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Elvis Presly or David Bowie ?

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In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 10:14:54 PM PST
Hinch says:
Bowie is rock.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 10:17:45 PM PST
stevign says:
We're good. ;~)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 16, 2012 10:26:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 16, 2012 10:28:52 PM PST
Hinch says:

Both George and John said hearing Heartbreak Hotel (released in Jan 1956)the first time, is what got them interested in playing rock and roll. George bought his first guitar soon after hearing it. John also got his first guitar in 1956. Guitar sales boomed after Elvis appeared on the scene.

Of course they had other influences. Little Richard, The Everly Bros, Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly. They were influences on their music. but I believe Elvis is what got them interested. Even Buddy Holly, who was playing country music, saw Elvis live and changed to rockabilly.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 7:44:31 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 17, 2012 11:50:19 AM PST
YW! Elvis IS credited as one of the originators of Rockabilly. And many would not have heard the genre if it hadn't been for him bringing it to the masses, as Perkins, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran et al. were far less well-known than Elvis was.

Here's more with a quote from Bob Dylan:

<Presley's first, historical recordings took place at Sun Records, a small independent label run by Sam Phillips in Memphis, Tennessee. The historical significance of these first Presley recordings and their impact on future musical artists is well exemplified by the actions of legendary musical artist Bob Dylan, who is said to have gone to Sun Records and kissed the "x" where Elvis had stood to record his first recordings. Further stated by Dylan: "I thank God for Elvis Presley".>

Posted on Jan 17, 2012 7:50:53 AM PST
Laust Cawz says:
Bowie over Elvis.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 10:54:22 PM PST
Hinch says:
I believe John Mellencamp recorded part of his most recent album at the Sun Studio and stood on the X where Elvis stood.

I never knew Dylan felt that way about Elvis. Nuff said!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 10:59:23 PM PST
loz says:
Yes F, I remember now you mention it, Bowie is rock. Having grown up in the rockfest of the mid to late 70s I guess I just took that for granted. Bowie is not the same type of rock as Elvis though. Zaplightning said Bowie is 'glam rock', and given the range of images Bowie has been through, I would go with that as a more accurate description of his genre. Although it is still rock...

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 17, 2012 11:07:36 PM PST
Hinch says:
Bowie was "glam rock" in his early days. SPACE ODDITY, THE MAN WHO SOLD THE WORLD, ZIGGY STARDUST, DIAMOND DOGS, PINUPS. I'm not sure what you'd call it after he changed with YOUNG AMERICANS. It was more funk and r&b. Bowie has always evolved. He got into some electronic music later. He worked with Trent Reznor(of NIN). Bowie could be descibed as progressive rock but not in the usual sense.

I'm not one to break things down into many subgenres. Rock is rock to me.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 18, 2012 2:58:15 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 18, 2012 3:03:56 PM PST
loz says:
F: "I'm not one to break things down into many subgenres".
Still F, I like your analysis. I think it's an example of how a simple analysis of a genre and possible subgenre(s) of an artist could help one to understand and appreciate more accurately what it is that one feels about the artist's works. Now that you point it out, funk and R&B do apply for Bowie from the Young Americans direction. I had never made that subtle identification before. It now makes more sense to me why it is Bowie's glam rock period that defines him as a great artist.

Posted on Jan 18, 2012 10:29:33 PM PST
Hinch says:

I'm sure there are those who prefer one phase of his career over another, but I like most of his albums. The one I cared the least for was LET'S DANCE. I saw Bowie 5 times in the 70s. Ziggy Stardust, Diamond Dogs, Young Americans, Station To Station and the Low/Heroes. For some reason, he never has returned to Nashville for a concert.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 10:56:03 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 21, 2012 10:59:54 PM PST
I will take this in one of two ways: first--who is more important or influential? In that case, I'd say Elvis, just as he is at the origin-point of the Rock era, and broke it wide open as far as music, style, media saturation, image, etc. Elvis was a prime mover for anything that happened in the 60's, including the Beatles. Dylan, and Bowie, etc. I think you could fairly add Chuck Berry, Lil' Richard, Buddy Holly, and the Everly Bros. on, too, if you want to use a wider net. It can't really be disputed, though, that Elvis is to the 50's what Sinatra was to the 40's, and the Beatles/Dylan were to the 60's. Maybe even what Bowie was to the 70's!!!

Taken the second way, meaning, if you could only have in your collection the records of Elvis or Bowie, which would it be? Wow, that is really easy--Bowie 100 times out of 100!!!! I hit my teens in the 70's, and though I was stuffed on the Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel from the 60's, I hit the teens hard with Dylan and then Bowie---and my world was forever changed. Hunky Dory is the soundtrack of my emergence as an individual, and then all the other Ziggy period masterpieces....After Diamond Dogs, it goes a bit dry for me until Lodger & Scary Monsters, then dry again till Tin Machine, and I don't know what to make of Bowie the last 5 years, other than when he does a cross-section of his material he is still utterly fantastic and in great voice!!! And the best show of all is the 10-20-72 performance at Santa Monica Civic which finally got commercial release--well, almost any Ziggy & the Spiders show from that period is incredible, and as good as rock can get, really. Bowie has maybe 10 albums I could not be without, whereas if you give me a hefty 1 disc greatest hits of Elvis, I'm good....Sorry...... But as much as I like and revere Elvis, I'd ditch him for Ziggy in a hot second....

