All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sun Mar 18, 2007 1:32 am

Great post, Greg.

Robt, you have misunderstood the point entirely. The title of the box set has got nothing to do with the song. It’s a message to the critics to walk a mile in my shoes (if you can) before you criticize (me) and abuse (my name).

No one can walk a mile in that guy’s shoes, and that’s the message.

Per

Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:54 am

hey the king is alive,

name one critic and if you can, include his/her review
of Elvis 70's studio work!!!

I know that here in AUST, when the double LP "Elvis In
Concert" came out, there was one review in Dec 1977
which was negative. But that's the only time i am
aware of it. Oh and BTW that double LP made the top
ten here in our charts peaking at number 8.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 6:37 am

Robt wrote:hey the king is alive,

name one critic and if you can, include his/her review
of Elvis 70's studio work!!!

:roll:

Robert Christgau.

http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_arti ... is+Presley


Sadly, until recently (and outside of notables Peter Guralnick, Greil Marcus, and Dave Marsh), most critics dismissed the '70s Elvis out of hand. The box, whether hard core fans like us like it or not, was obviously pitched in part to "talk back" to those who felt that Elvis was a joke by the 1970s, with records not even worth mentioning.

"Walk A Mile In My Shoes" was a set that "hit back" against such ignorance.

Today, when you go to the "All Music" site, it's loaded with surprisingly informed reviews of Elvis' '70s albums, as well as later FTD's, etc.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=am ... q5ztu48~T2


What a turnaround and I can partly say that the beautifully-titled "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" played a role in that.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:26 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
Robt wrote:hey the king is alive,

name one critic and if you can, include his/her review
of Elvis 70's studio work!!!

:roll:

Robert Christgau.

http://www.robertchristgau.com/get_arti ... is+Presley


That's a flawed example if ever I saw one.

Look what he said about "His Hand In Mine" -- a 1960's gospel album:

His Hand in Mine [RCA Victor, 1978]
With its mawkish self-righteousness, the title epitomizes why we backsliders have permanent doubts about fundamentalist culture. As do the music's secular sellouts, overblown sanctimony, and simulated heavenly hosts--and the thought of RCA making money on two dead messiahs at once. C


I'm not religious; indeed, I hate religion -- but that's the most condescending, superficial bullcrap I've ever read.

How can you possibly dredge up a two-bit asswipe like that and pass his comments off as a potent example? It doesn't work. Someone that biased is going to hate an Elvis compendium regardless of the way it was put together, rendering null and void the idea that a compassionately-compiled boxset can silence people like that.

This sounded more virulent than I intended it to be, but posers like that deserve a few harsh words sent their way. Take what he said on "That's The Way It Is": "proves that he can remember the words without cue cards." Or this on "Elvis Country": "Most of his recordings sound suspiciously casual anyway, like preconcert runthroughs." It's Goldman-like stuff; elaborate constructions of tinsel and mud.

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:What a turnaround and I can partly say that the beautifully-titled "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" played a role in that.


I agree with you there. The title was beautifully chosen.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:27 am

interesting post Gregory!

I've had a glance at what the reviewer had wrote in his observation
(incidently how long ago was it done like in what year?)for the most part,
i have to agree with his comments (particularly the ELVIS COUNTRY
disastorous concept).

Gregory look at it from this perspective: In the seventies
other artists and bands put out longer more adventurous and imaginative front covers and titles to their albums
whereas some of Elvis' albums in comparrison were barely
35 minutes in length. Other Artists and record companies would give their fans better
value for their money as opposed to R.C.A

We now know that in some cases Elvis did not even (or care to) know
what tracks were going on to his albums or what their titles were. GOOD TIMES, RAISED ON ROCK, NOW, TODAY are hardly what you would
describe as eye catching titles and that goes for their front covers! Some of those mid Seventies
albums were so short that as the reviewer describe them, they resembled
something you'd expect from a CAMDEN release, i agree. I think that
the fans at the time had every right to feel cheated by RCA in that respect.

Put simply most artists had pacakged and promoted their own titles and how
many tracks should be on the records also how the covers should
look but Elvis, for the most part, left it to the likes of FELTON JARVIS
and the good ole' Colonel Parker.

If the WAMIMS project has answered the critics and reached it's objectives great
i'm happy for BMG, Roger and Ernst. All i know is that it left out some
fine studio masters and today that seventies restoration is a total
mess. One should not have to obtain upgraded versions of 70's
studio albums to complete their collections. Time to let Bear Family
have a go.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 8:45 am

Robt wrote:interesting post Gregory!

