Elvis (The Fool Album) And Raised On Rock

By Blogcritics/ David BowlingJul 28, 2008
Elvis (The Fool Album) And Raised On Rock

1973 found Elvis Presley popular again. His television special, Aloha From Hawaii, had been seen by over a billion people. The subsequent soundtrack album had sold five million copies in the United States alone and reached number one on the pop and country charts. Col. Parker kept Elvis on the road where he played to sold out concert halls. RCA would capitalize on Elvis’ re-birth by releasing two more albums in 1973.

Elvis, also called The Fool Album in order to differentiate it from a previous release, was issued in July of 1973. “Fool” was the title of the first song on the original release. It was basically an album of leftovers and clocked in at around 26 minutes. Elvis (The Fool Album) contained a number of songs with just Elvis at the piano singing. While originally these may have been incomplete recordings, they are unique in that they present an intimate Elvis with little distraction. “It’s Still Here,” “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen” and “I Will Be True” all show the purity and beauty of Elvis’ voice. Elvis’ health may have begun its decline by this time in his career, but his voice would always remain strong.

Several other passable songs include “Padre,” with its fine building vocal; a credible cover of Perry Como’s “It’s Impossible” and a sort of goofy but oddly effective rendition of Bob Dylan’s, “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right.”

Elvis is an average album with some hits and misses. There are certainly a large number of more listenable albums by Elvis Presley, but at least this one is interesting in places.

Raised On Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake was Elvis’ third 1973 album release. Many later reissues would shorten the title to just Raised On Rock. Elvis had returned to the Stax studios in Memphis to record the songs for this album. He would not create a great album, but it's very listenable and representative of the 70’s Elvis.

The title song, “Raised On Rock,” is just great rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis had moved in a pop direction in his post movie career, and songs like this one were all too few and far between. A bass foundation, terrific guitar lines and Elvis’ vocal above the mix all added up to a great lost song in the Elvis catalogue. “If You Don’t Come Back” is another nice rock song, complete with wah-wah guitar and a solid rhythm foundation.

Elvis also provides several tasty ballads on this album. “I Miss You” features a sincere vocal by Elvis on this song of loss. Listen for some wonderful guitar lines by James Burton. “For Ol’ Times Sake,” written by Tony Joe White of “Polk Salad Annie” fame, is a subtle ballad of regret. “Just A Little Bit” is given a fine rhythm & blues interpretation by Elvis.

Raised On Rock/For Ol’ Times Sake may not be a consistently excellent album, but it certainly contains a number of performances that are still worth seeking out.


