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Re: do you like a certain ELVIS era ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:11 am

NumberEight wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
NumberEight wrote:Hmm. I can see a new thread coming out of all this: "Is that really Elvis? But I don't like Elvis!" or something. If you don't start it, I will.

Please do! Your topics have been outstanding.

Thank you! You set the bar pretty high yourself.

Now to start that new thread...


Thanks. It's fun to share information with all the great fans here, and so ... I do!

Re: do you like a certain ELVIS era ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 12:38 am

rjm wrote:Several Sun blues run pretty deep. "Hound Dog" seems meaningless; it is not. It's raging protest against the protectors of all that is deemed "classy." And you needn't know the context. You can feel it. There was a whole hypocritical society out there, and he called em liars! Screamed it.


Certainly, that is the greater impact of the sound of "Hound Dog," blasting out of radio speakers worldwide in the mid-fifties.


r&b wrote:Rock and roll escpecially in the 50's was never about meaningful lyrics and so what? Lieber/Stoller wrote some of the greatest songs and some were quite funny and witty. I never really paid much attention to lyrics until around late '65 or so when I bought some Dylan albums and Rubber Soul . I thought music was taking a different direction then and many of my friends did also. Lyrics became menaingful.


Never? As others have said, this is patently untrue. Straightforward verses do not necessarily equate with lack of meaning -- or should we throw out every single great blues song of the 20th century?

With the first rock 'n' roll explosion in the 1950s, led by Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, lyrics often hinged on what was implied by the singer, how the song was delivered.

"Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" is not just about the hue of a baseball player's eyes. "What'd I Say" is not just a song about dancing. "Who Do You Love?" isn't a simple question about one's affection. "Tutti Frutti" isn't about food. The hypnotic magic of "Is It So Strange?" is not undercut by the simplicity of its words.

One of Bob Dylan achievements in the 1960s was to greatly expand the vocabulary of song, the idea of what could be written about. But he would never dismiss what inspired him in high school as meaningless, lyrically or otherwise.

Re: do you like a certain ELVIS era ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 2:07 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
rjm wrote:Several Sun blues run pretty deep. "Hound Dog" seems meaningless; it is not. It's raging protest against the protectors of all that is deemed "classy." And you needn't know the context. You can feel it. There was a whole hypocritical society out there, and he called em liars! Screamed it.


Certainly, that is the greater impact of the sound of "Hound Dog," blasting out of radio speakers worldwide in the mid-fifties.


r&b wrote:Rock and roll escpecially in the 50's was never about meaningful lyrics and so what? Lieber/Stoller wrote some of the greatest songs and some were quite funny and witty. I never really paid much attention to lyrics until around late '65 or so when I bought some Dylan albums and Rubber Soul . I thought music was taking a different direction then and many of my friends did also. Lyrics became menaingful.


Never? As others have said, this is patently untrue. Straightforward verses do not necessarily equate with lack of meaning -- or should we throw out every single great blues song of the 20th century?

With the first rock 'n' roll explosion in the 1950s, led by Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry, lyrics often hinged on what was implied by the singer, how the song was delivered.

"Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" is not just about the hue of a baseball player's eyes. "What'd I Say" is not just a song about dancing. "Who Do You Love?" isn't a simple question about one's affection. "Tutti Frutti" isn't about food. The hypnotic magic of "Is It So Strange?" is not undercut by the simplicity of its words.

One of Bob Dylan achievements in the 1960s was to greatly expand the vocabulary of song, the idea of what could be written about. But he would never dismiss what inspired him in high school as meaningless, lyrically or otherwise.


There are a lot of witty lyrics of the 50's with hidden meanings, 60 Minute Man, Work With Me Annie, etc. I'm just saying people prob did not buy these 50's records because of the lyrics, but more because of the new beat it represented. By the time of Dylan and The Times They Are-A Changing, I think the reverse was true. I know people who only bought 'message song' type albums by the mid-60s. This was not true in the 50's I dont think.

Re: do you like a certain ELVIS era ?

