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Thread: 40 years since the American Sessions

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    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    40 years since the American Sessions

    Its been 40 years folks since Elvis set foot in American Studios to record some of his best known work, which would yeild him his last #1 single, Suspicious Minds. From these sessions, Elvis would record some incredible music - from the passionate "Long Black Limousine", the tender "Do you Know Who I Am?", the best blues he ever made "Stranger in My Hometown", the pleading "This is the Story", the urgent "Kentucky Rain" ..... and so many more great tracks.

    We all know the story that after a decade of stale movie soundtracks, Elvis made great music with some of the best musicians, producer (Chips Moman) and great material, something which always seemed to be in short supply. Although we know the reasons that Elvis never returned to American or Chips to make another LP, I have always wonder what could have happened if he would have. Could Chips have been able to extract that same passion from Elvis a second time, especially in the mid-70's, what material could Chips have offered Elvis and would it have made any difference in the end.

    But, most will agree that this was a truly landmark session!!!!!!

    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

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    TCB Mafia kathy parkinson's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Agree with that, i went there in August 87 with the British Fan Club, even though it was run down i knew i was standing in a magical place.

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    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    I agree with you too Liz. I think if Elvis has stayed around Chips Moman he would have been more inspired to try new things.

    Diane

  4. #4
    SleepyJack
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Hard to believe that it has been that long....it`s a lasting tribute to Elvis,Chips and everyone involved in those sessions that it sounds as fresh and alive today as it ever did. It would have been great to have seen them work together again after that....they really seemed to work well together.

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    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyJack View Post
    Hard to believe that it has been that long....it`s a lasting tribute to Elvis,Chips and everyone involved in those sessions that it sounds as fresh and alive today as it ever did. It would have been great to have seen them work together again after that....they really seemed to work well together.
    Very true. Each tune sounds like something that could still be in anyone's musical catalogue. I don't think that all of Elvis' music sounds as fresh and timeless as the music he made at American nor do I think had any of these songs been recorded by another artist, they would be as entertaining, but the combination of Elvis Presley and Chips Moman certainly have some serious magic!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

  6. #6
    SleepyJack
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Not to take this one off topic...but..... Anyone think that maybe Elvis would have been better off not using the same band almost all of the time in the `70s studio sessions? Would the music have been better had he recorded with a more varied lineup of musicians?...It certainly seemed to work in `69.

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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by SleepyJack View Post
    Not to take this one off topic...but..... Anyone think that maybe Elvis would have been better off not using the same band almost all of the time in the `70s studio sessions? Would the music have been better had he recorded with a more varied lineup of musicians?...It certainly seemed to work in `69.
    I think you have a point-new musicians now and then to add something new would have been a good idea. Not to replace the regular guys he was comfortible with but to augment them and energize the recording process.
    Work in Progress!

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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    [QUOTE=ehollier;283504[SIZE=3][COLOR=black]But, most will agree that this was a truly landmark session!!!!!!



    I think it would have been one of those times to be a fly on the wall-to hear and see the magic!
    Work in Progress!

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    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    [quote=KPM;283557]
    Quote Originally Posted by ehollier;283504[SIZE=3
    [color=black]But, most will agree that this was a truly landmark session!!!!!!



    I think it would have been one of those times to be a fly on the wall-to hear and see the magic!

    No kidding. The Elvis-Jordan site has the all 5 bootleg CD's - I think entitled "American Sessions" with quite a bit of the studio chatter between takes from those recording sessions. I would have loved to been a there....
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

  10. #10
    SleepyJack
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    I`ve got one of them.."American Way-Sound of the city"...can`t remember where it came in the order...might have been the fourth. It`s great to hear them working away in the studio....and so different to the outtakes from any other session.....Love to have all of them!

  11. #11
    Cadillac King memphis69's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    THE MEMPHIS SESSIONS OF 1969 PRODUCED SOME OF THE BEST MUSIC ELVIS EVER RECORDED!! IT IS A TRUE MUSIC MASTERPIECE. SONGS LIKE "ANY DAY NOW" AND "LONG BLACK LIMOUSINE" ARE JUST BRILLIANT. HIS VOICE IS SO POWERFUL AND TENDER WHEN HE SINGS THE BALLADS. IT'S A SHAME ELVIS DIDN'T GO BACK THERE AGAIN TO RECORD. I HAVE THE "AMERICAN WAY SERIES" OF CDS AND ITS AN ESSENTIAL PURCHASE IT GIVES A GREAT INSIGHT INTO THESE SESSIONS. LOVE IT!!

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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    I recall starting a thread a while ago about the Memphis sessions being overrated. I don't recall anyone on this board back then that thought these sessions were overrated except Albert and myself.

    I thought the sessions were good but not as great as their made out to be
    and don't think it's the greatest session he ever did.

    I think And the Grass won't pay no mind is the best song he did at the sessions.

  13. #13
    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I recall starting a thread a while ago about the Memphis sessions being overrated. I don't recall anyone on this board back then that thought these sessions were overrated except Albert and myself.

    I thought the sessions were good but not as great as their made out to be
    and don't think it's the greatest session he ever did.

    I think And the Grass won't pay no mind is the best song he did at the sessions.
    I do recall that thread and am not surprised by your opinion on these sessions, as you are entitled to your opinion. However, you cannot discount the American Sessions as just another LP by EP. It was a groundbreaking session for him if only because he was challenged a bit and worked with a group of new players, including Chips. Elvis was a creature of habit and didn't like to go out of his comfort zone. To expose himself to new players and music in an unfamiliar location had to have him a little nervous. If you read Peter Guralnick's summary of these sessions and EP's attitude, he gives a good idea of how things played out.

