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Fool, Now & Love letters.

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:38 pm

I was wondering how people feel about these albums, I've kind of ignored them up till now as I saw them as the poor cousin of Elvis albums. I suppose not getting a 90's rerelease like Country, FEIM, EIB, etc. Means that RCA do as well, I'm really enjoying them but I feel that Elvis' diversity works against him here as the albums aren't very cohesive.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:48 pm

Elvis Now is a terrible album, but I love the first side of Love Letters, and Fool has a lot of really great stuff on it (the piano tracks, Don't Think Twice). I think the weakest tracks on these albums tends to colour perceptions of them (Life, etc.). Of course, I happen to love Padre and Only Believe, so what do I know.

Fool, Now & Love letters.

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:52 pm

Love the Elvis FTD LOVE LETTERS. NOW is great on a recent remaster version. The FOOL FTD is an interesting release too.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:00 am

chop983 wrote:I was wondering how people feel about these albums, I've kind of ignored them up till now as I saw them as the poor cousin of Elvis albums. I suppose not getting a 90's rerelease like Country, FEIM, EIB, etc. Means that RCA do as well, I'm really enjoying them but I feel that Elvis' diversity works against him here as the albums aren't very cohesive.


Fool and Now got Elvis in the 90s releases, although Love Letters was released on CD a couple of years before that (although why, heaven knows).

Love Letters is a weird concoction, held together by the strange overdubs that make it sound like lift/elevator music. The tracks here certainly have different overdub arrangements to them than other songs from the same sessions. On the plus side, Elvis was in fine voice in June 1970, and clearly having fun in the studio - but that doesn't excuse the likes of Heart of Rome, Only Believe and Life.

Elvis Now is a decidedly mediocre mopping up exercise. Hey Jude should never have been released, and I have never liked the mix of secular and sacred that we get on albums such as this. Miracle of the Rosary in particular has no place on a "regular" album. Like most Elvis albums of the 70s, there are some songs with merit (most notably Early Mornin' Rain and I Was About 10,000 Years Ago). Sylvia is a predictable little song, but Elvis sings the hell out of it. We Can Make the Morning could have worked, but is too ragged, and Elvis has no clue how to approach Until It's Time For You To Go. He goes at it with an over-the-top arrangement and a less-that-subtle vocal.

Fool certainly has the best and worst moments - Love Me, Love The Life I Lead and Padre might have worked if Elvis was in better voice, but the masters we have are painful as he yells and oversings. The opening track is hardly a masterwork either - it's such a dull song. But the piano songs are lovely, For Lovin' Me is brilliantly done, and It's Impossible isn't to my taste - but it's difficult to imagine it being done better. Don't Think Twice was butchered down to less than three minutes for no apparent reason. It's a wonderful example of Elvis getting lost in the music, but the edit here does it no favours at all.

In the end, these albums are what they are: leftovers. As with all leftovers, sometimes they taste good when you finally get to them, and sometimes you know they should have gone in the trash straight after the main course was served.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:02 am

chop983 wrote:Fool, Now & Love letters.


I like them all but they are weak compared to other 70s albums,and they have some tracks I really dislike (Padre is one)
However Raised On Rock are the worst of the albums from that decade IMO

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:21 am

The albums are what thy are. I can enjoy each of them if I'm in the mood. A mix of religion and secular never bothered me.
The FTD versions "improved" each one. They are the versions I listen to.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:44 am

One good 12-14 track LP could be made from the 3 (especially if one included "I'm Leavin'").

Love Letters From Elvis was my first letdown after the fantastic 1968-1970 period, even though recorded at the same sessions as one of my favorite LPs, Elvis Country, I certainly did not know that at the time.

