Elvis Presley [1999 US Bonus Tracks]

Elvis Presley [1999 US Bonus Tracks]

by Elvis Presley


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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 the music on 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." That was what rival record-industry executives were already whispering about this latest talent acquisition by the head of RCA's country division (there were even whispers that Sholes had left Sam Phillips at Sun with a performer whom he regarded as potentially bigger than Elvis, in one Carl Perkins). So a lot was unsettled and untried at the first of two groups of sessions that produced the songs on 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, and it was something of an inspiration on Sholes' part that he was thinking of an LP release on Elvis Presley from his first RCA recording session. The January 10, 1956, Nashville session where the first of Elvis' RCA sides were cut 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 was one. No one involved knew anything for sure about this music -- Chet Atkins, the session guitarist who usually ran the RCA country sessions out of Nashville and often led whatever band was involved, mostly strummed along on rhythm guitar or sat on the sidelines, deferring to Elvis' established band of guitarist Scotty Moore (ironically, a huge Atkins fan) and bassist Bill Black. Seventeen days later, "Heartbreak Hotel" was released, and for about a month it did nothing; then it began to move, and then Elvis Presley made his appearances on the Dorsey Brothers' show and Milton Berle's show, 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. For the 1999 remastering, the sound has been upgraded numerous steps so that one gets a much clearer impression of what Scotty Moore, Elvis, and Atkins are playing (and of the rhythm section of Bill Black and D.J. Fontana), and the bonus tracks show just how far Presley's sound evolved in the space of only two months -- in addition to "Heartbreak Hotel" b/w "I Was the One," the extra songs include "Shake, Rattle & Roll" and "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy," rejects from the initial sessions for a projected second album are here, and so is "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You," recorded the month of the original album's release (the single's B-side was "My Baby Left Me," from the album), which shows Presley having developed into a much more dramatic singer, more mature and far more controlled as an artist and technical performer. The notes are a little more sketchy than they need have been, but the quality of everything else -- especially the sound -- makes this an essential part of any collection.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Rca
UPC: 0078635519822
catalogNumber: 5198

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   Vocals,Background Vocals
Brock Speer   Vocals,Background Vocals
Gordon Stoker   Vocals,Background Vocals
Marvin Hughes   Piano
Scotty Moor   Guitar

Technical Credits

Ray Charles   Composer
Little Richard   Composer
Elvis Presley   Composer
Joe Thomas   Composer
Don Robertson   Composer
Howard Biggs   Composer
Hal Blair   Composer
Alex Brown   Composer
Colin Escott   Liner Notes
Sami McKinney   Composer
Aaron Schroeder   Composer
Shelby Singleton   Composer
Charlie McCoy   Composer
Mae Boren Axton   Composer
Bob Shelton   Composer
Joe Shelton   Composer
Lou Kosloff   Composer
Claude Demetrius   Composer
Tommy Durden   Composer
Sydney Robin   Composer
Dorothy LaBostrie   Composer
Joe Lubin   Composer
Renald Richard   Composer
James Touchstone   Composer
Rose Marie McCoy   Composer
George Mysels   Composer
Bill Peppers   Composer
Charlie Singleton   Composer
Hubert Nelson   Composer
Michael O'Hara   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Elvis Presley [1956] 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This CD is one of his best in my opinion! That may be because I dig his sexy younger voice though! I strongly recomend buying this CD if you're anything like me!