Elvis (the real one)

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toomanyhatz
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Elvis (the real one)

Postby toomanyhatz » 26 Oct 2012, 09:05

I'm reading Guralnick's bio right now, so I'm on a bit of an Elvis kick these days. There's a lot of crap to weed through, but his best stuff's as good as anybody's. And really listening through the RCA (non-soundtrack) sessions, there's a lot of good stuff. And more throughout the 60s and 70s than I realized.

I'll expand later, and maybe this can turn into a thread like Molony's Macca one with contributions from others, but right now I'd just like to say I think he's great! Particular faves right now- the first ones with Felton Jarvis producing in the mid 60s, the late 60s Memphis sessions, and (always) the Sun Sessions.

I'm guessing there are some fans here?
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Jimbo » 26 Oct 2012, 09:19

He never did it for me after the first RCA recordings, Hound Dog, etc. His stripped down and raw rockabilly stuff featuring the Bill Black crew: killer. The rest is too shmaltzy. He never wrote his own songs and so there is an inherent dishonesty to his music. The early stuff had his name in the credits which maybe, somehow helped the soul quotient.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby bhoywonder » 26 Oct 2012, 09:42

That Guralnick biog is superb, isn't it? Are you still on volume one? You might want to avoid this thread for spoilers as to how it ends... ;)

I love Elvis. I think he's incredible. Always have done. I always had an Elvis calendar on my wall as a kid, Elvis posters, and the best part of the Christmas holidays (aside from presents) were when they'd show an Elvis movie every morning. (Or a tarzan one. I could take tarzan in the absence of Elvis in those days. Not today though...)

Top 5 Elvises:
1– Sun Elvis

2- 68 Elvis

3- Early Vegas Elvis

4- Pre-war RCA Elvis

5- Occassional-moment-brilliance-from-fat Elvis.

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby brotherlouie » 26 Oct 2012, 09:54

There are gems from pretty much any era, save the soundtracks (after King Creole / Jailhouse Rock).

Even on his last release you have Hurt, which is astounding.

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Phil T » 26 Oct 2012, 10:46

Jimbo2 wrote:He never did it for me after the first RCA recordings, Hound Dog, etc. His stripped down and raw rockabilly stuff featuring the Bill Black crew: killer. The rest is too shmaltzy. He never wrote his own songs and so there is an inherent dishonesty to his music. The early stuff had his name in the credits which maybe, somehow helped the soul quotient.


Mostly this. Though I'd take issue with the dishonesty bit. Would you say the same about SInatra?

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby yellowjacket » 26 Oct 2012, 13:32

toomanyhatz wrote:I'm reading Guralnick's bio right now, so I'm on a bit of an Elvis kick these days. There's a lot of crap to weed through, but his best stuff's as good as anybody's. And really listening through the RCA (non-soundtrack) sessions, there's a lot of good stuff. And more throughout the 60s and 70s than I realized.

I'll expand later, and maybe this can turn into a thread like Molony's Macca one with contributions from others, but right now I'd just like to say I think he's great! Particular faves right now- the first ones with Felton Jarvis producing in the mid 60s, the late 60s Memphis sessions, and (always) the Sun Sessions.

I'm guessing there are some fans here?


Yes from a distance. I can appreciate what he has done for rock music and his voice is perhaps in the top 5 performers of all time. If you like Elvis there is a great book out called "Down At The End Of Lonely Street " a great read............
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby sloopjohnc » 26 Oct 2012, 14:44

toomanyhatz wrote:I'm reading Guralnick's bio right now, so I'm on a bit of an Elvis kick these days. There's a lot of crap to weed through, but his best stuff's as good as anybody's. And really listening through the RCA (non-soundtrack) sessions, there's a lot of good stuff. And more throughout the 60s and 70s than I realized.

I'll expand later, and maybe this can turn into a thread like Molony's Macca one with contributions from others, but right now I'd just like to say I think he's great! Particular faves right now- the first ones with Felton Jarvis producing in the mid 60s, the late 60s Memphis sessions, and (always) the Sun Sessions.


I did the same thing you're doing after reading the bio. Going back to his stuff after reading the book.

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby der nister » 26 Oct 2012, 15:27

FTD releases can become an expensive Elvis addiction:
http://www.elvis.com/news/ftd_releases.aspx
It's kinda depressing for a music forum to be proud of not knowing musicians.

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby GoogaMooga » 26 Oct 2012, 15:34

There is a veritable Elvis cult in Denmark, centered around the town community of Randers, where you'll find the only Elvis museum outside the USA.

To me, he is the artist of the century, best voice ever.
1966 and all that

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Nolamike » 26 Oct 2012, 15:41

sloopjohnc wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:I'm reading Guralnick's bio right now, so I'm on a bit of an Elvis kick these days. There's a lot of crap to weed through, but his best stuff's as good as anybody's. And really listening through the RCA (non-soundtrack) sessions, there's a lot of good stuff. And more throughout the 60s and 70s than I realized.

