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View Full Version : "Love Letters LP discouraging" (RollingStones review 1971)



MojoElvis
04-07-2008, 07:59 PM
Even though this isn't my favorite Elvis album, I can't get over at how these people just wanted to keep Elvis like the way he was in the 50s.
Elvis even stated in the 50s that he didn't know what kind of music he'd be recording in the future. I sometimes wonder if these people compared Elvis to, The Doors or CCR. Elvis was way beyond Rock n Roll in this stage of his life.



The first cut is "Love Letters" and it's a beautiful song. Presley's voice is all there and then in comes the schizoid background, half-funk and half muzak. And thus it goes for two sides of Presley's latest. The voice is there, some of the material is OK, James Burton is picking away, the rhythm sounds passable, but oh those strings, horns, background voices, and what not. It's enough to drown a grown man–precisely what it does to Elvis on this album.

Love Letters is the most discouraging event of the last three years of Presley's career. It was just about that time that he cut his famous television special which, to me, provided that medium with its ultimate justification. Then followed his exciting recordings in Memphis, topped off with his superb single, one of the finest records of his career, "Suspicious Minds." Subsequent Memphis recordings were not as successful so Elvis gradually started shifting recording locations, producers (all of whom are uncredited, possibly the only remaining case in the record business where such is the case) and sidemen. Several live Las Vegas albums and middleaged Tom Jones imitations later he came up for a breath of fresh air on Elvis Country. But with Love Letters he once again takes a dive and his admirers everywhere can only hope that it isn't for the count.

It is amazing how even in the middle of these incredibly schlocky arrangements Elvis can still burn some fire into "Got My Mojo Workin'" and "Cindy, Cindy." What is even more amazing is how any producer could take that fire and even think to submerge it in the kind of Vegas bar lounge rock context they are given here. The chorus line singing in the background must have surely been paid overtime for this album: they work so hard without getting anywhere.

It would be pointless to berate the out-and-out muzak of the album's lesser moments, such as "Heart of Rome," "Only Believe," and "This Is Our Dance." The question to ask is, who is this music for? Somehow I expect that even those who have come to Elvis mainly through his nightclub performances expect a little more than they are given on Love Letters From Elvis. And those of us who have loved him from the beginning, and know that he could still be doing it, because every now and then we can still hear him doing it, can only turn away in disgust from this sort of thing.

One gets the impression that Elvis Presley does what his business advisors think will be most profitable. My advice to them: Put Elvis Presley in the studio with a bunch of good, contemporary rockers, lock the studio up, and tell him he can't come out until he's done made an album that rocks from beginning to end. You'll get the best selling Elvis Presley album of the last ten years, and we'll get Elvis Presley doing what he's supposed to do. Think about it.

JON LANDAU
(RS 87 - July 22, 1971)

(Posted: Jul 22, 1971)

Frankieg
04-07-2008, 09:40 PM
What a great review from Jon Landau and rightfully so ...

Save for, Got My Mojo Workin', 1971's "Love Letters From Elvis" was a major step backwards, musically and artisically, then and now, and I hope any new listener just discovering Elvis could and would never find this Lp to begin with.

utmom2008
04-07-2008, 11:00 PM
What a great review from Jon Landau and rightfully so ...

Save for, Got My Mojo Workin', 1971's "Love Letters From Elvis" was a major step backwards, musically and artisically, then and now, and I hope any new listener just discovering Elvis could and would never find this Lp to begin with.

Oh gosh....I remember buying it in 1971. I loved the pics on the front...:blink::supriced::D

Tony Trout
04-08-2008, 08:06 AM
The only song from this CD that I wasn't fond of was, "This Is Our Dance". I liked the other ones, though. I currently only have it on cassette and am looking for a CD copy but they're so dang expensive!

Albert
04-08-2008, 10:20 AM
What a great review from Jon Landau and rightfully so ...

Save for, Got My Mojo Workin', 1971's "Love Letters From Elvis" was a major step backwards, musically and artisically, then and now, and I hope any new listener just discovering Elvis could and would never find this Lp to begin with.

Yeah, I have the same feeling. It's a very, very mediocre album for someone who returned to live performance just one year ago. One year after he recorded tracks like Suspicous Minds, In The Ghetto, Long Black Limousine and Any Day Now....

Love Letters to me sound like a compilation of B-sides and fillers. An album that you could expect when Elvis would still be making movies in the 70s. A camden release.

No, right now, in 2008, I'm happy with all songs Elvis recorded. But Love Letters was -at that time!- a lousy release. Even then RCA didn't understand that not ALL songs Elvis recorded were intended to be released.

By the way Mojo, love your avatar. That movie was really great ;)

Suspicious Minds
04-08-2008, 10:41 AM
I liked this album.
Why did RCA leave out I'm Leavin track on this album?
Why a 11 track album and not a 12 track album?

KPM
04-08-2008, 11:25 AM
I liked this album in 71 and I like it today. It was a "mellow album" and IMO theres nothing wrong with being mellow now and then. It is not an album you are going to rock the night away to, yet it has some rock in it. When I want to rock I put on "From Elvis in Memphis" or one of the live albums or a greatest hits album. ;)

my boy
04-08-2008, 12:02 PM
I love the Love Letters from Elvis CD,and can't wait for the FTD Special Edition which will be fantastic.

"When I'm Over You," "Got My Mojo Working"and "Heart Of Rome"are overlooked – especially "Heart Of Rome." "Cindy Cindy"is very enjoyable too!

In addition the last song "Life"is very unusual and the whole CD is refreshing because it's not just the same old songs found on Best Of compilations.

I have a JAP 20 bit version and that sounds superb.I think the FTD version when eventually released will be a real winner!

rocknroll
04-08-2008, 04:52 PM
I don't agree with Rolling Stone's political slant, but they nailed this review. Even in the '70's, Elvis' best music was his rock and roll.

Frankieg
04-08-2008, 05:47 PM
I don't agree with Rolling Stone's political slant, but they nailed this review. Even in the '70's, Elvis' best music was his rock and roll.


Absolutely ...

Promised Land anyone ?

utmom2008
04-08-2008, 08:33 PM
Absolutely ...

Promised Land anyone ?

Hmmm....:hmm::hmm:I think that's debatable. American Trilogy??

Frankieg
04-08-2008, 09:30 PM
Hmmm....:hmm::hmm:I think that's debatable. American Trilogy??

So, you're actually going to try and debate that "An American Trilogy" is Rock 'N Roll ?

Very silly, but interesting ...

rickb
04-08-2008, 09:36 PM
The review is fair enough - it is one of Elvis' poorer 70s albums and nowhere near nthe class of its immediate full-priced predecessors.
Rick

utmom2008
04-08-2008, 09:37 PM
So, you're actually going to try and debate that "An American Trilogy" is Rock 'N Roll ?

Very silly, but interesting ...

My answer is in response to the statement(post 11) that his BEST music was rock-n-roll. Promised Land was mentioned....and I said that is debateable.....meaning I don't agree.;););)

Cliff
04-08-2008, 11:47 PM
I was under the impression that Elvis had complete control over what he recorded. I don't know that he any control over what was released tho.
Pehaps a lot of these songs had personal value to him. Then again someone else could have suggested he sing these.At this stage he may not have cared.I guess we'll never know for sure.

Trelane P
04-09-2008, 02:59 AM
Blame RCA!

Elvis would record over a period of a few sessions like Nashville 1970 and RCA would release everything recorded. If RCA just released one album of the 'best' material recorded then Elvis albums would be judged among the cream of the crop.

Image if these albums were the only four Elvis albums released in the 1970s:

- The best from 1970 sessions
- The best from 1971 & 1972 sessions
- The best of Stax 1973 sessions
- The best of 1975 & 1976 sessions

Now they would be some of the best albums of the 70s. In fact RCA should forget reissuing old 70's albums and just push these four albums.

Suspicious Minds
04-09-2008, 03:34 AM
So, you're actually going to try and debate that "An American Trilogy" is Rock 'N Roll ?

Very silly, but interesting ...


How can An American Trilogy be Rock 'n' Roll?
To me it's a ballad type of song.



I did not say this track is rock 'n' roll.
I said how can An American Trilogy be rock 'n' roll?

