It’s been talked about and mentioned all week throughout media of all different outlets, but today marks the 40th anniversary of, without doubt, the most recognisable, iconic and celebrated name in music history, Elvis Presley. Heavily regarded as the king of rock n roll and known worldwide for his contributions to music in the 1950’s, 1960’s and onwards. Becoming a main event player alongside Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and others in the Sun records family, he’d soon transcend the business all together as he became a Hollywood darling and pop culture icon. Now, many different names contributed to the inception and eventual evolution of rock n roll, taking its sound from a combination of the blues, country music and contemporary pop, names like Chuck Berry and Buddy Holly have certainly got incredible claims to being “The King of Rock n Roll”, but despite mainly recording only covers of already established work and prewritten material meant for his use, Elvis is the only man to hold the moniker of being the undisputed king. In accordance with remembering and respecting the legacy of the biggest name in music, we’re taking a look back at Mojo20’s favourite Elvis Presley tracks, take a look:
That’s All Right (from Elvis Presley) 1956
Starting right at the beginning with his break out track and a feature from his now iconic first record, this Arthur Crudup blues track was the first to take on the Elvis tweak and became the standard bearer for rock n roll as it would soon become. Not only is it a fantastic track but the excitement in knowing its importance always makes it a more exhilarating listen.
Marie’s The Name (His Latest Flame) /1961
A favourite from the early 60’s and one that takes rock n roll back to the origins of the blues and country music as it’s all about the story. A love story with a difference as a friend approaches Elvis to brag about his new lady friend, only to slowly realise they’ve both fallen for the same woman, and getting played as badly as each other. Brilliantly delivered and always fun to throw on.
(You’re The) Devil In Disguise / 1963
As a much bigger fan of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry and Little Richard, Elvis wasn’t an artist I’d often listen to, but when stumbling across this track in my mid teens, I was immediately converted. The angelic and soft 50’s rock sound delivered in the chorus, met with the ferocious and upbeat chorus made it addictive and exciting and after that, a journey into the other works of Elvis were shortly on the horizon.
I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone / 1955
If for nothing more than the name and the wit behind it, this sentimental assessment of a man left alone by his love is a hell of a track and it has that Sun music recording quality all over it, and sounds ground breaking for 1955. It has tones of Hank Williams and other gospel-esque country performers of the time. Incredible.
Burning Love / 1972
No inside info here, no interesting stories as to why we love this one, it’s just a stone cold classic and the embodiment of Elvis living out his “King Of Rock N Roll” status. Upbeat, grand and the man at his best, even at the latter stages of his career.
Blue Moon Of Kentucky / 1954
The B-side to the aforementioned first hit ingle by Elvis, Blue Moon Of Kentucky stands on its own as a hell of a track and as another track that got made over with the Elvis, rock n roll style. The track was originally released 1946 by Bill Monroe and then brought to life in the mid 50’s by the man himself.
Love Me Tender / 1956
One of his better known tracks and rightfully so as Elvis took another previous release and turned into one of the most emotive, sentimental and soothing love songs of all time. Minimalist and centred mainly around the vocals, it stands as a masterpiece and its use in multiple films since its recording in the mid 50’s is testament to that.
Suspicious Minds / 1969
Possibly his biggest hit of all time. I still have memories of this being played on music television in the early 2000’s. It was on constantly and despite being 30 years old, stood toe to toe with everything else MTV had to offer and was always a welcome sight on everyone’s television screen.
RIP Elvis Presley
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)