Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:17 am

Mitch wrote:On the music part I agree that Red wrote some very good songs for Elvis. My favorite is "If You Think I Don't Need You" from Viva Las Vegas. As a kid I didn't like that they cut the song short in the movie.

Mitch



Hey Doc,

I did comment on the MUSIC.

Take Care Buddy,

Mitch

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 4:48 am

Mitch wrote:I did comment on the MUSIC.

Right on! Make sure it's the MUSIC with every post on this topic, thanks.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:07 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mitch wrote:I did comment on the MUSIC.



That's a bit rough...the first paragraph on your first post is not about the music but does relate to Mitch's commrnt about the phone call.

Elvis' Memphis-born friend, Robert "Red" West, knew the singer from 1952 to 1976, contributing companionship, camaraderie, protection, football, stunt man work, music jams, good humour and advice. Of course, when that advice included a discussion of his friend's increasing and detrimental use of pharmaceuticals, he was soon out of the inner circle forever. A controversial, and much misunderstood, "tell-all" book -- and August 16, 1977 -- came all too soon.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:18 am

KiwiAlan wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Mitch wrote:I did comment on the MUSIC.



That's a bit rough...the first paragraph on your first post is not about the music but does relate to Mitch's commrnt about the phone call.

Elvis' Memphis-born friend, Robert "Red" West, knew the singer from 1952 to 1976, contributing companionship, camaraderie, protection, football, stunt man work, music jams, good humour and advice. Of course, when that advice included a discussion of his friendKiwiAla's increasing and detrimental use of pharmaceuticals, he was soon out of the inner circle forever. A controversial, and much misunderstood, "tell-all" book -- and August 16, 1977 -- came all too soon.



Thanks KiwiAlan,

Mitch

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:30 am

KiwiAlan wrote:That's a bit rough...the first paragraph on your first post is not about the music ...

The introduction is a brief biography of the subject, it's called providing context.

The topic is all about the music. What are YOUR thoughts on the topic?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:35 am

brian wrote:
Trevell wrote:Great info on Red!

If You Talk In Your Sleep has always been a favorite of mine, but I'm curious about the lyric. Elvis' version starts with "I know you're a lonely woman, but I love you". I heard a version by Little Milton that starts, "I know you're a married woman, but I love you".

I like Elvis' version much better than Milton's, but "married woman" makes more sense in this song. Was Elvis self censoring himself? What is the original lyric?


Little Milton heard Elvis' version of ''If you talk in your sleep'' on the radio and liked it.
Little Milton had a #34 R&B hit with the song in 1975.

since Little Milton heard Elvis doing it he changed the lyric



Well, yes, he liked the song, not necessarily Elvis' performance. Look here, page 305:
http://books.google.de/books?id=XLdsRwpZ9oYC&pg=PA304&lpg=PA304&dq=marty+lacker+stax&source=bl&ots=RS6jsQlTfH&sig=5QJOMZGMtWhNj1El6ksox87Bf0c&hl=de&ei=BY6gTJP3BISMswbQw-nmDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=marty%20lacker%20stax&f=false

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:40 am

Rocker wrote:Well, yes, he liked the song, not necessarily Elvis' performance. Look here, page 305 ...

Nice find.

What Milton noticed is that Elvis did not give his all to Red's song, but he could tell it had real merit.


Image

Rob Bowman, Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records (New York: Music Sales Group, 2003)

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 1:52 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Good Time Charlie wrote:Nope. It would have ended the same way as his Live versions of "For the Good Times" which aren't a patch on the Master ...

The 1972 "For The Good Times" master was not released in Elvis lifetime, so that comparison is invalid.

On the other hand, one may argue he did very well doing these released studio cuts:

Just Pretend
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Early Morning Rain
I, John
Bosom of Abraham
Help Me
If You Talk In Your Sleep (Red West-Johnny Christopher)
Green, Green Grass of Home
And I Love You So


It's not an invalid comparison. It's just simply true that live versions of "For the Good Times" cut months after his Master, were nowhere near as good. I just don't think a Live version would have been as good; in a live setting the subtleties and nuances of such a personal, heartbreaking studio recording would have been lost. And my point was even on a song Elvis clearly loved like "For the Good Times" from that same session, he just didn't put as much into his live renditions of it,

And yes, I agree with you that on those particular cuts Elvis performed versions very worthy of their studio counterparts, in some cases better. All though I don't think I've heard of a Live "I, John". What release can that be found on? I think I'd also add "It's Midnight", "My Boy" (His live version from 1975 on the Live in Las Vegas box is undoubtedy better than his Record) "Fairytale" (some of his 1975 Live versions are better than his poor studio effort) and "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" to your list. In fact pretty much all of the times he did Live performances of that 1973-1975 Material in that time frame, he did a great job on it.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 5:06 pm

Mitch wrote:
Bobc wrote:
Mitch wrote:I'm sorry Doc but I can't get over what Red did with the book and recording Elvis' phone conversation without him knowing it. Sounds like he was only out for Red and screw Elvis and everybody else. :(

A true friend wouldn't have done that. Just my opinon.