KPM
04-09-2008, 11:39 AM
I was under the impression that Elvis had complete control over what he recorded. I don't know that he any control over what was released tho.
Pehaps a lot of these songs had personal value to him. Then again someone else could have suggested he sing these.At this stage he may not have cared.I guess we'll never know for sure.
He had control over the approved songs brought to the sessions, but a lot of good songs just did not make it to him because of the publishing situation. Parker wanted any song Elvis cut to be something they got a songwriting percentage of-which worked at the start when Elvis was top of the charts on everything till the early 60s. But then songwriters became more independant. (especially if they could sing and record on their own) So after that for a lot of years (when this was fully in effect)-good quality songs just did not get to him.
IMO 68-69 it began to change some-Elvis took more of a stand on good songs or songs he wanted to record because he liked them.
Dolly Partons "I Will Always Love You" song is a good example of the negative end of wanting a cut of the song (according to Dolly Parton):
"I got the word that Elvis was interested in it, and I was so excited," Dolly says. But her bubble burst when Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, demanded that she sign over half of the publishing royalties to the song.

utmom2008
04-09-2008, 11:56 AM
How can An American Trilogy be Rock 'n' Roll?
To me it's a ballad type of song.

Good heavens!!! No one ever said American Trilogy was rock-n-roll.:blink::blink:Some one said that rock-n-roll was his BEST music and used Promised Land as an example. I said that the statement was debateable......meaning I don't agree that rock-n-roll was his best music ever and cited American Trilogy as an example in return. Re-read the entire thread.....:blink::blink::doh::hmm::hmm::doh:

Erhan
04-09-2008, 03:46 PM
Even though this isn't my favorite Elvis album, I can't get over at how these people just wanted to keep Elvis like the way he was in the 50s.
Elvis even stated in the 50s that he didn't know what kind of music he'd be recording in the future. I sometimes wonder if these people compared Elvis to, The Doors or CCR. Elvis was way beyond Rock n Roll in this stage of his life.



The first cut is "Love Letters" and it's a beautiful song. Presley's voice is all there and then in comes the schizoid background, half-funk and half muzak. And thus it goes for two sides of Presley's latest. The voice is there, some of the material is OK, James Burton is picking away, the rhythm sounds passable, but oh those strings, horns, background voices, and what not. It's enough to drown a grown man–precisely what it does to Elvis on this album.

Love Letters is the most discouraging event of the last three years of Presley's career. It was just about that time that he cut his famous television special which, to me, provided that medium with its ultimate justification. Then followed his exciting recordings in Memphis, topped off with his superb single, one of the finest records of his career, "Suspicious Minds." Subsequent Memphis recordings were not as successful so Elvis gradually started shifting recording locations, producers (all of whom are uncredited, possibly the only remaining case in the record business where such is the case) and sidemen. Several live Las Vegas albums and middleaged Tom Jones imitations later he came up for a breath of fresh air on Elvis Country. But with Love Letters he once again takes a dive and his admirers everywhere can only hope that it isn't for the count.

It is amazing how even in the middle of these incredibly schlocky arrangements Elvis can still burn some fire into "Got My Mojo Workin'" and "Cindy, Cindy." What is even more amazing is how any producer could take that fire and even think to submerge it in the kind of Vegas bar lounge rock context they are given here. The chorus line singing in the background must have surely been paid overtime for this album: they work so hard without getting anywhere.

It would be pointless to berate the out-and-out muzak of the album's lesser moments, such as "Heart of Rome," "Only Believe," and "This Is Our Dance." The question to ask is, who is this music for? Somehow I expect that even those who have come to Elvis mainly through his nightclub performances expect a little more than they are given on Love Letters From Elvis. And those of us who have loved him from the beginning, and know that he could still be doing it, because every now and then we can still hear him doing it, can only turn away in disgust from this sort of thing.

One gets the impression that Elvis Presley does what his business advisors think will be most profitable. My advice to them: Put Elvis Presley in the studio with a bunch of good, contemporary rockers, lock the studio up, and tell him he can't come out until he's done made an album that rocks from beginning to end. You'll get the best selling Elvis Presley album of the last ten years, and we'll get Elvis Presley doing what he's supposed to do. Think about it.

JON LANDAU
(RS 87 - July 22, 1971)

(Posted: Jul 22, 1971)

WOOWW I wish Elvis had a chance to read that true review...

Jungleroom76
04-09-2008, 06:10 PM
While it is clear that the LOVE LETTERS album was basically a thrown together hodge podge of left over tracks, I've always enjoyed the album myself! :blush:

First, I've always thought the 1970 remake of LOVE LETTERS was better than the original 1966 version. There's just something about the 1970 version that has always been my personal favorite....maybe it's the fact that the 1970 version has a slightly faster tempo than the original! :hmm:

I think there are SEVERAL underrated performances on this album including CINDY CINDY, HEART OF ROME, WHEN I'M OVER YOU, GOT MY MOJO WORKING and 2 of my personal favorites...LIFE and THIS IS OUR DANCE. Yes, I know that THIS IS OUR DANCE is not a popular choice amongst many members here, but I just think it's a pretty song. And LIFE, while certainly an odd song for sure, is just such a departure for Elvis that I just really enjoy listening to it (even though Elvis HATED the song!) ;)

TCB!
Mike

utmom2008
04-09-2008, 06:15 PM
While it is clear that the LOVE LETTERS album was basically a thrown together hodge podge of left over tracks, I've always enjoyed the album myself! :blush:

First, I've always thought the 1970 remake of LOVE LETTERS was better than the original 1966 version. There's just something about the 1970 version that has always been my personal favorite....maybe it's the fact that the 1970 version has a slightly faster tempo than the original! :hmm:

I think there are SEVERAL underrated performances on this album including CINDY CINDY, HEART OF ROME, WHEN I'M OVER YOU, GOT MY MOJO WORKING and 2 of my personal favorites...LIFE and THIS IS OUR DANCE. Yes, I know that THIS IS OUR DANCE is not a popular choice amongst many members here, but I just think it's a pretty song. And LIFE, while certainly an odd song for sure, is just such a departure for Elvis that I just really enjoy listening to it (even though Elvis HATED the song!) ;)

TCB!
Mike

Good to see you back stranger!:notworthy(y):notworthy(y)

Jungleroom76
04-09-2008, 06:18 PM
Good to see you back stranger!:notworthy(y):notworthy(y)

Thanks Rosanne....the key word there is strange!!! :P

TCB!
Mike

rocknroll
04-09-2008, 06:22 PM
Good heavens!!! No one ever said American Trilogy was rock-n-roll.:blink::blink:Some one said that rock-n-roll was his BEST music and used Promised Land as an example. I said that the statement was debateable......meaning I don't agree that rock-n-roll was his best music ever and cited American Trilogy as an example in return. Re-read the entire thread.....:blink::blink::doh::hmm::hmm::doh:

I got it.

To me, American Trilogy rocks on a different level....still, it is no Promised Land, or Burning Love, etc., etc.

The King's Queen
04-09-2008, 06:33 PM
Thanks Rosanne....the key word there is strange!!! :P

TCB!
Mike

Well DUH:blink: Why do you think that us girls like you so much???? :hmm: ;)

utmom2008
04-09-2008, 06:41 PM
I got it.

To me, American Trilogy rocks on a different level....still, it is no Promised Land, or Burning Love, etc., etc.

:lol:I was trying to say that you don't get any better than American Trilogy, and it's NOT in the rock-n-roll category, so to me rock-n-roll was NOT his best music.:blink::blink: Oh well....we love all kinds, and basically Elvis just ROCKS!!(y)(y):lol::lol:

Jungleroom76
04-09-2008, 06:55 PM
Well DUH:blink: Why do you think that us girls like you so much???? :hmm: ;)

And I am VERY, VERY flattered... :blush:

TCB!
Mike

SweetCaroline
04-09-2008, 09:19 PM
Hmmm....:hmm::hmm:I think that's debatable. American Trilogy??

