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Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:56 am

We all know that Elvis got extremely bored on his old hits pretty much immediately after he started performing live again. On the '69 Vegas season he was still performing them with passion and energy (or, at least, was able to fake it well), but as soon as in August '70 he was half-assing Blue Suede Shoes, All Shook Up and especially Don't Be Cruel already. On the other hand, he remained performing Heartbreak Hotel and One Night relatively well (in general) throughout the rest of his career, and Hound Dog suddenly turned from OK to abysmal in '76, never regaining any of its energy back again.

However, what do you think - are there any truly consistent/focused/energetic performances of any of the old rock songs from '72 onwards, besides the Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes performances from Dallas '76? (That's All Right, Trying To Get To You and A Big Hunk O' Love are not included.)

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:46 pm

ElvisFan99 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:56 am wrote:We all know that Elvis got extremely bored on his old hits pretty much immediately after he started performing live again. On the '69 Vegas season he was still performing them with passion and energy (or, at least, was able to fake it well), but as soon as in August '70 he was half-assing Blue Suede Shoes, All Shook Up and especially Don't Be Cruel already. On the other hand, he remained performing Heartbreak Hotel and One Night relatively well (in general) throughout the rest of his career, and Hound Dog suddenly turned from OK to abysmal in '76, never regaining any of its energy back again.

However, what do you think - are there any truly consistent/focused/energetic performances of any of the old rock songs from '72 onwards, besides the Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes performances from Dallas '76? (That's All Right, Trying To Get To You and A Big Hunk O' Love are not included.)


The only 50s song I like done in the 70s is "Trying To Get To You"....that one was great even in 77.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:09 pm

I would say Little Sister was done well even in the later years, even though it isn't a 50s song, it is still an oldie to me.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:36 pm

LSP-4445 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 12:46 pm wrote:
ElvisFan99 on Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:56 am wrote:We all know that Elvis got extremely bored on his old hits pretty much immediately after he started performing live again. On the '69 Vegas season he was still performing them with passion and energy (or, at least, was able to fake it well), but as soon as in August '70 he was half-assing Blue Suede Shoes, All Shook Up and especially Don't Be Cruel already. On the other hand, he remained performing Heartbreak Hotel and One Night relatively well (in general) throughout the rest of his career, and Hound Dog suddenly turned from OK to abysmal in '76, never regaining any of its energy back again.

However, what do you think - are there any truly consistent/focused/energetic performances of any of the old rock songs from '72 onwards, besides the Jailhouse Rock and Blue Suede Shoes performances from Dallas '76? (That's All Right, Trying To Get To You and A Big Hunk O' Love are not included.)


The only 50s song I like done in the 70s is "Trying To Get To You"....that one was great even in 77.


I agree on the TTGTY song, but I would add "Lawdy Miss Clawdy"...

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:12 pm

My Baby Left Me..even done with passion in 1974..also..I think Thats All Right ..or Its Now Or Never...love those later versions....Mystery Train/Tiger Man also comes to my mind..

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:36 am

Ciscoking on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 am wrote:My Baby Left Me..even done with passion in 1974..also..I think Thats All Right ..or Its Now Or Never...love those later versions....Mystery Train/Tiger Man also comes to my mind..



Um, no.

Review the handful of 1974 recordings we have, then listen to the 1956 B-side. Only one has passion.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 2:42 am

None of them unfortunately, I think Elvis felt obligated to perform them and rushed through them.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:16 am

As I have stated before many times, it was perfectly normal for acts from the 1950s who were still recording new material in the 1970s to throwaway their old hits, bunch them together in medleys, or barely perform any of them at all.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:30 am

Delboy on Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:42 pm wrote:None of them unfortunately, I think Elvis felt obligated to perform them and rushed through them.


Agreed. Also, recall times he sang them while handing out scarves.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 4:14 am

After 1970, Elvis rarely performed any of his early classics with the attention they deserved. There were of course rare exceptions, but Elvis' dismissal of his own incredible catalogue during the 1970's is one of his greatest artistic tragedies.

