All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:13 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JLGB wrote:Same thing about radio airplay on The Beatles' HEY JUDE about 4 minutes too long out of almost 7....So that is not a negative on SM Imo.

No, you're comparing two different things.

In 1969 Felton put a "bump and fade" on "Suspicious Minds," which initially screwed up DJs who were not expecting it. The Beatles single of "Hey Jude" -- all 7:13 of it -- played out an extended coda of several minutes, but it did not fade out and then return.

As the top single of 1968 -- and one of the biggest of their career -- this innovative coda was an attraction, not a detriment.


1968 was in many ways the final nail in the coffin on the 3-minute single rule. Besides "Hey Jude," Richard Harris scored a major hit with the epic "MacArthur Park."

Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:13 pm

I would never intend to knock Felton, but I think his biggest crime has to be erasing the Jungle Room recording of America The Beautiful...

I think it's a bit pointless picking out tracks like Hey Jude, I'll Never Fall In Love Again etc as mistakes that should never have seen the light of day - if Ernst and Roger had un-earthed them in the early 1990's most fans would have been thrilled at the thought of some "unreleased" songs in the vaults and cried out for them to be included on an Essential Elvis disc or boxset!

DJC

Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:23 pm

::: Sure, just like there is NOTHING PATHETIC in your postings.

- not sure about postings, doc, but you are typical example of pathetic person. But OK maybe you are right 100 % of the time, our opinions are like laws and you ate all wisdom of the World, ah, sorry, of USA. Good luck with this, Doc Graphomaniac.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:14 am

In many ways "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is an archetypal Elvis track in that technical perfection came up second to emotional expression in his work. It's the sound of devastation to me, almost as if Elvis is thinking of the words on the spot. Ernst by the way praised this track in his recording sessions book years and years ago for this very same reason.

The fade on "Hey Jude" just goes on too long. I like it but not for three and a half minutes.

Without the fade in and fade out, "Suspicious Minds" is a much more conventional record albeit still transcendent record. As the years have gone on fans have come to anticipate the fade in and fade out. It gives the record a sense of drive and also adds to it unpredictably. Arguably it even says something about the subject of the song itself as if the singer is sapped of all his wind and then comes back for more because it's so important.

It didn't wind up killing radio play as it went to #1 and is one of the all time most played songs in history. The #1 source of the idea that it damaged radio play is Marty Lacker who had an interest in American. Many records had fake endings before "Suspcious Minds" and many like the Four Seasons' version of "I've Got You Under My Skin" were just as convincing that the record was over.

Although Chips Moman did mostly a great job on the sessions, a problem I have with him is that he fails to realize there were two producers on that session Elvis and himself. I think he would have preferred that Elvis just sing but Elvis had very definite ideas not only about the material he performed but how it should sound as well. I compliment Chips for always being respectful of Elvis and their work together but the fact that he has disowned about half the sessions is an indication of artistic pride not an assessment of artistic worth. The ending of "Suspicious Minds" and a lot of Elvis' material like "Stranger in My Hometown", "I'll Hold You in My Heart" etc. were highlights of the session.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:21 am

ColinB wrote:Felton Jarvis' greatest crime ?

Marrying that tape-burning wife of his.


:lol:

Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:47 am

The guy was a hack producer with no artistic or creative direction and in the 1970's did nothing to enhance the quality of Elvis' recordings. Imagine Elvis working with someone like Tom Dowd, Jon Landau, Bill Szymczyk or Glyn Johns in the 1970's....

Tue Sep 12, 2006 6:10 am

I think that's really unfair. Felton did produce hits for other artists. However, he does deserve a lot of credit for what he did with Elvis. "How Great Thou Art", the 1967 country rock experiments, Elvis Country, "Burning Love" etc. These are fine achievements.

We have Felton to thank above anybody else that Elvis recorded "Burning Love". It was his contacts that found the song. He encouraged Elvis to record it. He did the overdubs and they are pretty damn good overdubs. That guitar at the beginning was a master stroke. In 1967, it was Felton that hooked Elvis up with Jerry Reed. Elvis found the song but Felton suggested bringing Reed in. A lot of the energy that Elvis put into the "How Great Thou Art" sessions came from Elvis' synergy with Felton. And on stuff like "Elvis Country" or the ending of "Suspicious Minds" Felton was able to articulate Elvis' musical vision.

He wasn't a great visionary producer like Phil Spector and he should have challenged Elvis more in the later days. But he was no hack.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:27 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
JLGB wrote:Same thing about radio airplay on The Beatles' HEY JUDE about 4 minutes too long out of almost 7....So that is not a negative on SM Imo.

No, you're comparing two different things.

