Elvis Voice change

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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Alexander »

Dan_T wrote:
Mon May 20, 2024 8:54 pm
I've always thought that a lot of the change was deliberate.
I'm glad he didn't always sound the same tbh. The voice he used in Paradise Hawaiin Style was a world away from how he used it in Memphis '69.
It is not hard to hear the boredom and disgust in his voice on soundtracks such as Paradise Hawaiian Style, Frankie & Johnny, Double Trouble and Clambake. His voice then sounds thick and syrupy.




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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Sillyme »

vinelvis wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 10:32 am
pmp wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 12:52 am
vinelvis wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 4:34 pm
Sillyme wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 3:40 pm
I love how muscle memory takes over when he sings That's Alright Mama during the first sit down show in 68. The words 'any way you do' sound just like the sun release
I love when that happens. Same thing with Big Hunk O' Love on opening night, 1972.
Perhaps most noticeable in I Just Can't Help Believin' in 76 or 77 (can't remember which).
1976. Yeah, I hear it too. It's also evident in some parts of Love Me in 1968, in Return To Sender in 1976 (I know he'd sung it before but it still sounds more like his 60s voice than other 60s songs) and some other songs which I can't remember right now.
The Danny Boy master. It's the most 60s like vocals and the least shaky of the Jungle room sessions. He sang that song at home in the 60s.




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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by ICanHelp »

vinelvis wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 10:32 am
pmp wrote:
Thu May 23, 2024 12:52 am
vinelvis wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 4:34 pm
Sillyme wrote:
Wed May 22, 2024 3:40 pm
I love how muscle memory takes over when he sings That's Alright Mama during the first sit down show in 68. The words 'any way you do' sound just like the sun release
I love when that happens. Same thing with Big Hunk O' Love on opening night, 1972.
Perhaps most noticeable in I Just Can't Help Believin' in 76 or 77 (can't remember which).
1976. Yeah, I hear it too. It's also evident in some parts of Love Me in 1968, in Return To Sender in 1976 (I know he'd sung it before but it still sounds more like his 60s voice than other 60s songs) and some other songs which I can't remember right now.
I just listened to the 76 performance of Just Can't Help Believing on YouTube. Rather remarkable.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Gregory Nolan Jr. »

Great points he made but I would take issue with emphasizing that his '68-69 voice was "changed forcibly." It invites the notion that it was not authentic, although I don't think the author meant that. I do agree he's pressing and and showing his commitment vocally, but that's a long way from being "forced" and not "naturally." If you sing from the heart as he clearly did in '68-'69 (arguably many other years, if not the majority), you can't be accused of forcing it.

I don't buy into the notion that he sounded like two different people. For those of us who grew up as I did in the '70s, his '50s hits were heard interchangably with his great '70s output. Even on "Golden Records" (the first volume and the first one in our house) he sounded raw on "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse" but then as smooth as a pussy cat on ballads. Even as a kid I could get my head around that his voice that his "eras" were part of his development....and listening pleasure of the fan. When people overplay the need of being a virtuoso instrument player and /or songwriter, they too often forget how much singing is a real art and craft. Appreciating Elvis' great original vocal styles (even within his own career) is part of appreciating his great legacy.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Igotstung »

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
Sat May 25, 2024 7:27 pm
Great points he made but I would take issue with emphasizing that his '68-69 voice was "changed forcibly." It invites the notion that it was not authentic, although I don't think the author meant that. I do agree he's pressing and and showing his commitment vocally, but that's a long way from being "forced" and not "naturally." If you sing from the heart as he clearly did in '68-'69 (arguably many other years, if not the majority), you can't be accused of forcing it.

I don't buy into the notion that he sounded like two different people. For those of us who grew up as I did in the '70s, his '50s hits were heard interchangably with his great '70s output. Even on "Golden Records" (the first volume and the first one in our house) he sounded raw on "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse" but then as smooth as a pussy cat on ballads. Even as a kid I could get my head around that his voice that his "eras" were part of his development....and listening pleasure of the fan. When people overplay the need of being a virtuoso instrument player and /or songwriter, they too often forget how much singing is a real art and craft. Appreciating Elvis' great original vocal styles (even within his own career) is part of appreciating his great legacy.
I don't think there is anyone here who doesn't appreciate the vast range of Presley, be it genres, vocal styles or voices.

But objectively speaking, he does sound like a different person in 68 from 58. See The voice on Rock and Roll Medley of 68 special vs the same songs on original recordings. First In Line and Can't Help Falling In love are just 5 years apart.

PMP has broken the voice change down further in detail. Every couple years, the voice changes, something that can't be attributed to just age or illness. We as fans recognize the voice, but for the uninitiated, if one plays lesser known songs across the eras, they will not be able to tell.

The deliberate voice change is not suggested as inauthentic, whether by me or PMP or others here. But as a creative choice- his voice was his instrument and he experimented with it throughout his career. That he was able to and that he did it so masterfully is part of his genius.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by pmp »

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
Sat May 25, 2024 7:27 pm
Great points he made but I would take issue with emphasizing that his '68-69 voice was "changed forcibly." It invites the notion that it was not authentic, although I don't think the author meant that. I do agree he's pressing and and showing his commitment vocally, but that's a long way from being "forced" and not "naturally." If you sing from the heart as he clearly did in '68-'69 (arguably many other years, if not the majority), you can't be accused of forcing it.

I don't buy into the notion that he sounded like two different people. For those of us who grew up as I did in the '70s, his '50s hits were heard interchangably with his great '70s output. Even on "Golden Records" (the first volume and the first one in our house) he sounded raw on "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse" but then as smooth as a pussy cat on ballads. Even as a kid I could get my head around that his voice that his "eras" were part of his development....and listening pleasure of the fan. When people overplay the need of being a virtuoso instrument player and /or songwriter, they too often forget how much singing is a real art and craft. Appreciating Elvis' great original vocal styles (even within his own career) is part of appreciating his great legacy.
But surely you see that they didn't like two separate people because you KNEW they weren't. Play a non fan How's the Workd Treating You and I've Lost You and see if they think it's the same person. Or Silent Night and The First Noel. Or even Little Sister and Promised Land.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

Igotstung wrote:
Sun May 26, 2024 1:51 pm
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
Sat May 25, 2024 7:27 pm
Great points he made but I would take issue with emphasizing that his '68-69 voice was "changed forcibly." It invites the notion that it was not authentic, although I don't think the author meant that. I do agree he's pressing and and showing his commitment vocally, but that's a long way from being "forced" and not "naturally." If you sing from the heart as he clearly did in '68-'69 (arguably many other years, if not the majority), you can't be accused of forcing it.

