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Elvis Presley is the first 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 Nashvillemarker, Tennesseemarker, and on January 30 and January 31 at RCA studios in New Yorkmarker. Additional material originated from sessions at Sun Studiomarker in Memphismarker, Tennessee, on July 5, August 19 and September 10 of 1954, and on July 11, 1955.

The album spent ten weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in 1956, the first rock 'n' roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts. It also has the distinction of being the first million-selling rock 'n' roll album. In 2003, it was ranked number 55 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Content

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 #5 and #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 #1 single "Heartbreak Hotel", proved the selling power of both: it was RCA's first million selling pop LP.

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 the 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", "Trying to Get to You", "I'll Never Let You Go ", 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 in tandem with a new Presley 45, which undoubtedly kept the new single, "Shake, Rattle & 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 #20 on the singles chart.

The album was reissued for compact disc in an expanded edition on May 18, 1999 which altered the running order, and again on January 11, 2005. For the 1999 reissue, the six bonus tracks selected were sides of three singles, including the chart-toppers "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." In 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 the bonus tracks and numerous alternate takes. Bonus tracks recorded at RCA studios in Nasville and New York City.

Cover

The cover is ranked #40 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Album Covers. The photograph was taken at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Floridamarker on January 31, 1955. The Elvis Presley graphic and photo were also used on an EP(EPA 747) and a double-EP (EPB 1254) comprising songs from this album, also released in March 1956. The design was cited by The Clash for the front of their 1979 album London Calling; that cover is #39 on the list. Other acts of cover homage include Tom Waits' Rain Dogs in 1985, and the 2006 album by K. D. Lang, Reintarnation. Cyrus Chestnut's 2007 album Cyrus Plays Elvis, a collection of jazz versions of Elvis songs, also borrows the typography elements and black & white imagery.

Personnel



Track listing

Side One

Track Recorded Song Title Writer(s) Time
1. 1/30/56 Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins 1:58
2. 1/11/56 I'm Counting on You Don Robertson 2:24
3. 1/10/56 I Got A Woman Ray Charles and Renald Richard 2:23
4. 1/30/56 One-Sided Love Affair Bill Campbell 2:09
5. 7/5/54 I Love You Because Leon Payne 2:42
6. 9/10/54 Just Because Sydney Robin, Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton 2:32


Side Two

Track Recorded Song Title Writer(s) Time
1. 1/31/56 Tutti Frutti Dorothy LaBostrie and Richard Penniman 1:58
2. 7/11/55 Trying to Get to You Rose Marie McCoy and Margie Singleton 2:31
3. 1/31/56 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas 2:01
4. 9/10/54 I'll Never Let You Go Jimmy Wakely 2:24
5. 8/19/54 Blue Moon Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 2:31
6. 1/10/56 Money Honey Jesse Stone 2:34


1999 Reissue with Bonus Tracks

Catalogue data reflects simultaneous release of all tracks from LPM 1254 as singles in August, 1956; chart positions from Billboard Pop Singles chart.
Track Recorded Catalogue Release Date Chart Peak Song Title Writer(s) Time
1. 1/10/56 47-6357 1/27/56 #1 Heartbreak Hotel Mae Axton, Tommy Durden, Elvis Presley 2:08
2. 1/11/56 47-6357b 1/27/56 #19 I Was The One Aaron Schroeder, Claude DeMetrius, Hal Blair, Bill Peppers 2:34
3. 1/30/56 47-6636 8/31/56 #20 Blue Suede Shoes Carl Perkins 1:58
4. 1/11/56 47-6637b 8/31/56 I'm Counting on You Don Robertson 2:24
5. 1/10/56 47-6637 8/31/56 I Got A Woman Ray Charles and Renald Richard 2:23
6. 1/30/56 47-6641b 8/31/56 One-Sided Love Affair Bill Campbell 2:09
7. 7/5/54 47-6639 8/31/56 I Love You Because Leon Payne 2:42
8. 9/10/54 47-6640 8/31/56 Just Because Sydney Robin, Bob Shelton, Joe Shelton 2:32
9. 1/31/56 47-6636b 8/31/56 Tutti Frutti Dorothy LaBostrie and Richard Penniman 1:58
10. 7/11/55 47-6639b 8/31/56 Trying to Get to You Rose Marie McCoy and Charles Singleton 2:31
11. 1/31/56 47-6638b 8/31/56 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry Howard Biggs and Joe Thomas 2:01
12. 9/10/54 47-6638 8/31/56 I'll Never Let You Go Jimmy Wakely 2:24
13. 8/19/54 47-6640b 8/31/56 Blue Moon Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart 2:31
14. 1/10/56 47-6641 8/31/56 Money Honey Jesse Stone 2:34
15. 2/3/56 47-6642b 8/31/56 Lawdy Miss Clawdy Lloyd Price 2:08
16. 2/3/56 47-6642 8/31/56 Shake, Rattle & Roll Jesse Stone (as Charles Calhoun) 2:37
17. 1/30/56 47-6540b 5/4/56 #31 My Baby Left Me Arthur Crudup 2:12
18. 4/14/56 47-6540 5/4/56 #1 I Want You, I Need You, I Love You Lou Kosloff and George Mysels 2:40