Some love his rock best and some love his ballads best... and though I love both....
Elvis ballads ROCK ME BEST(y)(y)(y) Maybe you just have to be a Vegas goer and have the ballads stir you to the bottom of your toes to truly understand the power of the power ballad sung by Elvis. :D ;)

utmom2008
04-09-2008, 09:53 PM
Elvis ballads ROCK ME BEST(y)(y)(y) Maybe you just have to be a Vegas goer and have the ballads stir you to the bottom of your toes to truly understand the power of the power ballad sung by Elvis. :D ;)

I could not have said it better Carole.(y) My greatest regret for Elvis fans is that there was a TTWII, Part 2. I wish everyone could have heard how the really big ballads sounded in that showroom. My Way and American Trilogy are the first ones that come to mind. Can you ever forget how they sounded in that small setting??:blink::blink:

Albert
04-10-2008, 10:35 AM
Blame RCA!

Elvis would record over a period of a few sessions like Nashville 1970 and RCA would release everything recorded. If RCA just released one album of the 'best' material recorded then Elvis albums would be judged among the cream of the crop.

Image if these albums were the only four Elvis albums released in the 1970s:

- The best from 1970 sessions
- The best from 1971 & 1972 sessions
- The best of Stax 1973 sessions
- The best of 1975 & 1976 sessions

Now they would be some of the best albums of the 70s. In fact RCA should forget reissuing old 70's albums and just push these four albums.

Yeah :notworthy

The problem with RCA was that they released EVERYTHING Elvis recorded. So good songs were lost in the shuffle. They treated Elvis as if it was still the 60s or 70s where artists could release 2,3 albums a year.


One gets the impression that Elvis Presley does what his business advisors think will be most profitable. My advice to them: Put Elvis Presley in the studio with a bunch of good, contemporary rockers, lock the studio up, and tell him he can't come out until he's done made an album that rocks from beginning to end. You'll get the best selling Elvis Presley album of the last ten years, and we'll get Elvis Presley doing what he's supposed to do. Think about it.
And there's another truth and problem. One that hunted Elvis throughout his carreer. How come someone with that stunning combination of talent let others decide over his musical, artistic carreer?

KPM
04-10-2008, 10:45 AM
Yeah :notworthy

The problem with RCA was that they released EVERYTHING Elvis recorded. So good songs were lost in the shuffle. They treated Elvis as if it was still the 60s or 70s where artists could release 2,3 albums a year.

And there's another truth and problem. One that hunted Elvis throughout his carreer. How come someone with that stunning combination of talent let others decide over his musical, artistic carreer?
IMO too many long term contracts which he was advised to sign. RCA, movies, Vegas.... The extent of the control he was giving away was lost in the shuffle. The extent of the " recording no song unless we get a piece of its publishing" was not really felt until the mid 60s. It worked for a while but when it began to keep good songs away Parker still felt it was good business. It may have been at one time but Parker failed to see the need for better songs. By the time Elvis looked past the "Colonels business sense" and wanted better songs he only had about 8 years left to record

Getlo
04-10-2008, 05:01 PM
Even though this isn't my favorite Elvis album, I can't get over at how these people just wanted to keep Elvis like the way he was in the 50s.

That's not the case here.

Landau (a very respected musical journalist) and others didn't want to see Elvis in 1971 doing the same stuff as he did in the 50s at all.

What this review laments is the fact that the Elvis of 1971 was dishing out lacklustre efforts like the Love Letters LP.

Generally speaking, it's a turgid album with most of the tracks sub-par.

The most interesting thing about the album is the story of the two different covers and The Colonel's intervention over something so trivial.

For those that don't know ... when it first came out, "Love Letters From" was written on the same line. The Colonel didn't like it for some reason, and ordered it charged to

"Love Letters
from"

... and that's how it stayed. You'd think The Colonel would have had better things with which to concern himself!

The cover shots are great, but the design of the actual cover is crap. I picked up a copy of the original version for a few bucks at a fair years ago. The seller didn't even know it was rare!

utmom2008
04-10-2008, 10:14 PM
The most interesting thing about the album is the story of the two different covers and The Colonel's intervention over something so trivial.

For those that don't know ... when it first came out, "Love Letters From" was written on the same line. The Colonel didn't like it for some reason, and ordered it charged to

"Love Letters
from"

... and that's how it stayed. You'd think The Colonel would have had better things with which to concern himself!

The cover shots are great, but the design of the actual cover is crap. I picked up a copy of the original version for a few bucks at a fair years ago. The seller didn't even know it was rare!

Why would he waste his time over something that trivial?? I have mine that was bought in 1971 as soon as it was released, it's in perfect condition. Is it worth anything??

MojoElvis
04-10-2008, 11:02 PM
I was under the impression that Elvis had complete control over what he recorded. I don't know that he any control over what was released tho.
Pehaps a lot of these songs had personal value to him. Then again someone else could have suggested he sing these.At this stage he may not have cared.I guess we'll never know for sure.

Very good point here. I don't agree with the review only cause of all the good songs on it. It's not jammed packed with Action or cutting edge creativity but it does have,"Heart Of Rome", "When I'm Over You" and one of my favorites, "I'll Never Know". What these people fail to realize is that, Elvis started out not really having anyplace to be placed on the charts, then he was all over the charts, back on the charts but whatever happened to just listening to a vocalist's voice and enjoying that? When I bought my first Robert Johnson CD, I didn't expect flashiness and massed produced CD. I expected to listen to his voice and guitar playing and I was blown away by it!!!

I wonder if Robert Johnson came out in 1970 would Rolling Stone slam him.
Did they know that the Robert Johnson of that time was Jimmy Hendrix, Keith Richards, Robby Krieger and Eric Clapton. Jimmy, Keith, Robby and Eric heard Robert Johnson and incorporated his style in their songs.

MojoElvis
04-10-2008, 11:13 PM
That's not the case here.

Landau (a very respected musical journalist) and others didn't want to see Elvis in 1971 doing the same stuff as he did in the 50s at all.

What this review laments is the fact that the Elvis of 1971 was dishing out lacklustre efforts like the Love Letters LP.

Generally speaking, it's a turgid album with most of the tracks sub-par.

The most interesting thing about the album is the story of the two different covers and The Colonel's intervention over something so trivial.

For those that don't know ... when it first came out, "Love Letters From" was written on the same line. The Colonel didn't like it for some reason, and ordered it charged to

"Love Letters
from"

... and that's how it stayed. You'd think The Colonel would have had better things with which to concern himself!

The cover shots are great, but the design of the actual cover is crap. I picked up a copy of the original version for a few bucks at a fair years ago. The seller didn't even know it was rare!


Not true, i'm sure tons of Elvis fans loved this LP just like his others.
Elvis was obviously a ballad singer first the rock n roll thing was a fluke("That's All Right" was jammed out in a joking fashion).
When people like this reviewer expect Elvis to make another hit similar to even what was his current one,they are way off the mark pf what Elvis was all about.
Another thing, You know nothing about how the music business works.
The Colonel's old fashioned tricks just weren't working anymore and he at this point stop playing the game called,"PAYOLA" cept for a few 45 releases.

Frankieg
04-10-2008, 11:18 PM
How can An American Trilogy be Rock 'n' Roll?
To me it's a ballad type of song.

Exactly my point, but went over someone else's head
quite clear and fast ... :P

MojoElvis
04-10-2008, 11:20 PM
The cover shots are great, but the design of the actual cover is crap. I picked up a copy of the original version for a few bucks at a fair years ago. The seller didn't even know it was rare!


Oh gosh....I remember buying it in 1971. I loved the pics on the front...:blink::supriced::D


That's funny cause, UTMOM stated that the cover was one of the reasons she bought the LP. It's just an opinion your stating and not a fact. But like they say, opinions are like....., everyone has one.

MojoElvis
04-10-2008, 11:24 PM
Exactly my point, but went over someone else's head
quite clear and fast ... :P

Elvis even stated it in 1970 that, he wanted to perform a wide spectrum of music. Not just rock n roll and love songs.
That's what I'm saying. A lot of people didn't want to see that side of him.
That's the reason why I love Elvis' music.

jak
04-11-2008, 03:12 AM
After Elvis had turned his career around with his live shows, and had finally released some truly outstanding studio material that lp landed with a big "thud".It was a major letdown after the roll he was on.Sadly it was a sign of things to come.The lp is just a collection of stuff thrown together to cash in on his renewed popularity at the time.I like some of the tracks but as a whole it is mediocore at best.

Getlo
04-11-2008, 04:13 AM
Not true, i'm sure tons of Elvis fans loved this LP just like his others.

Quite possibly, they did. But music critics did not. It is not one of his better albums, not by a long shot.


