Thursday, January 08, 2015

Elvis at 80

Nothing more needs to be said about Elvis?  I often wonder about that myself.  At this point it's about keeping the legacy alive.   Letting the kids know that there was more to Elvis than those 70's jump suits.  I often focus on his voice.  This is one of the most distinctive stylists in Popular music history.  On a list of greatest voices you might pick Sinatra, Aretha and Elvis as the Top 3.  

For years I thought his vocals were getting shorted whenever I read something about him.  But it seems to be coming around.

Finally, there are still those who say Elvis didn't do anything good after he came back from the Army in 1960.  Those tepid movies he made certainly didn't help him with the hip 60's crowd that was turning on to the Beatles and the decade's new sounds.  But starting with the 1968 comeback special, Elvis made some of his most lasting records.  It got patchy after the 1973 Hawaii special.  Elvis no longer wanted to make Rock records, instead recording mostly Country/Pop/Gospel ones.  
Which brings me to another annoying thing that's bothered me. The idea that the 70's were a barren one for Elvis classics.  They are there, and there's more to explore than 1972's "Burning Love".   "Promised Land", "Moody Blue", "Steamroller Blues", "Hurt", "I've Got A Thing About You Baby" are just some of my faves.

So, the state of Elvis is a strong one.  On his 80th birthday, I'm not concerned about the legacy fading.  

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