While not a rock song, this 1960 era classic was well performed in front of the EOT cameras:

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:49 am

drjohncarpenter on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:36 am wrote:
Ciscoking on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 am wrote:My Baby Left Me..even done with passion in 1974..also..I think Thats All Right ..or Its Now Or Never...love those later versions....Mystery Train/Tiger Man also comes to my mind..



Um, no.



Um, yes.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:52 am

midnightx on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:14 am wrote:After 1970, Elvis rarely performed any of his early classics with the attention they deserved.


The only year with passionate performances of his oldies was 1969. Absolutely. Full 57 shows long.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:38 am

I like most performances of the 'oldies' up until November 1972. Up until that point they were sung at least decently. Starting from 1973 Elvis and me both grew tired of those songs (with a few exceptions already mentioned above) and, imo, he should have changed them by that point (with such a rich back catalogue he had a wealth of interesting songs to choose from). regarding the OP remark that 'Hound Dog' became pedestrian in 1976 I have to say I disagree. The 0:43 second version Elvis performed for world wide television on January 14th 1973 is probably one of the poorest versions he ever did of that song (and quite a deviation from the still decently performed slow/fast versions on the November '72 tour) and sadly it never became much better anymore after that (with that song).

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:04 pm

When it came to how Elvis viewed his early material, I always felt this line from Rick Nelson's «Garden Party» was quite fitting:

«But if memories were all I sang, I'd rather drive a truck.»

And this line, also from Rick's song, to me, summarizes the road he took, musically, in the 70s:

«You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself.»

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:01 pm

Ciscoking on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:52 am wrote:
midnightx on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:14 am wrote:After 1970, Elvis rarely performed any of his early classics with the attention they deserved.


The only year with passionate performances of his oldies was 1969. Absolutely. Full 57 shows long.


But even in 1969 it was clear he didnt know what to do with a song like Hound Dog.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:14 pm

poormadpeter2 on Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:01 pm wrote:
Ciscoking on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:52 am wrote:
midnightx on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:14 am wrote:After 1970, Elvis rarely performed any of his early classics with the attention they deserved.


The only year with passionate performances of his oldies was 1969. Absolutely. Full 57 shows long.


But even in 1969 it was clear he didnt know what to do with a song like Hound Dog.


Absolutely...but I didnt want to be too harsh..because...well..you know... :wink:

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:27 pm

Ciscoking on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:14 pm wrote:
poormadpeter2 on Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:01 pm wrote:
Ciscoking on Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:52 am wrote:
midnightx on Sun Oct 22, 2017 3:14 am wrote:After 1970, Elvis rarely performed any of his early classics with the attention they deserved.


The only year with passionate performances of his oldies was 1969. Absolutely. Full 57 shows long.


But even in 1969 it was clear he didnt know what to do with a song like Hound Dog.


Absolutely...but I didnt want to be too harsh..because...well..you know... :wink:
Exactly.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:07 pm

drjohncarpenter on Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:36 pm wrote:
Ciscoking on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 am wrote:My Baby Left Me..even done with passion in 1974..also..I think Thats All Right ..or Its Now Or Never...love those later versions....Mystery Train/Tiger Man also comes to my mind..



Um, no.

Review the handful of 1974 recordings we have, then listen to the 1956 B-side. Only one has passion.


I always thought he did a decent job on "My Baby Left Me" for the handful of times it was in his setlist in 1974. The FTD from Vegas in 74 where he sings it close to its original key is an inspired performance. He's clearly enjoying it.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:25 pm

MRM on Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:07 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:36 pm wrote:Um, no.

Review the handful of 1974 recordings we have, then listen to the 1956 B-side. Only one has passion.


I always thought he did a decent job on "My Baby Left Me" for the handful of times it was in his setlist in 1974. The FTD from Vegas in 74 where he sings it close to its original key is an inspired performance. He's clearly enjoying it.



Decent, sure. Passion? No. Anyone with a discerning ear and access the the 1956 recording can hear the difference. And it's not just because in 1974 Elvis fails to sing the bridge, or all the verses.

