Let's get real, real gone for a change'. Then they did, let it loose, turned every bit of intensity in their beings into a jumping arrangement, much faster and more rhythmically nuanced a performance than the opening. Much of the intensity is in the fast and furious, but precisely laid out detail work; there is a strong sense of spontaneity and discovery, but what ultimately makes this a hall-of-fame performance is the vocal performance; Elvis doing tricks, making sudden octave wide jumps.
Elvis' musical style, as a musician and impact as a vocalist and stage performer
There is a charismatic determination of spirit that Nietzsche would no doubt have recognized as the will to power; when the King got through with it, it was no longer anything to do with a high calcium drink, but about the singer's assertion of his place in the universe'. In the spotlight, the lanky singer flails furious rhythms on his guitar, every now and then breaking a string; in a pivoting stance, his hips swing sensuously from side to side and his entire body takes on a frantic quiver, as if he had swallowed a jackhammer; his loud baritone goes raw and whining in the high notes, but down low it is rich and round.
As he throws himself into one of his specialties - 'Blue Suede Shoes' or 'Long Tall Sally', his throat seems full of desperate aspirates or hiccuping glottis strokes, but his movements suggest, in a word, sex'. Time Magazine's review of an early concert and entitled 'Teeners' Hero', as published on May 14, Watershed hits such as 'All Shook Up' or, for instance, 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', , were eminently Presley's from the moment he put his stamp on them.
His jagged, bubbly highs, and Southern baritone jump from those recordings like spirits from a cauldron. Elvis crooned romantically, then screeched relentlessly, always pouring his heart into the lyric and melody. After Elvis, the male vocalist could no longer just sing a song, especially in the new world of rock-n-roll. The 'feel' of a performance far out-weighed the perfection of the take'. I can't see a thing. I said, 'You're kidding! So, I roll the tape and I don't know what's going to happen.
And a guitar starts off, and then a bass comes in, and Elvis starts singing. And I still can't see a thing in the studio. And I'm afraid to turn any mikes off because somebody may come in and start playing. All of a sudden, Elvis stops singing and just starts talking. And I say to myself, 'This is awful! And I thought, next take I'll just turn it down, so we just did the take all the way through. If you listen to the dialogue, the echo matches the effect, because he says, 'And the stage is bare, and I'm standing there…'.
Later, I said, 'How about that echo? Sholes said, 'Screw the echo, that's a hit! And it was done in one take.. Bill Porter , RCA's foremost recording engineer and one of the creators of 'The Nashville Sound', explaining to Michael Fermer how 'Are you lonesome tonight' came into being, with the lights totally turned off, at Elvis' insistance so as to create the best atmosphere possible, but without Porter knowing about it.
But it wasn't until Greil Marcus brought out the recording of that performance for me, almost three years later, that I realized how significant it had been. Marcus has spent as much time listening as anyone who is liable to be objective, and he believes Elvis may have made the best music of his life that crucial comeback night. It's so easy to forget that Elvis was, or is, a great singer. Any account of his impact that omits that fundamental fact amounts to a dismissal'. A terrific crooner who was closer, in intonation, vocal virtuosity and care for a song's mood, to Bing Crosby, than to any top singer of the rock era.
Toward the end, he still had it as a Gospel ballader, the choir-soloist power of the hymn 'He Touched Me' - his voice breaking poignantly at the end of the hymn, as if he had just seen Jesus - still thrills and haunts. So does his desire to please an audience of kids and grandmas, instead of comfortably occupying a niche, as almost every pop star has done since'. A few months later, Elvis was back; this time, his voice was even stronger but he looked worse; two months later, he was dead and that's when my family and I went to see him, one last time, in a memorable trip where we and thousands of others, walked slowly through those gates to view his grave.
That 'show' was for free. Thomas Ward's review , for AllMusicGuide. And that was it. As he came to the part where he belts out the title, he sounded like Mario Lanza with soul, cutting loose a series of high notes that would tingle the spine of even the diehard skeptic; but crecendo came on a song called 'Hurt'; it's an old song that Elvis didn't record until a couple of years ago, and the key ingredient is its range, an awesome collection of notes that could leave a normal set of vocal chords in shreds; he finished in what seemed his most potent style, but wasn't satisfied, and mumbled to the band, 'Let's do that last part again'.
