ELVIS AND THE BILLBOARD (1972)
Hello dear friends of this fantastic Radio. Once again we meet again to find out about the details, things and circumstances that happened to our Elvis back in 1972, as well as the music that was in fashion at that time. We will talk about all this through the publications of what is undoubtedly the most prestigious music magazine in the world, Billboard.
Second year of this decade of the 70’s with an Elvis who, as we will see later, would once again occupy positions of honor, something that would be ephemeral, since he would not be at the top again, his health would suffer and it would end in a fatal outcome. . But I do not want to extend more, I leave you with this reading that I hope you find interesting. See you in a new stage of this journey, but until that moment arrives, be happy.
Cesar Valle, Torrelavega (Spain)
The year 1972 would be marked in the life of Elvis Presley by his divorce with Priscilla, on February 23, after more than 4 years of marriage. Elvis’s wife argued that his temper had become unbearable, with continuous changes in character. On October 9, 1973, the granting of marriage annulment will take place.
In the strictly musical aspect Elvis offered in 1972 one of his most extensive tours of the United States, being part of them included in the film “Elvis On Tour“, a film released in November of that same year, and which would be awarded a Globe Gold in 1973.
The performances of that year at the Las Vegas Hilton, between January 26 and February 23, earned him his first adverse reviews since his return to the stage.
As far as studio production is concerned, it is limited to a single session, between March 27 and 29, where he records a total of 7 songs, intended to satisfy the demand of his fans. Four of these songs, recorded at RCA’s Studio C, served to make two hit singles: “Burning Love / It’s A Matter Of Time” and “Separate Ways / Always On My Mind“.
After the session, Elvis begins a small tour of several North American locations that will last until April 19. In June, he would perform for the first time at Madison Square Garden, in New York, where he offered four concerts, one of them, the one on the 10th published on a live album. The songs included were a good part of the repertoire that Elvis played at his shows at the time.
After those concerts and some more from that same tour, Elvis would return to the Hilton. A total of 63 performances between August and September, ending with a mini-tour between November 8 and 18, with which he would complete his commitments that year.
THE BILLBOARD IN 1972
This new year will be marked in England by the birth of Glam Rock, with groups like Roxy Music and Slade, or soloists like Gary Glitter. Reggae also triumphs, thanks to the large Jamaican colony in Great Britain. People like Jimmy Clift or the duo Dave and Ansil Collins, and so on until the appearance of Bob Marley who, without a doubt, will be the greatest exponent of this musical phenomenon.
Meanwhile, in the United States the situation was somewhat different. The song that stays at the top the longest is “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face“, a folk song covered by Roberta Flack. There were more people of color who would be successful in this 1972: Al Green with his “Let’s Stay Together“, Johnny Nash with “I Can See Clearly Now“, or Billy Paul and his song “Me And Mr. Jones“.
More artists who had that privilege, little Michael Jackson, although this time without his brothers, with the song “Ben“, the central theme of the film of the same title and which would be nominated for an Oscar for best song. Other artists, also from Motown who reached number 1 were The Temptations with “Papa Was A Rolling Stone“.
In 1972 there were many composers who managed to have a great impact, for example the Irishman Gilbert O’Sullivan will have three hits on the charts; “Alone Again” (which peaked at number 1), “Cleair” (which peaked at number 2), and “Get Down” (which peaked at number 7). Neil Diamond and his “Song Song Blue” would also head the list, as would Don McClean and his “American Pie” (a composition inspired by the accident that occurred in 1959 in which Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Popper died, and which would go down in history as “the day the music died“).
Mac Davis, who had worked for Elvis creating great songs like “Memories” or “In The Ghetto“, had his big moment that year with “Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me” and, among the female authors is the Australian Helen Reddy with her “I Am A Woman“, or Melanie with her “Brand New Key“.
One of the great successes of the year was undoubtedly that of Harry Nilsson with a version of an old song from 1970, by the Badfinger group, “Without You“, which years later Mariah Carey would once again lead to success.
From Folk-Rock music comes the trio America with their vocal harmonies, the song “A Horse With No Name” being their great success. The Canadian Neil Young also triumphed with his “Heart Of Gold“.
In 1972 bands like Three Dog Night were also formed, which would have their success with “Black And White“, or Looking Glass with “Brandy“. Vocal groups also have their moment, like The Stample Singers are number 1 with “I`ll Take You There“, and the Chicago quartet The Chi-lites with “Oh Girl“.
That year Chuck Berry reached the top with “My Ding A Ling“, Sammy Davis Jr. with “The Candy Man“, central theme of the movie “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and Bobby Vinton with “Sealed With A Kiss “.
In short, a year 1972 that will see the birth of the sound of the west coast of California, with groups like The Eagles, The Dobbie Brothers, or soloists like Jackson Browne, and we also witness a fusion between Jazz and Rock, with people like Chick Corea or John McLauglin and his Mahavishnu Orchestra.
A year in which Richard Nixon is the first American president to visit China (an event that inspired Colonel Parker to perform the famous satellite concert from Hawaii the following year). We will also finally see what the planet Mars is like thanks to the photos of the Mariner 9 probe. Apollo 16 will go to the Moon in that frantic race that the Russians and North Americans maintained.
1972 will be the year of birth of the Nike brand, a year in which artists such as Maurice Chevalier, or the film director Walter Lang, left us. A year in which the world witnesses the murder of eleven Israeli athletes during the Olympics held in Munich, at the hands of the Black September terrorist command.
That year we also saw on television two chess players, Bobby Fisher and Richard Spasky, who through a game represent the rivalry and tension that currently exists between the two great world powers.
In theaters, “The Godfather“, Francis Ford Coppola‘s masterpiece, and “Cabaret“, Bob Fosse‘s musical, were triumphant. While all this was happening, during Christmas John Lennon sang “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)“, almost about to start a year 1973 that would come loaded with good artists, new trends and styles, a year that would serve for some names are engraved in gold letters in the world of music.
Information provided by Cesar Valle (Torrelavega – Spain)
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