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Thread: Elvis And Cover Songs

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    Backstage Pass THENATUREBOY's Avatar
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    Elvis And Cover Songs

    If there is one thing that I dislike about Elvis is the fact that I think he held himself back so much by covering so many of other people's song. That is a huge knock on him that people always bring up when Im talking about Elvis compared to other greats.

    So my question is what is your opinion on why in the 70's Elvis chose to cover so many songs and didnt get new songs from songwriters of the day to do?

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    TCB Mafia Raised on Rock's Avatar
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    He did so many covers in the 70'a because he simply didnt get many great new songs to do, becuase of the pubishing company deals and all that crap...

    But on the other hand one thing is a cover, and one thing is to remake the song; back in the Sun Records era, all the material done at sun, were covers, but they were just covers? not at all, he reinvented the songs, and he changed music history with those "covers" Just as Mile Davis did on his "Birth Of Cool" another album full of cover versions.

    The value of all those covers is the value of a guy who simply dig those songs enought to do them in his own terms, he looked for material he liked and serve his as a media of expression to do his art which was: interpreting those inside him, transform those into his own view and singing them which was his most wonderfull talent; lots of those "covers" became his own. One thing is writing songs, other thing is to perform the song, Lennon was a great song writer, but without The Bealtes, he was little less that awfull on stage, we was not a great performer at all. The Beatles it self were great at studio, but they were not so great live.

    ELvis was a performer, a singer, nobody says The London Orchesta is crap cause they play Beethoven covers, I Mean duh! Nobody has ever said Miles Davis was a no good musician or John COltrane was a bad sax player cause they played a lot of standars "did lots of covers"; ELvis instrument was his voice, you get an Elvis record to hear him singing and to hear his arengments on popular songs "Standars".

    On the blues tradition is more of the same, lots of great blues mans, as well as Jazz female vocalists, did more covers than originals, yet noboy says B.B. King or Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington were not of much value to the Blues or Jazz tradition respectibly because of that.

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    Backstage Pass THENATUREBOY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raised on Rock
    He did so many covers in the 70'a because he simply didnt get many great new songs to do, becuase of the pubishing company deals and all that crap...

    But on the other hand one thing is a cover, and one thing is to remake the song; back in the Sun Records era, all the material done at sun, were covers, but they were just covers? not at all, he reinvented the songs, and he changed music history with those "covers" Just as Mile Davis did on his "Birth Of Cool" another album full of cover versions.

    The value of all those covers is the value of a guy who simply dig those songs enought to do them in his own terms, he looked for material he liked and serve his as a media of expression to do his art which was: interpreting those inside him, transform those into his own view and singing them which was his most wonderfull talent; lots of those "covers" became his own. One thing is writing songs, other thing is to perform the song, Lennon was a great song writer, but without The Bealtes, he was little less that awfull on stage, we was not a great performer at all. The Beatles it self were great at studio, but they were not so great live.

    ELvis was a performer, a singer, nobody says The London Orchesta is crap cause they play Beethoven covers, I Mean duh! Nobody has ever said Miles Davis was a no good musician or John COltrane was a bad sax player cause they played a lot of standars "did lots of covers"; ELvis instrument was his voice, you get an Elvis record to hear him singing and to hear his arengments on popular songs "Standars".

    On the blues tradition is more of the same, lots of great blues mans, as well as Jazz female vocalists, did more covers than originals, yet noboy says B.B. King or Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington were not of much value to the Blues or Jazz tradition respectibly because of that.

    I myself aint really criticizing him, I mean I do wish he would have done more original material or wrote some of his songs, but most of the songs he covered from the 70s I like anyway. But I dont care what you say Raised On Rock, Elvis is criticized because of his decision to do alot of covers.

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    Beatles fans(at least the ones who hate Elvis)jump on that everytime -that he did not write his songs. I have pointed out that until really the 60s most main stream pop artists did not write there own songs. Crosby no! Sinatra no!With Rock in the 60s-where you did not have to be the best singer in the world to have a hit-that all changed. Bob Dylan who most consider one of the great songwriters once said about Elvis-"His voice is his instrument, when he interprets a song it takes on a whole new sound" In the 70s I think he covered what he liked and wanted to sing-pure and simple. If it meant something to him he wanted to do his interpretation, putting into it vocally what he felt when he listened to it. Most I really think he did as good as the originals and many times better. A few were just not him(Hey Jude comes to mind)

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    TCB Mafia Raised on Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by THENATUREBOY
    But I dont care what you say Raised On Rock, Elvis is criticized because of his decision to do alot of covers.
    Ha ha, well that´s no argument at all....

    Anyway, Elvis art would always be criticized as everything that is diferent to what is expected.