Mitch


I used to feel the same way. But I re-read Elvis What Happened. While Sonny and Hebler told the stories that were sensational, Red's stories were all about the early days. The good times. It was like he was trying to keep things in perspective.

He wanted to show what Elvis was like, not what he had become. Maybe it was a last ditch effort to wake Elvis up. I don't know.


What was his intentions when he was taping his phone conversation with Elvis without his knowledge?


That's a valid point. I wish I had an answer. Shady to say the least.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:18 pm

Good Time Charlie wrote:It's not an invalid comparison.

Yes, it is. If the song was never released, it means the artist didn't have a studio reference point. It's not only invalid, but also unfair. As for the performances you've not heard, check out Cisco's site for examples. Elvis brought out "I, John" quite a bit in the summer of '71.


Bobc wrote:That's a valid point. I wish I had an answer. Shady to say the least.

Hey, Bobc -- please post such comments here -->
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=45106&p=616453&#p616453


What are your thoughts on Red's musical contributions?

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:39 pm

It would be such a tribute to Red if some of you would start a thread where you could fight for no reason...

Seriously, as a songwriter Red was average at best. Numbers like Separate Ways and If You Talk In Your Sleep are great performances, but Elvis should have recorded more material from more talented writers.

It is a shame that there aren't more recordings of Elvis and Red jamming together - Red should have been there in 1968...

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:25 pm

Albert Goldman wrote:It would be such a tribute to Red if some of you would start a thread where you could fight for no reason...

Seriously, as a songwriter Red was average at best. Numbers like Separate Ways and If You Talk In Your Sleep are great performances, but Elvis should have recorded more material from more talented writers.


Yes, It appears that way at least from the songs i've heard.

However maybe he had several more quality songs that no one bothered to record.

I do think ''Separate ways'' and ''If you talk in your sleep'' were the best songs he wrote.

I also liked ''That's someone you'll never forget'' as an album track.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:02 am

How 'bout "Mary Lou Brown" ??? smt137 smt171

Guess we didn't have that for a long time...

Sorry Doc, great topic as usual and a joy to read. Honestly.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:06 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:How 'bout "Mary Lou Brown" ??? smt137 smt171
.


I don't like it

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 12:15 am

brian wrote:
I also liked ''That's someone you'll never forget'' as an album track.


Many fans seem to enjoy this number. Again I consider this an average, even forgettable track - although Elvis takes the song quite seriously.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:51 am

Many fans seem to enjoy this number. Again I consider this an average, even forgettable track - although Elvis takes the song quite seriously.


Elvis gives it a haunting, wistful, desperate but beautiful performance. That's all that matters. That's what puts this song above average imo.

I also agree by sayin' that "Separate Ways" and "If You Talk In Your Sleep" are probably his best achievements as a writer.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 1:57 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:... Doc, great topic as usual and a joy to read. Honestly.

Thank you.


Albert Goldman wrote:
brian wrote:
I also liked ''That's someone you'll never forget'' as an album track.


Many fans seem to enjoy this number. Again I consider this an average, even forgettable track - although Elvis takes the song quite seriously.

Your opinion is a corner-case view.

Many "seem to enjoy" the song because it is an incredible track, probably Red's finest Presley effort.

Elvis approaches it with delicacy and grace, the arrangement is both majestic and understated, and the lyrics are superb. Here, in the middle of 1961, we have an Elvis miles away from the soundtrack fodder of "Blue Hawaii" or "G.I. Blues," and rock 'n' roll is only apparent in the deep passion of the performance. Bob Moore's acoustic bass work, in particular, is outstanding.

"That's Someone You Never Forget" was the sound of Elvis taking his music to a new place, to a deeply personal level, and it's a shame he didn't explore it much further. From this period, only the Don Robertson-penned numbers come close.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:17 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Albert Goldman wrote:
brian wrote:
I also liked ''That's someone you'll never forget'' as an album track.


Many fans seem to enjoy this number. Again I consider this an average, even forgettable track - although Elvis takes the song quite seriously.

Your opinion is a corner-case view.

Many "seem to enjoy" the song because it is an incredible track, probably Red's finest Presley effort.

