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Rags to Riches

4.1 / 5

Words & Music: Richard Adler Jerry Ross

I know I'd go from rags to riches
If you would only say you cared
And though my pockets may be empty
I'd be a millionaire

My clothes may still be torn and tattered
But in my heart I'd be a king
Your love is all that ever mattered
It's everything

So open your arms and you'll open the door
To all the treasure that I'm living for
Hold me and kiss me and tell me you're mine evermore

Must I forever stay a beggar
Whose golden dreams will not come true
Or will I go from rags to riches
My fate is up to you

Recordingdate: 1970/09/22, first released on: single (album)


Musicians who contributed to the first recording of Rags to Riches:




*Orchestra, overdubs


Find available albums with Rags to Riches.

old shep wrote on April 12, 2008
An old Tony Bennett song which Elvis stamped his own individual style too.I like the song but I think that it was not a good choice as a single release for the 1970s market. For a start the song was far to short and needed more work on the arrangement, an instrumental break for instance may have added to it's appeal, reminiscent of it's 1950s contemporary, The Wonder of You, which had a spectacular arrangement and proved to be massive 1970s hit.
My boy, my boy wrote on May 14, 2008
Not quite an easy melody to sing...but Elvis's powerful vocal range, especially on that one, sounds like the song was written just for him !
Monster wrote on May 14, 2008
I'll always love this song because it was one of the last "new" Elvis songs for me. By the time I finally heard it I had virtually all of his albums and I thought there were no more knock out songs left for me to discover. Boy was I wrong! Love the power on this one.
OtisBlue22 wrote on May 14, 2008
Ah, the September 1970 sessions, when he was fuelled by amphetamines. This is a great recording, which is perhaps more effective because it is short. One of Elvis' best vocals, a feat which he repeated on January 1st 1977.
Steve V wrote on May 14, 2008
Great song (also liked Tony's) but not single material for the early 70's. In a way it showed how out of touch Elvis was with what was happening on the charts.
JerryNodak wrote on May 14, 2008
Never really cared for this song. Always seemed to me that Elvis was trying to hard. Sounded forced. Not natural.
Homie wrote on May 14, 2008
This song ist great. Elvis' vocals are unbelievably powerful here. Not many singers can deliver such a stunning performance. I think the alternate take 3 from "A Hundred Years from Now" is even better than the single version.
Natha wrote on May 14, 2008
A song well known from famous croonies. Here we are witnessing Elvis' personal touch giving it just that extra drive that is an integral part of the lyrics. An inivtation to open one's arms and doors gets a whole new sense of inner power. Great interpretation!
mak1965 wrote on May 14, 2008
The Sheer POWER of his voice! Around this time when We Can Make the Morning, The Sound Of Your Cry! Heart Of Rome Yeah this is what easily separated Elvis from Anyone anywhere anytime!
secondrichard wrote on May 14, 2008
Mwah, Nah. To bombastic. Prefer some other things from this period (like "I'm Leavin" for example. Just not good enough this thing.
Clambake67 wrote on June 13, 2008
"Rags"" has always been 1 of my favorites!Elvis demonstartes his vocal ability at his best in this one.I know it didnt fit in with what style was popular at the time of its release but Elvis never went along with what everyone else was doing at the time.Thats why he was unique.
GEORGE (GK) wrote on June 14, 2008
Of note: "Rags to Riches" was the "B side" to the "A side" of the single "Where did they go Lord?". Which was like a "Kentucky Rain"-revisited. The song intended to be the hit was "Where did they go Lord", which would fit better on "pop radio" in the early 70s than "Rags to Riches". It was a "powerful 2 sided single" .
Ton Bruins wrote on July 03, 2008
Best version ever ? Pittsburrgh december 31, 1976 !!! Wow !!!
JLpResLey wrote on July 03, 2008
What a great performance Elvis gave on this recording. I really like this one, maybe not the song as much as Elvis´ vocals. But, I have a feeling that in some songs his voice was just too powerful, that he put too much power into some songs, like "Rags..". But this one is kind of like "Hurt" in a way, begins powerful, and closes that way to.
king35 wrote on July 03, 2008
Great power house vocals from the man. I agree though, it should not have been released as a single. And speaking of this single, the A side was in fact Rags To Riches not "Where Did They Go, Lord" which was the B side of the single, as noted on any Elvis singles discography such as the 70's box set "Walk A Mile In My Shoes" & the offical Elvis Presley website.
ta2k wrote on January 23, 2009
Simply stunning vocal. No more needed to say. TCB
Rob Wanders wrote on January 23, 2009
not one of my favourites. too bombastic and it doens't say anything. Prefer the other side : Where did they go. That song has more contents. (if that is correct english)
dgirl wrote on January 23, 2009
Tony Bennett owns this song. No one, not even Elvis, comes close.
Pedro Nuno wrote on January 23, 2009
It doesn't say much to me. My Elvis is The King Of Rock, no the Crooner.
peze80 wrote on May 04, 2010
I just listened to, or it's better to say that I compared to versions of this song. But the point is that they were supposed to be the same MASTER version. I had a file on my computer and I'm not 100% sure where it came from, but I think it came from the 3 disc version of That's The Way It Is. And today I compared it to the version found on FTD Love Letters. And I was surprised to hear that they are different. The FTD-version has some kind of dramatic "drums" (I can't remember what they are called right now) during the powerful piano intro. And suddenly when the second verse starts someone is backing him up! Which is the correct version? Was the one I had from before just an undubbed master or did they find a strange/new version for the FTD release? By the way, I love how powerful the song is. Saw someone compare it to "Hurt", spot on!
