“The new Elvis album is a wonderful thing, with the noiseless surfaces and high-quality graphics and packaging I’ve come to expect from Speakers Corner’s LP reissues…As with their other LPs, to hear the Speakers Corner version of the record is to hear it as the person who bought the original might have. To me, that’s the best one could ask for, historically, artistically, and for the sheer fun of it.” – Art Dudley, Stereophile, June 2005
Good products are worth their weight in gold when times are a little harsh – and this album was certainly a genially placed stopgap. In 1959, at the time when RCA launched this record on the market, the label’s shinning rock star was out of the country doing his military service in Germany. In order to comfort all his fans during his forced absence, the record bosses produced an album with a smartly uniformed Elvis on the cover, smiling widely to let his faithful followers know that he’d be back soon. There was a special calendar, too, so that his fans could count off the days until his return. This marketing ploy was extremely successful. The record became a highly desirable collector’s item and even years later illegal dollars still flowed from pirate copies.
The RCA producers kept mum about when and where the tracks were recorded. But who cares about that when listening to Elvis giving the “blue grass” classic “Blue Moon Of Kentucky” his unmistakable, rockabilly sound? The other titles, all of them performed by a well-proven ensemble of rock ‘n’ roll musicians, are filled with the honest, powerful language of the young – or from today’s viewpoint, old – Elvis. Which takes us back full circle to the date. What better way is there to celebrate the 50th birthday of rock ‘n’ roll than with this early album by its King?
1. Blue Moon of Kentucky
2. Young and Beautiful – The Jordanaires
3. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care – The Jordanaires
4. Milk Cow Blues
5. Baby Let’s Play House
6. Good Rockin’ Tonight
7. Is It So Strange
8. We’re Gonna Move
9. I Want to Be Free – The Jordanaires
10. I Forgot to Remember to Forget