Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Elvis Presley is #3 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Singers of all Time. Review By Robert Plant

There is a difference between people who sing and those who take that voice to another, otherworldly place, who create a euphoria within themselves. It's transfiguration. I know about that. And having met Elvis, I know he was a transformer.

The first Elvis song I heard was "Hound Dog." I wasn't equipped with any of the knowledge I have now, about the Big Mama Thornton version or where all that swing was coming from. I just heard this voice, and it was absolutely, totally in its own place. The voice was confident, insinuating and taking no prisoners. He had those great whoops and diving moments, those sustains that swoop down to the note like a bird of prey. I took all that in. You can hear that all over Led Zeppelin.

When I met Elvis with Zeppelin, after one of his concerts in the early Seventies, I sized him up. He wasn't quite as tall as me. But he had a singer's build. He had a good chest — that resonator. And he was driven. "Anyway You Want Me" is one of the most moving vocal performances I've ever heard. There is no touching "Jailhouse Rock" and the stuff recorded at the King Creole sessions. I can study the Sun sessions as a middle-aged guy looking back at a bloke's career and go, "Wow, what a great way to start." But I liked the modernity of the RCA stuff. "I Need Your Love Tonight" and "A Big Hunk o' Love" were so powerful — those sessions sounded like the greatest place to be on the planet.
At that meeting, Jimmy Page joked with Elvis that we never soundchecked — but if we did, all I wanted to do was sing Elvis songs. Elvis thought that was funny and asked me, "Which songs do you sing?" I told him I liked the ones with all the moods, like that great country song "Love Me" — "Treat me like a fool/Treat me mean and cruel/But love me." So when we were leaving, after a most illuminating and funny 90 minutes with the guy, I was walking down the corridor. He swung 'round the door frame, looking quite pleased with himself, and started singing that song: "Treat me like a fool. . . ." I turned around and did Elvis right back at him. We stood there, singing to each other.
By then, because of the forces around him, it was difficult for him to stretch out with more contemporary songwriters. When he died, he was 42. I'm 18 years older than that now. But he didn't have many fresh liaisons to draw on — his old pals weren't going to bring him the new gospel. I know he wanted to express more. But what he did was he made it possible for me, as a singer, to become otherworldly.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

1960 - Elvis is Back!

One of the greatest understatements in the history of rock and roll albums titles, Elvis is Back declared in no uncertain terms that Elvis Preslsey wasn´t as good as he was in the 1950's, he was better. From rock to pop, gospel-tinged ballads to tough Chicago Blues, Elvis Presley made magic in less than an hour.
Johnny Savage -To read this article in its entirely click here-
Elvis Is Back! is the tenth album by Elvis Presley, released on RCA Victor Records in mono and stereo, LPM/LSP 2231, in April 1960. Recording sessions took place on March 20 and April 3, 1960, at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. It was Presley's first album to be released in true stereo. It peaked at #2 on the Top Pop Albums chart. The first album by Presley after his military discharge from the army, the first day of its sessions were attended by the Colonel, his assistant Tom Diskin, and representatives from RCA in a show of interest regarding whether or not Elvis still "had it" after two years in uniform. His long-serving guitarist Scotty Moore, pianist Floyd Cramer, and drummer D. J. Fontana had returned, along with his back-up vocal quartet The Jordanaires, but the other musicians had only played on one previous session with Elvis. One new face at the sessions whom Presley had befriended while in the service, Charlie Hodge, would become a Presley regular, member of the Memphis Mafia and a mainstay in his return to live performance at the end of the decade. Pressure aside, the sessions were successful, the album a highlight of the entire decade and a declared favorite by Presley regarding his own work. He moved beyond his standard rock and roll8/a> sound of the 1950s, combining doo-wop,gospel, blues, and even jazzy tones from his version of "Fever". Along with "From Elvis in Memphis" in 1969, and the famous Sun Sessions in the mid 50's, this is Presley at his finest.

Elvis is Back! encapsulated everything that Elvis had been, and everything that he would be, yet, he never exposed his teasing, inviting sexuality as blatantly as he did on "Fever" or the sizzling cover of the Johnnie Ray hit "Such A Night", he never cut (on a formal studio setting) grittier blues tunes than "Reconsider Baby", "Like a Baby" and "It Feel So Right",  and he never sang pure pop songs with the playful glee which he invested in "The Girl of My Best Friend" or "Dirty Dirty Feeling". On the ballad field, he made plain that he could out sentimentalise anyone in showbusiness without ever sounding an iota less than utterly sincere, at his point nothing was beyond his grasp. "Are You Lonesome Tonight" was nominated next year for a grammy award as both record of the year and best R&B performance, lost both to "Georgia on My Mind" by Ray Charles, oh well, fair enough.

Track list:

Cd1 (The Album & The Singles)
Reconsider Baby
It Feels So Right
A Mess Of Blues
Stuck On You
Fame & Fortune
Make Me Know It
Soldier Boy
I Will Be Home Again
It's Now Or Never
Girl Of My Best Friend
Like A Baby
Girl Next Door Went A'Walking
Such A Night
I Gotta Know
Thrill Of Your Love<+span>
Dirty, Dirty Feeling
Are You Lonesome Tonight
Stuck On You (Live)
Fame & Fortune (Live)
Love Me Tender/Witchcraft (Live)

CD2 (The Sessions)
Make Me Know It (Takes 1, 9, 10, 11, 17 &18)
Soldier Boy (Takes 2, 3, & 7)
Stuck On You (Take 1)
Fame & Fortune (Takes 4 & 5)
A Mess Of Blues (Takes 1, 2 & 3)
It Feels So Right (Take 1, 3 & 4)
Fever (Take 1, 2 & 3)
Like A Baby (Takes 1, 2, 3 & 4)
It's Now Or Never (Takes 1, 3 & 4)
Girl of My Best Friend (Takes 2, 4, 5 & 9)
Dirty, Dirty Feeling (Takes 1, 2, & 3)
Thrill Of Your Love (Takes 1, & 2)
Such A Night (Takes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5)
Girl Next Door Went A'Walking (Takes 1, 2 & 3)
Are You Lonesome Tonight (Takes 4, 3 & WP 1-2 SP)

CD3 (Elvis is Back: The Interviews)
Dick Clark phone interview with Elvis for American Bandstand, Aug 1959.
News Broadcast 1960.
Paris AFN Radio Interviews Elvis, 1960.
We Want Elvis
Elvis is Back!, Press conference at Elvis Presley's home: Graceland Memphis, Tennessee. March 1960.

The Musicians:

Recorded at RCA's Studio B, Nashville Tennessee. March-April, 1960.