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I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:18 am

I think I've read postings of people who prefer the Tom Jones 1967 version of "I'll never fall in love again" to the Elvis 1976 version. I find this quite interesting.

Of course, Elvis version is a copy of the Tom Jones arrangement, but to me the recording clearly shows that Elvis is in a different league than Mr Jones.
I'm quite surprised that anyone would prefer the Jones original, which has so much cheesy overacting.

Listen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnbgsNoEisI
Examples that ruin this otherwise ok performance: Approx at 1:35 "about yoooua!". At 2:50 "I gave my heaart! so easilyah!" and the moaning at 3:13 etc. Unbelievably silly ;-)

Thankfully Elvis (although not in his best shape in feb 1976) knows just how far to go when adding his emotions to a song. He grabs this listener with his despair, while Jones makes me laugh.

That is why I love Elvis and bunch of southern soul singers (O. V. Wright being my favourite) from the same period. They knew how to make a vocal soulful - and grab their audiences.
Stuff like Elvis' version of "I really don't want to know" from 1970 really shows him at his soulful best. He never again matched the quality of his 1970 recordings (his all-time peak in my opinion), but I would say that the 1976 Graceland masters are quite interesting. It's uneasy listening with a bluesy feel, and in my opinion they have a soulfulness to them (except crap like The Last Farewell) that keeps me coming back to those recordings, including "I'll never fall in love again". It's all about the feeling...


Regards,
Tom Ogland
from Norway

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:32 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vMx63ZCd88

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzavrMqfZ3A

Tom Jones' version is clearly superior to Elvis' version.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:38 am

If only Elvis had over-sung and under-delivered with more material like I'll Never Fall In Love Again.

If only.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:46 am

If Elvis would have only done it in 1969.

If only......


::rocks

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:56 am

First time I heard it was back in 2000 on the "Moody Blue" expanded album, and liked ever since.
You can feel the pain and desperation on Elvis delivery...
Some people here say it's the worst vocals by Elvis ever put on tape for comercial release; they may be right, but these are the same people who like "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain,"so go figure.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:01 am

The vocal on Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain is no stunner either. The best vocals on the album belong to Danny Boy, For The Heart, and Hurt - in that order.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:11 am

RonBaker2003 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vMx63ZCd88
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzavrMqfZ3A

Tom Jones' version is clearly superior to Elvis' version.

Not really fair to compare the two... Elvis was obviously quite "sick" at the time of his recording and Tom was in his prime. But, Tom's version is simply outstanding.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:16 am

elvis-fan wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vMx63ZCd88
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzavrMqfZ3A

Tom Jones' version is clearly superior to Elvis' version.

Not really fair to compare the two... Elvis was obviously quite "sick" at the time of his recording and Tom was in his prime. But, Tom's version is simply outstanding.


I certainly agree.

Elvis in 1969 would have done a great job with this song. Any song actually!!

::rocks

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:34 am

It seems odd that the opening poster draws attention to the lack of subtlety in the Tom Jones version when Presley's version attacks the song with all the grace and finesse of a sledgehammer. "Uneasy listening" indeed. Quite how anyone can prefer the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch and sounding for some reason as if he has a mouthful of cotton wool, I'm not really sure - other than loyalty to an idol. There are some moments within the verses that show that the song itself would have been a decent choice for Elvis only a year or so earlier (or maybe even during the October 76 sessions, where Elvis seems in better form), but here there is something fake about the whole enterprise. Whereas Elvis singing asides during a song normally is an indication of him getting "in the zone", here his "don't make me" and other semi-sung comments sound not only uninspired but also rehearsed and insincere, inserted into the song to try and give the indication that he's "feeling it", when actually he'sd rather be any other part of Graceland at that particular time, and certainly not in a recording session. The same can be said for almost yelled parts of the song at the end of the penultimate and final chorus. That's not singing, it's shouting, and the performance gains nothing from it. The undubbed version shows just how poor shape Presley's voice was in at the time, and it's almost impossible to believe that the Today album, which finds Elvis in fine form, was recorded just 11 months earlier.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:58 am

I'm a little baffled by the idea that Elvis nails this and Tom doesn't. It's not one of Elvis' finest moments in the studio.

