The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Prior to the 1992 release of the five-disc box set The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters, RCA's approach to reissuing Elvis Presley on CD -- or on LP, for that matter -- was rather scatter-shot, seeming to follow the dictates of the market more than the demands of history. There were some excellent releases of archival material and in 1987, on the tenth anniversary of the King's death, there was a stellar series of compilations, but most of what was released was a constant stream of recycled hits, which this box most certainly is not. This set is sharply and expertly assembled, presenting Elvis' peak as a creative and cultural force in staggering ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Prior to the 1992 release of the five-disc box set The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters, RCA's approach to reissuing Elvis Presley on CD -- or on LP, for that matter -- was rather scatter-shot, seeming to follow the dictates of the market more than the demands of history. There were some excellent releases of archival material and in 1987, on the tenth anniversary of the King's death, there was a stellar series of compilations, but most of what was released was a constant stream of recycled hits, which this box most certainly is not. This set is sharply and expertly assembled, presenting Elvis' peak as a creative and cultural force in staggering detail. Despite the subtitle of this box, this does not contain everything Presley recorded in the '50s; there are alternate takes not present on this set, including second takes for Sun that were included on the subsequent collection Sunrise, and after this release, more acetates recorded around the same time as his privately recorded "My Happiness" unveiled here for the first time were found and released. That said, those alternate takes are the province of collectors, particularly since the best of those are chronicled on the fifth and final disc of this set. That means, anything a real serious fan or listener needs is on this exhaustive set, since it chronicles the rise of the greatest figure of American music in the 20th century. The first disc is largely devoted to the released Sun singles, both the As and Bs, and this remains the rawest, liveliest, nerviest music Presley ever cut, retaining its power over the years; decades later, it still sounds alive and unpredictable -- it still is possible to hear rock & roll being created in its very grooves and it's just as thrilling to hear the kinetic energy of this lean combo create an entirely new music; anybody who doubts Elvis as an innovator need only hear this to be proven wrong. Toward the end of the first disc, Elvis leaves Sun for RCA, and the production is a little cleaner and the material a little more streamlined, but that's just a relative judgment. This is still the birth of rock & roll, and when "I Got a Woman" and "Heartbreak Hotel" inaugurate the RCA years, that wild energy is still palpable, even now. As this set illustrates, partially through its sheer scope, that energy could be dissipated by an inclination to move toward the pop mainstream, which could result in beautiful, heartbreaking ballads, but also the safe pop crooning that debilitated his career in the '60s. Fortunately, at no time in the '50s did he sink into the murk that enveloped him for a period in the '60s. He may have recorded forgettable ballads and trifle including, ironically, one of his few compositions, the corny "We're Gonna Move", sometimes succumbing to either his trite side or the demands of the marketplace, but the remarkable thing about this box is how consistently compelling, even thrilling, this music is. The overly familiar hits, and they're all here, are given new life in this context, which has the feeling of history unraveling in front of your ears. That's what makes this box set transcendent -- the music and annotation alone would make it necessary for libraries, but this is better because it is thoroughly listenable, while presenting history in a compelling narrative context. Yes, some of these tunes sound like light pop tied to their time, but they make for very few cuts on this 140-track box. Most of this is dynamic, thrilling music that presents Elvis at his very best. Historically, this is surely essential, but what makes the box so great is that it's so entertaining, providing ample proof that Elvis' music is indeed every bit as influential and timeless as the history books state.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/8/2000
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 078636796628
  • Catalog Number: 67966

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 My Happiness (2:32)
