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Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:56 am

Ian and Sylvia (Yuck, boooorrrrrrinnnng):

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Odetta (brilliant, and she's an RCA artist -- did this with the Nashville Cats):

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Also with those same Nashville Cats (good sound quality):

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When he sings "that I remember in my true love's eyes," it's like a stab wound. But slow.

What do you think?

rjm
P.S. -- Bob apparently won't allow a version by him. Can't find one. Let alone the Whitmark demo. Which has the same melody as "Seven Curses," except it works better on "Seven Curses." As for no available YouTubes: Control freak. But I love him. I'm pretty sure he must have heard Odetta's version by '69, when he called Elvis's version "the recording I treasure most." Hers was on an album of Dylan compositions: "Odetta Sings Dylan." Bob couldn't even remember the name of the Elvis soundtrack: "I think it was on 'Kismet.'" (Which WAS a song in "Harum Scarum," which makes it all interesting: he was listening, or even going to the films! He would never admit it.)
Love this little couplet, which is interesting, from a song.
"And if anybody asks me, "Is it easy to forget ?"
I'll say, "It's easily done
You just pick anyone
And pretend that you never have met"
The song's name is "I Don't Believe You."

Not saying anything.
{I will not say "just sayin'" cause everybody says "just sayin' nowadays . . . you hear it everywhere, everywhere. It's like that "It's All Good." Bob wrote a song with that title a few years ago, because he said he just couldn't take it anymore. One of those things.})
Last edited by rjm on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:08 am

P.S.:

If you think I'm kiddin' about "Seven Curses," listen to the Ian and Sylvia verion, and then listen to this. It's more apparent on the Whitmark demo, but that's not available, and I don't want any problems. (There are vague echoes of it on the Odetta recording, but Elvis's more sinuous recording seems to dispense with it.)

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(Wish I could use the spotlight tool on these, but none of 'em are my uploads. Maybe sometime.)

rjm
P.P.S. -- If he pulls this down, I'll pull my hair out!
UPDATE: HE DID IT! "This video is private." Well, I'm keeping my hair, but what is WRONG with him?? I suppose it's my fault for embedding it and increasing the play counts. What is WRONG with him? YouTube is GOOD for music!! Dang. Got some issues, that Bob. Issues. Pulled down "Seven Curses." Man.
Last edited by rjm on Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:26 am

I do hear the similarites, rj, but I pefer Dylan's melody on 'Tomorrow ...".

I think it was Marcus who pointed out the ironic correctness of Dylan saying that the song was featured on the Kismet LP.

Bob's oft-quoted "version that means most" has always indicated to me that he wasn't necessarily saying that it was his favourite cover version from a musical point of view, but from an emotional perspective it was Elvis who initially inspired and meant the most to him.

Hence the two week withdrawl in late 1977.

Fascinating guy.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:55 am

George Smith wrote:I do hear the similarites, rj, but I pefer Dylan's melody on 'Tomorrow ...".

I think it was Marcus who pointed out the ironic correctness of Dylan saying that the song was featured on the Kismet LP.

Bob's oft-quoted "version that means most" has always indicated to me that he wasn't necessarily saying that it was his favourite cover version from a musical point of view, but from an emotional perspective it was Elvis who initially inspired and meant the most to him.

Hence the two week withdrawl in late 1977.

Fascinating guy.


Hmm. Prefer Dylan's melody? Intriguing. What he said was in response to the question "any artists that you'd like to see do your songs." I forget if he said "that's easy" in that particular interview, but he did say "yeah, Elvis Presley. I liked Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley recorded a song of mine. I wrote it, but never recorded it . . . it's the recording I treasure most." Then the guy asked him where it was, and he said "I think it's on 'Kismet.'" "Ironic correctness?" Marcus is something. I'm gonna have to think about that one for a while. I think I know what he means, but I'm not sure.

:D

rjm

P.S.:
The Online Dictionary wrote:kisĀ·met (kzmt, -mt)
n.
Fate; fortune.


King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.) wrote:For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Last edited by rjm on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:58 am

Ironic correctness is my phrase not Marcus', rj.

I'm trying to condense a few sentences into two words, probably not a good idea.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:01 am

George Smith wrote:Ironic correctness is my phrase not Marcus', rj.

I'm trying to condense a few sentences into two words, probably not a good idea.