I don't buy into the notion that he sounded like two different people. For those of us who grew up as I did in the '70s, his '50s hits were heard interchangably with his great '70s output. Even on "Golden Records" (the first volume and the first one in our house) he sounded raw on "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse" but then as smooth as a pussy cat on ballads. Even as a kid I could get my head around that his voice that his "eras" were part of his development....and listening pleasure of the fan. When people overplay the need of being a virtuoso instrument player and /or songwriter, they too often forget how much singing is a real art and craft. Appreciating Elvis' great original vocal styles (even within his own career) is part of appreciating his great legacy.
I don't think there is anyone here who doesn't appreciate the vast range of Presley, be it genres, vocal styles or voices.
Actually, some people here do come off that way, including his own estate (EPE) -- they basically like to pretend that Elvis vanished peacefully into the ether after "Aloha From Hawaii" (maybe he fell into a volcano or disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle or got sucked into a TV camera or something). Greg has banged the drum of the importance of appreciating all aspects of Elvis' career, all phases of his life, for a long time. And good on him. It's great to see a fresh post by him, too. Greg and I had some stupid clashes in the past (I was young and dumb -- still am...), but he's one of the legends of FECC, for sure. 8) Anyway, as he rightly said, or re-wording him slightly, a proper appreciation of Elvis' legacy can only come if all of Elvis' styles and transformations are appreciated. He was truly able to paint with his voice; his very inflections are art in and of themselves. Not many people possess this sort of ability. As one or two sharper critics have observed, Elvis didn't really have a single voice, but a multiplicity of them; and in the course of his life, he tried to get out as many of them as he could. He left behind a remarkably sinuous body of vocal work (or play): a shimmering ribbon of dazzling complexity. Compared to everyone else in the world, as a singer/vocalist/performer par excellence, Elvis is like an oasis in a desert: the desert of the real. For, ultimately, as real as Elvis was, his talent was totally surreal.
But objectively speaking, he does sound like a different person in 68 from 58. See The voice on Rock and Roll Medley of 68 special vs the same songs on original recordings. First In Line and Can't Help Falling In love are just 5 years apart.
It's not really an objective thing; it's more perceptual. But I do agree that Elvis has this Protean characteristic, and I think all of us can sense it, and most of us can appreciate it. Not only is he sweet and sensual, wild and hypertensive, sometimes in even the same song, but there is vast variation across the span of his career. It does, indeed, sound like a different person delicately crooning "My Happiness" on his first-ever SUN acetate, to the SUNDIAL KING belting out "Hurt" in "Elvis In Concert"; or how about "Where Did They Go, Lord?" in 1970 compared with "Doin' The Best I Can" in 1960? Even smaller spans of time tend to throw up striking differences: "It Hurts Me" in 1968 vs. the 1964 master recording? "Crying In The Chapel" vs. "Too Much Monkey Business"? Even the same song can sound different just months apart. Listen to the American Sound run-through of "I Can't Stop Loving You": so gorgeously relaxed, joyful, mellifluous. Then throw on the 1969 live recording from "Live At The International": a full-throttle, glitzy, swamp-rock Vegas assault on the senses. No matter where you roam in Elvis' career, those differences just keep asserting themselves.
PMP has broken the voice change down further in detail. Every couple years, the voice changes, something that can't be attributed to just age or illness. We as fans recognize the voice, but for the uninitiated, if one plays lesser known songs across the eras, they will not be able to tell.
Sort of, yeah. Many moons ago, for whatever reason, I was playing a bunch of Elvis songs one day at my Dad's flat, and "Heart Of Rome" was belting out the speakers (I usually listen to music on headphones, mind you), and he was like, "Whoa, who is that?" When I said, "It's Elvis", he was quite incredulous: "Really?" My Dad's a pretty big music fan, but Elvis isn't particularly high on his list. Nevertheless, that recording caught him off-guard. Casual listeners don't really grasp how much vocal prowess Elvis actually had; the more idiotic ones out there, if they know of Elvis at all, tend to think he sang every song with an "Uh huh", followed by a "Thank you very much" and a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. They're often clueless as to how many songs Elvis sang. A common reaction I've seen is: "I didn't know Elvis sang this." So, sure as day follows night, you can bet your bottom dollar that most people would, indeed, fail to recognise many random songs as being performed by Elvis. Thus, the mystification that we feel toward Elvis and his very wide palette -- tone, texture, timbre, method of attack, etc., -- is lost on them; just as many people ignore the night sky and don't ever seem to really stop and contemplate the beauty of the universe and our extremely feeble place within it. How casually we brush past the marvellous, retreating almost spitefully into the mundane, is a source of endless astonishment to me.
The deliberate voice change is not suggested as inauthentic, whether by me or PMP or others here. But as a creative choice- his voice was his instrument and he experimented with it throughout his career. That he was able to and that he did it so masterfully is part of his genius.
That's right. Sometimes, Elvis took on a more heightened or boundary-pushing style. The Comeback Special is probably top of the tree here, but one might also cite the way he worked on his voice to expand his top range and acquire more volume, and also more smoothness, when he went into the army, leading to the great Nashville recordings of the early 1960s. And then, while more controversial among some fans, there was his great operatic voice of the mid-to-late 1970s, which he still seemed to be improving on before he died. Truly, like those great Andy Warhol paintings, there isn't really one Elvis, but a vast army of them; yet they are all equally Elvis, all of one being -- all emanations of one individual in an all-enveloping cyclorama. Elvis did so many motion pictures because there were so many frames of his being requiring urgent escape/release.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Igotstung »

Cryogenic wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 6:40 am
Igotstung wrote:
Sun May 26, 2024 1:51 pm
Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:
Sat May 25, 2024 7:27 pm
Great points he made but I would take issue with emphasizing that his '68-69 voice was "changed forcibly." It invites the notion that it was not authentic, although I don't think the author meant that. I do agree he's pressing and and showing his commitment vocally, but that's a long way from being "forced" and not "naturally." If you sing from the heart as he clearly did in '68-'69 (arguably many other years, if not the majority), you can't be accused of forcing it.

