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Author Topic: Elvis Presley  (Read 4973 times)

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In My Life

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Elvis Presley
« on: January 09, 2015, 06:11:09 AM »

There are quite a few mentions of Elvis on this forum but he doesn't seem to have a topic dedicated to him. I guess his 80th birthday, which was actually yesterday, is a good time for him to get one! His first TV appearance came on January 28, 1956 on the Dorsey Brothers Stage Show. He went over so well that they had him back five more times in February and March!

19560128 - Elvis Presley - Dorsey Brothers Stage Show-1



This site has lots of early videos conveniently located in one place :):

http://www.elvispresleymusic.com.au/pictures/1956_january_28.html
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 06:19:20 AM by In My Life »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2015, 07:31:17 AM »

That early stuff still sounds wonderful (see also Buddy, Gene, Larry, Chuck etc!).
Funnily enough, although we get 'Elvis sighted on the moon' type stories and news of items being sold for silly money in auctions, I think that Elvis is badly served in the main.
This guy would easily get in a list of the 100 most important people of the 20th Century.   
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Kevin

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2015, 08:00:45 AM »

Unfortunately Elvis, like Dylan, doesn't seem to go down too well in Beatleworld. Lots of "he didn't write his own songs" or "he didn't evolve", as if the only measure of greatness or importance is that set by The Beatles.
In his day, in his prime, his importance and influence are near incomparable. He is still the blueprint. Agree about the list thing.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 08:05:48 AM by Kevin »
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Moogmodule

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2015, 11:11:08 AM »

Unfortunately Elvis, like Dylan, doesn't seem to go down too well in Beatleworld. Lots of "he didn't write his own songs" or "he didn't evolve", as if the only measure of greatness or importance is that set by The Beatles.
In his day, in his prime, his importance and influence are near incomparable. He is still the blueprint. Agree about the list thing.

Considering how important Elvis was to the Beatles it's almost disrespectful for a Beatle fan not to appreciate his position in modern music. .
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Ovi

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2015, 02:45:41 PM »

Unfortunately Elvis, like Dylan, doesn't seem to go down too well in Beatleworld. Lots of "he didn't write his own songs" or "he didn't evolve", as if the only measure of greatness or importance is that set by The Beatles.
In his day, in his prime, his importance and influence are near incomparable. He is still the blueprint. Agree about the list thing.


That "Elvis didn't evolve" is one of the worst, least accurate cliches in popular music. It needs to go, get on with it, people. Four words I have to say: If I Can Dream.

<a href="http://youtu.be/9CMlYVu9J4g" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win">http://youtu.be/9CMlYVu9J4g</a>



« Last Edit: January 09, 2015, 02:47:53 PM by Ovi »
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Klang

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2015, 04:00:06 PM »


I like a number of his latter period songs. Personally, I find 'If I Can Dream' a bit maudlin, but there's a nice message at it's heart.

He certainly did change over the years. Whether or not it can be viewed as "evolving" is a matter of individual taste, I suppose. Maybe that's core issue at hand here.

 :)

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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2015, 05:01:41 PM »

The most over-valued commodity in pop music, and it's a recent phenomenon, is longevity.

Most reputations are, rightly, founded on no more than about six years (think 'Please Please Me' to about 'Abbey Road')..... some through necessity (e.g. Buddy Holly - he died), the rest because their later stuff is never as good/instinctive/vibrant as the stuff they did at the beginning.
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tkitna

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2015, 12:56:39 AM »

Unfortunately Elvis, like Dylan, doesn't seem to go down too well in Beatleworld. Lots of "he didn't write his own songs" or "he didn't evolve", as if the only measure of greatness or importance is that set by The Beatles.
In his day, in his prime, his importance and influence are near incomparable. He is still the blueprint. Agree about the list thing.

I agree with what Kevin said.  Nobody can argue about the influence and great songs that Dylan wrote.  I just don't want to hear him sing them.  Elvis on the other hand wasn't a song writer, but I do want to hear him sing.  The King was way easier to digest for me.  Crazy thing is I have about 5 Dylan albums and I'm not sure why.  I tried to like him, but just cant.  I have about 5 Elvis records too and I do listen to those every now and then. 