And when he caught a spark from his great T. Band, Presley could still out-sing anyone in American pop. Geoffrey Himes , reviewing the ' Essential 70's masters' box-set. The antithesis of a relaxed conversational crooning, Presley's style was fraught with tension and animated by an attitude of self-conscious melodrama, woving the whole unwieldy spectrum of pop singing - country-blues, Italianate crooning, Gospel, soul shouting, and honky-tonk yodeling - into an integral personal style.
His crowning touch was to accentuate the spontaneously exuberant humor that had always been an ingredient of country, and the blues, but singing it in a way that seemed to poke fun at his own accomplishment'. I wasn't of a culture nor a region that found Presley appealing, and I've never seen a Presley movie through but, a few years ago when in a tribute to him various modern singers covered some of his originals, followed, or enclosed by, his versions of the same songs, I was struck by how much fuller, deeper, and richer his were'.
Daniel Reifferscheid , reviewing Elvis' first album, for Toxic Universe. Playing an electric guitar, rather than his customary acoustic model, he traded fluid rhythm and lead parts with Scotty Moore, their interplay almost telepathic. And with his original drummer, D. This is rock and roll as good as it gets. And, after they drew a good crowd reaction, he offered them in a reprise that was tantamount to masochism'.
Answers the basso: 'he'll be sorry'. He takes the Platters' Tony Williams's techniques, and any other predecessor's, to new, uncharted pinnacles. For a singer who was only just encountering widespread popularity, his singing resonates with amazing fortitude and confidence, especially on 'Heartbreak Hotel', , where Presley alternately shouts words with full lungs, then gulps the following back, as if under water but without missing a beat. In 'Loving you' , Presley's baritone on this, the ultimate slow dance number, is almost too powerful, virtually rumbling the floor..
David N. It was his very first record, and although it doesn't sound quite the same as when he did it 17 years ago at the Sun studios in Memphis, I was moved by the fact that he was doing it at all. It was a tour de force of theatrics, professionalism, and, happily, music. In fact , he sings so well, the audience hesitates to press him for more, his purpose being to please himself by pleasing them, never to please them by pleasing himself'. The colour of the voice and the sense of warmth and richness of tone gave the sense that the voice was much deeper.
Elvis, in fact, did not force his lower register, comfortable as he was with it, which in turn gave the impression that it was lower than those of other baritones'. Brian Gilbertson , world-famous voice teacher, explaining the deepness of Elvis' lower registry. It should be rough cut and edgy, but also sweet enough to milk the honey from a honey comb at times.
Elvis could span several octaves with his voice, thus leaving almost no desires left towards the key of the song'. E', , his baritone was still as solid as ever, with its humorously cavernous bottom and its nasal vibrato on top. When he is putting out, reaching for the top notes and shaping phrases with the same easy individuality that has always marked his best work, he is still the King'.
It could be the simplicity of the lyric, that wonderful vocal which quivers with an understated power and beauty, or the honest, pure sentiment of a song that has touched millions. Two minutes and 40 seconds have never been used more beautifully'. When you hear a deep tuneful voice with a Southern drawl in a rock 'n' roll song, it can't be anyone but Elvis in spite of that voice actually being that of someone else 'successfully' mimicking him.
Matthew Simpson , in his article 'The Top 10 distinct voices in music', for ask. Elvis meets the challenge on every occasion, his performance being absolutely meticulous, with not a hint of vocal strain'. BMG's' review of his album ' Blue Hawaii '. In a departure quite uncharacteristic of country music, there is a fierce, almost shocked indignation and passionate intensity in his voice, transforming a fairly ordinary song into a vehicle for savage social protest'.
Well, it's often seemed as if Elvis bore more than a passing resemblance to soul singer Salomon Burke. The way in which he uses his voice, his dramatic exploitation of vocal contrast, the alternate intensity and effortless nonchalance of his approach, all put one in mind of a singer who passed this way before, only going the other way. And here he uses these qualities to create a music which, while undeniable country, puts him in touch more directly with the soul singer than with traditional country music. In the spotlight, the lanky singer flails furious rhythms on his guitar, every now and then breaking a string.
In a pivoting stance, his hips swing sensuously from side to side and his entire body takes on a frantic quiver as if he had swallowed a jackhammer'. Time Magazine , May 15, It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people'. Frank Sinatra , 's. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man'. Frank Sinatra , That still isn't a free ticket to behave like a sex maniac in public'. Eddie Condon , Cosmopolitan, December Ed Sullivan , During Elvis' third appearance on his show, January 6, Elvis Presley can act Acting is his assignment in this shrewdly upholstered showcase, and he does it'.
