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Rock's First Great Album!,
This review is from: Elvis Presley (Audio CD)
The king's debut album with its famous black and white cover photograph, and now with extra track, like his first hig single "Heartbreak Hotel/I Was the One." to extend the playing time. The lead song on the LP record was the opener, "Blue Suede Shoes" originally a Carl Perkins tune, but no-one has done a finer version than this original studio master! The other gems are the Sun recordings which were issued by producer Steve Sholes, because he simply did not have a great abundance of recordings to chose from. Listen to "Blue Moon" which I always felt was an eerie masterpiece recorded with lots of that echoe and reverb often used in Sam Phillips' Sun studio. "Trying to Get to You!" is another classic recording, with the 20 year old Elvis giving his blistering heart and soul delivery.
The young Elvis battled with ballads, and although he manages on "I'm Counting on You", and "I Love You Because" he is nowhere near as confident as he would be on what came later in his career. Neither of these ballads are particulary great, but Elvis conveys a warm sincerity, albeit naive. "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry" is a fun piano boogie, as is "One Sided Love Affair" and a good one at that. There are some classic rock 'n rollers here: "Tutti Frutti", "Money Honey" and the Ray Charles tune "I Got a Woman" which is very reminescant of the Sun sound. Ace guitarist, Chet Atkins was one of the back-up musicians on some of the tracks.
BMG have also included "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", which is another old Presley favourite, where we can hear that wailing negro sound and feel, that Elvis was so good at recreating.
This is the debut album (and one of the first mega-sellers in history) of an artist who was experimenting with several musical styles which he drew from to create his own brand of rock and roll. Long may it live!