Elvis Presley

 

The movie “True Romance” begins with the main character, Clarence, declaring his love for Elvis to a girl he unsuccessfully tries to pick up in a bar on his birthday.  Then, throughout the movie, Clarence is given advice by his “mentor”, a blurry Elvis-like figure who usually appears while Clarence is using the restroom.  The “mentor” gives Clarence the confidence to do the things that move the plot forward, like killing his girlfriend/wife’s pimp and selling a suitcase full of cocaine to a Hollywood film director.  And in usual Quentin Tarantino fashion, these events usually lead to a gunfight.  I’m starting to think that Tarantino is an Elvis man, not a Beatles man (although oddly I don’t think he’s ever used an Elvis song on one of his soundtracks…maybe the royalties cost too much).  At the end of the movie, Clarence’s wife, Alabama, names their son Elvis.  Don’t mess with the King.

So I found this album one day at the Half-Price Books out East on Brice Road, and I snagged it for $5.99 (minus my teacher discount).  This was the first album Elvis recorded after his Sun Records contract was sold to RCA, and it sounds mostly like a continuation of his Sun recordings.  There are even a few of those early Sun recordings thrown in to fill up space on this record.  The big difference is the addition of drums/percussion to the newer material.  By this point in his career, Elvis had also started to develop that “uh-huh-uh-huh-uh-huh” vocal pattern that made him so famous, but which honestly I find annoying and distracting.  The music is good though, and it’s interesting to hear him play covers of R&B songs like “I Got a Woman” and “Tutti Frutti” right beside country western covers like “Blue Moon”.  Actually, I guess you could consider the entire album to be a cover album, since Elvis never wrote any of his own material.  But he was the King, and the King does what he wants, right?  And apparently the King wanted to mesh R&B and country into a new form of music called rock ‘n roll.  Long live the King.

Other lists: “Blue Suede Shoes” is #430 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (“Heartbreak Hotel” which was included on this CD reissue, but which was not on the original album, is #45 on the same list).

Ch-ch-changes: This album also dropped one spot from its position on the original list due to the rise of “Meet the Beatles!”.

My favorite track: “Blue Suede Shoes”

Honorable mention: “I Got a Woman”

Quote: “Well, it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go!”

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