Norbert Putnam: ”Elvis was conducting us with his body language... that’s the reason those records have such a great feel”

(Image credit: RB/Redferns)

”I tell young musicians that we recorded 35 tracks in five nights, and they tell me that’s impossible!” snickers Norbert Putnam, bassist with Elvis Presley from 1970 to 1977. 

The kids’ reaction is understandable: Even by the prolific standards of the Seventies, when bands routinely released two or three albums a year, that’s a work rate that beggars belief. It really happened, though, and it’s a privilege to speak today with a musician who saw it take place. 

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Joel McIver

Joel McIver was the Editor of Bass Player magazine from 2018 to 2022, having spent six years before that editing Bass Guitar magazine. A journalist with 25 years' experience in the music field, he's also the author of 35 books, a couple of bestsellers among them. He regularly appears on podcasts, radio and TV.