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Elvis in the 80's

Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:20 pm

In the 80's music changed quite a bit. How do you think Elvis would have handled this changes. Would he have gone along with them or would he stick to his same repetoire.
Also a station like MTV changed the music world a great deal.
I think it's fascinating to talk about how these changes would have affected Elvis and his music because the 80's is such a distinct era in music history.

Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:38 pm

The eighties would have bewildered Elvis.

Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:42 pm

Elvis would probably have continued to lean towards country music as he had done in the 70's. That was where his success was strongest.

Thu Aug 11, 2005 9:49 pm

Keggyhander wrote:The eighties would have bewildered Elvis.


They did me!

Tom

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:08 pm

I'm pretty sure Elvis would have gone for the Pop/Synth, drum machine kinda sound. :lol:

Thu Aug 11, 2005 11:56 pm

I thought the 80's had lots of catchy pop music that I still enjoy today. Madonna, Cyndy Lauper, The go-go's, the stray cats, Billy Joel, amoung others.

I think Elvis would have gone the same he always did, A little bit of everything mixed in.

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:12 am

I think Elvis would've just continued for the most part with the adult contemporary ballads and 'modern' country. It's highly unlikely that he would've gotten into the syth-pop stuff.

There were indications (Way Down; For The Heart; the never completed There's A Fire Down Below) that Elvis was at least beginning to become re-interested in rock-oriented material for potential hit singles. It's as if he had started to realize that his best chances for scoring another big hit (top 10) single was with the uptempo rock&roll tunes.

Re: Elvis in the 80's

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:14 am

Elvis-4-Ever wrote:In the 80's music changed quite a bit. How do you think Elvis would have handled this changes. Would he have gone along with them or would he stick to his same repetoire.

Given that - after a break of three, four, five years of recovering - there would have been a new management, a new band, new visionary producers, new studio and film projects I think Elvis could and would have made the 80ies. With no concerts tours in years he would have had to concentrate on his studio output, mostly country material / countrypolitan, a little southern rock / Memphis style funk with gospel influences and blues of course.

He could - like many others of the early rockers had already done and still did again and again - have made an album of re-recorded versions of his early classics as something to throw in between those other more modern projects. On the other hand (and in my dreams) he would have concentrated on a solid Hollywood career. Also, some joint ventures with other artists like e. g. Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Lavern Baker, Bob Dylan, Dion, Brian Wilson, Tom Jones would have been a great opportunity that had been missed all the years through the mid-60ies and 70ies.

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:22 am

Personally I think it's better that Elvis never made it into the 80's. In 1977 the guy was already so ill, his music not contemporary enough to consider him a serious hitmachine. Elvis had become a sad caricature of himself. If Elvis would have lived longer, this image would have gotten worse. Both personally as musically the best man had reached his final curtain in 77. Although I am a real elvis fan, and do love his music, I think we should be glad that he wasn't confronted with the 1980s...

Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:32 am

Jovan wrote:Personally I think it's better that Elvis never made it into the 80's. In 1977 the guy was already so ill, his music not contemporary enough to consider him a serious hitmachine. Elvis had become a sad caricature of himself. If Elvis would have lived longer, this image would have gotten worse. Both personally as musically the best man had reached his final curtain in 77.

I hope you agree that this is - as much as wondering how things could have gone on in the 80ies - is pure speculation.

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:05 am

I should be glad if he HAD confronted the 80´s.. So many more songs he could have sung, concerts, films...

...

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:56 am

well if you look at tom jones/wayne newton/johnny cash/jerry lee and other singers from elvis' time and style they all went away from rock and roll and did a bunch of country albums,most of which sucked (with the exception of johnny cash) so my guess is that he would do some cheesy country albums,but then again with groups like the "stray cats" and other new wave artists (most of which were influneced by elvis) and movies like "grease" it's possible that his "rockabilly" roots may have came out and we may have seen a comeback with his older stuff,but I'm inclined to believe the first one..

...

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:20 am

if elvis would have gotten rid of tom parker he wouldn't have gone broke,because the s.o.b. took half of his money,I would like to think that elvis would have gotten rid of him had he lived...

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:29 am

Pete -

You wrote:
It's as if he had started to realize that his best chances for scoring another big hit (top 10) single was with the uptempo rock&roll tunes


Yes he may have.

But he still enjoyed singing those downbeat songs the most !

The more miserable, heart-broken, maudlin and [sometimes] biographical they were, the more he seemed to like them.

As he didn't say a lot, it was as if he wanted to convey his feelings to the world via his song lyrics !

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:35 am

Just imagine, if Elvis had lived a few more years, it would have been him dueting with Michael instead of Paul on The Girl Is Mine track from the Thriller LP. :shock:

Re: Elvis in the 80's

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:38 am

Elvis-4-Ever wrote:In the 80's music changed quite a bit. How do you think Elvis would have handled this changes. Would he have gone along with them or would he stick to his same repetoire.
Also a station like MTV changed the music world a great deal.
I think it's fascinating to talk about how these changes would have affected Elvis and his music because the 80's is such a distinct era in music history.





In the early 80's, Elvis would've recorded songs like "At This Moment" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:44 am

Would Elvis had gotten into the whole Rap scene? I don't mean the thug/gangsta type stuff you hear today, but the Old School stuff from back in the day when they used to rap about tennis shoes and stuff.

Think about it... Elvis did like to wear those cool running suits towards the end, just like early rappers would wear and he was always into lots of jewelry... Did the early rappers steal their look from the king?!?! :shock:

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:54 am

Trevell -

You wrote:
...and he was always into lots of jewelry... Did the early rappers steal their look from the king?!?!
_______________
__

Before anyone did anything.................