JerryNodak wrote on July 13, 2010
I didn't care for Elvis' version in '71 and I still don't care for it these many years later. Tony Bennett owns this song. I much preferred "Where Did They Go, Lord?." Much better suited to Elvis' voice.
shoesuedeblues wrote on July 13, 2010
Completely different from Tony Bennett's 1950s version as you would expect. It did well in the UK as all Elvis' releases did around this time, even though this particular song was very short for a single. To strained and over the top for it to be a personal favourite.
GeoElvis wrote on July 13, 2010
Powerful vocals,on a great song that Elvis made "His Own" just shows how his voice became more powerful with age! I loved how his vocals could punch a hole in the wall! Awesome! TCB!
adiels wrote on July 13, 2010
December 31, 1976 in Pittsburgh is THE best version of this song. The studio version is also a favorite of mine. Elvis is in great voice and it brings back memories of "Hurt" which is also a great song!
Jesse Garon Presley wrote on July 13, 2010
an awesome performance by Elvis, Tony Bennet..who?? owns this song? well i never heard his version and not to mention i have a very strong disliking to this so-called entertainer who humiliated Elvis in a talkshow in Brazil Why ?because he could not stand Elvis was and still is more popular then mr Bennet ever will be be ,and that voice of mr.Bennet? don't get me started Elvis owns this song
Deano1 wrote on July 14, 2010
A track that I initially liked very much, but have grown tired of like some of the other bombastic ballads ("Heart Of Rome", "Padre", etc). Still it is a good track and so different from Tony Bennett's version that comparisons are down right silly. I don't think Elvis was out of touch in '71 as the chart was very eclectic at this time. In the previous six months prior to the release of this single, acts as varied as the Partridge Family to Perry Como to The Supremes to The Rolling Stones had been in the pop top 10, so there was plenty of room for an updated version of RTR. The single (RTR as the B-side to "Where Did They Go Lord") managed a decent #33 position and this had more to do with poor marketing, the lack of a related album and Elvis reluctance to push either side while in Vegas, as it did with "him being out of touch" It also rec'd some adult contemporary airplay as it peaked at #18 on that chart, although most of that was again for the A-side, WDTGL.
Deke Rivers 6 wrote on August 10, 2011
Far too short,should have sung the chorus again, but well sung.
Lpool kid wrote on August 10, 2011
love the song even though it's too short,i think it's different to tony bennett's and better,the ending is certainly better. it's also better than the jackie wilson version on which it's probably based in it's rendition.the 31.12.76 is a fabulous version he really enjoyed that night,you can hear it in his voice and his attitude.4 stars for the song,five stars for 31.12.76.
Rob Wanders wrote on August 10, 2011
I prefer the other side of the record: Where did they go, Lord
Steve V wrote on August 10, 2011
Cannot change my original opinion. Good vocal, good song but not single material when the same session produced a song like Its Your Baby You Rock It, a much hipper song for the King of Rock & Roll to release as a single. Leave these types to the Bennetts & Comos of the world. Speaking of Perry and him being on the charts that year, Its Impossible was a new song, perfect for him & his fans. Rags to Riches was an old standard identified with TB. Big diff.
Cruiser621 wrote on September 12, 2012
Not one of my favorites. Overblown and pompous. Not the same guy I listened to in the 1950's and 1960's that's for sure.
ElvisSacramento wrote on October 31, 2012
This is such a brilliant song and all of Elvis' renditions of it are powerful, unique, fun and sensational. I've never skipped this song while listening to any Elvis CD that it's on. I rate this song and all of Elvis' renditions of it 5 Stars.
Gorse wrote on October 31, 2012
I am a big fan of Elvis releases in the 70's but this is not one of my favourites. The song doesn't flow and there is something about the production that misfires. I do enjoy the vocal gymnastics of the sensational ad lib live New Year Pittsburgh version
alanfalk wrote on October 31, 2012
This one and Where did they go, lord, are two of the songs that I for some reason didn´t know about before I had been a fan for 6-7 years, but what a pleasent supprise, I loved the power in both and was amazed that Elvis sang something so different from what I usually heard him sing. When hearing criticism of his song choice this quote comes to mind: "...Nor did Elvis ever exhibit anything slightly resembling snobbery; his taste in R&B and gospel and rock´n roll stood as pretty impeccable, but he also loved singing big pop ballads.......What´s important to understand is that this did not represent an absent of taste; it just represented a different sensibility than most crictics would bring to such music." Dave Marsh, in Walk a mile in my shoes - The Essential 70´s Masters.
Great Dane wrote on October 31, 2012
I remember buying the bootleg "Elvis New Year's Eve" because of this version for a lot of money and i've had never regret it. 10 stars for his absolute fabulous voice.
john804 wrote on November 01, 2012
ELVIS owns this song. No one, not even the butt kissing Tony Bennett, comes close.
sugartummy wrote on April 26, 2013
I think Elvis based his version on Bennett's, not Wilson's. Both versions are definitely not as good as Elvis'. The bassplaying by Norbert Putman is excellent.
KidGalahad79 wrote on June 09, 2013
the live version is incredible. i doubt any current singer could pull that song off like Elvis did. the man had so much talent.
shawnrw wrote on September 20, 2014
Elvis's version of the Tony Bennett classic. It' hard to beat the original, but Elvis gives a soaring, powerful performance and it stands on it's own.
Miknik7077 wrote on August 18, 2020
Powerful rendition by Elvis. The production seems over modulated, but his voice overcomes it. Solid performance.
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