I've been thinking of starting this thread for a bit after reading a bit in the Elvis '70s thread. I can't remember exactly what was being said, but what I remember was certain talking about what a different singer Elvis was in the '70s than he was in the '50s. And people got to talking about him and his lack of much (if any) real rock 'n roll or rhythm and blues on his later albums. So I figured I'd make a thread about this to expand upon this, and not have it lost in the middle (of an admittedly great) thread. So my thing is, was Elvis really that much of a fan of rock 'n roll or rhythm and blues? Did he really care for the stuff? Let's start from the beginning of his recording career. He started off recording four ballads. Stirring stuff in my opinion, listening to it now, knowing what he became, but definitely not a hint of what was coming. Then, even during the "That's All Right" session, we have him again working on "Harbor Lights." Now don't get me wrong, I think a lot of the ballads from the Sun sessions are the best things that Elvis ever did. That includes "Blue Moon", "I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')", "Harbor Lights" and "Tomorrow Night." After "That's All Right" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and whatnot, Elvis ends up taking off as a rock 'n roller. Has lots of hits with a whole lot of rockers, along with some amazing mid-tempo cuts and of course a nice amount of gorgeous ballads. Most anybody reading this thread knows the story. But quickly we'll just say that before the Army I'd say he recorded some of his most raucous rock 'n roll. Stuff like "A Big Hunk O' Love", "Hard Headed Woman", "I Need Your Love Tonight", etc. When he returns from the Army he definitely does some great work. Not as much rock 'n roll, but times had changed a bit. But regardless, he made some really nice albums like Elvis Is Back and Pot Luck and of course recorded some of his best ballads, like "It's Now or Never" along with "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "Can't Help Falling in Love." His ballad material on Blue Hawaii I also thought was for the most part top notch. As the '60s went on he got bogged down with the soundtracks, only with the occasional reprieve, such as the beautiful gospel album How Great Thou Art and also some nice singles, like "Big Boss Man" and "Guitar Man." Then after the comeback special, he really seemed to to be reinvigorated cutting great stuff like From Elvis In Memphis and Elvis Country, not to mention quite a few great singles. However, after the wonderful soul music from Memphis in '69 and the great country and rock from Nashville in '70, we don't really hear a convincing rocker from Elvis besides "Burning Love" and "Promised Land." I think wonderful stuff like the incredible "Hurt" and the sneakily affecting "Pledging My Love" also fall under the rock flag as well, but I think you all know what I mean. I know Elvis said in '72 (?) something like a "good rock tune was hard to find" or something, but I kinda get the feeling that he wasn't looking. Because I also think good MOR ballads were also hard to find, but he seemed to find some of the corniest trash around to record. And yes, I know some of this comes down to Felton Jarvis and the Colonel, but ultimately it was Elvis' name on his albums and singles. And besides his '60s soundtracks, I think for the most part, Elvis spent his career recording what he wanted to record. And in the '70s that meant very little rock 'n roll. And I think anybody calling stuff like "Way Down" or "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" rock are kinda kidding themselves. Not to mention the way that he treated some of his rock 'n roll hits on stage. After around 1970, I don't think you could find a serious attempt at "Hound Dog" (though I must admit, that is a tough tune to replicate) or a version of "Jailhouse Rock" where he wasn't just breezing through the lyrics. One up-tempo tune that he did seem to put a bit of heart into was "Trying to Get to You." But yeah, I guess my point is that for of a man referred to as the "King of Rock 'n Roll" he didn't have much interest in showing us why he is/was. I get that we all change, and I'm probably about as far from a "rock-ist" as one could get. I appreciate artists growing and not trying to be their 20 to 25 year old self when they get older. And not for a second did I think Elvis should've been out there in the '70s trying to out-rock Zep or something. However, I do think he coulda tried to be something more than a contemporary of Neil Sedaka and tom Jones. To finish, with Elvis, it seems like his musical stew that combined rhythm and blues, gospel, country and whatnot was what really made him resonate with a lot of us, and as time went on, a lot of the rhythm was lost. And I wonder why that was. I'm sorry if this was a bunch of redundant nonsense. Hopefully I'm not wasting anyones time.