Hal Wallis , Producer of nine of Elvis' films. Elvis Presley in 'Charro! He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll singers'. If ever there was music that bleeds, this was it'. Lithe, raunchy, the sweat pouring down his face, he now moves with the precision of an athlete, the grace of a dancer Harbinson , From his book, The Illustrated Elvis.
A passage reflecting upon Elvis' Vegas engagement. He came to the session, picked the songs, and if something in the arrangement was changed, he was the one to change it. Everything was worked out spontaneously. Nothing was really rehearsed. Many of the important decisions normally made previous to a recording session were made during the session. What it was was a look to the future. Today everybody makes records this way. Back then Elvis was the only one. He was the forerunner of everything that's record production these days.
Consciously or unconsciously, everyone imitated him. People started doing what Elvis did'. Jackie Wilson. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is. He's sensational'. Phil Spector. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution - the 60's comes from it'. Leonard Bernstein , s. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than twenty years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled.
His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country'.
President Jimmy Carter , His official statement following Elvis' death. He broke the ice for all of us'. Al Green. At Sun Studio in Memphis, Elvis Presley called to life what would soon be known as rock and roll with a voice that bore strains of the Grand Ole Opry and Beale Street, of country and the blues. At that moment, he ensured - instinctively, unknowingly - that pop music would never again be as simple as black and white'. David Fricke Rolling Stone, He was quite bright He was not a punk.
He was very elegant, sedate, and refined, and sophisticated'. Walter Matthau , who co-starred with Elvis in King Creole From a interview. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king'. Bruce Springsteen. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail'. Bob Dylan. Time has a way of being very unkind to old records, but Elvis' keep getting better and better'.
Huey Lewis. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps'. Rod Stewart.
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He had the looks, the moves, the manager, and the talent. And he didn't look like Mr. Ed like a lot of the rest of us did. In the way he looked, way he talked, way he acted - he really was different'. Carl Perkins. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that.
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Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland. We sang Old Blind Barnabus together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother. James Brown. If you went to my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer that ever lived. And I think it's because he had such presence. Eddie Murphy. He had the privilege of deep feelings because he was deeply loved by his mother, Gladys. He was able to appreciate profound beauty in sounds. And he started a musical revolution.
They say all revolutions start from love'. Imelda Marcos. It's even rarer when that same influence affects several generations. Elvis made an imprint on the world of pop music unequaled by any other single performer'. Dick Clark. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's conceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every prospective American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us.
Such men made the only maps we can trust'. Dave Marsh , From his book, Elvis. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's wrong with him'. Bill Clinton , During the presidential campaign.
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He was the total androgenous beauty. I would practice Elvis in front of the mirror when I was twelve or thirteen years old'. I'm looking around at them and they've heard Dad's music all the time and I don't see that out of them'. Garth Brooks0. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for me'.
Elton John. I've been an Elvis fan since I was a kid'. Elton John0. Even at that age he made me realize the tremendous effect a performer could have on an audience'. His measurable effect on culture and music was even greater in England than in the States'. Mick Fleetwood. His definitive years - - can only be described as rock's cornerstone. He was the original cool'. Brian Setzer0. Elvis Presley: A Musical Prodigy.
Elvis was a genius. He didn't express himself the way the middle classes do, which is with word play and being able to explain his actions and reactions. He acted on gut instinct and expressed himself by the way he held the microphone, by the way, he moved his hips, by the way, that he sang down the microphone. That was his genius I believe the essence of any performer is gut instinct Because it's all in you, it's instinct. The Fifty Voices of Elvis Presley. No wonder Elvis is responsible for the sale of so many records, for who could do that, by sounding the same.
No part of any article on this site may be re-printed for public display without permission. Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 's with sound. Until Now! Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of Highly recommended. Read more. Contact Us.
Elvis Presley's songs are unforgettable - they have stood the test of time, especially his singles of the s, a decade in which he had a song at No. Read More. By: Elvis Australia Source: www. Elvis' musical style, as a musician and impact as a vocalist and stage performer.
And I don't know if Sam was really conscious of it at the time, but if you listen to old pop and country records back then, the voice was always so much farther out from the music; Sam kept Elvis' voice close to the music, so, in essence, Elvis' voice became another instrument' Scotty Moore , Elvis Presley's lead guitarrist from until , as published in The 'Virginia Pilot', in an article entitled 'The rising of Sun Records cast music in new light', as written by Sue Smallwood.
