Got this from Ruddy, for his birthday.
Amazing Elvis in His Last Days, Singing Like the Man of His Youth
Poor Elvis can hardly stand up. But that one-of-a-kind most amazing voice is still there. Incredible. This had to be only a few weeks before he died. Remember he sang the hell out of “Hurt,” an operatic song, only a couple of months before he died. The voice remained until his last breath, I suppose.
Here, it’s a wonder he could play the piano, which he did very well, though he tended to press his voice instead of his instrumental capabilities. His voice still rules!
Elvis Singing “Unchained Melody” in his last days.
In case you’ve forgotten “Hurt,” here it is in its short brilliance. Don’t forget! No one else will sing this song as it’s written, a short opera piece, because it’s so ungodly brutal on the vocal cords. Neither the first sing-out or the second one is there a build to the crescendo. That is difficult to do, nearly impossible, and terrible dangerous on the cords. Even in his later years, Elvis worked on his vocal cords. He never smoked more than a cigar every now and then. He never drank, more than a beer here and there. That might have saved those cords. But whatever and however, they were still in good running condition in his last few months here on earth.
Notice when he whacks out the second sing-out, he grins at his band, because he knows he’s killed it. Always for us here, utterly difficult to believe someone has a voice like that.
“Hurt” Elvis (2:00) Live & Raw! 1977, a short time before his death.
Two More Pieces
Elvis shows his range the second song, a range that people claimed he did not have. He did stop slightly short of C-sharp, but he could start very low and go right to that point. And how many singers could move from one level to another at will during a song? “Spinout” is a perfect example of that.
In “Spinout” below, Elvis moves from tenor to baritone with such ease you wonder if he even has to think about doing it. And it’s so subtle, but it makes the song—a quite simple song that most people wouldn’t take a second thought to. Yet Elvis does something in it that no other singer during his day could do. And none can today either; they don’t even try!
Really great beat song. Wonderful classical pauses. Elvis uses very little voice manipulation, except at 1:17 and 1:58, when he gives us a tiny tease with a voice break on the word “prove.” Perfect! Who has ever been able to break his voice and make it a wonderful sound? Indeed, only Elvis.
Elvis begins the song singing tenor, and then when he steps up on the platform at 1:03, he drops to baritone, and then goes back up to tenor when he steps down from the platform; and then when he steps up on the bench, he drops back down to baritone, and when he steps down, he goes back up to tenor. Cute! Elvis goes up; his voice goes down. Elvis goes down; his voice goes up.
This is some real slick singing Miss D., again showing what an ungodly ear Elvis had, to move from low tenor to high baritone—as smooth as a swooning teen bats her eyes.
“Spinout” is peppy, fun, and uplifting. It’s one of my favorites to show how Elvis could turn a simple song into an interesting piece. Who else could do this?
“Spinout,” Elvis Presley from the Movie, “Spinout,” 1966 (2:30)
Here you hear Elvis knocking out four octaves with his astounding voice. This one speaks for itself. Notice the excellent classical build and then an anticlimax, before the final build begins. Notice the last verse when Elvis builds his voice with the music to come to an astounding four-octave climax. Check that grin out on his face after he looks at his band, knowing that he’s perfectly killed the finish. How could you not love this rascal?
When you hear the media talk about Elvis being no more than a “Rock & Roll Rebel,” and someone who “wiggled his hips to fame,” know that they are either ignorant or liars, perhaps both! The only way he would work with this orchestra was that he did the conducting. And this he did. Watch him at the end as he revs his voice for the finale.
Plain raw talent and an amazing ear at work!
“What Now My Love” Elvis (3:00) Live & Raw!