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The Complete Million Dollar Quartet Import, Original recording remastered

4.2 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, September 19, 2006
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Product Description

The 50th anniversary edition of this historic jam session with featuring elvis presley, johnny cash, jerry lee lewis and carl perkins; for the first time ever containing the complete recorded session in the original sequence with 12 more minutes than any previous release!. during the afternoon of tuesday december 4, 1956, the world's first superstar jam session took place and the million dollar quartet was born! Elvis, john, jerry lee, and carl sang and performed their favourite songs at the famous sun studio in downtown memphis, tennessee. includes an informative new essay by sun label expert colin escott.

Amazon.com

Fifty years after a 21-year-old Elvis Presley first shook the world comes a reissue of the famed Million Dollar Quartet recording, the off-the-cuff Sun Records jam session where Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash joined Presley for a loose-jointed romp through 46 songs. Except that's not quite right--Cash either put down his part off-mic or rolled out his big baritone-bass when the tape wasn't rolling (the more likely explanation). So that, as Colin Escott writes in his liner notes, technically makes this a $750,000 Trio. And while this new edition is billed as the "complete" quartet--since 12 more minutes surfaced on a tape of superior sound quality found in Elvis's private collection, and the session is now in its right sequence--it obviously isn't the whole thing. (The 12 extra minutes are essentially four short instrumentals and "Reconsider Baby" at the start, as well as bits and pieces at different points throughout the CD.) But what survives is nevertheless fascinating, of course, not only for the historical record but for the fervor the three bring to a handful of spirituals (their finest moment) and how young Presley--who is already recording for RCA, and has just been dropped by Sun--presents himself. His new notoriety brings out a cocky charm, as he devotes much of these renditions of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Paralyzed" to an imitation of Jackie Wilson imitating him (Elvis knows Wilson only as one of Billy Ward's Dominoes), and boasting that Pat Boone recorded a song that Elvis wouldn't even audition. This fly-on-the-wall voyeurism should appeal to any student of rock 'n' roll history. But serious Elvisphiles will especially enjoy hearing Presley talk about the seeds of recording "That's When Your Heartaches Begin," mimic Hank Snow on "I'm Gonna Bid My Blues Goodbye," and express bemused ire over Faron Young, who had sent him a song ("Is It So Strange") he hoped Elvis would record. "He didn't want to give me none of it--he wanted it all, you know," Elvis says with a chuckle, supposedly referring to the publishing/writing credit, something Elvis's manager, the iron-fisted Colonel Tom Parker, demanded. As the trio moves through a plethora of material--Christmas songs, gospel, blues, R&B, country, pop, Dixieland, cowboy, and bluegrass--they become the hammer, anvil, and steel, forging a new form of music. What you have here, then, is no less than the sound of it, taking shape. --Alanna Nash
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 19, 2006)
  • Aniv Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: September 19, 2006
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 79 minutes
  • ASIN: B000HEVALC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,514 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Stunning sound quality makes this disc a must for all Elvis fans. This material simply never sounded better (due to new tapes they found) and in addition is complete and in the correct sequence.
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Just want to agree with the previous reviewer. Although this session has been released many times before, this version is complete and in very good quality. it's worth the price just to hear Elvis talking on the Don't Be Cruel track about a fellow singers approach to that song - magic!
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Format: Audio CD
I'm a Keyboard Player and a 33 year Musician, and an Elvis fan! A devoted follower of Jerry Lew Lewis and ALL the Sun Family. Sam Philips was smart enough to put an open mic in the room when this Jam Session happened. Elvis sings like he's in church on Sunday morning, wit so much feeling. Jerry Lee can't be lost no matter how many times Elvis switches songs. He grew up the same way.Carl Perkins thumbstyles that Guitar like the Lead Man he was! They stop and start, like it was all for fun (which it was). No formed up songs, no perfect clean things, Just raw gospel and country with a Rockabilly flair. I swear I didn't know these tapes existed, and I'm a music history idiot. Thank you for selling them amazon!! Any Elvis fan needs this one!! BUY IT!!
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Format: Audio CD
This recording is the result of Sam Phillips having the foresight to recognize a piece of history in the making on December 4, 1956. There are no complete songs, some only snippets and a good bit of talking. It's just a few guys messin' around in the studio really - a few guys who would become musical legends.

After reading many of the "reviews" it absolutely amazes me that some people have no idea, and I mean NO idea whatsoever, what this recording actually is, and even after they listened to it! "No music heard...", "Very poor sound quality", "...sound is not up to today's standards", "a rip off". One even wrote, "I don't think elvis meant this cd to be released." HUH?!?! Pay no attention to these "reviews". These were made by the likes who would undoubtedly discard a Babe Ruth baseball card because it was bent.

If you're looking for a pristine live performance of various songs by these four men, then you should look elsewhere. But if you are looking to be a fly on the wall during a particular historical Tuesday that captures four very young future musical superstars just being themselves and having fun, then buy this disc.
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I bought this CD after seeing an amazing musical based on this real-life Jam session in Chicago. The musical was fantasic, but somehow I had trouble believing that Johny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis actually hung out one Christmas and played music together in the little studio (once an autoparts store/ garage) where they got there start. Picture yourself and 3 friends enjoying some Holiday cheer and deciding to take out a few instraments and sing. Now imagine that you just happen to be Elvis and your friends are the forefathers of rock and roll. That's pretty much what this is about. And it's not just their well know hits that you're eavesdropping on, but rather a lot of music from their roots. Gospel - church music and of course rock-a -billy. Unpretentious, pre-mega stardom, talent in its early days.

The sound quality is amazingly good considering that the session was secretly recorded back in the 50's.

Worth every penny.
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Well, I must be the only person alive who never cared for Elvis---but I LOVE this CD! While in Memphis briefly with some time to kill, I took the tour of the Sun Records Studio, expecting it to be hokey and touristy. Turns out it was the best $12.00 I ever spent! I came away from that tour wanting to buy this CD and it is fabulous. Basically a jam session, not a "formula", "produced" record. I usually prefer roots oriented, unplugged and unadorned music of many genres, wanting to hear the musical gifts of the musician shine through (rather than an over-orchestrated, overbearing, boring, predictable mess). This is the epitome of that purity for those who love boogie-woogie, rockabilly, gospel, and old-timey tunes. Elvis WAS from the South, after all, despite his flashy Las Vegas persona in later years. It made me want to go out and buy all the Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins, and EARLY Elvis (before he was "Flashy Elvis") I can find. Plus, it is quite interesting and educational to hear the banter between the musicians and observe their "process". A really fun disc.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have the LP of "Million Dollar Quartet" as well, so you can say I am a fan. This CD is longer, and in a better order, and in parts clearer, so for fans is well worth adding. The only place I know to hear Elvis, Jerry Lee, and Carl Perkins together not sure you can hear Johnny Cash and with Sam Phillips gone we cannot ask. Buy it.
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Format: Audio CD
Johnny Cash wrote about these recordings in his 1970's autobiography "Man In Black". He thought the recordings were lost, or locked in a vault somewhere. I know that Johnny is on this cd, you can hear him singing bass quite lowly on "Farther Along"(listen closely).
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