For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:12 pm

minkahed wrote:Hey Doc, For historical purposes, what would a "good number of substandard, and sometimes downright embarrassing recordings from 1970 to 1977" be again ?

None of these 35 tracks add a thing to the great legacy of Elvis Presley's recorded work.
All were taped under Felton Jarvis' watch.
The "dirty dozen" worst are in red.

1970
The Sound of Your Cry
This Is Our Dance
Life
There Goes My Everything
If I Were You
Only Believe
Sylvia
Where Did They Go, Lord?
1971
Miracle of the Rosary
Padre
Silver Bells
Help Me Make It Through the Night
An Evening Prayer
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
Put Your Hand in the Hand
He Is My Everything
There Is No God But God
1972
Where Do I Go from Here?
Fool
1973
Three Corn Patches
Take Good Care of Her
Girl of Mine
Sweet Angeline
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
My Boy
Talk About the Good Times
1975
Woman Without Love
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life
1976
The Last Farewell
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
It's Easy for You

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:19 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:1970
The Sound of Your Cry
Sylvia
Where Did They Go, Lord?
1971
Help Me Make It Through the Night
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
1972
Where Do I Go from Here?
Fool
1973
My Boy
1975
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life
1976
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
It's Easy for You


These are among my favorites.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:35 pm

Wow. You must adore the work Felton did in those six years.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:42 pm

That would make a stunning two-CD collection. Is it too late for Legacy to consider those tracks as the content for Elvis 75?

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:48 pm

I also like a few of those tracks.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 10:53 pm

He saved his kidney by producing stuff like this..

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:21 pm

Johanesson wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:1970
The Sound of Your Cry
Sylvia
Where Did They Go, Lord?
1971
Help Me Make It Through the Night
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
1972
Where Do I Go from Here?
Fool
1973
My Boy
1975
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life
1976
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
It's Easy for You


These are among my favorites.

Many of my personal favorites too.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:54 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
minkahed wrote:Hey Doc, For historical purposes, what would a "good number of substandard, and sometimes downright embarrassing recordings from 1970 to 1977" be again ?

None of these 35 tracks add a thing to the great legacy of Elvis Presley's recorded work.
All were taped under Felton Jarvis' watch.
The "dirty dozen" worst are in red.

1970
The Sound of Your Cry
This Is Our Dance
Life
There Goes My Everything
If I Were You
Only Believe
Sylvia
Where Did They Go, Lord?
1971
Miracle of the Rosary
Padre
Silver Bells
Help Me Make It Through the Night
An Evening Prayer
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
Put Your Hand in the Hand
He Is My Everything
There Is No God But God
1972
Where Do I Go from Here?
Fool
1973
Three Corn Patches
Take Good Care of Her
Girl of Mine
Sweet Angeline
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
My Boy
Talk About the Good Times
1975
Woman Without Love
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life
1976
The Last Farewell
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
It's Easy for You


You definitely have an interesting taste in what you consider good music. The Sound Of Your Cry is one of his better 70's tracks, period. Love The Life I Lead is another good one. Heard these both on Sirius 13 and was impressed conpared to songs like Rags To Riches and some others.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:01 am

Elvis certainly delivers credible vocal performances on a handful of those tracks, but Jarvis "missed" on many of them due to his over-production, and second, his inability to dissuade his artist from recording in many of those cases, second-rate material. Elvis was a major talent and many of those songs were way beneath him.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:15 am

midnightx wrote:Elvis certainly delivers credible vocal performances on a handful of those tracks, but Jarvis "missed" on many of them due to his over-production, and second, his inability to dissuade his artist from recording in many of those cases, second-rate material. Elvis was a major talent and many of those songs were way beneath him.


Agreed.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:26 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
minkahed wrote:Hey Doc, For historical purposes, what would a "good number of substandard, and sometimes downright embarrassing recordings from 1970 to 1977" be again ?

None of these 35 tracks add a thing to the great legacy of Elvis Presley's recorded work.
All were taped under Felton Jarvis' watch.
The "dirty dozen" worst are in red.

