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View Full Version : Elvis' voice change between 69-71



ph10579
12-18-2008, 07:55 PM
Doe's anyone know or have an idea why Elvis' singing voice changed so much between 1969-71,which is only two years. If you listen to his voice on the 69 sessions compared to the 71 sessions you could definitely tell a difference in his voice! Was he already bored of singing? His voice to me sounds alot more energized in 1969! What do you guys think?:notworthyThanks!:newyear:

hounddog
12-19-2008, 01:20 AM
I'm not sure if you mean to change in his tone, timbre. If that's what you mean then peoples voices naturally change with age.

Singers more so because they use them more. This is the case for every singer i know. You lose a couple of top notes but gain in timbre and strength and also get a couple of lower notes.

My own voice has dropped in tone and i can reach a few more lower notes than i used to when i was in my twentys.

Is that what you mean, his vocal range, timbre etc?

Dino78
12-19-2008, 01:40 AM
One point is the change caused by aging of course. But on the other hand you have to see that he suffered a throat infection during the '69 sessions.

epmoodyblue
12-19-2008, 08:06 AM
nah.....his voice simply changed ..its normal as the years go by voice changes.....:hmm:but def in 68-69-70..were the years elvis sounded the best:notworthy

easyrider
12-19-2008, 08:09 AM
Yes change in his tone.

SleepyJack
12-19-2008, 11:32 AM
I often wonder how different his voice might have been by 1969 if he had been touring all through the sixties.... I think it was inevitable that his voice changed once he got back to doing live shows.:D

Cliff
12-19-2008, 12:55 PM
His voice did change after the Army. More mature. I found that his voice got more aggressive from '68 onward. But then ,I'm no expert.

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renapap05
12-19-2008, 01:10 PM
nah.....his voice simply changed ..its normal as the years go by voice changes.....:hmm:

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elvispresleytheking
12-19-2008, 08:14 PM
I think the most major change came in the mid-sixties, when his voice dropped a few octaves. VOices do naturally change, but 71 is still so much better than like 76 or 77.

ehollier
12-19-2008, 08:48 PM
I think the most major change came in the mid-sixties, when his voice dropped a few octaves. VOices do naturally change, but 71 is still so much better than like 76 or 77.


Wasn't he also getting hormone shots to help make his voice deeper by the end?????

IM4Elvis
12-19-2008, 10:00 PM
Obviously his voice changed from simply getting older, and the demands on his throat from the heavy recording schedule and the concerts in the time frame. Elvis certainly was not "bored" during this time period as was suggested above. He had some awesome releases during this time period. IMHO, Elvis voice was at its best in the 1968-1973 era.

IM

john carpenter
12-20-2008, 04:51 AM
Wasn't he also getting hormone shots to help make his voice deeper by the end?????First time i,ve heard that. With Elvis anythings possible!

Raised on Rock
12-20-2008, 05:06 PM
Wasn't he also getting hormone shots to help make his voice deeper by the end?????

Never heard about that, I heard he got vitamin shots before going on stage to energize him for his performances.

Donīt see anything weird about his voice change, I mean it is understandable, its all about aging I guess, and the fact that going back into live performances gave some strain to his voice. Maybe both, aging and strain, made him look for different approaches into his singing, and so the big change both live and in the studio from '68 to 71. It also may be that he intentionally wanted to lower down his voice a bit, just as he intentionally polished his approach while in the army.

But yes. there is a little noticeable strain in his voice in a few songs from '71 and the '72 sessions, and definitively in the summer '73 Stax sessions. His singing was all energized again in all studio sessions from Dec '73 at Stax, until the Junlge Room sessions.

hounddog
12-21-2008, 12:12 AM
"Wasn't he also getting hormone shots to help make his voice deeper by the end???
wow never heard that one before

hounddog
12-21-2008, 12:12 AM
"Wasn't he also getting hormone shots to help make his voice deeper by the end???
wow never heard that one before

Silenz
12-21-2008, 05:18 PM
Well Elvis voice was at its best around 68-71 BUT listen to How great thou art from Elvis in concert 77. I changed so it fitted better his spiritual songs in my opinion in the later years.

Cryogenic
12-21-2008, 07:04 PM
It was probably a combination of physiology, drugs and mood. His voice of 1971 is markedly different to his voice of 1969. Put "You'll Think Of Me" on and follow it up with "We Can Make The Morning". It sounds like two different people. That's the power of Elvis!

laura17
12-22-2008, 07:47 AM
his voice just got better.

cbg84
12-22-2008, 03:49 PM
I think everyone one's voice changes a little with time and aware and tare. But Elvis still sounded great as ever all through his life.

ehollier
12-22-2008, 04:24 PM
After re-reading the timeline of his life and giving me some serious thought, it seems that there was a significant change to Elvis after those first two stateside tours in the Fall, 1970. In my opinion, it seemed like everything about Elvis began to change -- his voice, attitude, personal life, professional life -- everything began to change and he moved away from the performer in 1969-70. There is even a change in his appearance from the Fall, 1970 and his opening in Vegas, 1971.