  2. 2 That's All Right (1:56)
  3. 3 I Love You Because (2:44)
  4. 4 Harbor Lights (2:36)
  5. 5 Blue Moon of Kentucky (2:03)
  6. 6 Blue Moon (2:41)
  7. 7 Tomorrow Night (3:00)
  8. 8 I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') (2:25)
  9. 9 I Don't Care If the Sun Don't Shine (2:29)
  10. 10 Just Because (2:34)
  11. 11 Good Rockin' Tonight (2:13)
  12. 12 Milk Cow Blues (2:39)
  13. 13 You're a Heartbreaker (2:12)
  14. 14 Baby Let's Play House (2:16)
  15. 15 I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (2:37)
  16. 16 Mystery Train (2:26)
  17. 17 I Forgot to Remember to Forget (2:29)
  18. 18 Trying to Get to You (2:32)
  19. 19 When It Rains, It Really Pours (2:03)
  20. 20 I Got a Woman (2:25)
  21. 21 Heartbreak Hotel (2:09)
  22. 22 Money Honey (2:36)
  23. 23 I'm Counting on You (2:25)
  24. 24 I Was the One (2:34)
  25. 25 Blue Suede Shoes (2:00)
  26. 26 My Baby Left Me (2:12)
  27. 27 One-Sided Love Affair (2:11)
  28. 28 So Glad You're Mine (2:22)
  29. 29 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) (2:02)
  30. 30 Tutti Frutti (1:59)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Lawdy Miss Clawdy (2:09)
  2. 2 Shake, Rattle & Roll (2:29)
  3. 3 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (2:40)
  4. 4 Hound Dog (2:16)
  5. 5 Don't Be Cruel (2:02)
  6. 6 Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be) (2:15)
  7. 7 We're Gonna Move (2:31)
  8. 8 Love Me Tender (2:42)
  9. 9 Poor Boy (2:14)
  10. 10 Let Me (2:10)
  11. 11 Playing for Keeps (2:51)
  12. 12 Love Me (2:44)
  13. 13 Paralyzed (2:25)
  14. 14 How Do You Think I Feel (2:11)
  15. 15 How's the World Treating You (2:25)
  16. 16 When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (2:22)
  17. 17 Long Tall Sally (1:52)
  18. 18 Old Shep (4:11)
  19. 19 Too Much (2:32)
  20. 20 Anyplace Is Paradise (2:26)
  21. 21 Ready Teddy (1:57)
  22. 22 First in Line (3:23)
  23. 23 Rip It Up (1:54)
  24. 24 I Believe (2:05)
  25. 25 Tell Me Why (2:07)
  26. 26 Got a Lot O' Livin' to Do! (2:32)
  27. 27 All Shook Up (1:58)
  28. 28 Mean Woman Blues (2:17)
  29. 29 Peace in the Valley (3:20)
Disc 3
  1. 1 That's When Your Heartaches Begin (3:22)
  2. 2 Take My Hand, Precious Lord (3:18)
  3. 3 It Is No Secret (What God Can Do) (3:55)
  4. 4 Blueberry Hill (2:40)
  5. 5 Have I Told You Lately That I Love You (2:33)
  6. 6 Is It So Strange (2:29)
  7. 7 Party (1:27)
  8. 8 Lonesome Cowboy (3:02)
  9. 9 Hot Dog (1:13)
  10. 10 One Night of Sin (2:36)
  11. 11 (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear (1:47)
  12. 12 Don't Leave Me Now (1:59)
  13. 13 I Beg Of You (1:52)
  14. 14 One Night (2:31)
  15. 15 True Love (2:06)
  16. 16 I Need You So (2:38)
  17. 17 Loving You (2:13)
  18. 18 When It Rains, It Really Pours (1:49)
  19. 19 Jailhouse Rock (2:28)
  20. 20 Young and Beautiful (2:03)
  21. 21 I Want to Be Free (2:13)
  22. 22 (You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care (1:52)
  23. 23 Don't Leave Me Now (2:06)
  24. 24 Blue Christmas (2:08)
  25. 25 White Christmas (2:24)
  26. 26 Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) (1:55)
  27. 27 Silent Night (2:24)
  28. 28 O Little Town of Bethlehem (2:36)
  29. 29 Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me) (1:53)
  30. 30 Santa Claus Is Back in Town (2:24)
  31. 31 I'll Be Home for Christmas (1:53)
Disc 4
  1. 1 Treat Me Nice (2:12)
  2. 2 My Wish Came True (2:35)
  3. 3 Don't (2:49)
  4. 4 Danny (1:52)
  5. 5 Hard Headed Woman (1:54)
  6. 6 Trouble (2:18)
  7. 7 New Orleans (2:00)
  8. 8 Crawfish (1:50)
  9. 9 Dixieland Rock (1:47)
  10. 10 Lover Doll (2:10)
  11. 11 Don't Ask Me Why (2:06)
  12. 12 As Long as I Have You (1:51)
  13. 13 King Creole (2:09)
  14. 14 Young Dreams (2:24)
  15. 15 Steadfast, Loyal and True (1:16)
  16. 16 Doncha' Think It's Time (1:57)
  17. 17 Your Cheatin' Heart (2:25)
  18. 18 Wear My Ring Around Your Neck (2:15)
  19. 19 I Need Your Love Tonight (2:05)
  20. 20 A Big Hunk O' Love (2:14)
  21. 21 Ain't That Loving You Baby (2:24)
  22. 22 (Now and Then There's) A Fool Such as I (2:38)
  23. 23 I Got Stung (1:53)
  24. 24 Interview With Elvis (13:35)
Disc 5
  1. 1 That's When Your Heartaches Begin (2:48)
  2. 2 Fool, Fool, Fool (1:53)
  3. 3 Tweedle Dee (2:07)
  4. 4 Maybellene (1:59)
  5. 5 Shake, Rattle & Roll (2:18)
  6. 6 Blue Moon of Kentucky (1:04)
  7. 7 Blue Moon (2:56)
  8. 8 I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (2:41)
  9. 9 Reconsider Baby (2:55)
  10. 10 Lawdy Miss Clawdy (2:09)
  11. 11 Shake, Rattle & Roll (2:26)
  12. 12 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (2:41)
  13. 13 Heartbreak Hotel - Freddy Martin (2:53)
  14. 14 Long Tall Sally - Freddy Martin (2:15)