Oh, well, it's a good phrase. Sounds "very Marcus"!

What does it mean?

rjm

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:05 am

Don't have the book to hand, but it was to do with the fact that Kismet wasn't actually the title of the relevant LP but from an overall point of view the LP was so awful it didn't really matter what the thing was called.

As such, Bob was kinda right when he said it was from Kismet.

Something like that.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:49 am

George Smith wrote:Don't have the book to hand, but it was to do with the fact that Kismet wasn't actually the title of the relevant LP but from an overall point of view the LP was so awful it didn't really matter what the thing was called.

As such, Bob was kinda right when he said it was from Kismet.

Something like that.


Oh. I thought it had one of those deeper "Marcus Meanings." That "Kismet" had some allegorical meaning. :lol:

Thanks!

rjm
P.S. -- Sorry about the spelling mistake there. These new glasses are strictly for distance, and I'm on the big computer, which is sort of in-between. Found the "zoom" tool in IE, and all is well. So, a tip: if anyone needs larger text, or wants smaller text, use the text tool, and/or use the zoom tool! Learn something new every day! (I'm "Chromed" on the laptop, so it doesn't matter there. I'm right in front of it.

Re: Three Versions

Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:57 pm

This is one of those odd scenarios on FECC. Everyone acclaims Elvis's version, including myself. But if we look at it closely, it is almost note for note a copy of Odetta's version from the year before. Now, those who do not confess a love of the 70s claim that copycat covers are much of the reason for their dislike of that era. And yet here is a very close cover version, but that does not get the same comments and is, instead, hailed as a masterwork.

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People wonder why I take issue with certain people on these boards, and the fact is that, in an effort to remain popular or at least respected, they are wildly inconsistent on their views on what does and does not make a great recording or a great song. Presley's version is a great recording, and the song is wonderful. But there is no more originality in it than in the note for note cover of Ricky Nelson's version of Fools Rush In five years later.

Re: Three Versions

Fri Mar 02, 2012 8:15 am

poormadpeter wrote:This is one of those odd scenarios on FECC. Everyone acclaims Elvis's version, including myself. But if we look at it closely, it is almost note for note a copy of Odetta's version from the year before. Now, those who do not confess a love of the 70s claim that copycat covers are much of the reason for their dislike of that era. And yet here is a very close cover version, but that does not get the same comments and is, instead, hailed as a masterwork.

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People wonder why I take issue with certain people on these boards, and the fact is that, in an effort to remain popular or at least respected, they are wildly inconsistent on their views on what does and does not make a great recording or a great song. Presley's version is a great recording, and the song is wonderful. But there is no more originality in it than in the note for note cover of Ricky Nelson's version of Fools Rush In five years later.


I did say it was "brilliant." She worked up a genuine arrangement, with the same crew who backed up Elvis. Same. Same studio, because she was an RCA artist, too.

Is it "note for note"? I would beg to differ. On the surface, it appears so, due to the arrangement. But "note for note"? I have heard real "note-for-note"ers, and I just don't think this is one of them. (Maybe Bob is hiding on this board, and he's giving you heck every so often! :smt005 :smt003 )

rjm
P.S. -- And I like a lot of 70s things, but the problem with the seventies (the music) is that his personal problems really interfered with the music after a while. And there was less of a disciplined sound, overall. Not always, of course. That version of "Bridge" on HIS FINAL, TRULY FINAL CONCERT is absolutely shattering, and very disciplined and controlled. So, he had many fine moments. Many. But he was self-immolating, and you can HEAR it. "Complete evaporation to the core," would be the way the man-with-the-treasure would put it. Take it up with Bob . . . go to expecting rain, and try to get through, I don't know: he preferred Elvis's version, big time. And he was really a big Odetta fan, too! She recorded a whole album of his stuff, and she didn't put the song on a soundtrack the title of which he couldn't even distinguish. But he liked it better. Period. I got that issue at some sort of "old magazine" set-up back in college. Gosh, a long time ago, and I was knocked out. I sit on the carpet in the "Shelves" room and read that interview over and over. And that quotation.

Re: Three Versions

Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:59 pm

Oh, I wasn't having a go at you, it was just a general comment regarding other people. No, it's not note for note (I did say almost), but the phrasing and arrangement is pretty damn close. My argument is that the covers issue is one brought up time and time again when it comes to the 70s, but that it occured in all eras of presley's music making.

