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Thread: 70's Elvis underrated?

  1. #1

    70's Elvis underrated?

    As a fan of the 70's Elvis I think that the media ignores or overlooks his work in the 70's. We all know the history behind the live performer in the 70's but much is forgotten on the studio recordings that Elvis made during that final period of his life. Let's take a look at the sessions year by year.

    In June of 1970 Elvis recorded at RCA Studio in Nashville. Some masterpieces were recorded during that session. Songs like I Washed My Hands In Muddy Water, Just Pretend, Tomorrow Never Comes, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and Bridge Over Troubled Water. Throw in some lesser known hidden gems like The Next Step Is Love, Patch It Up, and Mary In The Morning and you have a strong solid collection of brilliance.

    In May of 1971, Elvis returned to Nashville to cut some more music. Although there weren't smash hits this time, there were some hidden gems like I'm Leavin, It's Only Love, We Can Make The Morning and the folk song, Early Morning Rain. Elvis also cut a terrific gospel album in 1971 that won a Grammy for Best Gospel Album Of The Year.

    The Hollywood sessions in 1972 produced two classic Elvis songs with Always On My Mind and his last US #1 hit, Burning Love. Also recorded during that session were Where Do I Go From Here, Fool, For The Good Times, and the haunting and personal Separate Ways written by bodyguard, Red West.

    In July of '73, Elvis returned home to Memphis and his roots to record at the world famous Stax Studio where he cut a couple of top 40 hits, I've Got A Thing About You Baby and Raised On Rock. Elvis also cut a few 70's funky tracks like If You Don't Come Back that had that Isaac Hayes-Shaft feel and the bluesy Just A Little Bit.

    The December sessions were much more productive with masterpieces like Promised Land, his last true rocker, a top 20 hit with If You Talk In Your Sleep, and the touching My Boy which was a surprisingly large hit in '75. There were some hidden gems during those sessions in Memphis in December like Thinking About You, Love Song Of The Year, Good Time Charlie's Got The Blues, Spanish Eyes, It's Midnight and the uptempo high energetic track, I Got A Feeling In My Body. The '73 sessions combined featured 9 different songs to reach a chart position ranging from the Pop to the Easy listening and the UK charts.

    Elvis didn't record any studio tracks in 1974.

    The 1975 album Today produced arguably Elvis' finest studio album of the decade as all 10 tracks were recorded for the album. It was also Elvis' only pop contemporary album of the 70's where all studio tracks recorded appeared on the same album. The session featured some hidden gems like the country rocker T-R-0-U-B-L-E and the bluesy Shake A Hand. But the most personal song on the album was also the closest the world ever came to hear what a song would sound like if Elvis ever wrote his own feelings into one with Pieces Of My Life. In my honest opinion, quite possibly the most underrated Elvis song ever.

    The final sessions from January to October of '76 didn't present any masterpieces but it delivered a few powerful vocal performances with songs like Hurt, I'll Never Fall In Love Again, Solitaire and DannY Boy. In October, Elvis would cut the last songs of his life including the hit single, Way Down and the Tim Rice penned It's Easy For You. Elvis' last ever song recorded was a Jim Reeves classic, He'll Have To Go.

    For an artist who's best work is said to be his early recordings he sure did have quite a bit of chart success to the end of his life 20 years later.
    Last edited by vivaelvis; 07-20-2011 at 08:33 PM.
    Check out my new blog about Elvis Presley @ http://elvis21century.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
    TCB Mafia Joe Car's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Very good run down of the 70's. It's easy to forget about how many people became fans of Elvis, during this decade!

  3. #3

    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    I appreciate that Joe! Thank you. I was one of those fans who discovered Elvis in the 70's at a very young age.
    Check out my new blog about Elvis Presley @ http://elvis21century.blogspot.com/

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    Cadillac King david72's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Elvis had lots of great work in the 70s!! Great job on the run down alot of my favorite songs are from the 70s!!

  5. #5

    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Very true! Elvis was very underated in the 70's I became a fan of the 70's Elvis when I was young, I always liked his powerful more matured voice over the Fifties period, the albums I think where great in the 70's, and it's such a shame alot of these songs are not played or very underated by some. I have played quite a few songs for friends, such as My Boy to Love Letters to Hurt and they are blown away by the fact that it's Elvis, and even more so by the performance! And as far as impersonaters go by far all of them perform as 70's Elvis! He was and is The King! 70's Elvis is by far the best! TCB!!

