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 Spring Tours 1977 & Elvis is Back, Parentheses
post May 2 2007, 04:51 PM
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Down in the Jungle Room

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From: 4,200 Miles East of Graceland

When I was ordering some of my first FTDs I had to go for Spring Tours, as I am a fan of the 70's in particular. However, when I asked in chat one evening what else would be recommended Barry suggested Elvis is Back [hands up who's surprised? ... no one? ... ok I'll continue!]

I loaded both of them up and listened to Spring Tours first. I loved it, the sound quality and the seamless nature of the edit of those tracks from various concerts into a phantom show. When I listen to Elvis in 1977 I find the weakness of his condition endearing as it is manifest in his voice. Its that habit of mine of having a dedication to the broken and wounded and Spring Tours was no exception. I listen to him because I love the voice which can so well describe the man as he is at that time. His singing seems to be such a window to his soul - that which makes him so attractive to me is this capacity. The talent to sing so well in itself is accompanied by an honesty that allows me to "see" his expression and recall times when my own face has held a similar expression ~ an answer to that human longing to feel not alone, even in solitude. If Elvis, at times in this album, sounds lonely then paradoxically it gives reassurance in lonely times for this listener that I have company. The highlight of this album for me was to be Bridge Over Troubled Waters, when I heard him sing the third word "weary" it was one of those moments of genuine pathos - where the heart goes out to another. Elvis sounds "pathetic" in this real sense that he attracts the heart of the attentive listener. As he has been company to me, listening to this song multiplied my desire to be company to him, to crawl up on the stage and be his "bridge." There is a metaphysical element in all this, a title the Bishop of Rome borrowed from Imperial Rome was, and is, Pontifex Maximus = Chief Bridge-builder (think of the Tiber in Rome and you may understand its importance) In the imperial, and later papal, sense it meant a builder of bridges between humanity and the God(s). Elvis is often a bridge builder between emotions, and between singer and listener. Perhaps familiarity bred contempt so his jamming companions couldn't hear what we hear, or perhaps this is just the meandering fantasy of a mad fan - I just feel I/we can hear him behind the song.

Then cd's changed, Spring Tours '77 became Elvis is Back and I think even the titles of those two albums gives some clue as to the fantasy and questions which erupted as the voice of sadness and solitude and weariness was replaced with the sound of a raw thumping hope filled youthfulness. I wished Elvis was back. I wish Spring Tours 77 had led to Elvis is Back, a certainty within himself that recaptured the awesome power and sensitivity of his voice in these recordings. There were new emotions for bridges to be built between but all of them concerned only with love of another, with an absence of introspection and isolation. A Mess of Blues, Dirty Dirty Feelin, Such a Night, Like a Baby: Elvis is singing about love in all its moments: courtship, longing, passion, desire. Like the person who couldn't keep his body still as he sang, neither can he keep his voice still. The guttural moans and grunts, the soaring crescendos (not to a whole piece of music but to single sentences even single words!), the ability to fit a quiver into a quaver. The saxophone is the instrument of sensuality and in the solo moments it is indeed, but when Elvis is singing its cowers behind his sensuality let loose. Perhaps it remembered the gold lamé suit, the curves of his body as he gyrated and lamented its metallic rigidity which could only represent one frozen moment of Elvis's dynamic demonstration of what it's all about. And as it observed this recording it knew that even the encumbrance of glittering gold was not necessary for his stealing of the show.

Encumbrance of glittering gold? Shall we refer back to 1977 and sundials and rhinestones? Who imprisoned the king again? As Goethe said of the baroque habit of over decorating crucifixes "Who put the roses on the cross?" Who put the sad and weary, who put the sensual and stirring, into lame and rhinestones? Not the Colonel, not the MM, not Priscilla: it was us who wanted our king to look regal. We too might learn from these recordings, these two parentheses between his return and his final parting, that the voice is the man is the bridge.

Forgive us for needing to see you shine, thank you for the voice that enlightens many darknesses and rest in peace.

"When I Do the best I can, and my friends misunderstand, stand by me"

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post May 2 2007, 05:10 PM
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Down in the Jungle Room

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Conor I love the way You interpretate the Songs Elvis sang, Thank You (IMG:http://elvis-tkc.com/forum2/style_emoticons/default/angel.gif)
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post May 2 2007, 11:36 PM
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Platinum Member

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Conor...you managed to enchant me (IMG:http://elvis-tkc.com/forum2/style_emoticons/default/blink.gif)

I'd rather go on hearing your lies....than smell your armpits son
Atlanta - December 30th 1976

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U.S. Male
post May 3 2007, 02:42 AM
Post #4

At The Gates Of Graceland

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Conor, as we say here in the south, "you sure know how to shuck the corn" (IMG:http://elvis-tkc.com/forum2/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)

An excellent article my friend....you should consider writing a book sometime, because you have a fine way of expressing things. (IMG:http://elvis-tkc.com/forum2/style_emoticons/default/up.gif)


"I'm gonna leave your head like the shape of a stamp"
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