Elvis Presley - The Albums and Singles Thread pt3 The Seventies

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

  1. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    Like I said, I don't hate Elvis' version of Susan When She Tried but it pales in comparison to the rich harmony and emotion of the Statler Brothers' version. I'm actually glad he toned down the backing part in his version because it would have been a parody if it had a JD Sumner divebomb in it. It's interesting that the next track,Woman Without Love, deals with such an unsettling narrative. Given Elvis' attraction to this type of song on occasion, I think he would have taken away the torch from the Statler Brothers with I Was There a year later and made it his own if he had recorded it.

     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  2. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Yeah, first exposure and nostalgia are powerful things. Generally for me if I really like the first version I hear of a song it becomes the definitive version to me (especially if I'm exposed to it a lot). In which case a cover is probably only going to grab me if the artist radically rearranges the song or does something unique and different with it. Elvis though can often sell his covers simply by outsinging the original version (one such example is coming up... I Can Help). But in this case, he doesn't outsing the Statlers (he seems to struggle with some of the high notes in fact). And his arrangement is nothing special in my opinion.
     
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  3. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Good call. That song would have been PERFECT for Elvis.
     
  4. mark winstanley

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

    Yea, it's funny how a first exposure can alter a perspective. The only Statler Brothers song I think I know is Flowers On the Wall, but ...
    The first version of Jealous Guy I ever heard was Bryan Ferry, and I thought it was wonderful. It took me a long time to appreciate John Lennon's sparse, anguished original version.
     
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  5. mark winstanley

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

    Shake A Hand
    Written By :
    Joe Morris

    Recorded :

    RCA's Studio C, Hollywood, March 10-13, 1975 : March 12, 1975. take 3

    I really like this track. We have a somewhat blues/ R&B track that has Elvis singing it like he means it. I think the instrumentation really brings out the feel of the song and Elvis is singing like he hasn't ever struggled.
    I don't really think there is anything to dislike about this track. I guess we may get the "don't like the b-vox thing, but really for this type of song, it is a sensible arrangement.

     
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  6. mark winstanley

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

    Pieces Of My Life
    Written By :
    Troy Seals

    Recorded :

    RCA's Studio C, Hollywood, March 10-13, 1975 : March 13, 1975. take 4

    Again, I persoanlly like this, but I am guessing that for some folks this is going to be one of those too much in the way of overdubs... and perhaps we'll hear the word schmaltz again lol.
    I like the introduction with the acoustic guitar, piano and strings working well with each other. Again Elvis comes in with a strong vocal, we have the clarity of a healthy Elvis vocal, and also the experience of the older singer, so it becomes a nice balance.
    I think this arrangement works well.
    So far as the album goes, there are no songs yet that I dislike. Sure Woman Without Love is lesser song for me, but I don't think it's terrible, merely lesser.



     
  7. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Shake A Hand isn't my cup of tea at all. I suppose Elvis sings it well, but the song itself irritates me. The chorus is particularly rough, with the backing vocals and all.

    Pieces Of My Life gets an absolutely brilliant reading from Elvis, one that far outclasses the Charlie Rich version for me. I actually think that the arrangement works well and does a great job of complementing the emotion in Elvis' voice. As with It's Midnight, though, it doesn't really work as a side opener. I'd be inclined to have it swap places with Fairytale.
     
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  8. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Down in the Jungle Room

    Location:
    Capac, Michigan
    I like this one, but I prefer it undubbed.

     
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  9. I think Shake A Hand is pretty good, primarily due to Elvis' commitment. Take away his vocal and you have a backing track that sounds a lot like what John Lennon was doing with his Rock 'n Roll album (a chunk of whose sessions occurred about a mile east - at A&M Studios - of where Elvis recorded Today at RCA Hollywood).

    His take on Pieces of My Life is strong, although it's never really grabbed me.
     
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  10. I don't want this to turn in to a Staler Brothers thread (although they are more than worthy of one), but I really love this TV appearnace / performance of Susan When She Tried:



    Bringing it back to Elvis, I do appreciate that he upped the tempo as I feel it's better 'faster' with only a single singer.
     
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  11. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    Arguably the best recording on the album. A nice R&B arrangement and soulful vocal delivery by Elvis on an album of mostly MOR and country covers. One of the stronger latter-day masters in the Presley catalogue.
     
  12. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    Elvis' vocals are very good here and I like it well enough for that. The song itself is weak. It's a mix between Love Me, Give Me The Right and Blueberry Hill that isn't as good as either one.
     
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  13. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I have always had a very hard time deciding which version I actually prefer. As I said before, Elvis's cut seems more about past loves gone bad and Rich's seems more like general life regret. That is the way I interpret it anyways. I was a Rich fan before I was an even bigger Elvis fan, so I am a little bias having heard Charlie's version first.

