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"For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:20 am



Same musicians/personnel as noted on the "I've Got A Thing About You Baby" thread viewtopic.php?f=1&t=91472#p1458435 with Johnny Christopher added guitarist of note on rhythm. This B-side of "Raised On Rock" single and album cut, was recorded at Stax on July 23,1973. A committed Elvis could add greatness to a performance despite health problems of mind and body. This surely helped with the subject matter of another great song by Tony Joe White. Beautiful acoustic guitar solos by Reggie Young are standouts as the piano by Bobby Wood, and the organ from Bobby Emmons.

The arrangement (including organ by David Briggs) mirrors the original from the Tom Dowd co-produced and very recent 1973 "Homemade Ice Cream" album. Not a coincidence in my opinion, since Reggie Young is on White's album as well. The similarities end there. Elvis usually did not attempt to cover a song he did not feel he could surpass. Elvis didn't always nail his intentions of providing superior performances over the original records. But I feel (in spite of his vocal chords not being at their best during these July 1973 Stax sessions), that Elvis surpassed it for this song. If only fueled by his heart!

I am also pleased Elvis and his producer agreed not to overdub strings (the subdued organ substituted beautifully where the strings would have been placed, in my opinion) to this number, as well as background vocals. A rarity after the Sun years (no background singers), with Elvis for any decade of his great career. Elvis Presley let himself be heard naked this rare time with his heart on his sleeve.
Please enjoy and appreciate (as I have), his sublime "For Ol' Times Sake"!

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:34 am

I love this song, job well done by all involved.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:36 am

I love this song! Always have, and always will.

Thanks Juan Luis for posting! :smt023

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:37 am

I've never cared for Elvis's recording of For Ol' Times Sake. The song is unremarkable and I can't get past the quality of Elvis's singing, which is very poor, in my opinion. He sounds weak and sings inconsistently, pitch problems included.

I do think the fragility and nature of the lyrics are, in a sense, conveyed in the way Elvis sings here, but that's something those with a stronger emotional connection to the song than I will undoubtedly appreciate. Musically, it does nothing for me, and neither does it resonate emotionally.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:43 am

This is the session highlight from Stax 1. Elvis' depressed mood and overuse of downers lined up perfectly on this track to create magic. That Jarvis exercised self restraint is as much a miracle as Elvis' vocal. This is one of the few loves lost ballads that we would be tortured with in the coming years that worked on every level. Juan you finally picked a winner to discuss. But if you start a thread on 3 Corn Patches it will be take no prisoners.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:10 am

"Magic" is perhaps a bit too strong of a description of the final result for this track, but Elvis' less than stellar state strangely contributes effective results to the final product. Definitely one of the more noteworthy performances from the very uneven and disjointed Stax sessions.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:08 am

His vocals aren't at their best (when he sings "is there something here you might have overlooked," his voice strains on "here") but the song, being a quality TJW number, works for me.

In college I remember I went through an ugly break up with a girl, and for a week or so, this song was actually my weepy, crying-into-my-pillow pity party. :P

"But could you go far enough to get away from your heart..." Boo Hoo ((sniffle))

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:51 am

midnightx wrote:"Magic" is perhaps a bit too strong of a description of the final result for this track, but Elvis' less than stellar state strangely contributes effective results to the final product. Definitely one of the more noteworthy performances from the very uneven and disjointed Stax sessions.


You made might point better. The magic for me is that this song workd because Elvis reeks of misery. His voice is weak and weary which fits the song. Are You Lonesome Tonight it isnt but the song and his vocal state line up perfectly. He really makes you feel his pain-and that was missing from most of his maudlin ballads of the later years.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:55 am

I always liked this Stax cut

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:41 am

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:56 am

Not a great performance by our guy.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:00 am

Bob-Holland wrote:I love this song! Always have, and always will.

Thanks Juan Luis for posting! :smt023

You're welcome!

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:06 am

Davelee wrote:Not a great performance by our guy.


