All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:47 am

The only version that exhibits some of the restraint which befits the song is from the Jan '71 Vegas season, as heard on The Impossible Dream (FTD). The ones that followed may've been rousing performances by Elvis, but they overwhelmed the material.

DJC

Sat Jul 02, 2005 4:58 am

The version done in Portland Oregon in November of 1970 is just the right combination of the 1966 studio version and the 70's version. It is simply fantastic.

Re: .

Sat Jul 02, 2005 5:53 am

"MB280E" wrote:
Like I said, it´s very touching to watch but it´s nowhere near a top notch performance by Elvis! The ending is weak compared to any version from 1975 and it´s not even Elvis that holds the long, strong ending of the song. To call it perfect is THE overstatement of the year so far.


You begin by making a fair point, but than proceed to mock what is otherwise a phenomenal performance. Again, personal taste factors in here, so I don't agree with DJC that this song requires any restraint necessarily, and the very "overwhelming" aspect of it is what makes it work. In fact, that's why he almost doesn't have to be there at the end :!: He could be in the limo "leaving the building" by that point and it's still be pretty good! :lol: Now that's power...

Seriously, it's a demerit, but he's so great in the rest of it that when I finally realized as an adult (heard it much as a kid) that he had some assistance at the end, I didn't care. In fact, listen to the few lines of his singing on '77 version: did he ever top that? I love that full, mature Elvis voice he used in '77, that at its best, showed he was still coming into his own. (Similarly, listen to the live version of "I Really Don't Want To Know" for another example of it...)

I agree that earlier versions may be more well-rounded. And of course, he nailed it in the original studio version, although it seems too tentative sometimes.

Having been weaned on the '77 version, however, the other versions sound too flat by comparison. But save for maybe one FTD where he goofs around with it, this is a song Elvis always seemed to "come to play" when he performed it, unlike, say, "Love Me" or "Hound Dog."

CDKing, I think this is Omaha on the EIC show, but I'll leave it to those who have more time to answer that one. :D

Sat Jul 02, 2005 2:01 pm

CD King wrote:The Best version of the great HOW GREAT THOU ART for me is, the version from the ELVIS IN CONCERT 1977 double album. Is that the Omaha version?


That would be the one.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:21 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:The only version that exhibits some of the restraint which befits the song is from the Jan '71 Vegas season, as heard on The Impossible Dream (FTD). The ones that followed may've been rousing performances by Elvis, but they overwhelmed the material.

DJC
huh?

I guess you haven't ever been to a Baptist church...

Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:00 am

I know this is based on opinion and everything, but I can't understand the enthusiasm over the "Elvis in concert" version.

The first part is very good, but the second half is way off tempo. It is way too fast. And Elvis is really off tune on the word "great" during the transition to the second part.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 2:47 am

I am starting to consider the idea that some hardcore Elvis fans may be a bunch of clueless nit-pickers.

Just for one moment consider what it takes to perform a song such as HGTA in front of a live audience. Try singing it yourselves. It ain't easy. It takes years of practice and maturition.

I really don't care how the versions differed. All I know is that only an opera singer could come up with an arrangement that could match ANY of Elvis' various guises of the song.

Accept that each performance was a different night, with differing audience dynamics, and state of mind and body of Elvis.

The only version I don't care for is the studio original.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 4:04 am

scotch wrote:I guess you haven't ever been to a Baptist church...

As usual, you are mistaken. Stick to your library -- you know, the one without any books.

DJC

Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:34 am

Keggyhander wrote:I am starting to consider the idea that some hardcore Elvis fans may be a bunch of clueless nit-pickers.



Uhhh....that would be me. nit-picker extroidinare!

Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:10 am

Memphis '74 for me!

JEFF d
Elvis fan

Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:04 am

Keggyhander Posted: Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:47 am Post subject:

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I am starting to consider the idea that some hardcore Elvis fans may be a bunch of clueless nit-pickers.

What took you so long??

Just for one moment consider what it takes to perform a song such as HGTA in front of a live audience. Try singing it yourselves. It ain't easy. It takes years of practice and maturition.

It not that hard really. Elvis was just better at it that's all. Takes years?? I would say days.

I really don't care how the versions differed. All I know is that only an opera singer could come up with an arrangement that could match ANY of Elvis' various guises of the song.


Accept that each performance was a different night, with differing audience dynamics, and state of mind and body of Elvis.

The only version I don't care for is the studio original.

