Elvis On Cover Of Rolling Stone - 50 Greatest Artists

Click below to go to the cover story in the current issue of Rolling Stone. Elvis is lised among the 50 Greatest Artists of All Time. Votes were cast by industry honchos (BMG's Clive Davis), movie figures (Quentin Tarantino), critics (MTV's Kurt Loder) and a variety of colleagues from the music business. From the introduction: "It is a fundamental lesson in the history of rock & roll and its continuing power to inspire and transform. The Immortals is a tribute to those who created rock & roll, written by their peers and heirs, those who have learned from their innovations, struggles and legacies. This year, rock & roll turns fifty, and this is the first of three special issues Rolling Stone is publishing to mark the occasion. Scholars have debated the precise birth date for as long as the music has been around. We chose July 5th, 1954 -- the day Elvis Presley recorded "That's All Right" at Sun Studio in Memphis. On that date, the nineteen-year-old truck driver not only made his first and most important single. He created a new world -- initiating a way of life and expression -- that, even at fifty, is still evolving. There is no better standard for rock & roll immortality. A preview of the top 10 with excerpts from accompanying essays: 1. The Beatles. "Michael Jackson can sell records until the end of time, but he'll never matter to people as much as The Beatles did." (Elvis Costello) 2. Bob Dylan. "He wasn't pussyfooting around on Like a Rolling Stone or Ballad of a Thin Man. This was the rebel rebelling against the rebellion." (Robbie Robertson, Dylan's former guitarist) 3. Elvis Presley. Out of Tupelo, Miss., and Memphis "came this green, sharkskin-suited girl chaser, wearing eye shadow — a trucker-dandy white boy who must have risked his hide to act so black and dress so gay." (U2's Bono) 4. The Rolling Stones. "If it wasn't for them, I would have been a Soprano for real." (Guitarist and Sopranos star Steven Van Zandt) 5. Chuck Berry. "That feeling of excitement in the pit of my stomach, in the hair on the back of my head: I got more of it from Chuck Berry than from anybody else." (Joe Perry of Aerosmith) 6. Jimi Hendrix. "I will always try to attain that kind of control. ... Who I am as a guitarist is defined by my failure to become Jimi Hendrix." (John Mayer) 7. James Brown. His slot in 1964 concert film The TAMI Show "may be the single greatest rock 'n' roll performance ever captured on film." (American Records' Rick Rubin) 8. Little Richard "They called (rock) 'voodoo music.' They said that it would drive the kids insane. They said that it was just a flash in the pan — the same thing that they're saying about the hip-hop today. Only it was worse back then because ... I was the first black artist whose records the white kids were starting to buy. And the parents were really bitter about me." (Little Richard) 9. Aretha Franklin. "No one could copy her. How could they? She's all alone in her greatness." (Jerry Wexler) 10. Ray Charles. "I always learn something listening to him. It's music that set a tough standard." (Van Morrison) There's a celebrity-written article about each artist. The excellent Elvis feature is by Bono (see articles section).
Source: EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises / Updated: Mar 26, 2004 
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Reactions

