It's Now or Never

It's Now or Never

by Robert Gordon
     
 

Robert Gordon was one of the few major rockabilly revivalists who came on the scene before Elvis Presley died, albeit by a slim margin -- Elvis passed only four months after Gordon's first album was released in April 1977 -- and while Gordon rarely seemed to be emulating Presley in his glory days, the King was clearly a major influence on him, both as the man who… See more details below

Overview

Robert Gordon was one of the few major rockabilly revivalists who came on the scene before Elvis Presley died, albeit by a slim margin -- Elvis passed only four months after Gordon's first album was released in April 1977 -- and while Gordon rarely seemed to be emulating Presley in his glory days, the King was clearly a major influence on him, both as the man who disseminated the hepcat ethos to the world at large, and as a gifted singer whose talent went beyond the strict confines of the rockabilly genre into pop, rhythm & blues and gospel. On It's Now or Never (once announced for release under the title "The King and I"), Gordon teams with one of his best instrumental sidekicks, guitarist Chris Spedding, and records 15 songs made famous by Elvis Presley with the Jordanaires, the vocal group that backed up Elvis on many of his RCA sessions, adding harmonies on several tunes. While Spedding follows the teachings of Scotty Moore in his guitar work and the rhythm section similarly aims for a sound that recalls what Presley did with these songs so many years ago, Gordon strives hard to give his recordings a personality of their own, and while Elvis casts a pretty long shadow over this disc, Gordon actually manages to sound like himself on It's Now or Never. It helps that he has a lower voice than Presley, and that his instrument doesn't seem capable of the same gymnastics as Elvis', which forces him to rethink the vocal lines a bit, but there's an undertow to this album that suggests Gordon respects this music too much to simply imitate Elvis. While Gordon brings the same sort of romantic brio to "It's Now or Never," conjures up a similar lovelorn passion on "Trying to Get to You" and even approaches the spiritual conviction of "Peace in the Valley," he finds a way to spin them his own way, and if he isn't the most original sounding vocalist in creation here, he approaches some of the best known songs in the rock & roll canon and interprets them on his own terms, no small task for any singer, and he does so with a healthy dose of heart and soul. Against all odds, It's Now or Never ranks with Gordon's best work since his heyday in the '80s, and finds him singing with strength, confidence and imagination, partly because he's rarely had material this good: maybe he should consider an Eddie Cochran or Buddy Holly homage sometime in the future.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/31/2007
Label:
Rykodisc
UPC:
0014431091520
catalogNumber:
10915

Related Subjects

Tracks

  1. A Mess of Blues  - Robert Gordon
  2. I Beg of You  - Robert Gordon
  3. Don't Leave Me Now  - Robert Gordon
  4. I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone  - Robert Gordon
  5. Peace in the Valley  - Robert Gordon
  6. Don't Be Cruel  - Robert Gordon
  7. Lawdy Miss Clawdy  - Robert Gordon
  8. My Baby Left Me  - Robert Gordon
  9. Too Much  - Robert Gordon
  10. Love Me  - Robert Gordon
  11. Trying to Get to You  - Robert Gordon
  12. (You're So Sqaure) Baby I Don't Care  - Robert Gordon
  13. It's Now or Never  - Robert Gordon
  14. It Feels So Right  - Robert Gordon
  15. Young and Beautiful  - Robert Gordon

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Gordon   Primary Artist,Vocals
Jordanaires   Background Vocals
Chris Spedding   Guitar
Jimmy Lester   Drums
Louis Dean Nunley   Baritone (Vocal)
Gordon Stoker   Tenor (Vocal)
Curtis Young   Tenor (Vocal)
Johnny Neel   Organ,Piano
Ray C. Walker   Bass (Vocal)
Dave Polmeroy   Bass

Technical Credits

Elvis Presley   Composer
Lloyd Price   Composer
Mort Shuman   Composer
Chris Spedding   Producer
Robert Gordon   Producer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Otis Blackwell   Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Composer
Wally Gold   Composer
Richard Gottehrer   Liner Notes
Dennis Gulley   Engineer
Stan Kesler   Composer
Doc Pomus   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Ben Weisman   Composer
Fred Wise   Composer
Rev. Thomas A. Dorsey   Composer
Kelly Owens   Composer
Seymour Stein   Liner Notes
Abner Silver   Composer
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer
Ed Sherman   Art Direction
Bernard Weinman   Composer
Kenny Caskey   Executive Producer
Ed Salamon   Liner Notes
Lee Rosenberg   Composer

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