Elvis Presley - The Albums and Singles Thread pt3 The Seventies

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, May 26, 2019.

  1. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Yep. I believe if you caught Charlie at the right moment, he would freely admit he had a drinking problem, whereas Elvis would never admit to anyone that his pill use was an issue.

    The more I think about it, I think it must have been Elvis who removed the line. If anyone else had suggested it (even Bienstock, Diskin, or Parker) they would be running the risk of setting off Elvis' anger by making him think they were alluding to his own problem in an oblique way:
    "What do you mean I should take out that line about the pills? Are you implying something about MY medicine?" Elvis was mercurial and incredibly defensive about his drug use (didn't he once point a gun at Red when he tried to bring up the subject?). I would bet everyone around Elvis would have been afraid to even mention pill abuse in any context, even a song lyric, for fear Elvis would get mad.
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  2. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    I don't think it's a spoiler for me to say we're going to have some notable disagreement when we get to that album. But it will be an interesting discussion that I'm looking forward to...
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  3. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    Oh yeah, no doubt. It was sort of conventional wisdom at the time to put that album down, but its funny how its statue has grown some over the years. Even the critical reviews of Way Down In The Jungle Room were overwhelmingly positive for the most part. A lot of Elvis's more rock 'n' roll oriented fans like to mock FEPB as they consider it "old man music," and a lot of other fans do not like the sumptuous string and horn arrangements by Bergen White, which I think is what makes the album so majestic sounding. I do get fans that feel it is a tad on the maudlin side, but I also think it shows Elvis's state of mind at the time as perhaps no other album ever had before FEPB.
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  4. Maybe Elvis justified the removal of the lyrics as him not wanting to promote 'illegal' drug use through his lyrics.
  5. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    You mean like taking Demerol for a hangnail? ;)
  6. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    It's true that I don't like some of the material, but for me my reaction is mainly feeling sad to hear Elvis unable to bring his a-game in terms of energy and creativity, due to being high and all the health issues caused by his addictions. I suppose we can take a glass half full approach and note that it's a credit to his talent that he could still sometimes create some really good stuff despite his condition, but it's also sad that those moments are the exceptions rather than the rule on this record. It really reminds me of listening to Keith Moon's drumming on the Who Are You album, where he struggles to play competently but occasionally shows flashes of his former greatness. Okay... looks like you suckered me into previewing my future comments by doing so with your own, ha. We've got what, probably a month or so before we hit this record, eh?
  7. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    You and I are just working together to wet everybody's appetite for the divergent opinions that will take place when we get to this fine album.:righton:
  8. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    If You Talk In Your Sleep *
    Help Me **

    (US) RCA APBO 0280
    Released: May 2, 1974
    * Recorded: Stax Studios, Memphis, December 11, 1973
    ** Recorded: Stax Studios, Memphis, December 12, 1973

    Written By :
    Red West & Johnny Christopher

    Recorded :
    Stax Studios, Memphis, December 10-16, 1973 : December 11, 1973. take 9

    This single went to number 6 on the Billboard Country Chart, and 17 on the pop chart, so certainly no failure of a single. Both these tracks are on the Promised Land album, that gets released at the beginning of 1975, and we will discuss them properly there.
    It's interesting to me that this single was released seven months before the album, and it is also interesting to me that the flurry of albums and singles slows in 1974. It is hard for me to gauge whether this was because of Elvis' refusal to spend too much time recording, or if they realised that they were releasing way too much music, in too short a period of time .....
    Perhaps some folks have some theories or facts on this.
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  9. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    (US) RCA CPL1 0606
    Released: July 1974


    Released July 7, 1974
    Recorded March 20, 1974
    Venue Mid-South Coliseum
    Memphis, Tennessee
    Genre Rock, gospel
    Length 41:57
    Label RCA Records

    Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis is a live album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, released by RCA Records in July 1974. It was recorded on March 20 of the same year at the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis, Tennessee, Presley's hometown. The cover features of a photograph of Presley's home, Graceland.

    Presley earned his third Grammy Award for this album's performance of "How Great Thou Art". The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on July 15, 1999.

    The album was recorded on the same day as his Good Times album was released. Elvis Recorded Live on Stage in Memphis was Presley's fifth live album in less than five years and the last to be issued in his lifetime.