  6. #6

    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    I love Elvis in the 50's and 60's But my favorite Elvis is the Elvis of the 70's .....1969-70 He was unbeatable ....His voice so powerful ...man he was great in every era who could touch him in the 50's? who had the most beautiful vocal in the 60's? who was the greatest intertainer in the 70?

  7. #7
    International Level rickb's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Love the 70s stuff, his voice was still strong, if not stronger, and had even more emotion.

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    TCB Mafia debtdbruno's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    agree..........it's my fav period
    "NO-ONE, BUT NO-ONE,IS HIS EQUAL, OR EVER WILL BE. HE WAS, AND IS SUPREME".Mick Jagger

  9. #9
    PeacockLady Diane's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    My favorite period as well. So seldom do I hear the radio stations play the best of his songs during that time.

  10. #10
    With Elvis On Tour!!! Jungleroom76's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    EXCELLENT SYNOPSIS OF ELVIS' 70'S WORK MY FRIEND!!!!

    I have always been a fan of Elvis' 70's material, and like you, have always felt that for the most part, his 70's recordings seldom get the respect or recognition they deserve!! To the general public, the 1970's Elvis consisted of BURNING LOVE and the ALOHA FROM HAWAII special. That's it!! And the sad part is, there is SO much more great music that is being overlooked!!!

    Of course, as I have said before, the fact that the man's own namesake company, EPE, doesn't help matters by marketing Elvis the way they do. Basically, if you go solely by EPE's marketing strategy, Elvis died after the ALOHA special. Seldom do you see anything else mentioned or promoted by EPE!!! If it weren't for the FTD label, us fans certainly wouldn't have ever gotten any of the great concert material that has been released by the collector's label. EPE certainly would never have allowed RCA/Sony/BMG to release any of those soundboard recordings on the main label!! Whenever the main label releases some kind of concert compilation, it's always the same albums that the songs are taken from -- ELVIS IN PERSON, ON STAGE, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN and ALOHA. Elvis performed over 1,100 shows during the 1970's, but if you were to only believe RCA and EPE, he only performed about half a dozen shows!!! Clearly not every concert was a good one during those 1,100+ shows...but still, there are SO many wonderful performances that are just plain being ignored...in my opinion, that's a downright crime!!!

    I won't repeat what vivaelvis said, only to say that I am in 100% agreement that there are just so many magnificent performances which, thanks to the marketing strategy of the man's own company and record label, are purposely being ignored...something that, unless significant changes are made, will always be a sore spot with me!!

    TCB!
    Mike


    TCB-World...OPEN for business!!!


  11. #11

    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungleroom76 View Post
    EXCELLENT SYNOPSIS OF ELVIS' 70'S WORK MY FRIEND!!!!

    I have always been a fan of Elvis' 70's material, and like you, have always felt that for the most part, his 70's recordings seldom get the respect or recognition they deserve!! To the general public, the 1970's Elvis consisted of BURNING LOVE and the ALOHA FROM HAWAII special. That's it!! And the sad part is, there is SO much more great music that is being overlooked!!!

    Of course, as I have said before, the fact that the man's own namesake company, EPE, doesn't help matters by marketing Elvis the way they do. Basically, if you go solely by EPE's marketing strategy, Elvis died after the ALOHA special. Seldom do you see anything else mentioned or promoted by EPE!!! If it weren't for the FTD label, us fans certainly wouldn't have ever gotten any of the great concert material that has been released by the collector's label. EPE certainly would never have allowed RCA/Sony/BMG to release any of those soundboard recordings on the main label!! Whenever the main label releases some kind of concert compilation, it's always the same albums that the songs are taken from -- ELVIS IN PERSON, ON STAGE, MADISON SQUARE GARDEN and ALOHA. Elvis performed over 1,100 shows during the 1970's, but if you were to only believe RCA and EPE, he only performed about half a dozen shows!!! Clearly not every concert was a good one during those 1,100+ shows...but still, there are SO many wonderful performances that are just plain being ignored...in my opinion, that's a downright crime!!!

    I won't repeat what vivaelvis said, only to say that I am in 100% agreement that there are just so many magnificent performances which, thanks to the marketing strategy of the man's own company and record label, are purposely being ignored...something that, unless significant changes are made, will always be a sore spot with me!!

