Anything about Elvis
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Had Elvis started in 1969 ...

Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:33 am

Imagine Elvis' total body of work,recordings etc. ocurring after 1968 would Elvis be today less popular,as popular or more popular? You have to think that with all three decades you get the good with the bad. For example from 69-77 there would be no bad movie songs but some weak 70s material. On the other hand no 50s classics either. But then again the 70s shows would be much different without the lets get out of the way songs also. My opinion is without the 1950s Elvis would not have been able to sell as much as he did (in the 70s or 60s for that matter) because there would be no Elvis 1950s King Of Rock And Roll factor (image) to help in the sales. So In my opinion had Elvis started in 1969 with that great Memphis and later Nashville work he would have died famous and big but not legendary like he really did because of the hypothetical missing 54-68 years. He would have been more Like Tom Jones or Engelbert. IMO. What do you think?

Sun Jan 08, 2006 6:40 pm

I think much of the aura would have been missing. The status of "Legend".

I think he would have been along the lines of a Tom Jones.........but more popular.

But please JLGB.......NEVER mention Elvis and Englebert in the same sentence again :wink:

Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:06 pm

For many the stuff Elvis recorded in the ‘50’s was the main reason why they wanted to go and see him when he started touring again in the 70’s.

Fans that travelled from different parts of the world wanted to hear those old songs because they grew up with them and they had special memories of them.

It’s easy now to look back and say that Elvis shouldn’t have performed “Jailhouse Rock” or “Hound Dog” if he had grown tired of them, but for many the experience of going to see Elvis had to include these songs because that’s what they associated Elvis (and their own youth) with, and part of the concert experience was based on nostalgia.

Had he started in 1969 the ‘70’s could have been a very different decade to what they actually where. Without his glorious past Elvis may not have spent the best part of the decade touring or not making films, so it’s difficult to say how things would have turned out for him.

One thing is for sure though; he wouldn’t have been anything like Humperdink.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 7:37 pm

Had Elvis not been around till 68, then The Beatles would have never made it out of the club scene or even been a band. Think of that. Elvis inspired generation past and present and will for generations to comes musically.

In the 50's kids wore their hair just like Elvis did, Ricky Nelson, Fabion, etc. I have seen them on tv and that's how I know about them.

In the 70's no one was wearin jumpsuits with rhinestones until Elvis, then every major pop act was doin it, from the Jacksons to Donnie and Marie Osmond. KC and The Shunshine Bnad really ripped Elvis off even with the cape included.

Elvis also started fads in the 70's with the lambchop sideburns.

So had Elvis started recording in 68 then we wouldn't be havin this discussion today. Elvis would probably be no more famous than Wayne Newton, a typical Vegas act only and Memphis would have never been on the map of music and culture.

Sun Jan 08, 2006 8:01 pm

JLGB -

Do you mean the 19-year-old Elvis appearing in 1969 ?

Or the 34-year-old one ?

Either way, the music scene would be totally different without the 50's Elvis having happened !

The rock 'n' roll phenomenon would still have occurred, but without Elvis to spearhead things, it would have been much smaller and less significant.

The direction music would have taken in the 60's is anybody's guess !

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:43 pm

Maybe it was just me but when I first bought Elvis 1970s albums I was not looking for easy listening male vocalist. I myself learned to love Elvis voice and crooning and even his 70s country songs AFTER the Don't Be Cruels and Jailhouse Rocks and Don'ts etc. Thanks for everyones input I am now in a 1950s mode so don't think I am knocking the 70s but everything after 1958 is icing on the cake for me right now. I will think differently tomorrow or the next!

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:51 pm

Scatter wrote:I think much of the aura would have been missing. The status of "Legend".

I think he would have been along the lines of a Tom Jones.........but more popular.

But please JLGB.......NEVER mention Elvis and Englebert in the same sentence again :wink:
You got it! :)

Sun Jan 08, 2006 9:58 pm

ColinB wrote:JLGB -

Do you mean the 19-year-old Elvis appearing in 1969 ?

Or the 34-year-old one ?

Either way, the music scene would be totally different without the 50's Elvis having happened !

The rock 'n' roll phenomenon would still have occurred, but without Elvis to spearhead things, it would have been much smaller and less significant.

The direction music would have taken in the 60's is anybody's guess !
Just new on the music scene. I think he would have broken newer ground(at least for himself) if he did not have the 50s "aura" to fall back on and which RCA/Parker never let one forget.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 12:18 am

ColinB wrote:Do you mean the 19-year-old Elvis appearing in 1969 ?