I have been putting together some "alternate albums" recently from the FTD releases. I don't always want to hear 10 takes of a song, so like to pull out a key one which is quite different and put together an alternate album on CD (two albums fit nicely onto one disc with a few extras). We say he wasn't disciplined in the 70s, but in the studio he normally sounds just as focussed as he always did. But he just had nothing achieve and so was less inspired, I think. In 1966 when TIALT was cut, he had everything to achieve. But he could still get his teeth into songs even in the final sessions with numbers such as I Can Help (not a drastic re-arrangement again, but he doesn't want to let go of it), Danny Boy, Pieces of My Life etc. The criticism of the latter from a number of people in a lengthy thread a few months back was that it was a carbon copy of Charlie Rich's version. But that isn't the case, it's much less similar in phrasing with Rich's version that TIALT is with Odetta's, and yet we don't criticise Tomorrow for the same issue.

The issue with the 70s that most people have is not the covers aspect, but the genre aspect - they don't like the middle of the road direction his music took. But they seem to get the two things confused and intertwined somehow. While I agree that Spanish Eyes is a copy of Al Martino, I could also counter that Long Tall Sally was a copy of Little Richard and that doesn't make it any less a great performance. And, despite what I said earlier, Spanish Eyes and She Wears My Ring are two of the least inspired recordings of the 70s, but not because they are covers of a hit, but because EVERYONE had got to them before him.

Either way, I finally managed to locate a copy of Odetta's album yesterday for myself, and it arrived in the post this morning, so I can finally hear the whole thing today without jumping about youtube!

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 2:34 am

Elvis' studio performance of "Tomorrow is a Long Time" is not a note-for-note cover of Odetta's song, but he does very much use her arrangement. The Presley track deservedly receives praise because his singing is canny and sublime; he very much recognizes that he is the man in this song, and the relationship he has lost is with himself, and his audience.

To equate this incandescent 1966 recording with his uninspired 1970s covers, like Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" or Roger Whittaker's "The Last Farewell," is asinine.

BTW, this topic should be in "All Elvis."

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:35 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Elvis' studio performance of "Tomorrow is a Long Time" is not a note-for-note cover of Odetta's song, but he does very much use her arrangement. The Presley track deservedly receives praise because his singing is canny and sublime; he very much recognizes that he is the man in this song, and the relationship he has lost is with himself, and his audience.
To equate this incandescent 1966 recording with his uninspired 1970s covers, like Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" or Roger Whittaker's "The Last Farewell," is asinine.

BTW, this topic should be in "All Elvis."


i think you give more credit to Elvis than he perhaps should have. I think Elvis simply loved the sound of Odetta's gospelish reading (the whole Odetta album has a gospel feel to it) and fell in love with the song. I think the chances of Presley actually analysing the complex lyrics or finding himself in them is unlikely. He is seemingly in love with the sound he and his group are creating, rather than internalising the lyrics.

This seems to be the case in three of the four Dylan songs he attempted either at home or in the studio. Don't Think Twice is all about the sound and varying and playing with the melody - something which is most obvious in the outtake on the Fool FTD. Blowing in the wind is about Elvis playing with his lower register. The only song of the four which would clearly have meant something to him lyrically, and where the lyrics are clearly striking a chord, is I Shall Be Released.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 8:55 am

poormadpeter wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Elvis' studio performance of "Tomorrow is a Long Time" is not a note-for-note cover of Odetta's song, but he does very much use her arrangement. The Presley track deservedly receives praise because his singing is canny and sublime; he very much recognizes that he is the man in this song, and the relationship he has lost is with himself, and his audience.
To equate this incandescent 1966 recording with his uninspired 1970s covers, like Ocean's "Put Your Hand In The Hand" or Roger Whittaker's "The Last Farewell," is asinine.

BTW, this topic should be in "All Elvis."


i think you give more credit to Elvis than he perhaps should have. I think Elvis simply loved the sound of Odetta's gospelish reading (the whole Odetta album has a gospel feel to it) and fell in love with the song. I think the chances of Presley actually analysing the complex lyrics or finding himself in them is unlikely.


RED ALERT!

