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Thread: Elvis' music in 1977 compared to the rest of pop music in 1977

  1. #1
    TCB Mafia EP75's Avatar
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    Elvis' music in 1977 compared to the rest of pop music in 1977

    First off-this is not to flame EP but to debate and discuss his sound in 1977.

    Have any of you ever realised just how lost EP was in 1977? On stage his routine show was so far from what was going on that year in the rest of pop music that his orchestra's solos were the only thing in his show that sounded remotely close to the sound of 1977. It was as if he didn't care anymore. And it's quite possible he didn't. But the music drastically changed. His show was more commercial and less creative. Actually it was like that the year before even. He just seemed like it was a job and no longer a passion. When EP sang Unchained Melody at the piano for the final time on stage in Rapid City, you could hear the real EP pouring his heart into that performance. But when you hear him sing Bridge Over Troubled Water just 5 days later in Indianapolis, all you hear is a man going through the motions and not delivering his best effort.

    Go back to 1970. The music EP was recording and performing onstage was modern and funky whether it was pop or country or soul or rock. His Vegas shows were as good as anyone could have presented at that time. But unfortunately that can't be said for 1977. EP just seemed far too gone. Not into it anymore. Not wanting to be there. It seems when watching the last year on film that he was just an image of what once was. It's sad to see him like that. And anyone who pokes fun at him in that shape has no heart. EP was a sick man who was dying in that final year. He should have never been onstage in the first place. The June tour was a complete disaster. And CBS should have never been allowed a mile close enough to film EP in that state of mind and health. When I see the Omaha show, I see a zombie. He doesn't really know what's going on. And listening to him talk is very annoying and makes you just want to reach through the tv set and shake him until he snaps out of it. None of us will ever be able to comprehend what it was like to be him or to know why he changed like he did and deteriorated. And what's more sad is that I don't think EP himself knew the answer to that either.

    Back to the sound of 1977. You had some great music that year like the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever by The Bee Gees. When you hear EP in 1977, you begin to understand why the critics came down on him so hard. If he had only gotten cleaned up in 1977 and stayed off stage, fired the Colonel as he did the Memphis Mafia, voided his contract with RCA and went to a company that would not only appreciate his value but who would be willing to rejuvenate his career, then I think he could have made it and been even bigger than he was in 1968 with that remarkable comeback. All it would have taken was a new direction and vision. It's such a crying shame he never got to do that.

    EP's set list for 1977

    CC Rider
    I Got A Woman
    Are You Lonesome Tonight
    Love Me
    If You Love Me
    Fairytale
    You Gave Me A Mountain
    Jailhouse Rock
    And I Love You So
    It's Now Or Never
    How Great Thou Art
    Hurt
    Hound Dog
    My Way
    Can't Help Falling In Love

    EP's set list in 1970

    That's All Right
    Mystery Train/Tiger Man
    Hound Dog
    Love Me Tender
    Sweet Caroline
    I Just Can't Help Believin'
    Just Pretend
    Walk A Mile In My Shoes
    You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
    Polk Salad Annie
    Heartbreak Hotel
    One Night
    All Shook Up
    Blue Suede Shoes
    Patch It Up
    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Suspicious Minds
    Can't Help Falling In Love

    Looking at those two completely different set lists and seeing how hits of that era were included and styles of arrangements compared to the exclusion of hits from 1977 (including his own like Way Down and Moody Blue) just shows how far removed from his own original show EP had became in 1977.
    http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2...-overhaulx.jpg "Without a shadow of a doubt, Bob Sillerman is the BEST thing to happen to the Elvis World in a very long time. Even EPE have stated this. During the next ten years we should see a massive boost for the Elvis Legacy."-courtesy, Brian Quinn

    Check out my blog on the new upcoming Graceland expansion and redevelopment.
    http://gracelandfuture.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EP75 View Post
    First off-this is not to flame EP but to debate and discuss his sound in 1977.

