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Classic Albums - Elvis Presley: Elvis Presley
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- Bonus interviews: For the Record, The Early Years, The Sun Recordings, On the Road, RCA Buys Elvis's Contract
Top Customer Reviews
Ofcourse many have wondered why the first album for RCA's biggest star would contain leftovers from his C & W past, in fact, cuts which on their own could not have supported Presley's global success. Unfortunately, this tape does not really address that question, the answer to which is rather obvious - before Rock and Roll, albums were not, as in later decades, the primary money makers for the company, so perhaps it was felt that if a teenager could afford the album and the single (and the Extended Play?) then the tentative Country ballad "I Love You Because and the innocuous uptempo "Just Because" would loom as worth-hearing but not essential material. To put it simply, hit singles (i.e. "Heartbreak Hotel") and contemporaneous hit albums ("Elvis Presley") were essentially two separate entities.
There are some amazing segments here, most notably *previously unreleased* 1956 television footage and recording studio outtakes on "Shake, Rattle, and Roll". The tape closes with a rare 1956 narrative beautifully delivered by the star.
One "missing" piece: a reported audio interview with Elvis conducted in New York around 04-56 in which he is asked if he actually likes his first album and he responds that he is pleased with about half of it and thinks "One-Sided Love Affair" is a standout.
This DVD is part of a series on classic American albums. I am not familiar with the others in the series yet but based on this introduction these efforts seem to be labors of love. Here we have the expected `talking heads' dissecting the meaning of each song, some anecdotes from various and sundry performers and music historians interspersed with very illuminating footage of Elvis's progress from Southern regional phenomena to national (and international) rock star at a time when the youth of my generation were desperately in need of a jailhouse breakout figure.
The highlight here is a very interesting discussion about Heartbreak Hotel, a song whose depressive lyrics would seem to be out of sync with what Elvis was trying to project (including various takes on Elvis's performance of the song on television). This segment makes a very strong case for Elvis's emergence as `king of the hill' in 1956. Whether he continued that role later is a separate question but 1956 was his year, and his alone. This little album also contained a very well thought out and performed mix of ballads, black bluesy numbers (Shake, Rattle and Roll), a little country, a little gospel.Read more ›
also cool contributions from keith richards.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My only regreat is that it was VHS, so I returned it without opening it.
I would like to get this in DVD, If this is availabel,let me know.
Another gift for a Friend who is an Elvis fan, she especially enjoyed this and would have bought it herself if she had seen it.Published on January 3, 2013 by cynthia Berry
Probably the BEST in the VH1 Classic Albums series! Very insightful anecdotes in to this landmark early rock n' roll recording, that really started it all.Published on January 10, 2011 by T. J. Bell
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