Elvis

Elvis

by Elvis Presley
     
 

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Monumental and essential, Elvis Presley's second chart-topping 1956 long-player is so exciting in its original form that the six powerful bonus tracks tacked onto this 70th birthday reissue (including the epochal "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog") smack of piling on. Leaving his competitors in the dust, a commanding Elvis is singing and swinging in a free-and-easy…  See more details below

Overview

Monumental and essential, Elvis Presley's second chart-topping 1956 long-player is so exciting in its original form that the six powerful bonus tracks tacked onto this 70th birthday reissue (including the epochal "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog") smack of piling on. Leaving his competitors in the dust, a commanding Elvis is singing and swinging in a free-and-easy style that also packs scintillating authority and deep conviction. His phrasing and intonation are often as casual and sly as a bluesman's, but at other junctures they're as precise and tenderly rendered as those of a great pop/R&B stylist such as Billy Eckstine. And look what the King, then exploding like a supernova on the cultural scene, brought to his audience: a couple of Little Richard barn burners ("Rip It Up," "Ready Teddy"); a Leiber-Stoller castaway called "Love Me" that is transformed into a pleading, breathtaking tour de force of heartsick love balladry; a bopping Otis Blackwell–penned celebration of new love, "Paralyzed"; Red Foley's mawkish folk song about a boy and his dog, "Old Shep" (with which a 10-year-old Elvis took second prize at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair in Tupelo); a rhythmically charged country ditty, "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again"; and a winsome ballad, "First in Line," featuring an ethereal, slightly echoed vocal that's intelligently pitched as an expression of woozy, lovestruck sentiment. The indomitable band -- guitarist Scotty Moore, bassist Bill Black, and drummer D. J. Fontana -- is supplemented, for the first time on an Elvis session, by the great gospel quartet the Jordanaires, whose Gordon Stoker also shares piano duties with Elvis. And in a time of gee-whiz liner notes, Chick Crumpacker's uncredited observations about the King (he links him to a great tradition of folk singers beginning with Jimmie Rodgers) stand out for their perceptive musical analysis of the legend a-borning.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
If Elvis isn't quite as important historically as the Elvis Presley album that preceded it, that's only because it came second -- musically, it's a more confident and bolder work than his debut, and in any other artist's output it would have been considered a crowning achievement. At the sessions for his first album, the singer and all concerned were treading into unmapped territory and not sure what they were doing, or if they were ready for it -- by September of 1956, when the three days of sessions behind the Elvis album took place, Presley was on top, a national phenomenon of a kind that hadn't been seen in music since Frank Sinatra a dozen years earlier, and he had some more experience recording. And with that confidence came better singing. The songs here were, for the most part, material that he knew well, with one new submission by Otis Blackwell. He slides through them seemingly effortlessly, transforming the 1940s country number "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again" into a smooth rocker; roaring through the Little Richard numbers "Long Tall Sally," "Ready Teddy," and "Rip It Up"; returns to his blues roots with a killer rendition of Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "I'm So Glad You're Mine" (a leftover, amazingly enough, from his first RCA session); and shows how refined his voice was becoming on the ballad "First in Line" and the sentimental favorite "Old Shep." The Elvis album was reissued in 1999 (as Elvis Presley [1999 US Bonus Tracks]) with vastly improved sound and eight bonus tracks from the same (and chronologically adjoining recording sessions), including the singles "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," and "Anyway You Want Me," and that is the version to own on CD. [The 2005 U.S. version of the album includes bonus material.]

Product Details

Release Date:
04/28/2009
Label:
Sbme Special Mkts.
UPC:
0886974785620
catalogNumber:
747856
Rank:
20386

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Presley   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Bill Black   Double Bass
Scotty Moore   Guitar
D.J. Fontana   Drums

Technical Credits

Chet Atkins   Composer
Red Foley   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Otis Blackwell   Composer
Bumps Blackwell   Composer
Boudleaux Bryant   Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Composer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes
Stan Kesler   Composer
Thorne Nogar   Engineer
Webb Pierce   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Wayne Walker   Composer
Ben Weisman   Composer
Ernst Mikael Jorgensen   Reissue Producer
Roger Semon   Reissue Producer
Gene Sullivan   Composer
Richard Penniman   Composer
Wiley Walker   Composer
Robert "Bumps" Blackwell   Composer
Enotris Johnson   Composer
John Marascalco   Composer
Vera Matson   Composer
Cliff Owens   Composer
Bernard Weinman   Composer
Joe "Cornbread" Thomas   Composer

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