Here you can also post any related video's of Elvis too, except impersonator video's where they imitate Elvis' voice of material he recorded.

an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 1:59 pm

Oke it's not elvis, but still have a look.
You dont't hear often a great version of this song, especially
when it's done by someone from Wales. But anyway it's a nice version to hear . I was waiting for that last high note at the end of the song but he didn't do it.
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Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 2:29 pm

Interesting to see Jones do this song, if Elvis wouldn't have done the song, I actually don't think I would have minded his version all that much, however Elvis appears to give the song the better justice., Thanks for posting.

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PEP 8)

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:21 pm

Thanks PEP !

The Jones boy doesn't even mention that the song is forever associated with Elvis.

Or was this before Elvis did it ?

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:12 pm

Thanks for posting .. Sir Tom does it his way .. but my Favourite version of it is by Elvis :)

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:30 pm

Hi, thanks for posting
Oh, how I`m glad Elvis did this song.....can`t help it, but everytime I hear someone else doing an "Elvis song", I appriciate Elvis`voice even more....

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:23 pm

elvisa wrote:Hi, thanks for posting


Yes, thank you! A most interesting recording! I had no idea that Tom Jones attempted this one.

elvisa wrote:Oh, how I`m glad Elvis did this song.....


Me, too. Man and song became one.

elvisa wrote:can`t help it, but everytime I hear someone else doing an "Elvis song", I appriciate Elvis`voice even more....


Absolutely! No matter how technically accomplished other versions of his songs sometimes are, they invariably lack the feeling that Elvis gave them. I always feel a void.

This Tom Jones rendition is nice. You can see he invests himself in doing a good job and delivers a controlled performance. But it's very lethargic and lacks all the subtlety and drama of Presley's. The lack of a high note at the end also diminishes this, from a possible "8" to a "7", in my mind. The live orchestral accompaniment in Presley's versions is also without peer; this Tom Jones version is very lonely and flaccid. Even the dress is important: Jones is just in shirt and trousers, while Elvis is in an opulent jumpsuit, whose baroque stylings, replete with high Napoleon collar, seem to conjure up a style long passed, syncretising it with something timeless, as if the implacably dressed archetypal Confederate soldier achieves a kind of apotheosis here. If that all seems impossibly pretentious, just imagine even Elvis singing this in his Comeback Special jacket; it isn't the same. There's a pompous grandeur to Elvis' appearance, but he not only gets away with it, but it actually fits. Jones also has another thing working against him -- he's not from the South. While music belongs to the world, some songs are just more authentic in certain contexts; here, the historical idea of struggle and sacrifice is important, and with Elvis singing it, you know his dirt-poor Mississippi roots enhance the sincerity and conviction of the thematically-rich delivery. And, yes . . . subtlety is the name of the game, every bit as much as bombast, in EP's approach. Take the way he sings, "But all my trials, Lord, will soon be over" in the Aloha telecast; his voice is soft and even a little mournful, then he dips his head, powerfully accentuating the stark confession. In fact, that performance of "An American Trilogy" shows what a complete package Elvis was -- the deep reverential feeling for, and of, a song was conveyed not only in his voice, but in his facial expressions and body movements. At his best, Elvis was a flowing conduit for the music. Artistically, he fulfilled Bruce Lee's mantra: "be like water". Every other performer looks third-rate by comparison.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:21 pm

hli, thanks for posting! Always a joy to listen to Tom. Any idea about the year of the recording?

Cryogenic wrote:Absolutely! No matter how technically accomplished other versions of his songs sometimes are, they invariably lack the feeling that Elvis gave them. I always feel a void.

