he will send an autographed, personalized photo. I ordered Photo #9 in the series and received it the other day. A great way to get this stellar musician's autograph as well as supporting a good cause at the same time:

    Merchandise » The James Burton Foundation
     

Share This Page