Elvis Presley (album)
|Studio album by Elvis Presley|
|Released||March 23, 1956|
|Recorded||July 1954 to January 1956|
|Genre||Rock and roll, rockabilly, country|
|Producer||Sam Phillips (Sun recordings)
Steve Sholes (RCA recordings)
|Elvis Presley chronology|
|Singles from Elvis Presley|
Presley exhorts guitarist Scotty Moore during his break. "Let's go, cat!" was in the Perkins original. "Aw, walk the dog!" is all Elvis.
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Elvis Presley (released in the UK as Elvis Presley Rock n' Roll) is the debut studio album by Elvis Presley. It was released on RCA Victor, in mono, catalogue number LPM 1254, in March 1956. The recording sessions took place on January 10 and January 11 at RCA recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee, and on January 30 and January 31 at RCA studios in New York. Additional material originated from sessions at Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee, on July 5, August 19 and September 10 of 1954, and on July 11, 1955.
The album spent ten weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in 1956, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts, and the first million-selling album of that genre. In 2003, it was ranked number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. Elvis Presley was also one of three Presley albums accoladed in the reference book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, the others being Elvis Is Back! and From Elvis in Memphis. It was certified Gold on November 1, 1966 and Platinum on August 8, 2011 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
By the second half of 1955, singles on Sun Records by Presley began making the national country and western singles chart, "Baby Let's Play House" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget" going to number 5 and number 1 respectively. Colonel Tom Parker, the new manager of Presley, had extensive dealings with RCA through his previous client, singer Eddy Arnold, especially with the head of the Country and Western and Rhythm and blues division, Steve Sholes. At the urging of Parker, on November 21, 1955, Sholes bought Presley's contract from Sam Phillips, the head of Sun Records and Studio, for the unprecedented sum of $35,000. Presley and rock and roll were still untested properties for the major labels in the music business, but this album, along with the number 1 single "Heartbreak Hotel", proved the selling power of both: it was RCA's first pop album to earn more than $1,000,000, and in 1966 it had sold over one million units.
Presley made appearances in four consecutive weeks on the Dorsey Brothers television program Stage Show in early 1956, on January 28, February 4, February 11, and February 18. RCA wanted an album in the stores fast to capitalize both on the nationwide TV exposure and the success of his first hit single on the pop charts with "Heartbreak Hotel", swiftly climbing to the top after its release on January 27. At the same time, there had only been two series of Presley recording sessions for RCA by the end of the Dorsey stint, after which Presley and his band were back on the road. Those two sessions yielded an additional eleven tracks, almost enough to fill an entire LP, although some tracks had singles potential. In the 1950s, general practice dictated tracks having greater commercial potential to be released as singles, with tracks of lesser appeal placed on albums; as such, RCA neither took all eleven tracks and simply made an album, nor placed the already released and briskly-selling "Heartbreak Hotel" on it. The rights to the Sun Studio tapes had transferred to RCA with the sale of his contract, so five previously unreleased Sun songs, "I Love You Because", "Just Because", "Tryin' to Get to You", "I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')", and "Blue Moon" were added to seven of the RCA sessions tracks to bring the running time of the album up to an acceptable length. Phillips produced the sessions at Sun, and no producer was officially listed for the RCA sessions, leading to the belief that Presley himself produced them.
As the Sun tracks were mostly country-styled, Elvis and RCA leavened the selections with covers of recent rhythm and blues songs. Two of these, "Money Honey" by Jesse Stone, known to Elvis from a version by Clyde McPhatter, and Ray Charles' 1955 hit "I Got a Woman", had been in Presley's live act for a year. A third was the frenetic announcement to the world of the existence of Little Richard in 1955, "Tutti Frutti". A rockabilly number that was believed to be a potential hit and could hold its own with the R&B material, "Blue Suede Shoes", was not initially released as a single from a promise by Sholes to Sam Phillips to protect the career of another Sun artist, Carl Perkins, the author of the song. Instead, it was diverted into being the opening track on the album.
On August 31, 1956, RCA took the unusual step of releasing the entire album as singles, which undoubtedly kept the new single released simultaneously, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" backed with "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," from reaching the charts. However, "Blue Suede Shoes", released in single form as a part of this experiment by RCA, kept the promise to Phillips and Perkins by waiting over eight months since the song's release on Sun, and made it to number 20 on the singles chart. RCA first issued the original 12 track album in reprocessed (fake) stereo on compact disc in 1984. This issue was quickly withdrawn and the album was reissued in original monophonic sound. On May 18, 1999, it was reissued with an altered running order, adding on six bonus tracks from three non-album singles, including the chart-toppers "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." On January 11, 2005, Sony BMG reissued the album again, remastered using DSD technology with the six bonus tracks appended in standard fashion. A two-disc set was released on the Follow That Dream collectors label on August 15, 2006, with bonus tracks and numerous alternate takes.
