All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Did we expect too much from Elvis?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:34 pm

How much more can a man do in twenty two years? A ton of soldout concerts, 33 movies, many brilliant performances and recordings. He outsold everybody, his movies for the most part did very well, with none losing money. His impact was so strong, so magnetic that 50 years later and 28.5 years after his death, he is still creating a stir. Yes he did some bad movies and some records that he himself admitted as being awful. Still, if you sit back and take a look at his catalogue, the massive hits, the variety (which is beyond compare), it's staggering. For God sakes the man was inducted into three hall of fames, a feat that nobody else is close to. There were times when his genius was wasted, but that is to be expected with a career that long. He was such a huge talent that I think that's the reason why he gets picked on from critics and fans alike. As likethebike has been trying to hammer out, the great work far out-weighed his poor work, it's not even close. To use an over used analogy, Elvis was a "team player" and trusted people too a fault even though his instincts when he used them were usually right. That applied to his work and through his personal life as well. I'll stack up all of his great work against anybody. He wasn't called the king for nothing. He's been the measuring stick for greatness and fame since 1956, I think that sums up everything.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 4:56 pm

Fair enough Joe, but you are preaching to the converted.

Did you know the great Ludwig Van Beethoven was criticised for wasting many years pursuing custody of his nephew when he should have been composing more magnificent Symphonies and Concertos etc?

Nevertheless, Elvis did not let YOU down.

But he did let millions of people like Ger, Colin, and me down. We were stunned!!! We were Hurt. We were left holding the baby for chrisakes!

That's the truth no matter how it's revised.

It happened.

Thankfully Elvis returned to us, and we returned to him.

http://press.xtvworld.com/article9619.html

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:07 pm

good post Joe, good points.

4 Halls of Fame tho.

Martial Arts (2005)

long before anyone heard of Bruce Lee, or Chuck Norris,
there was....
Elvis Presley studying and earning a blackbelt.

I dare say he brought Karate to western culture
especially into Hollywood.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:49 pm

With Elvis you have take the whole stew like it or not. Or get out a strainer.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 5:57 pm

It is a tight race..but I think Elvis facination was the first to get public attention.

Though Bruce should get the credit for being alot more obvious with it. Elvis used it as a past time. Bruce dedicated his life to it, and he would have knocked Elvis block off!

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:18 pm

In short, my answer is yes, seeing the surprising lack of slack or big picture perspective some fans give to him, as noted in LiketheBike's terrific thread, which this post no doubt grew out of...

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=


Nevertheless, Elvis did not let YOU down.

But he did let millions of people like Ger, Colin, and me down. We were stunned!!! We were Hurt. We were left holding the baby for chrisakes!

That's the truth no matter how it's revised.

It happened.

Thankfully Elvis returned to us, and we returned to him.


Fair enough, but in time this perspective will seem especially silly. He wasn't Jesus Christ. But perhaps his overwhelming "Savior"-like persona made early fans expect no pitfalls. Alas, he was human.


***************************************

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:40 pm

Greg, we kept going to the movies till we couldn't take any more and like Ger pointed out spending good money which we had worked very hard for on albums only to find they were not worth the money. We felt cheated!

Elvis's name had stood for quality and we grew accustomed to it. We expected it. What's wrong with that?

So we will sound silly, huh? Think a little deeper young man.

Historians cannot get away with distortion now we have PCs.

We are writing the history ourselves everyday. And some of us like Ger have already contributed to it.

http://press.xtvworld.com/article9619.html

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:45 pm

You put your finger on it that you were in fact burned because you worked for that money, etc.

It's to our benefit today that we can take a big picture / chart-analysis approach, but it doesn't remove the sting of what fans then experienced.

Today, there's still a "hang-over" over the crappy stuff, I definitely see that.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:51 pm

Greg -
When I read the posts of Colin, Maurice, and especially Ger the thing that comes through is a kind of sense of betrayal. This doesn't just extend to the low mid-60's period, which we all recognize as a low, but also to the generally solid, sometimes brilliant early 60's period. It stems from the fact that Elvis was no longer the rebellious rocker he'd been in the pre-army period. While I can understand where these guys are coming from, I have to differ with them on this early 60's period. Just because Elvis isn't the rocker he'd once been doesn't make him any less of an artist. If anything, he's actually more of an artist in terms of musical exploration and vocal ability. This period isn't inferior, just different. Elvis' early 60's work is in my opinion his most underrated, overlooked period.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 8:46 pm

Totally wrong Pete, as far as I am concerned.