I don't buy into the notion that he sounded like two different people. For those of us who grew up as I did in the '70s, his '50s hits were heard interchangably with his great '70s output. Even on "Golden Records" (the first volume and the first one in our house) he sounded raw on "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse" but then as smooth as a pussy cat on ballads. Even as a kid I could get my head around that his voice that his "eras" were part of his development....and listening pleasure of the fan. When people overplay the need of being a virtuoso instrument player and /or songwriter, they too often forget how much singing is a real art and craft. Appreciating Elvis' great original vocal styles (even within his own career) is part of appreciating his great legacy.
I don't think there is anyone here who doesn't appreciate the vast range of Presley, be it genres, vocal styles or voices.
Actually, some people here do come off that way, including his own estate (EPE) -- they basically like to pretend that Elvis vanished peacefully into the ether after "Aloha From Hawaii" (maybe he fell into a volcano or disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle or got sucked into a TV camera or something). Greg has banged the drum of the importance of appreciating all aspects of Elvis' career, all phases of his life, for a long time. And good on him. It's great to see a fresh post by him, too. Greg and I had some stupid clashes in the past (I was young and dumb -- still am...), but he's one of the legends of FECC, for sure. 8) Anyway, as he rightly said, or re-wording him slightly, a proper appreciation of Elvis' legacy can only come if all of Elvis' styles and transformations are appreciated. He was truly able to paint with his voice; his very inflections are art in and of themselves. Not many people possess this sort of ability. As one or two sharper critics have observed, Elvis didn't really have a single voice, but a multiplicity of them; and in the course of his life, he tried to get out as many of them as he could. He left behind a remarkably sinuous body of vocal work (or play): a shimmering ribbon of dazzling complexity. Compared to everyone else in the world, as a singer/vocalist/performer par excellence, Elvis is like an oasis in a desert: the desert of the real. For, ultimately, as real as Elvis was, his talent was totally surreal.
But objectively speaking, he does sound like a different person in 68 from 58. See The voice on Rock and Roll Medley of 68 special vs the same songs on original recordings. First In Line and Can't Help Falling In love are just 5 years apart.
It's not really an objective thing; it's more perceptual. But I do agree that Elvis has this Protean characteristic, and I think all of us can sense it, and most of us can appreciate it. Not only is he sweet and sensual, wild and hypertensive, sometimes in even the same song, but there is vast variation across the span of his career. It does, indeed, sound like a different person delicately crooning "My Happiness" on his first-ever SUN acetate, to the SUNDIAL KING belting out "Hurt" in "Elvis In Concert"; or how about "Where Did They Go, Lord?" in 1970 compared with "Doin' The Best I Can" in 1960? Even smaller spans of time tend to throw up striking differences: "It Hurts Me" in 1968 vs. the 1964 master recording? "Crying In The Chapel" vs. "Too Much Monkey Business"? Even the same song can sound different just months apart. Listen to the American Sound run-through of "I Can't Stop Loving You": so gorgeously relaxed, joyful, mellifluous. Then throw on the 1969 live recording from "Live At The International": a full-throttle, glitzy, swamp-rock Vegas assault on the senses. No matter where you roam in Elvis' career, those differences just keep asserting themselves.
PMP has broken the voice change down further in detail. Every couple years, the voice changes, something that can't be attributed to just age or illness. We as fans recognize the voice, but for the uninitiated, if one plays lesser known songs across the eras, they will not be able to tell.
Sort of, yeah. Many moons ago, for whatever reason, I was playing a bunch of Elvis songs one day at my Dad's flat, and "Heart Of Rome" was belting out the speakers (I usually listen to music on headphones, mind you), and he was like, "Whoa, who is that?" When I said, "It's Elvis", he was quite incredulous: "Really?" My Dad's a pretty big music fan, but Elvis isn't particularly high on his list. Nevertheless, that recording caught him off-guard. Casual listeners don't really grasp how much vocal prowess Elvis actually had; the more idiotic ones out there, if they know of Elvis at all, tend to think he sang every song with an "Uh huh", followed by a "Thank you very much" and a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. They're often clueless as to how many songs Elvis sang. A common reaction I've seen is: "I didn't know Elvis sang this." So, sure as day follows night, you can bet your bottom dollar that most people would, indeed, fail to recognise many random songs as being performed by Elvis. Thus, the mystification that we feel toward Elvis and his very wide palette -- tone, texture, timbre, method of attack, etc., -- is lost on them; just as many people ignore the night sky and don't ever seem to really stop and contemplate the beauty of the universe and our extremely feeble place within it. How casually we brush past the marvellous, retreating almost spitefully into the mundane, is a source of endless astonishment to me.
The deliberate voice change is not suggested as inauthentic, whether by me or PMP or others here. But as a creative choice- his voice was his instrument and he experimented with it throughout his career. That he was able to and that he did it so masterfully is part of his genius.
That's right. Sometimes, Elvis took on a more heightened or boundary-pushing style. The Comeback Special is probably top of the tree here, but one might also cite the way he worked on his voice to expand his top range and acquire more volume, and also more smoothness, when he went into the army, leading to the great Nashville recordings of the early 1960s. And then, while more controversial among some fans, there was his great operatic voice of the mid-to-late 1970s, which he still seemed to be improving on before he died. Truly, like those great Andy Warhol paintings, there isn't really one Elvis, but a vast army of them; yet they are all equally Elvis, all of one being -- all emanations of one individual in an all-enveloping cyclorama. Elvis did so many motion pictures because there were so many frames of his being requiring urgent escape/release.
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.

Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.

2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.

3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.

I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

Igotstung wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 9:51 am
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you. :)
Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.
I love your descriptions for the facets of Elvis' personality. Spot on! On the issue of his movie career, Elvis himself said he found himself heavily discouraged past a certain point (probably around 1962 or 1963), and the implication is he didn't try very hard thereafter. He just never quite manifested the same confidence in front of a camera, when "acting" a part, surrounded by other cast members, fellow thespians, compared to his remarkably unselfconscious unleashing of his personality through music. It's a paradox, of sorts, but one that has a rough solution when you realise that Elvis couldn't quite get out of his own way when acting; he already had such a formidable persona of his own. Beyond that, perhaps some of the weaker aspects of his personality came through awkwardly in being a "screen idol", like this fake bravado, which is tedious. That said, there was always vulnerability underneath. Again, the contradictions of Elvis are what give him such undeniable screen presence. He always had something.
2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.
There are preferences, sure. I don't find his early sixties voice insincere or bland. On the contrary, to me, it's one of his most vocally stunning and emotionally intimate phases. One spin of "There's Always Me" tells you (or tells me) that Elvis was in possession of a monster talent. Or the pop perfection of "She's Not You": a song I can listen to again and again. Or the clenching majesty of "It Hurts Me": maybe his greatest ever vocal. Or the remarkably delicate atmosphere on "I Need Somebody To Lean On": aching and gorgeous.
3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.
I don't think his voice was weak in his last few years. It was amazingly strong and robust when he wanted it to be. Yes, there are some pretty dismal performances of, say, "Hound Dog", where Elvis sounds utterly spent, but then you also have the likes of "Hurt", "Unchained Melody", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "Fairytale", "Early Mornin' Rain", "I Really Don't Want To Know", and "Trying To Get To You"; as well as off-the-cuff pieces like "Rags To Riches" and "Where No One Stands Alone"; and the underrated magic of the Jungle Room Sessions. It's true that his voice wasn't what it once was, but it had also thickened and developed other qualities that make you sit up and take notice. There was both fragility and a frayed quality, yet also strength, majesty, and a wonderfully rich tone he never really had before. The conundrum of Elvis' voice at the end is that it was simultaneously worn down and tired-sounding, yet also remarkably operatic and honest. No other period quite has that authentic, maddening quality about it.
I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.
EPE has been in the censorship business for decades. It suppresses "Elvis In Concert", but markets Elvis ducks and other ephemera by the dozen. And yet, it isn't so against EIC that it hasn't officially sanctioned bits 'n' pieces from being released, and parts have even been played at Graceland. It's been almost fifty years now and the footage is all over YouTube; begging the question, "What is EPE still protecting?" Yet Elvis' final television special (one of only three he made in his lifetime) still is held under lock and key (the good quality master tapes, I'm talking about -- and even the album has never been remastered). EPE can suck a bag of jelly donuts.

I would argue that various parts of EIC and the 76-77 Elvis also "transcend through generations", but going by the insulting stereotype that Elvis was completely out to lunch in the last eighteen months of his life, and that he was basically a washed-up caricature, you'd think he wasn't still recording music or giving sold-out concerts, and that his fanbase had completely disappeared. All demonstrably untrue.

I'm genuinely a fan of all eras, from the skinny unassuming kid with the otherworldly voice that emerged in Tupelo: so completely evocative of hot summers and heat hazes, gas stations, Cadillacs, 45 records, endless telegraph cables winding into the distance, the crackly patter of a wireless radio or early phonograph; to the radiant Sun King of Rapid City: bulky and beetle-like, eyes warm but tired, thick helmet of dyed black hair, sweat pouring down over swollen cheeks, flared trousers, gleaming belt buckle girdling an expansive waistline, big voice filling the auditorium: the shy country boy who became a screen icon who became a superstar who became a legend. It's all Elvis and it's all wonderful.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Jokerlola »

