All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:35 am

I've put aside some of the interesting recent "GOLDMINE" Magazine interviews with often forgotten acts like Al Martino, Frankie "I Believe" / "You Gave Me A Mountain" Laine, John "Proud Mary" Fogarty, and Gordon "Early Morning Rain' Lightfoot...

All interviews had some nice commentary on their hit versions or when applicable, how they wrote these songs or felt about them. I'd like to assemble this sometime for an article of sorts with Elvis as the common theme.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:46 am

I have an interview with Gordon Lightfoot were he mentions about how much he loved Elvis' "Early Morning Rain."

Back to the previous post, Spector's comment was not meant as a critique just a statement of fact based upon the demos he heard. He was commenting on the interesting way, to him, the recordings were made. Also Spector was inadvertently advertising his own view of pop creation where singers should just sing. By the way it appears that he was erroneous in his assumption that Elvis just recorded over some demos. There doesn't seem to be any corroboration for that judgement.

I think what we're doing here is again falling into the trap of believing that there is only one legitimate form of creation. Sometimes he changed the demos, sometimes he didn't. In either case, it's a legitimate artistic judgement.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:02 am

Oh, I agree with that. And the minute someone trys to tell me he "merely" copied this or that version, I'l be all over that person.

The art -and gift - of great singing is too often dismissed as either an act of nature to be taken for granted or secondary to instrument playing. The fact is that Elvis had a great voice that he also worked on, took risks with and was used deliberately.

It also reminds me of the expression used only for great singers: "He could sing the phone book..." and we'd still listen...!

Name many an accomplished player ( Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Buddy Rich, Benny Goodman, Floyd Cramer) and I'll name you some guys who probably flat out couldn't sing with their voices, and probably once wished that they could,and to their credit, try to make their instruments "sing."

Likewise, as I'm assuming the book touches on, there is a whole over-extention of the importance of writing one's own songs anyway. The actual end result is the key, otherwise Mark James and Freddy Bell would be fondly remembered by millions of Americans today. :lol:

Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:06 am

The interview posted by Piers with Ken Sharp gets to my point. He uses "Burning Love" as an example of Elvis going on his own. Unlike most of the demos on this set, I heard this years ago and the difference is enormous.

Your last point is a good one Greg.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 9:54 am

KiwiAlan wrote:
Keith Richards, Jr. wrote:This is what Mort Shuman had to say about "Little Sister" (taken from Ernst Jorgensen's book "A Life in Music", but Ernst took the quote from somewhere else I believe):

"When I wrote Little Sister, I played it in a totally different way. It had a different rhythm. Elvis cut the tempo in half and slowed it down."

Keith Richards, Jr.


For every example like this there is a counter one.

For example Suspicious Minds - Elvis copied the Mak James version (not a demo). As Chips put it - same arrangements, same musicians, the only difference was Elvis superb voice.


He did a similar thing with BJ Thomas I Just Can't Help Believin. Elvis' arrangement is very similar to Thomas' version. Elvis sings the song better though.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:36 am

likethebike wrote:The interview posted by Piers with Ken Sharp gets to my point. He uses "Burning Love" as an example of Elvis going on his own. Unlike most of the demos on this set, I heard this years ago and the difference is enormous.



Wasn't the great Arthur Alexander the first one to record the song? I have heard his version (titled Burnin' Love).

Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:54 am

Alexander did hit the streets with no response with "Burning Love". His version (or at least the version I have) does not even contain the "hunka hunka" tag.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:21 am

But we do agree it's the same song? I haven't listened to it recently.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:25 am

Oh yeah it's definitely the same song and Arthur had it on the street before Elvis had his.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 3:22 pm

Marko: I know I'm a heretic, but I've always prefered the B.J. Thomas version.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:02 pm

What about the CD with Elvis on it ? The '69 and '72 Live stuff ? Any surprises ? unreleased ???

Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:11 pm

likethebike wrote:The interview posted by Piers with Ken Sharp gets to my point. He uses "Burning Love" as an example of Elvis going on his own. Unlike most of the demos on this set, I heard this years ago and the difference is enormous.

Your last point is a good one Greg.
And that is amazing in the sense that Elvis supposedly "disliked" BURNING LOVE.. :?

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:02 pm

I believe that the song began to grow on him though.
Three years after all chart activity was thru he decides to add it to his concerts.
Was he just doing it for the fans?
After all there are many songs that he could've added and never did.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 8:30 pm

I was quite impressed that he could pull off some decent, if rare, versions of "Burning Love" as late as '76, as can be heard on some concert recordings.

In its way, "Burning Love" was a demanding song, so I can see it being dumped in favor of more auto-pilot-like "rock'n'roll medleys," so-called.

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

Another point about singing: it may not be fair that Elvis had such a great voice and in some cases didn't alter the given arrangement at all, but "fairness" has nothing to do with talent in some cases and certainly not success.

There's a new documentary out that bemoans the state of the music industry (MP-3s, MTV, corporate conglomerate control of radio, the elevation of the visual over the aural) but some of it has been been criticized for essentially being loaded with critical darlings who just don't have what it takes for mass popularity.

Elvis has been dismissed in some camps as 'just another pretty face" but we know it's more than that. It's "just another phenomenal voice," as well, and if it's "god-given," so be it.

I take no delight in music that others have labored over (say, wrote the song) and allegedly poured their soul into if my ears still do not like it. :lol:

Music has to deliver entertainment value and pleasing vocals for many of us. Elvis succeeded in these most important of categories.

Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:31 pm

Ton Bruins;

Check out this tobic "Latest FTD's now available?"

