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Classic Albums: Elvis Presley (2001)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
This episode in the Classic Albums series takes a look at the first rock and roll album from Elvis, which helped start his legend as well as cause a problem for TV and radio stations. Sam Phillips, Ernst Jorgensen, DJ Fontana (drugs on album), Chick Crumpacker (RCA Promo Manager), Dixie Loche (Elvis' girlfriend), Scotty Moore (guitar on album), B.B. King and Keith Richards are among the people interviewed about the album. Fans of Elvis or music in this era should really enjoy this look at the album because you really get a good idea of what was acceptable at the time and how things started to change when Elvis got on the scene. This includes an interesting discussion of how the record label and others feared what would happen by having a white man sing black songs to a mass public. There's also discussions on which covers Elvis should do and why songs like Blue Suede Shoes, That's All Right and Shake, Rattle and Roll were used. Another interesting topic including the touring that Elvis was forced to do during this period and a few stories about some of the other famous artists he met at the time like Johnny Cash.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This documentary takes an inside look at things leading up to the recording of one of the most iconic albums in recorded history by a young man cited as the most original protagonist of popular music. Elvis Presley's first album released by RCA Records in 1956 was simply titled:Elvis Presley. The cover photo taken from a concert in Florida. The eye grabbing title Elvis in pink and Presley in green. The twelve songs captured represented things the singer heard on various radio stations. A mesh of country, rockabilly and R & B. This film has incites from people like Sam Phillips, the founder of Sun Records where Elvis paired with Scotty Moore and Bill Black cut five singles that proved to be preparation for a contract with RCA. Ernst Jorgensen, a historian/producer that has spent years swallowed in the archives of Elvis' music. There is biographer Peter Guralnick, who wrote two top sellers concerning the singer's life, death and legacy. There is also comment from Dixie Locke Emmons, one of Elvis' first girlfriends; Memphis blues great B.B. King and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Featured songs include: "Mystery Train", "That's All Right", "I Was The One", "Shake, Rattle and Roll" and "Heartbreak Hotel". Of course there is music from the album Elvis Presley itself, "Blue Suede Shoes", "Tutti Frutti", "Trying To Get To You" and "Money Honey". Elvis Presley is a record that changed forever the look, sound and imprint of popular music...outstandingly different and truly a Classic Album.
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