Cryogenic wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 1:51 am
Igotstung wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 9:51 am
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you. :)
Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.
I love your descriptions for the facets of Elvis' personality. Spot on! On the issue of his movie career, Elvis himself said he found himself heavily discouraged past a certain point (probably around 1962 or 1963), and the implication is he didn't try very hard thereafter. He just never quite manifested the same confidence in front of a camera, when "acting" a part, surrounded by other cast members, fellow thespians, compared to his remarkably unselfconscious unleashing of his personality through music. It's a paradox, of sorts, but one that has a rough solution when you realise that Elvis couldn't quite get out of his own way when acting; he already had such a formidable persona of his own. Beyond that, perhaps some of the weaker aspects of his personality came through awkwardly in being a "screen idol", like this fake bravado, which is tedious. That said, there was always vulnerability underneath. Again, the contradictions of Elvis are what give him such undeniable screen presence. He always had something.
2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.
There are preferences, sure. I don't find his early sixties voice insincere or bland. On the contrary, to me, it's one of his most vocally stunning and emotionally intimate phases. One spin of "There's Always Me" tells you (or tells me) that Elvis was in possession of a monster talent. Or the pop perfection of "She's Not You": a song I can listen to again and again. Or the clenching majesty of "It Hurts Me": maybe his greatest ever vocal. Or the remarkably delicate atmosphere on "I Need Somebody To Lean On": aching and gorgeous.
3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.
I don't think his voice was weak in his last few years. It was amazingly strong and robust when he wanted it to be. Yes, there are some pretty dismal performances of, say, "Hound Dog", where Elvis sounds utterly spent, but then you also have the likes of "Hurt", "Unchained Melody", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "Fairytale", "Early Mornin' Rain", "I Really Don't Want To Know", and "Trying To Get To You"; as well as off-the-cuff pieces like "Rags To Riches" and "Where No One Stands Alone"; and the underrated magic of the Jungle Room Sessions. It's true that his voice wasn't what it once was, but it had also thickened and developed other qualities that make you sit up and take notice. There was both fragility and a frayed quality, yet also strength, majesty, and a wonderfully rich tone he never really had before. The conundrum of Elvis' voice at the end is that it was simultaneously worn down and tired-sounding, yet also remarkably operatic and honest. No other period quite has that authentic, maddening quality about it.
I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.
EPE has been in the censorship business for decades. It suppresses "Elvis In Concert", but markets Elvis ducks and other ephemera by the dozen. And yet, it isn't so against EIC that it hasn't officially sanctioned bits 'n' pieces from being released, and parts have even been played at Graceland. It's been almost fifty years now and the footage is all over YouTube; begging the question, "What is EPE still protecting?" Yet Elvis' final television special (one of only three he made in his lifetime) still is held under lock and key (the good quality master tapes, I'm talking about -- and even the album has never been remastered). EPE can suck a bag of jelly donuts.

I would argue that various parts of EIC and the 76-77 Elvis also "transcend through generations", but going by the insulting stereotype that Elvis was completely out to lunch in the last eighteen months of his life, and that he was basically a washed-up caricature, you'd think he wasn't still recording music or giving sold-out concerts, and that his fanbase had completely disappeared. All demonstrably untrue.

I'm genuinely a fan of all eras, from the skinny unassuming kid with the otherworldly voice that emerged in Tupelo: so completely evocative of hot summers and heat hazes, gas stations, Cadillacs, 45 records, endless telegraph cables winding into the distance, the crackly patter of a wireless radio or early phonograph; to the radiant Sun King of Rapid City: bulky and beetle-like, eyes warm but tired, thick helmet of dyed black hair, sweat pouring down over swollen cheeks, flared trousers, gleaming belt buckle girdling an expansive waistline, big voice filling the auditorium: the shy country boy who became a screen icon who became a superstar who became a legend. It's all Elvis and it's all wonderful.
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by pmp »

Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 11:25 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 1:51 am
Igotstung wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 9:51 am
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you. :)
Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.
I love your descriptions for the facets of Elvis' personality. Spot on! On the issue of his movie career, Elvis himself said he found himself heavily discouraged past a certain point (probably around 1962 or 1963), and the implication is he didn't try very hard thereafter. He just never quite manifested the same confidence in front of a camera, when "acting" a part, surrounded by other cast members, fellow thespians, compared to his remarkably unselfconscious unleashing of his personality through music. It's a paradox, of sorts, but one that has a rough solution when you realise that Elvis couldn't quite get out of his own way when acting; he already had such a formidable persona of his own. Beyond that, perhaps some of the weaker aspects of his personality came through awkwardly in being a "screen idol", like this fake bravado, which is tedious. That said, there was always vulnerability underneath. Again, the contradictions of Elvis are what give him such undeniable screen presence. He always had something.
2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.
There are preferences, sure. I don't find his early sixties voice insincere or bland. On the contrary, to me, it's one of his most vocally stunning and emotionally intimate phases. One spin of "There's Always Me" tells you (or tells me) that Elvis was in possession of a monster talent. Or the pop perfection of "She's Not You": a song I can listen to again and again. Or the clenching majesty of "It Hurts Me": maybe his greatest ever vocal. Or the remarkably delicate atmosphere on "I Need Somebody To Lean On": aching and gorgeous.
3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.
I don't think his voice was weak in his last few years. It was amazingly strong and robust when he wanted it to be. Yes, there are some pretty dismal performances of, say, "Hound Dog", where Elvis sounds utterly spent, but then you also have the likes of "Hurt", "Unchained Melody", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "Fairytale", "Early Mornin' Rain", "I Really Don't Want To Know", and "Trying To Get To You"; as well as off-the-cuff pieces like "Rags To Riches" and "Where No One Stands Alone"; and the underrated magic of the Jungle Room Sessions. It's true that his voice wasn't what it once was, but it had also thickened and developed other qualities that make you sit up and take notice. There was both fragility and a frayed quality, yet also strength, majesty, and a wonderfully rich tone he never really had before. The conundrum of Elvis' voice at the end is that it was simultaneously worn down and tired-sounding, yet also remarkably operatic and honest. No other period quite has that authentic, maddening quality about it.
I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.
EPE has been in the censorship business for decades. It suppresses "Elvis In Concert", but markets Elvis ducks and other ephemera by the dozen. And yet, it isn't so against EIC that it hasn't officially sanctioned bits 'n' pieces from being released, and parts have even been played at Graceland. It's been almost fifty years now and the footage is all over YouTube; begging the question, "What is EPE still protecting?" Yet Elvis' final television special (one of only three he made in his lifetime) still is held under lock and key (the good quality master tapes, I'm talking about -- and even the album has never been remastered). EPE can suck a bag of jelly donuts.

I would argue that various parts of EIC and the 76-77 Elvis also "transcend through generations", but going by the insulting stereotype that Elvis was completely out to lunch in the last eighteen months of his life, and that he was basically a washed-up caricature, you'd think he wasn't still recording music or giving sold-out concerts, and that his fanbase had completely disappeared. All demonstrably untrue.

I'm genuinely a fan of all eras, from the skinny unassuming kid with the otherworldly voice that emerged in Tupelo: so completely evocative of hot summers and heat hazes, gas stations, Cadillacs, 45 records, endless telegraph cables winding into the distance, the crackly patter of a wireless radio or early phonograph; to the radiant Sun King of Rapid City: bulky and beetle-like, eyes warm but tired, thick helmet of dyed black hair, sweat pouring down over swollen cheeks, flared trousers, gleaming belt buckle girdling an expansive waistline, big voice filling the auditorium: the shy country boy who became a screen icon who became a superstar who became a legend. It's all Elvis and it's all wonderful.
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.
Using photos from a couple of years earlier only seems to bother Elvis fans. Most people couldn't care less whether a 1975 photo was used on a 1976 album etc. It happens today, too. Albums take so long to make and release now that the photo on the cover is nearly always a year or two old by the time it hits the shops.