If that´s the case, today in history music we would be in the final 80´s!
I mean as an evolution.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:29 am

This is really a flawed question because so much of what Elvis did in the 1970s was rooted in all that had come before. His stage show for instance wouldn't have had to have taken on a larger than life scale that it did without the Elvis legend preceding it. Elvis may not have moved into autobiographical type music because performers like Lennon and Dylan whom he inspired might not have made the inroads that they did. There might not have been the sad decline as the pressures of fame would have been less intense. The void that would have been left would have been huge.

If in some theoretical fantasy land, all that we had to judge Elvis with was the body of work from 1969 to 1977 I would say he would be still a respected figure, more cult hero than legend. He would be primarily known as a guy who created the definitive blue eyed soul and country rock statements in "From Elvis in Memphis" and "Elvis Country" and some great singles like "Suspicious Minds". I think the reputations of "FEIM" and "Elvis Country" would actually have a little more lustre to them as they would have a kind of hip quality by being a bit out of the mainstream and a discovery that they don't have today. Plus, they wouldn't have the burden of competing for the public imagination against legend making hits. I also think he would be a figure just now coming into his own in terms of critical respect. The standard line in the '70s and '80s would be why couldn't he do more stuff like "Elvis Country" instead of those pop ballads he seemed to prefer. (Though again would he have preferred them had he not had enact his legend nightly with the vintage rockers.) With the greater appreciation of pop that exists today, he would definitely see his rep increase. He would kind of exist in a land somewhere between Neil Diamond (again another performer modelled after him), Jimmy Webb, Scott Walker, Charlie Rich and Dusty Springfield.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:42 am

I've been thinking a lot about this question. It seems as if Elvis had started in '69, he wouldn't have been Elvis. It was a complete different world. When Elvis started the world was much younger, more naive, much more innocent. In '69 we already had Viet Nam, the flower power movement, hippies, love-ins. The Beatles would have preceded E, as would many of the other rock and folk singers: Beach Boys, Little Richard, Jerry Lee, Dylan, Baez, etc. Elvis was controversial when he started. That was part of his excitement. I don't know how he could have created the controversy. Perhaps he would have found a way. He WAS excellently creative!! But it would have been a different type of Elvis, not the one we know and love. Goodness, this was just before the beginning of disco!! Would it have been Elvis strolling down the street with paint cans in his hands, swinging around to stare at pretty girls as they passed? E dressing in silk shirts and zipping up polyester pants? Well, maybe. Then the era would definitely NOT be disco, but an Elvis-type music.........smooth, powerful, fast, sexy!! Maybe........
sue

Mon Jan 09, 2006 9:48 am

Just think..... this could be Elvis.

Image

Mon Jan 09, 2006 10:00 am

likethebike wrote: so much of what Elvis did in the 1970s was rooted in all that had come before.
Exactly. The excellent FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS and ELVIS COUNTRY albums are NOT definitive Soul or Country/Rock statements of the time. They are extraordinary achievements for Elvis only and rightfully gave Elvis the respect he had lost with the sub par material(very long list) he had recorded save for the bonus songs used as fillers.IMO.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:12 am

I would say that "From Elvis in Memphis" is the definitive blue eyed soul album. It far outstrips Dusty Springfield's Memphis album which is really a straight ahead pop album with "Son of a Preacher Man" and some minor soul touches. Acts like the Box Tops, the Rascals, the Righteous Brothers, Hall and Oates, Roy Head, the Four Seasons etc. never made an album as deep as or coherent as "FEIM". Plus, there is a passionate desperate quality to the music that makes it stand out.

I also think a good argument could be made for "Elvis Country" as the greatest country rock album although the Band's "Music from Big Pink" and "The Band" are probably better and were certainly more influential. However, compared to the rest of the field "Elvis Country" stands tall. The much ballyhooed "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" is almost a straight country album and Gram Parsons' solo albums "G.P." and "Grievous Angel" also come up a little short in the rock part of the equation. (Sorry kids never got to the Flying Burrito Brothers.) Rick Nelson's "In Concert" and "Rudy the Fifth" get close to the aesthetic but Elvis' album has more consistency and soulful edge. I would say the same about the Buffalo Springfield stuff.

