"If You Talk In Your Sleep"

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Juan Luis

"If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Juan Luis »

Written by Red West and Johnny Christopher. Elvis recorded it at Stax Studio in Memphis on December 12, 1973. "If You Talk In Your Sleep" lyrics show humor, and in my opinion not meant to be taken at face value. The single version with Elvis laughing at the end of the fade lightens it up for the OP. Nevertheless, one should take into account the writing reflects those swinging times for many, with hedonism at its maximum expression, and Elvis was never faithful so...anything related to actual events are purely coincidental! LOL.

This track was produced by Felton Jarvis with engineers Dick Baxter and Mike Moran taking care of the sound, in and out of the RCA recording truck parked outside, this made for a less complicated recording process there, effectively using only the studio room for performing and monitoring. Overdubs for strings were done at RCA Studio's in Hollywood, California with Mickey Crofford behind the console on January 10, 1974. The horns were overdubbed in Nashville at RCA Studio A, with Al Pachucki behind the board. Strings and horns were arranged by Mike Leech.

Elvis Presley does a very fine job singing this funky tune completing the master in nine takes. Standouts are Mary Holladay,Susan Pilkington,Jeannie Greene, Kathy Westmoreland with their soulful background singing. The rhythm section is excellent with Norbert Putnam in top form with his funky bass playing! Ron Tutt as always, hard working with a heck of a groove!
In my opinion, one of Felton Jarvis' finest productions hands down! The horns blaring with accents and the strings not just adorning or sweetening, but an integral part of the whole song arrangement with its own rhythm soaring high while Norbert Putnam's bass slides right under! The recording and master mix sounds great. I love it!

Released on May 10, 1974, with the B-side "Help Me", it reached No. 6 on the Billboard Country Singles chart in June 1974 and No. 17 on the Billboard's Hot 100 in August 1974. The track was later included in the 1975 No.1 Billboard Country Album release "Promised Land".

Elvis used this number for Karate demonstrations on stage. Some of the film clips I have seen are very exciting to watch. Must have been something for those who were there.

Enjoy Elvis at his funky best. I never tire of this one!

..




Different but same humorous idea, song. Nothing new under sun. On Victor label! http://www.loc.gov/jukebox/recordings/detail/id/2490/




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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Scarre »

Don´t care much for this one. Lets just say that it never has made it to a compilation cd of mine...




brian
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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by brian »

I've always liked it one of the few R&B songs Elvis cut later in his career and the best song other than Separate ways that Red West wrote.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by LSP-4445 »

Always liked this one and also its one I wished was a little longer


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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by jeanno »

Not a fan of this one. The funky groove is nice but the whole thing is way too forced to my ears.




Topic author
r&b

Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by r&b »

Funky good 70's tune, very much in line with the times in sound and lyrics. I actually heard this once on the radio. Thought it would be a bigger hit. Kinda just faded away.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by norrie »

Not bad at least it's a bit different to what Elvis was doing at the time with a bit of funk.Unlike the OP though I don't see the lyrics as humorous at all but as a dirty two timing cheating b*****d scared of being caught.

norrie




Topic author
Stvimpe

Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Stvimpe »

"That's a weird song, you know that? That's not a song about me, I didn't write that song about myself, because I don't do that... Charlie wrote it." (E.P. Opening Night, Vegas, August 1974)

Thanks, Juan Luis.




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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by fn2drive »

Different from the rest of what he was cutting. The best that can be said is it wasnt a loves lost ballad. Didnt like it then, never play it now. And Elvis voice. Surely worse somgs came later but this one felt like a then new low vocally. The overbubs were overwrought. At least it tried for a contemporary feel but there was nothing catchy about it.


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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by jetblack »

brian wrote:I've always liked it one of the few R&B songs Elvis cut later in his career and the best song other than Separate ways that Red West wrote.
Red West was an excellent songwriter.

He composed the following songs for Elvis:-

That's Someone You'll Never Forget (1961)
You'll Be Gone (1962)
If You Think I Don't Need You (with Joey Cooper) (1963)
If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1966)
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (1971)
Seeing Is Believing (1971)
Separate Ways (1972)
If You Talk In Your Sleep (1973)

Home Recordings - Feb 1966

I've Been Blue
It's no Fun Being Lonely
Mary Lou Brown

Andy


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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by bajo »

This is actually a funky tune that I really dig! It even became a top 20 hit in US at the time. I know even non-fans, including my girlfriend, who like this! It's different from much of the ballad trend he was into at the time. :smt020


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Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Juan Luis »

Stvimpe wrote:"That's a weird song, you know that? That's not a song about me, I didn't write that song about myself, because I don't do that... Charlie wrote it." (E.P. Opening Night, Vegas, August 1974)

Thanks, Juan Luis.
Thanks for that!




Topic author
Juan Luis

Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Juan Luis »

Greystoke wrote:I really like If You Talk in Your Sleep. Everything about it works, in my opinion -- and works tremendously well. The arrangement is very good, Elvis sings well and the song is the kind of cautionary tale that's got humorous undertones without being funny. Which would have skewed it into being something else entirely.

