ARTIST: Elvis Presley
YEAR RELEASED: 1956
CHART ACTION: #1 US, #3 UK
SINGLES: Love Me (#2, #10 Country, #7 R&B), Old Shep (#47) – Those two were actually on EPs. When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again (#19) and Paralyzed (#59) also charted from the EPs thanks to airplay.
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Rip It Up, Long Tall Sally, Ready Teddy
LINEUP: Elvis Presley, Scott Moore, Gordon Stoker, Bill Black, DJ Fontana, the Jordanaires
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Elvis, now a phenomenon, effortlessly glides through a session or rock and ballads and reinforces his talent and reputation.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Starting with a roaring version of “Rip It Up” the King puts his band and singers through their paces. Whether it’s covering standards, Little Richard, or shaggy dog country song, Elvis delivers the goods.
As with his debut, there weren’t really singles taken from the album. RCA released a couple of Eps from the session and they got sales and radio play. This time, though, they decided not to release the whole album as singles. I think they learned.
One complaint is that at times, on ballads, they really drown Elvis in echo so it’s really hard to hear him. That and a couple of the songs don’t match the standards of other mean it’s not perfect. It’s really good, though, and nice to remember that Elvis was great on records early in his career.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Earlier in 1956, Elvis recorded “Hound Dog”, “Don’t Be Cruel” and “Love Me Tender”, which solidified his grip on being the top recording artist in the country.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, the best one has the mid-1956 singles and B-sides as well as the album. It’s a great overview of this era.
GRADE: A-: Downgrading a bit for a couple tunes and some of the production issues (too much echo, dude). Still it’s a good one to add to your Elvis collection.