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Songs that should have been on the 70's box

Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:21 pm

On the It's Easy For You thread Christopher Brown mentioned two songs that he felt should have been on the 70's box (IEFY; Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain). I thought this would make for a good thread. My choices are:

Help Me Make It Through The Night (Overproduced, but I like Elvis' performance, the bluesy feel of the band, and it's a great song).

Early Morning Rain (A warm rendition of another great song that Elvis was obviously fond of - this definitely should've been on the box).

There's a Honkytonk Angel [Who'll Take Me Back In] (A fine performance of a fine country ballad).

I Can't Stop Loving You - MSG evening show version (An absolute tour de force. I remain perplexed that no live version of ICSLY made it onto the box, considering how essential it was to the live show 69-74).

In my opinion the above 4 tunes should've been on the box.

A case can be made for the following tracks (although I'm not nearly as strong on them as the songs above):

Fools Rush In (Solid if unexceptional reading of an old standard).

Where Do I Go From Here? (I like this tune. The lyric is not the usual lost love type ballad, and it becomes up-tempo on the choruses).

Find Out What's Happening (I think Elvis' performance on this is as good, if not better than Just a Little Bit. I also like the band's playing).

She Wears My Ring (Nice song, nice performance. Hey, he gets the girl in this tune!)

Fairytale (I don't think Elvis really nailed this song in the studio, but it's still a pretty lively number, and he was obviously fond of the tune).

Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain (I like the bluesy arrangement/interpretation of this classic country song. But the excessive reverb is a bit distracting).

Please no 'they should have released all the studio masters' posts.

Wed Feb 01, 2006 6:24 pm

I am sure that for awhile a lot of the stax tracks from december were under consideration to be included in the box, as the remixes fetured on promised land 2000 were made by ferrante in 1995 for the 70's mmasters

Wed Feb 01, 2006 7:53 pm

The box set series started out as complete retrospectives.
But Ernst doesn't think Elvis is "good enough" (my quote marks)in the 70's, so he changes the whole series and to this day I don't have all the tracks on cd.

If he wanted to do a best of the 70's that could have been done later.

To be consistent all the 70's output should have been on there.

And I never liked the mixture of live and studio tracks or seperating all the singles on 2 discs. Again this type of sorting could have been released on its own.

He did get around to a 70's live box, but the 70's retrospective box should have been all studio with rarities thrown in, and every song included.

And that 5th disc is a joke. Ernst has been pulling from that for years re-releasing the same performances over and over. That dilutes that disc to nothing.

And the cover is an awkward picture of Elvis. I have seen tons better pictures posted on this website.

I think I have made myself clear

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:11 pm

I agree. The 70's set should have included all secular studio masters. That equals about 120 tracks or so which would have fit the 5 disc format of the previous sets. After that they should have put out Essential 70's II. Five discs which could have included live performances and rare studio outtakes.

If I had to choose just a few songs that I thought should have made the set they would be Early Morning Rain, If You Don't Come Back & And I Love You So.

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:19 pm

ekenee wrote:The box set series started out as complete retrospectives.
But Ernst doesn't think Elvis is "good enough" (my quote marks)in the 70's, so he changes the whole series and to this day I don't have all the tracks on cd.

If he wanted to do a best of the 70's that could have been done later.

To be consistent all the 70's output should have been on there.

And I never liked the mixture of live and studio tracks or seperating all the singles on 2 discs. Again this type of sorting could have been released on its own.

He did get around to a 70's live box, but the 70's retrospective box should have been all studio with rarities thrown in, and every song included.

And that 5th disc is a joke. Ernst has been pulling from that for years re-releasing the same performances over and over. That dilutes that disc to nothing.

And the cover is an awkward picture of Elvis. I have seen tons better pictures posted on this website.

I think I have made myself clear


Um....it had nothing to do with Ernst thinking Elvis wasn't good enough in the 70s. The box set had to be 5 discs....there is too much 70s material for 5 discs even if only studio material is used...you most certainly wouldn't have room for a rarities disc. Yes, it was a creative decision on the presentation and some tracks had to be sacrificed but it couldn't be helped.

The cover is awesome in my opinion, a very striking image.

Should studio and live tracks be mixed....each to their own on this. Live performance was such a major part of Elvis in the 70s that it would have been odd not to have that aspect displayed.

