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For his 70th birthday: FAVORITE #1 HIT BY ELVIS? (Part 2 of 2)

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NightTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:49 PM
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Poll question: For his 70th birthday: FAVORITE #1 HIT BY ELVIS? (Part 2 of 2)
Edited on Sat Jan-08-05 04:49 PM by NightTrain

Sorry, polls are turned off at Level 3.

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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 04:56 PM
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1. I'm not a fan of Elvis
But I do like "Suspicious Minds." However I do give the guy props for what he did for rock-n-roll.
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Rowdyboy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-08-05 05:07 PM
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2. "Are you lonesome tonight' is so plaintive.....
I feel the hurt.
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ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-09-05 12:02 AM
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3. Here we go again...
"Hard Headed Woman": hyperkinetic Dixieland-infused rock from the soundtrack of 1958's excellent King Creole. How the heck does he get those words out so quickly? It's a trick he pulled again to great effect with songs like "Viva Las Vegas" and "A Little Less Conversation." Not that anyone could understand the lyrics to Elvis song, as mangled by the King...

"A Big Hunk O' Love": probably the hardest rock that Elvis ever did, way back in 1958 with the great guitar of Hank Garland (who died this past week) combining with Scotty Moore's. Pretty amazing, and what's at least as amazing is that every song recorded during this overnight session (Elvis was on leave after his basic training and wire his Army uniform during the session) went platinum or gold, and most were #1 hits.

"Stuck On You": this was his first post-Army single and went gold before it was even released...actually, I think it pre-sold a million before it was even recorded. Nobody -- Elvis least of all -- knew how he'd fare after having been away from the music scene for two years while at his peak in a rapidly-changing cultural landscape. At the next session, Elvis recorded some of the best material of his career, including big sellers like "Are You Lonesome Tonight" and "It's Now Or Never": Elvis would do okay, to say the least.

"It's Now Or Never": for a long, long, time, this was not only Elvis' biggest seller (as determined by the RIAA's pretty useless figures, that is) but was one of the biggest sellers in history. It's really a great recording, and Elvis shows off his maturing voice with a pseudo-operatic approach that we'd see again. Both Elvis and Jackie Wilson (who, along with James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, was dubbed the 'black Elvis'...he was probably the most suited to the name in terms of the way he actually sang) excelled at this sort of thing, and both possessed the background, vocal range, and sheer ability to record stellar versions of just about any other kind of song, too.

"Are You Lonesome Tonight": another massive seller that's an undeniable classic. This one included Elvis' spoken bridge, a device that he not only included in 1957's great "That's When Your Heartaches Begin" but included in his pre-fame 1953 acetate of "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," recorded at the age of 18 for his mother's birthday (or not). Elvis was one of the few who could pull off a spoken bridge without it sounding just plain stupid. It's because he was cool.

"Surrender": now Elvis is really showing off his vocal range, midway through a gospel session in October of 1960. This song is one of the shortest ever to make it to #1 and was (and remains, for the wannabe-Elvis) a real vocal challenge. I love this one.

"Good Luck Charm": a nice example of the more laid-back early '60s pop song that Elvis excelled at ("She's Not You" was another big-selling example, recorded at the same session). Even includes the famed Elvis "uh-huh-huh" born in "All Shook Up" and also adorning "Hard Headed Woman" and others.

"Suspicious Minds": with the disclaimer that I can never really pick a favorite, this one got my vote. It's a great song, originally intended as a straight country ballad before Elvis got to it. As much as anything else, though, I chose it as a representative of the amazing 1969 Memphis sessions that produced it, along with other songs that rate among the best Elvis ever recorded -- some are well known ("In The Ghetto," "Don't Cry, Daddy," "Kentucky Rain," "Rubberneckin'") and others are not as widely known (e.g., "I'll Hold You In My Heart," "Power Of My Love," "Stranger In My Own Home Town," "Only The Strong Survive," "I'm Movin' On," "Any Day Now," "Long Black Limousine," "Gentle On My Mind," and "Wearin' That Loved On Look").

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