............Elvis did bling !

Re: Elvis in the 80's

Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:04 am

moodyblue1 wrote:
Elvis-4-Ever wrote:In the 80's music changed quite a bit. How do you think Elvis would have handled this changes. Would he have gone along with them or would he stick to his same repetoire.
Also a station like MTV changed the music world a great deal.
I think it's fascinating to talk about how these changes would have affected Elvis and his music because the 80's is such a distinct era in music history.





In the early 80's, Elvis would've recorded songs like "At This Moment" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".


the problem with that is that freddie mercury wrote that one in memory of elvis,so if elvis didn't die then that song may not exist....

Fri Aug 12, 2005 6:37 am

I've always wondered if Elvis would have taken the same route as so many other performers. Many eventually stop touring and let the people come to them.

I would like to think that Elvis would have had a theater in Branson, Gatlinburg, or somewhere else (not Vegas) that he appeared a few nights a week. No jumpsuits, just some very casual attire that fit with the times. Singing a few of his classics as well as some newly recorded material (whether it made the top of the charts or not) and some popular hits of other performers.






Ok, time to wake up and get back to work now.

Re: ...

Fri Aug 12, 2005 11:24 am

joshferrell wrote:well if you look at tom jones/wayne newton/johnny cash/jerry lee and other singers from elvis' time and style they all went away from rock and roll and did a bunch of country albums,most of which sucked (with the exception of johnny cash) so my guess is that he would do some cheesy country albums,but then again with groups like the "stray cats" and other new wave artists (most of which were influneced by elvis) and movies like "grease" it's possible that his "rockabilly" roots may have came out and we may have seen a comeback with his older stuff,but I'm inclined to believe the first one..


Roy Orbison did a fantastic comeback album (Mystery Girl) in 1988 with Bono, Jeff Lynne, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and others. I think that album proves that a really good singers can succeed in any time. The album is pure Orbison yet modern. I'm sure that many artist would have given their right arm to record with Elvis. If Elvis would have allowed he could have done a killer album with a little help from his friends like Paul McCartney, Bono, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen etc.

BTW Roy did a fantastic concert in 1987 which is out on dvd as A Black and White Night. Performing with him are Springsteen, Costello, Tom Waits and others. Elvis's TCB-band is backing him. If you haven't seen it check it out. It's great.

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:12 pm

Of course it is daft to speculate really, but I have no doubt at all that Elvis would have survived into the 1980's and beyond as an artist. True, Crazy Little Thing Called Love may not have existed, but other songs would have done that do not exist now because they would have been written for him. Who knows, maybe he might even have attempted to write songs himself (unlikely).

Unfortunately, it is only possible to imagine the types of songs he would have recorded based on the material he was doing at the time of his death. Nobody, for example, could have predicted Roy Orbison's Mystery Girl album by listening to what he was doing in 1976/77. So we do not know. Would Jeff Lynne have produced it? Would Elvis have been a member of the Travelling Wilburys? There's a thought - Hound Dog Wilbury.

Bono would have undoubtedly written a song or two for Elvis. We talked on another thread about whether Elvis would have done Live Aid. And, of course, the much-fantasised world tour. Who knows - we can basically have Elvis doing anything. He could have won Wimbledon as far as our imaginations are concerned.

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:41 pm

Without being a pessimist i don't think Elvis would have been much of a force in the 1980s. The jumpsuits would have looked very outdated by around 1983. By the end of the 80s the Pete Waterman style pop was dominant and i don't think Elvis would have appealed to the teenyboppers like Kylie, Jason Donovan, Madonna, NKOTB, etc did.

Look at Cliff Richard (sorry Colin) - he had hits with things like wired for sound ealry in the decade but by 1988 was reduced to only competing for the christmas market. I'm not saying Elvis would have been reduced to this but he may have been viewed in a similar way by the public.

The 3 albums per year deal would also have been very outdated by the mid 80s - so maybe there would have been a realignment of the contract somehow. He could have sacked Parker once he realised this and sorted himself out in terms of the drug addiction. Yet maybe events such as John Lennon's murder may have made him paranoid.

I think if he had survived Elvis may have had a quiet period from 1977-1995 - i think then one critically acclaimed album could have brought him back into the mainstream and he would have been viewed as a living legend. Assuming he went into rehab and recovered and the story was public knowledge then i can imagine the chat show appearances etc where he talks candidly about his addiction, his controlling manager and the good old days.

Andrew

Fri Aug 12, 2005 1:57 pm

Marko -

You wrote:
If Elvis would have allowed he could have done a killer album with a little help from his friends like Paul McCartney, Bono, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen etc.


Well, yeah, it would have been great !

But couldn't happen with Parker around.

How about collaborations with:

Bob Dylan
Chrissy Hynde
The Cranberries
Tom Jones
Dave Gilmour

Just imagine Dave Gilmour's plaintive guitar backing Elvis on a heart-felt rendition of 'Comfortably Numb' !

Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:41 pm

Around 1984 the U.S. Billboard top 40 charts became dominated by dance-oriented tunes. A lot of old school top 40 singles artists disappeared from the charts during this time (Neil Diamond is a prime example). However, the demographic for the adult contemporary charts began to expand substantially at this time. And just a few years before country music experienced a boom due to the Urban Cowboy craze. This would've boded well for Elvis, as he had been scoring quite well on both the ac and country charts in the 70's. And while his last several singles were only modest top 40 chart hits he certainly still had the potential for another top 10 Billboard Hot 100 chart smash with the right song and a strong performance.