View Full Version : Elvis Greatest Vocal Performance

04-26-2004, 06:04 PM
What is your favourite live Elvis song (only for his vocal unique)???

My top 5:

01. An American Trilogy (14th January 1973 - was it ever recorded in studio version???) (y) :clap:
02. How Great Thou Art (20th March 1974 - Grammy award!)
03. Trouble (6/1968 - Comeback version)
04. If I Can Dream (6/1968 - Comeback version)
05. Unchained Melody (21st June 1977 - I love this version!!!!)

Stefan Kock
04-26-2004, 06:26 PM
Here?s my top 5:

1. And I Love You So ~ March 22nd 1975 MS (simply brilliant)

2. It?s Midnight ~ March 22nd 1975 MS (breathtaking ending)

3. My Boy ~ May 6th 1975 (much better than the studio version)

4. Trying To Get To You ~ June 21st 1977 (unbeatable vocal version imo )

5. What Now My Love ~ January 12th 1973 (outstanding & magnificent )

04-26-2004, 09:23 PM
Thats one i will have to think about a bit more ;)

But 'Hurt' will have to figure in it somewhere (y)

P.S. Annie
04-26-2004, 09:27 PM
Originally posted by NightRider@Apr 26 2004, 09:23 PM
Thats one i will have to think about a bit more ;)

But 'Hurt' will have to figure in it somewhere (y)
Or a Bridge over troubled water (y)

04-26-2004, 09:30 PM
Originally posted by NightRider@Apr 26 2004, 08:23 PM
Thats one i will have to think about a bit more ;)

But 'Hurt' will have to figure in it somewhere (y)
I have to agree with that one.

Altough i like his voice in 1970 best(soft,pure,with passion) the live performances of "Hurt" in december 76(always in fact) his vocal range is impressive,a real powerhouse performance.

No wonder the crowds always went wild after hearing such a voice!! :P

04-26-2004, 09:36 PM
Another great topic (y)

Difficult one, because I keep forgetting the CD's where I've heard the great versions. So I'm sure I've let out some of my favourites, but these are tracks with amazing vocal performances of The King:

1) Surrender..... this is just a classic piece of work. From the high and tender notes to the opera ending. I've read that a guy from the Jordanairs helped him out with this one and said that in order to reach those powerfull notes, Elvis had to pretend vomitting.

2) What Now My Love (17.2.73 from "We'll Make You Happy") a better version than the (a bit tensed) one from The Aloha.

3) How Great Thou Art (from te CD "Just Pretend") imagine that this song is performed between rockers by a Rock artist. In times where dancing and playbacking is more normal than performing the goods, a song like this, performed this way is simply unique. So sincere, so powerfull..... a tribute to religion.

4) The Impossible Dream (from "As Recorded In Madison Square Garden") it's not only the notes, the difficulty of the song, the dynamic, but also the fact that he did it perfectly on such an important night. He did the song many more times, but always seemed to have troubles somewhere in the song. But on that night he nailed the song perfectly. Amazing!

5) If I Can Dream (NBC Comeback Special) It's not only because of the rawness, the power, but more because it shows another Elvis, the true feeling and spirit of an artist who had been hiding this feeling, these emotions for many years. The message came across.... The King Is BACK

04-26-2004, 09:42 PM
just pretend


bridge over troubled water

how great thou art (77)

you gave me a mountain.

i lkie these songs at the moment but as we all know elvis could sing the socks off any song (y)

04-27-2004, 06:49 AM
Can't pick just 5, so I'll narrow it down some by picking my favorite 5 vocal performances from FTDs--at the moment!

Too Much Monkey Business - Alt. take 10
How The Web Was Woven - Alt. take 1
Bringin' It Back - Alt. take 3
Fairytale - Live May 6, 1975
Love Coming Down - Alt. take 2

04-27-2004, 07:38 AM
Surprise, surprise, my favourite of all time is Just Pretend from August 1970 TTWII SE.. (y)

04-27-2004, 07:50 AM
A shocker indeed! :D

I must say, if I had to go with one performance that I was going to stick to as faithfully as you have that one, I couldn't do much better than your perennial favorite, Carolyn. (y)

Just Pretend and a bottle of wine, right? ;)

04-27-2004, 08:19 AM
:P It's half a bottle of wine Bobby, I'm an inexpensive date.........