After I bought Elvis Now, (and having all LPs up through that one) I gave up on Elvis for a long time. My best friend's brother had all those LPs from Fool through Today, and whenever I heard anything off them, I felt my giving up was well justified (and still do). I finally bought From EP Boulevard when it came out (don't remember what compelled me) and Moody Blue just before he died. After he died I went back and filled my collection between Elvis Now and EP Boulevard. I did manage to buy a few singles, Where Did They Go Lord, Burning Love and Always On My Mind.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:18 am

And we wonder why Elvis grew more and more reluctant to record for RCA. He was given mostly crap, and they insisted on issuing every last bit of it.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:24 am

Well, yes. The material could have been handled better/differently. But in the end he died at the age of 42, and it all would have been released any way.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:31 am

elvisjock wrote:And we wonder why Elvis grew more and more reluctant to record for RCA. He was given mostly crap, and they insisted on issuing every last bit of it.


He wasn't given crap - he had the decision of what to record, and did so when he made the country album and during the Memphis sessions of 1969. But Elvis refused to take control of his career, and refused to fight for better material. That was his problem, not RCAs. It wasn't their fault that publishing was such an issue. And we should remember that Elvis was drawn to big ballads such as Love Me Love the Life I Lead and We Can Make the Morning. Padre was one of his favourite songs. These would have been far more palatable had he recorded them at a session where he was firing on all cylinders and was in good voice. May 1971 found him in neither the mood or the voice. By that point, however, he was seemingly uninterested in what got released on albums and when and how. If the artist refuses to be involved, then stuff is just going to get churned out without a thought.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 3:43 am

I have always liked the Love Letters from Elvis album. It is a nice collection of songs and makes a good release for 1971. I have always liked Elvis' performance on Heart of Rome, but "Life" is a strange release.

The Now album is, IMHO, a weak album. Elvis has good performances on Early Morning Rain, We Can Make the Morning, Sylvia, and Until It's Time for You to Go. I think the album suffers from Hey Jude and I Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago.

I have always felt the so-called Fool album is strange at best. Some on the material I do like. However, as a follow-up album to the Aloha concert and album, this is not a wise release. Following the success of Aloha, a fresh studio album might have been received well by the public and been a commercial success. The "Fool" album reflects unwise professional judgment.

The three aforementioned albums received good treatment from FTD and I have them in my collection. However, I still listen to Love Letters, once in a while Now, and hardly ever visit the Fool album. Regrettably Elvis management didn't seem to supply him with good material after 1970.

rlj

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:17 am

I think Padre, as a song, is about as worthy as Fountain Of Love, from 1962. The latter song is a treat because of Elvis' wonderful vocals and the former is hard to listen to due to poor vocals.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:28 am

poormadpeter wrote:
elvisjock wrote:And we wonder why Elvis grew more and more reluctant to record for RCA. He was given mostly crap, and they insisted on issuing every last bit of it.


He wasn't given crap - he had the decision of what to record, and did so when he made the country album and during the Memphis sessions of 1969. But Elvis refused to take control of his career, and refused to fight for better material. That was his problem, not RCAs. It wasn't their fault that publishing was such an issue. And we should remember that Elvis was drawn to big ballads such as Love Me Love the Life I Lead and We Can Make the Morning. Padre was one of his favourite songs. These would have been far more palatable had he recorded them at a session where he was firing on all cylinders and was in good voice. May 1971 found him in neither the mood or the voice. By that point, however, he was seemingly uninterested in what got released on albums and when and how. If the artist refuses to be involved, then stuff is just going to get churned out without a thought.

Elvis was given a lot of crap to record as the 70s progressed. There is no parallel between the circumstances behind the material presented to him during 1969 and presented to him during 1973. Everyone involved (Elvis, Tom Parker, RCA, Felton Jarvis, etc) played a role in the outcome. While one can make the hypothetical argument that Elvis "refused" to fight for better material, certainly RCA could have demanded that Elvis record better material and refused to accept delivery of albums like Raised On Rock and Love Letters. Certainly Felton Jarvis could have told Elvis that the material coming into the sessions was substandard. And of course, Tom Parker arguably is responsible for most of went wrong considering he orchestrated the entire recording process from establishing the publishing arrangement, dividing and conquering when it came to Elvis working with creative collaborators like Binder and Moman, and controlling and manipulating RCA. But to assert Elvis was not given crap suggests you are either very misinformed, or you are making excuses for the material and the source of the material. Either way, the assertion that Elvis was not given crap to record is erroneous.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:36 am

From what I understand, Felton thought the material was a gas.