When people like this reviewer expect Elvis to make another hit similar to even what was his current one,they are way off the mark pf what Elvis was all about.

Read the review again. Landau is not lamenting "hits", he is lamenting the absence of any creativity from Elvis. And he was right.


Another thing, You know nothing about how the music business works.

Nothing to do with it at all. There is nothing to suggest The Colonel - as devious as he could be - was in any way involved with payola. Please cite your source if you believe otherwise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payola

And I can assure you, I have had experience with the music business.


That's funny cause, UTMOM stated that the cover was one of the reasons she bought the LP. It's just an opinion your stating and not a fact.

Obviously, it is my opinion the Love Letters cover is crap. Compare it to Elvis Country, On Stage et al ... there is, by comparison, no effort at all in the design.

Like your new avatar, btw. One might say it's ... Flashy. ;)

rocknroll
04-11-2008, 03:26 PM
Elvis even stated it in 1970 that, he wanted to perform a wide spectrum of music. Not just rock n roll and love songs.
That's what I'm saying. A lot of people didn't want to see that side of him.
That's the reason why I love Elvis' music.

Maybe true but not the whole story. Elvis may have liked balads better than rock, but he also knew he was a d a m n fine rock and roll singer. Generally, in the '70's, when he recorded rock songs they were, for the most part, his better efforts.

BTW, Love Letters LP is a poor album. What the reviewer was saying was Elvis' efforts were drowned out by the overdubbed and overblown horns, strings and background voices. All of which I and anyone with ears would agree.

Getlo
04-11-2008, 03:32 PM
Maybe true but not the whole story. Elvis may have liked balads better than rock, but he also knew he was a d a m n fine rock and roll singer. Generally, in the '70's, when he recorded rock songs they we, for the most part, his better efforts.

BTW, Love Letters LP is a poor album. What the reviewer was saying was Elvis' efforts were drowned out by the overdubbed and overblown horns, strings and background voices. All of which I and anyone with ears would agree.

Nicely put ... (y)

MojoElvis
04-11-2008, 10:25 PM
Hey Getlo, I owe you a big apology. You're point about, Elvis Country and On Stage LP brought out a good point.

Brother in Elvis - Levi Silver

KPM
04-12-2008, 02:41 PM
Maybe true but not the whole story. Elvis may have liked balads better than rock, but he also knew he was a d a m n fine rock and roll singer. Generally, in the '70's, when he recorded rock songs they were, for the most part, his better efforts.
BTW, Love Letters LP is a poor album. What the reviewer was saying was Elvis' efforts were drowned out by the overdubbed and overblown horns, strings and background voices. All of which I and anyone with ears would agree.
See I don't see it as a poor album-I see it as a different album. It was not a rock album, nor country, nor middle of the road-it was truely "smorgasboard" He liked so many differering types of music and I think this album shows that.
It was a hodge-podge of different styles and music. If you like harder music from Elvis you are not going to like it much. When the mood strikes me I like to listen to it.
IMO His recording career was directed by one thing most of the time-what Elvis liked and wanted to do at the time. He made some great music that way, but when a strong creative force was helping him-Sam Phillips, Chips Moman, Steve Binder etc.... his music had more direction and he did his best work. The collaboration, and boundaries, they brought to the studio helped harness his best work.

MojoElvis
04-12-2008, 05:20 PM
His recording career was directed by one thing most of the time-what Elvis liked and wanted to do at the time. He made some great music that way, but when a strong creative force was helping him-Sam Phillips, Chips Moman, Steve Binder etc.... his music had more direction and he did his best work. The collaboration, and boundaries, they brought to the studio helped harness his best work.

I've been saying this forever, glad to see some one else caught it.

Getlo
04-12-2008, 08:13 PM
Hey Getlo, I owe you a big apology. You're point about, Elvis Country and On Stage LP brought out a good point

Cool. :)(y)

We're good ...

rocknroll
04-13-2008, 07:29 AM
See I don't see it as a poor album-I see it as a different album. It was not a rock album, nor country, nor middle of the road-it was truely "smorgasboard" He liked so many differering types of music and I think this album shows that.
It was a hodge-podge of different styles and music. If you like harder music from Elvis you are not going to like it much. When the mood strikes me I like to listen to it.
IMO His recording career was directed by one thing most of the time-what Elvis liked and wanted to do at the time. He made some great music that way, but when a strong creative force was helping him-Sam Phillips, Chips Moman, Steve Binder etc.... his music had more direction and he did his best work. The collaboration, and boundaries, they brought to the studio helped harness his best work.

Hodge-podge is the correct term. It reeks of throw aways just being thrown together on an album (seemed to be SOP at RCA). No concept, no theme, no purpose. And the overdubs....OUCH! Remember, at that time Elvis was not too far removed from peoples memories as a movie idol who starred in countless bad movies (perception). I think this album only slowed the momentum he built up in 1968 to 1970. It's o.k. to grow up and mature as he did with the '69 and '70 releases, but to do it with sub par material (as with the Love Letters LP) was just 1 step forward and 1 step backward. Same with Elvis Now. Elvis in the studio in the '70's was just wildly inconsistant.

utmom2008
04-13-2008, 10:42 AM
Elvis in the studio in the '70's was just wildly inconsistant.

I agree with you on this one. Maybe it's just me, but I want to cringe every time I hear Three Corn Patches.:blink::blink:

KPM
04-13-2008, 11:30 AM
Hodge-podge is the correct term. It reeks of throw aways just being thrown together on an album (seemed to be SOP at RCA). No concept, no theme, no purpose. And the overdubs....OUCH! Remember, at that time Elvis was not too far removed from peoples memories as a movie idol who starred in countless bad movies (perception). I think this album only slowed the momentum he built up in 1968 to 1970. It's o.k. to grow up and mature as he did with the '69 and '70 releases, but to do it with sub par material (as with the Love Letters LP) was just 1 step forward and 1 step backward. Same with Elvis Now. Elvis in the studio in the '70's was just wildly inconsistant.
The purpose was to meet the contracted 3 albums a year. Like I said if you don't like this type music you won't like this album. I happen to like a variety of music and do not see all the songs on the album as sub par. But its a matter of preference. I see it as a pleasant album with no particular direction.
As I pointed out if Elvis had been allowed to collaborate more with people who could bring ideas and direction to the musical table he would have not relied basically on himself for musical inspiration. That also would have helped with his consistancy in the studio. No artist grows forever on just his instincts alone. Other people help you grow when they bring energy and talent into the mix. The Col. never did see this as a necessity-and Elvis may have felt it was not needed- but he seemed to excel when someone else helped push him with ideas. The Col. (not being an artist unless you count con artist) did not understand this-he would push Elvis to fullfill his contracts-but would balk at suggestions of artistic change. Would we have had the great Elvis rebirth in 68 if Parkers idea for the special had been followed? Steve Binder told Elvis ther truth about how the special should go and got Elvis motivated and involved in the idea process. Parker hated outsiders becoming too involved with Elvis. (Leiber and Stoller being warned by the COl not to advise Elvis are an example of this) Parker wanted Elvis to be suspicious of others who wanted to become creatively involved with him. Bad direction.
The Love Letters "hodge podge album was not bad now and then"-the trouble was it happened too often. Back into the late 50s to the 60s "For LP Fans Only" "Pot Luck" "Something For Everybody" when Elvis got bored in the studio they "hodge podged" Parker never recognized the need for creative interplay-only contract fullfillment. He truely believed their were 400,000 500,000 thousand hard core fans who would buy anything (which probably was true) so he felt that the fan base covered making a profit and fullfilling contracts with anything that was recorded.

utmom2008
04-13-2008, 11:40 AM
No artist grows forever on just his instincts alone. Other people help you grow when they bring energy and talent into the mix. The Col. never did see this as a necessity-and Elvis may have felt it was not needed- but he seemed to excel when someone else helped push him with ideas. The Col. (not being an artist unless you count con artist) did not understand this. Parker hated outsiders becoming too involved with Elvis. (Leiber and Stoller being warned by the COl not to advise Elvis are an example of this) Parker wanted Elvis to be suspicious of others who wanted to become creatively involved with him. Bad direction.

