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Thread: "Suspicious Minds" question

  1. #1
    Cadillac King nashville cat's Avatar
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    "Suspicious Minds" question

    Hello everyone - Here's a two-part question:

    "Suspicious Minds" was one of Elvis' best singles and always was a showstopper. Evidence seems to suggest the song was dropped from the regular setlist after 1974, making only a few appearances in 1975.

    Was the song dropped because Elvis was tired of it, or because he did not have the physical stamina to perform it as he once did? I figure he could have just sang it, without all the movements and dropping to his knees and what not. Maybe he thought that would be a letdown though.

    Funny thing is, SM is one of the few songs from the 1969 Memphis sessions that remained in the setlist after 1970. The August 1970 performances of "In The Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy" are performed as a medley, and Elvis seems bored to tears. "Kentucky Rain" was no where to be found after February 1970. These were great songs and big hits. Why Elvis did not continue to perform them, I don't understand.

    Any thoughts?
    "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

  2. #2
    Walking In Memphis Sonny's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about that other songs from 1969 you mention, but I guess Elvis stopped doing Suspicious Minds because he really did get tired of the song.
    Thought I once read somewhere that he never really like the song from the beginning, but maybe someone else knows more about this...

    As a matter of fact you can actually hear him say during the Supicious Minds version on Closing Night (FTD) "Oh, how I hate this **** song".

    I don't think his movements had anything to do with him not performing this song after 1974, because otherwise he also should have given up on Polk Salad Annie, right?

    Sonny



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    Cadillac King
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    You are right Sonny, but it could also be that he was not comfortable performing TWO long and " rocking" numbers, so he dumped SM - as did not care for the live versions atleast?!
    Cannot ascribe that for the Memphis sessions of the songs - where so many takes showed him go to great lengths to get it right.

  4. #4
    International Level Leroy's Avatar
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    Although Elvis will always be seen as a rock star fact is he just wanted to be a good singer. Maybe that could also be a reason behind dropping a song like "Suspicious Minds". And not that song alone, "Burning Love" as well although he did that one a few times in 1975. I think he was just bored being considered a rock singer.

  5. #5
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    I think Elvis had many signature tunes throughout his live performances and SM was up there for many years but bigger more powerful songs which challenged Elvis vocal abilities came along and quite simply peoples tastes change. To be perfectly honest I would be hard pushed to choose from the likes of How Great Thou Art, You Gave Me A Mountain or Unchained Melody or Suspicious Minds!!

  6. #6
    Cadillac King nashville cat's Avatar
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    I guess he probably got tired of singing it. He obviously got tired of playing the "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel" stuff, but I guess continued because he thought he had to sing those to please the audience (which was true to a certain degree).

    As far as the other songs recorded at American, I think after "The Wonder Of You" became such a big hit, the trend was definitely going toward the big Vegas type ballad. The more gentle songs like "Don't Cry Daddy" seem to have gotten lost maybe because they weren't such a showcase for Elvis' voice (?) (Though I think "Kentucky Rain" sounded great live, and was dynamic).

    Of course, this trend continued for the remainder of Elvis' lifetime and the songs got bigger and more bombastic. I have often heard it said he was singing more ballads that showed his range to take attention off his weight gain, and the fact that he wasn't doing the stage moves he once did. I don't know whether I believe that, but it is obvious he was trying to prove something. At times, in maybe the last year of his life, I think maybe he was oversinging a little bit. Not in the studio as much as on-stage.
    "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

  7. #7
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nashville cat
    Of course, this trend continued for the remainder of Elvis' lifetime and the songs got bigger and more bombastic. I have often heard it said he was singing more ballads that showed his range to take attention off his weight gain, and the fact that he wasn't doing the stage moves he once did. I don't know whether I believe that, but it is obvious he was trying to prove something. At times, in maybe the last year of his life, I think maybe he was oversinging a little bit. Not in the studio as much as on-stage.
    Yes I agree to a certain extent, but I also think as he got older and bigger his range expanded and was capable of raising the roof far better than in the earlier days

  8. #8
    International Level Cryogenic's Avatar
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    He does seem to be able to PROJECT his voice more in his later years - but the voice he's projecting doesn't seem quite as versatile as the one he had in his youth. Can you imagine him attempting a falsetto rendition of "Crying in the Chapel" in 1977? No way.