Seriously, Elvis knew crap when he heard it and should have refused much of it. Unfortunately, he only wanted to get in and get out of the studio as quickly as possible. He was happy to accomplish the minimum required. He just didn't seem to want to take control of his own career anymore.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:41 am

I agree with what poormadpeter stated, but I still love these LP's. There's a sentiment I have for these every time they get a spin.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:25 am

I don't think that Love Letters, Now or the Fool album are necessarily poor albums, although they're not particularly good and aren't very memorable. They're also incoherent, and in the worst possible way, given the overall tone and quality of the material varies quite wildly. But a truly abysmal album would have no redeeming qualities whatsoever; and despite all that's wrong with these albums, both in how they came to exist and what they represent, there are some good recordings to be found. That doesn't make them essential or any more enticing than they already are - or have been for over forty years -although it has to be said that FTD have made these albums significantly more interesting and worthwhile in expanding them for their Classic Albums series. But as they were originally released, one can very much sense a record company picking at scraps, allowing standards to slip and being unchallenged in doing so by a singer whose better artistry isn't well represented here. Unfortunately, this can, and does, happen. And with agreements made to release a certain amount of albums each year, RCA weren't going to pay Elvis for nothing. They had material in the can that was lying dormant and knew it would sell regardless of any artistic vision, critical drubbing and a complete lack of posterity. But this didn't just happen once, it happened again-and-again, which is quite incredible when Elvis was able to achieve so much more and demand better. Or at least take the initiative to express any discontent to RCA. But that's not how Elvis seemed to operate, particularly with a manager like Tom Parker. But what of the actual albums?

Love Letters from Elvis had a lot to live up to following Elvis Country, which was surely one of the best and most coherent albums of Elvis's career. However, the fresh-sounding and contemporary feel of Elvis Country, which was an unqualified success, gives way to a flimsy notion that stops at the album title and a very humdrum second recording of the song Love Letters. Elvis's previous recording of Love Letters is quite lovely, often impassioned and nicely arranged. His tone, phrasing and involvement in the song made it quietly charming the first time around. Second time, the charm is gone and in its place is a more laden arrangement and Elvis sounding disengaged. Not entirely, as this isn't a bad version of the song. But it's very perfunctory sounding. When I'm Over You is brighter, although it's a song that lacks distinction and Elvis, in contrast to Love Letters, tries to wring more out of this song than it possibly has to offer. Furthermore, any ideas of a theme that may be present on this album are all but gone by the time If I Were You is underway. Elvis sings this unusual song quite well and does so with ease, good diction and bravura in check. The arrangement offers some nice flourishes, with an appealing piano intro, reserved drumming and a good use of strings. The guitar licks are a bit fussy and the song may not warrant deeper thought on the lyrical content, but this is an affable enough track that won't linger. But isn't bad.

Much better is Got My Mojo Working, which is the complete antithesis of every other track on the album. This is to Love Letters from Elvis what Merry Christmas Baby is to The Wonderful World of Christmas. And that's Elvis wholly unfettered, singing for pleasure and being captured on tape in the kind of raw, slightly unhinged manner that suggests he's having a very good time. Heart of Rome barely registers in comparison. Although Elvis is completely engaged in a song that's so far removed from the top drawer as to be tantamount to a musical lost sock that's somewhere under the bed. But the drumming is good.

Only Believe is better, and although Elvis sings with conviction, this is the kind of inspirational song that he could sing with so much ease. There's a gentle swing to the arrangement that I like and the lyrics are lilting and sincere, if not exactly profound. But this would have been much more at home on a good gospel album. This is Our Dance is another song that's fairly well done, although it's not nearly the best of its kind, and probably owes a debt to The Last Waltz, which was one of Engelbert Humperdinck's biggest hits. Elvis sings well and is afforded an appealing arrangement that does wonders with a good, but not entirely distinct song. Although I've always found the opening verse a bit clunky, and feel that it's redeemed more by the waltz timing than the lyrics or Elvis's performance. Cindy, Cindy is quite atrocious by comparison. I've never liked Elvis's version of this song. Which he attacks and gnaws at almost incoherently at times, whether with complete disregard or the notion of making more out of a song that's little more than a country ditty. Musically, there's some good guitar work in the song's middle section, but I've always found Elvis's Cindy, Cindy to be one of his most charmless recording of the seventies.

