Elvis Presley



by riffariffic7 USER (16 Reviews)
March 1st, 2015 | 9 replies

Release Date: 1956 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The King of Rock 'n Roll delivers a fine second album, one that could have used a better arrangement overall.

Elvis Presley is a legend. It's tough to find fault in a man who excelled in being a truly phenomenal stage-performer for years on end. The real tragedy comes in the realisation of how young he was when he kicked the bucket; only 42 years old at the time of his death, he could have offered the rock and pop genres a whole lot more soul had he not fallen into the trap of becoming addicted to prescription drugs. Before his health begun deteriorating, Elvis was a force to be reckoned with. Bursting with confidence and a fantastic voice, he took the music industry by storm in a hurry; his first-two albums reached #1 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart in 1957 and soon went on to become platinum-certified albums.

The King's follow-up to his previous self-titled debut kicks off with a sudden blast of youthful cheer during "Rip It Up". Though the lyrics tend to repeat themselves quite a bit near the end, "well it's Saturday night and I just got paid / a fool about my money, don't try to save / my heart says go, go have a time / on a Saturday night, babe, and I'm feelin' fine", the song is very well-written, swiftly exploring the carelessness most men show while in search of a fun weekend night. But then comes "Love Me", a song which tragically lands like a thud in terms of pacing, drastically switching the album's gears, while presenting a very boring song in the process. The lyrics are typical love ballad mumbo-jumbo too, further amplified by the fact that Elvis places elongated slurs between certain words, such as "darling, I'll be oh so lonely" and "just to feel your heart", this song feels as if it were 10 minutes of torture (when it's only 2 minutes and 40 seconds in length). Some good things to take from the track include the fact that it was clearly recorded in one-take, The Jordanaires are charming background vocalists and Elvis shines during some of the lines (especially "tear it all apart / but love me" and "crying over you / dear, only").

A plethora of tracks on here have a wealth of shining moments throughout, but good moments can hardly amount to a good song overall. For instance, "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold" features a humorous vocal performance from Elvis, but whether that humour was intentional or not is debatable, as he makes some lines sound like incoherent rambling for the sake of keeping up with the tempo. Following the stand-out "Long Tall Sally" cover, "First in Line" arrives and literally feels distant. Elvis sounds as if he's singing fifteen-feet away from the microphone, using a hollow metal pipe to sing into while pointing it at the microphone for good measure. The song is easily the worst on the album, everyone involved simply sounds bored and it further illustrates how sloppy the arrangement on this album is; frantically switching between fast and slow ("Rip it Up" and "Love Me"), fun and depressing ("So Glad You're Mine" and "Old Shep"), and so on and so forth.

Thankfully some later songs, similar to the fast and fun style of the album opener, help pick things up a bit. "Long Tall Sally", as previously mentioned, is a stand-out cover of Little Richard; while it's far from a classic, especially when compared to the original version, it's still a wonderful cover that shows how much love Elvis had for Little Richard as an artist. Keeping up the momentum, "Ready Teddy" comes along in rollicking fashion with what is easily the finest guitar-work on the album. The song is a pure, unbridled masterpiece with Elvis delivering an electrifying vocal performance within another great cover of Little Richard; the only thing the song does wrong is follow after the deeply depressing, dead-dog snoozer known as "Old Shep". "Anyplace is Paradise" is a pleasant example of a slower song on the album that actually works extremely well. It's endearing, with a nice piano melody woven throughout.

Unfortunately this album moves back-and-forth in quality as if it were a teeter totter. Every positive, joyous song on this record is followed by a dull, pointless wimp of a track in-return. The great songs - such as "Rip it Up", "Long Tall Sally" and "Ready Teddy" - really shine, whereas the trite tracks - consisting of "Love Me", "First in Line" and "Old Shep" - are dim enough to make a person drowsy. This isn't a bad album by any means, despite the missteps, it's fast and ultimately moving. Overall this record sits as a good, but extraordinarily flawed, sophomore effort from The King of Rock 'n Roll. "Hail to the King, baby."

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user ratings (45)

Comments:Add a Comment 
March 1st 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

Shout-out goes to rockandmetaljunkie who suggested that I should review this record. I enjoyed the album, but the arrangement is really annoying. I found the switch between songs to be jarring, something that surprised me when I looked back on Ray Charles debut album (which came out a year after this) and discovered once more how great he was at switching between tones without making a certain tone feel overpowering. Elvis seemed to be a far better live performer than a studio musician, he's great all the same, but watching him live you can really see why people raved about him back in the day, I loved watching the 1968 Comeback Special. Here are my track ratings:

1. Rip It Up - 5/5

2. Love Me - 2.5/5

3. When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again - 3/5

4. Long Tall Sally - 5/5

5. First In Line - 2/5

6. Paralyzed - 4/5

7. So Glad You're Mine - 4.5/5

8. Old Shep - 2.5/5

9. Ready Teddy - 5/5

10. Anyplace Is Paradise - 4.5/5

11. How's The World Treating You - 3/5

12. How Do You Think I Feel 3/5

March 1st 2015


Album Rating: 4.0

The last excellent album Elvis made. It's all downhill form here--and that's a really big hill.

Digging: John Grant - Grey Tickles, Black Pressure

March 1st 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah. Watching his very last performance was an embarrassment. Someone had to hold the microphone up to his face the whole time, he lacked the humour that he showed in his early days and the setlist literally bored me to sleep (I was surprised to hear he got cheers after such exhausting performances). I was never a big fan of Elvis, but watching his sudden downfall was like a nightmare. He started out so great, only to be brought down so low by the end.

March 1st 2015


Although I don't agree with your rating, pos for reviewing this.

March 1st 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

I appreciate it, man. I tried my best to love this album, but the constant switch between happy-and-depressing songs really threw me off. I loved the debut though, that's a classic for sure. "Blue Swede Shoes" is an amazing song.

March 5th 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

The last time I checked this album I was amazed. Must check it again.

March 5th 2015


elvis mother aaron fucking presley

March 5th 2015


Album Rating: 3.5

You'll probably still feel the same way, rockandmetaljunkie. It's a great album, I just didn't like the way it was arranged at all. If it had a better flow from fun, rollicking songs to slower, somewhat depressing tunes, I probably would have liked it much better than I did. This is one of those albums that could grow on me in the years to come, I'm not the biggest fan of Elvis, but I definitely respect his contribution to the world of music, and I was very happy to give this and his debut album a listen in preparation for this review. Once again, man, shout-out to you for suggesting I review this record, it was a lot of fun to sit back and listen to The King (as I mentioned above, his Comeback Special was amazing and definitely gave me a new appreciation for him as an artist).

March 5th 2015


"When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again"

Damn, not Elvis too.

Digging: Angellore - La litanie des cendres

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