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Liner notes in Close Up

Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:04 pm

The 1972 performance is noted as "one of his last great sessions."

They also say that "Elvis would tour another five years..the voice that once enthralled us began to falter.."

Why is RCA/BMG or Colin Escott embarassed by anything after Aloha?

Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:27 pm

My theory on this is that BMG employ someone to write the sleeve-notes (normally Colin Escott these days) and they trust his judgement, rather than checking through the article to see if there are any comments that they consider unfavourable.
It would be difficult to argue that Elvis’ live act improved following the Aloha special, but the sleeve-notes could have referred exclusively to the 1972 performance, rather than drawing comparisms with what was to follow.

Unfortunately, I’ve neither heard the box or read the sleeve-notes yet, as the release date has been delayed for another week here in the UK.

Mon Jul 07, 2003 9:44 pm

woodleyjohn wrote:Unfortunately, I’ve neither heard the box or read the sleeve-notes yet, as the release date has been delayed for another week here in the UK.

Not at all. I got mine last Friday from an independent record shop.[/quote]

Thanks for the information John,

I pre-ordered from Amazon and was originally told that the box was due today. I checked back yesterday, and the release date had been changed to the 14th, but now it says that delivery can be expected between the 8th and the 9th, so it looks like I might get my copy this week after all.

Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:16 pm

I received mine from Elvis records by mail in Norwich last wednesday as well.


Mon Jul 07, 2003 10:52 pm

You seem to suggest that RCA should censor any possible adverse Elvis comment.


Isn't it refreshing to have liner notes that offer informed opinion rather that pure PR hyperbole.

Unhappily RElvis voice did falter from 1973 onwards and I am sure the he (Elvis) would be the first to admit it :!:

Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:03 pm

You're absolutely's one of those arguments I like to have when I get in a certain mood. There have been times when I feel that RCA really thought Elvis died in 1973. I guess I just don't want negative stuff about Elvis inside an official Elvis release even though it was politically and properly (not to mention truthful for the most part) put.

His 1972 voice kicks ass. I love his voice in 68-70, but there is something about the 1972 tour that has a total energy to it; even more than the 69 shows in Vegas (IMO).

Mon Jul 07, 2003 11:11 pm

I think it adds to the credibility of the notes for the liner notes to at least acknowledge the negatives even if I don't always agree with the assessment. I'm sure Escott probably had it in his deal that he would call a spade a spade. It's worth noting that in the "Elvis Aron Presley" notes he bent over backwards to be semi-positive to "The Paradise Hawaiian Style" songs calling them "not great".

I'm not sure I agree with Escott's contention about the voice. The voice itself remained thrilling in many ways. It sounds great on "Today" and the December '73 sessions. Where Elvis faltered, I think, was in his commitment to live performance and recording.

Tue Jul 08, 2003 12:12 am

Yes it all seem to come together concert wise in 1972. You get the feeling that Elvis was really enjoying himself.

Wed Jul 09, 2003 1:55 pm

Hi all!

Live, personally I think Elvis was at his best in August 1970.
His voice was tremendous, his stage act absolutely fantastic, and the song repertoire was outstanding, mingling both classics and newer material.

I agree that Elvis live in 1972 ALSO is a great experience, but even if he managed to renew his song repertoire and sung with passion and heart, there was indications that climax already had been reached.

By all means; I LOVE the Madison Square Garden performances and the On Tour stuff, but I prefer August 1970 if I have to choose.


Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:35 pm

Elvis "Close Up"
Page 45 - last paragraph
liner notes: Colin Escott

Elvis would tour for another five years. By common assent, the voice that once enthralled us began to falter. In a business made up for the greater part of tragedies, it was a tragedy on an epic scale. Here, though, we have Elvis during one of his last great seasons. His voice still had the litheness we will always remember, and he seemed able to exercise effortless control. The audience's reaction gives a sense of the impact he had during this era. It was, in short, Elvis triumphant.

When you read the entire paragraph in context, it is written quite well.

Wed Jul 09, 2003 5:45 pm

is it so that "By common assent, the voice that once enthralled us began to falter" after 72?

I have heard about weight problems, commitment in concerts and material but the voice getting worst after 72 is new to me.

question is: is it really a common assent that after 72 his voice begins to falter?

Wed Jul 09, 2003 9:28 pm

It was not until 1976 that his voice began to falter. In the summer of 1975 he was still singing great (listen to "You´ll never walk alone", for example) but starting in March 76 he sounds strained, tired and often out of breath. A condition that just got worse throughout the year, apart from a few great shows. Some people say his voice just got better and better, and that his singing was magnificent in "Elvis In Concert". That just isn´t true. He still had power ("How great thou art"), but he had also lost some of his vocal range. And of course, his general health would have affected his voice, just as it affected everything else. In 1972 he was still in good health, even if his drug use had begun to escalate.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 2:24 am

A better assessment would be to say that Elvis' singing voice became very inconsistent after 1972. There are shows in 1973 where the committment, focus and power are lacking, and this would remain a problem until the end. The last 18 months were really awful at times, so bad that sound engineer Bill Porter made private cassette recordings to verify later what he felt at the time were unbelieveably poor performances.

Thu Jul 10, 2003 9:58 am

I would agree that Elvis' singing voice was inconsistent post 1972,
but I don't think it was the case that the voice was no longer there or as capable as it had always been.
Due to a combination of a serious lack of interest (at times) and an abuse of prescription medication,
Elvis' singing voice and overall performance would falter.
Had those two issues been resolved, I believe Elvis' singing voice could have returned to form pre-1972.

Elvis' voice post '72

Thu Jul 10, 2003 12:12 pm

Like others I think it would most correct to say he was unfocused at times He gave a magnificent performance of "How Great Thou Art" in both 1975 (Just Pretend-cd) and in 1977 (In Concert). And what about "Hurt"? When he was in to it it was completely astonishing. It really makes my hair rise...

Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:37 pm

I think it is unfair to discount everything after 1972 the way that Escott did in the liner notes. There were unfoucsed shows before 72 (Boston 71), and after. However, there are some 74 shows that I consider to be FAR superior to the 72 on tour shows (8/19/74, and Memphis 74). Also, while Elvis was more inconsistent ,generally doing throwaway versions of his old songs (more than likely one loses passion for "all shook up" after singing it for the millionth time) I feel that after 72 he gave more impressive displays of what he could do, and tested his limits on some songs like How Great Thou Art, Hurt, Rags To Riches from Pitts., and You'll Never Walk Alone from NY. among other songs. I think people who would criticize Elvis in 76 and 77 should have some sympathy and respect for the turbulent period of his life that time period was. [/img]