ARTIST: Elvis Presley
TITLE: The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll: The Complete 50’s Masters
YEAR RELEASED: Compilation
CHART ACTION: #159
SINGLES: Too many to mention
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Most of ‘em
LINEUP: Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black, DJ Fontana, the Jordanaires and, well, a whole bunch of people in Nashville.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: The King.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: In looking at his 50’s output, only the first two RCA albums (Elvis Presley and Elvis) were constructed as ‘real’ albums. The rest of his output were singles, movie soundtracks, or leftover cuts that were used to pad albums when Presley was in the Army. So skip those and go for a comp.
There are countless collections out there, but really, right here is the first one to get for Presley. The first four discs are every master take he cut for Sun and RCA, and they prove that Presley, in his 50’s prime, was rock-and-roll royalty. He could bring it, especially when fronting his band. When covering songs by African American artists, he didn’t try to ape them, but brought sincerity to his interpretations.
The fifth disk is full of rarities and alternate takes, and there’s an interview on the 4th disk. It doesn’t take away from the quality of the music or the history behind it. This should be in any collection.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: A few of the rarities are acetates cut in Lubbock, Texas. During that time in 1955, Buddy Holly converted to rock-and-roll.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Well, no
GRADE: A+: Absolutely vital.