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Thread: best vocal performance of all time

  1. #1
    Coming On Strong
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    best vocal performance of all time

    i think elvis's delivery of "if i can dream" live during the 68 comeback is
    the best musical performance of all time.
    can you imagine anyone else singing that song?
    there was something really raw about his voice that hasn't
    been done before or since!
    if i can dream of a better land

  2. #2
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    grand central station

    Yes, that was a stunning delivery. Though it is my best estimation that a choir with more subtle qualities would have made the job a bit easier for Elvis.

    In case of a choir with forced vibrato (or should I say tremolo) it is harder for the solo-artist to put subtle contrasts in the song. The Sweet Inspirations have also made this mistake quite often - I'd rather hear the Jordanaires, the Imperials or the Stamps.

    Others start out rough, but just like fine wine, improve with age. For example: it's the difference between Elvis' breakthrough and the early 60's. There are ballads in the early years, but Elvis had begun to develop more subtle qualities in the early 60's. ('It's Now Or Never', 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Surrender')..

    He then cleansed his soul in the late 60's and once again returned to more romantic & dramatic material in the 70's.

    My favourite vocal performances are 'Hurt' from his last concert and 'Unchained Melody' from 'Unchained Elvis' (May, 1977)..
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  3. #3
    International Level boogie's Avatar
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    Vocally i also would choose for his 70's period...
    Let's say "How Great Thou Art" from 74 and 77.....
    Old Times they are not forgotten
    Johan

  4. #4
    Elvis Presley Blvd Unchained Melody's Avatar
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    There are so many, its difficult to choose just one.
    "How do I get placed in situations like this? Ah hell, I guess it's all part of showbusiness "~ Elvis in his limo on his way to perform in Omaha, NE on June 19th 1977


  5. #5
    TCB Mafia Joe Car's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robman
    i think elvis's delivery of "if i can dream" live during the 68 comeback is
    the best musical performance of all time.
    can you imagine anyone else singing that song?
    there was something really raw about his voice that hasn't
    been done before or since!
    It truly might have been the best musical performance ever. He gave so many, especially during the Aloha concert where he put on a singing clinic, sheer brilliance. There was nothing phony about our guy's unbelievable voice, especially live.

  6. #6
    Cadillac King
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    hard, hard question. through out the entire 70s, Elvis gave some earth shattering, spine chilling performances! good contenders would be

    you've lost that loving feeling
    just pretend
    bridge over toubled water
    what now my love
    american trilogy
    hurt
    how great thou art
    trying to get to you
    unchained melody
    i can't stop loving you

    the best of this bunch for me, is Bridge over troubled water. studio, and live. superior, with so much emotion, i love his version
    sincerely, Scott, a 15 year old Elvis fan

    prayers to Jackie my auntie in law, and R.I.P Charlie Hodge, both victims of cancer

  7. #7
    Elvis Presley Blvd Unchained Melody's Avatar
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    Very good list Scott, those are all excellent songs that Elvis covered and did an excellent job on each of them.
    "How do I get placed in situations like this? Ah hell, I guess it's all part of showbusiness "~ Elvis in his limo on his way to perform in Omaha, NE on June 19th 1977


  8. #8
    TCB Mafia Raised on Rock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EnigmaticSun
    Yes, that was a stunning delivery. Though it is my best estimation that a choir with more subtle qualities would have made the job a bit easier for Elvis.

    In case of a choir with forced vibrato (or should I say tremolo) it is harder for the solo-artist to put subtle contrasts in the song. The Sweet Inspirations have also made this mistake quite often - I'd rather hear the Jordanaires, the Imperials or the Stamps.
    The Sweets have made no mistake neither the Blossoms, its just the way black quartets sing, check out the motown guys, solos artist may have problems because they are western trained musicians and you need to know how to sing the blues, to give an edge to their sound, is about pull your soul out from the inside out and there will be some kind of feed back between the choir and the solo front man, ELvis have no trouble doing that, as Howlin Wolf put it, ELvis pull his singing from the blues, you just cant judge this music by white eurpean standars, The jordanaires and The Stamps are great, but those are for other musical purposes, I dont thik If I Cant Dream would have the power it has if the Jordanaires were the backin goup for crist sake!

