Elvis Presley [1956]

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
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.
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/11/2005
  • Label: Imports
  • UPC: 828766605822
  • Catalog Number: 5002991
  • Sales rank: 268,347

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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