This Tom Jones rendition is nice. You can see he invests himself in doing a good job and delivers a controlled performance. But it's very lethargic and lacks all the subtlety and drama of Presley's. The lack of a high note at the end also diminishes this, from a possible "8" to a "7", in my mind. The live orchestral accompaniment in Presley's versions is also without peer; this Tom Jones version is very lonely and flaccid. Even the dress is important: Jones is just in shirt and trousers, while Elvis is in an opulent jumpsuit, whose baroque stylings, replete with high Napoleon collar, seem to conjure up a style long passed, syncretising it with something timeless, as if the implacably dressed archetypal Confederate soldier achieves a kind of apotheosis here. If that all seems impossibly pretentious, just imagine even Elvis singing this in his Comeback Special jacket; it isn't the same. There's a pompous grandeur to Elvis' appearance, but he not only gets away with it, but it actually fits. Jones also has another thing working against him -- he's not from the South. While music belongs to the world, some songs are just more authentic in certain contexts; here, the historical idea of struggle and sacrifice is important, and with Elvis singing it, you know his dirt-poor Mississippi roots enhance the sincerity and conviction of the thematically-rich delivery. And, yes . . . subtlety is the name of the game, every bit as much as bombast, in EP's approach. Take the way he sings, "But all my trials, Lord, will soon be over" in the Aloha telecast; his voice is soft and even a little mournful, then he dips his head, powerfully accentuating the stark confession. In fact, that performance of "An American Trilogy" shows what a complete package Elvis was -- the deep reverential feeling for, and of, a song was conveyed not only in his voice, but in his facial expressions and body movements. At his best, Elvis was a flowing conduit for the music. Artistically, he fulfilled Bruce Lee's mantra: "be like water". Every other performer looks third-rate by comparison.


Completely agree with every word you have written - this sums up how I feel

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:21 pm

Russian fan wrote:Completely agree with every word you have written - this sums up how I feel


Thank you! :D

As Tom Jones acknowledges, this song was originally three separate pieces, and these were fused together by Mickey Newbury, scoring himself enough of a hit in 1971 to garner the attention of Elvis. I haven't heard the original performance, but once read that it's supposedly ironic. However, I find that hard to believe after watching this modern performance by the man himself (Newbury died in 2002):

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Newbury seems to be more into the song than Jones, but less so than Elvis. But what have I already said? It's a very good version, though it also lacks the beauty and scale of Elvis' rousing renditions (which even Guralnick, in all his cynicism and contempt for the post-1970 Elvis, admits, in "Careless Love", was a show-stopping number). It's interesting that Newbury finishes on the "All My Trials" spiritual, never coming back in for the final refrain of "The Battle Hymn Of The Republic", which seems to give so much more power and authority to Elvis' version. But there's a page that has an interesting interpretation of this disparity:

http://nopunctum.blogspot.com/2003_10_01_archive.html

ELVIS PRESLEY An American Trilogy (1972)
Of course, the point of Mickey Newbury’s original is that the faux-triumphalism of the North and South anthems are trumped by the quiet despair of the slave song which concludes his version. But Elvis couldn’t leave it like that, oh no; he had to include everyone and everything in his own America, he could not afford to make America look small, so he builds everything back up to a triumphant reprise of “Battle Hymn Of The Republic.” Yet if America is a cardboard sham, how best, and who better, to embody the tacky heart which beats beneath the cold, massive exterior? Big and empty; but catch that “you know your daddy’s bound to die.” America can only live if he sacrifices himself. Just don’t get too close to the spectacle, for fear you might interpret it as reality.


This almost certainly explains why the one comment I recollect from somewhere called Newbury's version ironic -- and why Elvis' is not. Interesting that Jones credits Newbury, yet sings the "Battle Hymn" reprise. The YouTube description has this performance at 1975. Jones clearly ripped Elvis off, but denies him the credit in his preamble. I am dubious of Tom Jones for a number of reasons where he and his relationship with Elvis are concerned; this latest detail just adds to my suspicions. And while the above extract makes a good point, it horrendously short-changes Elvis by implying he had a "tacky heart", beneath a "cold, massive exterior" -- an extremely superficial reading of a human being and artist and entertainer as deep and as magnanimous as Elvis. But at least the author notes the poignany of "you know your daddy's bound to die", which attentuates their other claims. Elvis clearly sees the "His truth is marching on" declaration as nothing to do with glorifying war, but a statement about the ubiquitous grace of God, open to everyone, denied to no-one. Indeed, the reprise is about the song and singer breaking free of their shackles, or at least attempting to surpass mundane parochialism and other human limitations. After the "bound to die" psuedo-end, the reprise comes in to allay fears of death. Perhaps it's a false hope, perhaps not. That's why the ending is so transcendental.
Last edited by Cryogenic on Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Sun Oct 28, 2007 11:42 pm

ColinB wrote:Thanks PEP !

The Jones boy doesn't even mention that the song is forever associated with Elvis.

