Post here all reviews related to Offical RCA/BMG/FTD releases

WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES-THE ESSENTIAL 70S MASTERS-MY REVIEW

Sun Jul 31, 2005 9:51 am

i remember the day i got this boxset, it had been my birthday the previos month, i'd been an Elvis fan for close to a year, and i decided that the 70s was my fave decade, so i bought this boxset. the day i got it i'd just got back from rehearsing my school musical production called 'jungle fantasy'(i really regret it now :lol: ), and i felt so good having this boxset and opening the plastic top off, to find there was a nice booklet, with very rare and interesting photographs, and informative liner notes, plus the recording data of all of Elvis's RCA recordings. i still flick that booklet out today for a good read and look

the first cd i put on was the 2nd cd of the singles from the 70s, and what a breath of fresh air it was, such excellent material. still one of my fave cds today. but i'll start my review in the order it follows in the boxset. i won't be able to review the whole boxset at once, so i'll do it in 5 parts

DISC 1-THE SINGLES

when you put on the cd, the trumpets hit you in the face with the first song, which is the number 1 classic ballard THE WONDER OF YOU. the sound quality is terrific, and Elvis voice is in one word: masterful! i dunno if he did that last high note for 'YOU', but anywayz, its an awesome way to start the 'journey', and belive me, this boxset really is that, a 'journey'l

then the 2nd song is I'VE LOST YOU, this is the studio version, and it is a little different than the live version, with evry 2nd chorus with a different lyric OH I'VE LOST YOU, YES I'VE LOST YOU, THOUGH YOU WON'T ADMIT IT SO, I'VE LOST YOU ON THE JOURNEY, BUT I CAN'T REMEBER WHEN OR WHERE OH NO', then after the 2nd verse and the first chorus, before the 2nd chorus, Elvis's voice fades in and out in a hauntingly emotional way. this song does not rhyme in lyrics, but the feelings make you forget, as Elvis sings it with a kind of desperation no one else could do

I never took to THE NEXT STEP IS LOVE and its kooky lyrics like 'FUN FUN LOOK AT US RUN, GOING NO WHERE SPECIAL REALLY FAST,/BUT WE'VE YET TO TASTE THE ICING ON THE CAKE THAT WE'VE BEEN BAKING WITH THE PAST', eww! but again, the one thing that distracts you from the lyrics is the FEELING that Elvis put in to the song.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME was always one of Elvis's best ballards, dripping with the heartache of a mans love that he lost, although it was sung by Dusty Springfield.

PATCH IT UP, here we have the studio version, the live verson as we know, was a lot better, but this one makes good listening. the band is in fine form, and the guitar licks at the end remind me of some songs from KISS, the one thing that makes this version better than the live version are the awesome growls and narls Elvis does at the end as only ELVIS can.

I REALLY DON'T WANT TO KNOW was sung by Elvis in 1977 live, and that was the version i knew first, but this one is just terrific! the studio version has lyrics not included in the live one, and this whole song is dripping with passion, just listen to the line 'OH NOW DARLIN, AH DON'T YOU, DON'T CONFE-E-ESSSSSS

THERE GOES MY EVERYTHING was always one of Elvis best country ballards, and again, the thing that wins you over is the feeling Elvis puts in to the song. it is brought to a kind of loss that many other singers have tried, but did not succeed. Elvis sings the song, but he also tells it as a story, his own, which sadly he would relate to 2 years later.

then a personal fave of Elvis's, RAGS TO RICHES, Elvis sang this song in the army, also to Priscilla i think. Elvis plays the piano in this, and again puts feeling in to it like no other, not as good as the only live version he would do on new years eve 1976, but more polished, and already has the strong bellowing voice that Elvis would have later on, but also a hoarseness that adds to the passion

then a song i had not heard in any form when i got it, WHERE DID THEY GO LORD, the song starts slowly, but then EXPLODES in to a screaming of emotion, Elvis cries out the lyrics as if the song was his life story, the only flaws are that you can clearly here a mike pop on 'Passion', but that also brings it to a nakedness that bears Elvis's feelings as it climbs to a desperate climax. great stuff!