Elvis is Modern, Bowie is post-Modern.....Both, in a way, are Glam, though....Elvis is a force, a great talent, an amazing-looking dude, and was there when the planets aligned.....Bowie is a cosmic genius and has given us many scrolls to worship....

Posted on Feb 21, 2012 11:19:10 PM PST
K. Neubauer says:
C'mon, are you friggin serious? Comparing these to is like comparing Outback Steakhouse with MacDonalds....ELVIS HANDS DOWN!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 21, 2012 11:36:20 PM PST
loz says:
Great post Harvey, great points. I agree. Although I sometimes wonder by what sort of context I tend to be expressing myself on some of these points about great music of the latter half of the 20th century. It is definitely a cross-generational subject area. It is also cross-artcultural, all of those artists you mention moved culture in different ways, which I guess is why different people see it in different ways. I know Bowie is one of the greats, and in another 50 years time will probably be recognised just as much as Elvis, but maybe moreso in a different way.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 1:01:26 AM PST
W. Grieve says:
Bowie..Bewley Bros is exceptional.
But i have good Elvis on playlist.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 1:09:34 AM PST
Hinch says:
Elvis......great singer and performer.

Bowie.......great singer, performer, musician, songwriter and producer.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 3:14:51 AM PST
Bowie's a brilliant multi-instrumentalist, musical innovator, singer, songwriter, composer, and (overall) artist!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 4:58:36 AM PST
loz says:
Yes, Bewley Bros is a work of art. Hunky Dory!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2012 5:36:21 AM PST
loz says:
Yes Hinch, both giants. From the way you put it there it looks like Bowie might have the edge in the art stakes. But then Elvis could have the edge in the 'love song delivery' stakes.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 2:27:17 PM PST
Thanks loz, glad you enjoyed my sputterings....I think anyone has leave these days to speak out on the internet, which is the digital realization of the 1st amendment, I suppose. So just have at it!!! There is lots of crap out there, but many folks have some great thoughts, too. I thought this was a novel sort of comparison so it made me think a bit rather than your standard Elvis/Beatles or Beatles/Stones kind of thing. Bowie is an artist I take very personally, whereas Elvis is someone I like and acknowledge for who and what he is in the pantheon of music stars. It will be interested to see how it evolves in history. I doubt I'll be here in another 50 years, but I can see how it has evolved since I was a kid, and all I can say is, Time certainly does add interesting elements, shades, perspectives, etc. I think Bowie has had a very interesting career and arc of development as an artist and person. If you have netflix, they carry a documentary that has numerous Bowie interviews on it, from the Ziggy years to rather recent, and it is really a great program. I can't remember the exact title, but if you search Bowie I am sure it will come up. Hope you can find it!!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 2:38:42 PM PST
Both can really put a song over, that is for sure, loz.... Maybe the way to compare them is to listen to Pin-Ups, since that album has Bowie covering songs that are more trad rock numbers in the sort-of Elvis vein...I love that record, yet I don't think it's Bowie at his absolute best. Take a bittersweet song like Lady Grinning Soul and you can hear Bowie doing a pretty powerful job of singing that one to the max...Or, the last verse of Time, another bittersweet vision of love, but the level of emotion is deep, filled with loss and disillusionment....Those are shades of affect that I don't think Elvis was exploring in his day....Elvis is great when he is singing about adoration, devotion, lust, heartbreak, angst, etc. which is a pretty broad palette...Also, Bowie is writing his own lyrics from his own experience, whereas Elvis is generally interpreting songs written by others, so Bowie's stuff is going to have more unique ideas and feelings, probably, that songs that are getting written for the wider marketplace....

Posted on Feb 24, 2012 2:42:54 PM PST
Cookie says:
the king

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 24, 2012 10:16:03 PM PST
Hinch says:
Good assessment!

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 12:14:25 AM PST
S. Thompson says:
I dont think Elvis disliked the Beatles, he may have not liked that they had eclipsed him in the 60s, but he had Paul and John over to his house in California. From everything i have read about Elvis, if he didn't like someone, he would not have had that person/persons over to his house for a jam session. Just for the record , Elvis is better than Bowie, just my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 12:16:37 AM PST
S. Thompson says:
Not according to john Lennon, who had stated that Elvis was a big influence on him

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 25, 2012 12:32:35 AM PST
Hinch says:
S. Thompson

You may be right about Elvis not disliking The Beatles. Not long ago, this occured to me.

Elvis recorded or performed live, several Beatles songs....Something, Hey Jude, Get Back and Lady Madonna. I may be forgetting one, but can you think of any other 60s band he covered? Not the Stones, Kinks, Beach Boys or any others. He did do "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" by Simon and Garfunkel. That's the only one I can think of.

Also, what other band did he invite and allow into his home?
None. All 4 of The Beatles were at his house that night.

I did think of one other band he covered, but it wasn't their song. He recorded "Never Been To Spain" made famous by Three Dog Night.

It had a line "I've never been to England, but I kinda like The Beatles"

According to the writer, Hoyt Axton, Three Dog Night didn't even want to sing that line, but Elvis didn't mind. Elvis wouldn't have done it if he didn't want to.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  70
Total posts:  364
Initial post:  Jan 11, 2012
Latest post:  29 days ago

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