Or was this before Elvis did it ?


The way Tom Jones is dressed in this clip I'm guessing this was filmed in the early 80's, 81' or 82' is my guess.

Regarding Jones Not mentioning Elvis before singing this song surprised me as well, as I'm sure Jones knew this song was more associated to Elvis then any other singer.

Cryogenic thanks for posting the clip of Mickey Newbury and I agree with your assessement of Jones singing the song.

PEP 8)

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:07 am

Cryogenic, you are welcome :) And thanks for posting the clip!

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:20 am

PEP wrote:
ColinB wrote:Thanks PEP !

The Jones boy doesn't even mention that the song is forever associated with Elvis.

Or was this before Elvis did it ?


The way Tom Jones is dressed in this clip I'm guessing this was filmed in the early 80's, 81' or 82' is my guess.

Regarding Jones Not mentioning Elvis before singing this song surprised me as well, as I'm sure Jones knew this song was more associated to Elvis then any other singer.

Cryogenic thanks for posting the clip of Mickey Newbury and I agree with your assessement of Jones singing the song.

PEP 8)


Russian fan wrote:Cryogenic, you are welcome :) And thanks for posting the clip!


PEP and Yuri .... you are welcome. I edited my post with more information. I hope you enjoy it. :)

I also located the Mickey Newbury original here: http://www.artdecade.us/mickeynewbury_a ... rilogy.mp3 (SOURCE)

The plot thickens! While Newbury does vocally eschew the reprise, it's still there in instrumental form, which makes the anti-Elvis histrionics of that quoted page even more ridiculous. Intellectually, I can see what that person is saying, but on an emotional level, the song doesn't come across that way; indeed, I would argue that Elvis' rendition actually gets the same ironic point across more viscerally, even though it's thick, rich, dramatic and everything else that the author apparently despises. I like the sparsity of Newbury's approach, but Elvis took the song to another level. And this also makes Guralnick's claim in "Careless Love", which he renders in the same paragraph as first mentioning "An American Trilogy", look strained: "Now Elvis was a follower, presenting material already familiar in the versions of others without noticeably improving on them."

There's a lot to explore in "An American Trilogy". I thank the OP for starting something good.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:00 pm

I've seen Sir Tom in Concert six times, and every time he mentions Elvis it is with Admiration and Respect.
Elvis and Sir Tom were close enough for Elvis to invite him to his home and to Holiday with him.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:29 pm

Cryogenic wrote:PEP and Yuri .... you are welcome. I edited my post with more information. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks, I enjoyed it. And thanks for the link to the original version of Trilogy - it was of interest as well.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 6:34 pm

Little Darlin wrote:I've seen Sir Tom in Concert six times, and every time he mentions Elvis it is with Admiration and Respect.
Elvis and Sir Tom were close enough for Elvis to invite him to his home and to Holiday with him.


Hmmm . . . then that makes the clip very odd. He clearly takes Presley's lead with the orchestra and reprise.

Russian fan wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:PEP and Yuri .... you are welcome. I edited my post with more information. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks, I enjoyed it. And thanks for the link to the original version of Trilogy - it was of interest as well.


As usual, you are welcome! 8)

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:55 pm

Hi,

Tom performed this song also during the 70's almost in the same period as Elvis did, only Elvis started to perform this song a few years earlier.
This clip from Tom is from 1975.
And yes Elvis' version is much better as mentioned before, but i still think Tom did a nice job. I didn't had the intention to make it a contest.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:57 am

hli wrote:And yes Elvis' version is much better as mentioned before, but i still think Tom did a nice job. I didn't had the intention to make it a contest.


But when it comes to an iconic song like "An American Trilogy", that's what's liable to happen.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Tue Oct 30, 2007 3:14 am

The first time I heard, and saw, Trilogy was in the edited Aloha shown on the BBC in 1987 (my "road to Memphis" moment) in that edited version the song finished with "All My Trials." I thought it was beautiful but imagine my delight when I got the Aloha LP and heard a complete version I had never known existed. Powerful stuff.

Tom seems a nice enough boyo talking about Elvis, indeed he always find space to talk most respectfully about his friend. In his version of Trilogy though he doesn't have Elvis's nuance and seems to "shout" it all rather than build to that great crescendo. Tom got a good applause, Elvis got them gasping on their feet!