    Ultimately, I feel there's good and bad to both. His later voice can seem a bit shouty and excessive; even a quieter song like "The Green, Green Grass of Home" seems a touch TOO melancholic. Yet that doesn't take anything away from my enjoyment of those songs. He really sung exceptionally well in every era. The only problem with the 70's is... you never know what you're going to get. One moment, Elvis is on form, the next... he's completely off.

  9. #9
    International Level dennyelvis's Avatar
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    Yep i think u guys have got it about right with SM I think it served its purpose in the early concert years ... a great rocker that whipped his audience into a frenzy, much like Hound dog did in 56.
    As regards his voice ... if you think of other great artists of his era (Orbison, JLL, Tom Jones etc) their voices hardly changed from their early hits to latter .... whereas i can pinpoint at least 4 different voice changes in the King.
    Raw in 56 .... mature in 60/61 .... power/energy in 68/69 .... soaring power ballads in 72 onwards .... and im sure with closer examination more could be found.
    He is the only one i know that possessed that quality truly a gift from God.

  10. #10
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    One of the biggest mystery to me is the setlist of the Elvis Presley shows. With so many amazing hits and with so many new songs to plug (from his 70s albums), I really don't understand why Elvis thought that Don't Be Cruel/Jailhouse Rock/That's Allright Mama/I Got a Woman/Teddy Bear were the only "Golden Oldies" that could represent the long list of hits during the 50s and early 60s.
    ‎"A year from now, you'll wish you had started today"

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  11. #11
    Cadillac King
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    Albert, probably because they were the most recognisable "Elvis" songs of the 50's - that the casual fan/ people expected to hear at the concerts, apart from " Hound Dog" and also vocally, they were perhaps the easiest to perform.

  12. #12
    International Level Cryogenic's Avatar
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    Well...

    I think Elvis' whole concert format was incredibly lacklustre from 73 onwards. He really should have expanded his concerts from 50-60 mins on average to 90-120 mins when he left Vegas. At least in 1972, the package was still very tight and everyone got a lotta bang for their buck. Post Aloha, however, Elvis' mood and performances dipped dramatically. The vast majority of concerts featured less than two dozen songs and even some of those were rushed or sung half-heartedly. A lot of the criticism is deserved.

    I don't feel I'm being greedy or unfairly harsh, here. I realise the man had his problems as much as anyone else; what's done is done. Further, no matter how varied Elvis' setlists were or could have been, a line in the sand would had to have been drawn somewhere. However, when you consider Elvis' superstar status of the 50s, 60s and early 70s, his Post-Aloha concerts are patchy and insubstantial. And not just for their musical value - even as pieces of entertainment. The stage backdrop/lighting used in Aloha was a significant way forward - but nothing of its kind was ever used again. The possibilities...

    As I was re-reading this thread and typing this response, a thought struck me about his incessant touring. Maybe ONE of the reasons he felt he needed to keep on doing it was a potential fear in his mind that his key band members - Tutt, Burton, Hardin, Wilkinson etc - would eventually find themselves completely tied up in other work with other artists if he didn't provide a means of regular employment?

  13. #13
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    I think you make a lot of valid points Cryogenic, now lets see...................



    Quote Originally Posted by Cryogenic
    Well...

    I think Elvis' whole concert format was incredibly lacklustre from 73 onwards. He really should have expanded his concerts from 50-60 mins on average to 90-120 mins when he left Vegas.
    Valid point but you answer your own remark later on, if Elvis was struggling to complete an hour in the later years, 1 hour & 20 mins would have included introductions from the band members themselves and here the guy who can play the spoons to pad it out!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryogenic
    At least in 1972, the package was still very tight and everyone got a lotta bang for their buck. Post Aloha, however, Elvis' mood and performances dipped dramatically. The vast majority of concerts featured less than two dozen songs and even some of those were rushed or sung half-heartedly. A lot of the criticism is deserved.
    I think post Aloha the joy of touring quite simply just wasn't there anymore and it was a means to an end. That said the prescribed drugs had taken hold by 73-77 and Elvis was pretty unpredictable and you got what you got for better or worse.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryogenic
    His Post-Aloha concerts are patchy and insubstantial. And not just for their musical value - even as pieces of entertainment. The stage backdrop/lighting used in Aloha was a significant way forward - but nothing of its kind was ever used again. The possibilities...
    Quite agree.......... Although no-one else was doing anything of this style either other than broadway productions, and to be perfectly honest Elvis would probably have been accused of style over substance!

