Last week all the writers were thinking about Elvis' birthday and laughing at the idea of an Elvis spoken word album. Then we found out one actually existed. We couldn't help but track it down, and that's what started Scott on the trail of finding the five most interesting spoken word pieces. We'll start out with Elvis below:
Elvis Presley - Having Fun With Elvis On Stage
You gotta give Col. Tom Parker credit for trying this weird experiment. By releasing a record of Presley's between-song banter to be sold only at Elvis concerts, he hoped to have an album to which RCA had no rights. Of course, this backfired down the road and RCA released it on a larger scale with the disclaimer A Talking Album Only, so Parker found himself shut out again. In this record, Elvis talks to the crowd, makes a few jokes, says "Memphis" in a funny voice, warms up a little, and basically does everything but the singing he's known for. It proves something odd about the Elvis Mystique to know the record made it to #9 on the Billboard Country Charts, and proves something nice about the man himself to know he forced RCA to remove it from sale in 1975.
That's the sort of thing you'll be in for after the jump. And don't forget to leave your own favorites in the comments when you're done. See you inside?
Paul Stanley - People Let Me Get This Off My Chest
link contains NSFW Kiss-style image
This fan-made bootleg (which boasts a NSFW Kiss picture in the video) might have been inspired by the fine-but crazy work of The King. Here you get a sample of Paul Stanley's famous on-stage banter, just completely removed from the context of the songs, and yet, somehow, it still offers the full Kiss experience. Does anyone here like… ALCOHOL???? All RIGHT!
Ken Nordine - Colors
1966 was an odd year in music. One hand hand, there was Revolver and Pet Sounds, and on the other, Frank Zappa's Freak Out!. Somewhere in between lies Ken Nordine, with a voice like smokey honey and the soul of a crazed lunatic. In this ode to the color Yellow, Ken free-explores the nature of the interpersonal drama of light. If you've never heard the record in full, you owe it to yourself to find a copy. It's all this… should we say the word good?
Rosko - Pete Hamill's Massacre At My Lai
A DJ with a great voice reads aloud a reporter's story about the horrors of Vietnam and a deep hatred of Nixon. Just that sentence alone makes it classic left-wing journalism, right? But no, no, no, that's not enough for 1969. In 1969, they gotta add some smooth jazz bass! It might have been edgy forty years ago, but today this record feels like a parody. Can you imagine something like this existing with any other war? A story about Hiroshima set to Benny Goodman, or Geraldo reporting from Afghanistan over a dubstep loop? The lovely-voiced Rosko later went on to read the famous Desiderata (with a much funkier bass player, btw).
Material feat. William Burroughs - Words Of Advice For Young People
May be NSFW due to language
Speaking of the Desiderata, William Burroughs' 1994… um, poem? is full of NSFW words that form his advice to the youth of America about how they should live. Of course, it's worth mentioning that Burroughs is the guy who did heroin, shot his wife in the face, then fled the country before starting his writing career, so, you know, maybe he's not the absolute best role model. Anyway, the music's good, and hearing his famous "shaky old man" voice transforms the stick-it-to-the-boss ideals into something original. Just don't expect to ever hear this in the top ten.
See, that's what we're talking about. Even if you hate every second, you can't say those five aren't "interesting" choices. But what about you? Know any crazy spoken word tracks you think we should be aware of? Post 'em in the comments with a little explanation! We'll likely thank you for it.