Joost

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2015, 09:45:50 AM »

I think it's hard to overstate the influence that Elvis Presley had on the pop and rock culture. He almost single-handedly made rock 'n' roll cool and "sexy". There were people before Elvis that made some pretty good rock 'n' roll, but Elvis made it the cultural phenomenon that it eventually became. But that's not to say that all he had was his looks, his moves and his incredible charisma. In my book, you're a good singer if you have the ability to make a song sound better than anyone else can. And by that definition, Elvis may have been the best there ever was.

But as an artist, he did have a whole lot against him. He didn't write songs. He had no artistic integrity to speak of, he didn't really seem to care too much if the songs he recorded were actually good. He never came up with something new, pretty much everything he did was already done before, he just brought it to a larger audience. And between his first album and the famous Comeback Special, he never made the tiniest bit of progression in any possible way for twelve whole years.

In conclusion: the greatest entertainer pop music has ever known, but hardly an artist.
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Kevin

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2015, 03:02:20 PM »



But as an artist, he did have a whole lot against him. He didn't write songs. He had no artistic integrity to speak of, he didn't really seem to care too much if the songs he recorded were actually good. He never came up with something new, pretty much everything he did was already done before, he just brought it to a larger audience. And between his first album and the famous Comeback Special, he never made the tiniest bit of progression in any possible way for twelve whole years.

In conclusion: the greatest entertainer pop music has ever known, but hardly an artist.
But surely it's quite a journey from the rockabilly o f It's Alright Mama to the social commentary of In Th Ghetto, via rock and roll, gospel and soundtrack music.
Can you really judge his musical integrity? How do you in know he didn't care what he recorded? I could make the same accusation against McCartney, or The Beach Boys even. Poor song choice doesn't necessarily equal no integrity.
Many Americans claimed the Beatles gained fame and fortune by plundering the great American songbook. Originality is a hard case to prove.
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Bobber

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2015, 03:10:53 PM »

Interesting paragraph coming from Mark Lewisohn's Tune In:

"Another change was that publishers were inducing certain artists to form joint companies, to house the copyrights in the songs they recorded. Cliff Richard had barely written a thing at this point but still he had two publishing firms, and it might be pointed out to writers tat, if he was to record their song, here was where they should vest its copyright. Colonel Parker was the past master at this: anyone who wanted Elvis to record a song was advised to give the copyright to Elvis Presley Music, Inc, or he probably wouldn't do it, a policy to owed everything to 'greed now' and nothing to 'artistry always' or any kind of long-term thinking, because the best songwriters simply took th best songs away from Elvis and gave them to other big singers."
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Mr Mustard

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2015, 06:37:05 PM »

I always regard Elvis as the earthquake which shifted the world of musical entertainment... and triggered the mighty tsunami that was The Beatles. For sure there'd be no Beatles without Elvis, but we all know the landscape would be unrecognisable with no Beatles. I always tease my Elvis mad cousin by referring to him as their warm up man   ;)

Ironically, Presley suffers from his charisma, stage magnetism and good looks - all of which obscure (to some people) the fact that he was such a SUPERB singer - not just the voice itself but the phrasing and interpretation. Awesome.

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Kevin

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2015, 09:53:20 PM »

Interesting paragraph coming from Mark Lewisohn's Tune In:

"Another change was that publishers were inducing certain artists to form joint companies, to house the copyrights in the songs they recorded. Cliff Richard had barely written a thing at this point but still he had two publishing firms, and it might be pointed out to writers tat, if he was to record their song, here was where they should vest its copyright. Colonel Parker was the past master at this: anyone who wanted Elvis to record a song was advised to give the copyright to Elvis Presley Music, Inc, or he probably wouldn't do it, a policy to owed everything to 'greed now' and nothing to 'artistry always' or any kind of long-term thinking, because the best songwriters simply took th best songs away from Elvis and gave them to other big singers."
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2015, 07:33:46 AM »

A group.
A group who wore suits.
A four-piece group who wore suits.
A front-man who wore glasses.
A front-man who wrote songs and wore glasses.
An album cover from 1958 that looks like a dry run for 'Please Please Me' from 1963.....

I love Elvis but, certainly when considering America, the biggest influence on The Beatles for me is Buddy Holly & The Crickets.
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Joost

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2015, 08:44:45 AM »

But surely it's quite a journey from the rockabilly o f It's Alright Mama to the social commentary of In Th Ghetto, via rock and roll, gospel and soundtrack music.
Can you really judge his musical integrity? How do you in know he didn't care what he recorded? I could make the same accusation against McCartney, or The Beach Boys even. Poor song choice doesn't necessarily equal no integrity.

