365 Days of Album Recommendations – Dec 28

Elvis Presley – Elvis Presley (Rock n’ Roll)

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While I first SAW Elvis via the ’68 comeback special, I first HEARD Elvis via the songs on this album. And while that part of the ’68 special where they just sit down in the round and pick on some old blues could likely be marked as the origin story of my entire carer, it’s the on this album that hooked me on Elvis in my early years.

And by early years, mind you, I mean from the time I was about 3, up until the moment I discovered The Clash.

You can look at school photos from my elementary school years, and in every one, you’ll see me trying to do the Elvis lip curl.

I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the amount of times I got in trouble for slicking up my hair with vaseline to try and get my Elvis hair going.

And if there is one song I sang as a child more than Heartbreak Hotel, I don’t know what it is.

We all know early Elvis is the best Elvis—at least we SHOULD know it—and these songs are the proof. The kid could sing. That’s just all there is to it.

I realize there is a complicated storyline when it comes to Elvis. But just take a moment, and just forget about all of that, and just listen to the music. It’s just SO alive. It just bounces, and jumps, and pops. It’s buoyant, it’s percolating, it rocks, and it rolls. It’s sweet, and it’s innocent, and it’s sexy, and it’s mischievous. There’s just nothing else quite like it, and we owe too much to what’s good and fine about this music to lose it to the complications of history and context.


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