Elvis Presley in 1975


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Elvis Presley in 1975


Hello dear friends of this fabulous radio. Welcome to a new installment of this series, through which we are learning about the history of music from the 50’s to the 70’s, with our Elvis as the main axis and as a starting point what, without a doubt, is the most famous, recognized and prestigious publication in the world, Billboard.

In this chapter we enter the final stretch of this exciting story, which takes us to 1975, where Elvis’ physical deterioration is already very visible and where we will also see the musical changes that are occurring, because the new generations have new idols and among them, unfortunately, is not Elvis, who is increasingly lost and who finds it more difficult to get into a recording studio to record unreleased material.

I trust that this new installment will be to the liking and satisfaction of all listeners. We are inexorably approaching the fateful year 1977, but let’s not anticipate events, we still have one more chapter left. Until the next one arrives, be very happy.

Cesar Valle, Torrelavega (Spain)


This year will witness a new Elvis display of megalomania. Now his fascination focused on airplanes, and as the most important piece of his collection he acquired a Convair 880, a huge airplane that he had remodeled, equipping it with a conference room, several televisions and a bar. Elvis named this new device after his daughter, Lisa Marie. On the other hand, in his physical appearance, the deterioration worsened considerably, leading to him being admitted to the Baptist Hospital in Memphis due to physical exhaustion at the end of August, and having to cancel five shows that he had planned in Las Vegas for the end. of that month.

In 1975, Elvis had two meetings with glittering music stars. The first was with Barbra Streisand, who visited him, after attending one of his concerts in the city of the game, to offer him the role of co-star in a new version that was going to be made of the classic “A Star is Born.” But the Colonel’s excessive requests, and the lack of enthusiasm of Elvis, who had been scalded by his cinematic adventures, ruined the role, and Elvis would lose his great opportunity to finally make a proper film. The second meeting that year was with the British Led Zeppelin, who went to visit him at his home in Bel Air.

On the recording side, Elvis returned to the recording studio on March 10, specifically to RCA’s Studio C. He would be there until the 12th, after the many pressures received by RCA since he had not recorded anything for more than a year, and his record company had not received a single album with new songs since 1974. These recordings finally gave rise to “Today” , the new album of that year. This would be the last time that Elvis would enter a recording studio, the next sessions would take place in the rooms of the Jungle Room. The euphoria over Elvis’s return was behind us, and sales had dropped considerably. And, decidedly, the broad market opted more for other artists such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, Aerosmith or Pink Floyd, although it must also be said that Elvis’ concerts continued to be sold out.

In 1975, Elvis’s physical deterioration was already beginning to take its toll on him, so he began completely unbalanced diets to combat his obesity. A physical deterioration that two years later will have its fatal outcome.


In the mid-1970s, the United States was in complete chaos: youth unemployment, continuous riots between street gangs, increased crime… All of this had the country on the verge of financial collapse. This breeding ground gave rise to a new way of seeing life among the youngest, resulting in the definitive triumph of a musical movement that, as we have seen previously, had its origin in Philadelphia and that, being a variation of the Soul of the Motown or Atlantic labels had been born with the nickname “Philadelphia Sound”.

This characteristic sound spread throughout the country like wildfire, already under the name “Disco Sound”. Thus, blacks and Latinos indulged in this new fashion in places called discos, some of them becoming authentic places of worship, such as the legendary Studio 54 in New York, where this new style of synthetic music was played by DJs who were treated as “gurus” by the masses.

This would be the case throughout the end of the decade in which this new sound would dominate the best-seller lists, until the early 80s. The “climax” of this new sound would come with the premiere of “Saturday Night Fever” in 1977, a feature film that perfectly reflects the way of seeing life by the youth of those years, masterfully interpreted by John Travolta in the role of Tony Manero. That earned Travolta an Oscar nomination for best actor. In the film, Travolta plays the role of a young man of Italian origin who works from dawn to dusk in a store to earn a measly salary and thus be able to buy bell-bottom pants or platform shoes to show off his body by moving it under a disco mirror ball, in this case the 2001 Space. In this way he feels important, supported by some friends who laugh at him and who, like him, are from the marginal class and their only aspiration is for Saturday night to arrive.

