Elvis Presley: Classic Or Dud?

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I suppose the question should more be - Classic or Vivid? Dead or Alive (and not in the supermarket sighting sense)? I make periodic attempts to love Elvis, but mostly I just find myself appreciating. Is he still the King? Or an object of respect but not love? Or did he never mean a goddamn thing to you?

Tom, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Fair point, Tom, but then I feel that way about tons of music. 'Respect' is pretty good going for me. I don't 'respect' or 'appreciate' contemporary bands etc like I respect and appreciate Elvis.

I suppose a thing about Elvis is, how familiar is he really? He *seems* over-familiar - we think we know it all already - and maybe many folk do, several times over. But often, when I actually go and play the stuff rather than just think about it abstractly, it surprises me. It turns out to be more exciting than I imagined, or there are great songs I'd forgotten about; etc. I mean: the reality of Elvis might, possibly, be more (rather than less) interesting than the idea.

the pinefox, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

It's probably not representative but the recently issued video of his early 70's (?) performance of "Suspicious Minds" seems to show him to be a rather mediocre performer (at least at that time).

David, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

For me his music has always been part of the pop background scenery, without it meaning much. His status as the pop uber-icon means that I'm always left with a feeling of 'is that it?' when listening to it, the songs themsleves being dwarfed by all the extraneous cultural bumpf that surrounds him. I'm not entirely comfortable with this state of affairs, as it feels like I'm missing out on something important, but even when I make the extra effort to listen to the music all the associations make it very difficult for me to go much beyond appreciation.

, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Elvis. GRR.

Dan Perry, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Bugger. Forgot to type my name in.

Richard Tunnicliffe, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

classic, in my opinion one of the ten most classic artists of all time, and it took me years to realize this. i lived in an elvis household and as part of the whole rebelling against parents thing that i never took very seriously, i decided to hate elvis. in high school one of my best friends had what could only be described as an elvis room; i called him a fool, never realizing that the fool was me.

with all due respect to little richard (who i love) and chuck berry (who i respect), elvis was rock n' roll, until those damned beatles showed up, as he epitomized what it was all about viz. white kids doing naughty things viz. commingling with blacks. he had the hair, the looks, the moves -- few people have looked as bad-ASS as the king did on his comeback special -- and most importantly the voice, the one thing he'd have after everything else was gone.

search: "mystery train," "jailhouse rock," "surrender," "can't help falling in love," "anything that's part of you," "it hurts me," "tiger man," "if i can dream," "wearin' that loved on look," "i'll hold you in my heart," "tomorrow never comes," "american trilogy," etc muthafuckin' etc.

destroy: the films and most of the concomitant music, the cult, his private life, the karate...it's not too difficult to figure out what should be discounted.

fred solinger, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Classic, although the image, myth and 'iconography' are so overwhelming as to make actually HEARING the records through all that next to impossible, particularly when the same handful of 'classics' get played over and over. A rummage through the 50s, 60s and 70s box sets shows that above all else he's a great singer, of all different kinds of material - country, r'n'b, rockabilly, gospel, soul, torch songs, etc. Contrary to all that 'creatively dead after leaving Army' bollocks, he made fine records at every point in his career, right up to the end, as well as all the many, many bad ones. He wasn't the first, or even the best in any particular genre, but he's the great all-rounder, and often (despite all the 'artifice') the most nakedly emotional and raw. And he makes me laugh.

Andrew, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

He's got so much out there that if you don't know where to start, you're bound to be confused. Few people actually have the vocal power he did on the old Sun recordings or that classic double live Memphis session where Suspicioius Minds comes from. What can beat Blue Moon? Even on CD it sounds like it's being played through an old tube radio. Nice and warm. It was years later when I could finally understand why Frank Black loved Elvis and insisted the Pixies were a cross between Elvis and ... er... what was it, the Ventures?

I even love his corny movie themes like wooden heart, blue hawaii and girls, girls, girls. Not to mention that awesome song about the stripper with the ruby in her bellybutton. Or the funky hard rocker Clean Up Your Own Back Yard where he tells the preacher man what he can go and do.

, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I agree with all the classic voters here, and esp with heybuddy re 'Wooden Heart'. Fantastic performance! That's in 'GI Blues', isn't it? I love that 'Frankfurt Special' song, too. And isn't that the film with the amazing moment when Elvis is in a bar, and an Elvis Presley record comes on the jukebox, and he smashes it up? Mind- blowing, man!

the pinefox, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

all i can say in "wooden heart"'s favor is that it predated bryan ferry -- voice and style -- by about ten years. who else was ferry trying to be but a british elvis (sorry cliff), i mean, look in the for your pleasure sleeve.

fred solinger, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

If I Can Dream is my favourite record ever most of the time. Written overnight by the songwriter/musician working on one of Elvis' comeback specials: they didn't have a song to close the show with so, unable to decide on which of the existing catalogue to use, the producer told this guy (shamefully I've forgotten his name) to 'go home and write the song of your life'. He did, by 7am the next day. Elvis said he'd never again sing a song he didn't 'believe in'.

Jack Seale, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Oh so classic - enough that I dedicated a chapter in my book on his sweat, his gold lame suit and what exactly he was wearing when he died...the man, the myth, the monster and the methamphetamines, not to mention the karate moves

Geoff, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Destroy: The idea of Elvis looking bad ass at ANY stage of his life.

I'm like Tom, I appreciate the idea of Elvis but I can't be bothered to listen to him, like ever. I own none of his CDs, because I have no desire to turn him on. If he comes on the radio, I won't turn it off, but really it's not my cup of tea. I won't search him out, simple as that.

Ally, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Classic. GI Blues also has a Doc Pomus tune "Doing the Best I Can". Great Ballad. Elvis can really sing.

Joseph Wasko, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Dud stretches the point. I have tried, and tried, and tried to understand what people saw in Elvis, either thick or thin, and I just do not get it. Yes, he's got a good voice. Sure, he could shake his hips. To me, though, he sounds like a very bland version of Little Richard. Elvis was, relatively speaking, safe. That's not rock and roll.

Sean Carruthers, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Classic because he’s so hard to pin down. The great Elvis performances are poised between tears and laughter, irony and sentimentality, pop and rock’n’roll, sex and sanctity, showbiz and authenticity, country and blues. The 1968 comeback shows, themselves poised between the gorgeous beauty of his youth and the fabulous ruin that was his decline (I mean fuck Nick Cave this man could do gothic pathos and excess), capture Elvis as icon better perhaps than any other footage or recording.

Guy, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Actually, I think the whole idea with Nick is that he was able to take Elvis' leanings there and not be dead on his toilet at his age, despite comparable substance abuse. Woo-hoo!

Elvis I think does the business, but proceed with caution. The really bad sixties movie cuts aren't even good for camp value.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

What's the book, Geoffrey? It sounds like an interesting read.

Johnathan, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Elvis: CLASSIC... true pop icon. Only now is he beginning to have any meanign for me though.

DESTROY: Greil Marcus. Much of the time, he's worse than the folks who see the image of Elvis in the grease spattered on a toaster of the local Waffle House.

badger, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Cave's excess remained tasteful - he stayed thin for-gods-sake. The Elvis binges on hamburgers, pills and coke, wearing rhinestone romper suits, were truly humiliating in their excess.

Guy, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Guy, Elvis was a rather unique case. He could be bedridden in a pile of his own diarrhea and people would still pay to see him and line up to fellate him back stage. Nick Cave doesn't have that luxury. If he did, perhaps he would get fat on peanut butter banana sammiches and wear suits stolen off decks of cards.

, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I'll agree with Badger on Greil Marcus. His obsession with Elvis became downright embarassing after Mystery Train.

As for me, I would say classic. I think a lot of the mythology surrounding him has belittled the music he created.

Nicole, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Apart from "Mystery Train," who really cares?

alex in nyc, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Alex, do the posts above answer your question ?

