Gotta Find My Baby!

May 09, 2022

Elvis Presley (Single/EP/LP - RCA, 1956)

Title:
Elvis Presley
Label:
RCA Victor [LPM 1254]
Format:
LP
Number of tracks:
12
Running Time:
28:30
Type of album:
Long play
Linked to:
Official discography
Year:
1956
Recorded:
July 5, 1954 - January 31, 1956
Released:
March 23, 1956
Singles:
Blue Suede Shoes / Tutti Frutti (August 31, 1956)


Elvis Presley, released in the UK as Elvis Presley Rock n' Roll, is Elvis' first official studio album, his first LP and 6th audio work (counting the Sun singles). It was released by RCA Victor in mono on catalog number LPM 1254, on  March 23, 1956.

Recording sessions took place on January 10 and 11 at RCA's Nashville, Tennessee studios and January 30 and 31 at the New York studios. Additional material was taken from the Sun Studio sessions in Memphis, Tennessee on July 5, August 19, and September 10, 1954, and on July 21, 1955.

In the second half of 1955, singles from Elvis by Sun began to hit the national charts, with "Baby Let's Play House" and "I Forgot to Remember Forget" going to number 5 and number 1, respectively. Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's new agent, had extensive relationships with RCA through his previous client, singer Eddy Arnold, especially the head of the Country and Rhythm & Blues division, Steve Sholes. At Parker's insistence, on November 21, 1955, Sholes purchased the contract from Sam Phillips, director of Sun Studio, for the unprecedented sum of $35,000.

Presley and Rock 'n' Roll were still unproven hits for the major labels in the music business, but this album, along with the #1 single "Heartbreak Hotel", proved the selling power of both: it was the first Pop album of RCA to gross over $1,000,000 and sell over a million units.

Presley made four consecutive appearances on The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show in early 1956 and RCA wanted an album in stores quickly to capitalize on both the national TV exposure and the success of his first hit. At the same time, there were only two recording sessions for RCA before Presley and his band returned to the road. They yielded eleven tracks, almost enough to fill an entire LP, although some tracks had potential for singles.

In the 1950s, general practice dictated that tracks with greater commercial potential had to be released as singles, with tracks of lesser appeal placed on albums; thus, RCA did not use all eleven to simply make an album, nor did they put "Heartbreak Hotel" on it. The rights to the Sun Studio tapes had been transferred to RCA with the sale of the contract, so five unreleased songs from the period ("I Love You Because", "Just Because", "Tryin' to Get to You", "I 'll Never Let You Go (Lil' Darlin')" and "Blue Moon") were added to seven of the RCA sessions to bring the album's runtime to an acceptable point.

As Sun's tracks were mostly Country-style, Elvis and RCA balanced the selections with covers of recent Rhythm & Blues songs. Two of them, Jesse Stone's "Money Honey", known to Elvis from a version by Clyde McPhatter, and Ray Charles' 1955 hit "I Got a Woman", were in Presley's live act for a year. The third was the frenetic "Tutti Frutti", recorded by Little Richard in 1955. A Rockabilly number regarded as a potential hit single, "Blue Suede Shoes", was not initially released as such because of a promise from Sholes to Sam Phillips in order to protect the career of another Sun artist, Carl Perkins, the song's author. Instead, it was used as the album's opening track.

On August 31, 1956, RCA made the unusual decision to release the entire album as multiple singles, which arguably prevented the new simultaneously released single, "Shake, Rattle and Roll / Lawdy Miss Clawdy", from reaching the charts. However, "Blue Suede Shoes", released as a single in this experiment, kept the promise to Phillips and Perkins for waiting more than eight months since the song's release at Sun, and peaked at number 20 on the singles chart.

The album's series of EPs ended on October 19, 1956, when RCA released a rare triple EP that contained all of its tracks and all of the singles marketed up to that point in the year by the label with the exception of "Heartbreak Hotel", which had already been released on its own EP, which also contained "Money Honey". The marketing strategy was entirely focused on raising maximum capital, as Elvis' second RCA album, "Elvis", would be released that same day.

Meanwhile, the LP reached UK and was released there with five different tracks in its tracklist - a first for RCA.

Also for the first time, RCA published the original album in reprocessed stereo (false stereo) on CD in 1984. This version was quickly withdrawn from the market and the album was reissued in original monophonic sound. In 1999, it was reissued with a changed track order, adding six bonus tracks from three singles, including "Heartbreak Hotel" and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You". In 2005, the album was reissued again, remastered using DSD technology. A double CD was released by FTD on August 15, 2006. In 2011 RCA released the full album on the Legacy Edition label accompanied by the second LP on the label, "Elvis", also complete, and singles from 1956.