I was thrilled to hear "It's Now or Never" etc

Elvis was on a roll those first few years after returning from the Army. "Elvis is Back" gave us a clue to what to expect and raised our expectations . "Fame and Fortune" is one of our favourite songs.

Elvis was always a great ballad singer. The sheer raw excitement of Rock 'n' Roll had already diminished.

Staying red hot after those Golden years of RNR would have been some undertaking............. even for Elvis.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:15 pm

Totally wrong?

There's nothing wrong in admitting you felt let down by his turn to sillier or less substantial fare, if not betrayed. That's fair enough, correct?

Pete Dube wrote:Greg -
When I read the posts of Colin, Maurice, and especially Ger the thing that comes through is a kind of sense of betrayal. This doesn't just extend to the low mid-60's period, which we all recognize as a low, but also to the generally solid, sometimes brilliant early 60's period. It stems from the fact that Elvis was no longer the rebellious rocker he'd been in the pre-army period. While I can understand where these guys are coming from, I have to differ with them on this early 60's period. Just because Elvis isn't the rocker he'd once been doesn't make him any less of an artist. If anything, he's actually more of an artist in terms of musical exploration and vocal ability. This period isn't inferior, just different. Elvis' early 60's work is in my opinion his most underrated, overlooked period.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:40 pm

Greg,
Pete included the very early 60s. I for one was happy with those huge selling classic hits.

We oldies are very discriminating Elvis fans...we actually do appreciate Elvis at his best, whatever the period.

Like Ger said, 4 YEARS (of awful movies and soundtracks) is a very long time, especially when you are young.
No amount of comparison to other artists is going to change the fact, Elvis let us down.

If we are going to be accurate we have to face up to that kind of reality.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 9:44 pm

Yes, I did see the overlap in that you both mentioned the early '60s studio work.

But was there nothing to be said for "Follow That Dream" or "Viva Las Vegas" and other soundtrack tunes?

I think his better movie soundtrack material gets way too much condemnation.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:00 pm

Like Ger said, 4 YEARS (of awful movies and soundtracks) is a very long time, especially when you are young.
No amount of comparison to other artists is going to change the fact, Elvis let us down.

Have you listened to the 60's box set? It contains over a hundred superb racks. And that doesnt even include If I Can Dream, Return to Sender, Bossa Nova Baby, Viva Las Vegas etc. We all know there were weak moments during the 60's but realistically, Elvis could not have done EVERYTHING right.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:01 pm

I enjoyed the movie, "Follow That Dream". That song was played on the radio show when we won the trip to Memphis 14 August 1997.

I didn't like, "Viva Las Vegas", it........was on our Irish TV last tuesday afternoon.

We watched it for about 15 minutes.......... Life is too short.............. at our age :lol:

But wasn't Elvis devastatingly handsome in it!

bray1977, Bossa Nova Baby?......................... sorry not my cup of tea by a long shot.

We of course enjoyed the gems amongst the dross. Rare as they were.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:15 pm

As LTB argues in a new "sequel" to this thread

"A Complete Body of Work"

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... highlight=

this very range Elvis had (doing a song like "Bossa Nova Baby" for instance) was his true genius.

I always thought Maurice really liked Elvis. :lol:

Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:38 pm

Greg, I'm afraid I'm not a member of Likethebike's fan club :lol:

His take on Bill Haley was enough for me.

It's all a little too academic, to much looking/maybe playing to the rock journalist gallery.

I've heard and read it all before.

My idol worship is well in control.........if it exists at all :lol:

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:04 pm

Apparently not, and I recall you liking Haley as I do. I did then think its valid for you all to remark how important he was at the time. But I don't think he denied that either.

But let's not be anti-intellectual about it either. LTB is as well-versed on Elvis and music in general as they come here and we should welcome that, even when we disagree.

I actually have not "heard and read it all before" as very few have ever made LTB's claims about Elvis' great body of work until recently. So I doubt you truly heard these claims as you can count them on one hand, that is, unless your throwing him in with others, which is unfortunate. Examples?

