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Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:33 pm

Christopher Brown wrote:I was 13 when I first saw the ’68 Special. If the movies and “Spinout” (particularly the title track) had hooked me, the ’68 Special hauled me in and made me the fan I am today. (Though I may not like the stuff I “should”.)

The soundtrack to the show was the first LP I ever bought. I had to buy another as I literally wore the album out. I cut out the album pictures and pasted them into one of many scrapbooks I created over the years. (I would later buy the 8-track tape version, the cassette tape version, and several various CD versions.)

I purchased a jacket (pale blue) similar to what Elvis wore when he performed IF I CAN DREAM, and wore scarfs in the early ‘70s. I did not look anything like Elvis.

My next album was a Christmas present from my brother, Gordon, entitled FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS. Wow! Later I was able to buy more albums, LET’S BE FRIENDS, FLAMING STAR, VEGAS/MEMPHIS double album, THAT’S THE WAY IT IS, ELVIS COUNTRY – Elvis’ voice was getting better ALL the time.

ELVIS ON TOUR (great vocals) and ALOHA FROM HAWAII provided current live material that excited me.
Even with a dip in album total quality during the mid-70s, there were still enough individual tracks that heightened my pleasure in listening to virtually nothing but Elvis.

The Memphis ’74 album came out shortly after I got to experience Elvis in person for the first time – and was another album that I wore out (although I was very grateful FTD fixed the mess that featured turning the audience response up and down).

His voice – what I liked to listen to – was getting better, richer, fuller. PROMISED LAND and ELVIS TODAY provided more great tracks, and MOODY BLUE finally provided tracks I had heard in person many times (two of them, the actual tracks), plus HE’LL HAVE TO GO – a song pointing to more musical greatness from Elvis as his rich baritone voice was terrific – I wanted more.

Therefore, as I progressed through the 1970s with Elvis, I enjoyed his vocals on each successive album, expecting / hoping to hear him into his ‘50s and ‘60s.

So – horrors of horrors – and perhaps some blasphemy, I enjoy Elvis’ ’70s vocals more – I even choose TRYIN’ TO GET TO YOU from the 1977 TV Special over the 1968 TV Special version as did a number of people in a poll a few years ago. But that’s all opinion. Some will say “yeah, right on” others will say “not a chance.” But it’s still Elvis.

He still can’t sing? One of the last “new” songs I heard was I REALLY DON’T WANT TO KNOW on June 25, 1977 – and it was outstanding and powerful. I had hope for more.

Again, this isn't a debate out the '68 Special, I realize its general importance and its specific importance to me. It, along with much of the '50s material, is not the Elvis I listen to (regularly) -- but I do listen to it all! I was just surprised that someone in 1968 thought Elvis still couldn't sing -- and it jumped out to me when I was reading the new Tunzi book.


so do i!

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:37 pm

Johnny2523 wrote:
Christopher Brown wrote:I was 13 when I first saw the ’68 Special. If the movies and “Spinout” (particularly the title track) had hooked me, the ’68 Special hauled me in and made me the fan I am today. (Though I may not like the stuff I “should”.)

The soundtrack to the show was the first LP I ever bought. I had to buy another as I literally wore the album out. I cut out the album pictures and pasted them into one of many scrapbooks I created over the years. (I would later buy the 8-track tape version, the cassette tape version, and several various CD versions.)

I purchased a jacket (pale blue) similar to what Elvis wore when he performed IF I CAN DREAM, and wore scarfs in the early ‘70s. I did not look anything like Elvis.

My next album was a Christmas present from my brother, Gordon, entitled FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS. Wow! Later I was able to buy more albums, LET’S BE FRIENDS, FLAMING STAR, VEGAS/MEMPHIS double album, THAT’S THE WAY IT IS, ELVIS COUNTRY – Elvis’ voice was getting better ALL the time.

ELVIS ON TOUR (great vocals) and ALOHA FROM HAWAII provided current live material that excited me.
Even with a dip in album total quality during the mid-70s, there were still enough individual tracks that heightened my pleasure in listening to virtually nothing but Elvis.

The Memphis ’74 album came out shortly after I got to experience Elvis in person for the first time – and was another album that I wore out (although I was very grateful FTD fixed the mess that featured turning the audience response up and down).