I'd take Elvis' "Without Love" over Tom's because Elvis makes me believe it more, but the same can't be said of the later recording.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:20 am

I had not heard the Tom Jones live tv performance from RonBaker2003's post before. This version is actually quite good!
But when I listen to the Jones' studio version I was referring to, it is still marred by "cheesy overacting" in my opinion.

I really liked the comment from poormadpeter:
"Quite how anyone can prefer the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch and sounding for some reason as if he has a mouthful of cotton wool, I'm not really sure - other than loyalty to an idol."

I don't think the answer lies in the loyalty. The uneasy listening suits the material, so to speak.

Of course, the Jones version has a larger commercial appeal. I also think Elvis could have done this beautifully in 69/70 as mentioned by others. Unfortunately Elvis started sounding a bit like an Elvis impersonator at times during his last four or five years.

But music is all about emotions. Hitting the right notes is only a part of it. Lots of great recordings includes slightly out of tune singing, etc.

Uneasy listening does not neccesary ruin the feeling/soulfulness of a song. "Cheesy overacting" unfortunately does.

Take for instance the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" (2002): Obviously "the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch". Still that's a great recording in my opinion.

(But I'm not saying that Elvis' Graceland sessions show Elvis at his peak - far from it)

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 11:56 am

Yeah, but Johnny Cash was about 70 when he cut that song.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:31 pm

TJ wrote:I'm a little baffled by the idea that Elvis nails this and Tom doesn't. It's not one of Elvis' finest moments in the studio.

I'd take Elvis' "Without Love" over Tom's because Elvis makes me believe it more, but the same can't be said of the later recording.


Agree TJ, in 69 he had full control over his vocals, only occasionally in 76/77, also would have loved a 72 version of I WHO HAVE NOTHING, he would have nailed just like WNML .....

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:47 pm

Elvis' version is the clear winner! I hardly ever would bother listen to Toms version and when ever he sings it in concert Im like where is the fast forward button. But Elvis sing it with a lot of emosion but never over does it either.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 3:59 pm

tomogland wrote:I had not heard the Tom Jones live tv performance from RonBaker2003's post before. This version is actually quite good!
But when I listen to the Jones' studio version I was referring to, it is still marred by "cheesy overacting" in my opinion.

I really liked the comment from poormadpeter:
"Quite how anyone can prefer the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch and sounding for some reason as if he has a mouthful of cotton wool, I'm not really sure - other than loyalty to an idol."

I don't think the answer lies in the loyalty. The uneasy listening suits the material, so to speak.

Of course, the Jones version has a larger commercial appeal. I also think Elvis could have done this beautifully in 69/70 as mentioned by others. Unfortunately Elvis started sounding a bit like an Elvis impersonator at times during his last four or five years.

But music is all about emotions. Hitting the right notes is only a part of it. Lots of great recordings includes slightly out of tune singing, etc.

Uneasy listening does not neccesary ruin the feeling/soulfulness of a song. "Cheesy overacting" unfortunately does.

Take for instance the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" (2002): Obviously "the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch". Still that's a great recording in my opinion.

(But I'm not saying that Elvis' Graceland sessions show Elvis at his peak - far from it)


As horrible as sounds, Johnny cash turned dying into an art form during his final couple of years. Elvis never did.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:21 pm

I prefer elvis versions + outtakes (FROM EP BOULEVARD!!!)