Patrick, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

He was a hero to most...including me. I love The King. The Sun Sessions is incredibly good. His voice on "Jailhouse Rock" is awe- inspiring. He had the best songwriters money could buy cranking out tunes for him, and he knew how to sing them (unlike the current crop of teen faves!) I love watching early footage of him performing. And I get teary-eyed when I see footage of him encoring with "Unchained Melody" at the piano in the 70s. Plus, he once bought 27 Cadillacs in one day, for friends and family. A mere "classic" is an insult.

Mark, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

I was expecting an iconoclasm overload from you lot, and have been really surprised. I can't really answer this question as I know nothing of his beyond the obvious, so I'll back out and leave you lot to it. But surely someone else out there HATES him?

DG, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

my mother adored him, i came to him more slowly. i only have two cds of his and they are both gospel cds, his voice booms and makes me shiver. i always crank up the 'burnin' love' when it comes on the oldies station. destory--the colonel.

keith, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

You guys are fanning the flames, that's all I got to say... (besides a resounding "CLASSIC")

Keiko, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Pardon my earlier post, I thought we were talking about Elvis Hitler.

Mark, Monday, 30 April 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

the book's called Fuct & Fiction - you can pick it up via www.hungrypublishing.com under novellas for about 4.50 US I think.

Geoff, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

Well let's say dud. As with that other King (of Pop that is) so in your face your whole goddamn life his music becomes meaningless. Never meant shit anyway. That said: 'Alcapulco' the movie rocks. Man that was some tense shit when I watched it as a kid, . Saw it recently, can't stop saying "Hey senorita!" to my girlfriend in Elvis- drawl. So a glimmer of classic then :)

Omar, Tuesday, 1 May 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

My favorite Elvis song is that bit on Chill Out ("Elvis on the Radio, Steel Guitar in my Soul"), with Elvis' voice processed and echo-y and incredibly distant. That gives me chills, man. Chills. Chill Out.

Other than that, he never meant a thing to me. Dud I guess. I'm such a fucking kid.

Ian White, Thursday, 3 May 2001 00:00 (twenty years ago) link

eight months pass...
I'm young enough that I could have not cared either way - but the Sun sessions remain a favorite - along side all the other country/rockabilly stars of the 50's. The book "Last Train to Memphis" helps define what's so fascianting about the man; he really managed to define rock n'roll, teen culture and super stardom, and that is of historical interest. Take a step back from subjective opinion and take in the effect he had on American culture and music - that is what is truly interesting. It could have been anyone, but it was Elvis. He worked his ass off from the day he turned 19 and didn't know how to quit; he wanted 'it' that bad, before 'it' had even really been defined. I believe that given another 50 years his image will be restored. The 70's were an excessive time for everyone, had he not died in the midst of it, maybe there would be more respect and tact surrounding Elvis and less exploitation.

Era Tanttros, Sunday, 20 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

I went to see "McCabe and Mrs. Miler" at the Castro Theater a couple days ago, and before the film they showed a trailer for the Elvis concert film "That's the Way it Is". I've only recently gotten into Elvis; I own only "Elvis in Memphis", which is fabulous. Well, I could go and look it up, but this film looks to be after "In Memphis" but before his slow 70's decline was really underway. The man looked amazing. Yes, white bejeweled jumpsuits, but he's still in great shape. I mean just the fact that he dared look so outrageous is powerful in it's own way. And then there were some brief clips of him dancing onstage. His moves were unreal; he just goes wild. Many people in the audience laughed; I sat there with my jaw open in awe. To move around like that means either you're a fool or some kind of shaman, and I know what side I'm on. I can't wait to see this movie and to explore more of this era of his career.