Returning to the topic at hand, this new style of music spread throughout the country in 1975. So, for example, we have from the Miami area to B.C. and The Sunshine with two hits: “Get Down Tonight” and “That’s The Way I Like It.” From New York came Van Macoy and The Soul Symphony Orchestra with “The Hustle.” From Chicago, The Staple Singers and their “Let’s Do It Again.” Also some reborn Bee Gees with “Jive Talkin” (this song would be recovered years later for the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack).

Also from there, came the female trio Labelle who with the song “Lady Mermelade” would be number 1. This song would be covered in 2001 for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack by Christina Aguilera, Mya and Pink.

We also have the genuine Funky sound with “Shining Star” by Earth, Wind and Fire, or the Soul of Monnie Reerton with “Loving You”, which features production by Stevie Wonder.

Also illustrious characters such as David Bowie with “Fame” (composition by John Lennon who would also provide backing vocals) or Elton John and “Philadelphia Freedom”, a song totally influenced by the Philadelphia sound, so fashionable those days. To this Elton John success we must add a version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, the legendary song by The Beatles, which for this version featured the collaboration of Lennon himself on guitar.

Another interesting adaptation was The Captain and Teneille‘s adaptation of Neil Sedaka‘s song “Love Will Keeps Its Together.” Sedaka himself was reborn that year, reaching number 1 with “Bad Blood”, which featured the help of the aforementioned Elton John on backing vocals. By the way, Elton John would do a double at number 1 with “Laughter In The Rain.”

Another that would reach number 1 that year was Frankie Valli with “My Eyes Adored You”, and also another ex-beatle, Paul McCartney with “Listen To What The Main Said”. Also his bandmate Ringo Starr would reach the top with a composition by John Lennon, “Goodnight Vienna”, and with a version of a classic by The Platters, “Only You” (with Harry Nilson on backing vocals).

But not everything is disco sound or a revival of old glories. In 1975 the Country genre also had its greatest hits, such as the group America with “Sister Golden Hair”, The Eagles with “One Of These Nights”, or “Rhinestone Cowboy” by Glen Campbell. Singer-songwriter John Denver will be a double number 1 with “I’m Sorry” and “Thank God I’m Country Boy.”

A woman who reached the top of the Billboard was the Australian Olivia Newton John, with a composition by her compatriot John Farrar: “Have You Never Been Mellow.” The Dobbie Brothers were also successful with “Black Water” and B.J. Thomas with “Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Songs.”

To finish this long list of Country music singers who succeeded that year, we find Freddy Fender with “Before The Next Teardrops Falls”. As can be seen, the range of artists of this genre who succeeded in 1975 is the widest.

More important people: Linda Rondstad covered an old Dee Dee Warwick song, “You’re no Good,” and Tony Orlando also had a hit with “He Don’t Love You.” At the end of the review of 1975 we find The Carpenters and their “Please Mr. Postman”, which had already occupied a privileged position in its original version of The Marvellettes, and Barry Manilow with “Mandy”.

In short, a year 1975 in which we can verify that the disco sound was the clear dominator of the lists, sharing the success with a very American genre such as Country.

This dominance would be the norm in the following years, the success of Disco music also spreading throughout old Europe, overwhelmingly until the beginning of the 80’s, where the so-called “New Wave” with people like Blondie, The Knack or The B52 They will put an end to this dominion.

But let’s not anticipate events, dear friends. Finally, and entering the LP format, in 1975 albums will be released that will be recorded with golden letters in the history of music, such as “A Night At The Opera” by the group Queen, “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd, or “Born To Run” by Bruce Springsteen.

Information provided by Cesar Valle (Torrelavega – Spain)

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