Courtesy of RCA Records
The year was 1956 and the man known simply as “The King,” already was becoming a household name. With several singles dating back to the previous two years under his belt, Elvis was ready to explode onto the mainstream. Mr. Presley was building up steam with his 1955 release of I Forgot to Remember to Forget which reached number one on the country charts, respectively.
Right before his self-titled debut album, the King released his breakthrough single, Heartbreak Hotel which hit number one in the Hot 100 and the U.S. Country music charts with an appearance at number three in the R&B charts in 1956. America-and the rest of the world-was swept away by his charming low voice that trembles with the heartbreak, with the bass and drums playing in sync like a regular blues song and the soft piano solo.
Every teen in America was ready by the time Elvis released his debut self-titled album. Elvis’ clever technique to combine country, blues and pop caused everybody to start tapping their feet to his songs. The album quickly rose to number one on the Billboard Charts making it the first rock and roll album to do so.
The album begins with the overly decent cover of the popular Carl Perkins song, Blue Suede Shoes that also became hugely popular. This upbeat song starts out “Well it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go man go,” and everybody followed his advice and did.
The following song is a softer and slower love song that further adds to his trembling signature voice. This equation of a song solutes to a beautiful track to compete with the rest of America’s love songs. The third track is a country take on the Ray Charles hit, I Got A Woman. Seemingly a more upbeat song than the original, you can easily find yourself tapping your foot and most probably shaking your body in dance.
Elvis’ One Sided Love Affair explains that he does not want to do everything in his relationship; two people must be in the relationship, not just one. I Love You Because, with its whistling opening, proves that Elvis can pull out ballads like the rest of them. Following the track is the complimentary song, Just Because. This song can make one ironically think of a break up right after the song of love. This upbeat song leads right into the Elvis remake of the Little Richard song, Tutti Frutti. Although the original version can upstage Elvis’ any night of the week, he puts an interesting twist as he does with all of his covers.
The next two upbeat songs, Trying to Get to You and I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You) is set up by the next song, I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) a slower song causing you to imagine you’re in Hawaii. The haunting song, Blue Moon is arguably the slowest song on the album, yet features some of Elvis’ greatest singing on it. His trembling voice complements the lonesome lyrics, with a slow high-pitched and low-pitched humming that adds to the gloominess of the song. The album concludes with the up-tempo, Money Honey. This track has the rhythm to make anyone’s hips move like the controversial King’s moves.
I strongly recommend this album to any music listener with varying tastes. This record contains great songs of Elvis Presley’s amazing singing of country, blues, and R&B. This beautiful mix created the iconic rock and roll Elvis sound that everyone has come to love for more than 55 years.