Why was the Colonel that way? Was he afraid he would lose his grip on his boy?? Yes, there were lots of fans like myself that would buy anything that Elvis put out. But...why couldn't the Col. see that fabulous material would only INCREASE the number of sales, thereby putting more money in the Col.'s pockets as well.:blink::blink::blink:

KPM
04-13-2008, 12:06 PM
[/B]

"]Why was the Colonel that way? Was he afraid he would lose his grip on his boy?? Yes, there were lots of fans like myself that would buy anything that Elvis put out. But...why couldn't the Col. see that fabulous material would only INCREASE the number of sales, thereby putting more money in the Col.'s pockets as well.:blink::blink::blink:[/B]
Its just a guess-but I think he just did not understand what makes a creative person tick. He was a dollars and cents type person who knew how to maximise profit with little output. That may work for toothpaste, or mouthwash make a new cover, a new slogan- but do not spend anymore than you have too.(-but even then when a newer toothpaste comes along you have to change the formula of yours to keep up- bad comparison)
IMO he was always afraid Elvis would slip away or become to independant and pull away. IMO he wanted Elvis to believe Parker was more responsible for the his great success-than Elvis's talent and charisma. That without Parkers management-Elvis's career would die. DEPENDENCY was his con.
Parker worked for Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow-but never made the kind of money which he did with Elvis. Also Parker never had the power with Arnold or Snow that he possessed with Elvis. So I do think he never wanted Elvis very chummy with anyone who might lead to a more enlightened Elvis.

rocknroll
04-13-2008, 12:27 PM
The purpose was to meet the contracted 3 albums a year. Like I said if you don't like this type music you won't like this album. I happen to like a variety of music and do not see all the songs on the album as sub par. But its a matter of preference. I see it as a pleasant album with no particular direction.
As I pointed out if Elvis had been allowed to collaborate more with people who could bring ideas and direction to the musical table he would have not relied basically on himself for musical inspiration. That also would have helped with his consistancy in the studio. No artist grows forever on just his instincts alone. Other people help you grow when they bring energy and talent into the mix. The Col. never did see this as a necessity-and Elvis may have felt it was not needed- but he seemed to excel when someone else helped push him with ideas. The Col. (not being an artist unless you count con artist) did not understand this-he would push Elvis to fullfill his contracts-but would balk at suggestions of artistic change. Would we have had the great Elvis rebirth in 68 if Parkers idea for the special had been followed? Steve Binder told Elvis ther truth about how the special should go and got Elvis motivated and involved in the idea process. Parker hated outsiders becoming too involved with Elvis. (Leiber and Stoller being warned by the COl not to advise Elvis are an example of this) Parker wanted Elvis to be suspicious of others who wanted to become creatively involved with him. Bad direction.
The Love Letters "hodge podge album was not bad now and then"-the trouble was it happened too often. Back into the late 50s to the 60s "For LP Fans Only" "Pot Luck" "Something For Everybody" when Elvis got bored in the studio they "hodge podged" Parker never recognized the need for creative interplay-only contract fullfillment. He truely believed their were 400,000 500,000 thousand hard core fans who would buy anything (which probably was true) so he felt that the fan base covered making a profit and fullfilling contracts with anything that was recorded.

Agree to disagree.(y)

rocknroll
04-13-2008, 12:30 PM
The Love Letters "hodge podge album was not bad now and then"-the trouble was it happened too often. Back into the late 50s to the 60s "For LP Fans Only" "Pot Luck" "Something For Everybody" when Elvis got bored in the studio they "hodge podged" Parker never recognized the need for creative interplay-only contract fullfillment. He truely believed their were 400,000 500,000 thousand hard core fans who would buy anything (which probably was true) so he felt that the fan base covered making a profit and fullfilling contracts with anything that was recorded.

Remember, Elvis was in the Army during this time and not recording, hense the need to "hodge-podge". Regardless, at least these were done with superior material.

cameron
04-13-2008, 12:43 PM
With all due respect, overall, KPM hit the nail on the head. The Colonel wanted full control.
From what I've been able to see; I agree with you and KPM.
Control was his power over Elvis. He couldn't take the chance of losing his money maker .

KPM
04-13-2008, 01:25 PM
Remember, Elvis was in the Army during this time and not recording, hense the need to "hodge-podge". Regardless, at least these were done with superior material.
"Pot Luck" came out in 1962 and "Something for Everybody" came out in 1961 and "Elvis for Everyone" (forgot this one) came out in 65- well after the Army years of 58-60. Only "For LP Fans Only" in 59 came out during the Army years. These were mainly what was left over from other recording sessions and had never been on albums. The quality of the material is debateable depending upon your taste-I happen to like these albums as well.

rocknroll
04-13-2008, 05:42 PM
From what I've been able to see; I agree with you and KPM.
Control was his power over Elvis. He couldn't take the chance of losing his money maker .

Too bad for Elvis. He should have been his own man. No ones fault but his own.

jak
04-14-2008, 07:20 AM
A pont being lost in this discussion is the fact that Elvis no longer enjoyed recording anymore for the most part.Hence the subpar material and weak performances that dogged his later work.Elvis just didnt put much effort into recording period at that point.After a huge surge the Love Letters lp was a major step backwards.

KPM
04-14-2008, 11:25 AM
Too bad for Elvis. He should have been his own man. No ones fault but his own.
In a perfect world where you can trust everyone, where you are not lied to, where you can accept someones word of "working for your best interest" I would agree. But this is not a perfect world. Not then- not now.

KPM
04-14-2008, 11:46 AM
A pont being lost in this discussion is the fact that Elvis no longer enjoyed recording anymore for the most part.Hence the subpar material and weak performances that dogged his later work.Elvis just didnt put much effort into recording period at that point.After a huge surge the Love Letters lp was a major step backwards.
Jak-In a way that is my point. When so many things on the creative end of his life, became tainted by the business end it caused the lack of interest. Creative people need interaction with other very creative people-ideas and thoughts which spur you to want to create. IMO from the late 50s on Elvis was tied to a policy started by Parker (supposedly in Elvis's best interest) which limited too many creative possibilities. I think by the time Elvis began to understand how limiting the policies were (such as no songs without a cut of the song) he just did not care anymore. As far as I have read Parker never encouraged nor promoted any creative growth. His every action-in the name of profit,business and control discouraged creative growth-creative independence. When he worked the deals- creativity was not considered, nor material, nor quality-but Elvis's salary plus 50% of profits after costs were recouped was.(plus any side deal the Col. could work for himself.
I know you and I differ somewhat on this subject, but are opinions do cross over here and there.;)

waymore44
04-14-2008, 12:59 PM
I agree. I don't think it would have upset him because it never put him down. In fact, it was coming from a fan who believed in him very much and wanted him to give us his best. I enjoyed the review and although I like many of the songs on there even a couple of the ones he put down, I overall agree with the review. The album could definitely have been better. Here's the thing though, "Love Letters" is basically a hodge podge of what's left after "That's The Way It Is" and "Elvis Country". I think this album overall are the rejects from those two GREAT albums.

Jumpsuit Junkie
04-14-2008, 02:13 PM
He made some great music that way, but when a strong creative force was helping him-Sam Phillips, Chips Moman, Steve Binder etc.... his music had more direction and he did his best work. The collaboration, and boundaries, they brought to the studio helped harness his best work.

Absolutely agree, Elvis was a force to be reckoned with when he was channeled and focused. However Elvis' choice of music was by the 70's at least, sometimes more personal that profitable. In this sense you are probably closer to the real Elvis rather than the perceived Image as a rock 'n' roller.


Elvis in the studio in the '70's was just wildly inconsistant.

So true! Some of this is due to indulgence, poor management and plain old apathy and then from out of nowhere a blinding classic :lol:


Too bad for Elvis. He should have been his own man. No ones fault but his own.