LIFE, not the best song for Elvis, although it does relate a gospel feel, about the beginning of the world, and heaven and hell, and when Jesus Christ was born and died, but from what i remmber, Elvis was in abad mood for this song, but he only completed it because it was Lamars first publishing cut. i'm not too sure, but dunno why the hell this song was released as a single

well finally, we are relieved of that embarrasin song with the beautiful I'M LEAVIN, not only beautiful, but underrated, Elvis's vocals in harmony with the imperials? is a terrific mix. the song never was recognised on the charts, but Elvis's vocal performance makes this very tender and beautiful listening, as if we found a new Elvis when he sings 'la la la la'etc.

HEART OF ROME is, like 'where did they go lord', an emotional ballard, about a man who is left alone when his love goes away. you'd think that Elvis was crying while singing the softer parts, listen to the lyric SUDDENLY THE TEARS ARE FALLING, AS THE DREADED WHIST-LE BLOOOOOWS, then Elvis reaches a different key for the 2nd repeat of the chorus, as if he were straining to reach the note, while the same time unleashing his emotions. pity bout the bad harmony with Charlie, but overall awesome listening!

ITS ONLY LOVE, i have a record called Elvis in the 70s that i played very frequently, and for some reason the remastered recording of ITS ONLY LOVE is definitely more clearer, but it takes away a kind of comfort, i dunno why. but anywayz, this song was another underrated beauty, Elvis expresses the lyrics with his vocals very well, and doe an excellent job with the song.

THE SOUND OF YOUR CRY, yet again another ballard, though this one seems a little overblown from the extra orchestration and the soprano vocals that sort of covers Elvis emotions a bit. the repeats of the chorus are probaably the highlights of the song, but all of the song is another great ballard of heartache and regret of a man who has said goodbye to his wife while she was asleep. Elvis always excelled at these songs, and he does'nt fall behind here

I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVING, one of Elvis best ballards, and a terrific Vegas staple. the lyrics are just beautiful, and the arrangement flawless, but that damn over dubbed applause at the beginning! i'd rather real applause than fake, but overall this song is just beautiful, and Elvis spoken parts of the song to the Sweets like 'SING THE SONG BABY' , do not make it parody, but to me, just make the song that much better. one of my fave songs

HOW THE WEB WAS WOVEN, what a pity Elvis never performed this live, this song is dripping with a mans love for his woman, and its just such a beautiful song. and he sings of the web not as a spiders trap for its victims, but as a loving gift he wrapped himself around to be with his love.

UNTIL ITS TIME FOR YOU TO GO, although not one of my fave song, and not one of Elvis's best songs, but still good to listen to. i can't say theres much to talk of that i've already talked about in the previous ballard of this disc.

WE CAN MAKE THE MORNING was always a song i liked, Elvis sings this as a kind of encouragement to everyone. and the lyrics of the song are so tender I FEEL LIKE A LITTLE BOY DENYING THAT HE FEARS THE NIGHT COZ HE CAN'T SEE. then Elvis cries out the chorus at the end in akind of desperation. by now, for some reason, Elvis's voice has softened and has become a little flat, but that does'nt stop him from putting out a great performance.

AMERICAN TRILOGY,well, what can i say about this song that probabaly has'nt already been said, this is a staple of Elvis live act and is also one of his most well known song. this gospel flavoured arrangement is just made so much better with the powerful orchestra, and its this song you TRULY appreciate them, with the many climaxes and also the moments when Elvis voice becomes almost a whisper as he sings the 'all my trials' part, this ong is MONUMENTAL. Elvis voice echoes in the backing groups voices and the drums and orchestra, at this point, its as if he's been taken to another world, as if he is being taken by God, and as he shout sings the ONNNNNN! bit at the end, ist as if God has taken him when the song ends.

then another ballad, the beautiful THE FIRST TIME EVER I SAW YOUR FACE, where the song drips with love in its lyrics, and a mans celebration song of his love for his woman. this was just one of the most beautiful songs Elvis ever recorded, and he MASTERS it.