    Side one
    1. "See See Rider" Traditional, arranged by Elvis Presley 3:03
    2. "Medley: "I Got a Woman" / "Amen" Ray Charles, Renald Richard 4:45
    3. "Love Me" Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller 1:50
    4. "Trying to Get to You" Rose Marie McCoy, Charlie Singleton 2:02
    5. "Medley:
    "Long Tall Sally" / "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"
    "Mama Don't Dance" / "Flip Flop and Fly" / "Jailhouse Rock" / "Hound Dog" Enotris Johnson, Robert Blackwell, Penniman / Dave "Curlee" Williams, Sunny David / Kenny Loggins, Jim Messina / Jesse Stone, Lou Willie Turner / Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller 3:32
    6. "Why Me Lord?" Kris Kristofferson 2:50
    7. "How Great Thou Art" Stuart K. Hine 3:44

    Side two

    1. "Medley: Blueberry Hill"
    "I Can't Stop Loving You" Al Lewis, Vincent Rose, Larry Stock
    Don Gibson 2:59
    2. "Help Me" Larry Gatlin 2:42
    3. "An American Trilogy" Mickey Newbury 3:57
    4. "Let Me Be There" John Rostill 3:33
    5. "My Baby Left Me" Arthur Crudup 2:22
    6. "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" Lloyd Price 2:14
    7. "Can't Help Falling in Love" George David Weiss, Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore 1:36
    8. "Closing Vamp" — 0:47

    FTD release
    1. "Also sprach Zarathustra" (previously unissued)
    2. "See See Rider"
    3. "Medley: I Got A Woman / Amen"
    4. "Love Me"
    5. "Tryin' To Get To You"
    6. "All Shook Up" (previously unissued)
    7. "Steamroller Blues" (previously unissued)
    8. "Medley: Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel" (previously unissued)
    9. "Love Me Tender" (previously unissued)
    10. "Medley: Long Tall Sally / Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / Mama Don't Dance / Flip, Flop and Fly / Jailhouse Rock / Hound Dog"
    11. "Fever" (previously unissued)
    12. "Polk Salad Annie" (previously unissued)
    13. "Why Me Lord"
    14. "How Great Thou Art"
    15. "Suspicious Minds" (previously unissued)
    16. "Introductions" (previously unissued)
    17. "Medley: Blueberry Hill / I Can't Stop Loving You"
    18. "Help Me"
    19. "An American Trilogy"
    20. "Let Me Be There"
    21. "My Baby Left Me"
    22. "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy"
    23. "Funny How Time Slips Away" (previously unissued)
    24. "Can't Help Falling In Love"
    25. "Closing Vamp"
    This is an interesting one, and it seems looking back that they got a little carried away with the live albums, but even so, I am glad that they released them because in hindsight there would have been precious little released in the seventies if they hadn't been so obnoxious about their album release schedule
    This album is somewhat weird for the album cover. Personally I like that it isn't another Elvis live shot.... but this is actually a live album, so it would have kind of made sense for it to be a live shot.... Instead we get a picture of Elvis' house, on an album recorded live in Memphis, and for the longest time I thought they had recorded a concert at Graceland.... The concert was actually recorded at Mid-South Coliseum.
    I really need to get around to listening to these FTD's, but for now the regular releases are keeping me busy enough.
    I don't dislike this album, and there is some good stuff on here. I assume the FTD is of the complete concert, and that holds a little more interest for me. The track selection is good, but I suppose at this stage having been exposed to the FTD's that is is also somewhat typical,
    It is certainly a good batch of songs, but to be honest, I will need to have a relisten to remind me of where they are at as individual tracks. I think I have listened to this twice in the last twelve months, and seem to remember enjoying it though.

    So what do you guys reckon of the live album?
    For anyone that was around at the time, did it seem like you were getting an awful lot of live albums?
    Please give us any information that seems relevant, or just stuff you would like to share, about this album, when you came across it, what it meant to you, and any other things that come to mind.

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  10. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    This is probably the live Elvis album that I've listened to the most. It doesn't have the intensity of In Person or the beauty of On Stage, but it's an utter joy to hear.

    The original album release is just about perfect. It's a tightly edited, exciting live album...exactly what the previous two live albums weren't, imo. The FTD and Legacy Edition don't have the same magic, and it's not just about the mixing/mastering. The original album distills the show into its highlights, and the overdubs enhance the overall atmosphere.