As above, Elvis needed to be motivated, the Colonel kept anybody who was influential on Elvis at arms length. Apathy killed Elvis' music and then ultimately the man :'(

jak
04-14-2008, 03:21 PM
Jak-In a way that is my point. When so many things on the creative end of his life, became tainted by the business end it caused the lack of interest. Creative people need interaction with other very creative people-ideas and thoughts which spur you to want to create. IMO from the late 50s on Elvis was tied to a policy started by Parker (supposedly in Elvis's best interest) which limited too many creative possibilities. I think by the time Elvis began to understand how limiting the policies were (such as no songs without a cut of the song) he just did not care anymore. As far as I have read Parker never encouraged nor promoted any creative growth. His every action-in the name of profit,business and control discouraged creative growth-creative independence. When he worked the deals- creativity was not considered, nor material, nor quality-but Elvis's salary plus 50% of profits after costs were recouped was.(plus any side deal the Col. could work for himself.
I know you and I differ somewhat on this subject, but are opinions do cross over here and there.;)

I agree with you completely about Parker.He had absolutely no creative vision for Elvis.He was a businessman.What's more unfortunate is that Elvis didnt have any either.Elvis was completely complacent and indifferent to his recording career in the 70's.We all know how hard it became to get Elvis into the studio.I have always said that I bet Elvis never even knew what his lp covers looked liked.The guy just didnt involve himself in the creative process anymore.It's obvious his personal problems were reflecting in his creative output which was suffering tremendously.Same thing for the live shows.The bottom pretty much dropped out on everything

MojoElvis
04-14-2008, 03:59 PM
If any of guys take the time to look at Elvis' recording history for 1970-1972, you could see how pathetic it was they way the released the songs. He could've had at least 2 more number 1 carted albums.

KPM
04-14-2008, 04:44 PM
I agree with you completely about Parker.He had absolutely no creative vision for Elvis.He was a businessman.What's more unfortunate is that Elvis didnt have any either.Elvis was completely complacent and indifferent to his recording career in the 70's.We all know how hard it became to get Elvis into the studio.I have always said that I bet Elvis never even knew what his lp covers looked liked.The guy just didnt involve himself in the creative process anymore.It's obvious his personal problems were reflecting in his creative output which was suffering tremendously.Same thing for the live shows.The bottom pretty much dropped out on everything
When was Elvis motivated about his music? IMO 1953-56, 1960, 1968, 1969-1971
Why? IMO Because he had something to prove in each of those periods.
Elvis never claimed to have a creative vision that I can recall reading or hearing about-such as the Beatles, or Stones or Dylan. IMO Elvis loved to sing. From 53-56 he wanted to get his family out of poverty and he wanted to prove he could be big-to himself.
In 1960 he wanted to prove coming out of the Army he was still number 1 and he could sing more than just rock and roll- to the public and more important to himself.
Same In 68, he wanted to prove he was not over the hill, that he could still rock- still thrill the crowd. From 69 to 71 he wanted to prove he could still make hits quality records, show his voice was still expanding and growing and show he could still sell out everytime. He met those challenges-he surpassed even his own dreams. Very little was left to conquer that was open to him.
With Elvis someone else had to be helping with the creative musical vision and direction. Felton Jarvis was the producer of record-but how much direction and vision did he bring to the sessions? The Col was comfortable with him, Elvis liked him and Felton let Elvis run the sessions. So Elvis sang what he liked and enjoyed -and was bored. He would rather joke and kid around than concentrate on music. He needed someone he respected to challenge him with musical ideas-to really produce him.
But when someone else(outside the Col. and Elvis's world)was in charge-Elvis was pushed and he usually did his best. Did Elvis recognise this? Probably not-he was constantly told by everyone how great his sessions went, how great the songs were, how great he was singing. Did he seem to enjoy and respect working with Chips Moman, Marty Pasetta and Steve Binder-yes.
These guys told Elvis the truth and he respected them for it-he put faith in their opinions-he was motivated to create with them. IMO THis is what the Col, more often than not, did not want happening often. It took the control and power out of his hands. If Elvis relied too much on others-he might see some of the Colonels ideas were not as productive as Col. wanted Elvis to believe. That was Parkers motivation.

KPM
04-14-2008, 04:57 PM
As above, Elvis needed to be motivated, the Colonel kept anybody who was influential on Elvis at arms length. Apathy killed Elvis' music and then ultimately the man :'(
TOTAL AGREEMENT!!! Ask yourself what might have happened if Leiber and Stoller had been allowed in 57 to produce Elvis? They were great songwriters and had great heads for music in general. They have written so many hits over the years its incredible. They tried to give Elvis advice about his career-to get him involved more in creating. The Col. cut them off at the knees. They were never again allowed into the fold. How many great quality hits did they write after this for others-which could have been hits for Elvis? How many number ones would he have today- that were number ones for someone else?
Instead of Elvis learning early on that collaboration is a good thing-he was warned against doing it.

jak
04-15-2008, 03:29 AM
The apathy that dogged his career came from Elvis himself.If the artist doesnt care about his craft what do you expect?Elvis became satisfied.I think he was happy with the measure of success he obtained while he was alive.He was a dirt poor kid who achieved things he never could have imagined or ever expected.The drugs ended up being the final nail in the coffin for any artistic rebirth in the 70''s.Elvis just became a live act playing the same venues over and over.Look to his live shows for signs of Elvis' artistic vision and creativity.He had complete control over his concerts.We all know how they went.It's no coincidence his recording career at the time mirrored the same dismal situation.

KPM
04-15-2008, 12:26 PM
The apathy that dogged his career came from Elvis himself.If the artist doesnt care about his craft what do you expect?Elvis became satisfied.I think he was happy with the measure of success he obtained while he was alive.He was a dirt poor kid who achieved things he never could have imagined or ever expected.The drugs ended up being the final nail in the coffin for any artistic rebirth in the 70''s.Elvis just became a live act playing the same venues over and over.Look to his live shows for signs of Elvis' artistic vision and creativity.He had complete control over his concerts.We all know how they went.It's no coincidence his recording career at the time mirrored the same dismal situation.
Jak yes it did come from Elvis-but from day one after Col. took over the reins the deal was done. For all the great things the Col did at the start, for all the brains and show biz savvy he is credited with he put the foot down on creative expansion with anyone other than Col approved people and methods.
-Take the Col. rules and ideas (put in place at the start)out of the equation- 20 years later do we see the same Elvis who did become totally bored with every end of his life? Do we see the same Elvis who feels he has nothing left to prove? Would he have become a different artist and man by being free to musically interact with say John Lennon, or Dylan. Johnny Cash had some of the same problems as Elvis-but he was free to record with anyone he wanted and to exchange musical ideas. Cash had his ups and downs but he would do new things, new producers, new writers etc. He was never limited. IMO it could have made a huge difference in Elvis and his growth as a man and artist.
Or was it wiser to close him off, to say he needs nothing and no one- but Parker, the MM, and his long time musicians of the 50s and 60s who worked the sessions and did what ever told? Not only close him off from others-but convince him he needs no one else-that he is being protected. I posted a letter not long ago (to ELvis from Parker in 73) out of the book "Elvis Day by Day" in which Parker is telling ELvis to -avoid the friends who come to you to put their arms around your shoulders and try to get you to do things they will benefit from(paraphrasing) How many times from 1955 till ELvis died did such letters, and conversations take place that are not even known?
IMO the mindset was in from day one-and that mindset was Parkers game.
As I have said many times before no man is an island. Most people have to interact and be affected by that interaction in life. Elvis had a huge interaction in his life from 55 till his death with Parker.
Parker was described by many as shrewd. SOme thought Parker hypnotized or blackmailed Elvis to get him to be so agreeable. Not nearly that exotic an answer IMO. He convinced Elvis. The game of the con was Parkers-to convince the people he dealt with that Parker was all wise, all knowing, and had all the answers. Elvis bought the con-and all that it entailed that is where I fault Elvis.

cameron
04-15-2008, 12:57 PM
I agree with you, KPM. ^ Elvis wasn't even 21 years old when Parker got ahold of him. Time enough to convince anyone he's "god."
Glady's didn't like him or trust him. Too bad she passed so soon.

jak
04-15-2008, 01:21 PM
If Elvis truly had the desire to do something he would have done it.For all the Col's faults maybe Elvis was just plain satisfied with the way things were.Weve all heard how the later recording sessions went.Elvis never showed,was late,or in to foul a mood to do anything constructive.Maybe the sad truth is that Elvis' best days creatively were behind him.I know that's to hard for may to accept and I understand.Dont forget for his last session RCA had to come to Graceland.If that's not the definition of lazy what is?

poormansgold
04-15-2008, 01:40 PM
I see My reply was delete

utmom2008
04-15-2008, 01:50 PM
I see My reply was delete

Why were you deleted Tom?

cameron
04-15-2008, 02:05 PM
If Elvis truly had the desire to do something he would have done it.For all the Col's faults maybe Elvis was just plain satisfied with the way things were.Weve all heard how the later recording sessions went.Elvis never showed,was late,or in to foul a mood to do anything constructive.Maybe the sad truth is that Elvis' best days creatively were behind him.I know that's to hard for may to accept and I understand.Dont forget for his last session RCA had to come to Graceland.If that's not the definition of lazy what is?
Unfortunately, some only see what they want to see.
I'm glad everyone's not like that . :blink:

jak
04-15-2008, 02:22 PM
Unfortunately, some only see what they want to see.
I'm glad everyone's not like that . :blink:

Some cant see the truth even when it's right in front of their face.I'm glad everyones not like that.

