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Favorite Elvis voice...

Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:09 pm

You can really hear a big difference in Elvis his voice over the years.
I tink you really roughlt say that you have these voices:

- 50's voice
- 68-69
- 70's

if there are more please say so.
I really like his voice in the years 68-69. His voice sounds very raw and at it's peak. His 70 voice is much warmer and also very nice but I like the raw voice better.
What about you guys?

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:08 am

Re: Another Voice-- 1960-1962. Smooth, great breath contol. Effortless singing. My favorite.

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:19 am

If you listen hard, sometimes there is a flashback to the 68-69 Elvis in the 70-71 shows ...

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:44 am

61 to 64, very nice good breath control. also i would say 66. songs like indescriably blue are very bery tough to top. face it the man had the best voice :D . have a great weekend, simmerrocks

Sun Apr 17, 2005 1:50 am

About the flashback, that I notticed too.
I find Elvis' voice in the 70ties not very good in 1972. Sometimes it's verry weak I think , altough some songs were absolutely very nice done like Bridge..., How great thow art etc...

I think I mostely like the 1975 voice songs like for example My Boy are very very good.
Also the 1977 voice I prefer see songs like Hurt, Unchained Melody, My Way ( see the difference with the1973 version!!!)

Has anyone an explenation why Elvis' voice changed so much in the years? Did he ever get voice controll lessons or so?

grts

geert

Best Elvis Voice--probably 68 special

Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:13 am

I became an Elvis fan in 1977 when I watched EIC as a 17 year old teenager. My Way was perfect and I also liked his voice on the other songs on the EIC album. In the late 70's, I had this stereo that had huge speakers and Elvis sounded GREAT on that stereo during EIC. Even non Elvis fans like my mother thought he sounded awesome on that stereo.

As I started to research other Elvis concerts and movies through the years I found that the raw stuff on the 68 special might be his best work. It's hard to beat "Trying to get to you" or "One Night" in the 68 special. This same raw sound can also be found on the Memphis Album he did in 1969. Great stuff.

Early versions of "Bridge over Troubled Water" are done better than anybody, including Simon and Garfunkle. I've never heard Elvis do a bad version of "Fever". I was mostly disappointed in Can't help fallling in Love in the 70's. There are some decent versions (Aloha, TTWIS) but I think it was intended to be a slow ballad and it worked better that way, in my opinion. Elvis's voice in the 70's was very rich and he sounded great on almost anything he tackled. Some songs that come immediately to mind are, "And I love you so", "Early Morning Rain", "Trilogy", "Mary in the Morning", "How the Web was woven", "Words", to name just a few.

But back to the question--I think the raw stuff in the 68 special probably wins....Considering Elvis's health in 1977, he was singing his ass off for most of the special.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:52 pm

In answer to the poster who asked if Elvis had been trained, the answer is yes. As a young man he was mingling with the white gospel singers and picked things up from them. When he went to RCA he would undoubtably received coaching by top people. The same is true when he was singing for films. "Raw" doesn't cut it with a major studio.

When he was shipped over to Germany, Charlie Hodge was on the same boat. Elvis's tuition continued there.

When you watch "Elvis On Tour" you can see during the rehearsals with JD and the Stamps that this was a man who was out to learn his craft from the masters.

I am a currently undergoing voice coaching from one of Englands best male vocalists. I'm doing it to improve my singing of Elvis's songs.

All the people who cite Elvis' singing in the '68 special as being good are for the most part very much mistaken. Some songs are excellent, but mainly they are done with a complete lack of discipline. Singing should never be from the throat. I guarantee that Elvis knackered himself up doing the 68 special.

But, as with everything else, Elvis did it to make an impact, to tell the world that he was prepared to sing himself hoarse for his fans.

By the time he went into American Studios in 69 he had gone back to singing in perfect discipline. Listen to "True Love Travels On A Gravel Road". There's no way that song could be sung with the voice he used on the 68 special.

There's one other thing. Watch Elvis's facial and body contortions on "You've lost That Lovin' Feelin" from TTWII. See that feeling and effort pour out? Let me tel you it's all a clever act. You can't sing like that with body tension. Elvis was supremely relaxed, but let the audience believe he was pouring out his all. That's Pro stuff, and it took a pro to demonstrate that to me before I could see it.

But to answer the original poster: August 1970 is my favourite voice.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 8:57 pm

Keggyhander -

Well, Elvis never stopped learning about music & singing !

But he never had any formal training or tuition in either.

Not from the studios or anywhere else.

People gave him tips along the way, and he was a fast learner !

Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:29 pm

Keggyhander -

Well, Elvis never stopped learning about music & singing !

But he never had any formal training or tuition in either.

Not from the studios or anywhere else.

People gave him tips along the way, and he was a fast learner !
_________________
Colin B
I also read where he never had any formal training. As far as my favorite voice of his, it's impossible to say. Each era represented it's own magic and genius.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:45 pm

Viva the variety :!:

The operatic quality of Elvis' voice at 42 to was truly coming into its own! ("Hurt," etc.)

That's said, I love the youthful yelps to be heard in his Sun sides as well.

I recently played some of the lesser known early '60s ballads for my brother, a long-time fan but, like many, not one who has heard everthing. His comment was how feminine he sounded. Elvis could pull it all off.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 9:58 pm

Greg -

'Youthful yelps' - I never thought of putting it quite like that !

