Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:32 pm

Jarvis' studio overdubs on Unchained Melody hardly can qualify as one of his 70's highlights.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:47 pm

Yeah, to my ears, the overdubs on both the album and 45 versions of Unchained Melody are nightmarish, among Felton's worst.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:48 pm

Booker T wrote:Yeah, to my ears, the overdubs on both the album and 45 versions of Unchained Melody are nightmarish, among Felton's worst.

Bingo.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:57 pm

A pretty good list, and as with its predecessor I'm mostly in agreement, more so this time in fact.
I'm glad to see "I Can Help" and "Susan When She Tried" get some love, since the latter is especially underrated and soulful.
"I Shall Be Released" is, as Matthew notes, also a failure on Jarvis's part. He should have did what Sam Phillips did when he heard Elvis sing "That's All Right Mama." Those off-the-cuff moments led to so many great performances.
Quibbles: "It's Still Here" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" are also choice cuts, but I'm not sure if Felton's contribution extended beyond getting out of Elvis's way. I can understand including "I've Lost You" but for me neither the song nor the performance work--both are a little too genteel and earnest. I like "It's Your Baby, You Rock It" but it doesn't strike me as a significant performance. I don't think "Early Morning Rain" and "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me" add anything to the legacy of Elvis Presley besides showing how dull he could be when singing folk. That even Peter, Paul, and Mary sang these better is embarrassing. As with his Buffy Saint-Marie cover, Elvis seems too reverential of the material. "Just a Little Bit" is unremarkable and rather irritating.
Quibbles aside, a good majority of the other selections are beyond reproach, though not praise.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:40 am

likethebike wrote:I brought it up to remind people that 1970-1976 was not the whole of their collaboration. That's pretty important to remember, I think.

Yes, but it is significant that, after 1966, Felton virtually disappeared until the June 1970 sessions.

When Jarvis managed those dates, his future was on the line.

In-between, Elvis made the greatest music of his later career (Western-Burbank-American).


epf wrote:I just saw the title of this thread, Doc stopped at 1976, hence the exclusion of Unchained Melody i suppose.

The focus is Felton's studio production in the 1970s. Elvis cut no studio masters in 1977.


Revelator wrote:I don't think "Early Morning Rain" and "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me" add anything to the legacy of Elvis Presley ... As with his Buffy Saint-Marie cover, Elvis seems too reverential of the material.

When Elvis sings "I've had a hundred just like you, but don't be blue, I'll have a thousand before I'm through," that's not reverential -- that's autobiography. Peter, Paul and Mary don't come close.

Interestingly, Buffy Sainte-Marie claims that Elvis is anything but reverential in his cover of "Until It's Time For You To Go." She feels he actually misses the song's intricate melody. It's one reason it did not make the cut.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:44 am

Did Chips supervise the Nashville overdubs on the Memphis 69 material?
I think the Nashville '67 sessions are pretty important.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:54 am

Booker T wrote:Did Chips supervise the Nashville overdubs on the Memphis 69 material?
I think the Nashville '67 sessions are pretty important.

He did some, Chips did some.

Both Sep '67 and Jan '68 have merit, but they don't compare to Western-Burbank-American.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 12:58 am

Revelator wrote:A pretty good list, and as with its predecessor I'm mostly in agreement, more so this time in fact.
I'm glad to see "I Can Help" and "Susan When She Tried" get some love, since the latter is especially underrated and soulful.
"I Shall Be Released" is, as Matthew notes, also a failure on Jarvis's part. He should have did what Sam Phillips did when he heard Elvis sing "That's All Right Mama." Those off-the-cuff moments led to so many great performances.
Quibbles: "It's Still Here" and "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" are also choice cuts, but I'm not sure if Felton's contribution extended beyond getting out of Elvis's way. I can understand including "I've Lost You" but for me neither the song nor the performance work--both are a little too genteel and earnest. I like "It's Your Baby, You Rock It" but it doesn't strike me as a significant performance. I don't think "Early Morning Rain" and "(That's What You Get) For Lovin' Me" add anything to the legacy of Elvis Presley besides showing how dull he could be when singing folk. That even Peter, Paul, and Mary sang these better is embarrassing. As with his Buffy Saint-Marie cover, Elvis seems too reverential of the material. "Just a Little Bit" is unremarkable and rather irritating.
Quibbles aside, a good majority of the other selections are beyond reproach, though not praise.


I think Early Morning rain is a great song

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:04 am

drjohncarpenter wrote: Both Sep '67 and Jan '68 have merit, but they don't compare to Western-Burbank-American.


Not much else in music history does!