    ELvis art was not to write songs, but to perform songs, or more exactly, Elvis art was to sing, just as Dylan stated: -His voice is his instrument-. Those covers, or in other terms, the songs he chosed to do, were like his canvas; and all his musical background which was inmense was the paint, the gamma of colors at his disposal, and it is the -through his eyes, though his own experience- which gave the songs their own life, their own true.

    There are diferent kinds of artists, and diferent kinds of art itself, one thing is songwriting another is to perform, to sing; yes, Elvis didnt do songwriting, as well as he didnt paint or whatever, but you see, he was an artist (you will not say Bach was no artist casue he didnt dance), well, Elvis didnt write songs, his artistry is somewhere else, yes, he is pretty underates as an artist, but, whatever, a guy who painted some sunflowers was a joke once, that guy of the sunflowers was more than underrated for a long time, because you know, he had no... we had no place to fit him in into the expected ground of what we usually undertand about life.

    As Elvis once said: I don´t play for snob interests.
    Last edited by Raised on Rock; 10-20-2005 at 05:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raised on Rock
    Ha ha, well that?s no argument at all....


    Well I dont think I was trying to start up an argument at all.

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    No, it was an answer to you own thread I guess... nice monolgue.
    Last edited by Raised on Rock; 10-21-2005 at 03:57 PM.

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    Isnt the point of this forum to discuss Elvis with others, I think thats what I was doing.
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    [QUOTE=Raised on Rock]Those covers, or in other terms, the songs he chosed to do, were like his canvas; and all his musical background which was inmense was the paint, the gamma of colors at his disposal, and it is the -through his eyes, though his own experience- which gave the songs their own life, their own true.

    I agree. I think Kathy Westmoreland said it best when she said "I think he was the best interpreter of song the world has ever known"

    I also think Elvis was cheated out of getting credit for arranging many of those songs and even some producing credit on some albums.

    He was an artist in every since of the word , a true "God-given" talent.
    Got my family, my kids, my books and my music, I'm good, yeah, I'm good.....

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    He was the most underrated producer of any rock artist. Virtually from the late
    50s on he produced his own records. he decided what to record, he knew the sound he was looking for and when he had it-he said thats it. Felton Jarvas was the official producer but even he had said Elvis was the real producer.

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    With the exception of some movie soundtracks, he was his own producer since the day he left sun records; and he was for sure ahead of his time in what rock record producing is about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by THENATUREBOY View Post
    If there is one thing that I dislike about Elvis is the fact that I think he held himself back so much by covering so many of other people's song. That is a huge knock on him that people always bring up when Im talking about Elvis compared to other greats.

    So my question is what is your opinion on why in the 70's Elvis chose to cover so many songs and didnt get new songs from songwriters of the day to do?
    i.ll say so you can hear how great he is he sings the songs like no other.even bether than the original. and a lot of bands and singers do the same thing.in holland there,s a program that called the mamphis flash.on www.stadfm.com every friday evening from 8 til 10. jou here the original and then elvis sing the song ohhhh great that is....gr from alie holland

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raised on Rock View Post
    He did so many covers in the 70'a because he simply didnt get many great new songs to do, becuase of the pubishing company deals and all that crap...

    But on the other hand one thing is a cover, and one thing is to remake the song; back in the Sun Records era, all the material done at sun, were covers, but they were just covers? not at all, he reinvented the songs, and he changed music history with those "covers" Just as Mile Davis did on his "Birth Of Cool" another album full of cover versions.

    The value of all those covers is the value of a guy who simply dig those songs enought to do them in his own terms, he looked for material he liked and serve his as a media of expression to do his art which was: interpreting those inside him, transform those into his own view and singing them which was his most wonderfull talent; lots of those "covers" became his own. One thing is writing songs, other thing is to perform the song, Lennon was a great song writer, but without The Bealtes, he was little less that awfull on stage, we was not a great performer at all. The Beatles it self were great at studio, but they were not so great live.

    ELvis was a performer, a singer, nobody says The London Orchesta is crap cause they play Beethoven covers, I Mean duh! Nobody has ever said Miles Davis was a no good musician or John COltrane was a bad sax player cause they played a lot of standars "did lots of covers"; ELvis instrument was his voice, you get an Elvis record to hear him singing and to hear his arengments on popular songs "Standars".