Elvis didn't "find himself in the song"??????? Heck, I see a somewhat different thing going on in the song, than Doc, but the point is we can see that whatever relationship he was addressing, he WAS addressing a relationship! And when I he sings "I can't hear the echo of my footsteps; I can't remember the sound of my own name," what ELSE is he thinking of than what Doc suggested here? "Elvis" not remember the sound of his own name? "Elvis, Elvis, Elvis, Elvis, Elvis Elvis . . ." it rang in his ears for years, until he must have heard his own name echoing in his mind, IN HIS SLEEP! And now, in the mid-1960s, he sang "I can't remember the sound of my own name." He danged well knew exactly what that was about! His movies were in double-bills in drive-in movies. I think it was Elvis Monthly (correct my memory, please) who said, near this point, that the films were "puppet shows for not overbright children." And in 1972, he SAID HE KNEW THIS AND BECAME VIOLENTLY ILL OVER IT! (I am not shouting. I am not shouting. {note to self: 'be calm, meditate . . . ohm, ohm, ohm')

This goes along, frighteningly close, anyway, to this idea that if he and Bob were stuck in an airport for 4 hours, they would not be able to have a coherent conversation, because Bob was this brilliant Bohemian who was miles in the sky ahead in cognitive abilities than this dumb, "simple" hillbilly from Mississippi, who couldn't possibly understand a Bob Dylan song! I guess he couldn't even read, either, as Bono has obnoxiously suggested (and about which Greil Marcus called him out on Dead Elvis, using very dry sarcasm about the oh so pretentious Bono {a decent fellow, but kinda full of himself}).

And THIS is why Bob Dylan, in 2009, made the TOTALLY UNSUBSTANTIATED CLAIM that Elvis Presley "played with the Beatles' heads." He did this TO MAKE A POINT! Elvis was NOT stupid! And he said he didn't want to experience that, as though he were SCARED of Elvis's "head games." Now, hyperbole will get you everywhere when you are trying to make a point. And Bob did it. The image in people's minds about the Beatles' meeting HAS CHANGED. No longer about Paul playing with Elvis's remote control and John and Elvis doing "Dr. Stranglelove" comedy. Now, Elvis was wickedly clever, and even "meanly clever," as though he were Bob, himself! Which is what Bob chose to do in that interview. It was an absolutely conscious choice. He had heard ENOUGH about Elvis being this simpleton. In the studio, early on, Elvis saw the lyrics to a song on the lyric stand called "Country Bumpkin." He freaked. "I ain't no f*#%in' country bumpkin'!!" (Bob Dylan had long since read that quote in a two-volume biography for which he wrote a blurb.)

And Bob basically told Rolling Stone, in 2009, that "Elvis was no f*#%in' country bumpkin."

{calm: ohm, ohm, ohm}

Heck, I don't care if you said it, or Doc said it, or Ghandi said it, whoever said that Elvis was incapable of "actually analysing the complex lyrics" IS WRONG!

I'll stake a lot on that. (Maybe not a "$10,000 bet," but A LOT!)

I hear Odetta enjoying the music-process more, actually. Elvis thought the arrangement fine, with which the musicians were familiar, and then dove into THE SONG. Because I think he really, really felt it. Doesn't really matter what relationship he was thinking of, because you can hear him "find himself in the song" from Jumpstreet!
poormadpeter wrote:
He is seemingly in love with the sound he and his group are creating, rather than internalising the lyrics.

EXACTLY what I hear in Odetta's version. Which is fine: she was working it out with the musicians, and they all seemed to be enjoying the process. I have had her CD for a while, and really, really have listened!

poormadpeter wrote:This seems to be the case in three of the four Dylan songs he attempted either at home or in the studio. Don't Think Twice is all about the sound and varying and playing with the melody - something which is most obvious in the outtake on the Fool FTD. Blowing in the wind is about Elvis playing with his lower register. The only song of the four which would clearly have meant something to him lyrically, and where the lyrics are clearly striking a chord, is I Shall Be Released.


No. We disagree. "Tomorrow" is something he could PERSONALLY relate to, very, very easily on a number of levels. Including Doc's analysis. (Which is what Alan Helms says about the studio version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight." That it has to do with his audience.)

rjm
P.S. By the way, Elvis was certainly capable of thinking about "the complex lyrics"! He wouldn't have said "Dylan" the WAY that he did in 1971, if that were not the case! I think this is something he could DEARLY relate to! Won't go into my thought balloon, but it has ALWAYS been more than obvious to me. I can see a video in my head! I can see it in his head, well, if that were possible.
P.P.S. -- Sorry, Doc, if the thread rolled toward Elvis. It really was about the song. So, well, it morphed into "All Elvis." I just said "which one"? And talked about how the melodic shifts through the versions kinda worked out. Didn't have the Whitmark demo, though. I wanted it right next to "Seven Curses." A must-hear.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:30 am

A million crappy covers of the "original" "Tomorrow Is A Long Time," and no Bob AT ALL. {grrrr} Why is he like that?