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:09 am

Good list, Doc, but I would also add Unchained Melody which is one cut (yes, I know it's live) where Felton's efforts enhanced rather than detracted

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:13 am

rickeap wrote:Good list, Doc, but I would also add Unchained Melody which is one cut (yes, I know it's live) where Felton's efforts enhanced rather than detracted

A strong argument can be made that the overdubs do not enhance Unchained Melody.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:17 am

midnightx wrote:
rickeap wrote:Good list, Doc, but I would also add Unchained Melody which is one cut (yes, I know it's live) where Felton's efforts enhanced rather than detracted

A strong argument can be made that the overdubs do not enhance Unchained Melody.


They make it more listenable in an MOR sense, I guess, but it obscures the truth, which is the main moving virtue of the performance.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:30 am

rickeap wrote:Good list, Doc, but I would also add Unchained Melody which is one cut (yes, I know it's live) where Felton's efforts enhanced rather than detracted

Again, the focus is Felton's studio production in the 1970s. Elvis cut no studio masters in 1977.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:46 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:When Elvis sings "I've had a hundred just like you, but don't be blue, I'll have a thousand before I'm through," that's not reverential -- that's autobiography.


Absolutely. But "It's Easy For You" is essentially autobiography as well, as is "My Boy" if you sub in a girl for the boy. It's great when a song has biographical resonance, but not a guarantee of quality when Elvis's performance is only half-hearted. And the fact that it is Peter, Paul, and Mary material is another reason Elvis shouldn't have bothered--there are plenty of other great folks songs out there.

Interestingly, Buffy Sainte-Marie claims that Elvis is anything but reverential in his cover of "Until It's Time For You To Go." She feels he actually misses the song's intricate melody. It's one reason it did not make the cut.


Missing the melody could also be the result of an overall cautious, reverential treatment. Much of Elvis's folk music has an unnatural feeling of restraint to it--he doesn't allow himself to momentarily relax as he could in genres he'd mastered. When Elvis's folk-oriented material does work, as in "Don't Think Twice" or "I'm Leaving," it's perhaps because Elvis was allowed to free his voice with the rhythm of the arrangements, instead of trying for a dutiful sense of solemnity.

brian wrote:I think Early Morning rain is a great song


As do I, except when Elvis sings it.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:15 am

Revelator wrote:
brian wrote:I think Early Morning rain is a great song


As do I, except when Elvis sings it.


I think Elvis' version is fantastic

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:28 am

brian wrote:
Revelator wrote:
brian wrote:I think Early Morning rain is a great song


As do I, except when Elvis sings it.


I think Elvis' version is fantastic


It's not awful, but pretty much every other version out there beats it.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:30 am

Revelator wrote:It's not awful, but pretty much every other version out there beats it.

How are you regarding the Jan 73 (Honolulu) and Jun 77 (Rapid City) recordings?

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:31 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Revelator wrote:It's not awful, but pretty much every other version out there beats it.

How are you regarding the Jan 73 (Honolulu) and Jun 77 (Rapid City) recordings?

Nothing beats the June 1977 Rapid City recordings.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Thu Oct 08, 2009 4:36 am

Revelator wrote:
brian wrote:
Revelator wrote:
brian wrote:I think Early Morning rain is a great song


As do I, except when Elvis sings it.


I think Elvis' version is fantastic


It's not awful, but pretty much every other version out there beats it.


I think it's better than Peter, Paul and Mary's version

Gordon Lightfoot also loved Elvis' version.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:30 am

I am surprised at the inclusion of "I Can Help" as Elvis is nearly out of breath at times.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:17 am

Deke Rivers II wrote:I am surprised at the inclusion of "I Can Help" as Elvis is nearly out of breath at times.

Find me another track in the later period that exudes as much joy.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:53 pm

Doc, how does Just a Little Bit add to Elvis' legacy? I don't dislike his rendition, I just consider it solid, but unexceptional. What is it you hear in the performance that causes you to rate it among his best 70's efforts?

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:02 am

Pete Dube wrote:Doc, how does Just a Little Bit add to Elvis' legacy?

Given the disaster that was the July 1973 Stax visit, the band sounds great on the track -- there is a terrific groove that they hold throughout, and Elvis' performance, despite his depressed state, has command and more than a touch of his playful sexuality. There's not a whole lot from 1973 on where you can hear that.

Plus, it does not sound at all like the 1960s Drifters recording, and that's cool too.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:16 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:Doc, how does Just a Little Bit add to Elvis' legacy?

Given the disaster that was the July 1973 Stax visit, the band sounds great on the track -- there is a terrific groove that they hold throughout, and Elvis' performance, despite his depressed state, has command and more than a touch of his playful sexuality. There's not a whole lot from 1973 on where you can hear that.

Plus, it does not sound at all like the 1960s Drifters recording, and that's cool too.


What about Find out what's happening?

I thought the song was a cool funky rocker that was unusual in Elvis' repetoire.

Re: For epf: Felton Jarvis Hits, 1970-1976

Tue Oct 13, 2009 12:43 am

brian wrote:What about Find out what's happening?

Asleep at the wheel....