Sean, Tuesday, 22 January 2002 01:00 (nineteen years ago) link

one year passes...
What some people have always ignored is that his voice was incredible.
They run his demise into the ground, search for dirt, print as much inuendo and trash as they can find. They never explore the fact that he had a 3 octave voice, and could virtually sing any style of music. Not only would he sing it but he could bring something new to it. The people who ignore the voice ignore what made him so unique in the first place. If you ignore the greatness of the voice(because of a pre-conceived notion of "ELVIS"), you will never see what millions have found in it. Its almost as if the voice is the last thing that is considered, taken for granted. His chrisma started with the voice! What artist today could go into the studio and in a couple of weeks cut over 30 songs as Elvis did at the Memphis sessions in 1970?
It seems to take newer artists years to produce new material. The Memphis material was varied and several hit singles came from these sessions plus a couple of gold albums. There were no gimmicks or technical enhancements, no digital computer setups. He went in picked his songs out and worked out arrangements then cut them until he felt he had given the performance he wanted. The songs he picked were songs that said something to him. He usually (after 1968)only did songs he wanted.(This was not always commercial, but honest)He never used the computer tricks which many of todays artists today use to make sure they are on KEY. He never lip-sinked at concerts because he was worried on fast numbers he would sound breathy, as some newer artists have been found to do. None of this is ever appreciated because no one explores beyond the image. Listen to the best Elvis impersonater in the world then play the same song by Elvis and you will see the greatness of the voice

Ken, Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:40 (eighteen years ago) link

that version of "Mystery Train" in "That's The Way It Is" where he's rehearsing with the TCB band is incredible.

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 16:59 (eighteen years ago) link

Plus, he loved his momma like anything.

No wait, that was William Lyon Mackenzie King!

Dennis Lee to thread!

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Thursday, 23 January 2003 17:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Been playing 30 #1 Hits a LOT around here lately. I've always liked him--reading Mystery Train was what sealed it (it's almost impossible for me not to hear the Sun stuff and Sly's Riot through the scrim of G. Marcus in some way, which is great as far as I'm concerned--enhances the music, doesn't limit it in the least). "Suspicious Minds" and "Burning Love" and "It's Now or Never" on the same disc is a hell of a thing for anyone.

I don't understand how anyone can say he's a "watered-down Little Richard" since (a) they sound nothing at all alike, even when Elvis covered Little Richard songs, and (b) Elvis started making records before Little Richard cut "Tutti Frutti," the first record he made in the style he's famous for.

M Matos (M Matos), Thursday, 23 January 2003 18:01 (eighteen years ago) link

Nick Tosches (who's hardly an Elvis apologist) to thread on that front

James Blount (James Blount), Thursday, 23 January 2003 18:04 (eighteen years ago) link

Thatis something that has always been overlooked, Elvis was developing his style and voice in 51,52, started recording in 53. Jerry Lee Lewis came to Sun after Elvis had left.Carl Perkins came later also. Little Richard recorded Tutti Frutti on Sept. 14, 1955 yet people claim somehow Elvis got his style from anyone of these gentlemen depending on who you read. Chuck Berry began recording for Chess records in May 0f 55. Bo Diddily also started recording for Chess in 55. Elvis was already established he had been recording and performing seriously for over 2 years. Elvis was affected by these guys later as they were in some ways affected by him, but all of them had their own style.

Ken, Thursday, 23 January 2003 19:02 (eighteen years ago) link

More than anything, all the other guys were more influenced by the amount of cash EP was getting than by his music.

Though he IS undeniably a great singer, with really terrible management, though try telling that to the billion dollar EP Estate.
Like Ali, his talent was squandered, though there are many moments of transcendence throughout his career.

Also, in Linda Gail Lewis's autobio, she claims that the time Jerry Lee stormed the gates at Graceland, it was because a doped up EP had called him to come rescue him, a claim not as preposterous as it seems.
Elvis might have been King, but Colonol Parker ruled.

Horace Mann (Horace Mann), Thursday, 23 January 2003 19:13 (eighteen years ago) link

The other guys should appreciate the fact that without his groundbreaking the bulk of white America would have never even heard of them let a lone bought their records. Jerry Lee was always jealous of Elvis, but he never had a voice for anything except country rock. He is a great rock pioneer, but he was not a complete package. Little Richard has said he owes a debt to Pat Boone(who covered many more Richard songs than Elvis) and Elvis for opening doors that would have stayed closed if not for him. Bill Haley had a "ROCK" hit before any of them but until Elvis no one gave black artists the time of day except other black people. Col. Parker was what Elvis needed in the 50's, but in the late 60's he needed a Brian Epstein or someone of his kind to let Elvis explore, and grow. To particpate in new music that would not have necessarily been Elvis music(which still sold and was still good) but would have allowed other people in the music world to produce, play, and collaborate with him.