Here's another "Classic Artist." And an official "smart person," too. :twisted: Cause I hope you don't really believe that! You told the group to treat you as "the same opinionated {expletive}," so I am. :D

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rjm
P.S. -- Elvis is the only one who doesn't say "crooked trail." Have no idea why. And sorry to fly off-classic-artists-topic, but in my opinion, Elvis was BOTH singing about his relationship with his audience, AND, it is, in my humble opinion - as I have always, always heard it, about his DEAD MOTHER. The "bed" he would lie in again is in the back garden at the former 3764 Highway 51 South. :evil:

"If tomorrow wasn't such a long time, then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all . . . yes 'n if my own true love was waiting . . . if only she was lyin' by me, then I'd lie in my bed, once again."
Gladys_Gravestone_StarofDavidandCross.jpg
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Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 3:30 pm

I was not saying that Elvis was thick, but he wasn't a great reader of lyrics either. One could argue that he did immerse himself in songs more as he got older, but the lyrics of those heartbreak songs were hardly subtle.

You have talked about one or two lines which, in hindsight, we can suggest meant something to Elvis. But, in reality, this is a song about heartbreak, not the loss of a career. The reason the person in the song cannot remember the sound of his own name is because he is so devastated by the break-up he has just experienced. It has nothing to do with Elvis not hearing fans chant his name (or hearing them chant it too much!). If Elvis did indeed view it that way, then he missed the point of the whole song, and thus proved my point that he either didn't know, or didn't bother to get to grips with, what he was singing about. Here was a man in love with a woman who was going to be his wife the following year - why would he be thinking about a previous relationship at that time and pouring it into the music? That doesn't make sense.

If today was not an endless highway
If tonight was not an endless trail
If tomorrow wasn't such a long time
Then lonesome would mean nothing to me at all
Yes and only if my own true love was waiting
If I could hear her heart softly pounding
If only she was lying by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again

I can't see my reflection in the water
I can't speak the sounds that show no pain
I can't hear the echo of my footsteps
I can't remember the sound of my own name
Yes and only if my own true love was waiting
If I could hear her heart softly pounding
If only she was lying by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again

There's beauty in the silver singing river
There's beauty in the sunrise in the sky
But none of these and nothing else could match the beauty
That I remember in my true love's eyes
Yes and only if my own true love was waiting
If I could hear her heart softly pounding
If only she was lying by me
Then I'd lie in my bed once again


No-one knows why Elvis said "Dylan" the way he did. We don't know when he said it. It does have an effect where it is place after I Shall Be Released, but it may (and probably wasn't) said at that point. Prudent editing can create any effect. He could be answering a question about his favourite character in the magic roundabout for all we know. Ernst is forever tacking one-liners on to the beginning of takes, making us think they were sung at that point, but we don't know that they were. We can be easily manipulated by a piece of editing. I'm not saying that Elvis wasn't saying the word in the way you are suggesting, but I'm saying that we don't know that he did!

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 4:28 pm

Some great conversations going on here, it makes for excellent reading, thank you.
poormadpeter wrote:I was not saying that Elvis was thick, but he wasn't a great reader of lyrics either.

What leads you to this conclusion, Peter?

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 5:23 pm

George Smith wrote:Some great conversations going on here, it makes for excellent reading, thank you.
poormadpeter wrote:I was not saying that Elvis was thick, but he wasn't a great reader of lyrics either.

What leads you to this conclusion, Peter?


Because other than those heartbreak songs of the mid to late 70s, there is often an emotional detatchment from the lyics. It's not the thing he appears to concentrate on, even when listening to outtakes. For Elvis it always seemed to be about the sound, and of course that was how he rose to stardom in the first place. That's not to say there aren't some great performances where he internalised the lyrics (Are You Lonesome Tonight is a key one, as already mentioned), but the lyrics often seem to be hooks on which his vocal can be hung.