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:58 pm

I like the Tom Jones version better although I dont care for the song much as a musical piece. To say Tom Jones oversung it is justified but to say Elvis didnt is also unjustified. What about the over the top ending? I cringe.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 5:31 pm

Tom Jones really poured his heart out on the original. I don't mind hearing Elvis's version either, but I think Tom won on the convincing part.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:15 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
tomogland wrote:I had not heard the Tom Jones live tv performance from RonBaker2003's post before. This version is actually quite good!
But when I listen to the Jones' studio version I was referring to, it is still marred by "cheesy overacting" in my opinion.

I really liked the comment from poormadpeter:
"Quite how anyone can prefer the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch and sounding for some reason as if he has a mouthful of cotton wool, I'm not really sure - other than loyalty to an idol."

I don't think the answer lies in the loyalty. The uneasy listening suits the material, so to speak.

Of course, the Jones version has a larger commercial appeal. I also think Elvis could have done this beautifully in 69/70 as mentioned by others. Unfortunately Elvis started sounding a bit like an Elvis impersonator at times during his last four or five years.

But music is all about emotions. Hitting the right notes is only a part of it. Lots of great recordings includes slightly out of tune singing, etc.

Uneasy listening does not neccesary ruin the feeling/soulfulness of a song. "Cheesy overacting" unfortunately does.

Take for instance the Johnny Cash version of "Hurt" (2002): Obviously "the sound of a clearly unwell man straining to keep his voice on pitch". Still that's a great recording in my opinion.

(But I'm not saying that Elvis' Graceland sessions show Elvis at his peak - far from it)


As horrible as sounds, Johnny cash turned dying into an art form during his final couple of years. Elvis never did.


Yes but Elvis was only 41 when he last recorded. He was still very young. He should have not sounded like he was dying like a 70 yr old Cash did.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:32 pm

What the poster is saying, and I agree to a point, is Tom's heavy sighing and deep breaths are a little over the top. They are but his version is still far superior to EP's.

Also, though Elvis does a great Without Love, it's not like Jones' hit version is chopped liver. Jones' version is powerful and excitingly good. Here EP's version is the more subtle and nuanced take on it but I think in deciding which version is the best, it's very close to a photo finish.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:31 pm

Without doubt Tom's version is far better vocally, but I'd listen to Elvis in preference any day......sick or otherwise, I just prefer his voice.

'Without Love' by Tom isn't a patch on El's version......not in the same league

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:02 am

As with most here, I agree than Elvis' 1976 recording is very poor, and should never have been issued. He sounds very unwell, and no singer is worth a darn when their health is compromised.

As for comparisons with his friend's effort, even cutting a cover in 1969 would have been a mistake, as this was a 'signature' song for Tom Jones. Presley, then as now, should have been applying himself to different material, and making it his own.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:00 am

I agree Tom Jones has the 'definitive version' and listening to Elvis's 1976 version - i agree it should not have been issued and i always consider it his poorest/weakest song released from the Feb 1976 sessions :sosorry:

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:00 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:He sounds very unwell, and no singer is worth a darn when their health is compromised.

Yes, he sounds unwell and obviously not in his prime, but that's an integral part to the sad/bluesy feel of the Graceland sessions that grabs this listener - in contrast to for instance some of his 1973 Stax recordings where he just sounds bad.

I mentioned the comparison to an unwell sounding Johnny Cash in 2002. I would also mention the unwell sounding Billie Holiday in her final recordings 1958/59. These kind of performances work on me on a different level than the great stuff the artists recorded in their prime.

My point in the original posting is that Elvis didn't do silly "ooohs" and "aahs" and loud moaning to add (fake) feeling in his performances. Artists who do that sound like crap to me. Sorry, Mr. Jones...

Well, to each his own.

Re: I'll never fall in love again - Elvis vs. Tom Jones

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:08 pm

I consider Elvis' version as pure horror. A song I always skip partly because of Elvis' vocals but also because I do not like the song at all. Listening to Tom Jones' version (which I never bothered to listen to before) only makes me conclude it is a dreadful, Elvis unworthy song.