I'll Never Know is much more appealing to my ears. Elvis sings quite beautifully here. Although the material still isn't of a high standard, this whimsical soliloquy is buoyed by Elvis's sincerity and wonderful phrasing. It Ain't No Big Thing (But it's Growing) must have raised a few smirks with that title, and whilst this is pleasant enough, it's little more despite Elvis singing well and the overall musicianship being great. The vocal harmonies from the female singers are also nice, but nice is about as right as a summation of this song. Life, on the other hand, is just dumbfounding. Although the musical intro is quite unique, and invites some curiosity until the opening verse lands with a thud. Elvis, again, sounds sincere, but this is way off the mark regardless of what ambition or point may have been present.

Elvis Now suggests something contemporary, or reflective of Elvis's musical direction and artistry in 1972, when this album was released. And although there's a flavour of such with regards to the type of folk and country songs found here, Elvis Now is too uneven, incoherent and lacking of genuinely good material to be any more than the sum of its parts. Some of which are very good, although it takes more than a few tracks to get there. Help Me Make it Through the Night is indicative of the kind of songs Elvis wanted to record in the early seventies, and although this was covered frequently at the time, it's choice material. Unfortunately, Elvis and the arrangement are too heavy-handed with a song that requires a more delicate touch. Which is disheartening, because Elvis was able to do so much more with this song -- perhaps alone at the piano or with a pared down arrangement. The Miracle of the Rosary is jarring by comparison, as Elvis Now stumbles from contemporary country to a prayer that's undertook with the utmost conviction. However, Elvis, once again, completely misjudges the material and is too heavy-handed with intimate, reflective words of prayer that don't translate under a gospel style. Hey Jude continues to muddle the tone of an album that's, by now, quite obviously thrown together with little thought or design. And although Hey Jude may not have have been meant for release, it's about as appropriate on Elvis Now as any other track. Not that it's reflective of Elvis at his best, although he sings in a curiously high key that's just out of his comfort zone. Which makes Hey Jude more a curio than anything of genuine interest, or a match for The Beatles' original recording.

Put Your Hand in the Hand once again drops in as if chosen at random. This contemporary gospel rocker would have been better kept for He Touched Me, because it's pretty good and deserves to be among songs of a similar nature. The drumming is terrific here and the song opens into a canter that doesn't slow. Elvis sing well and stays true to the lyric and right on top of a great rhythm section. It's one of the surprises of this album. Until It's Time For You to Go works despite Elvis misjudging the lyrics and an arrangement that's more full-on than the song requires. But it's robust enough to cope with Elvis's approach and isn't bereft of tenderness despite being on the cusp of audible profusion.

But if Until It's Time For You to Go is on the cusp, We Can Make the Morning is over the edge. Although this nondescript song starts slowly and with some care, it soon careens towards the kind of blathering bombast that Elvis fostered a growing penchant for. Early Mornin' Rain is much better and is probably the most memorable track on Elvis Now. The arrangement is bright, brisk and very involving, and Elvis catches more than a flavour of that with a good vocal performance. Which seems reserved, but is more contained and well-measured than held back. This is a bit of a gem and should be better known and allowed to find a place outside of Elvis Now. In almost stark contrast, Sylvia is heavy-going to my sensibilities, although I can appreciate anyone liking the verve and forceful nature of Elvis's delivery. And if it's over-baked, the lyric asks for little more, particularly with an arrangement that's quite crass and not entirely in sync with Elvis. Who is threatening to go full-pelt regardless.