1970
The Sound of Your Cry
This Is Our Dance
Life
There Goes My Everything
If I Were You
Only Believe
Sylvia
Where Did They Go, Lord?
1971
Miracle of the Rosary
Padre
Silver Bells
Help Me Make It Through the Night
An Evening Prayer
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
Put Your Hand in the Hand
He Is My Everything
There Is No God But God
1972
Where Do I Go from Here?
Fool
1973
Three Corn Patches
Take Good Care of Her
Girl of Mine
Sweet Angeline
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
My Boy
Talk About the Good Times
1975
Woman Without Love
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life
1976
The Last Farewell
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again
It's Easy for You



Of course the track ''Guitar Man'' (with What'd I Say) remix from 1981 is a masterpiece. :roll:

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:35 am

There are some turkeys in there, no doubt, but Elvis had a way of saving many a song. And when you line them up like that, they look especially bad. It's all in the context.

I like a bunch of those songs if situated right in terms of pacing which is what largely happened in concerts and/or albums.

How's about a '50s comp of "Harbor Lights," "I Love you Because" , " "Old Shep" , "Don't" , ""First In Line," Young & Beautiful"' "How's the World's Treating You?" ;"I"m Counting on You." "Playing for Keeps" "Tell Me Why," "Lonesome Cowboy and "Steadfast, Loyal & True ? Maybe a mono chaser of "Love Me Tender"? :lol:

Dire, man, dire.

Okay, some are gems but the pacing would never happen...same with these above.

I've heard that "Pieces of My Life" meant a lot to him and it strikes me a solid country weeper (a few others might qualify.)

It's not party music by any stretch but it's solid, even heart-wrenching country. When I'm in the mood, I love it.
And yes, "My Boy."

Love it, love it...

Having a son myself, it's my new favorite. I walk around singing it a lot as a matter of fact. :lol:

Somewhere Vicki Carr and Shirley Bassey are smiling - enviously.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:44 am

You certainly wouldn't play any of those songs if you wanted to let someone hear Elvis
at his best.
I like pieces of my life though.

norrie

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:48 am

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:How's about a '50s comp of "Harbor Lights," "I Love you Because" , " "Old Shep" , "Don't" , ""First In Line," Young & Beautiful"' "How's the World's Treating You?" ;"I"m Counting on You." "Playing for Keeps" "Tell Me Why," "Lonesome Cowboy and "Steadfast, Loyal & True ? Maybe a mono chaser of "Love Me Tender"? :lol:

Dire, man, dire.

Dire? None of those are a patch on the Felton list, and two were #1 hits.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:49 am

The worst are:

Where Did They Go, Lord?
Miracle of the Rosary
Padre
We Can Make the Morning
Love Me, Love the Life
Where Do I Go from Here?
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
Woman Without Love
Bringing It Back
Pieces of My Life

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 12:54 am

First off, I would like to "Thank You" Doc, for you dedicating a thread to me ! :)

Second, Your list is really on target. As far as I am concerned, all of the above titles, especially the "Dirty Dozen" are just horrendous for an artist of Elvis Presley's calibre.

He was just too talented to be negating himself of not recording songs that "He didn't believe in".

Anyone who thinks that Elvis believed in some of the rotten eggs listed above is only in complete denial.

There is no reason as to why Elvis shouldn't have been recording top notch material on a regular basis in his recording career.

This also applies to Elvis' soundtrack work from the previous decade, so, they don't get a free ride either.

And Felton's once new and fresh approach to overdubbing and added instrumentation that began at the beginning of the seventies was quickly becoming a lost art as the seventies wore on.

Doc, once again, Thanks.

I value your thoughts and/or opinions tremendously. I appreciate the time and effort.

Regards.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:00 am

Sorry Doc, I have to completely disagree with the inclusion of "There Goes My Everything" in your list. It features a beautiful vocal performance from Elvis (including him harmonising with himself) and is one of my favs off the "Country" album. I wouldn't consider it a substandard recording at all.