But some live in a fantasy world regarding Elvis' performances between 1969 and 1977, spending too much of their lives listening to offline concert tapes, and imagining every note of every show is pure gold.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:22 am

MRM on Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:07 pm wrote:
drjohncarpenter on Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:36 pm wrote:
Ciscoking on Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:12 am wrote:My Baby Left Me..even done with passion in 1974..also..I think Thats All Right ..or Its Now Or Never...love those later versions....Mystery Train/Tiger Man also comes to my mind..



Um, no.

Review the handful of 1974 recordings we have, then listen to the 1956 B-side. Only one has passion.


I always thought he did a decent job on "My Baby Left Me" for the handful of times it was in his setlist in 1974. The FTD from Vegas in 74 where he sings it close to its original key is an inspired performance. He's clearly enjoying it.


Absolutely...pur stage entertainment...love it !

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:11 am

Lawdy, my baby left me, that’s all right, big hunk, heartbreak hotel, one night, trying to get to you — these are generally well performed live. They have a different feel compared to the original- he had fun with these old classics of his, but his heart was not there , just my opinion.




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Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:59 pm

The last oldie he did decently in the 70's IMO was One Night from the TTWII season. Still a bit of passion left there. After that? Nah. Even Lawdy Miss Clawdy was Vegas orchestra rock at best. Same goes for Tryin To Get To You. Awful arrangements. My Baby Left Me in 1974 was a nice surprise , for the fact that he dipped into his catalog, but was sung on auto-pilot , too fast and without any blues feeling.

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:31 pm

r&b on Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:59 am wrote:The last oldie he did decently in the 70's IMO was One Night from the TTWII season. Still a bit of passion left there. After that? Nah. Even Lawdy Miss Clawdy was Vegas orchestra rock at best. Same goes for Tryin To Get To You. Awful arrangements. My Baby Left Me in 1974 was a nice surprise , for the fact that he dipped into his catalog, but was sung on auto-pilot , too fast and without any blues feeling.


I'm jus curious since everyone on this forum has become a professional arranger and now knowing that kind of emotion and passion a singer executes into a song, jus how could Elvis have sung this better with passion ?

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:48 pm

drjohncarpenter on Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:25 pm wrote:Decent, sure. Passion? No. Anyone with a discerning ear and access the the 1956 recording can hear the difference. And it's not just because in 1974 Elvis fails to sing the bridge, or all the verses.

But some live in a fantasy world regarding Elvis' performances between 1969 and 1977, spending too much of their lives listening to offline concert tapes, and imagining every note of every show is pure gold.


The nonsense that you spout is ridiculous to say the least.

You are never going to get a note by note re-recording nearly 20 years after the studio one.

By the 1970's Elvis was a COMPLETELY different performer than the 21 year old RCA newbie of January 1956.

I for one enjoy the 1970's live recordings of 'My Baby Left Me' and that is all that counts.

Andy

Re: Elvis' performances of "the oldies" in the 70's

Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:58 pm

minkahed on Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:31 am wrote:
r&b on Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:59 am wrote:The last oldie he did decently in the 70's IMO was One Night from the TTWII season. Still a bit of passion left there. After that? Nah. Even Lawdy Miss Clawdy was Vegas orchestra rock at best. Same goes for Tryin To Get To You. Awful arrangements. My Baby Left Me in 1974 was a nice surprise , for the fact that he dipped into his catalog, but was sung on auto-pilot , too fast and without any blues feeling.


I'm jus curious since everyone on this forum has become a professional arranger and now knowing that kind of emotion and passion a singer executes into a song, jus how could Elvis have sung this better with passion ?


Elvis assembled the best rhythm section in the business, yet he chose to include the orchestra on rock and roll classics giving them more a Vegas feel than a basic roots feel as the 70s rolled on. I think this is agreed upon with most Elvis fans Ive talked to. As far as his vocals, sure he was not the singer he was in his 20's but there could have been a little more passion given (listen to My Babe from 1969 to dig what Im saying, great vocal, little to no orchstra). He was only in his late 30s or early 40s for goodness sake. IMO, Vegas got to him and he adapted accordingly.