Hound Dog

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Rating: 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars
Words & Music: Jerry Leiber/ Mike Stoller
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
cryin' all the time.
You ain't nothin' but a hound dog
cryin' all the time.
Well, you ain't never caught a rabbit
and you ain't no friend of mine.

When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
When they said you was high classed,
well, that was just a lie.
You ain't never caught a rabbit
and you ain't no friend of mine.
Recorded: 1956/07/02, first released on single

Reactions

shawnrw (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 4, 2014report abuse
Mega classic, the very definition of rock music. I heard the great blues singer Mama Thornton get really critical of Elvis because she sung this song first. However, I would point out that she may have recorded it first but she did not write the song, Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber did. She acted like the song belong to her soley. Next her recording and Elvis's are completely different. Her's is a slow, vindictive blues howl. Elvis's version is a full blast rocker performed at a break neck pace, full of humor and sarcasm. Everything about Elvis's version is radically different than her version. Tempo, instrumental backing, back up vocals, even the lyrics Elvis uses are different. Rest in peace and give it a break mama.
Cruiser621 (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 7, 2013report abuse
This is what started it all for me; my lifetime of listening to Elvis Presley. Never heard anything like this back in 1956 but as others have stated, when I hear it now it just doesn't have the same meaning or sensation I got when I was a kid. Sort of like a lot of songs I couldn't stand when I was young, as recorded by Elvis, but now, really have had a complete change of heart or is it ear and it always seemed to be the slower songs, which now I seem to drift towards.
sugartummy (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2013report abuse
Elvis recorded this song after he had to sing it in a tuxedo to a dog on the Steve Allen show; that's why it sounds so untempered & wild. Elvis wanted to show "them" in NYC what the real Elvis sounded like. My favourite guitarsolo are the two combined on this record.
ElvisSacramento (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 22, 2013report abuse
This is such a brilliant, electrifying, iconic, energetic, groovy, catchy, fun and unique song and my favorite rendition of it is Elvis' smash hit 1956 studio recording by far. It's easily one of my most favorite songs and it's one of 24 songs that Elvis recorded that was written by the spectacular and iconic songwriting duo Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
Gorse (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 7, 2012report abuse
A milestone of enormous proportions in his phenomenal career Possibly a song that is the most well known by believers and non believers alike, this truly heralded the arrival of Elvis Presley.
derekd (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 24, 2009report abuse
Elvis at his r'n r peak. He never sounded so wild on record again. This along with 'Don't be Cruel' must be the greatest double sided hit in history. Yes, it really is that good. So, that's the way it was?
Deano1 (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 24, 2009report abuse
What can you say about this one? The lyrics are silly, down right insulting and if a man sings it to a woman, it could be taken as him calling her something really bad...HOWEVER! This song is everything rock n' roll was ever meant to be. It is dynamite on vinyl. Someone said that with this song, Elvis truly arrived and I could not agree more. With a flipside of "Don't Be Cruel", this was Elvis' most successful single and one could argue his best in the terms of quality as well. Two classics that I never get tired of and they still sound as fresh as the first time I heard them. "Rock Around The Clock" was the first rock and roll smash single, "Hound Dog" made rock and roll explode onto the scene.
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Dec 24, 2009report abuse
Back in the day when I was a kid gowing up I loved this song. But now if I never heard this song again it wouldn't bother me at all. As a song I rate it 5 stars. It is amazing. But every time I hear it on the radio or it comes up on a hits comp I change the station or hit the skip button. I am sik of this song (and the flip side, too.)
Dixieland Rock (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2009report abuse
My very first Elvis 45 rpm. Wow, what a rocker that still packs a punch. I would love to hear all of the alternate takes of this gem IF they still existed. The 1961 Concert in Hawaii version of "Hound Dog" is one of my favorite "live" versions of this track. The Milton Show version is probably the best live version though.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on May 31, 2009report abuse
In defense of the middle class of America, at the Hound Dog time I was a very young middle class person in love with rock & roll, especially Elvis. I still love rock & roll (true rock & roll) to this day & of course, still very much love Elvis & his music. However, if I never heard Hound Dog again I would never miss it. Surprising to me, I am not the only one who feels this way. But, it will forever be identified as his greatest song and I can understand that.
KingKreole (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2009report abuse
It is a killer. An amazing vocal, like Jailhouse Rock. If you ever come across those folks who like to make the claim that Elvis "stole" his music from African-Americans (a ridiculous claim) this song may come up. They will say, that's a Big Mama Thornton song! To which you can respond: and it was written by two white Jewish guys. This song, like everything he did, he made it his own and imbued it with a power and soul all his own! This is a classic! And the version from the Milton Berle Show might be even better than the RCA version.
dgirl (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2009report abuse
Heartbreak Hotel introduced Elvis but Hound Dog made him 'arrive' and made him a household name. Great Scotty Moore solo & DJ drumming. Probably the best 2 sided single in music history. Thank goodness we have some footage of him performing this in 1956.
sitdown68 (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2009report abuse
the milton berle version is awesome. shaky legs and...Forrest Gumps Ma...;-)
Danny_F (profilecontact) wrote on May 30, 2009report abuse
One of the greatest rock songs ever and probably Elvis's greatest. Also has my favourite solo by Scotty. Nobody seems to mention this performance on the 2nd Milton Berle show which in my opinion is better than the one on any Ed sullivan show and the best performance of any 50's tv show. This performance for me defined Rock n Roll and made everyone else realise they were fighting for 2nd place.
OtisBlue22 (profilecontact) wrote on May 6, 2008report abuse
Those few seconds of 'Hound Dog' on Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley are perhaps the most riveting and tantalizing of Elvis' life as recorded on tape. Between 1956-61, for this song as his finale, he pulled out all the stops.
old shep (profilecontact) wrote on May 6, 2008report abuse
Elvis' anthem,the raw Presley vocal,Scotty's guitar and the machine gun speed of DJ's drum sticks, really shook the 50s"music establishment" to it's foundations. After this who could be bothered listening to How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, and the plethora of slush dished out by middle aged singers to a middle aged and middle class audience.
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on May 6, 2008report abuse
What can you say? Its Hound Dog, an explosion of rock & roll in under 3 minutes. To see it performed on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956 was one of the moments in life you never forget.
My boy, my boy (profilecontact) wrote on May 6, 2008report abuse
I was born in 1967 and I can only imagine what impact such a song could have made back in 1956. For the listeners of that era, it must have sounded like a ton of bricks compared to the tunes played on the radio back then. A definitive classic !
Natha (profilecontact) wrote on Apr 8, 2008report abuse
This was the first song I consciously heard of Elvis. Growing up in the early sixties of last century that was quite something as my peers in those days never listened to 'those old songs'. Nevertheless it happened and that experience struck my mind to such an extend that I became an ardent fan. It has thrilled me throughout my life (as does the whole fifties repertoir). Listening to the late seventies versions of it always makes me relive that very first experience.

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