Ken, Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:15 (eighteen years ago) link

I think Ken is oversimplifying things some: Louis Jordan and Louis Armstrong were possibly the two biggest singers in America (apart from Bing Crosby) during the 40s, so it's not like white people in this country were unaware of black artists back then, which isn't to say things were totally equal. (Still aren't.) I understand the frustration of a lot of people re Elvis as King what about other, just as or more talented black artists, though.

M Matos (M Matos), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:38 (eighteen years ago) link

Loved everything he did in 1956 or before. The Sun stuff, especially "Mystery Train," definitely lives up to the myth.
But everything he did after '56 sounds pretty close to easy listening to these ears.

Here's a question to ponder: What would Elvis's legacy be had he not been so incredible looking?

Jim M (jmcgaw), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:43 (eighteen years ago) link

Besides, everyone knows that James Brown is really the king of rock and roll.

Jim M (jmcgaw), Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:49 (eighteen years ago) link

Elvis - he's Jesus Christ but still Elvis meant nothing to some. But KERRIST just for the Albert Goldman book, being White Trash, the Fatty Glitter Stage pre-Bowie? Suspicious Minds and for that late-80s documentary of Elvis Fanatics* he is AMERICANA CLASSIC.

One of whom I phoned just to hear her voice after her repeating "Listen, we will invite some guys over, listen to Elvis and play some yahtzee".

robotman, Thursday, 23 January 2003 21:57 (eighteen years ago) link

"Elvis needs boats. Elvis needs boats. Elvis needs boats."
Classic for inspiring such haunting lyrics. I get chills.

Bruce Urquhart (Bruce Urquhart), Thursday, 23 January 2003 22:00 (eighteen years ago) link

Armstrong and Jordan were big singers, but they were "safe" in the eyes of white people. The music they made had a polish to it. You can not compare Armstrong with a white handkerchief in his hand and wearing a tuxedo to say the likes of Bo Diddily or Little Richard. They played ballrooms and upscale clubs in large metropolitan cities. Jordan could have an edge, but he was "Accepted". All I'm trying to say you don't sell a billion records, without having a very special talent that few artists are given. All the black artists mentioned are great artists. They were definitly shortchanged by the music industry in the 50's. But Elvis was not the reason for it. He had talent, looks, chrisma, that sent him to the top. He is undervalued, as I said before, because of the image people see in their minds. If they would set down and listen, not just to the 50's but a cross section of his work they would see how his voice grew, how his phrasing became more and more distinct. He could be raw and hard, when he wanted, he could be bluesy, he could be pop. I will admit that in the period of 75 to his death he had basically dreaded recording and he could sleep walk through a performance. He had no challenge, he had done it all. He needed someone who could have stood up and told him what everyone saw. But he was in a position that few have ever been in. He broke ground for rock super stars who needed to see not how to end.
Its funny most of the stars we have been talking about, with a few exceptions, have never had anything but praise for Elvis and his talent.

Ken, Thursday, 23 January 2003 23:47 (eighteen years ago) link


jones (actual), Thursday, 23 January 2003 23:51 (eighteen years ago) link

truly my pleasure

hey someone sent me a request but forgot to include their email address. let me know!

DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Monday, 7 May 2018 23:37 (three years ago) link

Hadrian, it's awesome. Sent you a PM.

Joe Gargan (dandydonweiner), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:19 (three years ago) link

on it's way

DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:36 (three years ago) link


DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 00:37 (three years ago) link

Elvis Presley: The Searcher is all right, but it's no Radio Free Shake Rag

Brad C., Tuesday, 8 May 2018 02:40 (three years ago) link


DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 16:25 (three years ago) link

hey someone sent me a request but forgot to include their email address. let me know!

― DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Tuesday, May 8, 2018 12:37 AM (twenty-one hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

that's me! how do i do what needs to be done?

lefal junglist platton (wtev), Tuesday, 8 May 2018 21:21 (three years ago) link

four weeks pass...

if Elvis had lived and they did American Recordings style covers album i would want to hear him do Beck's "Lost Cause" also some Nick Cave and Misfits

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 00:41 (three years ago) link

Maybe Sistinas by Danzig, although that might be a little on the nose

JRN, Wednesday, 6 June 2018 01:11 (three years ago) link

There's a whole flood of ballads from the last thirty years that flowed into my head in Presley's voice: Waits' "Downtown Train", Nina Nastasia's "How Will You Love Me", Cave's "Are You the One I've Been Waiting For", Parton's "Wildflowers", Bonnie Prince Billy "Cursed Sleep," Welch's "No One Knows My Name" and Neko Case's "Set Out Running" and "Star Witness".

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 14:34 (three years ago) link

i wanna hear Elvis sing "Hit Me Baby One More Time"

"My loneliness is killin' me, mama"

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 16:16 (three years ago) link

i suppose Fakeapp-style voice AI will make things like this possible in the near future. i can already see Stereogum in 2020 posting an Elvis version of "All Star"

Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Wednesday, 6 June 2018 16:18 (three years ago) link

Tried to email Hadrian, gave up on endless ilx captcha, oh well rock on DJ:

dow, Friday, 15 June 2018 01:14 (three years ago) link

I'd love to hear Elvis with the big TCB! band doing "Black Dog". You could do a cool arrangement with the horns and all those background singers.

earlnash, Friday, 15 June 2018 02:32 (three years ago) link

cool revive

sunburst N snowblind (Ross), Friday, 15 June 2018 05:00 (three years ago) link

RIP DJ Fontana :(

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Friday, 15 June 2018 05:11 (three years ago) link

The "Hound Dog" snare, man oh man.

Ike and Tina Review circa 1972 give some idea what the TCB! band might have done with hard rock songs.

Mungolian Jerryset (bendy), Friday, 15 June 2018 14:37 (three years ago) link

Tried to email Hadrian, gave up on endless ilx captcha, oh well rock on DJ:

― dow, Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:14 PM (two days ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

aw dow I've been awol try me again

DACA Flocka Flame (Hadrian VIII), Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:20 (three years ago) link

I might be able to assist to help you guys connect without robomail if captcha was the problem. Check your emails in a few.

And Nobody POLLS Like Me (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 16 June 2018 14:59 (three years ago) link

Got it got it got it, thanks so much Hadrian &/via James!!!

dow, Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:24 (three years ago) link

if Elvis had lived and they did American Recordings style covers album i would want to hear him do Beck's "Lost Cause" also some Nick Cave and Misfits

― Hazy Maze Cave (Adam Bruneau), Tuesday, June 5, 2018 8:41 PM (one week ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink


Also a duet with Bob Plant on “kashmir”

calstars, Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:34 (three years ago) link

Thus Sprach Zarasthrutha / Kashmir” (Overture)

calstars, Sunday, 17 June 2018 01:35 (three years ago) link

ten months pass...

Finally reading Careless Love and jfc those “movie gulag” years from like 63-67 really are way more grim than I realized. By the time they’re down to 14-day shoots it’s like wtf is even happening anymore. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that the 68 Special is on the horizon

My favorite thing is how every time he gets obsessed with something (motorcycles, horses) he makes sure EVERYONE has one too. It’s bananas. That whole cowboy ranch sidetrack was so weird, him wearing chaps & a cowboy hat on the regular LOL (but also oddly endearing)

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:18 (two years ago) link

Have you finished it? If you think the mid sixties are grim, just wait...

As bad as you think it could be, it's worse.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 00:51 (two years ago) link

i’m about 1/3rd of the way in

i realize it gets way worse :)

but i don’t think I realized the true extent to which the 60’s was such a creative vacuum. there’s that sad revelation in the leadup to the 68 special & Elvis “busting loose” where it’s clear that the true chasm of understanding between them was that Parker thought Elvis’ voice *alone* was the key to it all, when Elvis saw that it was his voice & the music combined that created the electricit. All those recordings where the music gets pushed down & his vocals get pushed up to sell something that no-one’s even buying anymore. A decade’s worth of talent mostly wasted because of that. Among other things. It’s maddening to see it laid out in such minute detail.

