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From the liner notes:
The first in this collection of rock and blues songs was performed
by a nervous Tupelo, Mississippi teenager on July 30, 1954 at his
first public appearance as a bona fide recording artist. Crying out,
"Have you heard the news, there's good rockin' tonight!", he staked
out his place in rock and roll history.
These 32 recordings highlight a wild, uninhibited Elvis Presley - an
Elvis far removed from the Las Vegas showbiz figure who would become
the principal inspiration for latter-day hack impersonators. From
the opening bars of songs such as "Blue Suede Shoes", "Rip lt Up"
and "Ready Teddy" Elvis grabs hold and sets out for a place few
singers could imagine let alone reach. Not content with equalling
the spirit of the originals, he consistently pushes them over the
top with his own fire and passion.
Despite critics' claims to the contrary, Elvis continued to lay down
some fine rock tracks after his early Sun and RCA recordings. There
are some terrific bluestinged songs recorded immediately after his
discharge from the Army in 1960, both sides of an all-time great
double hit single ("Little Sister"/"His Latest Flame") and a
faithful group harmony rendering of a 1955 Four Fellows tune ("Soldier
Boy"). Finally, the blues scorcher "Down In The Alley" should leave
even the purists gasping for air.
Here then are some of Elvis' finest moments. They helped define rock
and roll and ignite a cultural revolution in the process. When the
hollering died out on that July day in Memphis and the summer dust
settled, planet Earth had shifted in its orbit and nothing would
ever be the same again. To listen to these recordings is to know the