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Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:16 pm

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01 MEMPHIS SOUL STEW
King Curtis & The Kingpins
02 SON-OF-A PREACHER MAN
Dusty Springfield
03 SHAKE A TAIL FEATHER
James & Bobby Purify
04 THE LETTER
The Box Tops
05 BORN A WOMAN
Sandy Posey
06 YOU'VE GOT MY MIND MESSED UP
James Carr
07 KEEP ON DANCING
The Gentrys
08 NINE POUND STEEL
Joe Simon
09 ANGEL OF THE MORNING
Merrilee Rush
10 I'M IN LOVE
Wilson Pickett
11 SUSPICIOUS MINDS
Mark James
12 I'VE BEEN DOWN THIS ROAD BEFORE
BJ Thomas
13 FUNKY STREET
Arthur Conley
14 FOR YOUR PRECIOUS LOVE
Oscar Toney Jr
15 SHAME ON ME
Solomon Burke
16 DARK END OF THE STREET
The Glories
17 SKINNY LEGS AND ALL
Joe Tex
18 MORE THAN I CAN STAND
Bobby Womack
19 LET'S DO IT OVER
LC Cooke
20 THE POWER OF A WOMAN
Spencer Wiggins
21 SUZY DO IT BETTER THAN YOU
Clay Hammond
22 I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'VE GOT (BUT IT'S GOT ME)
Percy Milem
23 GOOD TIME CHARLIE'S GOT THE BLUES
Danny O'Keefe
24 I'M MOVIN' ON
Elvis Presley


There can be few with an interest in the music of the American South who didn’t welcome the recent publication of Memphis Boys, Roben Jones’ essential history of American Studios.

Established by songwriter-producer Chips Moman and his business partner Don Crews in 1964, it took a couple of years for American to find its true audio identity, but once the in-house group of key musicians – the Memphis Boys of Roben’s title – were all in place the steady trickle of hits and future classics quickly became a flood. Thanks to those players – Tommy Cogbill, Reggie Young, Bobby Emmons, Gene Chrisman, Dan Penn, Spooner Oldham and others – the American sound became as important a part of recording history as that which emanated from the studios of Motown, Cosimo’s, FAME and Memphis neighbours Sun, Stax and Hi.

The first Hot 100 biggies to be recorded at American – James & Bobby Purify’s ‘Shake A Tail Feather’ and Oscar Toney Jr’s ‘For Your Precious Love’ – were taped at the same session in March 1967, around the same time as Dan Penn was putting the Box Tops through their paces on ‘The Letter’, one of the biggest hits of 1967 and American’s first worldwide chart-topper. Not a bad year by anyone’s standards.

How quickly American’s stock rose in the eyes of others – particularly the companies that used the studio and the Memphis Boys on a regular basis – can be assessed by the fact that, by 1968, American was entertaining a client roster that included Neil Diamond, Petula Clark, B.J. Thomas, Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield and a local boy by the name of Elvis Presley who was looking to make his music as relevant as it had been 15 years earlier.

Although this collection doesn’t contain every major hit that came out of the funky little studio on Thomas Street, Memphis (we’re saving some for a possible second volume), as a listening experience it’s hard to beat – particularly when enjoyed in conjunction with Roben’s brilliant book.

By Tony Rounce

http://www.acerecords.co.uk/content.php ... lease=8893

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:48 am

Looks good. Thanks for posting. But I don't think, Elvis-wise, "I'm movin' on" was the best decision. The Box Tops recorded it at American and Elvis used it almost note for note when he did his version. Something more original would've been better imo, like "Power of my love" for example.

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:30 pm

I like the fact they have used "I'm Movin' On" I've always felt the band are really cooking brilliantly on this track.

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:05 pm

I actually think that "I'm Movin On", like "I Feel So Bad" is an example of Elvis's ability to take an existing arrangement and subtly refine it into an immeasurably better cut.

Listening to the Box Tops version is like hearing a hipster minstrel show, albeit one performed by exceptionally talented minstrels. Chilton's affected twang as he sings 'moving awn...' isn't exactly the most genuine thing I've ever heard, nor is the self-conscious southern vernacular of 'hello to the southland WE comin' to you cause WE movin' awn..'. But the arrangement is undeniably great and worth further exploration.

Elvis's vocal drops the both affectation of the Box Tops version, as well as several verses he doesn't like. The yearning in his voice when he sings that "he's rolling on", the blue way he really leans into that last 'ooohhn'; the way he builds tension with the "I've told you baby from time to time, but you just wouldn't listen..." before erupting into the burn of "pay me no mind" reaches the heart of the wanderer's experience. This singer feels like a man who's been there, and Presley's vocal manages to be simultaneously more modern and a more authentic part of tradition than Chilton's interpretation.

Perhaps the most important change made in the Presley arrangement is the addition of the gospel chorus that answers the singers command to "Move on, baby...move on" in a call-and-response fashion. This elevates the wanderer's experience to the realm of the spiritual, making it a 'drifter's revival' of sorts.

I love the track and am glad to see it's inclusion on this new CD.

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:58 pm

Thought Roy Hamilton would have been on the CD.

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Tue Mar 06, 2012 2:12 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:I actually think that "I'm Movin On", like "I Feel So Bad" is an example of Elvis's ability to take an existing arrangement and subtly refine it into an immeasurably better cut.





"Feel so bad" yes, "I'm movin' on" no. He's singing it better (he mostly did when he covered a song) but that's it. Like I said, something more original would've been better on the CD imo. Like "Power of my love" or "You'll think of me". But I appreciate them not going with "In the ghetto" or the other obvious choices

Re: Story of American Studios - new ACE cd (w/ Elvis track)

Wed Mar 07, 2012 9:52 pm

Rocker wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:I actually think that "I'm Movin On", like "I Feel So Bad" is an example of Elvis's ability to take an existing arrangement and subtly refine it into an immeasurably better cut.





"Feel so bad" yes, "I'm movin' on" no. He's singing it better (he mostly did when he covered a song) but that's it. Like I said, something more original would've been better on the CD imo. Like "Power of my love" or "You'll think of me". But I appreciate them not going with "In the ghetto" or the other obvious choices


I obviously disagree for the reasons stated above. 'You'll Think of Me' would have been a good choice as well. I think 'Power of My Love' is a better 'next step' track than introduction, though, so I'm glad they went with 'I'm Movin' On' for the purpose of this comp.