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 01:29 (two years ago) link


Careless Love Battery (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 01:35 (two years ago) link


Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 01:54 (two years ago) link

And it's weird when you hear recordings he did during movie gulag time of songs he actually liked and cared about - generally the ones not intended for movies - there's a night and day difference in the performance. Thinking of, for example, the 2nd gospel album and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time."

Josefa, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 02:27 (two years ago) link

For sure

Squeaky Fromage (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 7 May 2019 02:35 (two years ago) link

one month passes...


Brad C., Monday, 1 July 2019 15:54 (two years ago) link

Very interesting, thanks

Vini C. Riley (James Redd and the Blecchs), Monday, 1 July 2019 16:07 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

Mac Davis just passed away after heart surgery. Probably best-known for this:


Coincidentally, I watched Elvis's comeback special yesterday. I hadn't seen it in a while, and it's pretty amazing - the CD's and LP's don't do it justice, you really need to get the DVD and watch both the TV special itself and the informal "sit down" session. His movies aren't exactly a favorite, but you can see why he was able to make so many - he really had a tremendous screen presence.

Of course Elvis in Memphis came next, and IMHO it's really the one truly great LP he made that wasn't a compilation. There was still more great music to come and the experimentation on Elvis Country is commendable, but it's a shame he slipped back into complacency soon after.

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 September 2020 06:53 (one year ago) link

(*a favorite of mine, I should say)

birdistheword, Wednesday, 30 September 2020 06:53 (one year ago) link

RIP Mac! wrote quite a few Elvis hits including Memories & Little Less Conversation

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 17:44 (one year ago) link

also did a perfect Elvis voice impression, as heard on a recent ep of Gilbert Gottfried's podcast

Josefa, Wednesday, 30 September 2020 17:52 (one year ago) link

Of course _Elvis in Memphis_ came next, and IMHO it's really the one truly great LP he made that wasn't a compilation. There was still more great music to come and the experimentation on _Elvis Country_ is commendable, but it's a shame he slipped back into complacency soon after.

Come on over to this thread for further study: 19 Elvis Fans Can Be Polled: The ILM Elvis Presley poll roll out thread

Erdős-szám 69 (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 30 September 2020 17:52 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

Suspicious Minds is great right
But can it be great if it’s so damn depressing?
Dude is simply sobbing out the verses

calstars, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:17 (two weeks ago) link

He’s sabotaging its greatness and doesn’t give a damn

calstars, Tuesday, 12 October 2021 00:18 (two weeks ago) link

yes, it totally can still be great!

my favorite sub sub genre is upbeat songs with sad lyrics/delivery

bridge over troubled water is the most mounful secular gospel song you ever heard

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Tuesday, 12 October 2021 01:48 (two weeks ago) link

send one up for Ronnie Tutt

ty for taking care of business, drumwise.

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 17 October 2021 22:58 (one week ago) link

Imagine living your life thinking Elvis is anything but a classic.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:08 (one week ago) link

Tutt was so great. Knew exactly how to exploit the dynamics and subtexts of every song, no small feat for an Elvis collaborator.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:08 (one week ago) link

I hope Baz Luhrmann’s take isn’t popular. He has a way of cheapening everything he touches.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:10 (one week ago) link

Ronnie Tutt was the rhythmic pulse connected between Elvis, Neal Diamond and Jerry Garcia. That is crossing a couple different worlds.

earlnash, Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:22 (one week ago) link

Obviously Neil...must have had Cassady on the brain.

earlnash, Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:24 (one week ago) link

If not Patricia.

Double Chocula (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:29 (one week ago) link

Now imagining Elvis as Hud.

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:46 (one week ago) link

“They call it polk…salad” *rimshot* “Hud!”

Double Chocula (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:52 (one week ago) link

Listening to Tutt & the band on those early Vegas shows & it’s stunning AND entirely believable that they could do what, three shows a day? and just holding it down in the most incredible ways

like sure you prob have to take a ton of uppers to do it but you still have to play like a motherfucker to meet Elvis where he’s at and goddamn they all could, but especially Tutt

also loved his playing on the Roy Orbison black and white night concert

terminators of endearment (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 17 October 2021 23:56 (one week ago) link

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