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Thread: 1956 vs 1957 song quality

  1. #1
    Cadillac King Trelane P's Avatar
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    1956 vs 1957 song quality

    In my (humble) opinion, Elvis only recorded two classic rock & roll songs in 1957:

    • Jailhouse Rock
    • Santa Claus Is Back In Town


    There are other good songs yes, but I would class other contenders as lighter weight pop. There are also a few (very few) rock & roll songs but they range from good to OK to poor.

    Why, oh why, oh why in that case did BMG leave Santa Claus Is Back In Town OFF the track list of their latest album: From Jailhouse To Graceland - The Complete 1957 Recordings

    How can the use the word COMPLETE? None of the í57 Christmas tracks are on their.

    That aside, 1956 provided so many classic rock & roll songs from Elvis, I find it interesting that the 1957 catalogue differs so much. Interestingly, I think it picks up again in 1958 with many great rock & roll songs.

    Generally, I would have to confess that I think the QUANTITY of classic songs (regardless of genre) dropped to a degree in 1957 but rose again in 1958. I notice that when I make compilation CDs, I use a lot of 1956, little 1957 and a lot of 1958.

    Anyone else agree? Iím willing to bet most would disagree but there must be someone out there with similar tastes to me.

    One afterthought, Bill Black's double bass playing was part of the foundation of that raw 54, 55 & 56 rock & roll sound. In 1957 he changed to electric guitar which came across with a smoother/polished feel. I prefer his earlier slapping days.
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  2. #2
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Great post, Trelane.

    Reminds me of the documentary Elvis '56 and it made the point near the end there that Elvis' final performance on the Ed Sullivan show in early '57 featured an Elvis who seemed a little more wrapped up in the image (I don't mean in a conceited way...hard for me to explain) and was more playful with the audience. He had lost, though perhaps consciously and not irrevocably, that harder edge to his performance style.

    Maybe that came with a degree of comfort about his career; he might have gotten to the point where he did not have that nagging sensation all the time that he was going to wake up and it would all be gone. And that may have come through in his recordings and in the material that he chose.

    But understand I am not saying the man couldn't rock anymore in '57. He might have just chilled a tad and no longer had the hunger, so some of the rawness was lost. There may also have been a conscious effort to sound more refined.
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Trelane P View Post
    In my (humble) opinion, Elvis only recorded two classic rock & roll songs in 1957:

    • Jailhouse Rock
    • Santa Claus Is Back In Town

    ... and (Let's Have A) Party and Baby, I Don't Care
    Last edited by Getlo; 01-25-2008 at 12:39 PM.
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    Backstage Pass jon_burrows's Avatar
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    In 1956 Elvis' music was "new" to the world so everyone remembers those songs as being "classics" with some great Rock 'n' Roll songs included in that year. Elvis was fresh and raw and launched into those recording sessions with passion.
    In 1957 Elvis spent more time in Hollywood making movies so he may have had to dedicate more of his time to his acting career. Time spent researching/recording top class Rock 'n' Roll songs may have suffered slightly.
    By the end of '57 and the beginning of '58 Elvis probably found his bearings (musically)again and maybe felt comfortable enough with his acting career that he could once again concentrate on his music.

    I think '56, '57 and '58 were all great years for Elvis with excellent songs and the best movies of his career.
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  5. #5
    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trelane P View Post
    One afterthought, Bill Black's double bass playing was part of the foundation of that raw 54, 55 & 56 rock & roll sound. In 1957 he changed to electric guitar which came across with a smoother/polished feel. I prefer his earlier slapping days.
    You may be right in this one (Bill Black's bass)...

    Quote Originally Posted by jon_burrows View Post
    I think '56, '57 and '58 were all great years for Elvis with excellent songs and the best movies of his career.
    Hey... You are so right in this!
    Let the stars fade and fall, and I won't care at all, as long as I have you.
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  6. #6
    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    1956, '57 & '58 Changed the music history. I haven't heard the box-set u talk about, but I guess the 1956 year is always choosen by producers because is the most known one. I believe this early years of Elvis' career are not known by the common of people. But the '56 one is the year that people can remember the most and they would ge it. You can start with that one and then move to '57 and on. Get my point?... (gee! Is hard to explain)
    I love all 50s songs anyway...
    Let the stars fade and fall, and I won't care at all, as long as I have you.
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    International Level SeeSeeRider777's Avatar
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    Dont forget- Got a Lot O' Living To Do
    "When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was a hero in the movie. So every dream that I ever dreamed has come true a hundred times. I learned very early in life that without a song, the day would never end; without a song, a man ain't got a friend; without a song, the road would never bend; without a song. So I keep singing a song." - Elvis Presley

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    International Level rickb's Avatar
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    Mean Woman Blues isn't too shabby either

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    Backstage Pass EP6873's Avatar
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  10. #10
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    Interesting subject. I think 1958 also saw an increase in more rock and roll from 1957.

  11. #11
    Walking In Memphis Sonny's Avatar
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    By the time of 1958 things changed in the music field. Elvis would have gone along with those changes, even without army times.

    But the songs named are rock and roll from that period. It's not narrowed down to the two mentioned in the original first post.

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