Out of the 3 sets this one is my favourite so I guess I too have made my point clear.

PS. There is only one missing track to me that should have been included, Early Morning Rain.

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:26 pm

It dosen't take long for a thread to be hi-jacked :!:

For what's it worth - i would pick:-

Early Morning Rain
Fools Ruch In
Blue Eyes Cring In The Rain
Fairytale

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:47 pm

Sweet Angeline (most people dismiss it, but I love it).

Love Song Of The Year (though I was not surprised it was omitted) and Mr. Songman (beautiful harmony, wonderful lyric concept). I don't have the box set listing to hand, so it's hard to comment further.

Oh, and just for the record, "For The Heart" wouldn't even make my top 500 !

Steve Morse

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:54 pm

"Love Song Of The Year" is a beauty. Like to hear an outtake of that one some day.[/b]

Wed Feb 01, 2006 8:57 pm

Sweet Angeline is a beautiful song. Love song Of The Year is a very bad song IMo. I mean really. It would be silly enough not to write another love song. But , I don't want to write another love song of the year?!! What a writer! Not Elvis. But the guy in the song really thinks highly of himself! Whats next. Love song of the decade, century etc...

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:13 pm

mr Songman is in the singles 2nd cd.

Wed Feb 01, 2006 9:15 pm

Ton Bruins wrote:"Love Song Of The Year" is a beauty. Like to hear an outtake of that one some day.[/b]


Hear, hear!
This song is absolutely beautiful, and for once I love the arrangement.
That solo-violin is top-notch and Per Hallin's piano is priceless.
Elvis' voice has it's very special Dec. 73 timbre to it.
Speaking of which: it is strange how different his voice sounded from session to session. He was a shadow of himself in July, whereas he was thunder in December. I also love the sound of his voice in Feb. 76. Boulevard is my favorite LP in spite of his wobbly vibrato; strong songs done quite strongly.
Oh yes, I am a 70's fan... :lol:

Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:20 pm

Kiwialan wrote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It dosen't take long for a thread to be hi-jacked!


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The thread was not hi-jacked. you only listed 4 songs you wanted, but I wanted all of them there. You see?
They would all fit if all live material was left off for a seperate set.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:05 am

Matthew wrote:Um....it had nothing to do with Ernst thinking Elvis wasn't good enough in the 70s. The box set had to be 5 discs....there is too much 70s material for 5 discs even if only studio material is used...

The cover is awesome in my opinion, a very striking image.


If they had taken the same route as the 60's set (all secular studio masters) I'm pretty sure they could have fit everything onto 5 discs with room to spare for outtakes and alternate takes.

I agree with you about the cover though... one of my favorites.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 12:30 am

Well I stand corrected about it all fitting if none of the live masters where to be used. If you removed them you free up just under 15 minutes of disc space. Assuming 78-79 mins to a disc and taking into account how long each disc is on the set you'd have about 110 mins of space and the total of all the missing masters is about 102.43 including the 2 *'d tracks.

I'll Never Know 2.24
This Is Our Dance 3.12
When I'm Over You 2.26
Love Letters 2.49
If I Were You 3.01
Sylvia 3.16
Early Mornin' Rain 2.55
Padre 2.28
Help Me Make It Through The Night 2.45
Love Me, Love The Life I Lead 3.03
Where Do I Go From Here 2.38
Three Corn Patches 2.46
Find Out What's Happening 2.3
Girl Of Mine 3.39
Sweet Angeline 2.56
I Miss You 2.12
Love Song Of The Year 3.32
Help Me* 2.28
Your Loves Been A Long Time Coming 3.45
There's A Honky Tonk Angel 3.02
If That Isn't Love* 3.31
Spanish Eyes 2.21
She Wears My Ring 3.20
Fairytale 2.45
And I Love You So 3.40
Woman Without Love 3.36
Bitter They Are Harder They Fall 3.16
The Last Farewell 4.03
Solitaire 4.42
I'll Never Fall In Love Again 3.45
Never Again 2.50
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain 3.41
It's Easy For You 3.26

I guess there could've been a "Command Performances" for the 70s with live tracks.

Do think the box set is stronger over all in the format it came out..there's a LOT of tat in that list.