04-27-2004, 08:27 AM
...or better yet, stick to the full bottle and play the song (or video) twice! :lol:

Elena/The Russian EP Fan Club
04-27-2004, 09:56 AM
1. The Sound of Your Cry(Nashville Marathon)

2. If I Can Dream (Comeback Special)

3. An American Trilogy (14th January 1973)

4. How Great Thou Art (20th March 1974)

5. The Impossible Dream (Madison Square Garden)

6. Danny Boy (Tucson'76)

04-27-2004, 04:51 PM
:oops: :bash:

Yes I forgot on few songs.... :blink:


01. An American Trilogy - 14th January 73 - this is Elvis and this is Elvis? voice!!!
02. How Great Thou Art - 20th March 74 - still no change
03. Bridge Over Troubled Water - 26th June 77 - best version I ever heard!!!
04. Hurt - 19th June 77 - this show was bad, but this was amazing performance!
05. If I Can Dream - June 68 - one of his best gospel songs!
06. Trouble - June 68 - great performance!
07. Unchained Melody - 21st June 77 - my favourite version of this song
08. You Gave Me A Mountain - 14th January 73 - Aloha was his best concert from vocal point
09. Steamroller Blues - 21st March 76 - great performance!
10. What Now My Love - 12th January 73 - amazing vocal range (but not largest I known), nice great feeling in the song, simply great performance!!

04-28-2004, 04:47 AM
Here's my Top 5 (at this very moment....subject to change depending on my mood!!) ;)

1. HURT (from "Elvis In Concert")
2. WHAT NOW MY LOVE (from "Aloha From Hawaii")
3. FAIRYTALE (from the FTD release "Spring Tours '77")
4. MY WAY (from "Elvis In Concert")
5. AMERICAN TRILOGY (from "Aloha From Hawaii")

However...there are a couple of performances that are bubbling just under my Top 5 list...

1. BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER (from Greensboro 4/14/72 as seen in "Elvis On Tour")
2. HOW GREAT THOU ART (from "Elvis In Concert")
3. CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE (from Largo, MD. 5/22/77)
4. HOW THE WEB WAS WOVEN (from "That's The Way It Is")



08-03-2004, 04:08 PM
I think that GREAT performance is Let Yourself Go on Comeback! It?s STUNNING VOICE!!! Maybe best I ever heard!!!

Elvis' Babe
08-04-2004, 09:10 AM
1) unchained melody - june 21, 1977
2) american trilogy - january 14, 1973
3) lawdy miss clawdy/can't help falling in love - eot '72
4) polk salad annie - ttwii '70
5) suspicious minds - ttwii '70

08-04-2004, 09:17 AM
Albert got it right :clap:
"Tomorrow never comes" are a very good one too, but there are so many good ones, but i will put "Surrender" on my top list, with "Bridge" from the on tour movie as a good nr two :worthy:

Jumpsuit Junkie
08-04-2004, 10:08 AM
Quite difficult :hmm:

Polk Salad Annie (1970 with long intro) Fantastic song more because of the way Elvis sings this with passion and a southern drawl

Proud Mary (1972 Elvis On Tour) Just one of those songs that gets me going

I Got A Woman (1970 TTWII) probably one of my favourite concert songs along with my next choice

Mystery Train/Tiger Man (1970 TTWII) another which gets the motor running

American Trilogy (1972 On Tour) A real roller coaster of a song that builds to a crescendo just awesome

08-04-2004, 02:29 PM
here's my top

american trilogy (aloha and "desert storm")
hurt (dallas 76)
bridge (ttwii disc 2)
lawdy miss clawdy (memphis 74)

08-04-2004, 05:36 PM
People always said I have weird (others say 'interesting') taste, but I always greatly liked:

1. Where did they go Lord.

2. Rags to riches.

3. Anyday now,

and then a great bunch of other songs.

