Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:03 am
midnightx wrote:brian wrote:I think It would have been harder than you think.
It would not have been as hard as you think it was. Elvis was completely finished in the movie business and ASIB was still presented to him. Imagine Elvis aligning himself with a connected manager and utilizing the William Morris Agency's pull with the studios, producers and directors. Again, some of you guys seem to think it had to be all or nothing with Elvis - leading, headling roles. I haven't implied that once.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:11 am
ekenee wrote:Pete Dube wrote:midnightx wrote:Pete, that is way off the mark. There is always something left to prove. How about recording great albums? How about collaborating with other great musical artists? How about reinventing a movie career? How about touring in untapped markets? How about changing the format of a live show permanently? How about headlining a weekly television show? How about producing films? Etc. etc. etc. There were plenty of professional and personal challenges Elvis could have faced. In 1970, he had only returned to relevance for a short period of time. He hadn't even broken the ice in the 70's before he started to deteriorate. Aside from Elvis Country, he really did not make another 'great' album. 7 years went by and were wasted with misguided and lackluster recording sessions which yielded some isolated gems, but his recording career was in complete disarray on so many levels. What a waste....
Midnightx, Elvis seemed to work on relatively short bursts of inspiration followed by periods of riding the wave of those bursts of inspiration. From late '68 to early '71 we got 6 strong albums. Then the inspiration and enthusiasm waned. Maybe if these albums were spread out more he'd have kept his level up. Same thing happened with the live shows. I did acknowledge that touring abroad was still left, that would fit your 'untapped markets.'
I personally don't believe that Elvis could've revived his movie career. I think he had his shot and, due to Parker's mismanagement, blew it. Hollywood had moved on. What's more, I think Elvis' talk of reviving his movie career was just that - talk. He may very well have had the desire in the early 70's, but by 1975 it was little more than a pipedream. Time waits for no one.
Headlining a weekly series? I don't think he would've wanted to commit to a weekly format, and I also think that would've been a step down in a sense. Leave that to the Tom Jones and Glen Campbells and Mac Davis'. Elvis was too big for that. Plus there's the question of money.
Collaborations with other artists is a fairly recent thing, and I have doubts that Elvis would've been particularly interested as it would mean he'd have to venture out of his comfort zone a bit.
Lastly, Elvis as a film producer? Interesting, but I think he lacked the attention span and the clout for it. Plus it's a risky proposition. Producers are the seed money, and if a given film flops there's no return on investment - or even a loss. Elvis backing one break even or flop film would've put him off producing.
I partially agree with some of what you wrote, but one thing you didn't mention could have been done one year and probably wasn't tried because of Parkers fear of over exposing his boy.
He let Elvis rot in Las Vegas for weeks at a time but he could have signed him up for 4 TV specials in one year.
Not as pressured as a weekly series, but it would have gave the fans a chance to hear Elvis with other big stars.
Can you imagine if this was tried and we had 4, one hour specials, each filmed with one special guest.
Show 1 Guest Roy Orbison
Show 2 Guest Glen Campbell
Show 3 Guest Ann Margret
Show 4 Guest Tom Jones
Other big stars would do this in the 1970's. They would do 3 or 4 specials a year.
Some of them did lame comedy skits, but that wouldn't work with Elvis. It would have to be music
and jam session type stuff all the way.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:29 am
likethebike wrote:Pete is absolutely right. By 1973 Elvis had done pretty much everything there was to do in rock music. And save for his misfire at songwriting in the early 1960s, he hade done virtually everything brilliantly. He had helped to invent the form, transformed western culture, conquered TV and radio, not once but twice, became a significant live performer twice as well with the second time conquering an adult audience, incorporated auto-biography into his music, recorded a great concept album, covered and integrated an atsonishing array of popular styles and styles within those styles. Save for a legitimate artistic movie career and touring overseas he didn't have a lot left to conquer. There were other things he could do like develop interest in new styles like jazz or show tunes. But nothing save those two things he had to do. And it is worth noting that he did die at 42. It's not as if those options were still not open to a relatively young man. Still even with those unresolved avenues, no one else can touch all of what Elvis did in those 23 years.
The problem with Jarvis was the same problem that would have plagued Moman in that Elvis was a person who lost interest in things very quickly. His mind just worked that way. That Jarvis got what he got was fairly amazing. What do you think would have happened if Chips would have pulled some crap at the Today sessions? Elvis would have walked out the door. You think that stuff about cutting out the gospel in the 1950s pissed him off. Try pushing a legend around 20 years later when he's not that nuts to be there in the first place.
The thing that helped redeem Elvis in the early part of his career was that there were a lot of scenery changes, challenges and new people. Sun he had to prove himself. Then he had to prove himself on a national scale. Then he was given the challenge of recording material for movies. Then he met Leiber and Stoller. Then he was drafted. Then he had a new band. Then he had to come back after two years away. Those, by the way, were a big two years. For virtually the only time after Sun, Elvis got some serious time to think about music and what he wanted to do. Maybe Elvis would have more mustard to record if he had some time away from the industry.
It's also really about time to put away the myth of Binder, Moman and even Phillips. They deserve credit because they helped inspire Elvis at key turning points in his career. However, the bottom line on all that great music was Elvis.