The cover is ranked number 40 on Rolling Stone's list of the 100 greatest album covers, published in 1991. The photograph was taken at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida, on July 31, 1955. Initially it was thought that Popsie Randolph took the iconic image featured on the front cover, due to the fact that the album only credited one photographer. However, in August, 2002, Joseph A. Tunzi documented that the actual photographer was William V. "Red" Robertson of Robertson & Fresch. The Popsie credit attributed to the album only applied to a series of photos featured on the back cover, taken in New York City in early December, 1955, shortly after Presley had signed with RCA Victor. Tunzi was quoted in the Tampa Tribune as saying, "Forget about Popsie. Popsie did not take that photo." 
The design was echoed by The Clash for the front of their 1979 album London Calling; that cover is number 39 on the list. Other acts of cover homage include Tom Waits' 1985 Rain Dogs, Distorted Dimensions by Mad Sin in 1990, F-Punk by Big Audio Dynamite in 1995, and Reintarnation in 2006 by k.d. lang. Chumbawamba's controversial single "Tony Blair" takes homage too.
- Elvis Presley – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano
- Scotty Moore – electric guitar
- Chet Atkins – acoustic guitar on January 10–11 (except I Got a Woman )
- Floyd Cramer – piano on January 10–11
- Shorty Long – piano on January 30–31
- Bill Black – bass
- D. J. Fontana – drums
- Johnny Bernero – drums (on "Trying to Get to You")
- Gordon Stoker – backing vocals
- Ben Speer – backing vocals
- Brock Speer – backing vocals
|1.||"Blue Suede Shoes"||Carl Perkins||January 30, 1956||2:00|
|2.||"I'm Counting On You"||Don Robertson||January 11, 1956||2:25|
|3.||"I Got a Woman"||Ray Charles, Renald Richard||January 10, 1956||2:25|
|4.||"One-Sided Love Affair"||Bill Campbell||January 30, 1956||2:11|
|5.||"I Love You Because"||Leon Payne||July 5, 1954||2:43|
|6.||"Just Because"||Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton, Sydney Robin||September 10, 1954||2:34|
|1.||"Tutti Frutti"||Dorothy LaBostrie, Richard Wayne Penniman||January 31, 1956||1:59|
|2.||"Tryin' to Get to You"||Rose Marie McCoy, Charles Singleton||July 11, 1955||2:31|
|3.||"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)"||Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas||January 31, 1956||2:01|
|4.||"I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')"||Jimmy Wakely||September 10, 1954||2:24|
|5.||"Blue Moon"||Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart||August 19, 1954||2:40|
|6.||"Money Honey"||Jesse Stone||January 10, 1956||2:36|
1999 Reissue with Bonus Tracks
|1.||"Heartbreak Hotel"||Mae Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley||2:08|
|2.||"I Was the One"||Aaron Schroeder, Claude Demetrius, Hal Blair, Bill Peppers||2:34|
|3.||"Blue Suede Shoes"||Carl Perkins||1:58|
|4.||"I'm Counting on You"||Don Robertson||2:24|
|5.||"I Got A Woman"||Ray Charles and Renald Richard||2:23|
|6.||"One-Sided Love Affair"||Bill Campbell||2:09|
|7.||"I Love You Because"||Leon Payne||2:42|
|8.||"Just Because"||Sydney Robin, Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton||2:32|
|9.||"Tutti Frutti"||Dorothy LaBostrie and Richard Penniman||1:58|
|10.||"Tryin' to Get to You"||Rose Marie McCoy and Charles Singleton||2:31|
|11.||"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)"||Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas||2:01|
|12.||"I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')"||Jimmy Wakely||2:24|
|13.||"Blue Moon"||Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart||2:31|
|14.||"Money Honey"||Jesse Stone||2:34|
|15.||"Lawdy Miss Clawdy"||Lloyd Price||2:08|
|16.||"Shake, Rattle & Roll"||Jesse Stone (as Charles Calhoun)||2:37|
|17.||"My Baby Left Me"||Arthur Crudup||2:12|
|18.||"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"||Lou Kosloff and George Mysels||2:40|
2005 Reissue with Bonus Tracks
Same tracks as 1999 reissue. The album tracks are presented in the same order as on the original LP, followed by the six bonus tracks that were included on the 1999 reissue.
