Elvis Presley the Albums and Singles Thread *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by mark winstanley, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. mark winstanley

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

    How Do You Think I Feel
    Another great song, that manages to incorporate a slight Latin feel into its structure. This song still fits into the context of rock and roll beautifully and also manages to draw upon musical inspiration from outside of its realm really well. Again we have some very nice understated guitar and everything works together well to create another great song and a good way to finish an excellent second album.
    Although I have some minor contentions with song choices, all the songs work well, it structurally works well and we manage to get a good spread of what it is that Elvis does, and does so well.
     
  2. Joseph Marshall

    Joseph Marshall Interstellar Burst...

    Location:
    TX
    First, hello everyone! I'm a newbie, so forgive me if I break a house-rule of which I'm unaware. That said, I'm excited Elvis is the subject of my first post.
    Now to the point, I've never really thought of Presley as an "album" artist. Weren't his albums all merely singles compilations or the dreaded soundtracks? And of course after a certain point his albums were simply continuous rehash compilations via Tom Parker's ever increasing greed (generally consisting of the not so great tunes). The number one thing that angers me in regard to the musical output was the stupid Hill and Range publishing agreement which severely limited Presley's choices. Hill & Range's publishing catalog IMO wasn't exactly filled with imaginative, creative, modern, exciting tunes fitting of Presley as his career went in to the 1970s. Every once in awhile they'd snag a good one from an outside writer, a-la Burning Love. The colonel screwed Elvis over in so many ways it's disheartening.
     
  3. artfromtex

    artfromtex Honky Tonkin' Metal-Head

    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    Hey there. You're in Keller, I'm in Watauga. Small world, huh?
     
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  4. mark winstanley

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

    i like all the Elvis eras as the different things that they were, but i agree with you pretty much totally in what you were saying.
    The album era in rock/pop music really only started around 1965 ... and even then there was an emphasis on hit singles.
    I like the Elvis albums an awful lot, but certainly we don't get a Sgt Pepper or Dark Side Of The Moon with them ....

    Welcome to the forum. Feel free to express your opinions on the songs we have done, the albums, the links, whatever takes your fancy. Different opinions aren't invalid opinions in my world.

    At the moment we're hitting a song a day, and any other tidbits I might get time for. Again Welcome :righton:
     
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  5. mark winstanley

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

  6. mark winstanley

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

  7. mark winstanley

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

  8. mark winstanley

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

  9. Alan G.

    Alan G. Forum Resident

    Per “Reddy Teddy”: DJ’s drumming is terrific. In each break he adds something. Really sounds like he was feeling it. And Scotty’s bridge! I guess the thumb pick made a difference, but he sounds like two guitarists! Yep, one of my favorites.
     
  10. Alan G.

    Alan G. Forum Resident

    Nobody mentioned this, so....Bill Black is playing his bass way down the neck! It’s all high note, rhythmic bass. How did they come up with that? But it fits nicely.
     
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  11. mark winstanley

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

    I didn't know that, appreciate the info. Cheers
     
  12. DirkM

    DirkM Forum Resident

    Location:
    MA, USA
    Anyplace Is Paradise - It has a truly bizarre intro, and I suppose the rest of the song is pretty odd as well, but that's what I love about it! When I read about fans in the 50s who said that Elvis sounded like he was from outer space, this is one of the songs I think of.

    How's The World Treating You? - The first in a great line of Elvis "question" songs, I put this together with First In Line as one of his most moving, spooky performances. I used to listen to this on repeat on headphones at night, finding that the song just got better and better with every play. I never get tired of it.

    How Do You Think I Feel? - It's sort of lightweight, but that makes it a perfect closer, particularly following the intensity of the previous two tracks.
     
  13. mark winstanley

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

  14. mark winstanley

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

  15. mark winstanley

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

  16. Joseph Marshall

    Joseph Marshall Interstellar Burst...

    Location:
    TX
    Thank you!
     
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  17. Joseph Marshall

    Joseph Marshall Interstellar Burst...

    Location:
    TX
    The interesting aspect of the drum part in "Ready Teddy" to me (and throughout his playing style), is how DJ propels the song continually forward *without* the use of hardly any bass drum accenting. In fact, I recall watching some interview somewhere where DJ discussed this aspect of his drumming -- holding back on the bass drum with only occasionally using it to accent the song. He felt it only got in the way of the beat. In a similar vein Hal Blaine rarely used the hi-hat as he felt (and Spector evidently) the hi-hat and cymbals in general got in the way of the beat. Now fast forward a few years and we have Ringo giving us that rock steady back beat while rocking the heck out of his hi-hat and crash/ride cymbals :) ....and both styles get the job done nicely! To tie it all up; this is quintessential "young" Elvis Presley redefining popular music. (Apologies for the drum tangent...)
     
  18. mark winstanley

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

    So now we move into the singles from 1957, of which there were certainly some memorable ones.
     