    If I Cant Dream Is a very underrated record out side Elvis world for sure.

  9. #9

    If I can dream

    "If I Can Dream" is indeed amazing - and it's funny that it was used as the end title song for both "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Finding Graceland."

    What's surprising about the performance is that Elvis chose to use his "rough" voice (Lawdy Miss Clawdy, Party, etc.) rather than a smooth, impassioned ballad tone, like the way he sang In The Ghetto and the other American Studios material shortly thereafter. The rough voice gives the performance an incredible amount of passion and urgency - perfectly appropriate for the material.

    The way he swings his arm at the end of the video clip always makes me think of a bowling instruction video!

  10. #10
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    "In The Ghetto". Just pure, perfect singing...no vocal tricks at all.

    Paul McCartney's version of Long Tall Sally is pretty amazing also.

  11. #11
    International Level NEA's Avatar
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    Dream On

    Gotta be that heart rendering performance of "If I Can Dream" from the '68 Comeback - all takes of the song!
    "I oughta break you in half!"...

    "If you do, you'll have two very short friends!"

  12. #12
    Cadillac King nashville cat's Avatar
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    Hard to say. His version of "The Impossible Dream" is pretty amazing. I would have to say that or "An American Trilogy", in which he goes from a tender, soft voice to the bombastic ending.
    "I can't see my reflection in the water. I can't speak the sounds that show no pain. I can't hear the echo of my footsteps. I can't remember the sound of my own name" - Tomorrow Is A Long Time

  13. #13
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    choirs

    Quote Originally Posted by Raised on Rock
    The Sweets have made no mistake neither the Blossoms, its just the way black quartets sing.. The jordanaires and The Stamps are great, but those are for other musical purposes, I dont thik If I Cant Dream would have the power it has if the Jordanaires were the backin goup for crist sake!
    It's not that I want others to feel the same way. I just don't happen to appreciate exagerrated vibrato. It's not impossible to sing a blues song without doing harm to your vocal chords.

    The Sweets sound more like a frightened Roman-Catholic boy-choir to me, while a solo-singer with operatic abilities (like Elvis) should look for a harmonious and equal sound, whether it be a three chord song or a complete opera.

    Natural vibrato will save your voice. It is my opinion and if you are happy with the big vibrato's then that's perfectly okay with me..

    Please use your Saviour's name with care. It would have been possible to sing If I Can Dream without the choir anyway, because Elvis' voice is strong enough in itself. I don't mind others being a fan of the Blossoms though..
    Last edited by EnigmaticSun; 04-25-2006 at 12:49 PM.
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  14. #14
    International Level Menwithbrokenhearts's Avatar
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    I can't choose just one, sorry it's so long ( I cut some out ) He had so many great performances, it's rediculously hard to narrow it down. It took me an hour to do this.

    Crying in the Chapel
    Blue Moon
    Peace in the Valley ( Ed Sullivan version)
    Surrender
    Are YOu Lonesome Tonight
    Now or Never
    Danny Boy
    My Way (77)
    Unchained Melody (77)
    How Great Thou ARt (74)
    American Trilogy (73)
    It's a Sin
    My Boy
    No More
    Heartbreak Hotel
    In the Ghetto
    True Love travels on a Gravel Road
    Help
    Trying to get to you (68 special and 74 Memphis)
    If I can dream
    Impossible Dream (MSG 72)
    America the Beautiful
    She gave me a Mountain
    Love Letters
    Don't
    The Wonder of YOu
    First in Line
    Santa Lucia
    Indescribably Blue
    Bridge over troubled water


    Robman - I just watched the 68 comeback special and I have to agree, it is his most powerful performance.
    Last edited by Menwithbrokenhearts; 04-27-2006 at 10:27 PM.
    Got my family, my kids, my books and my music, I'm good, yeah, I'm good.....