    Have any of you ever realised just how lost EP was in 1977? On stage his routine show was so far from what was going on that year in the rest of pop music that his orchestra's solos were the only thing in his show that sounded remotely close to the sound of 1977. It was as if he didn't care anymore. And it's quite possible he didn't. But the music drastically changed. His show was more commercial and less creative. Actually it was like that the year before even. He just seemed like it was a job and no longer a passion. When EP sang Unchained Melody at the piano for the final time on stage in Rapid City, you could hear the real EP pouring his heart into that performance. But when you hear him sing Bridge Over Troubled Water just 5 days later in Indianapolis, all you hear is a man going through the motions and not delivering his best effort.

    Go back to 1970. The music EP was recording and performing onstage was modern and funky whether it was pop or country or soul or rock. His Vegas shows were as good as anyone could have presented at that time. But unfortunately that can't be said for 1977. EP just seemed far too gone. Not into it anymore. Not wanting to be there. It seems when watching the last year on film that he was just an image of what once was. It's sad to see him like that. And anyone who pokes fun at him in that shape has no heart. EP was a sick man who was dying in that final year. He should have never been onstage in the first place. The June tour was a complete disaster. And CBS should have never been allowed a mile close enough to film EP in that state of mind and health. When I see the Omaha show, I see a zombie. He doesn't really know what's going on. And listening to him talk is very annoying and makes you just want to reach through the tv set and shake him until he snaps out of it. None of us will ever be able to comprehend what it was like to be him or to know why he changed like he did and deteriorated. And what's more sad is that I don't think EP himself knew the answer to that either.

    Back to the sound of 1977. You had some great music that year like the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever by The Bee Gees. When you hear EP in 1977, you begin to understand why the critics came down on him so hard. If he had only gotten cleaned up in 1977 and stayed off stage, fired the Colonel as he did the Memphis Mafia, voided his contract with RCA and went to a company that would not only appreciate his value but who would be willing to rejuvenate his career, then I think he could have made it and been even bigger than he was in 1968 with that remarkable comeback. All it would have taken was a new direction and vision. It's such a crying shame he never got to do that.

    EP's set list for 1977

    CC Rider
    I Got A Woman
    Are You Lonesome Tonight
    Love Me
    If You Love Me
    Fairytale
    You Gave Me A Mountain
    Jailhouse Rock
    And I Love You So
    It's Now Or Never
    How Great Thou Art
    Hurt
    Hound Dog
    My Way
    Can't Help Falling In Love

    EP's set list in 1970

    That's All Right
    Mystery Train/Tiger Man
    Hound Dog
    Love Me Tender
    Sweet Caroline
    I Just Can't Help Believin'
    Just Pretend
    Walk A Mile In My Shoes
    You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
    Polk Salad Annie
    Heartbreak Hotel
    One Night
    All Shook Up
    Blue Suede Shoes
    Patch It Up
    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Suspicious Minds
    Can't Help Falling In Love

    Looking at those two completely different set lists and seeing how hits of that era were included and styles of arrangements compared to the exclusion of hits from 1977 (including his own like Way Down and Moody Blue) just shows how far removed from his own original show EP had became in 1977.
    EP75....you had an interesting thread going there for awhile, why did you have to bring up Bob Sillerman?

  3. #3
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    when I look at what was going on around Elvis and the music business, I just can't believe how out of touch Elvis was and really had no part on the charts. He was a mix of Country, Rock N Roll, Ballads, Gospel. I read somewhere that Marty Lacker first presented the song, Moody Blue, to Elvis in 1973. I just can't help but think how different it might have sounded.
    He just had his own following and lost any interest in recording new songs. He was basically the first Elvis Impersonator.

  4. #4
    TCB Mafia cameron's Avatar
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    Maybe you should return to Sillerman.
    I've heard all this before. No thanks .
    "I have learned never to ridicule any man's opinion, however strange it may seem."

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    For once Jay and I completely agree.

    In 1977 Elvis had lost interest in performing, at least in making the performances fresh. Too bad. He needed a break.

    The same could be said about the studio. We all know the story about the trouble it took to get him to record. Songs like Moody Blue and Pledging My Love were top quality, and he was ALWAYS great at the small combo type rock n roll like Way Down. However, those songs were so out of touch with what was happening in 1977. I don't think for a minute he should have tried to record dance, disco or punk. I do think he could have regrouped and continued more in the country vein and explored that part of his roots. It may not be what the critics wanted, but it would have been fresh and quality stuff. At the very least it would have been music that no one could have criticized.