08-05-2004, 11:46 PM
Oh man, this is way too hard! :blink:

I think his voice was at its most versatile (as far as depth, tenderness, rawness, volume, warmth, range and control goes) pretty much from the '68 Comeback through to perhaps 1971.
Before and after that, in my opinion, some of the ingredients was always missing. So when he was young(er) he missed a bit in depth and thus range, but excelled in enthusiasm.
In 1973, primarily, I think his voice lacked warmth often (like in the Aloha days his voice sometimes had an almost metallic, nasal, edge to it, sharper than his usual smooth tones) and maybe even a bit of control, resulting in some wavering notes.
Later when his health started interfering with his vocal abilities it seems he sometimes was forcing his range by yelling, just to make it seem he was still as powerful as in his healthy days. :'(

This is all just MY perception, how his vocals during the years come across to me, okay, so don't hang me up on some high branch of a big ole tree ;)
I still have vocal favorites in each phase of his career, though, because often "weaknesses" or "flaws" can fit a certain song perfectly, mood wise, which is why Elvis himself often did not do retakes of songs with mistakes in them, because even the flawed versions "felt right".

So, taking the above into consideration these are the first songs that come to mind, in no particular order:

Trying to Get to You ('68 Comeback, vocal range, versatility and strength)
If I Can Dream ('68 Comeback TV version, vocal range, versatility and strength)
American Trilogy (Aloha, probably the best sung song during this concert)
In My Way (Wild in the Country. tenderness, warmth)
You've Lost that Loving Feeling (TTWII, energy, range, rawness)

08-06-2004, 12:04 AM
for me he always had a range and power in his voice.I mean look at 'jailhouse rock' so powerful and such a range and ability through to 'soldier boy' from 1959/1960 he showed a great depth and range ability then.Then to 'so close yet so far' from 1965 so much depth and range.
Then 'if i can dream' from 1968...i can go on.I think you cant pin point a moment in his life when his greatest vocal performance was it was always at a high standard throughout.:worthy: :worthy: :worthy:

08-06-2004, 02:34 AM
my top five of elvis songs :

1. Polk Salad Annie, TTWI 1970

2. Hurt

3. What Now My Love ( The Rehearsal of aloha from hawaii )

4. Mine

5. Bridge Over Trouble Water ( Elvis On Tour 1972)

and if i could i wanted to add five more :)

curtis simpkins
08-06-2004, 05:04 AM
ok here's mine.

1.It hurt's Me-1963-& 1968
2.In Your Arms-1961
3.Three Corn Patches 1973
4.Don't 1957
5.Steamroller Blues 1974 Memphis 20 concert.

6.polk salad annie-1976 on goodbye memphis.
7.Moody Blue
8.T-R-O-U-B-L-E-1975 studio version
9.Burning Love -1972 studio version
10.Shake A Hand-1975.
11.Just Pretend -1970
12.it's a sin-1961
14.Big Boss Man-1974 (Live Version any live version)

theres more. but this is only a hand full. (y)

08-06-2004, 06:42 AM
People always said I have weird (others say 'interesting') taste, but I always greatly liked:

1. Where did they go Lord.

2. Rags to riches.

3. Anyday now,

and then a great bunch of other songs.

There we go! I was waiting for someone to say Rags To Riches (y)

Some of the best for me are RAGS TO RICHES, FROM A JACK TO A KING and WITHOUT LOVE.

Also WHEN IT RAINS IT REALLY POURS from the dressing room rehearsal of the 68 comeback special and TRYING TO GET TO YOU from the sit down shows on the 68 special.


08-06-2004, 07:48 AM
Glad to have been of service WildStyle ;)

Jumpsuit Junkie
08-06-2004, 09:20 AM
People always said I have weird (others say 'interesting') taste, but I always greatly liked:

1. Where did they go Lord.

2. Rags to riches.

3. Anyday now,

and then a great bunch of other songs.

Anyday Now, Thats In my car now just on repeat, I never tire of this song!!

08-06-2004, 03:53 PM
Always liked How great thow atrt cbs special vers

Promisedland. from platinum......

actually there are so many can't really write m down at once......