BURNING LOVE, a number 1 hit for Elvis, the last one he would see in his lifetime, Elvis had to be persuaded to move away from the ballards he'd recorded to do this song, and although he was'nt enthusistically in to it, with only 6 takes, the result was a groovy rocker that forever became a classic, especially that last part 'I'M JUST A HUNK O HUNKA BURNING LOVE', where the backing singers chant with Elvis in an ending that is as memorable as the drum beats in houn dog. good stuff!

then back to the ballards, ITS A MATTER OF TIME, not vocally demanding, but not boring either. a good delivery from our man

then to close out the disc, Elvis autobiographic song written for him by his buddy Red West. Elvis had to be near tears for this song, and he certainly does sing it as if you could imagine tears quietly running down his face

well, that is the first disc of the cd, i will get around to the 2nd sooner or later, but it will all be on this one thread. sorry it was so long, but i hope you enjoyed it. this is the longest review i've posted, and also my longest post evr, my eye are hurting now :roll:

Re: WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES-THE ESSENTIAL 70S MASTERS-MY REV

Wed Aug 03, 2005 1:50 am

elvisjnr wrote: well, that is the first disc of the cd, i will get around to the 2nd sooner or later, but it will all be on this one thread. sorry it was so long, but i hope you enjoyed it. this is the longest review i've posted, and also my longest post evr, my eye are hurting now :roll:


That's not a bad review at all!

Bring on the review of cd 2! :wink: :lol:


Br
Kristian

Wed Aug 03, 2005 7:51 am

thankyou, i am at school now, but i have free time, so i shall do the review of cd 2

DISC 2-THE SINGLES PART 2

following cd 1 is the b side of the single of seperate ways, which is the very popular ALWAYS ON MY MIND. although tried by Willie Nelson, nobody can bring it to the heartbreak of Elvis's version. written by Mark James, who penned Elvis's number 1 hit suspicious minds, his first in 4 years. Elvis sings evry line of the song with all the regret he felt for when Priscilla left him, the fact he was never there for Priscilla when it counted, but was trapped because of his career committments.

FOOL, yet again another song of heartbreak, but this time it could either be directed to a friend of his, or himself, most likely himself. he was probably singing the lyrics to himself, scolding himself 'You fool!'. obviously now he is accepting the facts he is now a lonely man

finally, we move in to an upbeat track, with the Aloha version of STEAMROLLER BLUES. on this cd, the trumpet can be heard more clearly to the point of blocking out other instruments, but we still can hear the rest of the music. although not as pumped up as the version on the Memphis live album, this is still a fine polished performance, if ever there was a master for the live performance, this was it. good stuff

we move in to another upbeat track, but this time on the silly side. RAISED ON ROCK. although it sounds like a good title, and the song is catchy, the lyrics are just awful! plus, the unnecessary soprano on the last verse is just yuck! although a good upbeat song, with catchy lyrics, this is one of the lesser tracks of the 70s when it comes to good lyrical material

raised on rock was the a side of the single, but it should have been swapped for FOR OL TIME SAKE. one of the most regretful sad songs Elvis ever done, it is a country song, and the regret is really caught in the arrangement. Elvis's voice is a little whiny and flat, as photos from these sessions suggest he was not in to it, but this was one of the better songs of the sessions.

as we go to the next track, the bass starts to thump as it does in todays modern music, and then followed by an electrical keyboard, we get the feeling Elvis is still alive, and in the new age, but its another stax sessions song. I GOT A THING ABOUT YOU BABY, although like raised on rock the lyrics are a little silly, it could probabal;y be accepted. the arrangement is fun, and Elvis puts in a fairly good performance. it is another Tony Joe White song as was the previous song, and Elvis seemed to always rise to the challenge of Tony. you only have to listen to the live classic Polk salad annie to believe this.

TAKE GOOD CARE OF HER, yet again another heartbreak song. this time, directed at Priscillas new lover Mike Stone. although sung to him, Elvis could also be heard inside his mind saying 'i hate you, how could you take her from me!'.

