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Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Sat Feb 28, 2009 11:11 pm

Well, in hindsight, I would have gone for selections like these for alternate 70's singles:

Just Pretend/Stranger In The Crowd
It's Your Baby, You Rock It/The Fool
Funny How Time Slips Away/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
I'm Leavin'/Early Morning Rain
I've Got A Thing About You Baby/Find Out What's Happening
Steamroller Blues (jan 12th '73)/Never Been Spain (feb '72 live master)
Loving Arms/I Got A Feelin' In My Body
Fairytale/And I Love You So

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:42 pm

Here's some possibilities:
How The Web Was Woven/Stranger In The Crowd
Make The World Go Away/Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
It's Your Baby, You Rock It/Where Did They Go Lord?
I'm Leavin'/Fools Rush In
Help Me Make It Through The Night/The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me/It's Only Love
I Can't Stop Loving You/The Impossible Dream (Both from the MSG lp)
You Gave Me a Mountain/Fool
Steamroller Blues/I'll Remember You
I've Got a Thing About You Baby/Just a Little Bit
Trying To Get To You/How Great Thou Art (Live On Stage In Memphis)
Lovin' Arms/Thinking About You
T*R*O*U*B*L*E/Bringin' It Back
Hurt/Danny Boy
For The Heart/Love Comin' Down

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:01 am

likethebike wrote: I also think Elvis was too darn eclectic. The audience for "Burning Love" and "Separate Ways" was just not the same.

And that is where his A&R representation failed. Nothing wrong with being eclectic, but a focused label representative and skilled producer could have controlled and framed recording sessions in a more effective manner with a creative goal in mind.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:59 pm

midnightx wrote:
likethebike wrote: I also think Elvis was too darn eclectic. The audience for "Burning Love" and "Separate Ways" was just not the same.

And that is where his A&R representation failed. Nothing wrong with being eclectic, but a focused label representative and skilled producer could have controlled and framed recording sessions in a more effective manner with a creative goal in mind.


I'm not in disagreement with you midnight, but, I'm curious, if you were in charge of Elvis' A&R after the success of "Burning Love", what would have been your strategic next move, in terms of what would have been Elvis' next release ?

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:29 am

minkahed wrote:I'm not in disagreement with you midnight, but, I'm curious, if you were in charge of Elvis' A&R after the success of "Burning Love", what would have been your strategic next move, in terms of what would have been Elvis' next release ?

Well, for one thing, Burning Love should have been the lead-off single for a legitimate studio album, not included as part of a movie song compilation.

Elvis needed to be persuaded and sold on an idea by someone with strong creative convictions (was there anyone like that employed at RCA in the early 70’s?). An A&R rep could have easily sat down with Elvis and relayed various ideas for a studio project with direction and growth potential. Now clearly Tom Parker would have been an obstacle, but regardless, Elvis was simply coming into sessions and presented with loads of mediocre material spanning various genres. Imagine an A&R rep sitting down with Elvis and introducing him to a producer like Tom Dowd or Phil Ramone with a concrete idea of a musical direction armed with specific songs. Do you think there is a chance Elvis would have been inspired and intrigued with this kind of studio challenge and change of direction? In theory, there was tremendous potential for Elvis to do wonderful things in the studio during the 70’s. Of course, with Tom Parker and Freddy Bienstock stifling much of the creative process with their business arrangements set up on Elvis’ behalf with regards to RCA and publishing, there was little that could be done.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:37 am

It's tough to say whether a Dowd or, in my preference, a Wexler would have inspired Elvis post-1970 because his biggest problem appears to have been his drug addiction and his personal woes. I think most of all Elvis needed some time off and a more sensible release schedule.

I agree that Elvis after 1972 lacked focus. I think that position though was in his albums. What hurts an album like 1975's Today is a lack of direction. Elvis is in good form, but the material varied in quality and form. You could say that it was a similar aesthetic to Elvis is Back, but there wasn't that exploratory nature. And there was the been there done that. If a piece had been shaved here or there, and a piece added, an arrangement changed, a song order and cohesion, a pretty good collection could have been a classic.

"Separate Ways" and "Burning Love" (and "American Trilogy") were his best shots. That's the way he had always worked it and if the audience too dumb to pick up on a record like "Separate Ways", so be it. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to challenge and expand your audience.