In 1969 Felton put a "bump and fade" on "Suspicious Minds," which initially screwed up DJs who were not expecting it. The Beatles single of "Hey Jude" -- all 7:13 of it -- played out an extended coda of several minutes, but it did not fade out and then return.

As the top single of 1968 -- and one of the biggest of their career -- this innovative coda was an attraction, not a detriment.
I see what you mean but I tried to say that both records were at the mercy of radio had they decided to simply take the record out as soon as first fade came in and the (Beatles) na na nas be shortened ( fading sooner) by 2 or 3 minutes.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:46 am

likethebike wrote:In many ways "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is an archetypal Elvis track in that technical perfection came up second to emotional expression in his work. It's the sound of devastation to me, almost as if Elvis is thinking of the words on the spot. Ernst by the way praised this track in his recording sessions book years and years ago for this very same reason.


Well said bike.....in an extract from a great book by respected author Robert Matthew-Walker, "Occasionally Presley's voice falters as though overcome by emotion. This is great singing, and the effect is shattering."
Much along the lines of your observations and mine exactly.
Last edited by Larry Dickman on Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:33 am

likethebike wrote:In many ways "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is an archetypal Elvis track in that technical perfection came up second to emotional expression in his work. It's the sound of devastation to me, almost as if Elvis is thinking of the words on the spot. Ernst by the way praised this track in his recording sessions book years and years ago for this very same reason.

Did he?

August 1977 edition => no comment

June 1984 edition => "Elvis' vocals reflect the strain he had to work under and 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again' provides one instance that is poignant to the point of being downright painful ... listening to these recordings in retrospect, knowing full well how ill and tired Elvis was, one wonders that there was no one in authority attentive to Presley's well-being enough to forbid him to do any recording work altogether."

July 1998 edition => "Perhaps Elvis was looking for a challenge ... (but he) could no longer compete. It wasn't so much power as tonality that he'd lost, and while he seemed to be trying as hard as he could, it was clear that he could neither hit the notes nor convey the feeling."

Where is the praise?

Is there some other copy of Jørgensen's book? Or did you misstate Ernst's expert observations to support your argument?

If it's the latter I'm deeply disapointed, that's not your style.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 10:51 am

Doc - while this session is no doubt Elvis' worst it doesn't follow that it was rubbish.

I have read Ernst Comments with great interest. Ref ILL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN - I cannot hear what Ernst is hearing? In the same way many peope find the taste of Blue Cheese wonderful while others actually find it OFFENSIVE??!! Who is right?

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:22 am

LesterB wrote:Doc - while this session is no doubt Elvis' worst it doesn't follow that it was rubbish.

I have read Ernst Comments with great interest. Ref ILL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN - I cannot hear what Ernst is hearing? In the same way many peope find the taste of Blue Cheese wonderful while others actually find it OFFENSIVE??!! Who is right?


John Boy is always right........HIS is THE only opinion that counts.
Orders will be obeyed.
The floggings will continue, until moral improves!

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:35 am

I am referring to the version of the book called "Reconsider Baby". I have no copy of it. I had to read it through inter-library loan in about 1989 or 1990. I could have sworn it was a positive reference. I remember the "poignant" but not the qualifier. I didn't mean to mislead. I just threw that in. I don't need Ernst to make my points for me as I often diverge from him. The Viva Las Vegas sessions for instance were very strong to my ears. Disappointing to his. I just remembered it in the positive way. Sometimes your mind plays tricks on you as you move further and further away from an event. I remember reading Carr and Farren's book and thinking they blasted the Boulevard LP. I read it again years later and it was a very fairly positive appraisal. Even more, Guralnick and Ernst (as well as Dave Marsh and other critics) often change their minds on individual pieces. So, it seemed natural that Ernst could have two different appraisals at different times. The point is I didn't intentionally mean to mislead. If that's what it says it's what it says.

In retrospect, I may have taken the "downright painful" qualifier as the highest of all compliments I don't know. As I said, it was a long time ago that I read this book.

Anyway Elvis' performance of this song is aching and real that he struggles for some notes only emphasizes the power of the emotion.
Last edited by likethebike on Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:38 am

This session was not Elvis's worst when it comes to non soundtrack recordings. At least his voice is full and strong. The worst sessions, despite my liking of most of the songs. would definitely have to be the July 1973 Stax sessions. His voice is flat, uncontrolled, tired, uninspired. You only have to listen to the whole Raised on rock album, despite maybe the highlight 'For ol' times sake', its not enough to save it.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:42 am

I agree Scott except I would add "Thing About You Baby" in there as highlight from July 1973 as well.