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread) is one of the very best songs Elvis recorded in the seventies, which makes it a bit of a shame about his approach here. Which is breezy, but insubstantial and seems less concerned with the lyric than finding a groove. Ricky Nelson's hit version of the song may have been in mind when Elvis recorded this Johnny Mercer standard, but it's Frank Sinatra's exceptional 1940 recording with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra that's my favourite.

I Was Born About Ten Thousand Years Ago may be the source of some dispute over its inclusion, in snippets, throughout Elvis Country. Heard in its own right, this biblical lyric met with a country-style arrangement works very well, with Elvis sounding enthused, engaged and riding the crest of some great musicianship. Under closer scrutiny, the lyric isn't particularly deep or profound, but it's descriptive and resonant enough to catch a spark that may not glow to a flame, but burns bright for a couple of minutes.

The Fool album starts, appropriately enough, with the title track. Which is no great shakes and doesn't find Elvis at his very best, vocally. The arrangement is generally good, as are the vocal harmonies, but Fool never really amounts to much. Where Do I Go From Here suffers a similar fate, particularly when the lyric and Elvis's delivery are occasionally clumsy. A good arrangement helps, but the harmonies are too cloying and the song loses its way in hackneyed verses that run to an insipid fade. Love Me, Love the Life I Lead is no better, particularly when Elvis can't find the right mood for a song built on a hook that's begging for a voluminous approach. And in the worst possible way . . .

It's Still Here is much better, although best heard along with I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen and I Will Be True in their purest form. Three lovely songs which Elvis sings with affectionate care and attention, and nice self-accompaniment on the piano. An entire album of this kind would surely have been lovely. But here, these are diamonds in the rough. The general tone of the Fool album doesn't waver as much as Love Letters or Now, even with the inclusion of a live recording that's very good, but out of place. Elvis doesn't match Perry Como with his version of It's Impossible, but he sings with splendid diction and delicate touches that ring affectionately true.

(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me would surely have been better placed alongside similar material spread across Love Letters and Now. It's a fine song that finds an irresistible groove in a truly wonderful recording. Elvis is on ace form and both he and his musicians are relishing this material with some zest. But he can do nothing with Padre, which is second-rate, and then some. At times, Elvis seems to either appreciate this, or is amused at the quasi-operatic trills he tries to incorporate. And even in its most truncated, least-appealing form, Don't Think Twice, It's Alright, boasts the kind of ebullient verve that often found Elvis making his best music. That he doesn't know the words means little. This is all about feeling the music and enjoying the groove. Something that was repressed in Elvis at some point along the way, and isn't fully appreciable in detritus albums necessitated by obligation and lacking artistic input or integrity.
Last edited by Greystoke on Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 7:49 am

I can't say that I really get the argument that these albums were incoherent - and by that, I should say that, yes, they ARE incoherent, but so were pretty much all of Elvis' albums. The notable exceptions are some of the soundtracks (Harum Scarum, Frankie & Johnny, etc.), the gospel albums, and the odd studio album (Something For Everybody and Elvis Country come to mind). The rest are pretty much haphazardly assembled - I suppose you can argue that Elvis Presley, FEIM, etc. are held together by their overall quality rather than any overarching theme, but I think that that sort of dodges the issue of whether or not they succeed as "albums" as opposed to "mere" collections of songs. Honestly, I think that From EP Boulevard is more "coherent" than any of Elvis' more acclaimed albums; it has a consistent mood and sound, regardless of what you think of the material or any of the individual tracks.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:28 am

skatterbrane wrote:One good 12-14 track LP could be made from the 3 (especially if one included "I'm Leavin'").

Love Letters From Elvis was my first letdown after the fantastic 1968-1970 period, even though recorded at the same sessions as one of my favorite LPs, Elvis Country, I certainly did not know that at the time.

After I bought Elvis Now, (and having all LPs up through that one) I gave up on Elvis for a long time. My best friend's brother had all those LPs from Fool through Today, and whenever I heard anything off them, I felt my giving up was well justified (and still do). I finally bought From EP Boulevard when it came out (don't remember what compelled me) and Moody Blue just before he died. After he died I went back and filled my collection between Elvis Now and EP Boulevard. I did manage to buy a few singles, Where Did They Go Lord, Burning Love and Always On My Mind.


