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Elvis and Johnny
07-17-2009, 10:54 AM
The 68 Special?

During the time the 68 Special was filmed, his voice was very raspy when he sang higher. Like when he sang Trying To Get To You, or One Night.

His voice had a very cool rasp to it, but later on in the 70s when he sang Trying To Get To You, it was much different.

Even earlier in the 60s, it was different.

What do you think?

Elvis and Johnny
07-17-2009, 10:56 AM
Also, I am just asking because I am curious.

I think his voice was always amazing. :)

EnigmaticSun
07-17-2009, 11:11 AM
Good topic son! Err.. I suppose some phenomena are to be explained by Elvis' interests at the time and his physical state of being. It's true he could "rasp it up" in order to record a blues or rock song the way he wanted to (good example are the Jerry Reed sessions, Big Boss Man features vocals a-typical of Elvis' career at that time).

In the 70's Elvis was developing a more operatic sound. I would guess the rawer sound was realized by forcing (but controllling) a lot of energy throughout his body and throat, like (a somewhat stereotype) karateka trying to break bricks. I don't think it was as damaging as other rock singers may do, because Elvis knew, combined and understood martial arts and classical singing-skills.

Elvis just threw out a lot of anger and frustration during the Comeback special. Then again 1972 was more like a sad or depressed year and so were the vocals on some well-known records, so it's fair to say his sound also reflected the mood he was in.

Raised on Rock
07-17-2009, 12:49 PM
For the '68 TV Special, he wanted to be the rock singer he could be, (from '60 to '67 he had well expanded in other singing areas), the raspy sound in his voice, mostly absent since '61, was simply the approach of a 33 guy going back to an earlier way of singing.

If you listen closely, it is not that far different from the gritty & raspy sound of his earlier 50's hard rock sound, stuff like: Jailhouse Rock, Santa Claus is Back in Town, Hard Headed Woman, etc. Yet, not identical cause there was an issue to be addressed, the wonderful plus of maturity, both physical (this the raspy sound of a full grown man, that as opposed, to the sound of a 22 in '57), and more important, the maturity of much more developed singer. That is to say, as E.S. well put it, the raw sound was now realized by forcing (but controllling) a lot of energy throughout his body and throat, while back in the 50's might have just been, well, raw stuff.

About why his sound was different after it. Well during the American Studios sessions, he simply wanted to try something else, a more subtle soulish approach. Now the style of singing he did in Burbank '68, did not strain his voice as much as other less trained rock singers, but it did definitively strained it a bit (remember how his voices sounds while his: thank you, good night after a take of If I Can Dream) so for return to live performances in '69, he again just leave out the rough edges a bit, although he still did a bit the raspy sound.

By the Feb '70 Vegas gigs, again he was now using a recording studio approach, and it did sound great, but you can still hear the raspy sound not though whole songs, but in bits of them, like in Proud Mary or See See Rider. (The audience recording of the Astrodome gigs actually did show us an Elvis going back again for his raspier sound).

Then, I guess he was just, (as it got to be on arts) wisely pursuing something else.

Jungleroom76
07-17-2009, 12:50 PM
During the time the 68 Special was filmed, his voice was very raspy when he sang higher. Like when he sang Trying To Get To You, or One Night.

It could just possibly have been his voice being a little worn out from all of the rehearsing and recording while preparing the '68 Special?? :hmm:

Definitely an interesting question... (y)

TCB!
Mike

Raised on Rock
07-17-2009, 12:55 PM
It could just possibly have been his voice being a little worn out from all of the rehearsing and recording while preparing the '68 Special?? :hmm:

Definitely an interesting question... (y)

TCB!
Mike

I tend to believe that it was more intentional, as trying to push beyond the limits of his easy going grace approach of singing, that if great by the early 60's, by '68 was a bit of a cliché. As I said before, I guess is related to his desire, after Steve's influence, to go back to his rock roots, instead of deliver more of the conformity crooner he had been associated because of all the soundtracks.

Jungleroom76
07-17-2009, 01:01 PM
I tend to believe that it was more intentional, as trying to push beyond the limits of his easy going grace approach of singing, that if great by the early 60's, by '68 was a bit of a cliché. As I said before, I guess is related to his desire, after Steve's influence, to go back to his rock roots, instead of deliver more of the conformity crooner he had been associated because of all the soundtracks.