FINALLY, after more bad studio sessions, a Las Vegas failure, divorce settlement, and a hospital stay, Elvis is in his finest form since the Nashville sessions. the track opens with a funky intro, then a strong voiced Elvis starts singing in an echo the lyrics to IF YOU TALK IN YOUR SLEEP, which is a revolution compared to the sessions of the last few sessions. written by Red West, Elvis's friend, its one of the finest songs Elvis done in the 70s, and a welcome return to the good music. it even landed in the top 20 charts.

help me should've been next, but has been taken out to go on the Amazing Grace gospel cd set. so in stead, we get another upbeat trrack, and it is one of the finest of Elvis's career. Elvis always rose to the challenge of a Chuck Berry song, even making them beter, and PROMISED LAND was another exception. OH GET ON IT! Elvis shouts on the intro, and then James Burton plays some terrific licks and Elvis, in a new strong voice, starts singing the awesome lyrics. you get the sense that the song is driving you somewhere, you don't know where, but you are being driven there fast. quite simply, one of the best songs Elvis ever done!

then back to the ballards, but this time a very demanding one. a couple of months after the divorce was settled, Elvis recorded the haunting ballard ITS MIDNIGHT. it starts off quietly, but still managing to get his emotions across. then the chorus explodes in to a song of sadness, regret, wanting her to go away, but knowing she won't, because he still misses her. if this song did'nt get the message across, nothing did.

the one thing Elvis missed about not being with Priscilla, was not being with his daughter Lisa Marie. if Elvis swapped some of the lyrics around, it could've been directed STRAIGHT to Lisa Marie. MY BOY was a message to Lisa Marie, and its directed to her in the best way. although the subject is the son, change the lyrics and Elvis would be crying to Lisa Marie. at the end, with the repeated choruses, Elvis's voice seems to crack everytime 'YEAH BE-CAUSE'! but that adds to the emotion, even the flaws in Elvis's performances could be heard as adding to it to make it better

LOVIN ARMS was a song maybe to all his former lovers, telling them he still loves them and wishes to be in their lovin arms again. listen out for the spine chilling lyric DREAMING OF THE ARMS! THAT HELD ME TIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIGHT!!! simply stunning stuff

then finally another good rock song, T-R-O-U-B-L-E, one of his best. with complicated lyrics, that maybe don't fit the song exactly, but the vocal interpretations are just flawless, and listen out to the last 2 choruses as Elvis growls CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHOO CHAGGA CHOO!! and then an ending reminiscent of burning love, as VOICE call out 'hey hey hey!' and Elvis does a high pitched 'AAH!' as in burning love. one of Elvis's best rock numbers ever! unfortunately, this one was never recognised as a good single, only making the top 40 on the charts, what a shame!


then another downer, MR SONGMAN, a lesser track of the sucessful Stax sessions. another song of regret, should've been and could've been, not much to comment on here

then on to the TODAY sessions, and BRINGING IT BACK, another song of regret, but a pick up from mr songman, a good country song. like Lovin Arms, could've been sung to his former lovers.

PIECES OF MY LIFE, Elvis autobiographical story. the most regretful song Elvis ever sung. telling it like it is, accepting the fact. I FOUND ALL THE BAD PARTS, FOUND ALL THE SAD PARTS, BUT I GUESS, I THREW THE BEST PARTS AWAY. the sad thing is Elvis only got worse from 75 onward. in this song he accepts what he is, what he's done, but still wishing he could do something about it. sad

then one of Elvis best interpretations of another artists song he evr did. GREEN GREENGRASS OF HOME was a huge hit for Tom Jones, the one that catapulted him to stardom. Elvis requested this on a local radio station over and over in the 60s, but he said he could'nt record coz it was just too country. but Elvis ended upo doing a whole country album, so in 1975 he did green grass. in my opinion, he ended up doing it better than TJ himself. what ever someone did Elvis did better. his vocals and feeling are SPOT ON and the spoken part is just great. terrific!

