There is a deleted scene from the movie “Pulp Fiction” in which Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) interviews Vincent Vega (John Travolta) prior to their eventful evening out at Jack Rabbit Slim’s.  The premise of the scene is that there are two types of people in the world: Beatles people and Elvis people.  Beatles people can like Elvis, and vice versa, but noone likes both equally.  Furthermore, the one you like better determines what type of person you are (Mia determines that Vincent is obviously an Elvis man).  Brilliant writing by Quentin Tarantino, and probably one of the greatest truths he has ever written.

So by the above logic, I have always been a Beatles man.  Especially a John Lennon man.  Elvis just never had any great appeal to me.  I never disliked his music, but I always thought of him as someone who stole R&B songs and cleaned them up for white radio.  And as a bloated Vegas lounge singer in his later years.  But this collection of early Elvis songs gives me a new perspective on the King.  These songs combine aspects of R&B, country-western, and rockabilly with some impressive crooning balladry a la Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra to create the sound that eventually became rock and roll.  Pretty impressive for a young kid from the sticks who had just graduated from high school.  This was the first record on the list that was a little spendy (I bought this from the LiveNation site for $44.34), but I’m glad I got it because it changed my perspective on one of the great figures in rock and roll history.  However, I remain a Beatles man 🙂

Other lists: “Mystery Train” is #77 and “That’s All Right” is #113 on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  Elvis is #3 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists and also #3 on the list of the 100 Greatest Singers.

Ch-ch-changes: The original Rolling Stone Top 500 Albums lists, published in November 2003, has an Elvis Presley album called “The Sun Sessions” in this spot.  Apparently the material is very similar, but less comprehensive.  It was only released on vinyl, 8-track, and a very expensive Japanese import CD.  I’ve tried to get the vinyl version on Ebay a couple of times, but I always get outbid.  Seeing as how I don’t even own a turntable right now, I guess it doesn’t really matter.  Once I get a turntable, I’ll check it out.

My favorite track: “You’re a Heartbreaker”

Honorable mention: “”I Don’t Care if the Sun Don’t Shine”

Quote: “You’re a smooth talker, you’re a real cool walker, but now you have talked out of turn.”

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