Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

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Post by drjohncarpenter »

Spot-on Shane! Nice review.


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Post by LesterB »

Shane have you heard the Japanese 1999 20kbit re-master? It almost makes THIS IS OUR DANCE sound ok but not as good as harmless :D

LOVE LETTERS album does seem to have a strange feel to it - very much like left overs with a few tasty scraps left.


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Post by Pete Dube »

Fine review Shane. Regarding If I Were You I think that if they hadn't overdubbed the MOR orchestration and instead added steel guitar and perhaps a fiddle then the number would've worked much better as a straightforward country tune. The off-the-wall play on words in the chorus would come across a bit better in that context.



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Post by Joern »

Thanks for the review - most of your thoughts were exactly mine, especially on songs like "Life" or "Heart Of Rome".

For me it's almost the weakest regular RCA release on my calendar throughout the 70s (during his lifetime), with the exception of "Got My Mojo Working".

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Post by dreambear »

Good review. This is the 70´s album together with "Elvis" that I seldom play.

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Post by Suspicious Minds »

Love Letters from Elvis is a favourite album of mine. Some of you think you are musical experts for some reason. Two years after From Elvis In Memphis Elvis would sound different. I like the recordings with overdubbed arrangements. Some of them would sound unfinished without overdubbs.


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Post by Joern »

Suspicious Minds wrote:Love Letters from Elvis is a favourite album of mine. Some of you think you are musical experts for some reason. Two years after From Elvis In Memphis Elvis would sound different. I like the recordings with overdubbed arrangements. Some of them would sound unfinished without overdubbs.
Each to his own. Music taste is always based on subjecitve meanings. In my opinion "Love Letters" can't bear a comparison with "From Elvis In Memphis" - and that goes for the lyrics and more than that for the music.

Don't let it get you down that you like stuff like "Life" - I'm sure there are other ones who are visiting self-help groups for that reason. :wink:

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Post by dl »

I cannot say that "Love Letters From Elvis" is my favorite album, but its still quite nice. Lightweight, but nice. If the songs had german lyrics Elvis could have sung them in the "ZDF Hitparade".

PS: If you are not from Germany just forget about the last sentence.



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Post by jeanno »

Very interesting review!

I agree with you on most of the comments you made, except for LOVE LETTERS and WHEN I´M OVER YOU. The first one, despite of being inferior to the 1966 classic, shows us Elvis´ opened mind during those great june 1970 sessions. He knew, I guess, that there was no way to improve the 66 version but still tried showing us his new mature voice. After that session, he would never try to do that again. (Imagine what it could have been if he had done the same thing with other older classic recordings!) To my point of view, re-recording LOVE LETTERS was just like a challenge for him.

WHEN I´M OVER YOU is not the greatest song ever written/recorded but I would not say that Elvis is hardly awake. He just seems to have fun and to have a good time with that gospel feeling. The addition of the Jordanaires later just makes it an even better listening experience.

For GOT MY MOJO WORKIN´ and CINDY, CINDY, I just think you sum it up perfectly.



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Post by Suspicious Minds »

When I'm Over You is one of Elvis's catchy tunes. I thought Elvis fans liked everything Elvis recorded.


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Post by Joern »

Suspicious Minds wrote:When I'm Over You is one of Elvis's catchy tunes. I thought Elvis fans liked everything Elvis recorded.
"When I'm Over You" would have been good enough for Engelbert Humperdinck, but not for Elvis imo.
Suspicious Minds wrote:I thought Elvis fans liked everything Elvis recorded.
Yeah for sure - one of my all-time favorites ist that stunning song from Clambake: "Confidence".

Sorry, but to be an Elvis fan doesn't mean that you have to be necessarily uncritical about all the stuff that the man sang. There is more than one stinker - have a closer look and put down those rose eye colored glasses.

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Last edited by Joern on Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:28 am, edited 1 time in total.




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Post by minkahed »

Joern wrote:
Don't let it get you down that you like stuff like "Life" - I'm sure there are other ones who are visiting self-help groups for that reason. :wink:

Joern
Hysterical Joern ... :lol:

I'll admit, Love Letters is just a plain "Boring" album and one that I rarely, if ever, listen too.

A huge step backwards from an artistic and musical standpoint from Elvis at this juncture in his career, especially after such a classy and beautifully crafted Lp as "Elvis Country" in 1971.

Great review shane ... :wink:


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by a mess of polk salad »

I love the LOVE LETTER'S FROM ELVIS CD, and in addition to ELVIS NOW offer an Elvis fan who hasn't got these CDs - many undiscovered gems "When I'm Over You" "Heart Of Rome" [with it's, "la,la,la,la, in the Heart Of Rome." Love it!] And "Only Believe" is enjoyable enough too.

