Elvis Presley’s First Album

Elvis Presley’s First Album

Hits #1 on May 5, 1956

Happy Anniversary

“I Got a Woman” side one, track 1

Elvis Presley's First Album
album cover photo by William V. “Red” Robertson
             By early 1956, Elvis's popularity was, like the Beatles seven years later, about to run wild. No one had coined a term like Elvis-mania, but it could have been that.

             Elvis's 1955 singles ("Baby Let's Play House" and "I Forgot to Remember to Forget") with Sam Phillips's Sun Records had done well on the country charts.

             Colonel Tom Parker, Presley's new manager, had grand plans and the chutzpah to carry them out. His first move was to have RCA records buy Elvis's contract from Phillips. It cost RCA $35,000 and with the omniscience of retrospect, we might say that that was quite a good deal for RCA. At the time it was an expensive risk.
             Rock and Roll, derived some many sources, was just beginning to make mainstream headway despite mainstream suspicions.  Editorials suggesting that the music was immoral, worry that the music turned teenagers into juvenile delinquents,  and that the music was simply devil music likely did more to entice young people than dissuade them.

             By September 1956, Elvis would appear on the Ed Sullivan Show marking, like the Beatles, an important step in his success. It was on that show that the cameras kept the image above Elvis's swaying waist.

Elvis Presley’s First Album

             The album was comprised of recordings that Elvis had done with Sun Records before moving to RCA as well as with RCA after the move. There were 12 songs. None written by Elvis. In fact, each song was written by a different person or group.
Side one:

  1. Blue Suede Shoes
  2. 2. I’m Counting on You
  3. 3. I Got a Woman
  4. 4. One-Sided Love Affair
  5. 5. I Love You Because
  6. 6. Just Because
Side 2:

  1. Tutti Frutti
  2. Tryin’ to Get to You
  3. I’m Gona Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)
  4. I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’)
  5. Blue Moon
  6. Money Honey
             The entire album clocked in at 28:03 seconds (the Beatles "Meet the Beatles" album totaled 26:43...thank you Elvis). Unlike what the Beatles would begin to do with pop albums with their 1965 Rubber Soul, much more a unified album, Elvis Presley became a collection of singles. That's where financial success was.

             And the album was a success. 
             According to Wikipedia [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley_(album)]

             The album spent ten weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart in 1956, the first rock and roll album ever to make it to the top of the charts and the first million-selling album of that genre. In 2003, it was ranked number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.  

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