Jungleroom76
04-15-2008, 02:55 PM
Absolutely agree, Elvis was a force to be reckoned with when he was channeled and focused. However Elvis' choice of music was by the 70's at least, sometimes more personal that profitable. In this sense you are probably closer to the real Elvis rather than the perceived Image as a rock 'n' roller.

ABSOLUTELY 100% RIGHT J.J.!!! (y)

No one can look at Elvis' life, especially during the 1970's, and not be able to draw a parallel between the music he was recording and the circumstances in his life at that time. Of course the classic example of this would be the recordings of ALWAYS ON MY MIND and SEPARATE WAYS while going through his separation/divorce with Priscilla.

But looking even deeper at some of his music, one can see the recording of PROMISED LAND, which is a song that has been written about as a song that goes nowhere and compare that to the seemingly endless schedule of one night stands that Elvis was performing by the time it was recorded in late '73.

And what about songs like IT'S EASY FOR YOU and HURT? Songs that I am sure were recorded out of Elvis' continued love for Priscilla. :hmm:


So true! Some of this is due to indulgence, poor management and plain old apathy and then from out of nowhere a blinding classic :lol:

Don't EVEN get me started about poor management, especially during the 1970's!!! :angry:


As above, Elvis needed to be motivated, the Colonel kept anybody who was influential on Elvis at arms length. Apathy killed Elvis' music and then ultimately the man :'(

Couldn't be more accurate J.J....if Elvis had actually gone through with his threat to fire The Colonel after the infamous Hilton blowup in 1973, would Elvis have lived past August 16. 1977? Quite probably...especially when faced with a new manager and a renewed lease on life and his career!! :hmm:

TCB!
Mike

cameron
04-15-2008, 03:02 PM
Some cant see the truth even when it's right in front of their face.I'm glad everyones not like that.

I totally agree !! ;)

KPM
04-16-2008, 01:39 PM
If Elvis truly had the desire to do something he would have done it.For all the Col's faults maybe Elvis was just plain satisfied with the way things were.Weve all heard how the later recording sessions went.Elvis never showed,was late,or in to foul a mood to do anything constructive.Maybe the sad truth is that Elvis' best days creatively were behind him.I know that's to hard for may to accept and I understand.Dont forget for his last session RCA had to come to Graceland.If that's not the definition of lazy what is?
Like I said earlier this is one of those areas where you and I see things a little different. (and thats Okay);)
I agree with all of what you say, Elvis became so unconcerned with his music, creatively lazy, bored, and looked for ways to avoid what obviously was no longer fun-what had in fact become work. Anyone who has worked at creating music knows that when it becomes work "you lose the spark"
I agree with all that-where we disagree is on the "how and why" he got to that point. He use to have the desire to go into the studio and he use to work harder than anyone at getting the music he wanted. How did he get to the point of not caring-not enjoying to create music. I think in my earlier posts I have given my opinion as to a great deal of the reason and theres no reason to repeat myself. I would venture a guess that if you could have asked Elvis why he hated to go into the studio, why he lost that drive-he would not have given much of an answer-I don't think he even knew. He came alive for brief moments on stage in songs that touched him-that meant something to him. That may have been the only moments that really meant much to him at that point.

KPM
04-16-2008, 02:44 PM
Was reading the thread with Jerry Shillings interview in Goldmine -he seems to have the same take on some things as I do. The whole interview is pretty interesting.
GM: In that interview, Elvis speaks about how doing the movies was making him “physically ill.” Why couldn’t Elvis have said, “Enough, I’m not doing these crappy songs or these crappy films”?

JS: Some big-name stars who I’ve spoken to have said similar things to me: “Jerry, he was Elvis Presley. He could do what he wanted to do.” I was there when he protested that he wasn’t gonna do a film. He was told if he didn’t honor these contracts he couldn’t do anything. The Colonel had a network, and he controlled the record company. He controlled the studios when it came to Elvis product. He controlled the agency, and don’t forget, the same thing happened on the road.
..... This guy was a creative giant that they gave morsels to, and it just didn’t sustain him.

Jumpsuit Junkie
04-16-2008, 03:02 PM
If Elvis truly had the desire to do something he would have done it.For all the Col's faults maybe Elvis was just plain satisfied with the way things were.Weve all heard how the later recording sessions went.Elvis never showed,was late,or in to foul a mood to do anything constructive.Maybe the sad truth is that Elvis' best days creatively were behind him.I know that's to hard for may to accept and I understand.Dont forget for his last session RCA had to come to Graceland.If that's not the definition of lazy what is?

Couple of points here I guess... Elvis could still be vocally creative even up until June 1977, the more important challenge of new and inspiring songs was probably last seen as late as the Jungle Room Sessions, they are probably not on the same level as From Elvis In Memphis but there were certainly reminders of what Elvis could achieve at this stage in his life, Way Down & Moody Blue, although not in the same league as Suspicious Minds are no slouches.

The bottom line is, ill health & drug addiction combined were a lethal concoction, which robbed a great man of the ability to function on the same level as he did circa 69-71.

jak
04-16-2008, 04:19 PM
Couple of points here I guess... Elvis could still be vocally creative even up until June 1977, the more important challenge of new and inspiring songs was probably last seen as late as the Jungle Room Sessions, they are probably not on the same level as From Elvis In Memphis but there were certainly reminders of what Elvis could achieve at this stage in his life, Way Down & Moody Blue, although not in the same league as Suspicious Minds are no slouches.

The bottom line is, ill health & drug addiction combined were a lethal concoction, which robbed a great man of the ability to function on the same level as he did circa 69-71.

As I mentioned dont forget why that last session is dubbed the jungle room sessions.He did manage some good tracks,but we know his heart just wasnt into it.I believe Elvis was late coming down to record and it just wasnt a lighthearted time for Elvis.When Elvis had some decent material in front of him he could still pull it off obviously.He had far to much talent for it to be completely suppressed.When you listen to the memphis sessions you are hearing Elvis at his best.He is consumed with passion and the desire to perform.The guy was on fire and it shows.The jungle room sessions show Elvis at the end of his rope.Bored and listless so much of the time and basically somber.The Elvis that cut Suspicous Minds in 69 is nowhere to be found on that last sesion.

ehollier
04-16-2008, 04:36 PM
No doubt that Elvis was peaked when he recorded with Chips in 1969 and he was very much wanting to come back, wanting a hit song, wanting to sing good material again; however, it is very difficult to sustain that sort of peak for any length of time. He did however continue to have sparks of creativity and could still move a crowd when he had the right song. And some will argue also that it is all about timing, too. He has said that timing played a part in his music in the 50's. The time was right when he recorded with Chips, because Chips was on a roll, too. He came to Vegas at the right time; the International was the latest thing in entertainment. But timing was not on his side when his personal life fell apart, timing was not on his side when other musicians came on the scene and the whole scene changed while he was becoming more and more addicted to drugs. Some argue that he could have dug his way out, but drugs are bad - whether prescribed or not - they will ruin your life and steal your soul. I think that was what happened to Elvis. But because he has sustained such a large fan base over 30 years, he life has been examed with a fine-tooth comb and we can look at each release as it relates to his life - personally and professionally. Elvis always wanted his "Becket" and I have always believed he got it!!