2006 FTD Reissue
2011 Legacy Edition Reissue
|1.||"Blue Suede Shoes"||Carl Perkins||1:58|
|2.||"I'm Counting on You"||Don Robertson||2:24|
|3.||"I Got A Woman"||Ray Charles and Renald Richard||2:23|
|4.||"One-Sided Love Affair"||Bill Campbell||2:09|
|5.||"I Love You Because"||Leon Payne||2:42|
|6.||"Just Because"||Sydney Robin, Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton||2:32|
|7.||"Tutti Frutti"||Dorothy LaBostrie and Richard Penniman||1:59|
|8.||"Tryin' to Get to You"||Rose Marie McCoy and Charles Singleton||2:33|
|9.||"I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)"||Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas||2:05|
|10.||"I'll Never Let You Go (Lil' Darlin')"||Jimmy Wakely||2:25|
|11.||"Blue Moon"||Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart||2:43|
|12.||"Money Honey"||Jesse Stone||2:36|
|13.||"Heartbreak Hotel"||Mae Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley||2:08|
|14.||"I Was The One"||Aaron Schroeder, Claude DeMetrius, Hal Blair, Bill Peppers||2:34|
|15.||"My Baby Left Me"||Arthur Crudup||2:12|
|16.||"Lawdy Miss Clawdy"||Lloyd Price||2:08|
|17.||"Shake, Rattle & Roll"||Jesse Stone||2:37|
|1.||"Rip It Up"||Robert Blackwell and John Marascalco||1:50|
|2.||"Love Me"||Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller||2:41|
|3.||"When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again"||Gene Sullivan and Wiley Walker||2:18|
|4.||"Long Tall Sally"||Robert Blackwell, Enotris Johnson, Richard Penniman||1:51|
|5.||"First in Line"||Aaron Schroeder and Ben Weisman||3:21|
|6.||"Paralyzed"||Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley||2:18|
|7.||"So Glad You're Mine"||Arthur Crudup||2:18|
|8.||"Old Shep"||Red Foley||4:10|
|9.||"Ready Teddy"||Robert Blackwell and John Marascalco||1:55|
|10.||"Anyplace is Paradise"||Joe Thomas||2:26|
|11.||"How's the World Treating You?"||Chet Atkins and Boudleaux Bryant||2:23|
|12.||"How Do You Think I Feel"||Webb Pierce and Wiley Walker||2:10|
|13.||"I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"||Lou Kosloff and George Mysels||2:40|
|14.||"Hound Dog"||Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller||2:16|
|15.||"Don't Be Cruel"||Otis Blackwell and Elvis Presley||2:30|
|16.||"Anyway You Want Me (That's How I Will Be)"||Cliff Owens and Aaron Schroeder||2:13|
|17.||"Too Much"||Lee Rosenberg and Bernard Weinman||2:31|
|18.||"Playing for Keeps"||Stan Kesler||2:50|
|19.||"Love Me Tender"||Vera Matson and Elvis Presley||2:41|
- Allmusic review
- Sputnikmusic review
- "Chart Stats – Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley Rock n' Roll". chartstats.com. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- "Keith Flynn's Elvis Presley Pages". RIAA. 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
- Billboard, v. 108, Nr. 21, p. 106, May 25, 1996, retrieved on September 13, 2012
- Victor, Adam (2008). The Elvis Encyclopedia. Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd. p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7156-3816-3.
- Rolling Stone | News
- "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die". RIAA. Retrieved May 17, 2013. Note: Enter search for "Presley, Elvis"
- "Searchable datebase". RIAA. 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013. Note: Enter search for "Presley, Elvis" and go to pages 1 and 36
- Nash, Alanna. The Colonel. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003; ISBN 0-7432-1301-7; pp. 107–111.
- "Searchable Database". RIAA.
- Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley, A Life In Music. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; ISBN 0-312-18572-3, p. 41
- Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley, A Life In Music. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; ISBN 0-312-18572-3, pp. 35 and 38
- Guralnick, Peter. The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, 1992, insert booklet, p. 20.
- Guralnick, Peter. The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, 1992, insert booklet, p. 24.
- "Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Album Covers". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved February 23, 2014.
- "Armory shook up history of Tampa" – The Tampa Tribune, Dec. 11, 2011
- Tampa Tribune, Steven M. Weaver, August 16, 2002, Greg Williams, Forever Elvis In Tampa
- Elvis 1956 Discography. sergeant.com.au. Retrieved on 2008-01-02.
- "American album certifications – Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- Jorgenson, Ernst (1998). Elvis Presley: A Life In Music – The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-18572-3
- Elvis Presley Special Edition FTD CD Information: http://shop.elvis.com.au/prod1462.htm
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