2006 Two-CD Set Track Listing

Disc One

Track Song Title Time
1. Blue Suede Shoes 2:01
2. I'm Counting on You 2:24
3. I Got a Woman 2:25
4. One-Sided Love Affair 2:11
5. I Love You Because 2:40
6. Just Because 2:33
7. Tutti Frutti 1:59
8. Trying to Get to You 2:33
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) 2:04
10. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') 2:25
11. Blue Moon 2:43
12. Money Honey 2:36
13. Heartbreak Hotel 2:09
14. I Was the One 2:33
15. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy 2:10
16. Shake, Rattle and Roll 2:27
17. My Baby Left Me 2:13
18. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 2:44
19. I Got a Woman (Incomplete Unknown Take Number) 1:32
20. I Got a Woman (Unknown Take Number) 2:26
21. Heartbreak Hotel (Incomplete Take 4) 1:07
22. Heartbreak Hotel (Take 5) 2:17
23. Heartbreak Hotel (Take 6) 2:16
24. Money Honey (Fragments) 0:08
25. Money Honey (Take 6) 0:24
26. Money Honey (Incomplete Take 10) 1:27
27. I'm Counting on You (Take 1) 2:20
28. I'm Counting on You (Take 13) 2:33
29. I'm Counting on You (Incomplete Take 14) 2:19
30. I Was the One (Take 1) 0:13
31. I Was the One (Take 2 - False Start) 0:11
32. I Was the One (Take 2) 2:32
33. I Was the One (Take 3 - False Start) 0:12
34. I Was the One (Take 3- Incomplete) 0:56
35. I Was the One (Take 7A - Not Master) 2:41
36. I Was the One (Incomplete Unknown Take) 1:31


Disc Two

Track Song Title Time
1. I'm Counting on You (Take 1) 0:37
2. I'm Counting on You (Incomplete Take 2) 1:35
3. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 1) 2:40
4. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 3) 2:21
5. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 4) 2:17
6. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 5) 2:20
7. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 6) 2:19
8. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 7) 1:52
9. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 8) 0:59
10. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 9) 2:16
11. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 10) 2:27
12. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 11) 0:13
13. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 12) 2:20
14. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 1) 0:38
15. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 2) 2:34
16. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 3) 0:19
17. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 5) 0:47
18. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 6) 0:34
19. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 7) 2:41
20. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 8) 2:34
21. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 9) 0:20
22. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 10) 0:12
23. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 11) 0:14
24. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 12) 1:41
25. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 12 - Undubbed, Unedited Master) 2:36
26. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 0:07
27. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 3) 3:05
28. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 4) 2:56
29. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 5 - Fragment) 0:14
30. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 13) 2:57
31. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 14 - Incomplete) 1:50
32. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 15) 2:55
33. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 16) 2:54
34. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 17) 2:49
35. Don Davis Interviews Elvis Presley 3:53


Charts

Album
Year Chart Position
1956 Billboard Pop Albums 1
Single
Year Single Chart Position
1956 "Blue Suede Shoes" Billboard Pop Singles 20
1956 "Money Honey" Billboard Pop Singles 76


Certifications

Organization Level Date
RIAA – USA Gold November 1, 1966


See also

Classic Albums

Notes

  1. Nash, Alanna. The Colonel. New York: Simon and Shuster, 2003; ISBN 0-7432-1301-7; pp. 107-111.
  2. Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley, A Life In Music. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; ISBN 0-312-18572-3, p. 41
  3. Ibid., pp. 35 and 38
  4. Guralnick, Peter. The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, 1992, insert booklet, p. 20.
  5. Guralnick, Peter. The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, 1992, insert booklet, p. 24.
  6. Elvis 1956 Discography. sergeant.com.au. Retrieved on 2008-01-02.


References

  • 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


External links


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