I have mentioned before that he is almost like a jazz singer. Elvis, even in ballads, is all about phrasing, the sound of his voice and rhythm. This may well be how he got through singing so much rubbish in the movie years. After all, he seemingly puts much care and attention into those trite lyrics as he does in his more memorable works. Is he simply forgetting the lyrics and using the rhythm and melody to make up for them. Why else would he sing a song like "Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce" so beautifully?

Many have said that he "felt" the lyrics of the song Hurt. But actually they don't bear much relation to his personal situation. I'm not up on personal issues of their marriage, but if Priscilla lied and cheated on Elvis, then he cheated on her too. To say that the lyrics are intended for means he is being somewhat hypocritcal. What i feel is happenig in the song, is that Elvis is using that bellowing arrangement as an outpouring of grief for his marriage. He is channeling it through the song, but not through the lyrics, but through the arrangement, the voice and the volume.

In songs such as Don't Think Twice, Whole Lotta Shakin, I'll Hold You In My Heart etc he is literally a jazz singer, varying the melody time and time again. He is, in my eyes, the equivalent of what Ella Fitzgerald was to Frank Sinatra. For Sinatra it was ALL about the lyrics, hence why he survived so well when his voice was in decline. For Ella it was all about using the lyrics as a structure for her vocals. Ella was the master of creating beautiful music; Sinatra was the master is reading beautiful poems.

Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:23 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
George Smith wrote:Some great conversations going on here, it makes for excellent reading, thank you.
poormadpeter wrote:I was not saying that Elvis was thick, but he wasn't a great reader of lyrics either.

What leads you to this conclusion, Peter?


Because other than those heartbreak songs of the mid to late 70s, there is often an emotional detatchment from the lyics. It's not the thing he appears to concentrate on, even when listening to outtakes. For Elvis it always seemed to be about the sound, and of course that was how he rose to stardom in the first place. That's not to say there aren't some great performances where he internalised the lyrics (Are You Lonesome Tonight is a key one, as already mentioned), but the lyrics often seem to be hooks on which his vocal can be hung.

I have mentioned before that he is almost like a jazz singer. Elvis, even in ballads, is all about phrasing, the sound of his voice and rhythm. This may well be how he got through singing so much rubbish in the movie years. After all, he seemingly puts much care and attention into those trite lyrics as he does in his more memorable works. Is he simply forgetting the lyrics and using the rhythm and melody to make up for them. Why else would he sing a song like "Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce" so beautifully? {YEAH, RIGHT: "Paradise, Hawaiian Style," the song! :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?: :?:}

Many have said that he "felt" the lyrics of the song Hurt. But actually they don't bear much relation to his personal situation. I'm not up on personal issues of their marriage, but if Priscilla lied and cheated on Elvis, then he cheated on her too. To say that the lyrics are intended for means he is being somewhat hypocritcal. What i feel is happenig in the song, is that Elvis is using that bellowing arrangement as an outpouring of grief for his marriage. He is channeling it through the song, but not through the lyrics, but through the arrangement, the voice and the volume.

In songs such as Don't Think Twice, Whole Lotta Shakin, I'll Hold You In My Heart etc he is literally a jazz singer, varying the melody time and time again. He is, in my eyes, the equivalent of what Ella Fitzgerald was to Frank Sinatra. For Sinatra it was ALL about the lyrics, hence why he survived so well when his voice was in decline. For Ella it was all about using the lyrics as a structure for her vocals. Ella was the master of creating beautiful music; Sinatra was the master is reading beautiful poems.


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rjm
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Re: Three Versions

Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:43 pm

RJM, if you can't take part in an intelligent discussion, please don't try to start one. If the best you can do is ridicule my comments and highlight random bits (did you actually read the entirity of the first sentence you highlighted it says OTHER THAN before the section you highlighted), then please don't bother replying.

And what is the point in the Ella video? Are you trying to prove or disprove my point? Ella's songbook series may be how she is best remembered by the non-jazz world, but they are neither her best work or typical of her overall output. To prove my comment about Sinatra and Ella's differences:

Sinatra:
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Fitzgerald:
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Re: Three Versions

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:00 am

poormadpeter wrote:RJM, if you can't take part in an intelligent discussion, please don't try to start one. If the best you can do is ridicule my comments and highlight random bits (did you actually read the entirity of the first sentence you highlighted), then please don't bother replying.