You'll not find that in most of the rock journalism outside of a very few writers, in part Dave Marsh but more recently Paul Simpson and also the author of the cover story in American Heritage last year.

One of the pitfalls of having "been there and done that" is that one can grow resistant to new ideas and things that challenge ideas long held.

I have long held that we need to talk back about the Elvis' value. It's fine and good to assume that people get it, but meanwhile he still has a bit of a laughingstock image among the populace and critics.

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:26 pm

Greg, Longevity has it's blessings.

I don't know how many radio art and TV shows I've watched and listened to over the decades. How many newspaper and magazine articles not to mention hundreds of books on the history of popular music.

How many thousands of hours of conversations with music fans in general and my own ponderings on it all.

I mentioned our own rock journalists Joe Jackson who has done dozens of radio shows on the history of popular singers and bands. He has interviewed the creme over 20 years.

Also we have John kelly who went to Tupelo and Memphis for the 25th Anniversary he has a radio show and TV Arts show. He rambles on at length too on his Mystery Train radio show mystery@rte.ie Very eclectic!

We also get our Rock mag editor on TV at regular intervals and I read all the articles I come across on webpages. Maybe from 5am till 11pm some days.

Then theres the pubs where you really have to be on your toes. We have experts on everything, and they will not let you get away with anything
It's a jungle out there! If it moves............. :lol:

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:45 pm

Well, it sounds like you have and will continue to be on your toes advocating for our hero.
ImageImage
But put a good word in for those 100-plus great '60s songs sometime, will ya?

Fri Feb 24, 2006 11:49 pm

Did we expect too much from Elvis ?

Well, we knew he would have a follow-up single after the success of LMT.

We didn't know what the title would be, of course.

Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:08 am

MauriceinIreland wrote:Totally wrong Pete, as far as I am concerned.

I was thrilled to hear "It's Now or Never" etc

Elvis was on a roll those first few years after returning from the Army. "Elvis is Back" gave us a clue to what to expect and raised our expectations . "Fame and Fortune" is one of our favourite songs.

Elvis was always a great ballad singer. The sheer raw excitement of Rock 'n' Roll had already diminished.

Staying red hot after those Golden years of RNR would have been some undertaking............. even for Elvis.


Maurice -
Yes you have sung the praises of some of those great early 60's records. But weren't you at least a little disappointed at the time in the Something for Everybody and Pot Luck lp's, as well as the general 'softening' of Elvis' image? Colin has stated this in the past, and I'd bet that Ger was.

Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:16 am

I think during the later years some fans might have. he was ill and needed a break from touring really in '76 then on into '77...

Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:53 am

Yes Pete, Those two albums were not exactly full of classic Elvis. Of course Some of the songs are very good, but the covers were awful:-(

It's not all cut and dried.

What did we expect? Elvis had already cut his sideburns for, "King Creole", very much to my disappointment (I had at last managed to grow mine! I was only sixteen)

The Hollywood kiss curl Elvis looked just so Square! We couldn't really change our appearance to that image......... could we......? Our parents would have been overjoyed :wink:

But, Believe you me, whenever I'm talking about Elvis to the media or non fans I concentrate on Elvis's fantastic material. We really do need to Focus on publicising the wealth of beautiful and exciting music he gave us. We are mature enough to accept Elvis's career left the track for a time. But it WAS years!

Many young journalists and DJs just have not got a clue about Elvis. They do a little quick research and think they know the whole story :lol:

Many of us here (yes even us oldies) are learning new stuff every day, thanks to all the guys who specialise. The WWW is a whole new chapter.............volume........International Library!

I just wish far more original Elvis fans would arrive here on the message boards. I meet them on the street and their Elvisology far exceeds mine AND most experts I've read.......they did not marry as children :lol:


http://press.xtvworld.com/article9619.html

Sat Feb 25, 2006 3:51 pm

Graceland Gardener wrote:ong before anyone heard of Bruce Lee, or Chuck Norris,
there was....
Elvis Presley studying and earning a blackbelt.

In 1959 Bruce was already teaching his friends kung fu and of course you wouldn't have heard of him cause he was in HongKong.