then a country song that Elvis did back in the Stax sessions that was released as a b side here, THINKING ABOUT YOU. although another song of regret, it is done in a lighter mood. good effort

bang! the piano and cymbals clash together, then as described by Peter Guralnick as a 'bellow resembling aTarzan call', Elvis shouts IIIIII'M! SOOOOOOOOOOOO HUUUUUUUUUUURT! then proceeds through the song unleashing his hurt like NEVER before, especially the opera note after ITS BREAKS MY HEART! the spoken part, as Elvis always did in song, is done to great effect, and the whole song should have been a number 1. it has been given such comments as APOCALYPTIC', AND 'A BELLOWING CRASH OF PAIN'. this song deserves these comments and is one of Elvis finest ever songs!

then we get picked up with the rocker FOR THE HEART. this was one of elvis last good rock songs, and a good one, though it borders on country. Elvis's voice is stronger than ever before, and the song is really a groovy effort.

then the ever popular hit, MOODY BLUE, almost an Elvis disco song. Elvis's voice is spot on, the instruments are in excellent place, and the whole song is magic! one of my very fave Elvis songs!

i have to leave it there for a while as i have to go back to class :roll: :wink:

Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:30 pm

Very good review elvisjrn.....I enjoyed each comment especially the Loving Arms song..
And good class for you :lol:
Damn it........ I should be working now :shock: :lol: :lol:

Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:15 am

now continued... i thought i'd be able to come back and edit it, but no. thanks renagulled for your comments :wink: the only reason i had free time is becoz all the boys in my class (except me) go to football, and so we were allowed to have some free time

SHE THINKS I STILL CARE, another song of heartbreak, there are 3 different versions, but this is the best. this song captures all the hurt that 'its midnight' got. listen to the echoing effect that is captured in his words, he uses it to the best of his ability. singing straight to Priscilla, another one of his best ballards

the real highlight of Elvis's last sessions was the number 1 hit WAY DOWN, unfortunately this happened AFTER he died. way down had a soft rock kind of feel, a change of pace from a lot of his other songs. that ripping bass guitar, then Elvis goes in to the words that memorised us like ALL OF MY RESISTANCE, LYING ON THE FLOOR/TAKING ME TO PLACES I'VE NEVER BEFORE. the whole arrangement from the sweets to sumners bass voice made it a forever classic. just imagine if he did THERES A FIRE DOWN BELOW :roll:

then Elvis induldges in his own pleasures for the last song on the cd, PLEDGING MY LOVE, a hit from 1954 by Johnny Ace, but turned in to a bopping pop song. if you have the FTD THE JUNGLE SESSIONS you can find the un edited master of this song that runs for 5 minutes total

i must also say that my style of posting has been inspired by likethebike, his posts are truly interesting to read, and i wanted to do the same. cd 3 will be up for review soon

.

Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:08 am

Thanks for the review Elvisjnr. I am now tempted to crack open that box set again.

Wed Aug 10, 2005 6:32 pm

Nice reviews, Junior, and I like that LTB inspires your writing style and analysis.

Take a cue from him ( and your own suggestion) and do some editing!
It would read a lot better. :lol: :lol:

Image

Fri Aug 12, 2005 5:56 am

what do u mean by that?

Fri Aug 12, 2005 2:38 pm

elvisjnr wrote:what do u mean by that?


I think he means tidy up the typing errors and spelling mistakes. The word "ballad" for example hasn't got an 'r' in it. I'm sure Mr Greg will proofread for you and give you a mark out of 10 when you submit your final draft. :wink:

Ultimately, it doesn't matter though - keep on writing! There's three more discs to go yet! 8)

Jules

Fri Aug 12, 2005 4:22 pm

Jules is right. You have some insightful comments but I think a lot of people tune out or skip an article if basic spelling and other rules aren't followed.

I'm no stickler, but I originally skipped over the review for that reason.

Only when I scanned it and saw the positive feedback did I decide to wade through it.


Besides, you clearly can write well, so "finish the job"! Just a thought. :wink:

Sat Aug 13, 2005 7:02 am

yes, i thought i spelt ballad wrong, i'm usually quite a good speller, one of the top in my class, but i can make mistakes too

thank you for your comments Jules and Greg, i'll listen to disc 3 tonight and hopefully give u the review tomorrow.cheers