08-06-2004, 05:37 PM
one vocal performance that rates very highly for me was when he sung 'My Way' - i think it was around June 1977.

He was ill but his voice never failed him. x

08-06-2004, 05:53 PM
Even though I can not call myself a gospel kind of guy, I also like 'He touched me' from the Platinum boxset!

08-06-2004, 05:58 PM
i enjoy some of elvis gospel songs, such as 'Why Me Lord ' Elvis Live in Memphis 3/20/1974, "Miracle Of Rosary " i dont remember the name of the albums but this is one of his best gospel song ( to me ). (y)

08-06-2004, 06:26 PM
Bridge Over Troubled Water- TTWII
Just Pretend- TTWII
Suspicious Minds -Memphis 69
Trying To Get To You & Lawdy Miss Clawdy- NBC 68
How Great Thou Art- In Concert

(y) :clap: (y)

08-07-2004, 10:46 AM
Tricky to say - my favourite vocal performances often change, but these usually put a thrill down my spine.,

If I Can Dream
Where No One Stands Alone (live 77)
Unchained Melody
Tryin to get to You (77)
How Great Thou Art (77)
Bridge over Troubled Water (June 26, 1977).
Note the trend - his vocal power certainly shone through in that last year.

08-07-2004, 12:46 PM
Some good choices by all...and i think Aron has a valid point that throughout his career there are very strong vocal performances to be found. After all...thats why we all like him so much.

Favourites do change from week to week. When i am in the gospel mood there are some great performances to be found there too.

highlights for the moment would be.....

If I Can Dream
Where did they go Lord ?
You'll never walk alone......

to name just a select few :D

08-07-2004, 12:55 PM
Am playing Where did they go Lord right now, it has always been a favorite of mine ... at times I am also quite partial to Heart of Rome!

08-07-2004, 02:37 PM
im back with a new list ;) :D

some other faviourtes:

my boy (studio & live version)
i really dont want to know (studio version)
all i needed was the rain
so close yet so far
peace in the valley
that when your heartache begins
milkcow blues boogie
patch it up (ttwii version)
polk salad annie (any version (y) )
love letters
how great thou art (also any version (y) )
santa claus is back in town
blue christmas
american trilogy
if i can dream

Basically anything really :lol:

08-07-2004, 03:03 PM
Yes, when you add it all up, I guess its basically everything :)

So close yet so far is also a favorite of mine!!

08-22-2004, 01:17 AM
I guess I am the newest member here. My list is:

1-) HURT (June,26th,1977)
2-) AN AMERICAN TRILOGY (January,14th,1973)
3-) UNCHAINED MELODY (June,21st,1977)
4-) HOW GREAT THOU ART (December,13,1975) - bootleg "Just Pretend"
5-) LOVE ME, LOVE THE LIFE I LEAD (1971 Recording Session) - from Elvis Fool Album

08-22-2004, 04:32 AM
1. Surrender - staggering performance.
2. Jailhouse Rock - the original is an underrated vocal performance. It's a challenging song, as can be heard when he tackles it later on
3. Hurt - studio version pips the live versions due to the greater control and tone, even though he began to add one extra note at the end for the live versions
4. Bridge Over Troubled Water - TTWII version is easily the best. It has more subtlety than the On Tour version and is less forced
5. American Trilogy - undecided on the best version. Aloha version is great, but perhaps eclipsed by some 72 performances
6. Are You Lonesome Tonight? - the original is unbeatable. The closest he got to replicating it was the 68 Special version
7. Unchained Melody - April 77 version blows the June version out of the water. Much better breath control and he reaches up to an A on the final 'lonely time', which he doesn't bother with in June. I think June is picked because there is video evidence of the effort he put into singing it and so more of an emotional response to the performance. Definitely inferior though
8. That's All Right - the first and one of the best vocals he would ever record.

Joe Car
08-22-2004, 10:38 PM
Great choices people. Right now my favorite is Surrender. When he sang that song it was like he could do whatever he wanted with his voice, dancing up and down, so beautifully, so in control. His voice though always incredible was beyond compare in the early sixties.