"Cindy Cindy" is a fantastic track; the whole CD is just fine especially the JAP 20BIT remaster version and if you want some laid back Elvis with a little rocking hear and there [then Got My Mojo Working is one of the CD highlights.]

The last song "Life" is very different but has a certain appeal;maybe Elvis opted for it, for its lyrics about the meaning of life which he was very interested in at the time.

Finally, all in all, for me, a superb CD which I'd love to see get the FTD [special edition] treatment or included in a 30- CD BOX SET [of which there's talk of release around Christmas]


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by George Smith »

Thanks for the review, Shane.

What still surprises me is the number of superior tracks that RCA passed over for this project.

Still sitting on the shelf from the summer of 1970 were "The Sound Of Your Cry", "A Hundred Years From Now", "I Didn't Make It On Playing Guitar", "Something" and "Little Sister / Get Back". Also, the recent single "Rags To Riches" c/w "Where Did They Go, Lord?" could easily have featured.

Any of these songs would have improved the collection.

For me, the real sadness of this set was that Elvis' albums lost their momentum; a wonderful run of releases from the NBCTV album through to Elvis Country came to an end right here.



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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:Still sitting on the shelf from the summer of 1970 were "The Sound Of Your Cry", "A Hundred Years From Now", "I Didn't Make It On Playing Guitar", "Something" and "Little Sister / Get Back". Also, the recent single "Rags To Riches" c/w "Where Did They Go, Lord?" could easily have featured.
Two of your choices were unknown or not even considered masters then (Hundred, Guitar), and two are live cuts. Of the rest, only "Rags To Riches" could be called a quality track. The best course would have been to forgo a third album release of June 1970 leftovers, and try to re-focus on extending the nice work done at RCA Nashville in March with another session -- or four -- in the same vein.


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by drjohncarpenter »

shanebrown wrote:So The Sound Of Your Cry isn't a quality track?
Good one!


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by George Smith »

Dear Dr Carpenter

Your dissection of my list is, of course, spot on; my point was simply to emphasise how unfortunately weak the released album was. Felton (or whoever actually programmed these LPs) certainly demonstrated that he wasn't averse to including edited jams, live tracks or recent singles where required.

The better route would certainly have been, as you suggest, to use a handful of these tracks combined with the best of the 1971 secular masters - a much more worthwhile release by any standards.



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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by drjohncarpenter »

George Smith wrote:Dear Dr Carpenter

Your dissection of my list is, of course, spot on; my point was simply to emphasise how unfortunately weak the released album was. Felton (or whoever actually programmed these LPs) certainly demonstrated that he wasn't averse to including edited jams, live tracks or recent singles where required.

The better route would certainly have been, as you suggest, to use a handful of these tracks combined with the best of the 1971 secular masters - a much more worthwhile release by any standards.
George, your thoughts are appreciated, and I look forward to your future contributions to this forum.


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by likethebike »

Good review Shane. I especially agree on that perverse line in "If I Were You".

My main disagreement is on the remake of "Love Letters". I don't know if it's an equal to the beautiful and delicate '66 recording but I am quite the fan. I don't think Elvis sounds bored at all, the hoarseness of his voice and his use of melismas creates kind of a carnal sound. The '66 recording is spiritual and dreamy, this is one is horny. I like them both.

I think the reason that it appeared on CD so early was because Ernst was determined to get the entire catalogue back into print. A big part of that was putting out all of Elvis' '70s albums. I remember "Today" came out around the same time. The emphasis seemed largely on placing tracks that hadn't been in the market place in awhile. I appreciated that. "From Elvis in Memphis" had never been out of print, neither had the '50s classics. There was a good reason for that. But for the hardcore fan, these lost albums were something of a find. I was very excited when I first saw "Love Letters" in my local shop in 1992 because, bad reviews and all, I had never heard most of these songs before. I had heard the remake of "Love Letters" and "This is Our Dance" on a local Elvis radio show. The host of the show listed the latter song as one of his favorites.



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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by londonflash »

Um, where's the original review gone?


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by ColinB »

londonflash wrote:Um, where's the original review gone?
Same place Shane is..............................


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by londonflash »

ColinB wrote:
londonflash wrote:Um, where's the original review gone?
Same place Shane is..............................
I do so hate it when a member of the forum packs their things and takes all their posts with them.


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by Gregory Nolan Jr. »

But sometimes it's because they've run afoul of the rules or some such. They become a "non-person" when everything they've contributed is suddenly vanished with the stroke of a few keys.


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by minkahed »

I love all my Elvis FTD releases, but this is one release I just cannot get into. I tried, but Bla ...

Again, the sonic quality is great, and there are moments that I enjoy, but, I guess, it's more less the material.

Funny thing is, my opinion hasn't changed much from my last review of this FTD on Sept 24, 2007.


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Re: Love Letters From Elvis - Revisited

Post by poormadpeter »

These reviews were reposted on another forum - but he seems to have gone from there now, too.