    Quote Originally Posted by Cryogenic
    As I was re-reading this thread and typing this response, a thought struck me about his incessant touring. Maybe ONE of the reasons he felt he needed to keep on doing it was a potential fear in his mind that his key band members - Tutt, Burton, Hardin, Wilkinson etc - would eventually find themselves completely tied up in other work with other artists if he didn't provide a means of regular employment?
    I don't think Elvis was thinking about the band line up even though his was very loyal to those who toured with him, it was more the revenue which it generated, as I commented earlier it became a means to an end, given Elvis' personal appearance and health from late 75-77 it is hard to imagine another way for Elvis to find another income stream.

    I think Elvis had got himself into the same predicament he had seen himself in with the Movie years, bored with the monotiny of touring every year without a break! if you look at stars these days they only tour every two to three years, its a wonder Elvis gave the quality he gave considering the pressure he was under and the impact it had on his health.

    I think there was a catch 22 situation with regards to what kept Elvis going during these years, the medication caused undesirable effects (bloated appearance, slurred speach) but helped with the medical conditions to sustain an increasingly fragile body. Unfortunately the addictive nature of those drugs complicated matters considerably.

    I think I would rather see Elvis at his worst than not at all, just for the experience of seeing him

  14. #14
    Cadillac King nashville cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Albert
    One of the biggest mystery to me is the setlist of the Elvis Presley shows. With so many amazing hits and with so many new songs to plug (from his 70s albums), I really don't understand why Elvis thought that Don't Be Cruel/Jailhouse Rock/That's Allright Mama/I Got a Woman/Teddy Bear were the only "Golden Oldies" that could represent the long list of hits during the 50s and early 60s.

    This is a mystery to me as well. I know there was no way to please everybody. The reliance on cover songs is a bit confounding. If he wanted to go back and pick up a cover song, why not one of his own songs? I would love to hear a serious 70's take on "A Fool Such As I", "Such A Night", or "Money Honey". The lighthearted attempts on the TTWII rehearsals offer an incredible glimpse on "what might have been".

    Certain covers like "You've Lost That Loving Feeling", or "Hurt", he made completely his own. Others like "Little Darlin'" and "Sweet Caroline" are almost copies of the original cuts, arrangement-wise.

    August 1974 seems to be the last time Elvis really made a serious attempt at remaking his setlist. I guess after that debacle he just lost the drive and from then on, if any songs were added they were older ones he and the band would have no trouble learning.
    "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

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    TCB Mafia poormansgold's Avatar
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    There More To eyed Here, Elvis trying To Change Things In July 1974, He might got bore with SM , With His Health probleams that's have been on his mind, We get Bored with same song day in and day out.., I Liked He Try To do with Opening Show In August 19,74, Songs Liked Big Boss Man Opening Song, The The Opening Riff Was Part Of All Shook Up, the song Down In The Alley was great , Too bad he don't stuck with this way with togethers Shows That Time .
    I do liked Also Sprach Zarathustra,
    Maybe have it liked this:
    Also Sprach Zarathustra
    Big Boss Man
    Proud Mary
    I Got A Woman
    Down In The Alley
    Good Times Charlie's Got The Good Times Blues
    It's Midnight
    Hound Dog
    Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
    Polk Salad Annie
    Sweet Caroline
    My Baby Left Me
    Heartbreak Hotel
    Suspicious Minds
    Inros
    Promised Land
    If You Talk In Your Sleep
    Burning Love
    I Can't Stop Loving You
    Bridge Over Troubled Water
    Help Me
    Can't Help Falling In Love
    Take a look at you and me,,Are we too blind to see, Do we Simply turn our heads and look the other way.....(Line From "in The Ghetto")

  16. #16
    Graceland Mail Room U.S. Male's Avatar
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    My question is that with a catalog of hundreds of songs, why did he stick to a core set of material for the concerts?

    I understand that the fans expected to hear the "oldies" like hound dog, dont be cruel, all shook up, etc....but it seams there was enough room to expand his repetoire......can you imagine hearing songs such as "Wear My Ring Around Your Neck, Mess of Blues, High Heal Sneakers, Sound Of Your Cry, Talk About The Good Times" and countless others performed on stage...wow!
    "Don't tamper with the property of the U.S. Male"

  17. #17
    TCB Mafia jak's Avatar
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    I think one of the reason's Elvis kept his setlist stagnat for long period's was that it was easier for him.He could do the show in his sleep which he often did.No need for preperation or rehearsal's.He basically could switch to autopilot with no problem.The guy just got lazy.
    Jak

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