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NONE000000 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 7, 2008report abuse
Taken back out of the context of what a dumb move it was to put these out after Burning Love and Aloha were big hits.... they are good albums. I 100% agree with SteveV and JerryNodak and many others who point out the stupidity of RCA or whomever it was at the time though. From a marketing standpoint, these two albums kinda suck. And the comparison to "Burning Love and hits from his movies" is apt. But divorced from all that and just looking at this as a group of songs, I like a lot of them. It is a shame Elvis' career was so mishandled from the 60s on.
ibegofyou (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 6, 2008report abuse
I remember buying Raised on Rock.. The cover looked great. I put the album on & wondered why it was so subdued. Keep in mind, Aloha had been released & Elvis's name was huge. Frankly, I wondered where Elvis music was going. The Fool album was actually a bit better but not by much.
Thankfully, Promised Land was much better.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 3, 2008report abuse
Yes, these albums were major artistic and sales disappointments, but that doesn't mean there isn't music on thse albums to enjoy. There is, and that's what I take from them.
Eap54 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 2, 2008report abuse
I too have both these albums and think the Fool album is one to listen to whe u want to haer Elvis without his backup band like I do so I think it's a fine album and for Raised On Rock it goes back to his roots from the beginning and I remember listening to him in 1956.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 2, 2008report abuse
Aaron P I had no intention of insulting you or anyone here, that's not why I'm here, so if I did I apologise. I love this site because its one of the very few sites where fans can voice opinions and still respect each other and share information and memories. Its the only site where I've walked away knowing MORE than when I arrived thanks to the longer members on here. I think its great you love the album, I really do. As I said I like the individual tracks. I can kind of see what E saw in each song (and yes I love girls!girls!girls! cos I love 'em too!). I just prefer listening to the songs in session order, they have more ... I dunno .... meaning? We all love Elvis, that's why we're here. I was big Bowie fan in my teens and 20's, I like Springsteen too but no one did it like Elvis.
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 1, 2008report abuse
This isnt and wasnt and never will be a strong album,and yes im a real fan,whatever that means.all though im not a big fan of guys like springsteen ,clapton,beatles(paul)i have no dislike for them,that kinda thinking is what gets the Elvis fans are crazy rumors going!
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
well first off all i'm not jealous at any other artists, not even close. so i agree with u on for them making not any chart music anymore. and i didn't say u have to agree with me. i just wanted to make things clear on that not all elvis fans think alike. that's just how it is, and im sorry OldScudder you r a Elvis fan for sure. yo did see Elvis live? the fact is, Elvis is still popular more than ever. a lot of young people also love him today. he s still in the charts. finally everyone has their right to their opinion. u and me. i have nothing against you fans at all. not even close. Steve is a Friend of mine ( Bryan) all Elvis fans here are friends, right? but sometimes we have diffrent opinions.. thats ok. but this discussion ran a little out off hand. so therefore i apologize..
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
No one has ever said you have to answer to me Aaron Presley. I'm just giving my opinion on the Fool Lp. In my opinion (& that's all this site is about , giving one's opinion), this album was a pusillanimous pice of putrissance if ever there was one. However great title The Fool Album, that's how I felt after buying it in 1973. By the way when did you buy it. This non fan as you called me has been collecting Elvis since 1956.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
Aaron P - This is my last response. No we dont want everyone to think like us. If you read the history on this topic, we gave our opnions on the LP. It is you who jumped on us with this quote 'i think you all wrong, this album isn't bad at all..no it's great ....great songs' Telling someone they are wrong because you dont agree with their opinion sounds like it is you who want us to agree with you. We just gave our opinions on the LP, didnt say you were wrong for liking it. This is why some Elvis fans cannot have a discussion. As for E John, McCartney, Springsteen, Clapton, whoever else was around in the 70's, their albums may not be massive hits (mainly because music tastes suck today) but they are still having critical success and even getting Grammy nominations. Stop being jealous and give artists their due. They are still trying to make good records at 60+ yrs of age!
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
problem with u guys is that u want that everyone thinks the same as you. well not me. we are talking here about period that is more then 30 years ago. what's the use for having this discussion anyway. nothings gonna change and steve u don't have to teach me anyhting about what is to be a junkie, Elvis had those medicine also for medical problems as well. maybe you should read more biographies about our man and the likes of David Bowie, Elton John dont even score a hit anymore. and i if i like this album? that's my bussiness, don't have to pattern my life after your opinions on elvis's seventies work and the things i buy from that period. i like that period and nothing what u guys say to critisize this period doen't make me think otherwise. period. and that doesn't make me stupid. not every elvis fan is the same. please stop discussion jeeezz