Singles wise, as I said previously in this post, with a few exceptions, Elvis was in pretty good shape in the 1970s. I think Midnight you make too much of material. Some of the most dreadful songs I've ever heard in my life scraped te top of the charts in the mid-1970s. If "Half Breed" and "Convoy" are #1, it's almost a badge of honor if "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" are missing the Top 30. Granted records like "Sundown" and "Love Train" also made #1 during this time, but success and quality, especially at this time, were not tied together.

As I have said before, Elvis, in comparison to other non-writing performers, got a lot of decent untried material. He also recorded some of the greatest songs ever written as well. Most of the time, Elvis' performance was great. Sometimes it wasn't as on "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" or the 1973 version of "Something", both pretty good songs performed indifferently by Elvis. It was hard to see this because RCA released so much material in the decade which included not only Elvis singing mediocre songs well, but also Elvis singing good songs like "Hey Jude" (recorded in '69 but not released until 1972) poorly. If the label had stuck to releasing Elvis singing good songs well or singing the absolute hell of not so good songs like "Hurt" and turning it into a good song, then things would look a lot different. Despite all of Elvis' problems, there was more than enough that already existed to make a compelling curtain call.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Fri Mar 13, 2009 9:18 pm

likethebike wrote:It's tough to say whether a Dowd or, in my preference, a Wexler would have inspired Elvis post-1970 because his biggest problem appears to have been his drug addiction and his personal woes. I think most of all Elvis needed some time off and a more sensible release schedule.

I agree that Elvis after 1972 lacked focus. I think that position though was in his albums. What hurts an album like 1975's Today is a lack of direction. Elvis is in good form, but the material varied in quality and form. You could say that it was a similar aesthetic to Elvis is Back, but there wasn't that exploratory nature. And there was the been there done that. If a piece had been shaved here or there, and a piece added, an arrangement changed, a song order and cohesion, a pretty good collection could have been a classic.

"Separate Ways" and "Burning Love" (and "American Trilogy") were his best shots. That's the way he had always worked it and if the audience too dumb to pick up on a record like "Separate Ways", so be it. I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to challenge and expand your audience.

Singles wise, as I said previously in this post, with a few exceptions, Elvis was in pretty good shape in the 1970s. I think Midnight you make too much of material. Some of the most dreadful songs I've ever heard in my life scraped te top of the charts in the mid-1970s. If "Half Breed" and "Convoy" are #1, it's almost a badge of honor if "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" and "I've Got a Thing About You Baby" are missing the Top 30. Granted records like "Sundown" and "Love Train" also made #1 during this time, but success and quality, especially at this time, were not tied together.

As I have said before, Elvis, in comparison to other non-writing performers, got a lot of decent untried material. He also recorded some of the greatest songs ever written as well. Most of the time, Elvis' performance was great. Sometimes it wasn't as on "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" or the 1973 version of "Something", both pretty good songs performed indifferently by Elvis. It was hard to see this because RCA released so much material in the decade which included not only Elvis singing mediocre songs well, but also Elvis singing good songs like "Hey Jude" (recorded in '69 but not released until 1972) poorly. If the label had stuck to releasing Elvis singing good songs well or singing the absolute hell of not so good songs like "Hurt" and turning it into a good song, then things would look a lot different. Despite all of Elvis' problems, there was more than enough that already existed to make a compelling curtain call.


My Ding-A-lIng was a number one, that pretty much sums up some of the seventies choices by music fans!

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:35 pm

#1 on last week's edition of AT40 - the 70's from 1971, was the Osmonds with "One Bad Apple". :( There was a lot of good stuff on AM radio in the 70's, but a lot of excrement, too - and much of the latter rose to the #1 spot.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Mon Apr 06, 2009 9:54 am

Elvis needed to be persuaded and sold on an idea by someone with strong creative convictions (was there anyone like that employed at RCA in the early 70’s?).

No, there was not.

An A&R rep could have easily sat down with Elvis and relayed various ideas for a studio project with direction and growth potential.

That would have been the best way.
If only RCA had had the balls to tell Elvis (say back in 1975, after listening to the TODAY session) "T-R-O-U-B-L-E and I CAN HELP are fun. Now, please, we need 12 more good tracks. Forget WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE and AND I LOVE YO SO."

If only, if only...