    However, he did make good music that had a different sound than all of the recording in Nashville and it may just be a matter of personal preference whether or not you like the more soulful feeling of the American Sessions or the distinctive sound of Nashville and it did yield him his last #1 song.
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by ehollier View Post
    I do recall that thread and am not surprised by your opinion on these sessions, as you are entitled to your opinion. However, you cannot discount the American Sessions as just another LP by EP. It was a groundbreaking session for him if only because he was challenged a bit and worked with a group of new players, including Chips. Elvis was a creature of habit and didn't like to go out of his comfort zone. To expose himself to new players and music in an unfamiliar location had to have him a little nervous. If you read Peter Guralnick's summary of these sessions and EP's attitude, he gives a good idea of how things played out.

    .
    The thread got a good 63 replies

    I said the sessions were good but not great and I do think FEIM is one of Elvis better LP's but at the end of the day I do think it is just another LP from Elvis.

    I think Peter Guralnick is quite possibly the most overrater writer ever in Elvis history maybe one of the all time overrated writers in history in any writing genre but that discussion is for a different time.

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    Backstage Pass vegas 74's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    [quote=KPM;283557]
    Quote Originally Posted by ehollier;283504[SIZE=3
    [COLOR=black]But, most will agree that this was a truly landmark session!!!!!!



    I think it would have been one of those times to be a fly on the wall-to hear and see the magic!
    Back in Memphis is and always will be one of my favorite albums.
    I am very lucky to own a small piece of Elvis American Sound Studios. It is a acoustic tile that was in the "singers booth". It is signed on the back by Bill Glore who owned the studio and also signed papers and lists of all the other singers who also recorded in the booth. The tile was auctioned on the 16 august 1984. I have a set of all the out takes, and i get such a "Buzz" when i get to play them and look at the tile.
    I have some pics of the inside of the studio and Bill Glore, I will try to find them.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Picture 527.jpg   Picture 529.jpg   Picture 530.jpg  

    Picture 531.jpg  

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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    The thread got a good 63 replies

    I said the sessions were good but not great and I do think FEIM is one of Elvis better LP's but at the end of the day I do think it is just another LP from Elvis.I think Peter Guralnick is quite possibly the most overrater writer ever in Elvis history maybe one of the all time overrated writers in history in any writing genre but that discussion is for a different time.
    So what do you see as the top album by Elvis from 68 on?
    If this is just "another album"- if the 69 sessions were just typical Elvis sessions-and the singing, production, and material were just another album I must have listened to something else, The world must have listened to something else, the critics must have listened to something else. IMO


    I think most here would agree his 2 volumes "Last Train to Memphis" and "Careless Love" are definitive as of this date.
    Gurlanick went way beyond normal research compared to any other book on Elvis.
    You may not like what he wrote-or how he wrote it-but this man spent years researching these books. He has to have a very intimate knowledge of Elvis, his associates and associations that few who did not actually know Elvis have. I mean if you spend years interviewing practically every conceivable person who dealt with Elvis, examine hundreds of documents and news clippings- you are bound to learn something-you are bound to put a pretty accurate picture of those involved and the story told.
    Work in Progress!

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    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I recall starting a thread a while ago about the Memphis sessions being overrated.
    No surprise there...
    Quote Originally Posted by KPM View Post
    So what do you see as the top album by Elvis from 68 on?
    If this is just "another album"- if the 69 sessions were just typical Elvis sessions-and the singing, production, and material were just another album I must have listened to something else, The world must have listened to something else, the critics must have listened to something else. IMO
    That's my question as well Ken.

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    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I think Peter Guralnick is quite possibly the most overrater writer ever in Elvis history maybe one of the all time overrated writers in history in any writing genre but that discussion is for a different time.
    Quote Originally Posted by KPM View Post
    I think most here would agree his 2 volumes "Last Train to Memphis" and "Careless Love" are definitive as of this date.
    Gurlanick went way beyond normal research compared to any other book on Elvis.
    Not just most here Ken, most everywhere agree that's it's not only the best, most definitive book ever written on Elvis, but it's also among the top definitive books ever written on anyone.

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    Backstage Pass vegas 74's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    [quote=vegas 74;283595]
    Quote Originally Posted by KPM View Post

    Back in Memphis is and always will be one of my favorite albums.
    I am very lucky to own a small piece of Elvis American Sound Studios. It is a acoustic tile that was in the "singers booth". It is signed on the back by Bill Glore who owned the studio and also signed papers and lists of all the other singers who also recorded in the booth. The tile was auctioned on the 16 august 1984. I have a set of all the out takes, and i get such a "Buzz" when i get to play them and look at the tile.
    I have some pics of the inside of the studio and Bill Glore, I will try to find them.
    Found em!....Bill with Dick Clark
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Picture 231.jpg   Picture 230.jpg  

  20. #20
    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Re: 40 years since the American Sessions

    Quote Originally Posted by utmom2008 View Post
    Not just most here Ken, most everywhere agree that's it's not only the best, most definitive book ever written on Elvis, but it's also among the top definitive books ever written on anyone.
    Absolutely!!!!!! You don't have to like Peter or the journalism style; however, he does get credit for a very well, researched book on Elvis Presley. I am in no position to correct the facts of his work, as I give credit to his references; but he set the bar in writing factual works, biographies. When one compares Peter to Goldman, we have come a long way in writing about other people. And you don't have to necessarily use Elvis as the example. Peter and Goldman have other written work.
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

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