I've had a glance at what the reviewer had wrote in his observation
(incidently how long ago was it done like in what year?)for the most part,
i have to agree with his comments (particularly the ELVIS COUNTRY
disastorous concept).

Gregory look at it from this perspective: In the seventies
other artists and bands put out longer more adventurous and imaginative front covers and titles to their albums
whereas some of Elvis' albums in comparrison were barely
35 minutes in length. Other Artists and record companies would give their fans better
value for their money as opposed to R.C.A

We now know that in some cases Elvis did not even (or care to) know
what tracks were going on to his albums or what their titles were. GOOD TIMES, RAISED ON ROCK, NOW, TODAY are hardly what you would
describe as eye catching titles and that goes for their front covers! Some of those mid Seventies
albums were so short that as the reviewer describe them, they resembled
something you'd expect from a CAMDEN release, i agree. I think that
the fans at the time had every right to feel cheated by RCA in that respect.

Put simply most artists had pacakged and promoted their own titles and how
many tracks should be on the records also how the covers should
look but Elvis, for the most part, left it to the likes of FELTON JARVIS
and the good ole' Colonel Parker.

If the WAMIMS project has answered the critics and reached it's objectives great
i'm happy for BMG, Roger and Ernst. All i know is that it left out some
fine studio masters and today that seventies restoration is a total
mess. One should not have to obtain upgraded versions of 70's
studio albums to complete their collections. Time to let Bear Family
have a go.


This is very unfair.

RCA was merely following the industry standard of 10 songs per LP.

35 minutes average per LP is normal value at the time. Anymore and the technical quality falls off dramatically.

As for the covers...judging by what most people here seem to have on their desktops...then the head shots were just what the fans wanted.

With over 200 new albums released by RCA USA since his DEATH...I would say that all in all we have been royally treated.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:18 am

My friend,

aren't you forgetting that not every Presley fan can
afford to fill the pockets of BMG and keep up with ALL (you say 200) of the releases including FTD.

In hindsight it would be more economical to have a more streamlined
double features of the 70's albums done. But this also would have
failed to put the 70's studio material in some context. I'm hoping
that some of you are knocking on the door of Bear Family in order
to see if they would consider a possible 8 cd boxed set.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 4:01 pm

Cryo, for the record, Mr. Christgau (unceremoniously dumped by New York's Village Voice in the last year as that paper continues to tank) is one of the more notable rock critics since the 1970s here in the U.S.A. Hence his less than humble moniker "the dean of American rock critics." :lol:

That said, I do find his comments about "His Hand In Mine" as typical of how counter-cultural, baby boomer rock critics wrote off Elvis' artistic contributions on his gospel sessions just because he wasn't doing "rock." His anti-religious bias (which you admit to having yourself) is so strident (at least at the time of that review) that it can seen as a sort of fanaticism unto itself. (Personally, I feel that people -particularly those who were not raised in any faith tradition- would do well not to dismiss religion so acidly. )

As for the time of the reviews, Robert, these are clearly reviews collected over the years, so they are contemporary either of the time of the LPs' release dates or sometime after. I think he did an anthology of his work at one point and may have added some reviews later.

That said, I'm quite sure that Christgau is one of those critics who is on record for finding "Walk A Mile In My Shoes: the Essential '70s Masters" a convincing ride. I'll post it if I can find it.


I do see an old commentary from another site where Christgau (who never was my kind of critic) says the following (and I think we can all agree :lol: ):

Elvis' immediately obvious direct influence on the style of subsequent
performers is a woefully inadequate measure of his overall influence
and significance both as a cultural force in the broadest sense
(Leonard Bernstein called Elvis, "the greatest cultural force in the
20th century") and specifically as a musician (Robert Christgau wrote,
"It's so easy to forget that Elvis was, or is, a great singer. Any
account of his impact that omits that fundamental fact amounts to a
dismissal.")
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:01 pm

hey Gregory,

if you can find a review from Jesus...sorry Robert... Christ , re WAMIMS that'll be interesting so thank you
in advance.

Gregory, this post originally started off as which tracks should've been
included on the boxed set (and i replied with my three). I am going to go the opposite direction now and submit three cuts i felt
should NOT have been on the box set, these are:-

1) Froggy Went A Courtin'
2) Softly As I Leave You (1974 rehersal)
3) I Was The One

1) This is a silly piece and not "Essential 70's masters" material.
2) What was wrong with using the version that came out as a single!
3) this one too loosy goosy and was ultimately included on the
"That's the Way it is" 3 cd box. Again not "Essential 70's" material.