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:55 am

The problem (in my humble opinion) was the publishing deal they kept trying to push on the songwriters. You give songwriters a crappy deal, you get crappy music. "And I Love You So" is a decent song...but it isn't suited for Elvis. Perry Como's version was good, but then you don't expect Perry to rock out.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:03 pm

RonBaker2003 wrote:The problem (in my humble opinion) was the publishing deal they kept trying to push on the songwriters. You give songwriters a crappy deal, you get crappy music. "And I Love You So" is a decent song...but it isn't suited for Elvis. Perry Como's version was good, but then you don't expect Perry to rock out.


Whatever one thinks of Perry Como, And I Love You So is a fine song by Don Mclean that Elvis chose to cover after the Como hit. The publishing deals don't really apply here other than perhaps preventing Elvis from getting first crack at the tune.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:52 pm

Pete Dube wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:The problem (in my humble opinion) was the publishing deal they kept trying to push on the songwriters. You give songwriters a crappy deal, you get crappy music. "And I Love You So" is a decent song...but it isn't suited for Elvis. Perry Como's version was good, but then you don't expect Perry to rock out.


Whatever one thinks of Perry Como, And I Love You So is a fine song by Don Mclean that Elvis chose to cover after the Como hit. The publishing deals don't really apply here other than perhaps preventing Elvis from getting first crack at the tune.


yes, it is a very good ballad one of the best Elvis ever cut imo.

Several have mentioned the song T-R-O-U-B-L-E and the Today album from 1975

The Today album was okay imo it's Elvis doing a 70's country album
country albums in those days consisted of one or 2 singles then a couple of covers of recent country songs and then a cover of a country standard and then filler to complete the album. That's what we got with Today. it's not a bad album at all. I was looking at songs that topped the charts in 75 and several topped the country and crossed over and topped the pop charts like B.J. Thomas, Glen Campbell, and Freddy Fender.
T-R-O-U-B-L-E has the country sound just like those crossover hits, it should've done better than peaking at #35 pop although it did better on the Country chart peaking at #11. Anyway I like the song it's a Jerry Lee Lewis honkytonk country rocker, I think the tune could've also done well in 1980 when the Urban cowboy craze was going on.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue Apr 07, 2009 11:52 pm

"T-R-O-U-B-L-E" was a major country hit by Travis Tritt here in the US.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Fri Apr 10, 2009 4:08 pm

My problem with the TODAY LP is that it could have been title PRESLEY COVERS EVERYBODY: Elvis does JL Lewis (T-R-O-U-B-L-R), Elvis does Perry Como (AND I LOVE YOU SO), Elvis does Billy Swann (I CAN HELP), Elvis does Tom Jones (GREEN GREEN GRASS), etc. There was little interest about doing a good album: as soon as the 10 tracks were recorded (and some of them were real crap like WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE), everybody went home.
For me, 4/10 (and worst was to come).

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:35 pm

jeanno wrote:My problem with the TODAY LP is that it could have been title PRESLEY COVERS EVERYBODY: Elvis does JL Lewis (T-R-O-U-B-L-R), Elvis does Perry Como (AND I LOVE YOU SO), Elvis does Billy Swann (I CAN HELP), Elvis does Tom Jones (GREEN GREEN GRASS), etc. There was little interest about doing a good album: as soon as the 10 tracks were recorded (and some of them were real crap like WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE), everybody went home.
For me, 4/10 (and worst was to come).


I understand what you're saying but like I said it was a standard country album at the time

T-R-O-U-B-L-E wasn't a cover I mentioned Jerry Lee Lewis because it's a song I could see him doing

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:44 pm

............ still reeling from
the three at piano recordings which should NOT have been included
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Just how often in the seventies did we get to hear Elvis make such beautifully restrained emotive music with little backing? Singing songs that TRULY meant something to him rather than the like of Three damn corn patches!

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Mon Apr 13, 2009 7:40 pm

brian
I know T-R-O-U-B-L-E was not a Lewis´ cover but it just sounded more like a JL Lewis track than a Presley´s. TODAY must be one of Elvis most impersonal album.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:32 am

jeanno wrote:brian
I know T-R-O-U-B-L-E was not a Lewis´ cover but it just sounded more like a JL Lewis track than a Presley´s.