You could very well be right ROR!!! (y) :D

Whatever the case, it certainly worked to his benefit throughout the special....it really gave his voice, and thus his performances, a raw and energetic feeling for sure!!! :king:

TCB!
Mike

KPM
07-17-2009, 02:43 PM
Well the movie songs even the rockers were much more controlled subdued, and "he was in a box" so to speak. The 68 Special was his first public attempt at being himself in a long time on film. He was excited, and nervous which bumps up the adrenaline level and he pushed hard to rock on songs he probably had not sung much in a long time. So I think its a combinations of his excitement, nerves and wanting to prove himself.

debtdbruno
07-17-2009, 03:48 PM
Well said KPM..........Totally agree with you

Deb

Awickedreigndrop
07-17-2009, 03:53 PM
I was wondering this too because I've noticed the difference. I think the raspy voice he had in the 68 comeback was hot!

TCB4ELVIS
07-17-2009, 06:44 PM
I tend to believe that it was more intentional, as trying to push beyond the limits of his easy going grace approach of singing, that if great by the early 60's, by '68 was a bit of a cliché. As I said before, I guess is related to his desire, after Steve's influence, to go back to his rock roots, instead of deliver more of the conformity crooner he had been associated because of all the soundtracks.

You are somewhat right here. He wanted to sound different from his movie soundtracks. That was it. But in making it more raspy he did show signs of his throt getting sore. If you have the FTD CD Burbank, you could hear his voice in the dressing room rehearsal recording cracking and going a little off key due to him singing raspy.
I don't know how long it was from that rehearsal to showtime that that recording took place. You hear Steve Binder and Elvis discussing the shows format.

Getlo
07-17-2009, 06:57 PM
In simplest terms:

Elvis hadn't sung properly for years. Too many movie soundtracks and the like.

The special gave him the opportunity to rehearse, and rehearse hard.

And he did.

He worked hard, hence the raspy voice; it adds a greater feel to the music, especially the black-leather sequences.

Junebug
07-17-2009, 07:30 PM
"It was the finest music of his life. If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it.”

Greil Marcus
From his book, Mystery Train, remembering the 1968 TV Special.


IMO, I also think, for whatever reasons or motivation he may have had, Elvis was able to go to 'that place inside himself' where he could draw from his magic once again.

Good topic....

TCB4ELVIS
07-17-2009, 07:42 PM
In simplest terms:

Elvis hadn't sung properly for years. Too many movie soundtracks and the like.

The special gave him the opportunity to rehearse, and rehearse hard.

And he did.

He worked hard, hence the raspy voice; it adds a greater feel to the music, especially the black-leather sequences.

I Usually agree with you, Getlo but sorry you're wrong here. Elvis took pride even in his movie soundtracks. He knew that even though he hated some of them songs, he didn't want to go down in history as a bad singer. Sure he simplified the obvious silly songs but the soundtracks songs didn't stay bad.
And he did try to throw in some of his favorite songs, You Don't Know Me, Down by The Riverside & Little Egypt.

It's obvious that he changed his voice. Or this question wouldn't constantly be asked. He did the same thing on the How Great Tho Art, LP Recoding Sessions. He sang different to reinvent his image and modernize himself.
Like I said, he sang raspy to sound different as a result his throat got sore.

elvia7
07-18-2009, 03:03 AM
Well the movie songs even the rockers were much more controlled subdued, and "he was in a box" so to speak. The 68 Special was his first public attempt at being himself in a long time on film. He was excited, and nervous which bumps up the adrenaline level and he pushed hard to rock on songs he probably had not sung much in a long time. So I think its a combinations of his excitement, nerves and wanting to prove himself.

Yes, Ken, I think that you have right.:hmm:

mozzarella
07-18-2009, 08:10 AM
I think he improved technically over the '60s, and Charlie Hodge gave him some vocal lessons back in the Army and he loved experimenting with new sounds. It's clear to me that in the '70 he could use headvoice instead of tearing up his chestvoice which caused him a lot of hoarse and sore throat in even at the '69 Memphis Sessions. In the '70s he could use his full voice which is necessary if someone's performing night to night. So that's why he became much more operatic sounding in the '70s. He learnt to use his headvoice with full capacity. Any more accurate info on this?

EnigmaticSun
07-18-2009, 10:27 AM
Charlie Hodge gave him some vocal lessons back in the Army.. He learnt to use his headvoice with full capacity.. Any more accurate info on this?

Ain't it funny how some vocal teachers don't have much voice of their own. Some people know quite a lot about singing (anatomically and technically), but it's different from the song-bird phenomenon I consider Elvis to be. In his case, proper training was like putting the dot on the I.

Anyway.. in the 60's you can hear Elvis using his entire strength and range without the rawer sound. This is usually realized as if you were trying to lift something heavy or to break something - the kung fu monks call this energy "Chi" as they can direct it to any organ they please and hold a spear with their throat (don't try this at home, only for qualified monks)..