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Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:35 pm

JerryNodak wrote:Marko: I know I'm a heretic, but I've always prefered the B.J. Thomas version.


That's OK, Jerry. ;) I don't dislike B.J.'s version but I think Elvis just sings it better. It's one my favorite tracks anyway.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:55 am

Matthew wrote:One only has to watch Elvis rehearsing Bridge Over Troubled Water to see his artistic input. The studio version itself is his imprint on that track, not a copy of the original.

Perhaps not the Simon and Garfunkel hit, but it's apparently a pretty big homage to BJ Thomas' version, released in May 1970. Elvis knew a good rendition when he heard it (see: 11/56, Billy Ward & His Dominoes, "Don't Be Cruel").

Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:49 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Matthew wrote:One only has to watch Elvis rehearsing Bridge Over Troubled Water to see his artistic input. The studio version itself is his imprint on that track, not a copy of the original.

Perhaps not the Simon and Garfunkel hit, but it's apparently a pretty big homage to BJ Thomas' version, released in May 1970. Elvis knew a good rendition when he heard it (see: 11/56, Billy Ward & His Dominoes, "Don't Be Cruel").


Very true, I haven't heard the BJ Thomas version.

Watching Elvis in rehearsals with this song on the TTWII Special Edition, it always amused me a little seeing the hints of frustration in his face as he tries to direct the singers with what he wants them to do.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:57 am

I do think "Burning Love" grew on Elvis as well. He was just introduced to it at a bad time. He would not have released it a single were not assured of its quality. Not that a professional singer needs to like every song he sings to sing it with conviction. The ability to perform your duty regardless of circumstances is a part of what being a professional is all about. There are many cases of great singers not being enamored of their great hits initially. Dionne Warwick disliked "Walk on By" and today it is probably her signature piece.

Thu Nov 30, 2006 6:54 am

likethebike wrote:I do think "Burning Love" grew on Elvis as well. He was just introduced to it at a bad time. He would not have released it a single were not assured of its quality. Not that a professional singer needs to like every song he sings to sing it with conviction. The ability to perform your duty regardless of circumstances is a part of what being a professional is all about. There are many cases of great singers not being enamored of their great hits initially. Dionne Warwick disliked "Walk on By" and today it is probably her signature piece.


Aren't artists as rule, a fickle bunch? I think we can agree, 1972 wasn't the best year for EP do record a rock&roll song, given his state of mind due to his pending divorce.

Fri Dec 01, 2006 11:25 am

Grat discussion is going on here! That shows how important or essential a release like "Writing For The King" really is.

Now, I hold it in my hands now! And what can I say!? The demos are absolutely fascinating! Whoever claims that Elvis imply copied the demos hasn't listened to them! Of course: a song is a song. You can't change to much when it comes to the melody and the arrangement! But HARD HEADED WOMAN is miles apart from the demo! The demo is lame, has no tempo, no strenghth compared to Elvis' version. Devil In Disguise is not a rocker, it is a typical smooth slow 60s pop number! Viva Las Vegas just the same! Wearin' That Loved On Look sound like "Son Of A Preacher Man" - tis is different, man! Burning Love has in my opinion not that rock'n'roll feeling that Elvis puts into it ... T.R.O.U.B.L.E. is a country number .... and so on ... Heartbreak Hotel sounds like an elvis-impersonation from the very beginning. Teddy Bear is totally different ... so, I can't say that Elvis simply copied what he heard. He put "soul" into his recordings. You can hear that!!!!!

The VEGAS-CD is a big disappointment! The sound is poor, full of echo! Man, that could be a "Diamond Anniversary Edition"-CD... I really had to search a while until I found the CD-Credits in the book. Guess, who mastered this CD!? Right! Lene Reidel! ...... The sound is sh**! And much more disappointing are the tracks themselves! This is CD full of left-overs! How can you include a whole disc of left-overs with Elvis cuffing, laughing, messing up the lyrics on such a great set which will find not only fans among buyers!? I don't understand that! Really.

Writing For The King....

Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:28 am

etp wrote:
The VEGAS-CD is a big disappointment! The sound is poor, full of echo!


Sorry to hear this!! Can anyone comment on any other FTD / BMG releases which were mastered by Lene Reidel for comparison?

Writing For The King...

Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:07 pm

etp wrote:
The VEGAS-CD is a big disappointment! The sound is poor, full of echo! Man, that could be a "Diamond Anniversary Edition"-CD... I really had to search a while until I found the CD-Credits in the book. Guess, who mastered this CD!? Right! Lene Reidel! ...... The sound is sh**!


This must be a gross exaggeration surely? Anyone care to balance this viewpoint?

I thought the Diamond Anniversary CD's had great sound anyway. Someone care to enlighten us?

Re: Writing For The King...

Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:00 pm

Mike S wrote:This must be a gross exaggeration surely? Anyone care to balance this viewpoint?

When I get the set, I'll post my comments, but your query echoes my thoughts exactly.

Mike S wrote:I thought the Diamond Anniversary CD's had great sound anyway. Someone care to enlighten us?

They did -- but some people disliked the reverb laid over the top of these otherwise "dry" board tape sources.

Sun Dec 03, 2006 4:38 pm

I've ordered the book and take the CD's for what they are.
After so many releases of live '69 material, what can one expect of what's left in the can?
And for the demos, they are what they claim to be, demos!
Lucky for Elvis who manage to stumble over more than a hundred Billboard Hot 100 entries with his renditions of demos?!?
I should have known he tricked us with his artistry all the way! :?