For me, the early RCA sessions found Elvis in great voice.

Or voices - he could change his sound to suit each song !

The Sun 'yelps' had hardened into a more aggressive, more commercial rock 'n' roll style, while his ballad voice had matured and lowered.

Glorious days !

Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:33 pm

I like his voice whenever is the decade but I like from 1968 to 1977. His voice is powerful!

Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:37 pm

Every period has it´s own particularity and are all excelent.. but the seventies are my favourite.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:44 pm

1970 for me also... I love the early 60s also. LONG LONLEY HIGHYWAY,IT HURTS ME, VIVA LAS VEGAS is as good as it gets, but he never sounded or looked better than 1970. I don't think he ever sounded bad.

Fri Jun 17, 2005 10:52 pm

i love his voice always

Fri Jun 17, 2005 11:18 pm

Speaking of yelps, Colin: hearing him on the radio in 1945 at age 10 would really be welcome. Alas, I think that's lost forever.

Sat Jun 18, 2005 12:07 am

For me the best periods are: 56-58 (and by extention the Sun period); 60-62 (the voice was at it's absolute best from a technical standpoint during these 2 or 3 years); 68-70.
The worst (I'm referring to the sound and condition of his voice): The Paradise Hawaiin Style and Easy Come, Easy Go sessions; some of the '71 Christmas tracks; a few of the July '73 Stax tracks; much of the February '76 Graceland sessions; most of the live stuff from 76-77.

Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:50 am

This ground has been covered on FECC before, but why not again, I guess. It's seldom that we pause and reflect on his many shadings and textures to his voice, or so it seems.

Pete, I hear where you are coming from, but I think you are neglecting how bad material affects our perception of the performances. In most of those "off years," you can just as easily blame the less-than-inspiring material like "A Dog's Life" or "Yoga Is As Yoga Does." I really don't have a problem with even the "off years" as I think Elvis is often the redeeming feature. Only in parts of the '70s did it become apparent that he, too, could be the wild card, not just the material.

I definitely do find some of that '71 stuff showing his shakier state of mind and condition. By contrast, the power and touching flavor of his later stuff such as '76's Graceland cuts overcame his obviously declining physical condition. In some ways, his decline at the end gave him "an extra gear," as well.

Sat Jun 18, 2005 6:59 am

I tremendously enjoy all periods of Elvis' magnificent voice. However, if I had to choose one, the powerful 1970 Tomorrow Never Comes voice is tops on my list.

Sat Jun 18, 2005 11:49 am

Funny you should mention PHS and some of the 71 Christmas tracks Pete, becaue i agree, and have always thought Elvis sounded as bored on PHS as he did later on some of the 71 stuff like "Winter Wonder Land", with the same kind of flat dead sound.

It has always puzzled me how he sounded in 71, after sounding so fantastic in 70.

I love all the stuff though, but for his vocal peak, it has to be 54-63 for me, with 68-70 and 1975 close behind.

Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:30 am

I think one of the most overlooked qualities of EP's vocal abilities was found in the song "Reconsider Baby" in the early Vegas shows - one of the best bluesy sounding songs EP ever did. A major opportunity lost was that he did not explore his blues potential - I think he could have done great things musically had he focused on that genre; with his voice and southern roots, it would have been something for the archives.

Mon Jun 20, 2005 2:35 am

geertdams wrote:Has anyone an explenation why Elvis' voice changed so much in the years? Did he ever get voice controll lessons or so?

grts

geert


I think his voice was noticeably different in '76 and '77 - and his age, but more especially the weight gain, was responsible for that deeper voice heard then. I personally find recordings from that time difficult to listen to because of what was going on with him; the discontent and despair.

Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:38 am

quasar3 wrote:
geertdams wrote:Has anyone an explenation why Elvis' voice changed so much in the years? Did he ever get voice controll lessons or so?

grts

geert


I think his voice was noticeably different in '76 and '77 - and his age, but more especially the weight gain, was responsible for that deeper voice heard then. I personally find recordings from that time difficult to listen to because of what was going on with him; the discontent and despair.


The cigars may also have had a large impact.

Mon Jun 20, 2005 5:46 am

Anything from 54-77.........or 68-70 is what really gets me.

Mon Jun 20, 2005 8:17 pm

Ezz wrote: the 71 stuff like "Winter Wonder Land", with the same kind of flat dead sound.

It has always puzzled me how he sounded in 71, after sounding so fantastic in 70.




Same here. I've always thought that, after the frankly stupendous voice Elvis had in his 69-70 recordings, his 71 material represents a true backwards step.

Maybe this was partly due to the fact that the songs he was recording were, in the main, clearly very inferior to the material he had been committing to tape in the couple of years before. Also, as his addiction grew-negative impact on his voice. In all aspects of the man, the change in Elvis between 1968/9-71 is remarkable.

Personally, there's not too much I enjoy from 1971. The tracks Elvis made this year are, mostly, pretty unremarkable. Undoubtedly, there were some highlights but also a lot of deadweight. For instance, apart from Merry Chrsitmas Baby and I'll Be Home On Christmas Day there's little of artistic excellence on this seasonal album. I'm Leavin' is fine, even if it's always sounded strained to me and It's Only Love also suffers in this way.

Saying that, Elvis was in fine voice on his March 71 recordings; it's a shame the sessions were cut short by his eye ailment.