Later in the 70's Elvis' voice had gained power and depth, but lost some flexibility compared to the early 60's. It's hard to tell whether this was caused by abrasive singing or by his physical state of being..? It appeared like he was someone with continuous high blood pressure among other things..

SleepyJack
07-18-2009, 12:55 PM
I`m not so sure that it was in any way intentional by Elvis.... I think that very often he could,almost without thinking,just adapt to the music that was being made... he could do this effortlessly most of the time... be it with a blues song or a ballad or anything else. I think it pretty much just happened... the excitement,the black leather,rock`n`roll.... he felt it in the air and went with it.... just like with the beauty and sincerity of his voice on the gospel songs and the power and drama of the big ballads on stage.

Getlo
07-18-2009, 08:10 PM
Elvis took pride even in his movie soundtracks.

No.

He put in effort to most of them, but that is different to pride.

You can't tell me he was proud of crap like Old MacDonald or Fort Lauderdale Chamber Of Commerce.

Towards the end of his movie career, he sang that rubbish because he had to, and the barest of efforts were made.

Come the '68 Special, he hadn't tested and truly USED his voice for years.

Imagine his voice was a top-flight racing car. The special was his first turn around the track in years, gunning his motor. For the previous couple of years, he'd simply left it idling in the driveway.

Sure, it still sounded okay but it was simply running ... not moving like it was meant to.

Getlo
07-18-2009, 08:14 PM
He did the same thing on the How Great Tho Art, LP Recoding Sessions. He sang different to reinvent his image and modernize himself.

No, he sang differently here because he cared about the music.

The changes in his voice were natural an subconscious. He made an effort.

In the '68 Special, the effort resulted in the raspy voice. It was not intentional for him to sing that way. Rather, it was the result of his effort.

Pacerstar
07-18-2009, 09:06 PM
I`m not so sure that it was in any way intentional by Elvis.... I think that very often he could,almost without thinking,just adapt to the music that was being made... he could do this effortlessly most of the time... be it with a blues song or a ballad or anything else. I think it pretty much just happened... the excitement,the black leather,rock`n`roll.... he felt it in the air and went with it.... just like with the beauty and sincerity of his voice on the gospel songs and the power and drama of the big ballads on stage.

I tend to agree with you on this. I think Elvis just felt the music and it was
natural for him to deliver it in the manner that he did.(y)(y)

beckelvis
07-19-2009, 04:15 AM
ALWAYS I SURPRISE HIS VOICE ,BUT IN THE SPECIAL 68´ HIS VOICE TO BE AS HEART-BREAKING REALLY TO MY TO SEEM TURNS OUT TO BE VERY SEXY.
BUT THE TRUTH I REMAIN WITH HIS VOICE IN ALL THE EPOCHS,FOR THAT HIS VOICE ALWAYS WAS IMPRESSIVE,WITH A FEELING SO SPECIAL THAT ALONE TO KNOW TRASMITIR.
YouTube - Elvis - Young Dreams
YouTube - Elvis-If I Can Dream
YouTube - Elvis Presley - How Great Thou Art 1977
:notworthy:notworthy:notworthy:notworthy
ELVIS IS ONLY.

debtdbruno
07-19-2009, 05:21 AM
This is what has made him unique, he could turn any song into his own, regardless of the 'type' of music that it was. Not many singers have the capability to sing a wide range of music.

Elvis and Johnny
07-19-2009, 09:53 AM
Here is a video I made, with 3 rare recordings from the 68 Special.

YouTube - Elvis Presley 3 Rare Recordings from 1968 Special

giulia
07-19-2009, 10:53 AM
I tend to believe that it was more intentional, .

I totally agree with you.

The Show had to be his comeback to the scenes after a long time of absence.
He was afraid that his fans could have forgotten him. He was angry and at the same time he was electrified.

He really wanted just to prove to the world and to his detractors that he was still The King.
Forget the movie songs. Here is Tigerman, back again, the only one. :lol:

He was probably angry with himself , because couldn't avoid the Holiwood contracts. He was most probably more angry with the Colonel, who forced him to make commercial movies while the world of music was changing so quick. The Beatles & other Groups were coming up...

In the Colonel opinion the Show had to be only a Christmas Show, (if I'm not wrong) very traditional and plain. They had a tough discussion.
Elvis did it his way ! :D

All the anger and fear he felt came out powerfully of his throat and of his whole body (think the way he moved on that little stage). The raspy voice was part of his mood in that particular moment of his life and career.

The black leather, his face and his glance : he was so lively and strong as a panther who had just broken free of a cage. :angry:
Who could stop him from his purpose ?

And by the way "trying to get to you" in that bluesy / angry version is one of the greatest performance of Elvis.
Imho, the whole 68 Comeback is probably his best Show. (y)