Interesting memories, I can imagine being disappointed BIGSTYLE with Love Letters at the the time.

I made my own very enjoyable compilations (mostly non-masters) from these periods since being a fan, so I have no experience or attachment to the original albums, I can only see all three albums as horrible mistakes from the past. But they're from Elvis studio eras that still have much merit for me (ignoring the earlier Hey Jude obviously).

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 10:25 am

Greystoke wrote: However, the fresh-sounding and contemporary feel of Elvis Country, which was an unqualified success, gives way to a flimsy notion that stops at the album title and a very humdrum second recording of the song Love Letters. Elvis's previous recording of Love Letters is quite lovely, often impassioned and nicely arranged. His tone, phrasing and involvement in the song made it quietly charming the first time around. Second time, the charm is gone and in its place is a more laden arrangement and Elvis sounding disengaged. Not entirely, as this isn't a bad version of the song. But it's very perfunctory sounding.

I would have to disagree. The second version of "Love Letters" Is sung with much more depth and feeling. The way he sustains the last word of each verse "..each word that you si-ai-a-I--I-I-I--iii-n" is magical, and is something a lot of artists would never dare to try. It also shows just how deep he was into recording this remake, as compared to the pale original; And what made it worthy as title cut above the rest.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:32 am

I actually really like "Love Letters from Elvis". All three of the albums that derive from the June 1970 sessions are favourites of mine and I never understood the bashing this one gets.

"heart of rome" is extremely catchy and well sung, "got My Mojo Workin'" is a hoot. "Cindy Cindy" is a fine arrangement, quite ballsy in comparison with other artistes interpretations and I adore "it Ain't no Big Thing" which would have been better on "Elvis Country".

"When I'm Over You" is pleasant if not great, but "I'll Never Know" is beautiful in every respect. I allo love the vocal and arrangement of "If i Were You". The remake of "Love Letters" is great - not as sweet as the 1966 cut - but certainly more contemporary and Elvis is in fine voice. "life" I don't dig. The tune and performance are fine but the lyrics are weird.

I think it's a very enjoyable album.

"Elvis including Fool" sounds like a leftover album on the other hand. I do love "It's Still Here", "For Lovin' Me" and some of the others but it's a slow burner generally. Too short and the editing on "it's Still Here", "Fool" and "Don't Think Twice" are not necessary. Well, sure, the latter needed SOME editing, but the fade in option doesn't work. The edit on Our Memories of Elvis Vol 2 with the newly created intro is the go to version.

I also really enjoy most of "Elvis Now". The opening track, "help Me Make It Through the Night" is my favourite ever version by anyone. Love the tone of voice here.

"put Your Hand In The Hand" is an enjoyable workout as is the jubilee number "i Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago" which is nice to hear as a full song.

"Early Morning Rain" is sublime - one of his finest 70s recordings. I LOVE "We Can Make The Morning" which is quite an unusual Elvis song. Sure, there's some crap on there like the awful "miracle of The Rosary" which belongs - er - nowhere. But Plenty of the other tracks are good and I love the cover shot.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 11:55 am

Swingin-Little-Guitar-Man wrote:I actually really like "Love Letters from Elvis". All three of the albums that derive from the June 1970 sessions are favourites of mine and I never understood the bashing this one gets.

"heart of rome" is extremely catchy and well sung, "got My Mojo Workin'" is a hoot. "Cindy Cindy" is a fine arrangement, quite ballsy in comparison with other artistes interpretations and I adore "it Ain't no Big Thing" which would have been better on "Elvis Country".

"When I'm Over You" is pleasant if not great, but "I'll Never Know" is beautiful in every respect. I allo love the vocal and arrangement of "If i Were You". The remake of "Love Letters" is great - not as sweet as the 1966 cut - but certainly more contemporary and Elvis is in fine voice. "life" I don't dig. The tune and performance are fine but the lyrics are weird.