Let me tell you about Steve Binder. Binder never touched that TV show again. His late 1970s Rolling Stone Anniversary Special is considered one of the worst ever specials of its kind.The only thing he had to compare with it before was the TAMI Show. As Dave Marsh pointed out the story line that Binder and his writers came up with for the TV show was astonishingly close to a standard Elvis movie. Those awful orchestrations that mar many of Elvis' classics were Steve Binder's inspiration (via Billy Goldenberg) to modernize Elvis' sound. Binder's credit is that he was new and inspired Elvis and recognized that it was best to leave Elvis do what Elvis did best.
Let's move on to Moman. This production "genius" has disowned many of the songs from the session because he wasn't into Elvis' off the cuff jams. Tracks like "I'll Hold You in My Heart" and "Stranger in My Own Hometown" were indulgences to Moman. And as anyone who has listened to the blaring intro on "Any Day Now" knows Moman could overproduce too. Again, he did good work, but it's not as if he was some sort of Spectoresque visionary. He was good for Elvis at a moment in time. Fans sometimes romanticize his work because there's nothing else from him to compare it to. However, Elvis was determined to take the world back over when he went into those sessions. That desire is what you hear, not Moman.
Unlike the previous two producers, Phillips was an actual genius. However, his genius was to let a performer discover what was already within himself. He had an excellent release policy that highlighted Elvis at his best (even he did whiff on a few choice ballads like "Blue Moon"). And unlike the other two producers Phillips did have an innovative technique with his use of echo. However, what to sing, how to sing it came mostly from Elvis and the band.
For the most part, Phillips was what many fans here would call a "Yes Man" at least according to the idea that a producer that encourages an artist rather than chastizing him, is a yes man. As many sports teams have found out, you do indeed often catch more flies with sugar than vinegar.
Booker T. what fans are dismissed by Greg's contention that rock n' roll is not the whole world?
Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:33 am
Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:45 am
Brian- If Elvis was going to get a role, it was probably going to be something a director saw as specifically for him. People like Martin Scorsese would have gladly taken a crack at working with Elvis because of what Elvis meant to him and his peers in their youth.
In no way, can Spector be compared to Moman. Spector was the most visionary producer in the history of the music. He completely reinvented rock production. Moman was a talented journeyman with a great band.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:11 pm
likethebike wrote: Booker T. there is even a phrase for that kind of bias "rockist." I mean the pendulum has swung greatly towards the other way from the '50s and the '60s regarding the worth of pop. Many critics have commented that rock criticism is general is slanted away from the originators as well as artists associated with soul as well.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:24 pm
Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:02 pm
ekenee wrote:Some of them did lame comedy skits, but that wouldn't work with Elvis. It would have to be music and jam session type stuff all the way.
Thu Oct 08, 2009 10:55 pm
ekenee wrote:In the 70's Elvis wanted to play sort of a badass.
Something like a vigilante type role that Charles Bronson played.
Kind of a street justice kind of guy.
He would have been able to carry a gun.
Ride a mototcycle and beat the crap outta drug dealers.
He could have done that.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:11 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:Again, a track that adds nothing to the Presley story a-tall.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:25 am
Rob wrote:drjohncarpenter wrote:Again, a track that adds nothing to the Presley story a-tall.
Except for the fact that many of us enjoy Elvis' version of the classic country ballad. I would like to see the same kind of thread on the 1950's and '60's recordings. I dislike many more of those than I do those from the '70's (of course, many more songs were recorded during that era).
As for me, I prefer "There Goes My Everything" over "Tweedle Dee" any day.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:31 am
Rob wrote:As for me, I prefer "There Goes My Everything" over "Tweedle Dee" any day.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:35 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:I would proudly play it for a new listener and say, "THIS is Elvis."
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:38 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:44 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:47 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:48 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:53 am
drjohncarpenter wrote:On the one hand we have a genteel, pleasant-but-unremarkable June 1970 cover of a much-recorded country standard, while on the other we have an exuberant, blazingly sexy live April 1955 recording of LaVerne Baker's "Tweedlee Dee." Not only would I take the 1955 track over the 1970 cut any day of the week, I would proudly play it for a new listener and say, "THIS is Elvis."
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:58 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 12:59 am
Revelator wrote:If I'm with a someone who only thinks of Elvis in terms of rock music, I would play the former. If I was with someone to whom I wished to illustrate Elvis' s range, vocal prowess, and way with ballads and standards, I would play the former. But both of these songs equally represent Elvis.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:01 am
Revelator wrote:There's as much passion in his version of "There Goes My Everything," a florid performance emotionally laden with gratitude and pride (and one of the best versions out there), as there is in his rhythmic, sexy "Tweedle Dee."
Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:19 am
Booker T wrote:There Goes is definitely a good vocal performance. But Felton put way, way too much syrup on the pancakes with the strings and voices.
Rob wrote:Would you ever play the latter?
drjohncarpenter wrote:You must own a different version of "There Goes My Everything." I hear a nice, workmanlike performance, nothing more, nothing less.
Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:34 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:08 am
Fri Oct 09, 2009 3:39 am
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