The Impossible Dream
Words & Music:
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear the unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To write the unwritable wrong
To be better far than you are
To try when your arms are too weary
The reach the unreachable star
This is my quest, to follow that star
No matter how hopeless,
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Whithout question or pause
To be willing to march into hell
For a heavenly cause
And I know if I'll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will be peaceful and calm
When I'm laid to my rest
And the world would be better for this
That one man scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star
, first released on
Elvis lost "street-cred" by doing a song such as TID, this song "got him played less on radio stations that mattered", along with comments suggesting that Elvis doing songs such as this one made him less cool are absurd at best. His next single after the MSG LP ("Burning Love") hit #2 on the Billboard chart and #1 on the cashbox chart, so that comment has no merit. If doing songs like this lost him "street-cred" or made him less cool then add these names to uncool performers...Jennifer Hudson, Luther Vandross, Glen Campbell, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, Diana Ross and the Supremes/Temptations and Roy Hamilton. That list (along with Elvis) defines cool among many genres of music.
Elvis seemed to love to sing songs with crescendos such as, The Impossible Dream and You Grace Me a Mountain. And, he infused drama to How Great Thou Art and Bridge Over Troubled Water. In terms of rockers, he put more energy into Polk Salad Annie than into old hits. Part of his 70s set-list seems to be a search for the identify of the 70s Elvis.
This is such a marvelous and unique song and Elvis always did a fantastic job when singing this classic broadway song. It's always been my favorite track from the "Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden" album. Songs like this added more variety to Elvis' song catalog and that's great to know. Elvis made the right decision by recording this song.
I remember John Cleese doing this song at The Muppets Show and hating it (that was the joke). A terrible song, but what a voice.
I like Elvis the dramatic balladeer and so really like and accept this song and performance. There is I agree, an element of strain in the MSG rendition so mark it down slightly to 4 stars.
I love the version of my vinyl lp "he walks beside me" 4 stars.
Middle of the road trash, why oh why did he ever go near songs like this. Never play it.
Could be the story of Elvis' life - and maybe that's why it appealed to him????
Never used to like it but love it now. I can understand people thinking it's weird for Elvis to perform an supposedly uncool song like this but Elvis was an interpreter of songs and he didn't care where the song came from or how cool it was or wasn't. His tastes saw beyond how cool a song was or wasn't but it's not always easy for we fans to accept. So many people crticised Elvis for recording It's Now Or Never as it wasn't the sort of thing he should be doing. Yet he loved the song, and it became his biggest hit. Impossible dream is peformed with such power and gusto and not at all in the plodding boadway style that it had become known for. 5 out of 5.
Not my cup of tea. I saw Elvis at MSG also and this is not what I (and my friends) wanted to hear at an Elvis concert. Wheter it suited him or not, it should have stayed in Vegas with with blue haired ladies crowd who adored everything he did. He didnt even do a good job on this song. His voice actually cracks at the end if you listen closely. Bad song choice for his only New York concert.
This is one of the great songs of all time. A lot of folks are complaining that it doesn't suit Elvis, but one thing I love about Elvis is that he had no barriers and saw no barriers. Music and Art is timeless and he'd sing songs from across the board. When Steve Binder asked him if he'd have recorded "MacArthur's Park" in 1968, he was testing Elvis' open-mindedness. Elvis passed. I'd hate to see what comments would be here if he actually had recorded "MacArthur's Park". (By the way, Glen Campbell also did a fantastic version of Impossible Dream, as did Louis Prima--though it was not their "usual" type of song either.)
I saw Elvis at MSG. When he did this we all looked at each other and said why is he doing stuff like this when there is Don't, His Latest Flame, RTS, and others. The over the top cape & jumpsuits were one thing, but songs like this belonged a few blocks away on Broadway. This is not even pop, its a show tune. Not a favorite at all. These songs took away his street cred for many rock fans and got him played less on radio stations that mattered.
Not a pop song, ok as a show filler,but not one that you could put into a medley of songs by Elvis. Give me Minds, Burnin, Way Down or even Moody. As someone once said, "now thats a pop song".
I love this song. It's my fave track on the original "Live At MSG" album. 4 stars.
The king of Rock'n'Roll drowned in Las Vegas kitsch.
The song should have been left to the likes of Shirley Bassey and Humperdinc, crass rubbish from the King of Rock 'n' roll.
I could never stand the song, no matter who performs it.
This one really depends on which version you listen to as to whether it is a two, three or a four star track. When Elvis first started doing it in January of '71 in Vegas, it was very good, but not perfect (3 maybe 3 1/2 stars). His versions (at least the ones I have heard) from the Summer season of Vegas in '71 and the January '72 Vegas shows are not as good. Elvis had throat problems in the Summer of '71 and was told not to sing overly demanding songs, but he tried anyway and the result on a song like this one was mediocre at best ("You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" from this season is the same). The '72 Vegas version that is found on the FTD "Standing Room Only" CD and vinyl LP again shows Elvis straining to hit the notes and struggling with the song (2 stars). But, the Madison Square Garden version from June of '72 shows Elvis in perfect vocal form and he does an sensational job. Still not one of my favorite songs and even with Elvis' fantastic vocals, I can only give the track four stars.
Another show stopper...Elvis pushing his voice as far as he can.He does reach the unreachable star.
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