    Between In Person, On Stage, and the Memphis album, they did a great job at editing down Elvis' live shows. It makes me wonder what an On Tour album might have sounded like.
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    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    Elvis actually seems awake compared to Aloha. I do not care for the medley. I seldom like medleys anyway. They typically sound just like this one. Oh and here we have the debut of the "dive bomb" on LP. Yuck.
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  12. Hooperfan

    Hooperfan Your friendly neighborhood candy store owner

    New York
    This is a good album, but I wish some of the added crowd noises weren't added. Like the boisterous applause that occurs when Elvis sings the chorus to "Why Me, Lord". It's not there on the unedited tape
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  13. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    When I heard you guys talking about the swooping, dive bombing etc ... I had no idea what you were all talking about ... when I first heard it, I did not have to ask anybody lol
  14. mark winstanley

    mark winstanley 5.1 should be mandatory for my favourite albums Thread Starter

    Yea, I have never been a fan of added crowd noise
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  15. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    I like the Recorded Live Onstage In Memphis LP but it's not one that I play regularly. I'm still working on a JD dive-bomb ring tone. My problem is that it starts out well enough but ends up sounding like I'm passing gas because cell phone speakers can't handle the lower bass notes and the sounds devolves into a whoopi cushion noise. Lol. Back to the thread. The live albums that I play most are the pre 1971 live albums and Aloha. Also, this is off the subject a bit but in regards to I Got A Woman written by Ray Charles. I recall an interview many years ago where Ray Charles said that he basically was never impressed by any of Elvis' recordings of his songs. That did surprise me since to my ears, Elvis had some great versions of I Got A Woman and What'd I Say although I prefer Ray's versions. Nobody could deny the musical genius of Ray Charles and he certainly knew how to listen to music. Not to sound insensitive but I wonder if my opinion of Elvis' recordings are influenced by having sight? As I hear the Elvis recordings or even the Ray Charles recordings, I can picture them in my mind performing these songs based on countless times that I have seen them perform on video. I would be curious how never having seen Elvis would influence how the recordings are heard.
  16. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Another live album, done out of necessity due to Elvis’ refusal to enter a recording studio. This one may not have the aura of On Stage, MSG, and Aloha, but in a number of ways it is as good. In terms of vocals, Elvis’ work on this LP is arguably as good as the previous 70’s concert album efforts (if not more consistent than Aloha).

    This was an album that was mostly well-compiled, omitting much of the concert bloat so common with Elvis’ concerts from the era (the complete concert is not as good as the original album edit — and the Sony Legacy Edition mix is atrocious). But this concert recording truly stands out because of Elvis’ surprisingly vibrant vocals (which are oddly lifeless on the Legacy Edition). There was a small pocket in March 1974 where Elvis’ vocals were healthy, and fortunately RCA captured it on tape. After March 1974, it would never be the same.

    And of course, we cannot talk about this recording without mentioning the Richmond tape from two days earlier. Regarded as one of the best sounding soundboard bootlegs ever issued (and later released by both FTD and Sony Legacy), it was revealed by Ernst Jorgensen that the original source may have been an actual multi track recording. As far as anyone can tell, no paperwork ever survived to support the claim, and Ernst never went into much detail, but he implied that RCA may have recorded Richmond as a “test” recording for the Memphis concert. Why the alleged Richmond multitrack ended up as a mono mix-down is unclear. And why discard the tape? Regardless, the Richmond concert is as good as the Memphis show.
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  17. Daven23

    Daven23 Forum Resident

    Hyde Park NY USA
    Live in Memphis is a great concert. Elvis is much more alert than Aloha and he is in great voice. He returned in 74 in great shape after a rocky 73.

    Also the FTD is essential, for having the complete show, removing the crowd noises. I even actually loved the added reverb. Recommend.
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  18. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Well, the early winter recordings from 1974 do not suggest Elvis was in good shape, but he did have that pocket in March 1974 where his vocals were again healthy. And after March, the rest of the year would be as rocky as 1973, with a glimpse of 1976 on the horizon

    Agreed. The FTD is the best “complete” presentation, even though technically it is missing some dialogue and a false start.
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  19. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    Agreed on the earlier concert. I have the legacy edition with the bonus disc. Although the original album got a couple of plays, I have played the bonus mono disc much more over the years.
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  20. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    The contemporary releases of the Memphis concert have been botched and likely won’t be corrected. The FTD release was supposed to be complete, but as previously mentioned, it was missing some dialogue and a false start (who cares?), which bothered some fans (also the excessive reverb was another area of contention). Then the original edit, which a number of fans prefer, was only remastered and reissued as part of expansive and expensive box sets. When Sony got around to issuing the Legacy Edition, it released the complete concert (including all dialogue and the Help Me false start), but the release also mixed down Elvis’ vocal work, which has always been the cornerstone of the album. So, there is really not an ideal release of this album and concert, although, I think the FTD version is very well done and the best representation of the full concert.