"He Is My Everything" on the other hand...

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:12 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:None of these 35 tracks add a thing to the great legacy of Elvis Presley's recorded work.


I basically agree, in that almost none of the tracks would be considered a great performance or even a significant one.

The "dirty dozen" worst are in red.
The Sound of Your Cry
Life
Padre
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
Fool
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
My Boy
Woman Without Love
The Last Farewell
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again


A fair grouping, and I'm mostly in agreement, though I have a unexplainable guilty liking for "Life" and would probably swap it out for "Three Corn Patches." "The Sound of Your Cry" sounds better in unvarnished outtake form (as does "It's Easy for You," though Elvis is still uninspired)--another strike against Jarvis. "Fool" and "The Last Farewell" showcase two of Elvis's most irritatingly mannered performances. "My Boy" is pompous, "Woman Without Love" is lifeless, and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is enervated and thus inappropriate for the flamboyance of the song's message.

However, there are non-red songs that I would quibble over. "There Goes My Everything," "Where Did They Go, Lord?", "Miracle of the Rosary," "He Is My Everything," "We Can Make the Morning" and "Take Good Care of Her" may not be top-notch songs in themselves, but they are impassioned performances with non-offensive arrangements. They're not guilty of lacking vitality or commitment, which is the worst offense in my book. Neither Jorgensen or Gurlanick (or anyone else?) care for Elvis's version of "Put Your Hand in the Hand", but it's catchy and at least isn't as anemic as "There Is No God But God."

I would rank "Pieces of My Life" and "Talk About the Good Times" in the first tier of the 70s records. The former is everything "My Boy" isn't---bathos redeemed by a genuine expression of regret---and the latter is zippy romp with a fleetfooted vocal.

"Padre" perhaps demonstrates the limits of how far we can blame Jarvis. This was evidentally one of Elvis's favorite songs, and his failure to nail it should be laid at his feet, since I can easily imagine what he might have done with the song. Similarly, "Help Me Make It Through the Night" is another number Elvis badly wanted to do and whose failure is Elvis's alone. Perhaps Jarvis could have prodded Elvis into a more spirited take, but Jorgensen's book suggests that Jarvis did indeed do such things, only to have Elvis blow up on him. There's only so far you can go with an artist whose performing ability has begun flickering.
Quibbles aside, it's clear that Elvis did his best work with producers who actively challenged him, like Sam Phillips, Steve Binder, and Chips Moman. These were all men Elvis felt the need to impress. Felton on the other hand was essentially Elvis's employee, and even if he'd tried to assert himself more he would have likely failed. After the initial thrill of the 1970 marathon wore off Elvis needed another change in the studio routine to shake him up. But the set-up Felton had grown to head couldn't provide it.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:13 am

Matthew wrote:Sorry Doc, I have to completely disagree with the inclusion of "There Goes My Everything" in your list. It features a beautiful vocal performance from Elvis (including him harmonising with himself) and is one of my favs off the "Country" album. I wouldn't consider it a substandard recording at all.

"He Is My Everything" on the other hand...


You are correct. "There Goes my Everything" is a great performance.

Also, "Pieces Of My Life" is possibly Elvis's best post 73 recording. The performance is both personal, and Elvis's delivery of the song reveals that the subject matter is close to the bone. One may have quarrels with the production, or may not have a taste for country music, but the performance is excellent and it is a strong country ballad.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 2:23 am

Revelator wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:None of these 35 tracks add a thing to the great legacy of Elvis Presley's recorded work.


I basically agree, in that almost none of the tracks would be considered a great performance or even a significant one.