It's not a secret that Elvis didn't really care for many of the songs that he recorded for especially his soundtrack albums in the 1960s. And at least the bad songs that Paul McCartney and The Beach Boys recorded were own compositions. If you record songs written by other people despite not really liking them, I don't think you have a whole lot of artistic integrity.

Come on, can you really imagine the guy who made those amazing Sun single going "Wow, that 'Wooden Heart' is such an amazing song, I can't wait to get to sing it'?
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Kevin

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2015, 12:06:02 PM »

It's not a secret that Elvis didn't really care for many of the songs that he recorded for especially his soundtrack albums in the 1960s. And at least the bad songs that Paul McCartney and The Beach Boys recorded were own compositions. If you record songs written by other people despite not really liking them, I don't think you have a whole lot of artistic integrity.

Come on, can you really imagine the guy who made those amazing Sun single going "Wow, that 'Wooden Heart' is such an amazing song, I can't wait to get to sing it'?
Hi joist. It's an interesting argument. Lennon spent much of the seventies saying he was "forced" to record endless songs he couldn't stand. So we can add lack of artistic integrity to his already lengthy list of sins.  Sing it everyone "Michelle my belle, these are words..."
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Ovi

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #16 on: January 11, 2015, 12:44:21 PM »

In conclusion: the greatest entertainer pop music has ever known, but hardly an artist.

I don't buy this at all, who says song-writing is a must for the 'artist' title? You're judging things based on 60's pop-rock where everybody started to write their own stuff. Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra are not artists? And taking songs others wrote and making them your own is not as easy as you make it sound. Perhaps in some cases it can be even harder than singing the songs you actually wrote.
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Joost

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2015, 02:24:43 PM »

I don't buy this at all, who says song-writing is a must for the 'artist' title? You're judging things based on 60's pop-rock where everybody started to write their own stuff. Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra are not artists? And taking songs others wrote and making them your own is not as easy as you make it sound. Perhaps in some cases it can be even harder than singing the songs you actually wrote.

There aren't many words that are harder to define than "art" and "artist". But I think that an artist should at least be a pretty creative person.

Music was both Elvis Presley's passion and his job for almost all of his adult life. And yet he never (or hardly ever) wrote lyrics, wrote music, produced, became a noteworthy instrumentalist, came with ground breaking ideas... He just sang on the songs that his manager and producers handed to him. That doesn't sound like a very creative, or artistic, person to me.

Don't get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Elvis as the incredible singer, the insanely charismatic stage personality and the iconic trendsetter that he was. And I've been a fan of his music ever since I was eight years old. But I just think that he was mostly an entertainer (perhaps the best ever in pop music) and barely a true artist. And yes, I feel the same way about Sinatra.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2015, 05:46:37 PM by Joost »
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2015, 07:44:49 PM »

Rock 'n' Rollers dig Elvis, don't get me wrong, but rock 'n' roll in the mid-to-late 50s threw up hundreds of heroes (some famous, some female, some barely known outside of their home town) and your average rock 'n' roller, from my constant reading of the subject, does seem to put Jerry Lee, Chuck Berry, Buddy, Larry Williams et al above, or at least on a par with, Elvis.

I'm not questioning his influence (it's HUGE) but, you know, I rarely listen to him, yet listen to rock 'n' roll (the proper 50s stuff, not the cliche) all the time.

It tends to be people who don't really listen much to rock 'n' roll who are the ones who have shrines of the fella in their front room, not the rockers!

They're also the people who tend to have no quality control in their love for the man, not really differentiating between the lean, hungry version (i.e. the only one that is really worth investigating) and the Vegas model or anything in-between.....see also Michael Jackson fans.
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Re: Elvis Presley
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2015, 08:04:17 PM »

Lennon did say "No Elvis no Beatles" but they covered songs by Chuck Berry, Larry Williams, Carl Perkins,  Buddy Holly and black girl groups.

Elvis opened up Rock and Roll in the 50s to white kids in the U.S. who had (parent's) money to spend on records, and allowed (in my opinion) better artists like Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, etc. to get exposure.
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