Not a perfect performance by Elvis but there was great vulnerability and feeling in his performance which really matches the tone of the song. Feeling and expressiveness trumps perfect singing every time. There was a world weariness to his voice in the latter years that sold many of these weepers.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:27 am

midnightx wrote:"Magic" is perhaps a bit too strong of a description of the final result for this track, but Elvis' less than stellar state strangely contributes effective results to the final product. Definitely one of the more noteworthy performances from the very uneven and disjointed Stax sessions.

Exactly my opinion: everything comes together despite the worst state. It should have been a mess but, surprisingly, it became the other highlight of the session.
Greystoke / Mx, give a spin to the out-take on "Rhythm & Country": if it's not Magic, it's pretty close.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:38 pm

After listening to it again this morning, I like it... I like the TJW version better mostly because of the fact that the arrangement is less tight and has a more "casual" feel about it, but it certainly fits Elvis at this point in his life.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:24 pm

Greystoke wrote:I've never cared for Elvis's recording of For Ol' Times Sake. The song is unremarkable and I can't get past the quality of Elvis's singing, which is very poor, in my opinion. He sounds weak and sings inconsistently, pitch problems included.

I do think the fragility and nature of the lyrics are, in a sense, conveyed in the way Elvis sings here, but that's something those with a stronger emotional connection to the song than I will undoubtedly appreciate. Musically, it does nothing for me, and neither does it resonate emotionally.

Wow! :shock:

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:28 pm

Anyone who has really cared about someone and lost them and can actually say they can listen to this song and it doesn't make you hurt inside, really needs to check their pulse..

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:54 pm

midnightx wrote:"Magic" is perhaps a bit too strong of a description of the final result for this track, but Elvis' less than stellar state strangely contributes effective results to the final product. Definitely one of the more noteworthy performances from the very uneven and disjointed Stax sessions.



+1


Sort of makes me feel like the whole session should have been made up of these types of moody, somber, songs since this was the best he could do at the time. It could have been his version of a late night LP, like Cooke's Night Beat. Def not a good idea to try uptempo songs at this session. Raised on Rock suffered because of the different styles and weak vocals. But this works

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:59 pm


I like this version very much with Tony Joe White himself adding harmonica. Too bad this version remains unfinished with guitar solos never tracked. Would be interesting if the original solos could be edited in here to see if it works. A labor of love for some including Larrie Londin who played his drums for free for these (two weeks or so) sessions. Very good drumming.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:13 pm

It's disturbingly authentic. Another along the same line is Solitaire.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:23 pm

I thought this song was one of Elvis' best ballads during the seventies along with Just Pretend and Always on my mind.

A very good song Elvis should have done a few more Tony Joe White songs.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:26 pm

I just heard this on Elvis Radio today. I hadnt heard it in a while. It really is a weak vocal and he is even off pitch at times. I would not consider this good singing by any means, especially for a singer like Elvis, yet still somehow it works on this song. But July 1973 probably found Elvis at his worst vocally up to that point in his career.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:28 pm

r&b wrote:I just heard this on Elvis Radio today. I hadnt heard it in a while. It really is a weak vocal and he is even off pitch at times. I would not consider this good singing by any means, especially for a singer like Elvis, yet still somehow it works on this song. But July 1973 probably found Elvis at his worst vocally up to that point in his career.


He does sound kinda like Bob Dylan at times during the song but you are right it doesn't turn me off.

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:36 pm

Juan Luis wrote:
I like this version very much with Tony Joe White himself adding harmonica. Too bad this version remains unfinished with guitar solos never tracked. Would be interesting if the original solos could be edited in here to see if it works. A labor of love for some including Larrie Londin who played his drums for free for these (two weeks or so) sessions. Very good drumming.


Couldn't work the original solo in, But i did manage to get Take 4's Guitar Solo In (And on the ending of the song too)
http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/4Q8kwIgc/file.html

Re: "For Ol' Times Sake"

Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:09 pm

Agree 110 % !! :)
Thanks Juan Luis 8)

Bob-Holland wrote:I love this song! Always have, and always will.

Thanks Juan Luis for posting! :smt023