on 30 June 2015
The old LP version of 'GR1' gathered up some of the very best popular music ever recorded. It was constrained by vinyl playing time, but Sony/BMG have added some terrific bonus songs on this magical CD. The Sun-era tunes appended are particularly stellar. This is earthy, swaggering rock 'n' roll at its absolute best. The movie tune 'Teddy Bear' is frivolous but was such a massive hit that the old RCA Victor label could hardly have left it out. 'Heartbreak Hotel' remains stunning. Raw, magnetically dark and dripping in the Blues, it triggered a musical landslide in mid-1950's America and beyond. The conversion of 'Hound Dog' into a hard rock song offers a window into the formidable musical instincts of the young Elvis. And 'Jailhouse Rock' captures the very element of rock 'n' roll music. The slower tunes are marvellous: The King pulls off ballads like 'I Was The One', 'Any Way You Want Me; and 'That's When Your Heartaches Begin' with a conviction and authority well beyond his years. 'GR1' is a testimony to Elvis's musical genius. But, more importantly, it records the immense courage of a young man whose joy in making music compelled him to challenge deeply-ingrained artistic and social mores in conservative, 1950's America. The blurring of the racial lines that had segregated musical genres could scarcely have had a more obvious or profound societal implication. This is the real Elvis Presley, and it's simply indispensable.
on 15 October 2009
His really great early & definitive numbers are all here.
While Elvis did NOT invent R&R, but thanks to his opportunistic manager, the dubious, self-styled 'Colonel' Tom Parker, he WAS the man who introduced it to the whole wide world and created the 'Generation Gap' at a stroke!
All those American radio stations which initially banned his music simply made the man irresistible AND his music so very GREAT! While his appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, when he had the audience squealing ...but was seen by viewers only from the waist up ...well the music which caused this revolution and cleaved that gap between teenagers and their parents ...is ALL here.
50 years on ...the music is as fresh as ever ...and remains ESSENTIAL listening for every boy & girl over the age of 10!
Some who have been raised in enlightened homes ...will have been raised with this album being played in the background ...so will have been rocking in their cradle, onwards, And why NOT! "All Shook Up" will have kept them moving, while "Love ME Tender" and "Teddy Bear" will have soothed them! Meanwhile "Hound Dog", "JHR" and "Blue Suede Shoes" will either have brought smiles to their little faces ...or a lieast blocked-out their wailing, when teething!
Meanwhile their carers will have simply 'rocked' through the day. If only!
Jusy buy it!