What do you reckon Greg? Which ones would you leave out and howcome?

Oh i'm still waiting for you to answer my earlier question. Hows
Bernice and Albert?

Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:20 pm

All are fine, "Robt."
:wink:

1) Froggy Went A Courtin'
2) Softly As I Leave You (1974 rehersal)
3) I Was The One


I happen to have very much liked the inclusion of those very tracks you mention, save for maybe "Softly" which I've never liked much but it's a very telling song about Elvis in the '70s. It meant a lot to him - and that's enough for me.

Can we re-name this thread "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" on the '70s box? We could nitpick about it until the cows come home.
:lol:

Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:25 pm

Having just turned 47, I'm old enough to remember reading some of Christgau's reviews when they were new. The annoying thing about his Elvis reviews is that, when generally favorable they come across as back-handed compliments.

As for songs that should not have been on the box, my choices are the Aloha Suspicious Minds; the MSG I'll Remember You; and the 50's oldies.

The MSG evening show version of I Can't Stop Loving You should've been on the live disc.

Sun Mar 18, 2007 5:40 pm

Hey Greg,

those very tracks were inappropriate considering it's sub title "Essential Seventies Masters" and it's aim was to make Elvis in the seventies
look and SOUND THE BEST. Also they were included at the expense of some
studio classics (i.e. Early Morning Rain being one of 'em). Ernst and Roger
can't have it both ways!

"froggy" could have still came out later on another more appropriate project.

Didja find any WAMIMS reviews yet?

Sun Mar 18, 2007 10:10 pm

jeanno wrote:
By the way, Jeano, what do you think would happen if every
single seventies purist out there joined me in "knocking on
the door" of Bear Family deutch and it's owner Richard Weize
and just tried to suggest that Bear Family give a consideration
to....THE DEFINITIVE SEVENTIES MASTERS.... that quite obviously
BMG/SONY had tragically fallen short with their WAMIMS package.

That would be at least pretty interesting... 8)

Here is BTW the design for my own complete 70´s studio masters. What do you think about it?
Image


Fabulous!! Can you sign me up for a copy?:)

Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:12 am

Robt wrote:Hey Greg,

those very tracks were inappropriate considering it's sub title "Essential Seventies Masters" and it's aim was to make Elvis in the seventies
look and SOUND THE BEST. Also they were included at the expense of some
studio classics (i.e. Early Morning Rain being one of 'em). Ernst and Roger
can't have it both ways!

"froggy" could have still came out later on another more appropriate project.

Didja find any WAMIMS reviews yet?



It's a commerical project, Robt, not a legal document. There's always a lot of room to disagree and many came away saying, "what a performer he was in the '70s: I never knew..."

I loved having "I Was the One" live (at the time I never knew he'd done it in the '70s), I found "Froggy" a fun rip at a folk / children's classic, and for a time, adored the live disc. The set was a chock full of diversity of Elvis' interests and sounds and this was part of the overall broad task in understanding him "essentially."

Ernst and Roger can "have it" any way they want. They are acclaimed for what they've done with the Presley catalog at this time and that a few fans want to complain on a forum is to be expected. Ultimately, I think the hard-core complainers have to admit that the '70s were not a straight-across-the-board success like the '50s, hence the subjective picking and choosing that went on.

To say otherwise is to identify yourself as a hard-core, true-blue fan, and that's fine, as I'm one too. But when I think about either the '60s or the '70s Elvis, I'm a firm believer that outside of fellow hard-core fans like us here, cherry-picking the best of the lot (or organizing away from "complete" this or that) is the way to have gone.

Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:23 am

shanebrown wrote:Considering that the box was called the Essential 70s masters, it seems odd that a number of non-masters found their way on to the set. i don't have an objection with some of them - Amazing Grace is far better than the master and the Tiger Man jam was good to have. But the rehearsal material I certainly have an issue with, and the live disc could have better concentrated solely on songs not recorded by Elvis in the studio - a kind of "live only" disc taking away I Was The One, One Night, Big Hunk O' Love, Reconsider Baby and Suspicious Minds and adding the likes of I Can't Stop Loving You, What Now My Love, Let Me Be There, Johnny B Goode and maybe even If You Love Me. I also think that unchained melody, my way, america and softly as i leave you should all have been under the singles section. Otherwise the inclusion of the It's Diff'rent now rehearsal should have been held back for Rhythm n Country and Lady Madonna would have fitted better on A Hundred Years From Now. I'm not sure what Love Coming Down is doing there either when the likes of Honky Tonk Angel are missing.