    Despite the lower quality of his stage show, I do believe he was one of the top concert draws for 1976 and 1977.

  6. #6
    International Level rickb's Avatar
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    I think Moody Blue and Way Down were excellent contemporary songs and it was remarkable and disappointing that they weren't a regular part of his show.
    They definitely should have been featured in EIC.
    I don't agree with the analysis of Bridge on 26-6-77. I think that is a wonderful version.
    His set had stagnated for two years and should have been refreshed or, more probably, put on hold for a good break.
    Sadly I don't think elvis was in condition to do so.
    Rick

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    TCB Mafia Miss Clawdy's Avatar
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    I don't think Elvis' problem was his set list or the change of music in 1977. I am sorry to say it again, but the only reason for Elvis bad condition and lack of interest was his health and drug problem. If he had remained in the good shape of the Elvis of 68 - 72, just a little older, I am sure he could have sung and performed no matter what song and it would have been great. He was Elvis and didn't depend on following whatever sort of trend.

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    TCB Mafia jak's Avatar
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    By the time 1977 rolled around,Elvis was basically just a live act.He had given up on studio recordings at this point due to his lack of interest.He was no longer influencing music at the time with what he was doing.Music was going in different directions and Elvis was just plodding along playing secondary markets over and over.I like lots of the material he was doing but overall I wish the "king" wasnt up there singing Olivia Newton John or Andy Williams songs.Calling him the first Elvis impersonator is 100% correct.
    Jak

  9. #9

    .

    Quote Originally Posted by EP75 View Post
    When EP sang Unchained Melody at the piano for the final time on stage in Rapid City
    Elvis sang Unchained Melody for the final time in Cincinnati, June 25th, 1977, not Rapid City.

    By 1977, Elvis didn't care about updating or putting any serious effort into his shows.

    He had stopped rehearsals in 1974.

    But this is not to say he had stopped caring about the fans and delivering the music. His mistake was probably believing that the basic set list was enough for fans.

    I mean, how many times can you hear C.C.Rider, I Got A Woman, Love Me etc etc ad infinitum? I don't know about you, but most of the later shows bore me; the "jewels" like Release Me from Indy or I Just Can't Help Believing (Vegas, '76) are too few and far between.

    Who knows, had he gotten off the drugs and made it back on track, his shows may have improved.

    Too many what ifs, methinks ...
    Getlo - cute'n'cuddly

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    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    I can't see how Elvis would have been able to blend in with say hard rock and metal rock...it wasn't his style no more than we could picture Sinatra singing rock or country songs. He could have up-dated his programs with new songs but I'm dead sure he wouldn't have gone for the crashing electrical sounds obliterating the singers' voices that came with the new rock style.

    Diane

  11. #11

    re

    You can see the changing already coming in in 1974...he was getting bored by touring.
    I don't know if it's true,but when you look at the setlist,you can see that from that point the setlist is almost the same all over the year.It change sometimes,but he didn't do those rare songs he did in 1970.It was almost always the same show,and when you look at the end of 1976,he did some rare songs and songs he hadn't perfomed for a while,but when I listen to him singing sweet Carolin in Vegas '76 I don't think he still could managed it...though I still like the performance.He should have done more songs from his latest albums and stop trying to perfom those old songs...he simply couldn't do them anymore.And I think he knew that and that's why he always did the same show with some oldies like Hound Dog and Jailhouse Rock.
    I'd like to go to Graceland
    Memphis,Tennessee

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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    I think Elvis could have fit into the country rock scene easily. In 77 I recall he was getting more airtime on country station "WIL in St. Louis" than he was on the rock stations-and his songs like "For the Heart" "Hurt" "Way Down" and "Moody Blue" fit well in their format. If he had somehow turned himself around I think the type music he had been making would have ended up getting the most airplay on country and country rock stations.

  13. #13
    SleepyJack
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    So can anyone give us a few examples of the "Classics" from 1977 that Elvis,had he been on form,would have had to compete with?

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    So can anyone give us a few examples of the "Classics" from 1977 that Elvis,had he been on form,would have had to compete with?
    Well, there was that towering success through the decades, Peter Frampton, lol. The Bee Gees certainly were popular, but I don't think they ever were critical darlings. Fleetwood Mac had a good decade, though.