Elvis approaches it with delicacy and grace, the arrangement is both majestic and understated, and the lyrics are superb. Here, in the middle of 1961, we have an Elvis miles away from the soundtrack fodder of "Blue Hawaii" or "G.I. Blues," and rock 'n' roll is only apparent in the deep passion of the performance. Bob Moore's acoustic bass work, in particular, is outstanding.

"That's Someone You Never Forget" was the sound of Elvis taking his music to a new place, to a deeply personal level, and it's a shame he didn't explore it much further. From this period, only the Don Robertson-penned numbers come close.


And your opinion is the orthodox opinion, the truth written in stone?

I don't deny that Elvis gives a superb performance, but the song itself nor the lyrics are superb. There are reasons that this song is not a classic and the main reason is that the song is average. 1961 is one of my favourite years but this song is not the highlight of that year in artistic sense. The personal aspect of the song makes it important to many fans - but not for me.

I do agree that it is a shame that Elvis didn't explore that personal level further, but Red West was no Don Robertson.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:23 am

The way she held your hand
The little things you planned
Her memory is with you yet
That’s someone you never forget

When she is far away
You’ll think of her each day
And you know she’ll wait for you
That’s someone you’ll never forget

Others may pass your way
And let you think their love is true
But you know that they’ll never replace
The one that waits for you

The way she held your hand
The little things you planned
Her memory is with you yet
That’s someone you’ll never forget
That’s someone you’ll never forget


I once read that Red West wrote this song with Elvis' mother Gladys in mind. Don't know where and when I read it and I don't know if it's true.
But it gives me chills down my spine every time I hear it. True, Red was/is no Don Robertson in his writing skills, but this one is mighty fine. Not the greatest lyrics of all time, but... simply beautiful.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:26 am

Albert Goldman wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
Albert Goldman wrote:
brian wrote:
I also liked ''That's someone you'll never forget'' as an album track.


Many fans seem to enjoy this number. Again I consider this an average, even forgettable track - although Elvis takes the song quite seriously.

Your opinion is a corner-case view.

Many "seem to enjoy" the song because it is an incredible track, probably Red's finest Presley effort.

Elvis approaches it with delicacy and grace, the arrangement is both majestic and understated, and the lyrics are superb. Here, in the middle of 1961, we have an Elvis miles away from the soundtrack fodder of "Blue Hawaii" or "G.I. Blues," and rock 'n' roll is only apparent in the deep passion of the performance. Bob Moore's acoustic bass work, in particular, is outstanding.

"That's Someone You Never Forget" was the sound of Elvis taking his music to a new place, to a deeply personal level, and it's a shame he didn't explore it much further. From this period, only the Don Robertson-penned numbers come close.


And your opinion is the orthodox opinion, the truth written in stone?

I don't deny that Elvis gives a superb performance, but the song itself nor the lyrics are superb. There are reasons that this song is not a classic and the main reason is that the song is average. 1961 is one of my favourite years but this song is not the highlight of that year in artistic sense. The personal aspect of the song makes it important to many fans - but not for me.

I do agree that it is a shame that Elvis didn't explore that personal level further, but Red West was no Don Robertson.



Nah, it is a great song and a great performance.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:39 am

luckyjackson1 wrote:

I once read that Red West wrote this song with Elvis' mother Gladys in mind. Don't know where and when I read it and I don't know if it's true.
But it gives me chills down my spine every time I hear it. True, Red was/is no Don Robertson in his writing skills, but this one is mighty fine. Not the greatest lyrics of all time, but... simply beautiful.


Yes, it has been claimed that it is about his mother... somehow I would appreciate the song more if it was about Anita Wood. I wasn't belittling other peoples taste, but I just can't see what makes those lyrics superb - they are ordinary. Elvis makes the most of it anyway.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:01 am

Albert Goldman wrote:And your opinion is the orthodox opinion, the truth written in stone?

Certainly not.

It is simply a well-written explanation as to why "many" feel this is an outstanding, unique and innovative recording.

Too bad you miss the boat on this one.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:05 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Albert Goldman wrote:And your opinion is the orthodox opinion, the truth written in stone?

Certainly not.

It is simply a well-written explanation as to why "many" feel this is an outstanding, unique and innovative recording.

Too bad you miss the boat on this one.


You are right, it may be my loss. But I'm happy as long as I don't realize it.

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:15 am

Albert Goldman wrote:You are right, it may be my loss. But I'm happy as long as I don't realize it.

I'll bet you're pretty bummed right now :-)

Re: Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !

Thu Oct 14, 2010 3:40 am

See, now you are fighting with someone else on this thread!! :roll: :D