Sun Jan 27, 2013 9:10 am

poormadpeter wrote:
rjm wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
Tony Trout wrote:
Scarre wrote:
Matthew wrote:
elvis-fan wrote:Common man... How can any Elvis fan dismiss these performances?

Stranger In The Crowd is pretty crap. Awful lyrics.


Most of his songs are not know for their "deep and meaningfull" lyrics.


I, for one, like the song, "Stranger In The Crowd." And I totally disagree with your comments about most of his songs not being known for their deep and meaningful lyrics. I don't think there's a fan anywhere besides yourself that agrees with that statement. I am actually appalled to see that coming from a so-called Elvis fan.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


When you look at the pre-comeback hit singles, there is certainly an argument for a lack of deep and meaningful: Hound Dog, All Shook Up, Teddy Bear, I Got Stung, I Need Your Love Tonight, Good Luck Charm etc


Several Sun blues run pretty deep. "Hound Dog" seems meanigless; it is not. It's raging protest against the protectors of all that is deemed "classy." And you needn't know the context. You can feel it. There was a whole hypocritical society out there, and he called em liars! Screamed it.

And THEN came the comeback. I also like "Poison Ivy League." He could have done better by it, tbough. I know there's more. On a variey of levels.

But enough for tonite.

rjm


I think you might be falling into the trap of reading too much into a song, RJM.


But, see, I don't think I might be. ;)

poormadpeter wrote:But, either way, the lyrics themselves, which is what the post was about, are certainly meaningless, as are so many rock n roll songs. It wasn't about the lyrics, it was about the sound (something I think you are driving at in your above comment), but that doesn't mean they are any more deep and meaningful. And this is why I think Elvis ignored them in his later shows or used them as throwaways. If they were used to vent anger and frustration in 1956, that anger and frustration wasn't there in the 1970s, so they literally lost their meaning.


I think that can be true under almost any circumstance, actually. Songs must have meaning in context. You are singing something TO someone: that's context. No matter what the song is about, if it no longer has meaning to you - or to the social context, it's gonna show. Whether you wrote it, or your best friend, your bandmate, or a stranger. Or it it's a pastiche. If you no longer care about what it meant to you, don't expect the audience to care, or think it's about anything. Also, with this one, it's hard to rage against a social world that you with your song helped to tear apart. Because that world, as it was, is no longer there. You can't be 34 years old, and think of your own music as "history-making." That's freaky for any normal person, and Elvis was just a young guy who did something special, but he was also just a regular young guy - and the whole thing probably weirded him out. Anyone would want to distance themselves from something like that. It could make you crazy. It was his way of saying "I don't believe . . . in Elvis. I just believe in Lisa, 'cilla, Daddy, and me - and that's reality." By kicking the song around, and making fun of it.

I think the "trap" is thinking that the lyrics that came after the folk-rock boom were so much more "meaningful" and rendered other lyrics "meaningless." Yes, he might have thought this. I'm sure he did, because HE made fun of "Hound Dog" himself. "This is message song . . . a lotta meaning . . ." You know what he said. Does not make him right, even about his own music! Because when he CUT that record, he knew exactly what he wanted to say with it. It was only hindsight, and exposure to the hullabaloo over the "more meaningful" lyrics that perhaps made him feel this way: defensive, and perhaps even embarrassed. Which is a shame, and led to stupid lyrics like "Stranger In The Crowd," which makes him sound like a 7th Ave. hustler or something. I mean, it's just idiotic.

And, look: if we look back with hindsight not all of those oh so meaningful mid-sixites lyrics actually meant very much. Take these:

Bob Dylan, for no discernible reason, wrote: With your mercury mouth in the missionary times
And your eyes like smoke and your prayers like rhymes
And your silver cross, and your voice like chimes
Oh, who do they think could bury you ?


This was for "Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," on Blonde On Blonde, and was a tribute of some sort to Sara Lowndes, who was his brand-new wife. Yes, the title sounds like her name. And then it's just free verse.

It don't mean nothin.' Let's be realistic. Songs address context, and if they have genuine social meaning, they address their social context, and do so appropriately.

Oh, did I mention "Big Boss Man"? Which for Elvis, was both social and personal at the same time.

rjm