  19. mark winstanley

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

    "Too Much"
    [​IMG]
    Single by Elvis Presley
    B-side
    "Playing for Keeps"
    Released January 4, 1957
    Format 45", 78"
    Recorded September 2, 1956, Radio Recorders, Hollywood, California
    Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
    Length 2:33
    Label RCA Victor
    Songwriter(s) Lee Rosenberg, Bernard Weinman
    Elvis Presley singles chronology
    "Love Me Tender"
    (1956) "Too Much" /
    "Playing for Keeps"
    (1957) "All Shook Up"
    (1957)
    Music video
    "Too Much" (audio) on YouTube
    "Too Much" is a #1 song recorded in a hit version by Elvis Presley and published by Elvis Presley Music in 1956. It was written by Bernard Weinman and Lee Rosenberg.[1][2][3][4][5] It was first recorded in 1954 by Bernard Hardison on Republic Records. Elvis Presley recorded the song in September 1956 and first performed it on January 6, 1957 on CBS-TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show." Released as a single, Presley's "Too Much" reached number one on both the Cashbox and Billboard sales charts and went to number three on the R&B chart.[6] The single peaked at number two on the then-named Top 100 chart, the main Billboard pop chart.[7][8]
    ---------------------------------------
    Listening to Elvis Golden Records as a young fella, this was always a favourite. It has such a great bouncy feel. I think the backing vocals on this are brilliantly arranged because they aren't just adding melodic depth, but there is a rhythmic component that really adds to the song. Scotty plays a great lead break that starts out more rhythmic than anything else and then moves into a single not run that modulates through some key changes that the backing music isn't without sounding out of key or place.
    This is a great old time rock and roll song in every way for me.

    Here are some thoughts from Scotty Moore and DJ Fontana -
    Scotty Moore remembers recording 'Too Much', with a description of it being 'ancient psychedelia' : We did several takes, but I got lost on that one, but back in those days you didn't have multi-track, you didn't go back and fix somethin', and you did't stop until they stopped you from the control room - you kept goin'. I just kept chunking away, I didn't make any mistakes, but it wasn't the same solo I played on the other takes, somehow I came out of it exactly where I was supposed to be. I forgot what key the thing was in, an oddball key for guitar to begin with, and I got absolutely lost and just kept on playing and finally recovered somehow or another. I have never been able to duplicate it exactly, I've come close, but not to the exact notes, that must have been the take they liked, it felt better than the others, so they released it. If someone missed a note or somethin' back then it wasn't a big deal - it was the feel that was important, if it feels good it's fine.

    I can listen back to that stuff and find bunches of clinkers, y'know - Bill would be playin' in one key and we'd be playin' in another. He (Elvis) knew I had gotten lost, but he loved the way it turned out, when the song ended(playback), he raised up and said, 'That's it', and he did it for damned meanness.

    He knew I had gotten lost and he knew damned well I would have to live with it.

    D.J. Fontana : Too Much is a classic, it really is. The overall track was really good, Scotty wasn't happy with the guitar solo, and still isn't. Scotty got to his guitar solo and said he got lost completely and didn't know where he was. He couldn't get back and he tried to get Elvis to do it again. Elvis said 'Aw no, we're not doing that ever again' (laughs). He said 'That was too good, Scotty we're not gonna do it again'.

    Takes 1-12, take 12 is the Master.

    Take 1-2, (Insert) take 2 used for composite.master

    Composite - Spliced Master

    Note : Elvis performed the number on the Ed Sullivan Show on 6th January 1957. This version is completely different in the order of the lyrics and the structure to the studio version. Scotty Moore's guitar solo was reduced from 22 seconds on the studio version to 15 seconds on the Sullivan version.

     
  20. mark winstanley

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

    The sound hasn't survived too well, or transferred well, not sure, but this is the Sullivan appearance.
     
  21. mark winstanley

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

    "Playing for Keeps"
    Single by Elvis Presley
    A-side
    "Too Much"
    "Your Time Hasn't Come Yet, Baby"
    Released January 4, 1957[1]
    Format 7" single
    Recorded September 1, 1956
    Length 2:50
    Songwriter(s)
    Elvis Presley singles chronology
    "Love Me Tender"
    (1957) "Too Much" / "Playing for Keeps"
    (1957) "All Shook Up"
    (1957)

    "Playing for Keeps" is a song originally recorded by Elvis Presley

    Its first release on record was on January 4, 1957 on a single with "Too Much" on the other side.[3][1][4][2][5][6][7] "Playing for Keeps" reached number 34 in the United States, while "Too Much" spent 3 weeks at number 1.[6][7][better source needed]

    In 1959 the song was included on Elvis' album For LP Fans Only (an unusual album for Presley cause all the songs on it had been already released one to almost five years prior).[4]

