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EP, 69 or 70, which performances were better

Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:02 pm

We've seen the brilliant outtakes from TTWII, we've heard about the greatness of EP from 69, which year was he a better performer in your mind? I understand we have no video from 69.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:10 pm

To me the 1970 Elvis is unbeatable. His voice was much stronger and sounded better than the year before and the choice of songs were better, too. He sang the ballads with passion and power, but he could still rock the house with songs like BLUE SUEDE SHOES or LONG TALL SALLY. On top of this, he never looked better than in 1970.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:23 pm

1970.

TTWII speaks for itself.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 5:34 pm

1969 is less polished which I prefer.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:17 pm

Yes, the 'live' Elvis in 1969 is rougher-round-the-edges, a little more raw rock 'n' roll.

He sings with passion, he wants his comeback [to concert performing] to be a success.

By 1970, he has polished things up a bit.

The passion is still there, the power remains, but the hunger for success has diminished a tad; he has proved his point.

A more professional, more confident, more polished performance emerges.

Which year is the best is a matter of personal taste.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:23 pm

ColinB wrote:
The passion is still there, the power remains, but the hunger for success has diminished a tad; he has proved his point.


Your right Colin, unfortunately this was a trait Elvis had through his career. Looking back he always needed to be pushed. Eg: The movie that would have tested him, a tour of Europe? Nice thoughts.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:33 pm

I'll tell you what, after watching the TTWII outtakes, it reminded me of how great his voice was in 1970.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:38 pm

Joe, to have seen Elvis at all in concert would of been a treat, but to have seen him in those comback years would have been phenominal. Personally, his voice in these years was at its most powerful...

Wed Nov 16, 2005 6:39 pm

1969 was pure Elvis. 1970 was Las Vegas glitz slowly creeping in and a little of Tom Jones too.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:37 pm

Which performances were better? Easy... 1970.

1969 was pure, raw Elvis and he sounded great. What I find unfortunate when listening to some of the performances from that summer is the uncontrolled hyperactivity that jumps out at you...too much banter & humor between songs, Hound Dog for example...really puts a damper on an otherwise stellar rendition. I also dislike the Bobby Morris orchestra tremendously and find that they killed the ending of many a fine rock performance with their overblown use of horns.

By the summer of '70, Elvis had toned things down just enough. He sang perfectly. As some have said, he was more polished, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I would rather have him perform in a more controlled manner than rambling as he did the previous summer. Also, with the addition of Guercio's orchestra, the sound was much improved

Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:39 pm

Both are unbeatable, but I slightly prefer the shows of 1970.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:51 pm

pacer wrote:Joe, to have seen Elvis at all in concert would of been a treat, but to have seen him in those comback years would have been phenominal. Personally, his voice in these years was at its most powerful...


Your 100% right pacer!

Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:53 pm

Love his soulful and bluesy voice in 1969, the rawness and power, too, but I feel that the shows are a bit too similar as he didn´t change that much during his first engagement. Which is better?? Really difficult to say, it´s more a question of what you prefer IMO. I prefer both! :wink: I like to think he improved as a performer from 1969 and onwards, I believe Elvis thoughts so, too...


Sincerely MB280E

Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:16 pm

I think the difficulty is not having access to footage from 1969 as we have with August 1970 (as has been stated). From the footage I've seen and the people I have spoken to who actually saw Elvis during that first year in Vegas, those 1969 performances were in a league of their own. Elvis was in a whole different state of mind in 1969... unsure of his success and how he would be accepted. His performances were almost manic when you compare them to his August 1970 engagement. It's almost hard to believe how much energy Elvis had at that time... I think the "newness" and "nervousness" was gone by that third Vegas engagement. Still, August 1970 was spectacular... no question.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:02 pm

elvis-fan wrote:His performances were almost manic when you compare them to his August 1970 engagement.

Just about sums those shows up. :D I would say 1970 as the shows were more polished but had there been a visual record of the 69 engagement it would have been a very tough call.

Appearance wise I think Elvis peaked in 1969.

Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:14 pm

Depends on what you mean with "apperance" IMO.


Sincerely MB280E

Wed Nov 16, 2005 10:51 pm

I've always found the 69 shoes over-rated, much preferring the Aug 70 shows.

In 69, many of the numbers sound almost unrehearsed - What'd I Say for example, and there are still lots of oldies in the act. Elvis was still finding his feet again as a live performer.

In 1970, the band were tight, the material more contempory, and Elvis was in prime form, physically, and vocally.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 12:37 am

DarrylMac wrote:I've always found the 69 shoes over-rated, much preferring the Aug 70 shows.

In 69, many of the numbers sound almost unrehearsed - What'd I Say for example, and there are still lots of oldies in the act. Elvis was still finding his feet again as a live performer.

In 1970, the band were tight, the material more contempory, and Elvis was in prime form, physically, and vocally.


I understand about the musical aspect of the '69 engagements but it's
the visual aspect that makes the '69 performances. It's like listening to Patch It Up from
August 1970 vs actually watching Elvis perform the number on stage.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:03 am

Elvis fan, I kinda agree with you.

I made the same point on another post regarding the closing night FTD - I bet it was a fantastic show to attend, but you lose some of that listening to it 30 years on.

As for the 69 shows, it's the same, for me at least, as the 68 special in that repsect. A great visual spectacle, but not that great as a listening experience. The major difference is I, like most other fans, never have, and probably never will see Elvis in 69 in good quality.

For me, it's Aug 70 every time.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:12 pm

Has to be 1970 - stronger, more varied song selection, plus Elvis was in better voice.

Jules

Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:27 pm

Interesting topic, this. Various people preferring 69, others 70. This would have made a great poll. For myself, it depends on the day - do I prefer the rawness of 1969 (I definitely prefer some of the setlists from that year over 1970), or the more polished, confident shows of August 1970. Let's not forget the Jan/Feb 1970 season, which was a nice combination of great setlists plus a more polished, confident performance.

Thu Nov 17, 2005 4:10 pm

I don´t know why but I have the impression that if we had 1969 concerts shot in pro footage by MGM or whatever company we would have more difficult to say which year Elvis is better.

Today I think 1970 is better but is that because I have TTWII??

If I had a movie as TTWII in 1969 would my mind change??

Thu Nov 17, 2005 6:15 pm

Well, I don´t think it has anything to do with having film footage of the ´69 shows or not, the fact is he improved as both a performer and singer from August 1969 to August 1970. Another thought could be: was he better in 1968 compared to 1969? His voice has changed and matured a bit in 1969, but IMO it sounds more similar to 1968. Which is better...? Impossible to say, it´s Elvis, it´s great!


Sincerely MB280E