In Elvis's case, it wasn't censorship but plain old common sense.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Jokerlola »

pmp wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 3:27 pm
Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 11:25 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 1:51 am
Igotstung wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 9:51 am
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you. :)
Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.
I love your descriptions for the facets of Elvis' personality. Spot on! On the issue of his movie career, Elvis himself said he found himself heavily discouraged past a certain point (probably around 1962 or 1963), and the implication is he didn't try very hard thereafter. He just never quite manifested the same confidence in front of a camera, when "acting" a part, surrounded by other cast members, fellow thespians, compared to his remarkably unselfconscious unleashing of his personality through music. It's a paradox, of sorts, but one that has a rough solution when you realise that Elvis couldn't quite get out of his own way when acting; he already had such a formidable persona of his own. Beyond that, perhaps some of the weaker aspects of his personality came through awkwardly in being a "screen idol", like this fake bravado, which is tedious. That said, there was always vulnerability underneath. Again, the contradictions of Elvis are what give him such undeniable screen presence. He always had something.
2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.
There are preferences, sure. I don't find his early sixties voice insincere or bland. On the contrary, to me, it's one of his most vocally stunning and emotionally intimate phases. One spin of "There's Always Me" tells you (or tells me) that Elvis was in possession of a monster talent. Or the pop perfection of "She's Not You": a song I can listen to again and again. Or the clenching majesty of "It Hurts Me": maybe his greatest ever vocal. Or the remarkably delicate atmosphere on "I Need Somebody To Lean On": aching and gorgeous.
3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.
I don't think his voice was weak in his last few years. It was amazingly strong and robust when he wanted it to be. Yes, there are some pretty dismal performances of, say, "Hound Dog", where Elvis sounds utterly spent, but then you also have the likes of "Hurt", "Unchained Melody", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "Fairytale", "Early Mornin' Rain", "I Really Don't Want To Know", and "Trying To Get To You"; as well as off-the-cuff pieces like "Rags To Riches" and "Where No One Stands Alone"; and the underrated magic of the Jungle Room Sessions. It's true that his voice wasn't what it once was, but it had also thickened and developed other qualities that make you sit up and take notice. There was both fragility and a frayed quality, yet also strength, majesty, and a wonderfully rich tone he never really had before. The conundrum of Elvis' voice at the end is that it was simultaneously worn down and tired-sounding, yet also remarkably operatic and honest. No other period quite has that authentic, maddening quality about it.
I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.
EPE has been in the censorship business for decades. It suppresses "Elvis In Concert", but markets Elvis ducks and other ephemera by the dozen. And yet, it isn't so against EIC that it hasn't officially sanctioned bits 'n' pieces from being released, and parts have even been played at Graceland. It's been almost fifty years now and the footage is all over YouTube; begging the question, "What is EPE still protecting?" Yet Elvis' final television special (one of only three he made in his lifetime) still is held under lock and key (the good quality master tapes, I'm talking about -- and even the album has never been remastered). EPE can suck a bag of jelly donuts.

I would argue that various parts of EIC and the 76-77 Elvis also "transcend through generations", but going by the insulting stereotype that Elvis was completely out to lunch in the last eighteen months of his life, and that he was basically a washed-up caricature, you'd think he wasn't still recording music or giving sold-out concerts, and that his fanbase had completely disappeared. All demonstrably untrue.

I'm genuinely a fan of all eras, from the skinny unassuming kid with the otherworldly voice that emerged in Tupelo: so completely evocative of hot summers and heat hazes, gas stations, Cadillacs, 45 records, endless telegraph cables winding into the distance, the crackly patter of a wireless radio or early phonograph; to the radiant Sun King of Rapid City: bulky and beetle-like, eyes warm but tired, thick helmet of dyed black hair, sweat pouring down over swollen cheeks, flared trousers, gleaming belt buckle girdling an expansive waistline, big voice filling the auditorium: the shy country boy who became a screen icon who became a superstar who became a legend. It's all Elvis and it's all wonderful.
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.
Using photos from a couple of years earlier only seems to bother Elvis fans. Most people couldn't care less whether a 1975 photo was used on a 1976 album etc. It happens today, too. Albums take so long to make and release now that the photo on the cover is nearly always a year or two old by the time it hits the shops.

In Elvis's case, it wasn't censorship but plain old common sense.
And it’s common sense that EPE doesn’t release EIC and only releases selected clips (namely Unchained Melody) to represent Elvis’ final year. That is the only clip they have officially released. You can’t count THis Is Elvis because that was not EPE. Parker was still in control then.

It was obvious that RCA was avoiding showing Elvis’ current state on his album covers starting from the Today album. Up until then, they used pictures that were relatively recent (within the year). And most hardcore fans knew this at the time. We were seeing what he looked like on the movie magazine and tabloid covers and sharing concert pictures at fan club meetings.

My point is your point. It wasn’t censorship, it was common sense to not show Elvis when he wasn’t looking his best. And it wasn’t something new. It was done as far back as the Paradise Hawaiian Style album cover.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Jokerlola »

Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 10:31 pm
pmp wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 3:27 pm
Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 11:25 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 1:51 am
Igotstung wrote:
Mon May 27, 2024 9:51 am
A very evocative and lyrical post. Thank you.
You're welcome. And thank you. :)
Few observations:

1. Elvis had many strong facets to his personality. Sweet mama's boy, a fickle ladies' man, a spiritual searcher, a short tempered macho man, a sensitive soul, a peacock dandy, a recluse, a party man, an ambitious go- getter, a passive procastinator, so on and so forth. He expressed all these throughout his music. But in movies, with few exceptions he trapped himself in ' handsome hunk sings songs, gets the girl and does some action scenes while he is at it' trope. Oversimplified? Maybe. But he didn't really express himself in movies, again with few exceptions. Whether he was capable of being a diverse actor or not, is debatable. But for someone with so much emotional expression and colour in his music, it is tragic that he didn't try to in sustained manner.
I love your descriptions for the facets of Elvis' personality. Spot on! On the issue of his movie career, Elvis himself said he found himself heavily discouraged past a certain point (probably around 1962 or 1963), and the implication is he didn't try very hard thereafter. He just never quite manifested the same confidence in front of a camera, when "acting" a part, surrounded by other cast members, fellow thespians, compared to his remarkably unselfconscious unleashing of his personality through music. It's a paradox, of sorts, but one that has a rough solution when you realise that Elvis couldn't quite get out of his own way when acting; he already had such a formidable persona of his own. Beyond that, perhaps some of the weaker aspects of his personality came through awkwardly in being a "screen idol", like this fake bravado, which is tedious. That said, there was always vulnerability underneath. Again, the contradictions of Elvis are what give him such undeniable screen presence. He always had something.
2. Since we are talking about voice(s), because of his diversity, it is easy to be tempted to pick one era over other. It is almost like prefering one singer over other, come to think of it. I like most of his voices: the whole 50s, 60-61, 68- 70. Don't want to pick one over other. Won't. I am not partial to the sweet, syrupy ballad sound of early to mid sixties. I find it insincere and bland, but it could be my subjective taste, as technically his voice was solid. Anyway, point is, people respond emotionally to the different voices, so there would be preferences.
There are preferences, sure. I don't find his early sixties voice insincere or bland. On the contrary, to me, it's one of his most vocally stunning and emotionally intimate phases. One spin of "There's Always Me" tells you (or tells me) that Elvis was in possession of a monster talent. Or the pop perfection of "She's Not You": a song I can listen to again and again. Or the clenching majesty of "It Hurts Me": maybe his greatest ever vocal. Or the remarkably delicate atmosphere on "I Need Somebody To Lean On": aching and gorgeous.
3. The voice of last few years was weak, with few exceptions. There is a whiny, nasal, breathless quality which makes many performances lacklustre. His extraordinarily shimmery vibrato is now wobbly. In many cases this world weary voice works to enhance the doom ridden song. There can be a certain beauty to the morbidity. But one can't really call it one of his best eras. The operatic style also many times relies on bellowing with focus on grand ending of high notes, with little regard for subtlety and lyrical expression. Again, there are exceptions.
I don't think his voice was weak in his last few years. It was amazingly strong and robust when he wanted it to be. Yes, there are some pretty dismal performances of, say, "Hound Dog", where Elvis sounds utterly spent, but then you also have the likes of "Hurt", "Unchained Melody", "My Way", "How Great Thou Art", "You Gave Me A Mountain", "Fairytale", "Early Mornin' Rain", "I Really Don't Want To Know", and "Trying To Get To You"; as well as off-the-cuff pieces like "Rags To Riches" and "Where No One Stands Alone"; and the underrated magic of the Jungle Room Sessions. It's true that his voice wasn't what it once was, but it had also thickened and developed other qualities that make you sit up and take notice. There was both fragility and a frayed quality, yet also strength, majesty, and a wonderfully rich tone he never really had before. The conundrum of Elvis' voice at the end is that it was simultaneously worn down and tired-sounding, yet also remarkably operatic and honest. No other period quite has that authentic, maddening quality about it.
I don't know the EPE history, but my sense is they don't want to feed into the fat Elvis trope. Fans will appreciate the music regardless, but since he is a massive cultural figure beyond fandom, and already there is this overweight - in - jumpsuit image- it is wiser to highlight the achievements that transcend through generations. Again, I have very little knowledge or interest in EPE.
I find the journey through his voices is always rich and rewarding, irrespective of eras.
EPE has been in the censorship business for decades. It suppresses "Elvis In Concert", but markets Elvis ducks and other ephemera by the dozen. And yet, it isn't so against EIC that it hasn't officially sanctioned bits 'n' pieces from being released, and parts have even been played at Graceland. It's been almost fifty years now and the footage is all over YouTube; begging the question, "What is EPE still protecting?" Yet Elvis' final television special (one of only three he made in his lifetime) still is held under lock and key (the good quality master tapes, I'm talking about -- and even the album has never been remastered). EPE can suck a bag of jelly donuts.

