Elvis Presley cut his first album way back in 1956. It was a totally different musical landscape in those days, with much of the music being limited and had little broad appeal to many. Elvis was one of the first musicians to change that, bringing in the then new music of rock and roll to a generation of young people. This album is seen as a classic release from the history of music, so let’s dive in and have a listen.
We kick off with Blue Suede Shoes which is an uptempo dance hall sort of number. It’s about a pair of dancing shoes which Elvis obviously values to this song. A Fender Telecaster sounding solo is here, before going straight back into this fast number. An excellent sounding number, this music is timeless.
Next is I’m Counting On You which is a slow ballad sort of love song. It’s pretty old school, but excellently delivered by Elvis himself. Some beautiful piano and backing harmonies are here. No wonder Elvis Presley was inspirational to many rockers around this time, it is an excellent piece here.
I Got A Woman returns to the uptempo sort of nature of Elvis, and sounds a lot like rockabilly. This was the very early days of popular music that would take the world by storm, yet is cheerful and essential listening. More Telecaster brilliance is here, and the breakdown has some great drum rolls. A great piece to dance to.
One-Sided Love Affair is a boogie sort of piece that still sounds really good today. It’s an interesting topic to listen to, but is as fresh and inspired as the best of great music, which it is. A great piece to hear, and Elvis delivers very well here, with his unusual, almost crooner delivery. Excellent.
Next is I Love You Because is a very Jazz inspired piece, especially given that the best music at the time was predominately Jazz. Elvis’s delivery of the lyrics with his singing is very good here, and he comes across almost like a Crooner here. Great stuff to hear, all these years later. The acoustic guitar is very beautiful here too.
After that we have Just Because which is a more uptempo piece with that Tele sounding guitar again. The guitar takes the centre here, but all the same this is another quality cut. It’s a very well worked on and inspiring cut. Great music to listen to. Knowing the technology of the time, likely all done in a single continuous take. Brilliant.
Tutti Frutti is a great cover of the original song and is very fast and precisely delivered. A cheerful and uptempo listen with a mindblowing guitar solo, this is quite clearly fantastic. Elvis blows the blues away here, a quality effort.
Trying To Get To You is about chasing a pure love that one feels is worth it, no matter what the destination is. Great listening, and a very good effort musically. Simple, beautiful, melodic and solid gold. This is great music here, folks. One of the many highlights of this album.
Next is I’m Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) which is actually very happy sounding for the subject of the song. It’s another fresh and refreshing listen about a true love at hand. Elvis delivers what he promises with this sort of music, and it is a joyful listen, sounding very country like here.
Following is I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’) which begins with some slow and precise guitar playing, and Elvis goes into pure melodic crooner mode here. It’s more of an old time Jazz inspired sort of ballad, but is brilliantly done, just like the rest of the recording here. It’s enough to bring a smile to your face all the same, a great listen. It then goes into a more uptempo section towards the end, a neat twist. Great to hear.
Blue Moon – Take 9/M begins with some very muted electric guitar melodies and Elvis singing softly. It’s a great listen, even today. Some great fluttering harmonies are here as well, listen out for them. A great sense of suspense is here, Elvis is really king on this record.
Money Honey is the last track here, and lyrically talks about money and love, simple sort of stuff. A more straightforward number with great playing by Elvis and co, it is a good way to finish this rather short (less than 30 minutes) record. The guitar playing is great here.
This album is fantastic for fans of historically old music, rock and roll fans or those who dig Elvis. The Clash agreed that this was a great album, and borrowed some of the cover art style for their London Calling album. Although this is his debut and doesn’t have all his hits here, Elvis shines bright here. A great album.