The LP spent ten weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums in 1956, being the first rock album to reach the top of the charts and the first of its kind to sell one million copies.

In 2003, it was ranked number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. "Elvis Presley" was also one of three Presley albums to receive acclaim in the book "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die", the others being "Elvis Is Back!" and "From Elvis In Memphis".

The cover is ranked number 40 on the Rolling Stone list of the 100 Greatest Album Covers, published in 1991. The photograph was taken at the Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in Tampa, Florida on July 31, 1955. Graphics and photo were used also on three EPs (one single, one double and one triple) and a few singles, all released in 1956.

It was certified Gold on November 1, 1966 and Platinum on August 8, 2011 by the Recording Industry Association of America.
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RECORDING SESSIONS


Date:
July 5, August 15-19 and September 12-16, 1954; July 21, 1955; January 10, 11, 30 and 31, 1956

Studio:
Sun Studio
RCA Studio B
RCA Studio 1
               
Location:
Memphis, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee
New York, New York

Musicians:
Voice: Elvis Presley
Guitar: Elvis Presley
Electric guitar: Scotty Moore, Chet Atkins
Bass: Bill Black
Drums: D. J. Fontana
Piano: Floyd Kramer, Shorty Long
Backing Vocals: Gordon Stoker (The Jordanaires), Ben Speer e Brock Speer (The Speer Family)

Sound engineer / Recording engineer:
Sam Phillips, Bob Farris, Ernie Oehlrich


JULY 5, 1954
                                       Harbor Lights EPA3 2742-03
                                       I Love You Because G2WB 1086-SP
                                      That's All Right F2WB 8040-04

AUGUST 15-19, 1954
                                     Blue Moon F2WB 8117-09

SEPTEMBER 12-16, 1954
                                     Tomorrow Night F2WB 8115-07
                                     I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') F2WB 8116-NA
                                     Satisfied
                                     Just Because F2WB 8118-NA
                                     Good Rockin' Tonight F2WB 8043-02
                                     I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine F2WB 8042-03

JULY 21, 1955
                                     I Forgot To Remember To Forget F2WB 8000-NA
                                     Mystery Train F2WB 8001-01
                                     Tryin' To Get To You F2WB 8039-NA

JANUARY 10, 1956
                                     I Got A Woman G2WB 0208-08
                                     Heartbreak Hotel G2WB 0209-07
                                     Money Honey G2WB 0210-SP

JANUARY 11, 1956
                                     I'm Counting On You G2WB 0211-17
                                     I Was The One G2WB 0218-07

JANUARY 30, 1956
                                     Blue Suede Shoes G2WB 1230-10
                                     My Baby Left Me G2WB 1231-09
                                     One-Sided Love Affair G2WB 1232-08
                                     So Glad You're Mine G2WB 1233-10

JANUARY 31, 1956
                                     I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You) G2WB 1254-18
                                     Tutti Frutti G2WB 1255-10

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SESSION LOGS






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ASSOCIATED LPS, SINGLES AND EPS


ELVIS PRESLEY (SINGLE)

January 27, 1956

1. Heartbreak Hotel
2. I Was the One



ELVIS PRESLEY (LP)

March 23, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You
3. I Got a Woman
4. One-Sided Love Affair
5. I Love You Because
6. Just Because
7. Tutti Frutti
8. Tryin' to Get to You
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
10. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')
11. Blue Moon
12. Money Honey
ELVIS PRESLEY (EP)

March 23, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. Tutti Frutti
3. I Got a Woman
4. Just Because


ELVIS PRESLEY (DOUBLE EP)

March 23, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You
3. Tutti Frutti
4. Tryin' to Get to You
5. I Got a Woman
6. One-Sided Love Affair
7. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
8. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')



HEARTBREAK HOTEL (EP)

April 20, 1956

1. Heartbreak Hotel
2. I Was the One
3. Money Honey
4. I Forgot to Remember to Forget




I WANT YOU, I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU (SINGLE)

May 4, 1956

1. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
2. My Baby Left Me



ELVIS PRESLEY (EP)

June 8, 1956

1. Shake, Rattle and Roll
2. I Love You Because
3. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
4. Blue Moon


HOUND DOG (SINGLE)

July 13, 1956

1. Hound Dog
2. Don't Be Cruel



THE REAL ELVIS (EP)