You have no sense of enjoying a discussion! It doesn't have be a blood sport! I happen to virulently disagree with what you have said, to the point where what you wrote verged on the absurd, to me. I made that point, I thought, in a friendly way. It wasn't ridicule. It was friendly disagreement, because some of what you said was absurdist. In my view. You said some very incendiary things! And I tried to keep it a bit light, because you're a good chap, who is sometimes a very opinonated b***t**d, as you have said yourself. Be tougher! And lighten up, a little. So, we can discuss, and do so without blood being spilled. Clearly, I made clear that I DISAGREE. Virulently. You're a nice person, who cares about people. And we've never had a SERIOUS disagreement like this, although I have viewed others, but not HAD one, and I didn't want to make it . . . I don't have the words. I didn't want to make it so shattering. I wanted to disagree, while keeping the mood from degenerating into serious, serious anger. We're all roommates here! So, we fight, But we have to live together, and if we fight, we have to elbow each other around, too. Because, in one sense, we LIVE HERE! I don't agree with Doc because he is Doc. I agree with part of his assessment because it was MY assessment, or part of it, LONG BEFORE I WAS AWARE OF HIS EXISTENCE ON EARTH. (Except in that clipping from '69, where Elvis introduces a friend by saying "this is Doc," and he had no friends by that name, which is kinda freaky. On Change of Habit, no less. But I digress.) I was really mad last night, but I'm over it. You are not, I guess. Or you realize you may, just may be off the mark. And won't admit it! Which I find amusing, because everyone clobbers Doc if he seems to have made an oopsie, and unmercifully, and I thought YOU could admit if you made an error in judgement, or realized that others see it as an error in judgement. AND RESPECT THAT DISAGREEMENT, AND BE FRIENDLY AGAIN. Be friendly again, and take an elbow, and know I'm not gonna back down, and that's that. You were pouring it on so, that last night as I was going to sleep, I thought "he's just really trying to get my goat. He knows what I think about Elvis's approach, and how emotional I am about it, so he's having a bit of fun, trying to see if I'll blow up, and lose all that "peace, love, and harmony" stuff and blow my stack." But I really didn't. Although I did DISMISS your further comments, because, frankly, I thought them to be from out of space. Like I said, I don't care WHO said what you said: Ghandi, Jesus, whomever: WRONG! That is my view, and that's that. I respect you; but you started spiraling into new territory. Now, it was OTHER artists, some of whom sing with their brains, and others who don't. That's it. But still, you're a good Joe. And so even if I think you're being a "dope" about this, as Ella sings, I still dig you as a person! But you're an opininated "b---s---d." You said it, man. I said it nicer, I think. Chill. I have. And I wouldn't let you GET my goat! That's what I meant. I'm not gonna back down, and you won't get my goat.

I think I am. And it being the 'net, we can communicate in multi-media, as well. I thought you would find it endearing, in some ways, but I was serious, because if you WERE upset and "felt ridiculed" by Ella's WORDS, as sung, than she must have invested something in the lyrics? No? How can we know what's on someone's mind, anyway? We can look at the context, hear what we hear within that context, and in how we HEAR the lyrics, and come to a conclusion. I came to my conclusion on this song a long, long, long time ago!

And it has ALWAYS been about that "relationship" and that "loss" which was so profound. And he was experiencing other disturbing losses. In '68, he told an actress on "Charro": "I know this town is laughing at me." His Hollywood dream, which had been so intense since he was a young teenager (maybe even before) had become ashes. He did everything he could to lift his family, his long-suffering mother, out of poverty and into comfort, and then, BOOM, she die. She was gone. "Everything I have is gone." EVERYTHING I HAVE IS GONE! Elvis said that, and he MEANT that, and according to most accounts, he wasn't exactly sure he even WANTED to be married, to anyone. But he knew it was "time," so he did it. It went sour, fast. Playing the slots in late '69, back in Vegas not to perform, and not with his wife, a guy walked up as Elvis pulled the slot machine handle, and commented on how good Elvis was looking these days. "That's what a bad marriage'll do to you." Corroborated. Thoroughly. He had been married a little over two years and had a child who was barely a knee-baby, yet.

