BTW, Love Letters LP is a poor album. What the reviewer was saying was Elvis' efforts were drowned out by the overdubbed and overblown horns, strings and background voices. All of which I and anyone with ears would agree.
Last edited by rocknroll; 04-11-2008 at 09:52 PM.
Hey Getlo, I owe you a big apology. You're point about, Elvis Country and On Stage LP brought out a good point.
Brother in Elvis - Levi Silver
It was a hodge-podge of different styles and music. If you like harder music from Elvis you are not going to like it much. When the mood strikes me I like to listen to it.
IMO His recording career was directed by one thing most of the time-what Elvis liked and wanted to do at the time. He made some great music that way, but when a strong creative force was helping him-Sam Phillips, Chips Moman, Steve Binder etc.... his music had more direction and he did his best work. The collaboration, and boundaries, they brought to the studio helped harness his best work.
As I pointed out if Elvis had been allowed to collaborate more with people who could bring ideas and direction to the musical table he would have not relied basically on himself for musical inspiration. That also would have helped with his consistancy in the studio. No artist grows forever on just his instincts alone. Other people help you grow when they bring energy and talent into the mix. The Col. never did see this as a necessity-and Elvis may have felt it was not needed- but he seemed to excel when someone else helped push him with ideas. The Col. (not being an artist unless you count con artist) did not understand this-he would push Elvis to fullfill his contracts-but would balk at suggestions of artistic change. Would we have had the great Elvis rebirth in 68 if Parkers idea for the special had been followed? Steve Binder told Elvis ther truth about how the special should go and got Elvis motivated and involved in the idea process. Parker hated outsiders becoming too involved with Elvis. (Leiber and Stoller being warned by the COl not to advise Elvis are an example of this) Parker wanted Elvis to be suspicious of others who wanted to become creatively involved with him. Bad direction.
The Love Letters "hodge podge album was not bad now and then"-the trouble was it happened too often. Back into the late 50s to the 60s "For LP Fans Only" "Pot Luck" "Something For Everybody" when Elvis got bored in the studio they "hodge podged" Parker never recognized the need for creative interplay-only contract fullfillment. He truely believed their were 400,000 500,000 thousand hard core fans who would buy anything (which probably was true) so he felt that the fan base covered making a profit and fullfilling contracts with anything that was recorded.
Why was the Colonel that way? Was he afraid he would lose his grip on his boy?? Yes, there were lots of fans like myself that would buy anything that Elvis put out. But...why couldn't the Col. see that fabulous material would only INCREASE the number of sales, thereby putting more money in the Col.'s pockets as well.
IMO he was always afraid Elvis would slip away or become to independant and pull away. IMO he wanted Elvis to believe Parker was more responsible for the his great success-than Elvis's talent and charisma. That without Parkers management-Elvis's career would die. DEPENDENCY was his con.
Parker worked for Eddy Arnold and Hank Snow-but never made the kind of money which he did with Elvis. Also Parker never had the power with Arnold or Snow that he possessed with Elvis. So I do think he never wanted Elvis very chummy with anyone who might lead to a more enlightened Elvis.
A pont being lost in this discussion is the fact that Elvis no longer enjoyed recording anymore for the most part.Hence the subpar material and weak performances that dogged his later work.Elvis just didnt put much effort into recording period at that point.After a huge surge the Love Letters lp was a major step backwards.
[QUOTE=rocknroll;205054]Too bad for Elvis. He should have been his own man. No ones fault but his own.[/QUOTE]
In a perfect world where you can trust everyone, where you are not lied to, where you can accept someones word of "working for your best interest" I would agree. But this is not a perfect world. Not then- not now.
I know you and I differ somewhat on this subject, but are opinions do cross over here and there.
I agree. I don't think it would have upset him because it never put him down. In fact, it was coming from a fan who believed in him very much and wanted him to give us his best. I enjoyed the review and although I like many of the songs on there even a couple of the ones he put down, I overall agree with the review. The album could definitely have been better. Here's the thing though, "Love Letters" is basically a hodge podge of what's left after "That's The Way It Is" and "Elvis Country". I think this album overall are the rejects from those two GREAT albums.
"I always liked that hillbilly."