Reviewing it I would increase my list to this:

Early Morning Rain
And I Love You So
I'll Never Fall In Love Again - his vocal performance on this one is class.

The rest I can happily leave.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 1:02 am

The track selection for this ambitious project was not done in a casual manner by Ernst. The 70s box was problematic for a number of reasons, and given all the possibilities, he did a terrific job.

Of the omitted masters below, the only one that might have deserved to get on board was "Early Morning Rain." Most of the remainder have very obvious flaws, of songcraft, production and/or performance. And items like "Love Me, Love The Life I Lead" or "Love Song Of The Year" are simply horrendous.

Matthew wrote:I'll Never Know 2.24
This Is Our Dance 3.12
When I'm Over You 2.26
Love Letters 2.49
If I Were You 3.01
Sylvia 3.16
Early Mornin' Rain 2.55
Padre 2.28
Help Me Make It Through The Night 2.45
Love Me, Love The Life I Lead 3.03
Where Do I Go From Here 2.38
Three Corn Patches 2.46
Find Out What's Happening 2.3
Girl Of Mine 3.39
Sweet Angeline 2.56
I Miss You 2.12
Love Song Of The Year 3.32
Help Me* 2.28
Your Loves Been A Long Time Coming 3.45
There's A Honky Tonk Angel 3.02
If That Isn't Love* 3.31
Spanish Eyes 2.21
She Wears My Ring 3.20
Fairytale 2.45
And I Love You So 3.40
Woman Without Love 3.36
Bitter They Are Harder They Fall 3.16
The Last Farewell 4.03
Solitaire 4.42
I'll Never Fall In Love Again 3.45
Never Again 2.50
Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain 3.41
It's Easy For You 3.26


Trust the doc -- he knows!

DJC

Hi Guys

Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:24 am

I agree with some of you that some of the 70's songs Elvis did were not good, but maybe it would have been better for the 70's box set to have included all the studio masters, as this would have followed the idea of the 50's and 60's(minus Gospel) box sets. I personally like Love song of the Year, I never thought 'Your Love has been a long time coming' was a good song. But it comes down to people's tastes.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:34 am

The 70's box set sold miserably and BMG probably anticipated that. I think had they just released the first two discs of the box set (essentially all the 70's singles) as one double disc set, probably a lot more people would have been interested. The fifth disc is just really a waste considering that the "Live in Las Vegas" box set covers the live period pretty well. Sales must have been so dismal for BMG that to date they have not released a single Elvis compilation containing only 70's studio tracks (and they probably never will)...

Thu Feb 02, 2006 2:39 am

I didn't know that thenexte, I had always had the impression that it sold Ok. But this does make sense that they never did release a CD compilation with only Elvis 70's studio music. The 70's has always been my favourite decade for his music.

Re: Hi Guys

Thu Feb 02, 2006 3:52 am

Swede Boy wrote:But it comes down to people's tastes.

No, it comes down to Ernst's "taste" -- and thank God for that.

DJC

Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:28 am

Pete- I agree about "Can't Stop Loving You" at MSG. It's a towering performance and indicative of the way Elvis could still bend a song to his intentions.

I also agree that along with "Early Morning Rain" (a fine understated performance, Gordon Lightfoot loved it) and "Honkytonk Angel" definitely should have made the cut. I would have also kept the studio of "My Way" but found a place for the "EIC" version which is the definitive version. I also would have used the undubbed "Unchained Melody".

The other songs I can see why they were cut. "Your Love's Been a Long Time Coming" would have probably made my cut as its better than say "Just a Little Bit" or "He'll Have to Go". But it is an inferior song redeemed by a dazzling performance by Elvis. He was pretty hot in December 1973 vocally. I personally think "Love Song of the Year" is a mess of composition, it seems half-written but Elvis makes it listenable.