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
Yes, great words Steve, really great. Some of the fans here does exactly the thing that elvis did in the seventies (or didn´t do), facing reality. Elvis Presley was a heavy user of drugs. People has got to accept that. I can´t believe some people actually like this album. It was a disaster. So what do you think about Girls! Girls! Girls! and Having fun with elvis on stage? love those albums too?
busboy (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
Agree Steve, being able to criticise makes you no less of a fan. I'm not much of a fan of the 70's period and don't like to comment much on these album releases as i think that they are mainly poor but i'd like to think that i could offer an opinion if i wished to do so. Blindly thinking everything Elvis did was great is stupid.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
I think part of the problem here is that we fans that were around in the 50's and followed & anticipated every release were very let down by these LPs. You guys in your 30's, you are hearing these albums years after the fact. When they were released in the aftermath of Aloha they were major disappoitments. Major! A joke to the recorded works of one Elvis Presley. I cant explain if you werent buing these LPs new in 1973. Buying them after Elvis died is not the same. And Aaron if you are saying some of us are always negative, you and others on this site cannot discuss Elvis logically because you are the opposite. Everything Elvis did was great right? If you read my blogs I am positive about a lot of what Elvis did, but I am truthful when I felt he could have done better. As for Elton John , Bowie and others they are stll recording and more a part of whats happening in music today than Elvis. Lets face it, Elvis's career was not going well he died. And people who are hooked on pills (many for non-illness purposes) are junkies as well. It doesnt have to be coke or heroin. Read a medical journal. The drugs ruined his career & life!
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
JimmyCool THNX!! nice words from you. i also like these albums, so i'm totally with you
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
And about the Raised On Rock album, I really love it, it has a funky sound on it.
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
It's not a bad album... not the ebst ever, but it has some pretty good performances, for example Fool (although I preffer the violins version from the silver box), Love Me, Love the Life I Lead (pretty ballad, has the same intro of an Aerosmith song), It's Still Here (Just Elvis and a piano), It's Impossible (beatiful live rendition), For Lovin' Me and Don't Think Twice It's All Right (Folk music, very rare on Elvis' reportoire)
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
i'm tired of this discussion. i don't have to answer to you Oldscudder,you are always negative..
i really doubt you r a real Elvis fan..always negative..this album is not lame buddy...Elvis is still big today..no negative comments of you or others will change that fact.. you think it will..a bloody shame.... try to live in the real world for once
theoldscudder (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
I really like Don't Think Twice. A bravado type performance of Elvis just having fun. However the rest of the Lp is just lame. Only Elvis could cut an album like this an get away it. Largely due to the fact that the typical Elvis fan would blindly buy anything with his name on it. Just a shame.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
he was not a junkie, he did not use heroin, cocaine or that other stuff. elvis had an illnes, which he was treated for..but it didn't help as we all know today. and those other artists you speaking of will never get as big as elvis..they are not even coming close in any way,don't have to have your head in the sand for that fact
John4126 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 31, 2008report abuse
Aaron Presley - get your head out of the sand. In the last years of his life, as sad and hurtful as it is, Elvis was a junkie - we all know it now. And who said these artists were/are bigger than Elvis? But I tell you what, I'd wager in terms of album sales they are creeping ever closer and they're still alive today, still recording, still having hits. My point is this, that at the time when he should have been leading the way, having hit album after hit album, he settled for second rate covers and was critically and in terms of sales at that time as a 'has been' - a nostalgia act from a glorious bygone age. Those around at the time will tell you. The likes of Steve V, will tell you how it was at the time. Oh sure, the occasional track that moved him, but few and far between. Like i said i consider it a damn tragedy.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
blah blah..and are those artists now bigger than elvis? not even close..so then whats your point..
he did use medicine..not drugs..
John4126 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
With the exception of the track For ol times sake, Raised on Rock is a dire album. You only have to read accounts of the recording sessions - the guy was off his head on drugs. Any responsible manager or team behind an artist would have cancelled and got him the hell out of there. As for Fool that was even worse. At that time Rod Stewart, Elton John, David Bowie were recording great rock albums leaving the 'King of Rock n roll' at the starting gate. Its a tragedy.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