But here, there's darkness and light in both the lyrics and the arrangement. Which flickers and teases between funky guitar licks, well-placed horns, soulful female harmonies and a flavourful brass section. Whilst the string section shimmers into the track after the first verse, adding colour and texture, complimenting Elvis and enriching the entire recording. It's simply delicious from start to finish.
I very much agree with that description! Thank you.




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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by henryneill »

Juan Luis and Greystoke already took the words out of my mouth here. I completely agree. One of my favorites. It got a lot of radio play here in Germany at the time when I was child. I wish Elvis would have done more in that direction. Some of the other Stax tracks are also funky (I even like "If You Don't Come Back" for that matter), but that one is probably the best.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by SteamrollerBlues »

Greystoke hit it right on the head on this tune. I wish Elvis would have done it live more often, too. I really dig the versions with the big opening drum beats.




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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by brian »

jetblack wrote:
brian wrote:I've always liked it one of the few R&B songs Elvis cut later in his career and the best song other than Separate ways that Red West wrote.
Red West was an excellent songwriter.

He composed the following songs for Elvis:-

That's Someone You'll Never Forget (1961)
You'll Be Gone (1962)
If You Think I Don't Need You (with Joey Cooper) (1963)
If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1966)
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (1971)
Seeing Is Believing (1971)
Separate Ways (1972)
If You Talk In Your Sleep (1973)

Home Recordings - Feb 1966

I've Been Blue
It's no Fun Being Lonely
Mary Lou Brown

Andy
As I said to me those songs weren't high quality stuff the best songs he wrote were Separate ways and If you talk in your sleep.

I don't think Red West was an excellent songwriter some of his other stuff was okay.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by MikeFromHolland »

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Elvis' voice on this song always reminds me of:

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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by chop983 »

'If you walk in your sleep forget where you came' is an awful line.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by drjohncarpenter »

brian wrote:
jetblack wrote:Red West was an excellent songwriter.

He composed the following songs for Elvis:-

That's Someone You'll Never Forget (1961)
You'll Be Gone (1962)
If You Think I Don't Need You (with Joey Cooper) (1963)
If Every Day Was Like Christmas (1966)
Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees (1971)
Seeing Is Believing (1971)
Separate Ways (1972)
If You Talk In Your Sleep (1973)

Home Recordings - Feb 1966

I've Been Blue
It's no Fun Being Lonely
Mary Lou Brown
As I said to me those songs weren't high quality stuff the best songs he wrote were Separate ways and If you talk in your sleep.

I don't think Red West was an excellent songwriter some of his other stuff was okay.
Here are some related topics on Bobby "Red" West that are worth another peek:

Red West --> Songs for Elvis, 1962-1975 !
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=56246

Richard Mainegra --> Not Your Typical Elvis Songwriter !
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=53248

Red West Debut Single --> A 1960 Novelty Record?
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=59049

Also, FECC research uncovered that "Mary Lou Brown" was actually a cover by the By Liners:

Mary Lou Brown --> A Songwriting Mystery
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=80443&p=1237309#p1237309


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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Tony C »

I love "If You Talk In Your Sleep", thanks for the thread Juan.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Tmorelli01 »

I always thought that the A side / B side pairing was a telling juxtaposition. One side is the story of a cheating pig taking a woman (who is 'owned' by another man) and the other side is a man at the end of his ropes begging God / Jesus for help.

I am sure that the powers that be didn't intend to make a statement or send a message but the single captures the struggle between excess and indulgence and remorse and regret that Elvis was probably struggling with every day by that point in his life.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by EagleUSA »

chop983 wrote:'If you walk in your sleep forget where you came' is an awful line.
Or total genius, depending on just how dirty your mind is. :facep:


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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by YDKM »

:D Red wrote some fantastic songs. I like them all, but “Holly Leaves and Christmas Trees” is my favorite


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poormadpeter2

Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by poormadpeter2 »

fn2drive wrote:Different from the rest of what he was cutting. The best that can be said is it wasnt a loves lost ballad. Didnt like it then, never play it now. And Elvis voice. Surely worse somgs came later but this one felt like a then new low vocally. The overbubs were overwrought. At least it tried for a contemporary feel but there was nothing catchy about it.
Good to see you at your positive best.

It's not really all that different from what several other songs he was cutting in 1973. It sits quite easily alongside I Got a Feeling in My Body, Just a Little Bit, If You Don't Come Back and Find Out What's Happening. All have the same funk-tinged r&b elements.



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Re: "If You Talk In Your Sleep"

Post by Domino »

I first heard this track on the Gold Records Vol.5 CD and out of the 10 tracks If You Talk In Your Sleep was the only one on it that I'd never heard before.
"Funky" is the perfect description .I like it because it's a different direction Elvis took .He took a chance on something out of his norm and I think he did a great job with it.
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