    I have always loved to compare Rich covers with Elvis covers as they are probably my two favorite singers of all time. I give Rich the edge on I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water and Tomorrow Night; I give Elvis the edge on Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues and Unchained Melody. Big Boss Man is almost too close to call like Pieces Of My Life, but once again, I heard Charlie's version first, so if I had to choose, I'd go with the Silver Fox on that one too. Plus, Rich's own piano accompaniment is a blast on Boss Man.
     
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  14. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I actually agree with you here, even though Elvis and the band sound great on this cut, the song is a little redundant lyrically speaking. I mean, how many times can you "shake a hand, shake a hand," but honestly, Elvis and that great horn section sound quite splendid to my ears, despite the average nature of the song.
     
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  15. PacificOceanBlue

    PacificOceanBlue Senior Member

    Location:
    The Southwest
    It certainly isn’t the strongest piece of material, but Elvis elevates it with a committed, soulful performance. Overall, Today is a somewhat bland, middle-of-the-road album, that is also somewhat pleasant, yet forgettable. Shake A Hand is a bit of departure from the other arrangements, but still not a track one is going to frequently reach for on its own.
     
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  16. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    Elvis and the band are great here. I think they have a great little groove going but it's just a weak song. The song is what it is and that's what Elvis recorded but Wasted Days And Wasted Nights has a similar groove but is a great song. Elvis and band could have found a lot of meat on that bone! I hate to keep posting other songs but can you imagine him doing this song with the horns and groove he has going on Shake A Hand?

     
  17. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    Pieces Of My Life is a tough call between Elvis and Charlie Rich. I give Rich the edge only because I almost picture him sitting across from me with a water glass now half full of whiskey while he shares his story. Elvis sells this song well too! With Elvis, it's pills instead of whiskey and his tale is just as convincing.
     
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  18. You must really dislike The Zombies 'Tell Her No' then ;)
     
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  19. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    Keep picking my friend. I think this absolutely would have been a winner. I could just picture James Burton doing some great guitar fills and his solo break would have been a killer. No doubt, Elvis would have loved this song.
     
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  20. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    My Mom always said her dream concert was Charlie Rich or Willie Nelson in a small nightclub setting. Well, it least we got to see Charlie Rich in a Las Vegas showroom up close and personal as we got seated right next to his lovely wife, Margaret Ann, who was seated at one of the first row booths right next to ours.
     
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  21. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Here's another rare instance in which the person sequencing the album seems to have been paying attention for a change... two strong songs to close side one and open side two.

    Shake A Hand is one of the best tracks on the album. Elvis channels a little of his 68 Comeback sit-down show feel here (no, I'm not saying this track is anywhere near as good as those songs, just that it has similar vibe). Pieces of My Life is also a fine track given a nice performance, though I do slightly prefer the Charlie Rich original.

    The one criticism of the track I'd have is the backing, which sounds a little too professional and facile for the song. I can only imagine what the track might have been like with Scotty and DJ on it instead, giving it a more organic feel. This is a track where I prefer the original Bardwell bass, and definitely one which does not benefit at all from the overdubbed horns. The undubbed Bardwell version is the best way to hear it:
     
  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I agree with all of the above except I think (despite Charlie's fantastic piano) that Elvis' Big Boss Man smokes both of Charlie's versions. I love the toughness of his voice, and I do not like the "brrr" sound effect Charlie uses... his version has more of a novelty-song feel. You forgot Spanish Eyes. I think I'd give Elvis the slight edge on that one, though they are close.
     
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  23. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    I always thought the beginning line of Pieces of My Life was "Bought a glass full of whiskey..." and I did not realize that Charlie and Elvis were actually saying "A water glass full of whiskey," until I reviewed the lyrics for this thread. I cannot believe how often I get these lyrics mixed up when I actually read them for the first time.
     
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  24. RSteven

    RSteven Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookings, Oregon
    How about Elvis taking a crack at what I think might be Charlie Rich's greatest self written song and performance, Who Will The Next Fool Be, which Rich ironically first recorded while at Sun Records. I think Elvis could have captured the blues perfectly on this song, although I am hesitant to say whether he could have sang it any better than Charlie did himself. I would ideally have preferred Chips Moman as producer, with the Memphis Boys as the backing studio band.

    [​IMG]
    3:21NOW PLAYING
     
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  25. Dave112

    Dave112 Forum Resident

    It's ok my friend. CCR was playing at that very same bar and was singing a groovy song about the bathroom being on the right. No other song could have inspired me to actually check out the facilities unless I had need of them first.
     
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