Busboy...i don't have to answer myself to you..who died and made u king anyway
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
maybe being a stand up comedian would be something for some of you, a lot of the people wants that other fans agree with them..NOT.. YOU don't know me ...i know where i have been. i travelled all over the world... Elvis he had the best voice even ..and this FOOL album is one of my favorites.. and LUCIANO77 well spoken,thnx for your support
Raleighroadace (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
I get frustrated because Elvis had the greatest Rock Band in the world behind him yet he didn't have the inclination to cut really decent rock numbers.I guess his heart just wasn't in it .Yet he was still a young man.I do love some of the songs on these albums,particularly the ones with just Elvis at the piano.Much more thought should have gone into Elvis' albums by this time.I wish he'd heard Meat Loaf's Bat Out Of Hell.It may have inspired him to find much stronger material.There again after about'73 I don't think Elvis really cared about recording strong commercial material.He just basically sang old country songs that appealed to him.Hell of a shame,with that voice and that band he could have done anything,anywhere.
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
Absolutely my least favorite Elvis albums. I remember buying them and expecting good stuff. I've hardly played them since. "Raised on Rock" hasn't been touched since I bought it and played it the first time (I played the FTD set when I got it thinking it would be better somehow...you can't improve lousy material). The "Fool" album does remind me of the Camden album "Let's Be Friends"...except for the title track, "For Lovin' Me" and "Don't Think Twice", it's pretty much a waste of time. Elvis and his fans deserved better material than this.
busboy (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
jl - even if there was a contract and an album had to be released that's no excuse for the poor selection of songs. Seems to me that the years 71 -77 are just as much of a waste as the movie years 63 - 68 were. Aaron Presley, you are a star...........
luciano77 (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
..... the Album ELVIS ( the Fool) just rocks! Elvis is still the King and he'll be the one and only one second 2 none!! Listen to, how he sing the songs how he play the piano! Does it really matters now if the Album had could be better or not .. more cuts more matirial or not? it's 36 years ago. long long time ago. so you folks better enjoy the music. we cant change the time anyway. by the way im 35 years old and a fan since 1980! :)
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
What about Elvis´ contract? He had to do something like two albums and four singles a year. And he did lose his interest to record new songs and he felt more at ease on stage. In his last six years he did four live albums and that´s not a coincidence. I´m not sure that RCA were happy about all the live albums. But they were stronger than his studio albums at this time. My question is, were RCA forced to release this album because of his contract?
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
Circle G i think U misunderstand me, and u didn't read my reaction good enough. I DO know what Elvis going through and I KNOW how he felt when he was recording..i know more about Elvis then u know, also talked to his friends a lot.. so please don't tell me that i don't know nothing about Elvis's feelings when Elvis was recording..i 'm 37 years old and i was a fan when i was 8 years old, so there u are.
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 30, 2008report abuse
AaronPresley i think you're misunderstanding us. I love Elvis in any era but I guess you have to understand what the man was going through and the feelings he was trying to convey when recording. The fact is 'Elvis - the '73 album' was a collection of left-overs that may have sounded great alone but as an album it left much to be desired. As someone correctly said it was one in a series of blunders. Audiences were far more sophisticated and the colonel was still treating albums like it was the 50's. Ernst said the 70's songs should be listened to as 'sessions' in order to appreciate them and I agree. It's a shame they weren't released in this manner. Also the july 21-26 Stax sessions didn't produce the songs Elvis wanted hence his cancelling of the sessions, I mean he only produced 9 songs in 5 nights, two years previous he produced 30 in the same time!! He must have thought 'oh dear this 1969' all over again where he literally had to DEMAND better songs and less of a publishing cut. That said each track is fine, even padre, it's not the album it should have been is all.
Rob Wanders (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
I agree with some of you. After a major event as Aloha he should have bring a better album than Fool. I like the album ( I love "Love me, love the life) but it was a missed opportunity. But a year later he made it up I think with "Good times".
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
no steve i'm not blind loyalist,i know exactly what was good or wrong for Elvis's career and that Colonel Parker only thought of himself. Elvis has tried a few times to get rid off him, so he knew exactly what he was doing. but i do agree with you on some points, and i also know Elvis toured alot in the seventies, and that his heart was not always into it, but that was because of his illnes, i talked to many friends of elvis.. Charlie Hodge, Jd Sumner and many others even to Lisa Marie in 1993 in Memphis ,they said Elvis loved to perform but due to his illnes he didn't feel al that well at times.. but these songs are not bad at all...because his heart was really into these songs, confirmed by Charlie Hodge,he knows..he was there..i also know Elvis had to perform,to pay off the Colonel's debts he made with Gambling..Elvis even said this on Stage at one time.. and yes i cannot be negative about Elvis, i'm just glad what he left behind his legacy..his music..which still today is selling very good, and so are the dvd's etc.. he's still in the music charts..Elvis isn't alive anymore, but he lives on through his music and all what he has left us..