I think the Feb 1976 sessions are solid and I think the recordings mostly reflect a somber and depressing but serious mind about recording which is something you can't say about some soundtracks (PHS) and July 1973.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:44 am

Yes, same here. One of my fave upbeat songs of the 70s 8)

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:51 am

When it came to recording sessions at that time in Elvis' career there was one thing he just couldn't do - be bothered.

Illness and exhaustion are used as an excuse to cover up for Elvis when deep down he just had no motivation for sessions anymore. Any excuse to get out of them was okay by him.

What does come through is his voice was still good enough most of the time if he sang almost in his sleep. But on other occasions he didnt get away with it. I'll Never Fall In Love Again is one of those. He sounds as if he trying too hard to inject something into the song he cant find, theres no soul in it at all and he'd never considered a structure of phrasing for it. It ends up at times as if he's singing it whilst straining something else out. Really it was another Hey Jude - one of those warm up demos with a label on the side of it "Not for Resale"

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:57 am

likethebike wrote:I am referring to the version of the book called "Reconsider Baby".

FYI, that is the 1986 US hardcover reprint of the 1984 edition by Pierian Press.

Sorry to be so strident, but when you misreferenced Ernst I couldn't let it rest. He is an established authority on Elvis' oeuvre, and his opinion is worth getting right.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 12:05 pm

I read many years ago about Elvis trying too hard on the Boulevard album. I hear the same emotion of Hurt on that song as well. Whether he inflected REAL emotion when he recorded is secondary or irrelevant to me because I bought it (sure fooled me) then... and still do today. Great acting if the emotion was not REAL. :wink:

Re: Felton Jarvis' No. 1 Crime

Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:55 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Thomas wrote:Releasing an absolutely horrible verison of "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain", concerning it was such a great jam (available on "Jungleroom Sessions).

If you're going to nail Felton for some of his release selections, those Elvis told him to keep in the can or which Jarvis knew were unfinished and substandard go ahead of your pick:

"Love Me, Love The Life I Lead"
"Hey Jude"

If you're talking about the 1976 Graceland sessions, it's shameful Jarvis ever let a pathetic recording like "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" be heard by the public. Elvis sounds awful.


I almost have the same feeling regarding "Never again". I´don´t think his vocal performance is up to par here.

//Björn

Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:31 pm

ColinB: Felton Jarvis' greatest crime ? Marrying that tape-burning wife of his.

See also the interview on http://www.elvisinfonet.com/interview_e ... sharp.html

Ken Sharp: In the mid 70s, the first person in Elvis' inner circle you connected with was his late producer, Felton Jarvis.

Ernst: I was awestruck. My only hope that he would talk to me was two years earlier; he corresponded with me through his wife, Mary. I had written him a long letter about Elvis recording sessions. I got back a long letter from him and Mary with all the details I wanted including all the songs for the Promised Land album that weren't even released yet. As a person, he was such a nice man, incredibly helpful and as enthusiastic as any of us who really appreciated Elvis' music. He'd just done these sessions down at Graceland and he couldn't stop talking about the recording of 'Danny Boy'. He was kind enough to invite my wife and I down for some mixing sessions for the From Elvis Presley Boulevard album, which unfortunately we couldn't make. He died fairly young but I maintained a relationship with his wife Mary all through the rest of her life. She was the same heart-warming, helpful and intelligent person.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:46 pm

LTB, while Jarvis certainly was behind the mixing console on some great Presley recordings, his inconsistency and lack of cohesive direction is what made him a hack. Obviously Elvis wouldn't have aligned himself for so many years with a man without any ability. But, while Jarvis did fine work on Burning Love, what else did he bring to the table during that session? Granted it was complicated compiling quality material because of the insane publishing deals, but Jarvis didn't push Elvis in any creative direction after 1970. Other producers would have walked away from a project and an artist that were not working in a productive way. He was weak.

Tue Sep 12, 2006 11:51 pm

"I'll Never Fall In Love Again" would be a strong contender for the worst recording by Elvis Prealey.

It should never have been released in Elvis' lifetime, and it would not have been released had Elvis not been so parsimonious toward laying down tracks.

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:11 am

LesterB wrote:many peope find the taste of Blue Cheese wonderful while others actually find it OFFENSIVE??!! Who is right?
Great example!

Wed Sep 13, 2006 12:26 am

LesterB wrote:I have read Ernst Comments with great interest. Ref ILL NEVER FALL IN LOVE AGAIN - I cannot hear what Ernst is hearing? In the same way many peope find the taste of Blue Cheese wonderful while others actually find it OFFENSIVE??!! Who is right?

Using your analogy, that means because many people find the music of Justin Timberlake "wonderful while others find it OFFENSIVE??!!" we'll never be able to determine who is right.

Frankly, we can make that call, just like we can about the Presley song in question.