  15. 15 Blue Suede Shoes - Freddy Martin (4:59)
  16. 16 Money Honey - Freddy Martin (3:17)
  17. 17 We're Gonna Move (2:32)
  18. 18 Old Shep (3:54)
  19. 19 I Beg Of You (1:52)
  20. 20 Loving You (1:50)
  21. 21 Loving You (1:26)
  22. 22 Young and Beautiful (1:11)
  23. 23 I Want to Be Free (2:07)
  24. 24 King Creole (2:05)
  25. 25 As Long as I Have You (1:25)
  26. 26 Ain't That Loving You Baby (1:48)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Elvis Presley Primary Artist, Bass, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Chet Atkins Guitar
Floyd Cramer Piano
Hank Garland Guitar
The Jordanaires Vocals
Jerry Lee Lewis Piano
Carl Perkins Guitar
Dominic Frontiere Accordion
Justin Gordon Saxophone
Freddy Martin Track Performer
Kitty White Vocals
Bill Black Bass
Scotty Moore Guitar
Jimmy Day Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Steel Guitar
Shorty Long Piano
Johnny Bernero Piano, Drums
Dudley Brooks Piano
John Buckner Trumpet
Mahlon Clark Clarinet
George Fields Harmonica
D.J. Fontana Drums
Carl Fortina Accordion
Buddy Harman Bongos
Hoyt Hawkins Piano, Cymbals
Millie Kirkham Vocals
Neal Matthews Bass Guitar
Bernie Mattinson Drums
Clayton Perkins Bass
Mike Rubin Bass
Ray Siegel Bass, Tuba
Ben Speer Vocals
Brock Speer Vocals
Gordon Stoker Piano, Bongos, Vocals
Mike Stoller Piano
Tiny Timbrell Guitar
W.S. Holland Drums
Marvin Hughes Piano
Vito Mumolo Guitar
Bob Moore Bass
Jon Dodson Vocals
Jimmy Lott Drums
Luther Rountree Banjo
Rad Robinson Vocals
Charles Prescott Vocals
Richard Cornell Drums
Technical Credits
Willie Dixon Composer
Jimmy Reed Composer
Gene Autry Composer
Billy Hill Composer
Hank Snow Composer
Ray Charles Composer
Alan Freed Composer
Little Richard Composer
Elvis Presley Composer
Buck Ram Composer
Otis Blackwell Composer
Jimmy Kennedy Composer
Franz Gruber Composer
Roy Bennett Composer
Howard Biggs Composer
Hal Blair Composer
Bridgette Bryant Composer
Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup Composer
Kim Gannon Composer
Peter Guralnick Liner Notes
Walter Kent Composer
Stan Kesler Composer
Al Lewis Composer
Clyde Otis Composer
Webb Pierce Composer
Erik Rasmussen Contributor, Sessionography
Vincent Rose Composer
Aaron Schroeder Composer
Shelby Singleton Composer
Larry Stock Composer
Sid Tepper Composer
Ben Weisman Composer
Fred Wise Composer
Ernst Mikael Jorgensen Producer, Sessionography
Roger Semon Producer
Charlie McCoy Composer
Kelly Owens Composer
Gene Sullivan Composer
Norman Moore Art Direction
Mae Boren Axton Composer
Luther Dixon Composer
Bob Shelton Composer
Joe Shelton Composer
Wiley Walker Composer
Freddy Martin & His Orchestra Contributor
Joe Thomas Composer
Lou Kosloff Composer
Joseph Mohr Composer
Robert "Bumps" Blackwell Composer
Claude Demetrius Composer
Tommy Durden Composer
Fred Fisher Composer
Enotris Johnson Composer
John Marascalco Composer
Sydney Robin Composer
Dorothy LaBostrie Composer
Renald Richard Composer
Moody Russell Composer
Borney Bergantine Composer
Bert Carroll Composer
Russell Fratto Composer
Rose Marie McCoy Composer
Ahmet Nugetre Composer
Oakley Haldeman Composer
Cliff Owens Composer
George Mysels Composer
Bill Peppers Composer
Joe Thomas Composer
Betty Peterson Composer
Bernard Weinman Composer
William Raskin Composer
Charlie Singleton Composer
Lewis Redner Composer
Willis Arthur Composer
George Brown Composer
Robert Blackwell Composer
Lee Rosenberg Composer
W. R. Emerson Composer
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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The only Elvis you ever need, in my opinion

    I got this while doing a major study on the life of Elvis Presley last year. I never read so many books on one person before. I found him to be a very fascinating subject. Went out and bought a video player just to see his movies and documentaries on his life (we have no tv), and then I wanted a collection of his 50's music, because to me, that was the real Elvis. This is what you gotta have, if you want it all from the very beginning, all of what he did in the 50's. I listened to it from strictly an ''educational'' viewpoint, and am amazed and impressed with the vocal talent he had. To be honest, I feel the subject matter of many of the songs to be a bit silly, but I find most modern music to be lacking in values. The songs I do appreciate on here are the spirituals. And I like his songs from the film Love Me Tender, esp. ''We're Gonna Move''. I think Elvis could have done great as a folksinger too. If you like Elvis and are unsure of what exactly to get from the 100's of CD choices, just simplify the whole matter and get this set. You won't be disappointed. This IS Elvis.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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