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
JR is correct. This was similar to what happened after the success of Burning Love. What was the next career move? To release Burning Love & Hits From His Movies on a Camden LP. What were they thinking? The Fool LP was very much like a Camden LP. So here we have Elvis gaining new fans on the strength of a hit single, then a hit TV special and what did RCA do? Kill off most of those new fans with these releases. Part of the resons Elvis 70's records take such a hit.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
A Presley, it´s not because that we don´t like his seventies material that we dislike this album. I honestly love this period. Some songs are decent but to follow the Aloha success with this budget album was a disaster. Aloha attracted new fans, younger fans, and the natural thing to do was a strong studio album or a world tour. Sure, many fans bought the album, but hardcore fans would buy anything. The ambition should be to attract other people too. This album doesn´t. This is among his poorest albums ever, I even prefer some movie soundtracks.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
Aaron Presley - you are one of those fans who believe everything Elvis ever did was wonderful and cannot take constructive critique and thats great. You are not one to have a dialog with because of your blind loyalty , a fault of many Elvis fans when discussing his career. The truth is , if any other artist released these albums in the wake of a fabulous TV special , their careers would have died. The Fool album is terrible, songs recorded at different times, live mixed with studio and not one potential hit among them. It didnt flow at all. These albums were not good for a singer of Elvis' stature and it is only because he was Elvis that his career survived. You dont think he toured too much? Read the accounts of how other artists tour schedules are set then tell me the Colonel didnt push Elvis too hard between vegas and one night stands in not so major towns. A career totally misguided by a corrupt manager who's only interest was the dollar.
Jesse Garon Presley (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
i think you all wrong, this album isn't bad at all..no it's great ....great songs. Elvis wasn't a touring machine, and he DID care of what he did ( he wasn't a robot). all his concerts were sold out till the end( not for nothing).. and don't give me that story again that the people wanted to see him live, cause they wanted to see Elvis fall flat on his face..WRONG. judging by hearing those live recordings, the audience went crazy to see Elvis live, and to the end elvis always delivered a wonderful show.. and not fot nothing is he the biggest artist of all time , just go to Graceland and go to his trophyroom than u will talk diffrent, i have been there 5 times!1 and still today he recieves golden. platinum record.. yes even for this album. .i saw it myself.. no artist has ever achieved this .. and i know the story behind the songs on this album.. and i can tell you this.. he wasn't uninspired.. thats just plain bull.. these songs on this album are great..and if you don't like it? .we are not interested of hearing it ( all the time) some of you are not a fan of the seventies. it's your loss.. i happen to like that period and this album tells me why.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
In the wake of Aloha, Elvis was riding high. The Fool LP just killed that momentum. A really poor album of songs just thrown together that just dont mix well. RCA just wanted product. As for Raised On Rock, nice attempt, but again uninspired. Yes, compare it to Elvis Country. You really cant because its like night & day. The downward spiral had begun. At a time when his career could have been as hot as 68-70, RCA (and Elvis) put a halt to the upward trend with these 1973 albums. The career kind of stalled at this point and Elvis became a touring machine and Vegas act and I dont think Elvis even cared. Pitiful.
JLpResLey (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
This album is poor, really poor. Some songs are decent, but there was no hit material on the album. Let´s compare this album to Elvis Country for example. You´ll find the same kind of material on that album, BUT they were mixed with strong numbers like I Really Don´t Want To Know and Funny How Times Slips Away. That kind of songs saved that album, I really don´t think it would be a major success, with It´s Your Baby, You Rock It as a highlight. This is an album with only fillers. Best song? I love Padre, I really do. That would have been great on He Touched Me
circleG (profilecontact) wrote on Jul 29, 2008report abuse
To me this where the powers that were just lost all direction. A collection of random songs that just don't work together. Raised on Rock should have been ditched by elvis but he probably was desperate for a 'rock' sounding track and as for padre, that should have found a better home. The strongest tracks are the softer ones which are quite haunting. RCA wanted to rush-release something in the wake of 'Aloha' and rushed a bit too much in my opinion. Also Elvis had done another marathon session at the end of '73 and didn't need to go into the recording studio during '74.

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