Elvis Presley [1956]

Elvis Presley [1956]

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by Elvis Presley
     
 

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One thing for sure about Elvis's first RCA album is that nothing else sounded like it in 1956, and nothing else sounds like it today. Elvis Presley and its follow-up, Elvis, are sweeping, breathtaking, heart-tugging, rabble-rousing clinics in roots rock and its tributary streams. Laying waste to much of what came before him, the King here reconsiders, inSee more details below

Overview

One thing for sure about Elvis's first RCA album is that nothing else sounded like it in 1956, and nothing else sounds like it today. Elvis Presley and its follow-up, Elvis, are sweeping, breathtaking, heart-tugging, rabble-rousing clinics in roots rock and its tributary streams. Laying waste to much of what came before him, the King here reconsiders, in the most fiery terms, "Blue Suede Shoes" by his buddy Carl Perkins, Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman," Little Richard's "Tutti Frutti," and the original Drifters version of "Money Honey" - all with the exemplary support of Scotty Moore, who was deep into defining a particular strain of rock 'n' roll guitar playing, as well as bassist Bill Black and drummer D. J. Fontana. When he's not scorching earth, the King gives it all up on some beautiful ballads, including the country-inflected "I'm Counting On You" and the yearning pop standard "Blue Moon," the latter marked by Elvis's eerie, otherworldly falsetto yodel. As good as the band is -- and Moore's guitar work is nothing short of stunning on most cuts -- Elvis's vocal presence is beyond compare. His rhythmic phrasing, his passion, the aching tenderness he brings to heartsick ballads such as "I'll Never Let You Go," and his command of nuance and shading honor his vocal influences (such as the Ink Spots' great tenor Bill Kenny, a master balladeer) while establishing his own unique individual sound signature. Six bonus tracks, recorded at approximately the same time as the album sessions, round out this 70th birthday reissue: They include the breakout RCA single "Heartbreak Hotel"; its chilling, self-lacerating B-side, "I Was the One"; and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," a great, atmospheric production that brings out the best in Elvis's dramatic impulses. The first great rock 'n' roll album, Elvis Presley still sounds like the dawn of a new world.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
Today it all seems so easy -- RCA signs up the kid from Memphis, television gets interested at around the same time, and the rest is history. The circumstances surrounding this album were neither simple nor promising, however, nor was there anything in the history of popular music up to that time to hint that Elvis Presley was going to be anything other than "Steve Sholes' folly," which was what rival executives were already whispering. So a lot was unsettled and untried at the first of two groups of sessions that produced the Elvis Presley album -- it wasn't even certain that there was any reason for a rock & roll artist to cut an album, because teenagers bought 45s, not LPs. The first of Elvis' RCA sides yielded one song, "Heartbreak Hotel," that seemed a potential single, but which no one thought would sell, and a few tracks that would be good enough for an album, if there were one. But no one involved knew anything for sure about this music. Seventeen days later, "Heartbreak Hotel" was released, and for about a month it did nothing -- then it began to move, and then Elvis appeared on television, and had a number one pop single. The album Sholes wanted out of Elvis came from two groups of sessions in January and February, augmented by five previously unissued songs from the Sun library. This was as startling a debut record as any ever made, representing every side of Elvis' musical influences except gospel -- rockabilly, blues, R&B, country, and pop were all here in an explosive and seductive combination. Elvis Presley became the first rock & roll album to reach the number one spot on the national charts, and RCA's first million dollar-earning pop album.

Product Details

Release Date:
01/11/2005
Label:
Imports
UPC:
0828766605822
catalogNumber:
5002991
Rank:
56417

Tracks

  1. Blue Suede Shoes  - Elvis Presley
  2. I'm Counting on You  - Elvis Presley
  3. I Got a Woman  - Elvis Presley
  4. One-Sided Love Affair  - Elvis Presley
  5. I Love You Because  - Elvis Presley
  6. Just Because  - Elvis Presley
  7. Tutti Frutti  - Elvis Presley
  8. Trying to Get to You  - Elvis Presley
  9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)  - Elvis Presley
  10. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')  - Elvis Presley
  11. Blue Moon  - Elvis Presley
  12. Money Honey  - Elvis Presley
  13. Heartbreak Hotel  - Elvis Presley
  14. I Was the One  - Elvis Presley
  15. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy  - Elvis Presley
  16. Shake, Rattle & Roll  - Elvis Presley
  17. My Baby Left Me  - Elvis Presley
  18. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You  - Elvis Presley

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Elvis Presley   Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Chet Atkins   Guitar
Floyd Cramer   Piano
Bill Black   Bass,Double Bass
Scotty Moore   Guitar
Shorty Long   Piano
Johnny Bernero   Drums
D.J. Fontana   Drums
Ben Speer   Background Vocals,Accompaniment
Brock Speer   Background Vocals,Accompaniment
Gordon Stoker   Background Vocals,Accompaniment
Marvin Hughes   Piano
Shorty Long   Piano

Technical Credits

Ray Charles   Composer
Carl Perkins   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Lloyd Price   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Leon Payne   Composer
Jimmy Wakely   Composer
Don Robertson   Composer
Howard Biggs   Composer
Hal Blair   Composer
Bill Campbell   Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup   Composer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes
Lorenz Hart   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Charlie Singleton   Composer
Jesse Stone   Composer
Ernst Mikael Jorgensen   Reissue Producer
Roger Semon   Reissue Producer
Mae Boren Axton   Composer
Richard Penniman   Composer
Bob Shelton   Composer
Joe Shelton   Composer
Lou Kosloff   Composer
Demetrius   Composer
Tommy Durden   Composer
Sydney Robin   Composer
Dorothy LaBostrie   Composer
Charles E. Calhoun   Composer
George Mysels   Composer
Bill Peppers   Composer
Joe "Cornbread" Thomas   Composer
Kevan Budd   Mastering
Bob Ferris   Producer

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