Well, rock and roll music, if you like it, you
feel it, you can't help but move to it". Elvis Presley patiently
explained to a reporter early in his career. "That's what happens to
me, I can't help It, I have to move around, can't stand still. I've
tried it, and it doesn't work."
What bettet way to demonstrate Mr. Presley's thesis than with this
collection of unadulterated rock and roll tunes? Among them are the
early chart-topping hits like "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog" and
"All Shook Up" that galvanized a nation of teenagers, outraged their
folks and got authorities thinking about what laws they could accuse
Elvis of breaking. They upturned the major-label record business,
challenged the conventions of radio, infiltrated television and the
movies, and ultimately revolutionized popular culture.
Elvis may not have single-handedly invented rock and roll, but he
came to epitomize it around the world. He could sound both sincere
and seductive, a boyishly charming combination of innocence and
experience. His riveting vocal performance an his RCA debut and
first #1 single, "Heartbreak Hotel," falls somewhere between a
lament and a come-on. This is clearly a young man who isn't going to
be lonely very long. And surely no other vocalist in rock and roll
history has imbued the word "baby" with so much erotic portent.
Watch clips from his early black & white television and concert
appearances and you'll find no trace of calculation. His movements
were the real deal, unfiltered exuberance mixed with an almost
dangerous level of sexual energy. They would start with a twitch in
his leg, followed by a rise and fall of his shoulders. That would
morph into a shimmy, then trigger the trademark swivel of his hips.
Elvis was pure honesty in motion; he was just doing what comes
naturally. Fast forward to his 1968 Comeback Special and not much
has fundamentally changed. You can still see the boy in the man.
Elvis tries to maintain a certain decorum during those amazing,
intimate acoustic segments, but he practically levitates out of his
chair when the rock and roll rhythms start.
Of course, you don't have to see it to feel it. Hearing is
definitely believing. Bob Dylan was once quoted as saying, "Hearing
Elvis for the first time was like a jail break... and I didn't even
know I was in jail." These are songs of liberation, of youth
asserting its power, a vision of the world where its sounds and its
people - aren't segregated. Black. White. Country. Blues. Gospel.
All wrapped up in the excitement of becoming the world's first rock
and roll star. You can find all of that in these songs.
And once you feel it... don't even think about staying still. (from the liner notes)