I would argue that various parts of EIC and the 76-77 Elvis also "transcend through generations", but going by the insulting stereotype that Elvis was completely out to lunch in the last eighteen months of his life, and that he was basically a washed-up caricature, you'd think he wasn't still recording music or giving sold-out concerts, and that his fanbase had completely disappeared. All demonstrably untrue.

I'm genuinely a fan of all eras, from the skinny unassuming kid with the otherworldly voice that emerged in Tupelo: so completely evocative of hot summers and heat hazes, gas stations, Cadillacs, 45 records, endless telegraph cables winding into the distance, the crackly patter of a wireless radio or early phonograph; to the radiant Sun King of Rapid City: bulky and beetle-like, eyes warm but tired, thick helmet of dyed black hair, sweat pouring down over swollen cheeks, flared trousers, gleaming belt buckle girdling an expansive waistline, big voice filling the auditorium: the shy country boy who became a screen icon who became a superstar who became a legend. It's all Elvis and it's all wonderful.
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.
Using photos from a couple of years earlier only seems to bother Elvis fans. Most people couldn't care less whether a 1975 photo was used on a 1976 album etc. It happens today, too. Albums take so long to make and release now that the photo on the cover is nearly always a year or two old by the time it hits the shops.

In Elvis's case, it wasn't censorship but plain old common sense.
And it’s common sense that EPE doesn’t release EIC and only releases selected clips (namely Unchained Melody) to represent Elvis’ final year. That is the only clip they have officially released. You can’t count THis Is Elvis because that was not EPE. Parker was still in control then.

It was obvious that RCA was avoiding showing Elvis’ current state on his album covers starting from the Today album. Up until then, they used pictures that were relatively recent (within the year). And most hardcore fans knew this at the time. We were seeing what he looked like on the movie magazine and tabloid covers and sharing concert pictures at fan club meetings.

My point is your point. It wasn’t censorship, it was common sense to not show Elvis when he wasn’t looking his best. And it wasn’t something new. It was done as far back as the Paradise Hawaiian Style album cover.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 11:25 am
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.
pmp wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 3:27 pm
Using photos from a couple of years earlier only seems to bother Elvis fans. Most people couldn't care less whether a 1975 photo was used on a 1976 album etc. It happens today, too. Albums take so long to make and release now that the photo on the cover is nearly always a year or two old by the time it hits the shops.

In Elvis's case, it wasn't censorship but plain old common sense.
Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 10:31 pm
And it’s common sense that EPE doesn’t release EIC and only releases selected clips (namely Unchained Melody) to represent Elvis’ final year. That is the only clip they have officially released. You can’t count THis Is Elvis because that was not EPE. Parker was still in control then.

It was obvious that RCA was avoiding showing Elvis’ current state on his album covers starting from the Today album. Up until then, they used pictures that were relatively recent (within the year). And most hardcore fans knew this at the time. We were seeing what he looked like on the movie magazine and tabloid covers and sharing concert pictures at fan club meetings.

My point is your point. It wasn’t censorship, it was common sense to not show Elvis when he wasn’t looking his best. And it wasn’t something new. It was done as far back as the Paradise Hawaiian Style album cover.
You're running away with yourselves and conflating two entirely different things. It was standard practice to use discrepant, anachronistic, non-matching publicity stills and photos of Elvis on the sleeves of his albums and singles for years; even when the objective wasn't necessarily to present a rosier picture of things (e.g., the front cover of "From Elvis In Memphis" uses a still of Elvis performing "Trouble/Guitar Man" from his 68 TV special -- taped all the way in Burbank, California!). The cover design for Elvis product wasn't the most imaginative in the world, and there was well-established precedent, years before Elvis' weight gain and health issues in the 1970s, of his management choosing completely different and sometimes wildly incongruous images (e.g., the still of Elvis from "Follow That Dream", in his Forrest Gump-like guise of Toby Kwimper, that adorns the cover of his velvet-voiced "Pot Luck" album).

And no, you evidently didn't read what I said. EPE has used pieces of EIC on the Graceland tour before, and a few small excerpts were also used in "Elvis By The Presleys", like a part of Elvis performing "My Way" and shots of him acknowledging the crowd at the end of his concert in Omaha. In more recent times, Elvis' Omaha performance of "Love Me" has also appeared on YouTube in unusually high (seemingly from-the-master-tapes) quality.

Yes, EPE normally zeros in on "Unchained Melody", but that by itself is hypocritical, since it was excluded from the very television special that the estate itself implicitly (would like to) exclude from public discourse. Moreover, UM is a particularly raw performance with unflattering close-ups of a sweat-laden, puffy Elvis, who, in the words of acclaimed biographer Peter Guralnick in "Careless Love", described Elvis as resembling "a creature out of a Hollywood monster film", who battles his way toward "grotesque transcendence". So, according to EPE, the TV special won't be released out of an abundance of respect for Elvis' image and legacy, yet the estate is happy to celebrate Elvis' talent through a ragged performance that Guralnick himself asserted was left out of the special (in addition to his other descriptors as quoted) because it was "too raw for network broadcast". Which, to me, is an interesting contradiction.

Also, some light editing and tinkering and/or favourable re-arranging is one thing (like the way FTD doesn't release every scrap of everything Elvis ever said or did in a recording session that was caught on tape) -- after all, there's such a thing as being tailored and compendious. But complete suppression of a professionally-recorded audio-visual project that Elvis gave his consent to, and was the star attraction of, over the span of almost half a century, is something else. Especially when it was intended for broadcast in his lifetime and was, in fact, broadcast only months after his death. What's more, various clips from the special, including samples of the raw tapes, have been all over YouTube for many years now. As each day passes, EPE's stance becomes more and more petty and enfeebled. The genie escaped the bottle a long time ago.
Last edited by Cryogenic on Wed May 29, 2024 1:21 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Swedish »

Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 10:31 pm
It was obvious that RCA was avoiding showing Elvis’ current state on his album covers starting from the Today album. Up until then, they used pictures that were relatively recent (within the year). And most hardcore fans knew this at the time. We were seeing what he looked like on the movie magazine and tabloid covers and sharing concert pictures at fan club meetings.