Actually the basic invention of country rock with Jerry Reed is one of Elvis' later innovations he never gets credit for. "Guitar Man" and "Big Boss Man" set the template for country with a rock sense of aggression before the phrase country rock even came into existence.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:14 am

Silver- In regards to lost innocence how come Viet Nam made us lose everyone lose their innocence when the Holocaust and dropping an atomic bomb did not? Just busting your chops. Everyone is always on about this loss of innocence when in reality we lose it once a week.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:24 am

holy sh*t! if Elvis only had started in 69, who would've taken his place as King of Rocknroll, and changed music forever?! take away Elvis from the 50s till 69, and music would probably not have been changed. interesting

Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:38 am

I do not put Elvis in a blue eyed soul category. He had soul (Black and white). American Beauty from 1970 by the Grateful Dead is the definitive Country Rock album for me. Just like MACCA has had some solo masterpieces with Band On The Run and Tug Of War (5 stars Rolling Stone magazine 1982) It was not definitive in pop/rock field. The same I think of Elvis aforementioned albums. For me the only definitive work Elvis did was with Sun. And with this work that helped define the latter half of the 20th century POP music is not bad at all.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 1:20 pm

likethebike wrote:Silver- In regards to lost innocence how come Viet Nam made us lose everyone lose their innocence when the Holocaust and dropping an atomic bomb did not? Just busting your chops. Everyone is always on about this loss of innocence when in reality we lose it once a week.


I don't know. In the 50s, though, people acted very prim and proper (see programs like Beaver and Lucy and Andy Griffith). After Viet Nam, people were using the f-word (which I never heard until I was about 12). I also think that the people weren't protesting WWII. Everyone was together in it (well, the citizens thrown into relocation camps.... well, I guess they were together in it too, because they joined and fought in the war. Some of them even volunteered.) Innocence lost is a very common reality, unfortunately. Guess I try to hang onto it for the kiddies! And, it's a losing battle!!!

And, Rob, Elvis would have looked much cooler than Travolta!!
sue

Mon Jan 09, 2006 2:33 pm

It's a tough thing because you really have to take his work as whole. Still, I would argue passionately that this work is more than a footnote. The '68 TV show for example was what changed someone like Greil Marcus from fan into fanatic. It's powerful music on its own.

I'm just kidding with you Silver. Perhaps what people mean when they say lost innocence they mean the mainstream audience is a little more sophisticated now or maybe less sentimental. I think it's an overused phrase though. I've heard it in connection with everything from the OJ Simpson to Kennedy's assassination to 9/11. I don't know if the world has ever been a Garden of Eden but I do know that the challenges that faced the Depression and WWII generation were greater than or equal those that faced their children.

Mon Jan 09, 2006 4:06 pm

likethebike wrote:It's a tough thing because you really have to take his work as whole.The '68 TV show for example was what changed someone like Greil Marcus from fan into fanatic. It's powerful music on its own.
Yes.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:34 am

JLGB wrote: For me the only definitive work Elvis did was with Sun. And with this work that helped define the latter half of the 20th century POP music is not bad at all.


I'm a bit tired of the Sun period repeatedly being held up as a sacred cow. It was with the RCA stuff of 56-57 that Elvis set the world on fire!

Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:37 am

Pete Dube wrote:
JLGB wrote: For me the only definitive work Elvis did was with Sun. And with this work that helped define the latter half of the 20th century POP music is not bad at all.


I'm a bit tired of the Sun period repeatedly being held up as a sacred cow. It was with the RCA stuff of 56-57 that Elvis set the world on fire!
True, but he started playing with matches in 1954.

Tue Jan 10, 2006 8:44 pm

JLGB wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:
JLGB wrote: For me the only definitive work Elvis did was with Sun. And with this work that helped define the latter half of the 20th century POP music is not bad at all.


I'm a bit tired of the Sun period repeatedly being held up as a sacred cow. It was with the RCA stuff of 56-57 that Elvis set the world on fire!
True, but he started playing with matches in 1954.


But that still doesn't change the undeniable fact that it was with the 56-57 RCA stuff that he became the king of rock&roll and an international phenomenon. The singles Heartbreak Hotel; Hound Dog; Don't Be Cruel; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear; Jailhouse Rock; the albums Elvis Presely; Elvis; Loving You; and the JR ep is what his legendary 50's status is primarily based upon. The Sun stuff put him in position, but it's the RCA stuff that launched him into the stratosphere!