Elvis Presley - The Albums and Singles Thread pt3 The Seventies

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

  1. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Not his best vocal by any means, but it does fit the swampy vibe of the song. It would be much easier to appreciate that performance if we didn't know the circumstances so well.
     
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  2. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    I find it an enjoyable if rather meaningless album - take it away, Elvis' legacy loses nothing. I was very surprised when it was treated to a Legacy Edition, with the nonsense on the packaging saying something like "just like a premier vintage, Today has aged and should be savored." Ugh.

    The sad thing is that Elvis was actually singing pretty good at these sessions, after his rehab stint, and there's a joyful spirit in his voice, but he just runs through whatever comes to mind on a whim and the resulting album reflects that. There's no vision to it, he completes the bare minimum of masters to get an LP out.

    I've always enjoyed Today as a fan though, it's more coherent than something like Good Times and from a technical perspective sounds way better than the Stax recordings. I just wish there was a heart to this album beyond a mere begrudging contract obligation.
     
  3. mark winstanley

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

    I tend to agree with this.

    As a young fella with no idea about the Elvis saga, I loved Way Down, and still do... Also Moody blue
     
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  4. mark winstanley

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

    Sorry ... phones and I aren't friends lol.
    I finally got it out lol
     
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  5. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    I wonder if it was even possible at this point to find any other producer that could work with Elvis? I doubt Moman would tolerate the entourage. He would probably have never done the Jungle Room sessions (he probably would have demanded that Elvis get help and return when he was clean enough to do a proper session). Given Elvis' physical, mental, and attitude conditions at the time, Jarvis seemed to be juggling on a high wire and got pretty good results given what he had to work with in Elvis' last year's. I've learned so much from your knowledge of the background circumstances behind the scenes of Elvis' sessions.
     
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  6. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    All you have to do is watch the TTWII film and see Elvis copying while rehearsing the overdubbed masters. He liked that.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  7. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    "Fairytale" was recorded on account his girlfriend Linda Thompson liked it, and suggested it to him.
     
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  8. Spencer R

    Spencer R Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pontotoc, MS
    I don’t really understand the process arguments: whatever Elvis’s state of mind was at the time, I hear real feeling in Fairytale and Green, Green Grass of Home - or, if Elvis is faking caring about these songs, he does so well enough to fool me.

    Moreover, everything he recorded from That’s Alright Mama onwards was a contractual obligation, so I don’t really get singling this album out for dismissal on that ground alone.
     
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  9. Matthew

    Matthew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Jammin' at Sun
    C’mon, really?
     
  10. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    Where is this in the film? The International Hotel convention center rehearsals with the Imperials and Sweet Inspirations? Those are undubbed acetates. The acetates were recently auctioned by Graceland Auctions.
     
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  11. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    The arrangements at American (Spreen interview), were done beforehand. The producers followed through when the tracks were recorded by the band and Elvis. Neither Moman nor Jarvis arranged.
     
  12. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    I hear in the movie "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" seemingly as the finished work so the backup singers would learn them, as the studio backup singers were not the same people. Nevertheless, the tracks performed live had the orchestra including strings and voices similar to the masters.
     
  13. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    There were a number of possibilities, on paper. How about Tom Dowd? Phil Ramone? Even Glyn Johns would have been intriguing — based on his work with The Eagles.

    Jarvis had lost control of Elvis’ sessions. He was restricted because he was on Elvis’ payroll, and as such, was another sycophant of sorts. He was not an independent collaborator that could work Elvis, take on management, fight the publishing constraints for the benefit of the project, make demands, etc. Jarvis relied solely on his contract with Elvis for his livelihood, so he had no choice but to be complacent.

    Elvis had a history of delivering when exposed to new professional relationships and demands by collaborators that challenged him, particularly when he believed in them. Was Elvis past the point where he could engage in such a manner, or was he simply resigned to the increasingly uninspired and restrictive system in place?
     
  14. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Southwest
    That doesn’t substantiate your claim that Elvis directed Jarvis to saturate his post-1970 studio work with increasingly schmaltzy layers of post-production orchestration.
     
