Post here all reviews related to Offical RCA/BMG/FTD releases

Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:38 am

Nice review Shane.............see, we don't ALWAYS disagree mate :D

From Elvis Presley Bouevard Revisited

Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:48 am

Thanks Shane for a good review with some interesting observations.

Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:47 am

Very nice review Shane, thanks!

Re: From Elvis Presley Boulevard - revisited

Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:13 am

Your review is well rendered, although your conclusions are at odds with what you observed.

shanebrown wrote:All in all, the album works.

Couldn't disagree more. From disingenous cover art to downbeat and mostly subpar content -- "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" is an embarrassment -- it's no surprise the LP was met with a poor critical and commercial reception in 1976.

shanebrown wrote:It's not the near masterwork of its predecessor ...

Elvis Today is a "near masterwork"?

shanebrown wrote:Why Moody Blue was held back when it would have provided a slight bit of relief to the maudlin ballads is anyone's guess - and typical of how Presley's output was handled at the time.

You're on the right track. After the sessions were done, RCA knew it would be difficult to coax more material from their artist, so the most commercial results were specifically held for single release.

Wed Jan 10, 2007 9:04 am

shanebrown wrote:I feel like I'm having an essay marked!

If you want people to just say "great job!!" you should indicate that at the beginning of your post.

Wed Jan 10, 2007 12:52 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
shanebrown wrote:I feel like I'm having an essay marked!

If you want people to just say "great job!!" you should indicate that at the beginning of your post.


:lol:

Re: From Elvis Presley Boulevard - revisited

Wed Jan 10, 2007 7:45 pm

shanebrown wrote:But to the music...Ok. I will be honest, I am in the minority but I don't like Hurt. I can see that it is a good performance but it just does nothing for me personally.

Elvis must have liked Roy Hamilton's album You'll Never Walk Alone a lot:

You'll Never Walk Alone
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)
If I Loved You
So Let There Be Love
Ebb Tide
Beware
I Believe
The House I Live In (That's America To Me)
Unchained Melody
Forgive This Fool
You Wanted To Change Me
Hurt

shanebrown wrote:The Last Farewell. Why Elvis recorded this, I have no idea.

It deals with death and tragedy. Like Danny Boy, like Green Green Grass of Home, like Long Black Limousine ...
shanebrown wrote:For The Heart, like Hurt, is another of those songs I just don't get.

Trying to live up to his image by doing uptempo songs. Elvis doesn't sound very into it - same as with Way Down, Moody Blue and Fire Down Below.
shanebrown wrote:Bitter They Are, the Harder They Fall reminds me of Honky Tonk Angel from promised land and is performed just as well. There is more room here for the vocals to breathe and, despite the rather strange wordless humming(?) by Elvis at the end of some lines, this seems to simply work. Presley is in great voice, reaching the high notes with ease and power without overpowering the delicate nature of the song.

Presumably, that laconically sums up the years 71-76 for him:

She caught me lying, then she caught a train
And I caught a fever walking home in the rain
shanebrown wrote:All in all, the album works.

It was not really necessary for it to work, to catch the general audience, to climb the charts etc. Though he surely wouldn't have complained if it did. Apparently, the only motivation to go into the (improvised) studio was to record for himself. Tellingly, only 2 songs of it were performed live (Hurt, Danny Boy, as far as I know) - as opposed to Today.

Wed Jan 10, 2007 11:26 pm

shanebrown wrote:dont encourage him ...

I encourage you to be bold enough to address MY pertinent comments, instead of hurling unfounded insults or humourless asides.

Re: From Elvis Presley Boulevard - revisited

Thu Jan 11, 2007 12:25 am

Kuenzer wrote:Trying to live up to his image by doing uptempo songs. Elvis doesn't sound very into it - same as with Fire Down Below.

Maybe it's because he really wasn't.

Re: From Elvis Presley Boulevard - revisited

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:08 am

shanebrown wrote:your comments on THIS THREAD were perfectly legitimate ones but, if you wish for me to show you the respect that you deserve then I would suggest you treat others on the boards in a similar way.

What I wish is that you follow your own advice. Unsubstantiated accusations like the example below shows a tremendous lack of class. Respect is earned -- get to work.

shanebrown wrote:... someone who treats so many people (whether they be new to the boards or regulars) who are contributing just as interesting posts with derision, contempt and basically as if they are a piece of sh*t.

Either back up this observation or issue an apology. That's respect.

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:40 am

shanebrown wrote:I have no intention of issuing an apology.

But you'll continue to hurl your falsehoods about me anyway, huh? Now that's respect! Don't expect a Valentine's card this year.

shanebrown wrote:your posts on the Suspicious Minds thread ... were well out of order ...

Not at all. You should revisit that topic, as other members -- surprise! -- correctly saw your behavior as out of line.

Thu Jan 11, 2007 1:55 am

shanebrown wrote:What's more if you want more evidence of your sacasm and attitude, perhaps your comment a few minutes ago on the My Boy thread regarding telling a twenty-three year old to " ask his school chums" over might be a good example.