    I agree with KPM that Elvis would have fit in fine on country and country-rock stations (just as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis did). Elvis' problems in 1977 were the drugs, his health and his state of mind, not the fact that there was no place for him in the music of the 70s.

  15. #15
    TCB Mafia EP75's Avatar
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    A great set list and possibly the best ever for an EP concert was the opening night of August 1974. He opened with Big Boss Man, Proud Mary, Down In The Alley and Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues. Can you imagine what the image of the Aloha concert today would would be like had this had been the set list instead of Welcome To My World, What Now My Love, and It's Over? In the 1974 show he was creative and just by the set list alone you can tell that he was into it, having fun and enjoying his self. But for some reason he went right back to the old routine set list the following night.

    It's a real shame that EP did not record more songs like It's Easy For You and Way Down. What a loss and mistake on his part to dismiss Fire Down Below. That would have been his best rock song in years. He didn't have to sound like Freddy Mercury or KISS to still be popular to the main stream back then. Elton John was the hottest ticket on the planet in the mid 70's and he was basically pop rock. Even EP knew this and recorded the Tim Rice song, It's Easy For You for the Moody Blue LP. If only EP would have gotten great lyrical songs like Don't Let The Sun Shine Down On Me or Yellow Brick Road. Songs like this might have saved his pop career. I guess we'll never know will we.
    http://i.usatoday.net/life/_photos/2...-overhaulx.jpg "Without a shadow of a doubt, Bob Sillerman is the BEST thing to happen to the Elvis World in a very long time. Even EPE have stated this. During the next ten years we should see a massive boost for the Elvis Legacy."-courtesy, Brian Quinn

    Check out my blog on the new upcoming Graceland expansion and redevelopment.
    http://gracelandfuture.blogspot.com/

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    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alessia View Post
    Well, there was that towering success through the decades, Peter Frampton, lol. The Bee Gees certainly were popular, but I don't think they ever were critical darlings. Fleetwood Mac had a good decade, though.

    I agree with KPM that Elvis would have fit in fine on country and country-rock stations (just as Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis did). Elvis' problems in 1977 were the drugs, his health and his state of mind, not the fact that there was no place for him in the music of the 70s.
    The Eagles were very big at that time as well. Along with The Steve Miller Band, Linda Rondstat, Billy Joel and Elton John.

  17. #17
    SleepyJack
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    I think Elvis could have competed with anyone mentioned so far...had his interest in the music been revitalised and his health sorted out.Still,knowing Elvis it`s hard to say what direction he might have took had he been left to his own devices.I often wonder what he would have thought of Paul Simon`s work with African music,the "Graceland" album etc.,reckon he would have loved something like that,given his love for voices,harmonies,gospel music etc....interesting thought.

  18. #18

    re

    I think Elvis made the right choices for his records.
    Maybe he could have done more greater songs,but I like the songs he recorded for his last albums.
    I'd like to go to Graceland
    Memphis,Tennessee

  19. #19
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Elvis was Elvis, I don't think the fans really challenged Elvis, they just accepted his music and his condition. They came to his concerts come what may, they weren't especially looking to hear anything groundbreaking. Elvis could of sat in an armchair all night and still people would have come to see him! This is part of the problem and Elvis knew this IMO. Elvis was unfulfilled in his career in the movies, then after mid 1973 disenfranchised with touring, the change in the set list was Elvis trying to break the mould, the fans didn't want that.. and the bell started to toll.

    I don't want to place blame here, but.... there is a culture with celebrities that reach the heights that Elvis did, of wanting and expecting the same formulaic set up week after week, year after year. If Elvis was a parody of himself by 1977 the fans have to accept a certain amount of the responsibility, if the fans had voted with their feet instead of making excuses, changes would have been made.

    I sometimes feel we are all to willing to lay the blame at Elvis' feet for all the ills that became him, however it is evident although Elvis was weak in certain areas of his life, there is an element of expectation from us the fans that contributed to the stagnation of the king

  20. #20
    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    I do have to agree with that Matt. Quite a few fans were still stuck on Hound Dog and Blue Suede Shoes in the 70's and had a hard time accepting the more exceptional material he was desperately trying to get across to them.

    Diane

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