Having said all that, I remember buying the set when it came out and being overwhelmed by the sound in comparison to what we had had before and, at the time, to see the 70s material dealt with in such a serious way as this box was a revelation. In hindsight its easy to pull it to bits but in 1995 this was something special.


Some excellent points Shane, except the inclusion of Love Coming Down, which would be in my top ten favourites. Each to his own I guess, I wish Honky Tonk was on there as well.
Obviously the horse has bolted as this is a 12 year old set now and at the end of the day, Ernst had some tough decisions to make, not that this deminishes the validity of any of the criticisms made of the set.

Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:27 am

Its amazing how time travels, I remember receiving this set as a birthday gift and the excitement at listening to all the gems I had never heard before. I suppose they could have separated up the live from the studio recordings and done an Essential 70s Masters II in the same vein as Command Performances. This could have included all performance masters.

I would perhaps have done something like a 2 disc set with the first disc representing Elvis on stage in 1970 and the 2nd disc 1972-77 utilising multitrack tapes throughout. Or disc 1 could focus on the Vegas masters and disc 2 could be the tour recordings.

Has anyone done the task of adding up the total running time of Elvis' studio masters? I mean, how many discs would a boxset need anyway if it were to contain only the master recordings and no outtakes?

Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:11 am

That question has been answered before, Matthew. All 147 masters, including "Tiger Man", "Lady Madonna", "A Hundred Years from Now", "My Way", "I Shall Be Released", and "It’s Diff’rent Now", have a combined running time of 7,4 hours. If you remove the Christmas material and the 1971 gospel recordings, you should be able to fit everything on five CDs. Six CDs take the lot.

Per

Mon Mar 19, 2007 11:47 am

Hi Y'all

First to Jeanno: Great design as usual for the box, though I'm not too keen on the orange colour... I mean, it sure is ORANGE :shock: Sure, it's a 70's set, and orange was a very popular colour in the 70's - remember orange velvet pants, anyone? - but still...

I think the text on the black sticker regarding the live tracks is a bit unprecise, since the point for the inclusion of a disc with live tracks isn't so much that they are "the best performances live", but rather that they are master recordings of songs, that were not recorded in a studio version 8)

Second, regarding the discussion of the Walk A Mile In My Shoes box: I understand completely the criticism about the project not being complete, not being actual 'essential masters' etc. However, as others have pointed out, it did serve the purpose of reinstating Elvis' 70' recordings, both studio and live, to the general public, to the music critics as well as a lot of Elvis fans ignorant about this period.

I was an Elvis fan since age 13 or 14, which was in the early 80's. However, I followed the common wisdom at that time, that Elvis' 50's recordings were the only ones worthy of any interest and attention. The only late period Elvis song I knew, was the 'laughing version' of 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', which I found totally stupid. Nothing 70's Elvis was played on any radio program, that I knew of. And the visual image, that I had of him, was from the '77 Special! A fat bloke out his minds not remembering the words and treating his old songs like shite! :x

Then came the 'Reconsider Baby' blues compilation, which opened my ears to 'Elvis Is Back' and other early 60's recordings, and 'The Memphis Records' double LP, which introduced me to the 1969 recordings. I had it on a yellow BASF tape, that I completely wore out :D But still completely ingnorant about the 70's, which I still considered being a tragic combination of schmaltz and muzak. :roll:

I bought the 50's and 60's boxes, when they were released. Then came 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' and I was so much in doubts, as to buying it or not. One one hand, it was sort of needed to complete the empty place next to the two other boxes, but on the other hand, it meant shelling out quite a few bob for something, that I knew I wouldn't be listening to. :?

Then I read a surprisingly positive review in my favourite music magazine at the time, the british 'MOJO', by Colin Escott I think, where it received four out of five stars. That review convinced me to buy it and actually listen to it out of curiosity. And I was totally blown away!!! So much good music, no terrific, no bloody unbelievably great music. 'I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water', 'Faded Love', 'Don't Think Twice', 'Merry Christmas Baby', 'Never Been To Spain', 'T.R.O.U.B.L.E', 'She Thinks I Still Care' and on and on and on...