Of course this was the first version I ever heard. And I heard it on the radio. It was haunting.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 9:23 am

another How Great Thou Art live take I enjoy
is the Hampton Roads version, as seen in the Lost Performances vid.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:55 pm

Why did they use the '77 version in Elvis By The Presleys to the footage of '72?
Simple - it was because of the power in his voice.
sorry Doc, it was the emotive strength that made the 75-77 versions the supreme examples of this song, and 19-6-77 is one of the best.
rick

Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:41 pm

Yes theirs zero doubt in my mind that the 'Trashed' version released on the Jan 71' FTD soundboard is simply 'awful', whilst other versions that season are 'good'. A LOT going for the simplistic beauty of those first Nov 70' versions too. However the sheer power of those 75' versions are hard to beat and occasionally in 76 or 77 he could really put it out as a concert highlight, just that 1 song. Classic example being a decent performance on 31.7.76 and a pretty poor show the next day on 1.8.76.I guess one of my fav overall versions is the unbelievable Kansas City 1976 version......

Sun Jul 03, 2005 5:43 pm

This is a GREAT topic and I say that because of ALL the good, and for the most part sincere responses!

Hearing ELVIS sing HGTA on CD, record, or DVD is NOT the same as "LIVE and IN PERSON!"

As some here have expressed, hearing & seeing ELVIS sing HGTA, in person is the ONLY way to hear it done BEST...and I, too, was one of the fortunate ones to experience "live and in-person" concerts!

April 23, 1976 in Kansas City, MO ELVIS sang How Great Thou Art...and was literally "JUST AWESOME." Just my opinion, however, I don't believe I have ever heard the song done better before or since that time AND it was recorded!

I'll try to describe how ELVIS sang when he gets to the part where he sings "...when Christ shall come, with shout of acclaimation...
then sings my soul, Oh my God..."

Well...when ELVIS gets to "...Oh my God..."
ELVIS sings it as if he is literally calling out to God for help...not ONCE...not TWICE...but THREE TIMES...ELVIS sings out..."

Something like this...

"...then sings my soul, Oh my Godddddddd...
....my Gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood...
....my Goooooooooooood!!!!!
How Great Thou Art!!!!"

It just sends duckbumps down your spine!

AND thank God we have it recorded to hear again and again!

Have a Great Day Everyone!
2Elvis

.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:02 pm

I tell you what guys, after reading everyones post I will go back and give 76 and 77 another try. Maybe I have just heard the wrong ones, of course I may be like Doc and just prefer the simpler version rather than the over the top versions. Although....I just can't call Memphis 74 a simple version...I am very confused now!

Anyhoo, point being all have made excellent post and I am going to research a bit more for myself. Especially that 4/23/76 performance 2Elvis!

Sun Jul 03, 2005 7:49 pm

No doubt on my mind it is the version of december 13 1975 in Vegas from the bootleg called "Just Pretend".

Mon Jul 04, 2005 1:56 am

If you like the 12.12.75 version .... then you'll love the Closing 15.12.75 version MORE!!!! :roll:

Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:09 am

2Elvis wrote:April 23, 1976 in Kansas City, MO ELVIS sang How Great Thou Art...and was literally "JUST AWESOME." Just my opinion, however, I don't believe I have ever heard the song done better before or since that time AND it was recorded!


Wasn't he in Denver on the 23rd and Kansas on the 21st? I've not heard a version from either show, so would be cool if anyone has an mp3 to post :)

Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:09 am

Just Pretend (Dec 13 75)
Without a doubt.

Doc, I agree that the restraint is nice in the earlier versions of the song, but rather than thinking Elvis overwhelms the material later I just believe it is more passionate, both approaches have their merits.

Sat Jul 09, 2005 7:25 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:Doc, I agree that the restraint is nice in the earlier versions of the song ...

In recent years I've given the May 1966 recording a good deal of attention, and it seems that Elvis' peerless studio rendition is most closely matched by performances like the one on FTD's The Impossible Dream. If a good quality version of the song surfaces from the Sep or Nov '70 tours, I'll be sure to give those a close listen as well.

DJC

Mon Jul 11, 2005 12:35 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:it seems that Elvis' peerless studio rendition is most closely matched by performances like the one on FTD's The Impossible Dream.


Except that he butchers the song on The Impossible Dream!

Jules

Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:19 pm

8) well said Jules, thats EXACTLY the point i was trying to make!.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:36 pm

Memphis, June 10, 1975, I was there. 30 years ago, hard to believe it has been that long ago.

When Elvis belted out those incredible powerful notes he was crouched, and when JD hit that low note, the building rattled. It was amazing.

Mon Jul 11, 2005 5:06 pm

rick wrote:Why did they use the '77 version in Elvis By The Presleys to the footage of '72?
Simple - it was because of the power in his voice.
sorry Doc, it was the emotive strength that made the 75-77 versions the supreme examples of this song, and 19-6-77 is one of the best.
rick


InMemphis, we always love first-hand accounts! Thanks :lol:

Rick, I've been swamped so I haven't had a chance to view all of EBTP - on DVD, that is.

I'm really glad to hear the '77 version is on it: what part of what disc is that on?