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:34 am

hli wrote: I was waiting for that last high note at the end of the song but he didn't do it.
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Tom is doing the song in a higher key though (D instead of C), so the ending would have been a real challenge if he'd gone for it.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 5:34 pm

LD / Elvis Priestly- i lost all respect for Tom Jones when he appeared on Frank Skinner, and said that Elvis never bothered hitting the high, powerful notes at the end of his songs, that he just stood there with his mouth open and let the backing singers hit the notes. He then said, obviously, that he (tom) just couldn't understand that, as that's what he enjoyed best - hitting the high notes he implied Elvis didn't / couldn't.

Also, he went on Jonathan Ross, and said that Elvis couldn't really do karate, and laughed about Elvis doing karate on stage with him in 74 - not in a good way, but in a snide way.

He seems to have lost respect for his "friend" of late, preferring to belittle Elvis and make himself seem better.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 9:02 pm

DarrylMac wrote:LD / Elvis Priestly- i lost all respect for Tom Jones when he appeared on Frank Skinner, and said that Elvis never bothered hitting the high, powerful notes at the end of his songs, that he just stood there with his mouth open and let the backing singers hit the notes. He then said, obviously, that he (tom) just couldn't understand that, as that's what he enjoyed best - hitting the high notes he implied Elvis didn't / couldn't.

Also, he went on Jonathan Ross, and said that Elvis couldn't really do karate, and laughed about Elvis doing karate on stage with him in 74 - not in a good way, but in a snide way.

He seems to have lost respect for his "friend" of late, preferring to belittle Elvis and make himself seem better.


I know what you mean Darryl. The Skinner interviewer really irritated me too. It was a very obvious attempt to boost his own ego at the expense of Elvis and really not necessary or even accurate.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:32 pm

DarrylMac and TJ

I'm aware of the clips you are talking about ..in fact I probably have them on tape somewhere, but that's only two clips out of how many Interiews over the Years? No I'm not condoning what Sir Tom did or didn't say but,I do think those remarks shouldn't cloud anyone's Judgement on how much Sir Tom really did Admire and Respect Elvis.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:42 pm

Little Darlin wrote:...I'm not condoning what Sir Tom did or didn't say but,I do think those remarks shouldn't cloud anyone's Judgement on how much Sir Tom really did Admire and Respect Elvis.


He blows hot & cold in his Elvis comments at different times.

I think Tom did like and admire Elvis as a friend, but also saw him as a rival in showbiz terms.

And sometimes that rivalry [and Jones ego] get the better of him and lead him to say some not-very-flattering things.
Last edited by ColinB on Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:47 pm

ColinB wrote:
Little Darlin wrote:...I'm not condoning what Sir Tom did or didn't say but,I do think those remarks shouldn't cloud anyone's Judgement on how much Sir Tom really did Admire and Respect Elvis.


He blows hot & cold in his Elvis comments at different times.

I think Tom did like and admire Elvis as a friend, but also saw him as a rival in showbiz terms.

And sometimes that rivalry gets the better of him and leads him to say some not-very-flattering things.



A Rival .. no way Colin no way.

The very first time Elvis and Sir Tom met, Elvis was singing With these Hands a hit that Sir Tom had out at the time.
Sir Tom has always said that Elvis inspired him to become a Singer so why would he think of him as a Rival?

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:49 pm

Little Darlin wrote:A Rival .. no way Colin no way.
The very first time Elvis and Sir Tom met, Elvis was singing With these Hands a hit that Sir Tom had out at the time.
Sir Tom has always said that Elvis inspired him to become a Singer so why would he think of him as a Rival?


Simply because they were both chasing an audience from the same demographic area................

Re: an american trilogy: Tom Jones

Thu Nov 01, 2007 11:56 pm

ColinB wrote:
Little Darlin wrote:A Rival .. no way Colin no way.
The very first time Elvis and Sir Tom met, Elvis was singing With these Hands a hit that Sir Tom had out at the time.
Sir Tom has always said that Elvis inspired him to become a Singer so why would he think of him as a Rival?


Simply because they were both chasing an audience from the same demographic area................


I can't buy that Colin. Both thought enough of each other to attend the other's Show. Maybe the Managers did something to stoke the fires with a little jealousy here and there to try and win the Audiences. Who knows.