He suffered a loss that was profound, and the "loss of his audience" was only a part of it. He lost his biggest dream, he went from girl to girl to girl to girl to girl . . . he was alone, and he was still deeply, deeply morning for his mother, which was the greatest loss of all. I always thought Elvis could related more to this song than the guy who put down the words! A hell of a lot more.

Ok. No smileys. No multi-media. This what Elvis communicates to me, and I don't think I'm off the mark! I don't! And I respect you enough to tell you so! You told us to "treat me like the same opinonated ba*****d that" you always have "been." So I am. One major disagreement, and you can't take it in stride! C'mon, man!

rjm
P.S. -- You ever play The Dozens? I learned the REAL THING when I was 8 years old, from some kids from Spanish Harlem, with whom I went to school. They were my little running buddies. I learned the rules, the lingo . . . it was fun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dozens

Wikipedia wrote:Notes
^ Although folklorists have observed some white adolescent boys to engage in a form of the Dozens, a black psychologist wrote in 1970 that white psychologists' deconstruction of the apparent hostility in the Dozens is misunderstood because the white psychologists take the insults literally.(Lefever) John Leland uses the example of boxer Muhammad Ali, who often joked with reporters in the Dozens, either confusing or angering them when he did. (Leland, p. 182)


Well, I was only 8 years old, and though not "African-American," I guess I GOT it!
Last edited by rjm on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:28 am, edited 5 times in total.

Re: Three Versions

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:13 am

Peter, woud you agree that the 1970s offers some rather obvious examples of Elvis purposefully picking lost-love songs due to his separation / divorce?

If so, is it not possible that Elvis also chose songs from his earlier career in a similar manner?

Re: Three Versions

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:19 am

George Smith wrote:Peter, woud you agree that the 1970s offers some rather obvious examples of Elvis purposefully picking lost-love songs due to his separation / divorce?

If so, is it not possible that Elvis also chose songs from his earlier career in a similar manner?


You are so calm. I envy you, George.

rjm (seriously)

Re: Three Versions

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:37 am

"And what is the point in the Ella video?"

Read the ENTIRE response post. To the end.

rjm
P.S. -- I take your point about the jazz improv nature of many artists. What of Billie Holiday? Where does she fit in this? It's not so simple or clear cut. And with Ella's song, I was "playing the dozens," cause you seemed to be. But I guess you took it all LITERALLY! Jeez, we LIVE here, and we talk, and we cannot agree on everything. No need to freak out. Well, I had been, but I figured you decided to go overboard, for a trip, to see how I'd respond. You know how I feel about Elvis's mind. And there is much evidence of this. He was no f****n' country bumpkin'! And he understood lyrics VERY well, which is how he changed 'em up, even as a boy at Sun! "Mystery Train" is NOTHING without his lyrical alteration. Nothing. It's all of a piece, of course, but in "Mystery Train," it's his whole MIND that rules the music. Not the other way around. And here's a shot at Doc's guy, if that'll make you happy: Elvis "freed the mind" first! (We had that out on PM, so I hope he doesn't mind. He knows I love Bruce. I hope. But just to keep things square, so you don't think I'm taking sides. I am NOT. HE has nothin' to do with this. This is between us, my friend.) You attack Elvis's thought process in his art (or someone else's, for that matter), and your on my fightin' side! (No, I won't link Merle Haggard.)

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Thanks for the clips. Heard Frank do this one many times. He takes it with SUCH weight. Elvis once muttered that Harrison's song was kinda "suggestive" with a wicked sorta wink-thing in his voice. The lyrics, he meant. But he knew it was not meant that way. He just heard something also amusing in it. He really listened to the words, and often got a kick out of 'em, but then got down to work. "It's Over" is not about the lyric? It's not personally invested? That's why I thought you were going over the top. Oh, man.
Last edited by rjm on Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Three Versions

Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:43 am

George Smith wrote:Peter, woud you agree that the 1970s offers some rather obvious examples of Elvis purposefully picking lost-love songs due to his separation / divorce?

If so, is it not possible that Elvis also chose songs from his earlier career in a similar manner?


Yes, I do think that is the case. And, as I said Elvis, does clearly feel those 70s lyrics in the way he doesn't feel many others. And it may be that he had experienced enough to relate to a lost love song he sang in the 50s. But you have to have had one hell of heartache to know what Tomorrow Is A Long Time is all about, and to say that he could see himself as the person in the song is, I think, folly.