  15. #15
    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    Elvis' voice was just great all the time! I consider these as some of the greatest perfomances:

    My Way (Alternate Aloha Concert, June, 1977)
    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    An Evening Prayer

    And so many, many more...
    Last edited by Wendy56; 04-26-2006 at 12:37 AM.
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  16. #16
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robman
    i think elvis's delivery of "if i can dream" live during the 68 comeback is
    the best musical performance of all time.
    can you imagine anyone else singing that song?
    there was something really raw about his voice that hasn't
    been done before or since!
    And it's not only just the vocal performance..... it's amazing that Elvis did this song live (during the shooting of the special). And the power and emotions..... it's fantastic, simply fantastic. Too bad that the horns on the background are a bit too much.

    I can truly imagine Elvis saying "I will never sing a meaningless song anymore" after having sung "If I Can Dream". When he hit the last note and spread his arms, he really seemed exhausted, have giving everything he got.... a masterpiece (and extremely underrated) in it's own way.

    Besides this song, Elvis did many songs in which he used his voice to the max. But none of them can equal "If I Can Dream". Sure, he may have given more power, or put in more emotion, or have a rawer voice, but none of them had this perfect mix as in ?f I Can Dream".
    ‎"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

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  17. #17
    TCB Mafia Joe Car's Avatar
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    I was listening to an interview this past week from the sirus all-Elvis station with the writer of If I Can Dream, Earl Brown, he said "as EP was singing this song he was watching on the side with Darlene Love", ( a member of the Blossoms, the African-American ladies from the 68 special) "Darlene was crying, looked over at me and said, "he believes every word he's singing". According to Brown, he wrote the lyrics to this brilliant song after he and the shows producer Steve Binder stayed up all night talking to Elvis about his views of the chaotic times that were the sixties, so in essense, the words from IICD were Elvis' views, which shows what kind of a man he was.

  18. #18
    TCB Mafia EnigmaticSun's Avatar
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    60's

    That's so incredibly true and no one can deny it, Joe Car. Elvis was very honest and did believe every word he sang. This was a passionate performance for sure.

    The 60's were weird indeed. There was a war, the Vietnam situation - on top of that there were some racial issues..

    It's a strange world.. Elvis really unified opposites into each other during these troubled times, out of which there will hopefully emerge a more peaceful New World Order.

    From a classical point of view 'If I Can Dream' certainly isn't bad! He had perfect pitch, timing and strength originating in the midriff*.

    Elvis was very versatile and could do anything from 'If I Can Dream' & 'Tiger Man' to 'Unchained Melody', 'Hurt', 'How Great Thou Art' and 'It's Now Or Never'.

    *The middle outer portion of the front of the human body, extending roughly from just below the breast to the waistline.[Middle English midrif, from Old English midhrif : midd, mid; see mid1 + hrif, belly; see kwrep- in Indo-European roots.]
    Last edited by EnigmaticSun; 04-26-2006 at 11:09 AM.
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  19. #19
    Elvis Presley Blvd Unchained Melody's Avatar
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    -If I Can Dream
    -American Trilogy
    -How Great Thou Art
    -Unchained Melody
    -Rags To Riches
    -The Impossible Dream
    -Trying To Get To You
    -You Gave Me A Mountain
    -Crying In The Chapel
    -The Wonder Of You
    -You've Lost That Love And Feeling (1970 Version )
    -Its Now Or Never
    -Danny Boy
    -Are You Lonesome Tonight
    -In The Ghetto
    -Fame And Fortune
    -Young And Beautiful
    -My Boy
    -Just Pretend
    "How do I get placed in situations like this? Ah hell, I guess it's all part of showbusiness "~ Elvis in his limo on his way to perform in Omaha, NE on June 19th 1977


  20. #20
    Elvis 56's Lady Wendy56's Avatar
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    That's an awesome list (beautiful songs all of them) elvispresleyfan1935! Great selection!
    Let the stars fade and fall, and I won't care at all, as long as I have you.
    Elvis...

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    http://wendy56.wordpress.com/


    "You've got it all together like a lovin' machine
    You're lookin' like glory and walkin' like a dream...
    Mother nature's sure been good to Y-O-U"

    Wendy

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