I'm not suggesting that he wasn't a sensational performer or he couldn't move the crowd to their knees. I am only saying that there was a significant change to his attitude and personality after those first 3 engagements. Lucky we were able to capture all of that magnetism on film before these changes were so apparent.

utmom2008
12-22-2008, 07:12 PM
There is even a change in his appearance from the Fall, 1970 and his opening in Vegas, 1971.

Yes, but with that being said there is a change in appearance between every tour and every Las Vegas engagement. Elvis' looks were always evolving...blink and you missed it.

Tony Trout
12-22-2008, 08:59 PM
It was probably a combination of physiology, drugs and mood. His voice of 1971 is markedly different to his voice of 1969. Put "You'll Think Of Me" on and follow it up with "We Can Make The Morning". It sounds like two different people. That's the power of Elvis!


I agree, Cryo. At times in 1971 his voice sounds so weak and doesn't have a lot of power behind it.

Lonniebealestreet
12-23-2008, 08:59 AM
This vocal change is very much in evidence throughout his career but that from '69 to '71 as named here may be where there is the most marked difference. I was just thinking about this yesterday actually while listening to the Wonderful World of Christmas.

It is worth keeping in mind that there are some transient conditions at play here and that these recording sessions are not wholly representative of what he sounded like during a certain period -- whether that be a year, season, whatever. They are brief capsules of time capturing a certain set of circumstances; what Elvis delivered was a result of a number of things, also previously mentioned.

The point is that the overall change might not always be as drastic as it seems when comparing two specific, somewhat isolated groups of recordings.

...though it is a change nonetheless and I'm not trying to downplay that either, as I also believe there is something to the following.

I am not saying that the course of Elvis' life and its duration were all predetermined but the rapid maturation and near constant evolution of his voice were consistent with the speed at which he lived his life. I do think how much it changed is not the norm but an exception to the rule.

It goes beyond how high his voice was earlier on and how much deeper it became; there are so many other differences...nuances I don't even know how to describe, and though some were probably conscious (changes in style and making a concerted effort to broaden his range, for example) many were not. The ones that were seemingly beyond his control are what is so remarkable.

Think of artists who have had much longer singing careers and how much more of a consistent sound they had or have had throughout the decades: James Taylor, Johnny Cash, Eric Clapton, Glen Campbell just to name a few off the top of my head. Now, you can hear aging, if you will, in their voices but their overall tone has been about the same throughout -- Campbell probably having the most deepening among those guys. But most of the difference with those guys from when they started to now or in Cash's case, when he passed on, have to do with just a loss of clarity and 'unworn' sound that correspond with youth. Elvis's voice did age in some respects but many of those changes were not all degenerative.

Some were though, of course. Listen to Teddy Bear or Hound Dog from the CBS special. BUT then listen to him hit the notes on Hurt or How Great Thou Art from the same occasion that he could not have hit when he was younger. Well, the former examples were probably more of a temporary condition...but I digress!

Mainly I just wanted to reinforce that there was indeed a very noticeable change in his voice -- or more accurately a series of very noticeable changes in it, and as I see it, whatever the reasons behind all that may have been, it somehow seems natural. It's like those changes were another way for him to have given us more during the time he was here -- again, not to say that was or wasn't part of some plan, but I think that is a result. It is a remarkable attribute befitting such a remarkable career and life.

utmom2008
12-23-2008, 11:25 AM
Mainly I just wanted to reinforce that there was indeed a very noticeable change in his voice -- or more accurately a series of very noticeable changes in it, and as I see it, whatever the reasons behind all that may have been, it somehow seems natural. It's like those changes were another way for him to have given us more during the time he was here -- again, not to say that was or wasn't part of some plan, but I think that is a result. It is a remarkable attribute befitting such a remarkable career and life.

I agree with your thinking in this last paragraph.....that was very well said!:notworthy(y)(y)

hounddog
12-23-2008, 08:14 PM
it's not just those year you can hear the change in his voice put on the King Creole soundtrack and then Elvis is Back and whoa what a differance. Same as say the tracks recorded when Love Letters and Indescribably Blue were recorded and the differance in tone and timre of his voice in the 68 comeback.

A singers voice evolves, changes, but is also stressed. I would have loved to hear what Elvis' voice sounded like in the late 70's if he wasn't touring as much.

Ematt
12-26-2008, 04:04 AM
I think the changes in Elvis` voice up till 63 were more stylistic changes than physical, after 63 his voice changes quite a lot year by year. For me, 66 and 71 are poor years vocally, he sounded quite nasal in 71. But his voice sounded fantastic again on the Promised Land and Today albums. Always have found this subject fascinating.

hounddog
12-26-2008, 04:18 PM
"I think the changes in Elvis` voice up till 63 were more stylistic changes than physical"
I'm sorry but i disagree on this. The Elvis of 1956 could have sung It's Now Or Never but it would not have had the same vocal quality. His voice was smoother and he had more control over it in the 60's. The voice is an amazing instrument and his was mind blowing, the man could sing anything.