Mick Jagger. John Lennon. Roy Orbison. Isaac Hayes. Read more about Elvis Presley's vocal ability About Us Elvis Australia was founded in Elvis Presley Elvis Presley's songs are unforgettable - they have stood the test of time, especially his singles of the s, a decade in which he had a song at No. Where do I go from here? Top of Page. That's self-invention, and that's entertainment'. And I don't know if Sam was really conscious of it at the time, but if you listen to old pop and country records back then, the voice was always so much farther out from the music; Sam kept Elvis' voice close to the music, so, in essence, Elvis' voice became another instrument'.
Scotty Moore , Elvis Presley's lead guitarrist from until , as published in The 'Virginia Pilot', in an article entitled 'The rising of Sun Records cast music in new light', as written by Sue Smallwood. This gift may explain why his music endures so powerfully and why his performances remain so easy to hear'. But Elvis had talent, plain and simple. The guy had a thousandth-octave range, and a variety in his vocal styles and approach, he could make more vocal tones, with just his voice, than a guitar player with 50 pedals and gadgets. If you never even saw the guy, you could plain feel, not just hear, the emotion and passion in his voice, and you are immediately taken in, one hundred percent.
On the merit of vocals alone, he had more talent in the barbecue stuck in his teeth than the singers who sell millions of records do today'. Country singer Roger Wallace , in the web's 'Soapbox'. It's a really great competition. I see here artists like Beyonce and Alicia Keys and Rihanna and Chris Brown and Chris Martin, all in the same room, and we're going to push this music to the point where it was like in the s and '70s, when the talk was about Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles.
We all will be the new Beatles. We all will be the new Hendrix; in fact in any other industry, they'll tell you that you're supposed to do better than those in the past, so when you say, 'I want to be Elvis', they say, 'What's wrong with you? Elvis was a fabulous rhythm player. He'd start into 'That's All Right' , with his own guitar, alone, and you didn't want to hear anything else'. Johnny Cash , in 'Cash, the autobiography', recalling the first time he saw Presley perform, at the ' Eagles Nest ', in Memphis New York Sun columnist Pia Catton explaining the reasons for Elvis' star quality, as a stage performer.
Elvis' early vocals, was a witches' brew of gospel swoops, falsetto shrieks, growls, howls, and scat Rogers Stevens , guitarist for the rock band Blind Melon, answering Ben Bounds's question as to whose artist influenced him the most, and the earliest, as published in the Starksville Daily news on 11 August Actually, that is inexact. The voice had mixed propensities, hovering between tenor and bass and everything in between.
Even a convincing falsetto lay within his range. One thing he was not, ever, was 'Steve-'n-Edie', the polished, professionally accomplished Vegas artistes who once pronounced on an afternoon interview show Mr. Gorme , 'We don't really think of Elvis as a singer. But he was a star'. It is only when, years later, one gets past the indignation of hearing such apparent ignorance, that the sense of the observation becomes clear.
A singer is someone like Steve Lawrence rolling effortlessly and meaninglessly through a shlock-standard like 'What Now, My Love? More or less like doing the scales. A star is the persona in whom one invests one's vicarious longings, a being who is constantly hazarding - and intermittently succeeding at - the impossible stretches that every soul wishes to attempt but lacks the means or the will to. It's not a matter of virtuosity'.
Jackson Baker , in 'Memphis Magazine', July issue. In terms of vocal style and instrumental arrangement, Presley actually borrows relatively little, his appropriations being more straightforward, taking from the materials already protected by copyright: lyrics and melody. Joanna Demers , in her book 'Musical appreciation, musical meaning and the Law', published in Louis, Illinois; I can't recall the song, whether it was a ballad or a rocker but , what I remember is how his voice, that smoldering rumble of a voice, made my skin tingle; I don't know why, but I just loved his voice, his sound just did something to me'.
Ilva Price , an African American now living in West Memphis, TN, recalling how her father, angry about rumours later found by 'Jet' magazine to be fabricated , that Presley had stolen their music and was a racist , quickly turned off the radio when he noticed her daughter's reaction to his voice, then called him a 'cracker', a racial epithet as disgusting as any other, as told in an interview with Boston Globe staffer Renee Graham, and published in that paper on August 11, Despite the acid hemlock stirred by the SUN, Mr.
Presley will survive and live to sing some more. Perhaps this cat should have studied grand opera, or the fiddle but , I don't join that school of thought.