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Mon May 26, 2003 5:09 pm

RE : The Bicentennial Elvis Experience

The impromtu Return To Sender obviously a welcome (if not strong) addition - given somewhat of an almost laid back reggae feel - did you spot the lyric change "no such number, no such phone" ;)

Wonder what the look on John Wilkinsons face was like when Elvis announces ' I'd like John to play guitar on back of his head' before correcting it to James :D ....leading into Johnny B Goode - Elvis vocals sound very weak and tired on this show to me but I do wonder if the show has been recorded at slightly the wrong pitch.
Last edited by ClintReno on Mon May 26, 2003 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon May 26, 2003 5:17 pm

elvis-fan wrote:
Sorry rockinrebel, my comments above are regarding the March 1972 version. His words sound slurred together during this version of Johnny B Goode. It isn't my favorite version and sounds kind of sad for 1972.


Well the March 1972 version is taken at a slightly slower pace than Elvis’ earlier renditions of the song, but I still think it’s a pretty good performance.

Tue May 27, 2003 1:54 am

I agree the version of Johnny B. Goode on Fort Baxter’s “The Brightest Star On Sunset Boulevard Vol. 2” rips the damn roof off! In 1970 he still liked rock 'n' roll and delivers this song with a white-hot intensity that surpasses previous versions and shows the depth of his committment to music, and rock 'n' roll in particular; still new music (compared to blues and jazz) that he helped take shape in the 50s. One listen to this and the bad movies, maudlin ballads and silly songs are all forgiven...the boy sure could rock when he wanted to :D

When I first heard this wonderful 2cd set, I was especially thrilled with the uncensored version of "Stranger in my own home town". I think it is the bluesiest, nastiest, rawest post-1969 Elvis ever captured on tape. This version is a true classic, too bad (but understandable) this complete version was too explicit to be included in the 70s masters box set.

Ain't it strange though? Anyone familiar with the blues from 1920s-1950s knows about the risqué lyrics, double-entendres, word-play, etc. Nobody censored black artists like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Wynonie Harris or Dinah Washington, because the white establishement didn't care if the mainly black record buying public was offended or not by lyrics of a suggestive kind. That changed when blacks were suddenly busy selling to white kids in the early-50s (youth culture).

As soon as white artists like Elvis or Jerry Lee were singing about raunchy subjects ("Shake, rattle & roll", "Whole lotta shakin' going on") in the mid-50s, suddenly they got banned, critisized, censored... :cry: The establishment was afraid about these guys' influence on their "innocent" white kids. It's a harsh reality, and was certainly not exclusive to America.
In fact all over the world parents were loosing their grip on their youths, which would lead to the excessive behaviour of the mid-to-late 60s (drugs, free love, communes, hippies,...).

This tendency of selective censorship, believe it or not, is still in effect nowadays and back in 1995 when the 70s box set was compiled. Elvis' image should stay "clean" according to BMG marketeers and policy makers, he should therefore not offend anyone by cussing, swearing, bad-mouthing, whatever...even if this means distorting reality. BMG gives us a safer, less humorous, stiffer, softer Elvis Presley. This is one instance where I am glad boots excist. NOT to replace terrific BMG/FTD product but to selectively supplement it.