KPM
04-16-2008, 05:21 PM
As I mentioned dont forget why that last session is dubbed the jungle room sessions.He did manage some good tracks,but we know his heart just wasnt into it.I believe Elvis was late coming down to record and it just wasnt a lighthearted time for Elvis.When Elvis had some decent material in front of him he could still pull it off obviously.He had far to much talent for it to be completely suppressed.When you listen to the memphis sessions you are hearing Elvis at his best.He is consumed with passion and the desire to perform.The guy was on fire and it shows.The jungle room sessions show Elvis at the end of his rope.Bored and listless so much of the time and basically somber.The Elvis that cut Suspicous Minds in 69 is nowhere to be found on that last sesion.
IMO The more personal the material was to him-the more he cared about how the song came out. I want to think if he had lived-that down the road he would have finally got the fire back. He would have got out of the slump. In the 60s he started out strong and then had about 5years of movies and little musical fire. Perhaps if he had lived in 79 or 80 he would have regrouped and once again got the fever.

Jungleroom76
04-16-2008, 06:59 PM
IMO The more personal the material was to him-the more he cared about how the song came out.

THAT is an excellent point KPM!!! (y)

A perfect example of this is the fact that while it only took Elvis around 6 takes to come up with a satisfactory master for BURNING LOVE, it took him more than 20 takes to finish SEPARATE WAYS!!!

This, in my opinion, CLEARLY demonstrates just what you said above...the more personal the song to Elvis, the more he put into it to come up with the perfect recording!

TCB!
Mike

ehollier
04-16-2008, 09:01 PM
THAT is an excellent point KPM!!! (y)

A perfect example of this is the fact that while it only took Elvis around 6 takes to come up with a satisfactory master for BURNING LOVE, it took him more than 20 takes to finish SEPARATE WAYS!!!

This, in my opinion, CLEARLY demonstrates just what you said above...the more personal the song to Elvis, the more he put into it to come up with the perfect recording!

TCB!
Mike

You seem to pretty well understand Elvis' mentalality after reading some of your posts. :blink::blink:

jak
04-17-2008, 03:20 AM
No doubt that Elvis was peaked when he recorded with Chips in 1969 and he was very much wanting to come back, wanting a hit song, wanting to sing good material again; however, it is very difficult to sustain that sort of peak for any length of time. He did however continue to have sparks of creativity and could still move a crowd when he had the right song. And some will argue also that it is all about timing, too. He has said that timing played a part in his music in the 50's. The time was right when he recorded with Chips, because Chips was on a roll, too. He came to Vegas at the right time; the International was the latest thing in entertainment. But timing was not on his side when his personal life fell apart, timing was not on his side when other musicians came on the scene and the whole scene changed while he was becoming more and more addicted to drugs. Some argue that he could have dug his way out, but drugs are bad - whether prescribed or not - they will ruin your life and steal your soul. I think that was what happened to Elvis. But because he has sustained such a large fan base over 30 years, he life has been examed with a fine-tooth comb and we can look at each release as it relates to his life - personally and professionally. Elvis always wanted his "Becket" and I have always believed he got it!!

This is a good post.Youre right about the drugs.After Aloha he should have been able to gain some momentum but that wasnt the case.The drugs just robbed him of any chance.After Aloha it was just the same Vegas stints with a multitude of one nighter's in the same venue's over and over.His record sales dropped and he was absent from the charts that he ruled for so long.I think many people forget or ignore where his career was at when he died.

ehollier
04-17-2008, 05:36 AM
This is a good post.Youre right about the drugs.After Aloha he should have been able to gain some momentum but that wasnt the case.The drugs just robbed him of any chance.After Aloha it was just the same Vegas stints with a multitude of one nighter's in the same venue's over and over.His record sales dropped and he was absent from the charts that he ruled for so long.I think many people forget or ignore where his career was at when he died.


Thank you.

utmom2008
04-17-2008, 10:50 AM
This is a good post.Youre right about the drugs.After Aloha he should have been able to gain some momentum but that wasnt the case.I think many people forget or ignore where his career was at when he died.

I kind of hope that they forget where he was career wise when he died. Then you have these hideous commercials like the Heinz 57 one that is making the youtube rounds. Those that have cared enough to learn the what the real Elvis was like are to be applauded...like some of the younger fans on this board. Regretably, those that haven't really looked into his career just tend to think of Elvis as the fat guy in a jumpsuit with big sunglasses on with gigantic sideburns. What a shame....:sad::sad:

ehollier
04-17-2008, 11:00 AM
I kind of hope that they forget where he was career wise when he died. Then you have these hideous commercials like the Heinz 57 one that is making the youtube rounds. Those that have cared enough to learn the what the real Elvis was like are to be applauded...like some of the younger fans on this board. Regretably, those that haven't really looked into his career just tend to think of Elvis as the fat guy in a jumpsuit with big sunglasses on with gigantic sideburns. What a shame....:sad::sad:


I do believe that fans have not only forgotten where he was career wise when he died, but also have oodles more of respect for him today -- hence his immence popularity and longevity!!! I believe that you will always have those who tend to remember those last years, but look at the fans around the world who never got to see him or even more mind-boggling -- can't even readily get his material (pictures, cds, dvds), fans who weren't born or lived during his lifetime!!! Its absolutely incredible!!!!!!! I am amazed at this worldwide love affair with him. Living here in the South, I just took Elvis for granted and never really wondered outside of my own little realm. He is part of our pop culture -- heck he re-wrote our pop culture. Every day, I find new fans on this site and others from all over the world. I don't think Elvis could have forseen what would have become of his memory nor could he have comprehended it either.

Getlo
04-17-2008, 06:05 PM
Regretably, those that haven't really looked into his career just tend to think of Elvis as the fat guy in a jumpsuit with big sunglasses on with gigantic sideburns.

And that is 99.9% due to Elvis impersonators! (n):angry:

utmom2008
04-17-2008, 06:34 PM
look at the fans around the world who never got to see him or even more mind-boggling -- can't even readily get his material (pictures, cds, dvds), fans who weren't born or lived during his lifetime!!! Its absolutely incredible!!!!!!! I am amazed at this worldwide love affair with him.

I have always been amazed at the world wide love affair with him. When I was in Vegas in August of 71 there was also a BIG group of fans from Japan. They all belonged to his Japanese fan club and had chartered a plane to get to Vegas. I remember a big chartered Grey Hound that brought them from the airport to the Hilton...they got off the bus and came in and didn't appear to speak a word of English. Elvis introduced them that night at the dinner show. It was fascinating to watch a group of people have such obvious love for a man...and not understand a word he was saying.:blink::blink::notworthy:king:

cameron
04-17-2008, 08:45 PM
And that is 99.9% due to Elvis impersonators! (n):angry:

Bad impersonators .
And the stories and jokes we allow to go around without speaking up.

MojoElvis
04-17-2008, 09:05 PM
And that is 99.9% due to Elvis impersonators! (n):angry:

Right fully so, a lot theses Impersonators do set a negative tone to the image of Elvis. But I thought that this Elvis image was the fault of what the media was saying about Elvis since he had turned 40 and due to the 1977 CBS Special?
That show never should have aired. The poor guy needed a few years off to just get his act together.
Even though cause I'm a fan I can watch it and love every minute of it, to a person who's not a fan it leaves a lot of room for insults. To me it didn't matter. I love the human being, Elvis, as I'm sure you and most people on here do, but to the non-die hard fan it was a big mistake.

utmom2008
04-17-2008, 10:30 PM
But I thought that this Elvis image was the fault of what the media was saying about Elvis since he had turned 40 and due to the 1977 CBS Special?
To a person who's not a fan it leaves a lot of room for insults.

I don't know any other way to say this, but, items such as the candy bar that you use as a signature also play right into the hands of the very people who like to ridicule Elvis. His likeness on a CANDY BAR set him up for soooooo much ridicule. There is NO dignity in finding your face on a peanut butter/banana candy bar.:sad::sad:

Getlo
04-18-2008, 04:57 AM
Bad impersonators .And the stories and jokes we allow to go around without speaking up.

Bad impersonator = any impersonator, IMO.



I don't know any other way to say this, but, items such as the candy bar that you use as a signature also play right into the hands of the very people who like to ridicule Elvis. His likeness on a CANDY BAR set him up for soooooo much ridicule. There is NO dignity in finding your face on a peanut butter/banana candy bar.:sad::sad:

Accurately ... and politely ... stated. It is more than undignified to have Elvis (who, let's face it, was a junk food addict) on a candy bar.

Does EPE even see the ridiculous and barbed irony of that?? Does MojoElvis??!

It's one step away from having a line of Presley sleeping pills, or diet pills!