I think it's a very enjoyable album.

"Elvis including Fool" sounds like a leftover album on the other hand. I do love "It's Still Here", "For Lovin' Me" and some of the others but it's a slow burner generally. Too short and the editing on "it's Still Here", "Fool" and "Don't Think Twice" are not necessary. Well, sure, the latter needed SOME editing, but the fade in option doesn't work. The edit on Our Memories of Elvis Vol 2 with the newly created intro is the go to version.

I also really enjoy most of "Elvis Now". The opening track, "help Me Make It Through the Night" is my favourite ever version by anyone. Love the tone of voice here.

"put Your Hand In The Hand" is an enjoyable workout as is the jubilee number "i Was Born About 10,000 Years Ago" which is nice to hear as a full song.

"Early Morning Rain" is sublime - one of his finest 70s recordings. I LOVE "We Can Make The Morning" which is quite an unusual Elvis song. Sure, there's some crap on there like the awful "miracle of The Rosary" which belongs - er - nowhere. But Plenty of the other tracks are good and I love the cover shot.

Excellent post!

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 1:35 pm

This is one great thing in this forum: there are so many different points of view regarding one or another subject. I like better the Love Letters 1966 version but I respect a lot promiseland's opinion.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:40 pm

Let's just say that time has not been kind to those albums. When they came out I was a relatively new fan, and I played them a lot. And why wouldn't I? They were the latest offerings from somebody that I was absolutely nuts about. Then, to be honest, I probably didn't play any of them for a couple of decades - maybe even until I got their FTD versions - but each time I looked forward to revisiting old favourites. I was sadly disappointed. Yes, there are highlights. And even some of the lowlights will always remain favourites with me for various personal reasons, but it's best not to even attempt to be objective about albums like these because it'll only end in tears.

Although I must say that if you want to hear a truly distressing and painful album, none of these can hold a candle to He Touched Me. That truly was the nadir of his 1970s output.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 2:54 pm

Eggrert wrote:I can't say that I really get the argument that these albums were incoherent - and by that, I should say that, yes, they ARE incoherent, but so were pretty much all of Elvis' albums. The notable exceptions are some of the soundtracks (Harum Scarum, Frankie & Johnny, etc.), the gospel albums, and the odd studio album (Something For Everybody and Elvis Country come to mind). The rest are pretty much haphazardly assembled - I suppose you can argue that Elvis Presley, FEIM, etc. are held together by their overall quality rather than any overarching theme, but I think that that sort of dodges the issue of whether or not they succeed as "albums" as opposed to "mere" collections of songs. Honestly, I think that From EP Boulevard is more "coherent" than any of Elvis' more acclaimed albums; it has a consistent mood and sound, regardless of what you think of the material or any of the individual tracks.



I think that Elvis Now and Fool are incoherent not because the eclectic choice of genres and material but because of Elvis. I mean, Elvis is the only guy I know that sounded like 2 different singers in a matter of months. And that makes Elvis Now suffer a LOT. His voice on Hey Jude, Sylvia and Help Me Make It Through The Night is like night and day. And the style (musicians, engineering, mix) too. Something similar happened to Elvis For Everyone and even (to some extent) to his first album.

Re: Fool, Now & Love letters.

Mon Dec 15, 2014 4:34 pm

Love Letters being the best of the 3 albums, just goes to show how subpar the other 2 are. Elvis was still in fine voice in 1970, and even though the material is weak, his commitment to the songs on Love Letters shows. Although, I cannot understand why he re-recorded the title song. The 1966 version was good enough, but wasn't classic enough to warrant a redo. The other 2 albums had some moments, but 1 or 2 good songs do not make a good album, and the Fool album coming after the triumphant Aloha special may have been the worst career move of the 70's. As he was riding high, a fine studio album & strong single would have been just right at the time. This album let down a lot of people, and cost of a lot future albums sales to fall. I continued to buy them all, but must admit never really fully enjoyed or played repeatedly another Elvis album after Elvis Country.