jill20scotland (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 31, 2004report abuse
The Beatles? Who are they? lol j/k Elvis is my No1 so poooo 2 u rolling stone
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 31, 2004report abuse
Well said Tony. I hope the others get what you say, because it is simply the un-arguable truth.
TonyP (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 30, 2004report abuse
Elvis should certainly be at number one - Lennon, McCartney and Dylan would all undoubtedly agree. As for the whole race argument regarding Elvis' early records, I get tired of hearing it. Rockabilly was a hybrid of country and R&B, owing as much to the former as the latter - hence That's all right mama sounding utterly different to the Crudup original and the same being true of Blue moon of Kentucky. Rockabilly was not simply R&B - if it was, the ripping off black guys argument might have some merit. As it is, it's cliched nonsense. This was a time of musical experimentation and merging of styles. Has anyone noticed that no one ever accuses Chuck Berry of ripping of white music by incorporating country elements in Maybellene? Well of course they wouldn't because that would sound ridiculous, but in fact it's the same principle. The difference is that whites were not the suppressed minority so a big noise is not made about it. As Kenneth said, Elvis did a huge amount to promote black music and break down the barriers. This has been well recognised by the likes of B.B King and many other black artists.
Kenneth (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2004report abuse
espen. no other big name artist promoted black music and black artists more then 'ELVIS'. the black pioneers have said that themselves in interview after interview. give the race thing a rest.
stu (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2004report abuse
No-ones claiming that Elvis invented rock n' roll. He simply created new sounds that changed the world. Its no good bringing the race card into it either. Its ridiculous to say "especially black artists". What about the white artists?
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2004report abuse
Espen. Nowhere does it say Elvis single handedly invented R&R.. But that is beside the point, Elvis is so much more than any label or idea can fully express, and I do believe people in general are starting to get it.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2004report abuse
It should also be mentioned that claiming that Elvis invented Rock'n'roll is nothing but a lie and a slap in the face to other artists prior to Elvis, especially black artists. Being successful and talented in something doesnt neccesarily mean inventing it.
Sylvain (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 27, 2004report abuse
on the cover Elvis is picture is on the right place, John Lennon once said without Elvis there would be no Beatles so everybody who is influenced by them would not be there without Elvis. He's not only the first but also the best because nobody sold more records "1 billion records sold can't be wrong" in fact Elvis sold more records alone than all the other guys "on the cover of the rolling stone" (hey I like that song from Dr Hook)
Kenneth (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 27, 2004report abuse
i think 'dismas' puts it together nicely,i also think being behind beatles and dylan is the ultimate insult to ELVIS,especially at this time in history.they came along after and because of 'ELVIS'.the beatles sold tons of records and dylan did what? nothing,like the rest of them.
Dan The Man (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
I'm sorry but I can't see the list as a ranking. Calm down now, calling it a 50 year anniversary says it all, the man started it. Bono hit it on the spot. Have a nice day
King Of Western Bop (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
Perhaps the reason that Elvis came third is because, unlike the others, he was not a songwriter. The panel who voted are no doubt made up of people who write their own material, and therefore will gravitate towards those artists who do/did the same. The Irony is that if Elvis hadn't walked into Sun studios that fateful day so many years ago how many of those featured in this poll would have ever put pen to paper to write anything? We Don't need a poll to tell us who the greatest was, is and always will be.
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
Calm down everyone. There is a different poll every single week, so take it with a pinch of salt. All you have to do is ask who has sold the most records of all time and of course its Elvis by millions.
Alejandro (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
"Elvis in third place", but in the cover it is the first place , it is ironic the history of the rock & roll began with Elvis. The Rolling Stone magazine puts in its cover to Britney Spears semi naked that seems more a magazine for gentlemen that a serious music magazine . They would have to put another time to Elvis in the cover and teach to the new generations like the music of the masters comes from the hard work and the original talent. remember those that once John Lennon said : "Before Elvis there was nothing"..
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
Dismas We agree on something. That is real good. Well, let's start by calling Rolling Stone. The funny thing, as great as those other artists are, they don't compare of compete in those other sphere's either. Common sense, and documented facts exist to prove it. So, What gives Rolling Stone. Elvis is hands down the Greatest. And, the Beatles and Rolling Stones are bands. Individually, they are uni-dimentional. Whenever Mick Jagger goes solo, he sells a thousand CD's, and this happened on more than one occassion. I think I can sell more. Rolling Stone, try to be more objective with these things. This is an important year for the King.
dismas (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
With that glorious quote from the introduction (re: July 5, 1954 being the true birth date of rock 'n' roll), how in the name of all things good and holy could Rolling Stone possibly place any artist -- no matter what their artistic stature, commercial success, or sphere of influence -- ahead of Elvis Presley on their Immortals/50 Greatest Artists of All Time list?! Artists of the stature of John Lennon, Bob Dylan and especially Bruce Springsteen -- among many, many other r 'n' r greats -- have talked openly and proudly about their love of the King. Not one of them would have turned out to be the person/artist that they became without the Elvis influence. This is a slap in the face to Rolling Stone's own sense of logic, but more importantly, a blatant blast of disrespect to the greatest rocker of the all.
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
WOW, it is especially rediculous that Elvis would be behind Bob Dylan. He should be at least number 2. Remember, this is just limited to Rock& Rollers and industry folks.. If it were music fans, pop culture, most celebrated, coolest, biggest star, or a number of other Poll's, Elvis would be number 1 hands down.
Brian Quinn (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 26, 2004report abuse
Elvis behind The Beatles and Bob Dylan. What a joke. These artists would not have existed if it were not for Elvis. Rolling Stone Magazine have always preferred 1960's artists to any other era. Need I say more.

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