His voice – what I liked to listen to – was getting better, richer, fuller. PROMISED LAND and ELVIS TODAY provided more great tracks, and MOODY BLUE finally provided tracks I had heard in person many times (two of them, the actual tracks), plus HE’LL HAVE TO GO – a song pointing to more musical greatness from Elvis as his rich baritone voice was terrific – I wanted more.

Therefore, as I progressed through the 1970s with Elvis, I enjoyed his vocals on each successive album, expecting / hoping to hear him into his ‘50s and ‘60s.

So – horrors of horrors – and perhaps some blasphemy, I enjoy Elvis’ ’70s vocals more – I even choose TRYIN’ TO GET TO YOU from the 1977 TV Special over the 1968 TV Special version as did a number of people in a poll a few years ago. But that’s all opinion. Some will say “yeah, right on” others will say “not a chance.” But it’s still Elvis.

He still can’t sing? One of the last “new” songs I heard was I REALLY DON’T WANT TO KNOW on June 25, 1977 – and it was outstanding and powerful. I had hope for more.

Again, this isn't a debate out the '68 Special, I realize its general importance and its specific importance to me. It, along with much of the '50s material, is not the Elvis I listen to (regularly) -- but I do listen to it all! I was just surprised that someone in 1968 thought Elvis still couldn't sing -- and it jumped out to me when I was reading the new Tunzi book.


so do i!


:shock: :shock: :shock:

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 5:16 am

Joe Car wrote:This performance of Trying To Get To You was by a man, totally in control and totally lost in the music. Check out from 2:08 to the finish, phenomenal!!

http://youtu.be/vy6DcW1esQA



Agree. Quite possibly the greatest recorded rock performance ever.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:16 am

rocknroll wrote:
Joe Car wrote:This performance of Trying To Get To You was by a man, totally in control and totally lost in the music. Check out from 2:08 to the finish, phenomenal!!

phpBB [video]





Agree. Quite possibly the greatest recorded rock performance ever.


If only it didn't have somewhat screaming vocals ...

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:50 am

Count me as a huge fan and collector of all sorts of old, often rough blues but on a given
day my ears will reject it - and even the great '68 "Elvis" TV special- for
something smoother- like Andy or Dean, for example.

I don't know if they
"changed" the world ( that's not my ear's benchmark) but just as when I listen to Elvis,
I know Know those pre-rock crooners were among the most legendary voices of the 20th century.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 1:19 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:I don't know if they "changed" the world ...


I do. They didn't.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:18 pm

Christopher Brown wrote:I remember the review of Elvis' 1968 Special and the "observation" by a reviewer that Elvis "... still can't sing." As I have always found some of the '68 material to be somewhat screaming vocals (and many of you love that), this reviewer (as noted in Tunzi's "Elvis '69" book) assertion would likely disturb many Elvis fans.


Well I guess by now we can conclude that history has proven this guy wrong.

- Rolling Stone selected Elvis #3 in their Top 100 of Great Singers Of All Time
- Elvis tops every list of Best Selling Artist Of All Time
- Elvis continues to top the Best Earning Dead Celebrity list

That's quite an achievement for someone who can't sing.

Apart from that I really used to like the raw, hoarse straight-forward rock 'n roll from the 68 Comeback Special and the Las Vegas '69 engagement. Nowadays I cannot help but preferring live concerts from 1970 - 1972 over 1968 and 1969. I noticed that I am a little through with the hoarse, raw rock 'n roll vocals (screaming vocals as you call them) - get more enjoyment at Elvis' more dedicated and sophisticated approach of the ballads nowadays. Guess I have past the forty... :wink:

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:35 pm

The only problem I have with the 1968 version of "Tryin to get to you" is one single word in each of the bridges.

If you notice on the studio version, the 1974 version, the 1977 version he has not trouble with the yodel at the end of the bridges.

The Sun version is incredible. I wish he had done that song on the Dorsey show.

Anyway, in 1968 his voice got hoarse from over useage, and it made the version very different.

He pulled no stops. He was passionate. It smoked. but........he couldn't really do the yodel part properly on those two words.
It sounds strained on those two parts.
I always liked the yodel part.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:46 pm

I think we all know that his voice was richer and more powerful in 1977.

Re: "He Still Can't Sing"

Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:28 pm

Stop that.