I agree with Ernst's approach to the comp because the live show was so integral to Elvis in the 1970s. It wouldn't do to have a 70s box and omit classic performances like "The Wonder of You" and "Just Can't Help Believin'" or to omit a substantial hit like "Steamroller Blues". The goal was to rehabilitate the reputation of Elvis' music from this period and I think Ernst did a darn fine job. A completist type set of masters would not have accomplished the same objective. Ernst did the same thing for the '60s set by only including secular studio masters. Regrettably on that set it left out some dizzying highs- soundtrack recordings like "Return to Sender" and "Can't Help Falling in Love", gospel greats like "How Great Thou Art" and the TV show stuff and the return to Vegas. However, it also made Elvis' legacy in that decade much more manageable. And when people got a load of the 60s masters undilluted by mediocre soundtracks it made a lot of people reconsider what Elvis was doing. He was doing serious work and someone had found it. In many ways, he accomplished the same thing with the '70s set. These were not just collector's sets. These were cultural statements and far from being ashamed of Elvis' later years, the 70s made a case that Elvis made so much good music in that decade you needed a box to cover it. Most people had Elvis in the 1970s down to a couple of 45s. Maybe the label should have put a companion rarities set for the left over masters but that's the main criticism you can give Ernst and company on that set. Reviews were almost unanimously positive. Even for a fan the set was an eye opener with absolutely great rarities like "A Hundred Years From Now", the studio "My Way", "Twelfth of Never", the first CD release of great lost singles like "I'm Leaving".

The set was well received commercially as well. It has been certified as US Gold Record which means that it has moved at least 100,000 boxes (5 discs per box). That's a lot of boxes at $50-70 a pop. Any other industry figure would do cartwheels over those numbers. It's just that the '50s set which moved close one million boxes domestically set the bar artificially high.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:36 am

DJC wrote: Of the omitted masters below, the only one that might have deserved to get on board was "Early Morning Rain." Most of the remainder have very obvious flaws, of songcraft, production and/or performance.

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

Do you believe the same should have been done for the 60's box set? I won't ask about the 50's because its all good. But there are some weak songs in his 60's studio output. So lets be consistent.

My point is this. These sets should have been all inclusive. This was after all the pattern that was set with the previous sets. The scope of this set should have no concern over "song quality" on this type of release. It's all subjective to a point anyway.
Do you really think that "its different now" is better than half of those songs listed? Well I don't.

I admit I don't care for all the songs left off the set, but a good many of them I do. If you start getting into the arguement over songcraft, production, performance, etc. you have too many varibibles and you may as well just pick the best 25 songs and call it quits. But that wasn't the point of a 5 disc set covering 7 years.

If Ernst wanted to make a better box he could have done that with 2 discs. Doctor you also write that it wasn't done in a casual mannor. What????? He put all the singles on the first 2 discs. How creative was that???

If the set sold poorly then all Ernst's work on this set was done in vain!? It probably wouldn't have sold any less had he done an all inclusive set.

And one more point about that picture on the cover. Doc, remember that 1974 photo of the American Eagle suit you liked on another thread a few days ago, tell me that photo isn't miles better than what they used.
That shot is gold.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 5:26 am

The set didn't sell poorly, as LTB has written it has achieved gold status.

I stated at the outset that I didn't want the predictable 'they should have released all the masters' posts. That's not what this thread was intended to be about. I like the structure of the box as is. I believe that, with a few exceptions/ommisions it represents the 70's in the best possible light. My goal here was to see what folks would have included on the box (or what they would've excluded) - but keeping the basic concept/integrity of the box as it is. Personally, I would've changed the complete singles to the essential singles, which would've allowed me to drop dreck such as Life; Heart of Rome; or filler such as Mr. Songman, in favor of the 3 studio tunes in my other post. I would've also swapped I Can't Stop Loving You for I'll Remember You on the live disc. That would've been my ideal version of the box.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:26 am

PeteDube: I see your choice of dropping some songs and adding others for your ideal Box set. But if everyone was to do that I gaurentee you there would be a different set of songs for everybody's choice.
That makes no sense to me.

That's why my idea of including every single song solves that problem. No one can say that they left off a song they liked.
That makes the most sense to me.

Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:31 am

in the end it boils down to opinion, personally i thought disc 4 was just a total mess, songs like 'susan when she tried' and 'its different now' were ok songs, but they just did not sound good on that boxset. how ever, that boxset is presented as a journey, and it does give you that feel that you're going through the years with Elvis as his music changes and his voice grows

yes i have a lot to complain about, but after having this boxset for about 2 years, and it being my first one, i still love it and its great to flick one out every now and then

Thu Feb 02, 2006 6:34 am

And I Love You So was a concert staple from '75-'77. Should've been on the box.

Based on his affection for the song, don't you think it would've made the cut if HE had chosen the lineup?