August 17, 1956

1. Don't Be Cruel
2. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
3. Hound Dog
4. My Baby Left Me

BLUE SUEDE SHOES (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. Tutti Frutti

I'M COUNTING ON YOU (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. I'm Counting On You
2. I Got a Woman




I'LL NEVER LET YOU GO (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
2. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')



I LOVE YOU BECAUSE (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. I Love You Because
2. Tryin' to Get to You



BLUE MOON (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. Blue Moon
2. Just Because



ONE-SIDED LOVE AFFAIR (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. Money Honey
2. One-Sided Love Affair



SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL (SINGLE)

August 31, 1956

1. Shake, Rattle and Roll
2. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
ELVIS PRESLEY (DOUBLE EP)

October 19, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You 
3. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
4. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')
5. I Got a Woman
6. One-Sided Love Affair
7. Tutti Frutti
8. Tryin' to Get to You




ELVIS PRESLEY (TRIPLE EP)

October 19, 1956

1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You 
3. I Got a Woman
4. One-Sided Love Affair
5. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
6. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') 
7. Tutti Frutti
8. Tryin' to Get to You
9. Don't Be Cruel
10. I Want You, I Need Yoy, I Love You
11. Hound Dog
12. Money Honey







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FTD'S VERSION

Title:
Elvis Presley - Special Edition
Label:
FTD [FTD 054] [82876 86160 2]
Format:
Double CD
Number of tracks:
71
Running time:
134:00
Type of album:
CD
Linked to:
FTD discography
Year:
2006
Recorded:
July 5, 1954 - April 14, 1956
Released:
July 2006
Singles:
---


For the first time in its existence, FTD brings a double CD with relatively little content. This is due to the fact that there isn't much material from the original LP period other than alternate takes of the songs on it.

The first CD features the original LP and its bonus singles, all remastered and in great sound quality, plus 18 alternate takes. The second one features 35 alternate takes of Elvis' early RCA sessions, although several are of the same song. It's great to hear Elvis moving through them until he finds the exact spot for his voice and creates his greatest classics.

FTD also provides an inspired booklet with the double CD, with unpublished photos and countless information.

The work includes the following tracks:

CD 1
ORIGINAL ALBUM
1. Blue Suede Shoes
2. I'm Counting On You
3. I Got A Woman
4. One-Sided Love Affair
5. I Love You Because 
6. Just Because
7. Tutti Frutti
8. Trying To Get To You
9. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry
10. I'll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin')
11. Blue Moon
12. Money Honey
ORIGINAL SINGLES
13. Heartbreak Hotel
14. I Was The One
15. Lawdy Miss Clawdy
16. Shake, Rattle & Roll
17. My Baby Left Me
18. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
FIRST RCA SESSIONS
19. I Got A Woman (take unknown, incomplete)
20. I Got A Woman (take unknown, incomplete)
21. Heartbreak Hotel  (take 4, incomplete)
22. Heartbreak Hotel (take 5)
23. Heartbreak Hotel (take 6)
24. Money Honey (fragments)
25. Money Honey (take 10, incomplete)
26. I'm Counting On You (take 1)
27. I'm Counting On You  (take unknown, incomplete)
28. I'm Counting On You (take 13)
29. I'm Counting On You (take 14, incomplete)
30. I Was The One (take 1)
31. I Was The One (take 2, false start)
32. I Was The One (take 2)
33. I Was The One (take 3, false start + incomplete)
34.  I Was The One (take 7a, Not Master)
35. I Was The One (take unknown, incomplete)

CD 2
ALTERNATE TAKES
1. I'm Counting on You (Take 1)
2. I'm Counting on You (Incomplete take 2)
3. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 1)
4. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 2)
5. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 3)
6. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 4)
7. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 5)
8. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 6)
9. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 7)
10. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 8)
11. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 9)
12. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 10)
13. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 11)
14. Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Take 12)
15. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 1)
16. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 2)
17. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 3)
18. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 5)
19. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 6)
20. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 7)
21. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 8)
22. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 9)
23. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 10)
24. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 11)
25. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 12)
26. Shake Rattle and Roll (Take 12 – Undubbed, Unedited Master)
27. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 1)
28. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 3)
29. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 4)
30. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 5 – fragment)
31. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 13)
32. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 14 – incomplete)
33. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 15)
34. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 16)
35. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You (Take 17)
BONUS
36. Don Davis Interviews Elvis Presley (March 1956)
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