  15. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    "Twenty Days and Twenty Nights" is the o/d version, so you are correct there. Doesn't prove anything, but your hero is in the video clip.

     
  16. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    We're getting ahead of ourselves, but my perception was that there was something "off" about his voice long before I knew anything about the circumstances of his life. When that song came out I was a ten-year-old brand-new Elvis fan (my mom had purchased Worldwide Gold Award Hits and I was playing the hell out of it). When I heard Way Down on the radio I thought it was cool he had a new hit song, but my perception was that he sounded tired and was having trouble keeping up with the music. I did not feel that way about Moody Blue, that sounded fine to me.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
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  17. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Interesting. Didn't know that.

    Did some googling, and found out that part of the reason she liked the song is that she felt it summed up her feelings about Elvis at that point (ie, disillusioned and at the breaking point). Didn't Elvis have Sheila Ryan with him in the studio when he was recording Today, also?
     
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  18. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I think Jim Dickinson (a Memphian known at the time for his work with Big Star) might have been an intriguing choice. He had a rep for being able to coax greatness out of difficult or uncooperative artists.

    It might have been interesting to see Billy Sherrill take a crack at Elvis too. If nothing else, we would have gotten to hear Elvis do "My Elusive Dreams."
     
  19. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    Unnecessary.
     
  20. Hooperfan

    Hooperfan Your friendly neighborhood candy store owner

    Location:
    New York
    Or Ears Really Suffer
     
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  21. JLGB

    JLGB Forum Resident

    Location:
    D.R.
    Yes. Funny thing about that to me is that while he is with Sheila Ryan recording "And I Love You So", singing directly to her , he is also doing the other song because of Linda. Two women, two tracks.
     
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  22. I wish Elvis had changed producers every two-three years in the 1970's as it would have perhaps fought the boredom off as well as expolring differeent sonic avenues. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say.
     
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  23. I know we've touched on the quad LPs over the course of this thread and just found this post from a user named Q-Eight at the QuadrophonicQuad forum. I thought I'd share it here for those interested in those quad LPs as it's an extremely informative post (again, all credit to Q-Eight). Especially as we're in the midst of discussing Today, which received a quad mix:

    Four Elvis albums were available on Quadradisc in the US: Aloha from Hawaii, Live in Memphis, Promised Land and Today.
    Five other albums were available on Q8: Elvis in Memphis, Elvis On Stage '70, That's the Way it Is, Live at Madison Square Garden
    Only Elvis in Memphis was available on Quadradisc in Japan.

    In a nutshell, everything from "That's the Way it Is" through "Today" are very good mixes.

    The four Quadradisc releases are good. Anything from the CD-4 era is generally a good mix. The two live albums are, as has been said, fairly front-heavy with strings, horns and backing singers in the rears, as well with crowd noises. "Promised Land" and "Today" are definitive, go-to albums as far as mixes go, with the exception of the titular track on "Promised Land". Fantastic song, but whoever decided to drown Elvis in a reverb chamber should be drug out into a street and shot. That song is absolutely ruined by the reverb & echo. Strangely, that is the only song effected. Every other song has Elvis front-center and tastefully dry. The vocal reverb on "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" on the "Today" album is so perfect, it's frightening. The mix on that tape/disc is phenomenal. Drums, Bass, Elvis, guitars in the front; percussion, backing singers, keyboards/piano in the rears. RCA was absolutely nailing Quad mixes during the 1973/74/75 seasons.

    The two tapes that are the most odd are Elvis in Memphis and Live On Stage '70. I've discussed 'Memphis' in another thread, but 'On Stage '70 ' is also a little strange and again, may suffer from a swapped channel. The mix is hardly discrete with Elvis again in all four channels, backing singers in all four channels, drums and crowd in all four channels, and guitar in one channel and piano in another. On C.C. Rider, the guitar bops around channels like the engineer is suffering a stroke.

    Elvis Presley Quad LPs - Are the mixes worth it?
     
  24. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    2-channel playback, but it still sounds great. I have the Today quadradisc and it also sounds fantastic.

     
  25. If that isn't Exhibit A to justify the re-release of the quad mixes I don't know what is.
     

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