    TCB!
    Mike
    I couldn't have said that any better. Very well said, mike!
    Check out my new blog about Elvis Presley @ http://elvis21century.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    TCB Mafia Joe Car's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by vivaelvis View Post
    I couldn't have said that any better. Very well said, mike!
    Excellent post Mike!

  13. #13
    With Elvis On Tour!!! Jungleroom76's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Thanks guys!!

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    Mike


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    TCB Mafia KPM's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    The liner notes to the 70s box "Walk a Mile in My Shoes" set by Dave Marsh give an excellent critic of the brilliance of Elvis in the 70s.
    One problem is that the explosive music, the monster hits that helped created rock-are historically foreever associated with Elvis...nothing will change that.
    The 70s music as great as it is, IMO some as good as the 50s hits-is not what he is known for. The voice so much more depth and range in the 70s, trades off the frenetic raw sound of Sun and early RCA. The press is not in the business of prefering any certain era of sound by artists-they will tell about Hound Dog, Don't Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock etc because those are worldwide the historically known songs that helped launch rock.
    You could play all the 70s greatest recordings for the press and I would venture a guess that they would devote a paragraph about their greatness-but many more on the historically significance and brilliance of the 50s hits.
    Its just the way it works.
    Sinatra had some great music after 1960-but his 70s, 80s stuff is not what you will hear about-his greatest music will always be his saloon songs from the 40s and his swinging hits of the early to mid 60s and thats what people will point to.
    Work in Progress!

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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    I also love Elvis in the 70's, particularly 1970-1971 which was outstanding. Elvis matured with his fans, unlike many other artists, and sang many great songs in this period.

    Unfortunately, as far as the media, most disc jockeys and many Elvis fans are concerned, it is a matter of perception. Elvis = Rock 'n' Roll - a product of the 1950's. An example of this came about when I played a friend of mine the 'From Elvis In Memphis' album. When I asked him what he thought of it he said it was good but this was not Elvis Presley music.

    Elvis' 70's music needs greater exposure. At least YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are helping towards this BUT will people be bothered to actually watch these?

    Brian

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    International Level my boy's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by vivaelvis View Post
    I couldn't have said that any better. Very well said, mike!
    Yes, well said Mike

    The '70s are my favourite Elvis period...

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    International Level my boy's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Quinn View Post
    I also love Elvis in the 70's, particularly 1970-1971 which was outstanding. Elvis matured with his fans, unlike many other artists, and sang many great songs in this period.

    Unfortunately, as far as the media, most disc jockeys and many Elvis fans are concerned, it is a matter of perception. Elvis = Rock 'n' Roll - a product of the 1950's. An example of this came about when I played a friend of mine the 'From Elvis In Memphis' album. When I asked him what he thought of it he said it was good but this was not Elvis Presley music.

    Elvis' 70's music needs greater exposure. At least YouTube, Facebook and Twitter are helping towards this BUT will people be bothered to actually watch these?

    Brian
    Your friend thought it was good but not Elvis music; He obviously doesn't get that Elvis matured naturally into the singer he became in the 1970s. As you know Brian he couldn't keep doing the same songs, he out grew most of them; a natural progression.

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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by my boy View Post
    Your friend thought it was good but not Elvis music; He obviously doesn't get that Elvis matured naturally into the singer he became in the 1970s. As you know Brian he couldn't keep doing the same songs, he out grew most of them; a natural progression.
    Agreed. However, I took him to see 'Elvis In Concert' at Wembley Arena in London and he thought it was great.

    Brian

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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Elvis was grown and mature by the '70's. he had a family of his own. He no longer felt the need to be the rebel rocker, something most critics could not come to terms with. In the '70's Elvis recorded what he wanted and what he liked, in spite of what the rock and popular press THOUGHT he should be recording.

    Taken on it's own, Elvis' sales and chart success in the '70's was Hall Of Fame caliber.

  20. #20
    International Level my boy's Avatar
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    Re: 70's Elvis underrated?

    Quote Originally Posted by rocknroll View Post
    Elvis was grown and mature by the '70's. he had a family of his own. He no longer felt the need to be the rebel rocker, something most critics could not come to terms with. In the '70's Elvis recorded what he wanted and what he liked, in spite of what the rock and popular press THOUGHT he should be recording.

    Taken on it's own, Elvis' sales and chart success in the '70's was Hall Of Fame caliber.
    Spot on! A fact lost on so many 1950s obsessed fans...

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