I listened to nothing else for something like two months. I insisted on playing it for my girlfriend (now my wife) and all of my friends, and all of them agreed, that there was so much music on that set, that was so different to their conception of Elvis in the 70's. And the live tracks on disc 5 - WOW!!! 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' and 'Proud Mary'! Holy macaroni, it was great. And the rehearsal version of 'Stranger In My Own Home Town', which I knew in the studio version from '69! And the image of Elvis on the front of the box? Goodbye fat bloke, welcome unbelievably cool! 8)

I was so hooked! In a very short time, I acquired all of Elvis' 70's albums (on vinyl :lol: ) and I played them over and over in the years following. Sure, there was and still is a number of weak, even really, really bad, songs like 'Life', 'Fool' or 'The Last Farewell', but that was nothing compared to all of the diamonds and nuggets I discovered. Then came Essential Elvis Vol. 4 and 5, which had so many great alternate take, and 'An Afternoon In The Garden' - was this really the first complete 70's show we got? And then FTD started...

As you can see, 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes' was very important to me at that time, and therefore I still have a large affinity for it. Since then, I've rated 70's Elvis at least as highly as 50's or 60's Elvis. And I continue to make converts out of non believers by letting them borrow 'Walk A Mile In My Shoes'. As an solid introduction to Elvis' 70's work, I couldn't think of anything better! :D

All the best,
Jakob

Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:43 am

hey gregory,

still waiting on the WAMIMS review you promised.

while im at it, has someone out there been able to trace
where Elvis "allegedly" made the "walk a block in my
socks" from? I still think it's bull crap.

Tue Mar 20, 2007 10:32 am

Because it sucks big time!!!

Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:31 am

Hey carolyn,


It has been 12 years since the tragedy that was WAMIMS - The "Essential" seventies masters came out. I'm hoping a number of fans will just put in the effort of knocking on Bear Family's door as it seems unlikely that
BMG will package another studio seventies boxed set. It was supposed to present Elvis 70's
music in a positive light. Apparently Elvis 70's music had a lot of critics
though not in Australia that i know of, but perhaps he took flack
in the U.S.A if Gregory Nolans inclusion of some longtime critic called Robert Christ's "observations"
is any indication.

If you were going to compile a forward that accompanies a commercial
(shambles) product such as WAMIMS that's main aim was to put the
seventies legacy in a positive light, then you'd better be 100%
accurate with the facts!! No falsehoods, stupid implications is allowed.

Also you don't put so many fragments of songs Elvis
barely knew the lyrics of.

That's What

Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:04 pm

Robt - you'd do well here to loose the attitude matey.

Walk A Mile In My Shoes is hardly a tradegy. "Walk A Block In My Socks" sounds like something that befits the type of stage humour that Elvis had, get over it. So you don't have a direct source, so what, it hardly brings down the legacy that is the recorded works of Elvis Presley.

As to this Bear Family malarkey, what do you seriously hope to accomplish here rambling on about something that will never, ever happen. Indeed, are you "knocking on the door of Bear Family"..didn't think so.

Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:18 pm

Mathew,

What attitude is that matey!

And where and when did Elvis made that remark. I'd love
to know.

Mathew, indeed i had sent off an e-mail to Bear Family to a least
give a seventies studio box set some consideration only last week.

Mathew your resemblance is uncanny!

Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:28 pm

Antagonistic.

I can't answer your question, but at the same time I don't see the importance of it and why it really matters.

As to Bear Family, they could make any consideration they'd like. They could want to do a 70s set on Elvis, doesn't mean they could. Personally I think Elvis' music legacy has been in fine hands since the late 80s when a certain partnership took the reigns and steered Elvis' catalogue in the right direction. They continue to do so today, not least with the FTD label. Working for Elvis' music are also a team of dedicated audio restorers, I can rest easy.

Tue Mar 20, 2007 1:34 pm

mathew and carolyn,

i merely want know where the comment originated from! however
trivial it may seem to you. hey elvis could've made the remark but
if not why would you want to include it in a forward that a lot
of hard work went into?.

I did not intend to be "antagonist" toward the boxed set indeed as
i stated in a message earlier in this post, it contained some good
stuff.

My interest in Elvis today is purely the 70's. of course it's a tragedy that the boxed set left out so many great studio masters ("early morning rain" seems
to be the overwhelming pick amongst the fans). BMG had almost 12 years
to rectify this including a possible FTD but chose not to. Without knowing
what the logistics would be for an outfit as Bear Family , it can
do no harm to drop them a line and ask if there is anything they
could do about this.

Mathew, i've had it with this subject so it's the last one for me.
But i must say i really enjoyed and follow your posts in the year that i
joined the F.E.C.D.C and look forward 2ing and froing with you
on other topics that may come up. Keep up the good work.