The "dirty dozen" worst are in red.
The Sound of Your Cry
Life
Padre
Love Me, Love the Life I Lead
Fool
Mr. Songman
Love Song of the Year
My Boy
Woman Without Love
The Last Farewell
Solitaire
I'll Never Fall in Love Again


A fair grouping, and I'm mostly in agreement, though I have a unexplainable guilty liking for "Life" and would probably swap it out for "Three Corn Patches." "The Sound of Your Cry" sounds better in unvarnished outtake form (as does "It's Easy for You," though Elvis is still uninspired)--another strike against Jarvis. "Fool" and "The Last Farewell" showcase two of Elvis's most irritatingly mannered performances. "My Boy" is pompous, "Woman Without Love" is lifeless, and "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" is enervated and thus inappropriate for the flamboyance of the song's message.

However, there are non-red songs that I would quibble over. "There Goes My Everything," "Where Did They Go, Lord?", "Miracle of the Rosary," "He Is My Everything," "We Can Make the Morning" and "Take Good Care of Her" may not be top-notch songs in themselves, but they are impassioned performances with non-offensive arrangements. They're not guilty of lacking vitality or commitment, which is the worst offense in my book. Neither Jorgensen or Gurlanick (or anyone else?) care for Elvis's version of "Put Your Hand in the Hand", but it's catchy and at least isn't as anemic as "There Is No God But God."

I would rank "Pieces of My Life" and "Talk About the Good Times" in the first tier of the 70s records. The former is everything "My Boy" isn't---bathos redeemed by a genuine expression of regret---and the latter is zippy romp with a fleetfooted vocal.

"Padre" perhaps demonstrates the limits of how far we can blame Jarvis. This was evidentally one of Elvis's favorite songs, and his failure to nail it should be laid at his feet, since I can easily imagine what he might have done with the song. Similarly, "Help Me Make It Through the Night" is another number Elvis badly wanted to do and whose failure is Elvis's alone. Perhaps Jarvis could have prodded Elvis into a more spirited take, but Jorgensen's book suggests that Jarvis did indeed do such things, only to have Elvis blow up on him. There's only so far you can go with an artist whose performing ability has begun flickering.
Quibbles aside, it's clear that Elvis did his best work with producers who actively challenged him, like Sam Phillips, Steve Binder, and Chips Moman. These were all men Elvis felt the need to impress. Felton on the other hand was essentially Elvis's employee, and even if he'd tried to assert himself more he would have likely failed. After the initial thrill of the 1970 marathon wore off Elvis needed another change in the studio routine to shake him up. But the set-up Felton had grown to head couldn't provide it.


Nice post!

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:05 am

minkahed wrote:First off, I would like to "Thank You" Doc, for you dedicating a thread to me ! :)

Second, Your list is really on target. As far as I am concerned, all of the above titles, especially the "Dirty Dozen" are just horrendous for an artist of Elvis Presley's calibre.

He was just too talented to be negating himself of not recording songs that "He didn't believe in".

Anyone who thinks that Elvis believed in some of the rotten eggs listed above is only in complete denial.

There is no reason as to why Elvis shouldn't have been recording top notch material on a regular basis in his recording career.

This also applies to Elvis' soundtrack work from the previous decade, so, they don't get a free ride either.

And Felton's once new and fresh approach to overdubbing and added instrumentation that began at the beginning of the seventies was quickly becoming a lost art as the seventies wore on.

Doc, once again, Thanks.

I value your thoughts and/or opinions tremendously. I appreciate the time and effort.

Regards.

Thank you kindly for your very generous compliments!

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:09 am

This list demonstrates just how subjective such things can be.

Add me to the list on "There Goes My Everything" a brilliantly performed country classic. Felton's work on it is not intrusive in any way. It just happened to be a part of an album with an even greater track listing.

I agree with Revelator's points about "Put Your Hand in the Hand," "Pieces of My Life" a first rate interpretation of personal desolation. Also I agree about "Help Me Make it Through the Night's" deficit being Elvis' somewhat tired vocal. It is an acknowledged country classic. I think even a recent country network poll had it as the greatest country composition of the past 50 years or so.