I'll expand later, and maybe this can turn into a thread like Molony's Macca one with contributions from others, but right now I'd just like to say I think he's great! Particular faves right now- the first ones with Felton Jarvis producing in the mid 60s, the late 60s Memphis sessions, and (always) the Sun Sessions.


I did the same thing you're doing after reading the bio. Going back to his stuff after reading the book.


Same here. A helluva read, and made me really dig into the '60s and '70s. Yes, there are some terrible songs in there (more so as he moved into the '70s), but the highlights are well worth it. The two relevant boxed sets are a great starting point.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Oct 2012, 16:01

I freaking love the guy. His catalogue is such a deep well, with so many interesting strains: rockabilly, gospel, county-soul, etc... Then you've got a huge strain of completely uncategorizable records (what genre is "Suspicion" or "It's Now or Never"?).

That the current rock mythology has Kraftwerk looming larger than Presley says all that needs to be said about the Kool-Aid being imbibed around these parts.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby GoogaMooga » 26 Oct 2012, 17:56

"Gas, Elvis! Smash, Elvis! King, King, KING!!" 8-)
1966 and all that

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Snarfyguy » 26 Oct 2012, 18:13

Phil T wrote:
Jimbo2 wrote:He never did it for me after the first RCA recordings, Hound Dog, etc. His stripped down and raw rockabilly stuff featuring the Bill Black crew: killer. The rest is too shmaltzy. He never wrote his own songs and so there is an inherent dishonesty to his music. The early stuff had his name in the credits which maybe, somehow helped the soul quotient.


Mostly this. Though I'd take issue with the dishonesty bit. Would you say the same about SInatra?

Yeah, I was going to ask about that statement as well.

Does not being a songwriter disqualify someone from being an artist, or a singer? In way is the music "dishonest?" Somebody wrote it.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby GoogaMooga » 26 Oct 2012, 18:19

Snarfyguy wrote:
Phil T wrote:
Jimbo2 wrote:He never did it for me after the first RCA recordings, Hound Dog, etc. His stripped down and raw rockabilly stuff featuring the Bill Black crew: killer. The rest is too shmaltzy. He never wrote his own songs and so there is an inherent dishonesty to his music. The early stuff had his name in the credits which maybe, somehow helped the soul quotient.


Mostly this. Though I'd take issue with the dishonesty bit. Would you say the same about SInatra?

Yeah, I was going to ask about that statement as well.

Does not being a songwriter disqualify someone from being an artist, or a singer? In way is the music "dishonest?" Somebody wrote it.


The evolution of popular music into singer-songwriter was not necessarily for the better.
1966 and all that

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby toomanyhatz » 26 Oct 2012, 19:09

GoogaMooga wrote:The evolution of popular music into singer-songwriter was not necessarily for the better.


Indeed. Re: Jimbo's post: yes, there are plenty of singers and musicians out there that would have left us much better off had they not been so "honest" as to try to express themselves by writing their own songs.

There are a few songs, apparently, for which the Elvis co-write is actually accurate. I'd say waiting till you actually have something to say is a lot more honest than pouring your heart out every time you have a bad date or a pimple.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Matt Wilson » 26 Oct 2012, 19:23

toomanyhatz wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:There are a few songs, apparently, for which the Elvis co-write is actually accurate.


Not many. Which ones are you thinking of?

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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby der nister » 26 Oct 2012, 19:32

Matt Wilson wrote:
toomanyhatz wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:There are a few songs, apparently, for which the Elvis co-write is actually accurate.


Not many. Which ones are you thinking of?


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will googa out fox and finesse this one
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby toomanyhatz » 26 Oct 2012, 20:03

toomanyhatz wrote:There are a few songs, apparently, for which the Elvis co-write is actually accurate


It was me that said it, not Googa.

The two that are generally thought to have legitimate Presley input are "That's Something You Never Forget" and "You'll Be Gone," both from '61. According to Guralnick, he was trying his hand at songwriting and, while his ideas were fleshed out by professional songwriters, Elvis's input is genuine. IIRC, there are some others as well, but I could be wrong about that. If so, replace the word 'few' with 'couple'.
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby Jock » 26 Oct 2012, 20:19

LIke this thread. It'll maybe make me read the two books, that i've had for years :oops:
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Re: Elvis (the real one)

Postby toomanyhatz » 26 Oct 2012, 20:33

By the way, it's the second book, Careless Love, that I'm reading, not the first. The reasons for this are:

1) The basics about his career and life up to early stardom are fairly well-documented.
2) I realized I knew very little about his career in the 60s other than the Memphis sessions, the Comeback Special and a whole lot of bad movies. I knew there had to be more to it, which the book has confirmed.
3) I saw it used before I saw the first, and it was cheaper.

I'll probably read the first later, but I'll still be on this one for a while. It's pretty weighty.

Oh, I've found one huge error in it that I'm disappointed nobody caught. On page 238, there is a reference to "expatriate Elvis imitator P.F. Sloan." Errr, I think you mean P.J. Proby? Hopefully it was corrected in later editions, what I have appears to be a first printing.
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