    With respect to the Richmond tape, it is a good one. And really, the only purpose the Legacy Edition serves at this point is presenting fans an option to get the Richmond concert for $12, instead of seeking out a pricey version of the FTD edition.
  21. Looking back, I obtained Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis last in regards to Elvis concert albums (first was MSG, then Vegas, then Aloha and finally Memphis). I wasn't expecting much but was pleasantly surprised - it was far more enjoyable than I expected. This was also in the years before FTD existed so there wasn't much concert material out there relative to what we have available today. I haven't listened to it in ages so I'll be giving it a few spins as we go through the review of the individual tracks.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
  22. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Brookings, Oregon
    Dirk describes the differences perfectly between arguably three of Elvis's greatest live concert albums. Wow, Elvis's voice is just in remarkably great shape here. His overall mood is fantastic as our boy is playing in front of his hometown folks, so to speak. Elvis's live versions of How Great Thou Art and Help Me actually beat his studio versions in my opinion. Dirk and @PacificOceanBlue have always made the point that the edited version of the concert is superior than the complete concert that was finally released years later, and although I almost always want to hear concerts in an unedited fashion, both of those gentlemen have convinced me about the superiority of the edited version of Elvis Recorded On Stage In Memphis. In this particular case, producer Felton Jarvis actually used some discretion on the album song selection and he made it a more consistently strong concert album than it would have been otherwise. I have to give credit where credit is do. I love this album.
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  23. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    I don't think they concluded Elvis was releasing too much music, since as I noted earlier his output had actually been as much or less than his contemporaries on country radio (it was standard in the country market to put out 2-4 albums a year). I think the release schedule slowed because Elvis was not willing to record.

    As to the "early" release of this single, I suspect the intent was for it to be a non-album single (as seemed to be the original intent with I've Got a Thing). Perhaps they hoped Elvis would record more, and when he didn't they were left with no choice but to use it to fill out the album a few months later.
  24. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    The obvious reason for the frequency of live albums was that they sold substantially better than the studio albums. The live/studio dichotomy in the 70s is kind of like the soundtrack/studio album dichotomy in the early 60s, with the live albums being the cash cows.

    It does seem pretty bizarre that after releasing a dozen various studio albums with live photos, they released a live album without a live photo. And in retrospect, this album cover would have been perfect for the upcoming Elvis Presley Blvd album, though of course they didn't know that at the time. Here's the story of the cover from photographer Ed Bonja:

    "RCA really wanted to beat the bootleggers on that one and so Tom Diskin talked to The Colonel & suggested that I get some good shots of the concert, so that we could get it out immediately. However, The Colonel already had other plans. He knew someone on the Memphis Commercial Appeal whose son was going to college & studying photography. Without anyone else knowing it The Colonel had arranged for this guy to take the pictures of that show. So when Tom Diskin suggested he make sure I brought my camera along The Colonel replied, "No, don't worry about that. When The Colonel needs pictures I can just snap my fingers."

    So I did as I was told and I didn't take any shots of that show. When we got back to our office at MGM studios a few days went by and a package arrived and it was all these photos this guy had taken. And they were all just terrible! The Colonel's tearing them up going, "What is this crap!" Suddenly he's screaming, "EDDIE, you need to get to Memphis tonight and get some pictures." So that night they booked a red-eye reservation to get me to Memphis. Lamar Fike met me at 6am at the airport and I went straight to Graceland and I shot the back, the front, the grounds. I still have a few proofs including some of me taking those photos!

    I was back in L.A by four in the afternoon and again The Colonel picked the cover shot. I had an even better one, with the edges of the mansion cut off which gave it a better, surreal look. You know, he should have let me choose the pictures! So that's the reason why it is Elvis' only live album of the seventies without a concert shot of him on the front! Of course the 1976 LP recorded at Graceland strangely did use a live concert cover photo!"

    To me, the oddest thing about this story is that they didn't simply use some live shots from a different show... it seems strange that the Colonel would take an "it has to be from the correct show or nothing" approach when he'd never cared that much about such details before. And based on the live shots they considered acceptable for albums like Aloha and Raised on Rock, it makes one wonder what the "terrible" photos the college kid took were like. Their standards were not exactly high on previous releases.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2019
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  25. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    The Southwest
    Agreed, it is an odd story — suddenly Parker cares about having an accurate shot from the Memphis concert, when had countless other concert photos to choose from (and had never cared about that sort of accuracy in the past)? That said, I always liked the Memphis album cover, even if it wasn’t ideal.

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