    On the blues tradition is more of the same, lots of great blues mans, as well as Jazz female vocalists, did more covers than originals, yet noboy says B.B. King or Ella Fitzgerald or Dinah Washington were not of much value to the Blues or Jazz tradition respectibly because of that.
    You said it perfectly. Thanks and I couldn't agree more!
    Got my family, my kids, my books and my music, I'm good, yeah, I'm good.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raised on Rock View Post
    ELvis art was not to write songs, but to perform songs, or more exactly, Elvis art was to sing, just as Dylan stated: -His voice is his instrument-. Those covers, or in other terms, the songs he chosed to do, were like his canvas; and all his musical background which was inmense was the paint, the gamma of colors at his disposal, and it is the -through his eyes, though his own experience- which gave the songs their own life, their own true.

    There are diferent kinds of artists, and diferent kinds of art itself, one thing is songwriting another is to perform, to sing; yes, Elvis didnt do songwriting, as well as he didnt paint or whatever, but you see, he was an artist (you will not say Bach was no artist casue he didnt dance), well, Elvis didnt write songs, his artistry is somewhere else, yes, he is pretty underates as an artist, but, whatever, a guy who painted some sunflowers was a joke once, that guy of the sunflowers was more than underrated for a long time, because you know, he had no... we had no place to fit him in into the expected ground of what we usually undertand about life.

    As Elvis once said: I don?t play for snob interests.
    And again, said perfectly part 2. !!!!!!
    Got my family, my kids, my books and my music, I'm good, yeah, I'm good.....

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    Junior Member alie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alie View Post
    i.ll say so you can hear how great he is he sings the songs like no other.even bether than the original. and a lot of bands and singers do the same thing.in holland there,s a program that called the memphis flash.on www.stadfm.com every friday evening from 8 til 10. jou here the original and then elvis sing the song ohhhh great that is....gr from alie holland
    this station is gone.we now listen to fred van veen on the memphisflash on www.webradio192.nl and also www.radio1008.nl from 20.00 til 22.00 in the evening .this is not to thake you there i know i.m on the tcb forum.this is only to let you know if you want to hear elvis here it is.and you can also send your top 3 for the weekends saterdays everything sundays the romantics but there is also a show elvis and the original i like that verry much because you,ll hear first the original and than elvis his performance and it.s always so much better but it.s nice to know were it,s comming from .verry nice to hear..if i go out of topic here please let me know.i wont want to do something wrong.only let people know there are nice programs with elvis songs .and we love elvis

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    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    Anyway, I still think that many Elvis' covers are more touching and great than the original versions...
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    TCB Mafia Joe Car's Avatar
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    Elvis did try writing some songs, and didn't like it at all.

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    That didn't much matter to me...if he sang "Little Brown Jug", I would swear that his rendition was the best I'd ever heard! I think he owned each song he sang, because he would rearrange it to suit his personal style. And let's face it, no one alive (then or now) could compare with him vocally.

    Daddy, I miss you more every day. You will always be my hero..

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    Quote Originally Posted by The King's Queen View Post
    if he sang "Little Brown Jug", I would swear that his rendition was the best I'd ever heard!
    Perhaps you're joking here (I hope so) but that's not exactly casting a fair and balanced eye over Elvis' music, IMO.

    Yes, he made each song his own, but not all were as good as the originals. For instance, as wonderful as his version of Yesterday was, it's nowhere near as beautiful and plaintive as the Beatles' version (tossing aside the argument of live versus studio of course).

    Same with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Roberta Flack's version was a lovely, quiet, beautiful love ballad. Elvis' version ended up a bombastic, over-the-top "Vegas"-style schlockfest, with all sensitivity almost completely removed.

    Elvis hit the bullseye with covers most of the time (eg Polk Salad Annie, which even Tony Joe White says was better than his original), but not always. Just because Elvis covered a song doesn't mean it's always "the best" version.

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    Quote Originally Posted by srj1967 View Post
    Perhaps you're joking here (I hope so) but that's not exactly casting a fair and balanced eye over Elvis' music, IMO.

    Yes, he made each song his own, but not all were as good as the originals. For instance, as wonderful as his version of Yesterday was, it's nowhere near as beautiful and plaintive as the Beatles' version (tossing aside the argument of live versus studio of course).

    Same with The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face. Roberta Flack's version was a lovely, quiet, beautiful love ballad. Elvis' version ended up a bombastic, over-the-top "Vegas"-style schlockfest, with all sensitivity almost completely removed.

    Elvis hit the bullseye with covers most of the time (eg Polk Salad Annie, which even Tony Joe White says was better than his original), but not always. Just because Elvis covered a song doesn't mean it's always "the best" version.
    I wasn't joking at all... I personally thought that none could compare with him. That's not to say that I intend to take anything away from the original artist...quite the opposite, because they have their own style and they were great artists too. I just tend to feel that Elvis could take a song, any song, and make it his own. To me, his versions were always "the best" versions. But to each, his own...

    Daddy, I miss you more every day. You will always be my hero..

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