Sorry, try again -- the comment was "tongue-in-cheek," as Cryogenic clearly understood.

Fri Jan 12, 2007 5:33 am

And against all odds it went to no 1 in the C&W album charts!

Sat Jan 13, 2007 2:59 pm

Nice review Shane - keep it up and avoid the distractions.
I agree with your analysis of the release
rick

Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:48 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote,

humourless


What happened to your AE, Doc? Have you converted to BE?

Per

Sun Jan 14, 2007 12:49 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote,

Respect is earned


Respect is given, not earned, then it is lost.

Per

Wed Jan 17, 2007 7:14 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
shanebrown wrote:What's more if you want more evidence of your sacasm and attitude, perhaps your comment a few minutes ago on the My Boy thread regarding telling a twenty-three year old to " ask his school chums" over might be a good example.

Sorry, try again -- the comment was "tongue-in-cheek," as Cryogenic clearly understood.


Absolutely.

shane: It can sting when The Doc counters your assertions, but he's usually correct, and always witty!

"From Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis, Tennessee" is a fan favourite, no doubt about it. But more in terms of the actual sessions than the finished product, I think. Are the sessions worthy of esteem? Yes and no. The performances are largely broken and sad, but powerful and honest. That counts for a lot. Unfortunately, the album itself is a sham, as The Doc has basically said. Aside from Felton's tacky and extremely jarring overdubs, which not only artificially inflate the pathos of several numbers, but recede Elvis' voice way into the sonic distance, the cover is a travesty. Can you imagine how much more effective this album would have been with one of the following...? a) A shot of the "Elvis Presley Boulevard" sign, b) A shot of the iconic Graceland gates (the musical notes are perfect for an album cover), c) A shot of the Graceland mansion at night (contrasting with the 1974 live album and fitting the theme of the 1976 home album like a glove).

I think this album, while not as polished as previous 1970 albums (e.g. "Elvis Country", "He Touched Me"), is an essential part of the "EP tapestry". If he'd died before making it, it would feel like we'd been cheated of something (which, of course, we still were). Let me put it another way: If "Today" was Elvis' final album statement, it would feel like even more of an abrupt end; like Elvis still had something to say and never got to say it. This is also where I disagree with the remark about "Hurt". It's very dramatic, but not overblown. In the words of Dave Marsh: "it's the last piece of majestic music he ever recorded". It is a brilliant opener. In fact, Elvis may not have opened an album so meaningfully, and with such bombast, since "Wearin' That Loved On Look" on "From Elvis In Memphis" (how appropriate). "Hurt" grabs your attention and sets the mood. It also functions, given its short length and sheer power, making it very dense, as a kind of prologue for the album. Or an hypothesis. Elvis is making a strong assertion and we have to listen to the entire album to see if it stands up. Likewise, "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" is the sad conclusion or epilogue. What's interesting is that Elvis closes "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" the same way that he closes "Hurt", which vocally and thematically ties them together. I'm not sure if he thought of linking those songs together when he sang them or at any point before or after, but that's what the structure of the album brings out.

But that's maybe too depressing to think of. So, in some senses, "Danny Boy" can be considered the "prima". Here, Elvis gives us a clue to his way out: Yes, he's sad, and yes, it seems he can't make it, but he'll find happiness and wait in a metaphysical "elsewhere". Not to get too carried away, but if you take Daniel Wolff's polemic on "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" (which The Doc recently supplied to us) to its conclusion, then it suggests that the eponymous Danny Boy is actually a metaphor for the fans, and Elvis wants their approval above all else, and he'll "rest in peace" until they come to him (i.e. show their true, undying love). It has also been proposed that Danny Boy is a younger version of himself, as if Elvis is forever singing across time, reassuring his earlier self that it's alright, and everything that the younger self has yet to go through will be made good in the end. I believe that "Danny Boy" was one of Elvis' mother's favourites, and since Elvis can be heard "rehearsing" this on a tape from 1958, it perhaps wouldn't have seemed right if he'd gone and never laid down a master. Anyway, that aside, the curious feature about "Danny Boy" is that it ends in falsetto, just like Elvis' live version of "Unchained Melody", and both signal a kind of goodbye -- exactly the kind that "Today" is missing. "From Elvis Presley Boulevard" is an imperfect, but essential, revelatory and enduring piece of the puzzle.

Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:48 pm

Cryogenic wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
shanebrown wrote:What's more if you want more evidence of your sacasm and attitude, perhaps your comment a few minutes ago on the My Boy thread regarding telling a twenty-three year old to " ask his school chums" over might be a good example.

Sorry, try again -- the comment was "tongue-in-cheek," as Cryogenic clearly understood.

Absolutely.

shane: It can sting when The Doc counters your assertions, but he's usually correct, and always witty!

Thanks! I do what I can.

I'm an optimist -- perhaps Shane will now issue his apology to me.