To me that's not a bad thing

I mentioned this in an earlier post

It's Elvis doing something different

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:28 am

"And I Love You So" is a beautiful performance of a song that meant a lot to Elvis. "Woman Without Love" is a stiffo but most of the performances are pretty solid.

Perhaps Elvis should have told RCA
Jeese, I just released Promised Land how about promoting that for awhile?

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:18 am

AND I LOVE YOU SO is indeed a beautiful song, specially that alternate take in PLATINUM, but it seems out of place in an Elvis´ Album. I mean, Presley should have been recording other things than AILYS or WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE, GREEN GREEN GRASS, etc. I never listen to the TODAY album as it was released (although I do have the FTD version); I prefer to combine the best of the 1975 studio tracks with some of 1976. Something like:

1- For the heart (alt. take 1 - Platinum)
2- She thinks I still care (alt. take 2B)
3- Pieces of my life
4- I can help
5- T-R-O-U-B-L-E
6- Hurt

7- Way Down
8- Pledging my love
9- Moody Blue
10- Bringin´ it back
11- Shake a hand
12- Blue eyes crying in the rain

Not the best album ever but still more enjoyable - at list for me - than TODAY, FROM EP BLVD and MOODY BLUE.

Perhaps Elvis should have told RCA
Jeese, I just released Promised Land how about promoting that for awhile?


So true.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Tue May 26, 2009 12:18 am

[quote="jeanno"]AND I LOVE YOU SO is indeed a beautiful song, specially that alternate take in PLATINUM, but it seems out of place in an Elvis´ Album. I mean, Presley should have been recording other things than AILYS or WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE, GREEN GREEN GRASS, etc. I never listen to the TODAY album as it was released (although I do have the FTD version); I prefer to combine the best of the 1975 studio tracks with some of 1976. Something like:

1- For the heart (alt. take 1 - Platinum)
2- She thinks I still care (alt. take 2B)
3- Pieces of my life
4- I can help
5- T-R-O-U-B-L-E
6- Hurt

7- Way Down
8- Pledging my love
9- Moody Blue
10- Bringin´ it back
11- Shake a hand
12- Blue eyes crying in the rain

Not the best album ever but still more enjoyable - at list for me - than TODAY, FROM EP BLVD and MOODY BLUE.

That´s a great list!
Almost exactly the same songs and versions I prefer. I would substitute "Bringin´ it back" for " It´s easy for you".
I have always found "Bringin´ it back" quite boring and " It´s easy for you" quite good although not great.

Once again, a great list Jeanno!

Lennart

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Thu Jun 04, 2009 12:26 pm

Thanks Lennart!

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:10 pm

jeanno wrote:Thanks Lennart!


You´re welcome!

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Thu Nov 19, 2009 9:02 pm

brian wrote: Joel Whitburn lists Elvis as the 13th best selling artist of the 70's.

I can only recommend to look at Joel Whitburns chart listings - and not only the pop charts but AC and Country. It's a real eye opener. The common focus on Elvis pop chart listings in the 70s is misleading.[/quote]

brian wrote: In my oppinion the reason Elvis didn't get airplay on Rock radio was because he started out in the 50's and there was a bais towards that by the programmers of those type of stations, Had Elvis been a rock star from the 60's or 70's "Promised Land'' and T-R-OU-B-L-E would have probably gotten some spins.


Very likely so. But it is a common thing, it's not different today and it happens to every "old" star. Taking all this into account, he did really well in the 70s. Just look where the others from the 50s are in comparison with regard to consistence.

Re: SINGLES OF THE '70s

Fri Nov 20, 2009 1:15 am

jeanno wrote:My problem with the TODAY LP is that it could have been title PRESLEY COVERS EVERYBODY: Elvis does JL Lewis (T-R-O-U-B-L-R), Elvis does Perry Como (AND I LOVE YOU SO), Elvis does Billy Swann (I CAN HELP), Elvis does Tom Jones (GREEN GREEN GRASS), etc.
There was little interest about doing a good album: as soon as the 10 tracks were recorded (and some of them were real crap like WOMAN WITHOUT LOVE), everybody went home.
For me, 4/10 (and worst was to come).


Well, after '73 it became hard to get him in the recording studio.

He never set foot there in '74 !

By '75, I guess they felt they had to go with what they got.

In '76, they had to take the studio to him !