    The song was written by Sun Studio house band steel guitar and bass player Stan Kesler (words and lyrics), who wrote or co-wrote five songs in total for Elvis Presley during Elvis' early career: "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone". "I Forgot to Remember to Forget", "Thrill of Your Life", "Playing for Keeps", "I'm a Fool (For Loving You)".[8][9][10][11][12][13]

    Elvis recorded it on September 1, 1956 at the Radio Recorders Studio in Hollywood, California[3] (at the studio sessions for RCA Victor that were held at Radio Recorders on September 1-3). The master recording of "Playing for Keeps" is a splice of two takes: take 7 with the ending from take 18.[14]

    Preorders for the single "Too Much" / "Playing For Keeps" reached almost 500,000 copies.[15]

    Billboard picked the single "Two Much"/"Playing for Keep" for its "Spotlight" section and then (in its January 19, 1957 issue) as one of "This Week's Best Buys":[2][16]

    Advance orders put this disk in the best seller class even before it was generally available. [...] It doesn't take genius to see that this will be a chart record shortly. At this early stage, it is hard to determine which side rates top listing. The Presley fans are giving both tunes quite a whirl; both are propelling it forward. A previous Billboard "Spotlight" pick.[2]

    Mike Eder states his opinion of the side "Playing for Keeps" in his book Elvis Music FAQ: All That's Left to Know About the King's Recorded Works:

    "Playing for Keeps" is one of the few early single sides that wasn't worthy of the spotlight it was given. He tries too hard at putting feeling into the track, pushing his voice intoan awkward whine. Elvis didn't yet possess the kind of big voice he wanted for ballads like this, but you can't blamehim for trying to go beyond his comfort zone. The song was written by Stan Kesler, who had been a friend of Elvis' when they both worked for Sun Records. Kesler had co-composed early single sides “I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone,” and“I Forgot to Remember toForget,” and Elvis may have recorded this somewhat dreary ballad partially as a favor to him.[1]

    7" single (RCA 47-6800, 4 January 1957)[17]
    1. "Too Much"
    2. "Playing for Keeps"
    7" EP Playing for Keeps (RCA EPA 9561, Germany)[18]
    1. "Playing for Keeps"
    2. "Too Much"
    3. "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck"
    4. "Doncha' Think It's Time"
    7" EP All Shook Up (RCA 75.405, France)[19]
    1. "All Shook Up"
    2. "That's When Your Heartaches Begin"
    3. "Too Much"
    4. "Playing for Keeps"
    ------------------------------------
    I think this may be one of the first times I have heard this one, but it is an instantly engaging rock and roll ballad. The vocal is great and the song is certainly good.
    The way it is set up I am not altogether sure if this is a double a-side or what is going on there. Maybe one of our resident Elvis experts can explain why the b-side is listed first and the EP is named after the apparent b-side etc .... My apologies, but the pre-album era is quite confusing to me
     
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  22. Joseph Marshall

    Joseph Marshall Interstellar Burst...

    Location:
    TX
    Scotty calling "Too Much" 'ancient psychedelia' is a brilliant description that otherwise would never have crossed my mind.. But I totally get what he means by calling it 'ancient psychedelia' when it comes to that solo. He is playing soloing in the key of Ab major (or G# ..same thing more or less) which is an extremely bizarre key for a rock n roll tune. Why someone did not suggest to lower it to G major or A major we will never know but it worked nonetheless. Due to this odd key signature Scotty accidentally roamed into a middle-eastern type vibe during his solo, albeit unintentional and quite subtle but absolutely one of a kind for sure (Taxman guitar solo creates a similar effect and feel).
    But...
    Playing for Keeps I would argue pushed Rock n Roll ballads towards more uncharted territory IMO and is musically the more satisfying of the two songs for myself. I love the unique minor key melody line of this one. The first time I heard Elvis sing the line "exactly how I feel..." It gave me chills. I was probably 19 years old the first time I heard this one and I just love how the lines leave you hanging for the next. Playing of Keeps is in my top ten favorite Elvis tunes.

    Scotty also made a great point about how everything was about "the feel" of the song and the recording. That is completely lost in contemporary music. I'm 34 years old and keep up with new music and with one or two exceptions it's total garbage (but that's a different thread all together). Recording completely analog on tape may have had it's restrictions but I will take it every day of the week over digitally diseased music..haha. And please forgive any typos..it's early here in TX.
     
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  23. mark winstanley

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

  24. mark winstanley

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

    that's the beauty of music ... everyone has their own particular way of expressing and constructing songs
     
  25. mark winstanley

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

    As an adult guitarist of fifty years I can hear Scotty struggling there, but I also think his struggle works. It's an interesting dynamic.
    The old style, record it 20 times and use the best take, certainly has its value. I don't really get too concerned about how folks put a song down. I guess I just like to hear songs and take them as they are.
    The modern industry and the general populace have become so used to music being presented in a "perfect" way, that even most live albums actually aren't. It is a sad reflection and where we are in general .... reality used to be a friend of mine
     
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