My point is your point. It wasn’t censorship, it was common sense to not show Elvis when he wasn’t looking his best. And it wasn’t something new. It was done as far back as the Paradise Hawaiian Style album cover.
Nothing new with that. This LP released March 23 1956, but photograph taken July 31 1955. Do you say that RCA avoiding showing Elvis’ current state here also... :smt017
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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Yamaguchi.Y »

When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:

And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

Yamaguchi.Y wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:30 am
When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:
That "Recorded Live" bit was a tad misleading, too.
And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023
And some design based around a) the original "Elvis In Concert" graphic used in the broadcast itself, and b) EP's jumpsuit, which is almost as much a "star" of the special as Elvis himself.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by pmp »

Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:40 am
Yamaguchi.Y wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:30 am
When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:
That "Recorded Live" bit was a tad misleading, too.
And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023
And some design based around a) the original "Elvis In Concert" graphic used in the broadcast itself, and b) EP's jumpsuit, which is almost as much a "star" of the special as Elvis himself.
I still think the "recorded live" was left on EP Boulevard by mistake. My theory is that the cover was adapted from that which was going to accompany the proposed hybrid album featuring songs from Vegas in December 1975 and studio songs. The live recordings never happened, the overall design was reworked for Boulevard, and "recorded live" was left on in error.

As for EIC, I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't have bought that album when I started getting into Elvis in the 1980s if it had a picture of Rapid City on the front.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

pmp wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 2:00 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:40 am
Yamaguchi.Y wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:30 am
When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:
That "Recorded Live" bit was a tad misleading, too.
And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023
And some design based around a) the original "Elvis In Concert" graphic used in the broadcast itself, and b) EP's jumpsuit, which is almost as much a "star" of the special as Elvis himself.
I still think the "recorded live" was left on EP Boulevard by mistake. My theory is that the cover was adapted from that which was going to accompany the proposed hybrid album featuring songs from Vegas in December 1975 and studio songs. The live recordings never happened, the overall design was reworked for Boulevard, and "recorded live" was left on in error.
I like your theory. Something like this is surely the case. After all, it's what the "Moody Blue" album basically did, isn't it? I wonder if there was some mixture of surprise and relief behind the scenes when Elvis managed to record a dozen songs at Graceland in Feb 1976? He only managed ten in California the previous year, and he could only stick with the programme long enough to do another four at Graceland in October; and then he went and did precisely none the following January in Nashville.
As for EIC, I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't have bought that album when I started getting into Elvis in the 1980s if it had a picture of Rapid City on the front.
Hey, Rapid City looks like a fine place to put down some roots...

Oh, I see! Well, ya. They probably could have found a flattering photo if they dedicated themselves to the task; and, failing that, they could always have "doctored" one to look a bit more appealing. If they resolutely didn't want to use anything from the EIC taping/concert tour, there were surely some respectable snaps of Elvis from the previous year and a half; something that would have pinned the cover closer to the time, while still allowing a bit of visual honesty to give fairer warning of the contents and pay homage -- however uncomfortably -- to who or what Elvis had become in 76/77.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by pmp »

Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 2:20 am
pmp wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 2:00 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:40 am
Yamaguchi.Y wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:30 am
When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:
That "Recorded Live" bit was a tad misleading, too.
And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023
And some design based around a) the original "Elvis In Concert" graphic used in the broadcast itself, and b) EP's jumpsuit, which is almost as much a "star" of the special as Elvis himself.
I still think the "recorded live" was left on EP Boulevard by mistake. My theory is that the cover was adapted from that which was going to accompany the proposed hybrid album featuring songs from Vegas in December 1975 and studio songs. The live recordings never happened, the overall design was reworked for Boulevard, and "recorded live" was left on in error.
I like your theory. Something like this is surely the case. After all, it's what the "Moody Blue" album basically did, isn't it? I wonder if there was some mixture of surprise and relief behind the scenes when Elvis managed to record a dozen songs at Graceland in Feb 1976? He only managed ten in California the previous year, and he could only stick with the programme long enough to do another four at Graceland in October; and then he went and did precisely none the following January in Nashville.
As for EIC, I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't have bought that album when I started getting into Elvis in the 1980s if it had a picture of Rapid City on the front.
Hey, Rapid City looks like a fine place to put down some roots...

Oh, I see! Well, ya. They probably could have found a flattering photo if they dedicated themselves to the task; and, failing that, they could always have "doctored" one to look a bit more appealing. If they resolutely didn't want to use anything from the EIC taping/concert tour, there were surely some respectable snaps of Elvis from the previous year and a half; something that would have pinned the cover closer to the time, while still allowing a bit of visual honesty to give fairer warning of the contents and pay homage -- however uncomfortably -- to who or what Elvis had become in 76/77.
But why did it matter? Why pay homage to Elvis in 1977 rather than celebrating what had been? If nothing else, the album is at least overdubbed to make it sound better - although that second disc could easily have been better had Felton & co reached back to some of the April 1977 recordings to supplement it. No-one would have known.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Jokerlola »

pmp wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 2:00 am
Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:40 am
Yamaguchi.Y wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 1:30 am
When I learned about the altered EP Blvd. album cover photo, I felt deceived. :lol:
That "Recorded Live" bit was a tad misleading, too.
And (although it is kind of iconic now) I would have preferred the EIC album to have actual photos from the concerts (at least Rapid City).

smt200 :smt023
And some design based around a) the original "Elvis In Concert" graphic used in the broadcast itself, and b) EP's jumpsuit, which is almost as much a "star" of the special as Elvis himself.
I still think the "recorded live" was left on EP Boulevard by mistake. My theory is that the cover was adapted from that which was going to accompany the proposed hybrid album featuring songs from Vegas in December 1975 and studio songs. The live recordings never happened, the overall design was reworked for Boulevard, and "recorded live" was left on in error.

As for EIC, I'm pretty certain that I wouldn't have bought that album when I started getting into Elvis in the 1980s if it had a picture of Rapid City on the front.
But, the “Recorded Live” was mentioned on the Hurt/For The Heart picture sleeve before the album was released. So I don’t think it was a mistake.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Jokerlola »

Cryogenic wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 12:58 am
Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 11:25 am
Parker and RCA had been “censoring” Elvis from before he died, starting with the Today album. They used a 1973 picture for the cover, presumably because he was deemed a bit too overweight to use a current 1975 picture. They then used an over year old picture for the “Blvd” album and doctored the picture a bit to slim him down some. They used a drawing of a 1970 picture for the 1977 “Welcome To My World” LP and 5 year old pictures for the Moody Blue album. When they released the EIC album after his death, they used a 1975 picture for the cover, 1974 pictures for the gatefold and a 72 picture for the back instead of using any pictures from 1977 or the actual broadcast.

If CBS had retained ownership of the special, you can be sure that it would have been released on home video. But since the ownership went to Elvis/Parker after it aired, EPE and Lisa Marie have controlled its release. I don’t see that changing with the current group running EPE or with Riley who will most likely uphold her mother’s wishes.
pmp wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 3:27 pm
Using photos from a couple of years earlier only seems to bother Elvis fans. Most people couldn't care less whether a 1975 photo was used on a 1976 album etc. It happens today, too. Albums take so long to make and release now that the photo on the cover is nearly always a year or two old by the time it hits the shops.

