In the January issue of the British magazine "Record Collector" Elvis was mentioned several times, besides an article about a special 78 rpm of "How Do You Think I Feel?" (only £ 10,000) they also recognised Elvis' first album as the most essential album of the fifties, beating Sinatra and even the other Rock'n'Roll heroes like Bill Haley, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and even Cliff Richard (and that's strange for British standards), this is pretty remarkable because Elvis is never mentioned in albumlistings:
"A young generation, used to sedate images of pop singers, flipped over this album's cover picture of Elvis in action. There he was, the new Messiah, liberator of youth, clutching a guitar with a real gone' expression that perfectly matched the music in the grooves of the record. You played the record so often that you got to know each track in sequence, like a medley. It felt so right for 'I Love You Because' to follow 'Blue Suede Shoes' and for 'Tutti Frutti' to melt into 'I'll Never Let You Go'. Elvis Presley's first album enhanced your life. You came home to it every day. It was your most prized possession. It remains beyond crititcism."
Earlier we mentioned the artile "Elvis on the Net" in this issue of Record Collector. By special request we added the full article on our site.
Record Collector, January 2000: Elvis on the Net
So, was Elvis Presley the artist of the last century? Well, the jury may still be out on that - you'd probably have a pretty hard time convincing anyone born after 1960 that it was true. What is undeniable, however, is that Presley was one of the prime movers in the development of 20th century rock'n'roll. Just those handful of early sides for Sun and the initial RCA releases irrevocably changed the course of popular music. But Elvis is more than just the music. He's also a cultural icon. People may never have heard any original Presley music. These days, in fact, they're more likely to have heard some cheesy imitator. But around the globe the image of Elvis is up there, alongside that of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe as one of the most recognisable faces of the century. And like those individuals, Elvis continues to inspire a devoted, truly international fan base. Surf for Elvis on the net and you'll come across sites from Europe, North America, South America and the Far East.
The Yahoo! search engine brought up several interesting possibilities. How can you resist something like Elvis Aaron Presley And The Universe, winner of this month's Doris Stokes Award. The site exists to promote the book Elvis Aaron Presley: His Growth And Development As A Soul Spirit Within The Universe by Paula Farmer. Ms Farmer is a medium, or, as it says on the site, one of Elvis' 'earth angels'. Yes, Elvis speaks from beyond the grave. And he'd like it to be known that, "Now, here in the afterlife, my mission is to enlighten mankind". I'll leave you to draw your own -conclusions.
In a similar vein is astrologer Robyn Taylor's Elvis Presley: Not Just The King Of Rock And Roll. If you're interested in Elvis' birth chart, this is the site f6r you. Apparently Elvis was born around 4.35 a.m. CST on 8th January 1 935.'Want to know who killed the king? Well, according to Robyn "Neptune killed Elvis, and Jupiter was an accomplice!" So now we know, and there was I thinking it was the appalling diet and the 'misuse' of prescription drugs. Actually, I'm being a bit unfair here, because Robyn isn't totally barking; the links page reveals a mischievous sense of humour at work. Sadly, the one to Nude Elvis was inactive.
Of course, since Elvis' death there have been innumerable 'sightings' and people claiming that the King is still alive. And of course there are a handful of sites devoted to Elvis sightings. Though it's a joke with one punch line, if you've got nothing better to do and want a quick giggle, may I suggest The Elvis Sightings Bulletin Board or Dead Elvis Sightings. Both are pretty funny - for about 10 minutes.
By now there are probably a bunch of irate Elvis fans reading this article, thinking "Didn't he look at anything sensible?" or "He's just taking the piss". Well, I did look at a whole bunch of other sites and most were pretty impressive. Take for example Master And Session, a site devoted to Elvis' recording sessions. Dates of sessions, producers, engineers, names of studios, RCA assigned matrix numbers, number of takes, details of whether two takes of a song were spliced together to make a master recording - it's all here. Master And Session is a magnificent piece of research and is superbly presented.
Shane Paterson's One Too Many Rumours is also worth visiting. Shane is trying to locate the truth behind the various songs which Elvis is rumoured to have committed to tape, and which are still to see the light of day, either officially or unofficially.
The Elvis Presley Diary is a chronological history of Elvis' life. You can link to a particular year or find out when a certain song was first recorded or just find out something that happened in Elvis' life on the same day that you linked to the site. I now know that on 19th November 1976, Elvis met Ginger Alden for the first time at a party at Graceland. Excuse my ignorance, but who's Ginger? In which case I should have looked her name up in The Elvis Presley Encyclopaedia. The site is an alphabetically arranged, quick, easy guide to a variety of Elvis facts. It's run by the wonderfully-named Willem Kaauw and Lex Raaphorst, more of whom later.
If your interest mainly lies in Presley's performance history, the ideal site is Elvis Presley In Concert. It contains all that you'd expect to find - tour dates, setlists, pictures, details of band members and links to releases of a particular show. It's especially good regarding the Las Vegas years.
Back to Willem Kaauw. His other site is the superb For Elvis CD Collectors Only, and we all know which kind of CDs he's talking about, don't we? Yes, bootlegs, or, as they're euphemistically referred to here, 'imports'. I thought it was supposed to be Zeppelin or Dylan or the Beatles who were said to have the greatest number of illicit releases. Looking at this site, there's a good chance that Elvis reigns supreme. About the only things that don't seem to have been released are tapes of Elvis singing in the shower, and they're probably due out some time within the next few months. Willem also includes stuff on BMG and its Elvis Collectors label as well as a variety of other interesting features.
Presley records are among the most collectable in the world. Two sites which should be stopping off points for Elvis fans are World Wide Elvis and Elvis World. They're excellent sites containing a huge number of rare and not-so-rare records, books, videos, CDs, video-discs and other items for sale, the kind of stuff that causes the Elvis collector's heart to skip a beat and to mortgage his or her home for the third or fourth time. Believe me, some of this stuff doesn't come cheap. Fancy a good condition copy of the Japanese LP "Loving You"? No problem, if you've got $2000 to spare. Elvis World originates from Japan and includes some great stuff on Japanese releases. There's also an excellent film section devoted to Elvis' films, which includes reproductions of both the original American and Japanese film posters.
Actually we all know that most of Elvis' films were crud. Still, they did feature a parade of attractive young starlets. If you want to find out more about Elvis' female leads, point your browser at Elvis' Women: In The Movies, That Is!. It's an enjoyable fun site, full of the likes of Ann-Margret and Ursula Andress, and it contains numerous links to other sites devoted to the various actresses. If you want to find out more about some of the actresses, there are links to other sites for each actress. Whatever happened to Joan Blackman of Blue Hawaii and Kid Galahad fame?