I also agree with the difficulties of blaming Felton. As Revelator mentioned, Elvis named "Padre" as one of his favorite songs or his favorite song of the moment in a 1958 (I believe) interview. He also told Florence Kaye in a phone call how much he admired "The Sound of Your Cry." And Elvis brought "Bringin' it Back" to the March 1975 session himself. "Mr. Songman"

The results show in his performance which is truly inspired. His projection on the word "Babe" is marvelous. It is kind of cliche'd song both lyrically and melodically but it does sing well, and it definitely adds to Elvis' legacy. His skill as an interpreter shines brightly here. Every word is considered. It ranks only short of the top tier of his material because it is a rather weak song. Felton's production is a little heavy on it, but far more subtle than what a Billy Sherrill was doing at the time.

On "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" I think this is a track people are afraid of. They focus on labored breathing etc. but the thing is that the struggle that Elvis has getting the tune physically across underline its passion. It's too real. If popular music were only about technical perfection than we would have never heard of Bob Dylan as a performer.

By the way, Elvis believed in many, many of these songs. Part of the reason a track like "Life" or "Where Did They Go Lord" gets through is because of a desire to say something with lyrics.

In spirit, what Felton did by the way is not a ton different than what Sam Phillips did at Sun. He let Elvis follow his own lead and tried to catch a moment. Unlike Phillips, he had a product crazy record company breathing down his neck. Also, unlike Phillips he had to deal with a man in his late 30s and early '40s with great power and a man in the midst of a great personal depression. This is much different than an on top of the world 19 or 20 year-old kid.

The difference that Binder had and Moman had in their moments with Elvis was the same thing that Felton had in 1966. They were new. Elvis responded to new things. He and Parker apparently did not this and often locked him in routine. Still though all said and done, especially compared to his peers, Elvis remained a remarkably productive artist in terms of quality in the 1970s. He just wasn't as consistent as he was in youth.

Greg- I get the idea of your list, but it contains too many classics for my tastes. However, one would have to contort standards to an extreme to argue why "Steadfast, Loyal and True" is a better composition than say "Solitaire" or to say that Elvis sings "I Love You Because" or "Harbor Lights" better than he sings "Sound of Your Cry," "Sylvia" etc.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:14 am

Matthew wrote:Sorry Doc, I have to completely disagree with the inclusion of "There Goes My Everything" ...

You might be able to argue that it's not substandard, but it adds nothing to his oeuvre.

There are many nice version of this song, and there is not one person for whom I would play this track as something of significance by Elvis Presley.

One of the points of this list is that, had these never been cut, Elvis legacy would be unchanged -- or even improved.

"Put Your Hand In The Hand" -- a hit for Ocean ... yes, Elvis covers Ocean -- was played out by the time it was covered, and a remake of an already-stale, mediocre pop song is miles from what a genius like Elvis Presley should have been creating at the age of 36.

"Talk About The Good Times" is rushed, and Elvis' vocal is borderline hysterical. There is nothing interesting about this recording, save perhaps James Burton's lead guitar.

Another example is "Pieces Of My Life" -- it's an utterly bathetic and self-pitying recording. Any requests for some great, late-period Elvis would never include this number.

What about "I'll Never Fall in Love Again"? It's one of the worst vocal performances that ever slipped out as a master. It shows how ill the singer was, and how desperate the producer seemed, to attempt to top a signature song when there is no chance of success. It's not reality -- it's a foreshadowing of CBS-TV's "Elvis In Concert." Tom Jones must have cried when he heard this -- he loved Elvis.

But, hey, that's me!

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:37 am

Pieces Of My Life is self-pitying indeed, but it really does tell the truth. Powerful and shocking, one I don't want to play often.
I don't even like the original of There Goes My Everything.

Re: For minkahed: Felton Jarvis Misses, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:39 am

All of us probably have some differences with Doc's list. He has differences with mine. Most of these songs are tough to defend, but a few aren't as bad as Doc says. As others have said, "Pieces Of My Life" is a good song and a very good, heartfelt performance by Elvis.

No defenders of "Fool" here? I've always liked it and it was a big worldwide hit in 1973. This, "Burning Love," and "Always On My Mind" are my favorites from that 1972 session.

These negative threads always get us going, don't they?

Steve Lecher