In Elvis's case, it wasn't censorship but plain old common sense.
Jokerlola wrote:
Tue May 28, 2024 10:31 pm
And it’s common sense that EPE doesn’t release EIC and only releases selected clips (namely Unchained Melody) to represent Elvis’ final year. That is the only clip they have officially released. You can’t count THis Is Elvis because that was not EPE. Parker was still in control then.

It was obvious that RCA was avoiding showing Elvis’ current state on his album covers starting from the Today album. Up until then, they used pictures that were relatively recent (within the year). And most hardcore fans knew this at the time. We were seeing what he looked like on the movie magazine and tabloid covers and sharing concert pictures at fan club meetings.

My point is your point. It wasn’t censorship, it was common sense to not show Elvis when he wasn’t looking his best. And it wasn’t something new. It was done as far back as the Paradise Hawaiian Style album cover.
You're running away with yourselves and conflating two entirely different things. It was standard practice to use discrepant, anachronistic, non-matching publicity stills and photos of Elvis on the sleeves of his albums and singles for years; even when the objective wasn't necessarily to present a rosier picture of things (e.g., the front cover of "From Elvis In Memphis" uses a still of Elvis performing "Trouble/Guitar Man" from his 68 TV special -- taped all the way in Burbank, California!). The cover design for Elvis product wasn't the most imaginative in the world, and there was well-established precedent, years before Elvis' weight gain and health issues in the 1970s, of his management choosing completely different and sometimes wildly incongruous images (e.g., the still of Elvis from "Follow That Dream", in his Forrest Gump-like guise of Toby Kwimper, that adorns the cover of his velvet-voiced "Pot Luck" album).

And no, you evidently didn't read what I said. EPE has used pieces of EIC on the Graceland tour before, and a few small excerpts were also used in "Elvis By The Presleys", like a part of Elvis performing "My Way" and shots of him acknowledging the crowd at the end of his concert in Omaha. In more recent times, Elvis' Omaha performance of "Love Me" has also appeared on YouTube in unusually high (seemingly from-the-master-tapes) quality.

Yes, EPE normally zeros in on "Unchained Melody", but that by itself is hypocritical, since it was excluded from the very television special that the estate itself implicitly (would like to) exclude from public discourse. Moreover, UM is a particularly raw performance with unflattering close-ups of a sweat-laden, puffy Elvis, who, in the words of acclaimed biographer Peter Guralnick in "Careless Love", described Elvis as resembling "a creature out of a Hollywood monster film", who battles his way toward "grotesque transcendence". So, according to EPE, the TV special won't be released out of an abundance of respect for Elvis' image and legacy, yet the estate is happy to celebrate Elvis' talent through a ragged performance that Guralnick himself asserted was left out of the special (in addition to his other descriptors as quoted) because it was "too raw for network broadcast". Which, to me, is an interesting contradiction.

Also, some light editing and tinkering and/or favourable re-arranging is one thing (like the way FTD doesn't release every scrap of everything Elvis ever said or did in a recording session that was caught on tape) -- after all, there's such a thing as being tailored and compendious. But complete suppression of a professionally-recorded audio-visual project that Elvis gave his consent to, and was the star attraction of, over the span of almost half a century, is something else. Especially when it was intended for broadcast in his lifetime and was, in fact, broadcast only months after his death. What's more, various clips from the special, including samples of the raw tapes, have been all over YouTube for many years now. As each day passes, EPE's stance becomes more and more petty and enfeebled. The genie escaped the bottle a long time ago.
The high resolution “Love Me” from Omaha is from the extended, home video VHS release of This Is Elvis. It was used instead of Are You Lonesome Tonight for the VHS release. I can’t speak to what they have shown at Graceland (next to the Sundail suit I presume), and I forgot about the little bits they included in EBTP but UM is only full song they’ve used since TIE. No matter how much you want an official release of EIC, it just ain’t going to happen. Not as long as the Presley family is involved. They own it. It isn’t like his recordings which they don’t own.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

pmp wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 3:48 am
But why did it matter? Why pay homage to Elvis in 1977 rather than celebrating what had been? If nothing else, the album is at least overdubbed to make it sound better - although that second disc could easily have been better had Felton & co reached back to some of the April 1977 recordings to supplement it. No-one would have known.
The recording was meant to represent what its title implies: "Elvis In Concert". Not really, "Elvis Overdubbed In Concert" (because, oops, sorry, we forgot to record everyone on stage at the time he was in concert).

A 76/77 picture makes sense in tying the recording to the time period it was actually made in, rather than misrepresenting the contents by fallaciously harking back to past glories.

Back to the overdubbing thing a moment:

I generally distrust and dislike overdubbing. Elvis was a performer that thrived doing it live. Posthumous releases like "The Jungle Room Sessions" and "Elvis At Stax" offer compelling evidence (along with, say, his early recordings at SUN and RCA, the 68 Special "sitdown" shows, and his various private recordings) that less is often more and a stripped-down sound, with Elvis, is generally better than a gussied-up, smoothed-over, compressed mess. So much of Elvis is inevitably neutered (98% of the time) when overdubbing is done and all these unnecessary bells and whistles end up dominating the mix.

The secret aural weapon in terms of the EIC recordings actually seems to be the way Elvis' voice was captured -- and yes, possibly post-processed -- on stage, in concert. It's incredibly rich and reverberant. More than on his other live recordings. It literally sounds like some formidable announcer voice coming through a PA system, like you're there, in the arena. There's a certain atmosphere to his vocal track here that adds to the enjoyment factor. The musicianship, as a whole, is less remarkable than on his other recordings. Elvis is rich and clear, and other parts of the recording sound muddy and flat; and sometimes, a lot tamer than what you hear on soundboard recordings of the time.

Basically, EIC is something of a chimera. Elvis is very prominent with a wonderful fullness, but there's isn't much "attack" behind him; either because some of the other musicians were mixed down or their parts were replaced in a recording studio, and there was possibly some attempt to create a milkier, more polished (and ultimately, less lively) sound. But it kinda makes EIC just fall on its arse as an aural document of the actual shows the special itself was meant to be focused on. The soundtrack desperately needs an overhaul.



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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by 1015elvis »

Elvis was still able to hit the high notes of My Baby Left Me in January 1974, pretending he was his younger self before dropping it.


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Re: Elvis Voice change

Post by Cryogenic »

Jokerlola wrote:
Wed May 29, 2024 4:52 am
The high resolution “Love Me” from Omaha is from the extended, home video VHS release of This Is Elvis. It was used instead of Are You Lonesome Tonight for the VHS release. I can’t speak to what they have shown at Graceland (next to the Sundail suit I presume), and I forgot about the little bits they included in EBTP but UM is only full song they’ve used since TIE. No matter how much you want an official release of EIC, it just ain’t going to happen. Not as long as the Presley family is involved. They own it. It isn’t like his recordings which they don’t own.
"Home video VHS"? Hmm, maybe. But it must be an extremely well-preserved copy. There are few to none of the weird chroma noise issues, brightness problems, tears, or distortions that inevitably plague VHS recordings later digitised and put on YouTube. The picture is rock solid. A little soft, perhaps, and still subject to YouTube compression, but otherwise, it looks incredibly clean and clear. I've never seen EIC presented so naturally. Even "Unchained Melody" from "The Great Performances" doesn't look as good, in my opinion (they put too much blue in the image, for one thing). "Love Me" from Omaha is the closest I've seen to reference quality for this material.

And I think a good-quality release of EIC will happen -- one day.