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Rolling Stone Editor's Favourite Elvis Playlist

August 18, 2006 | Other
Rolling Stone editors selected their favorite Elvis tracks on the anniversary of the King's death. Here is their playlist.

Twenty-nine years ago this week, Elvis Presley died of a heart attack at the age of forty-two. To commemorate the King's legacy, Rolling Stone's editors handpicked some of their favorite Elvis tunes.

Track-by-track playlist:

That's Alright (Mama): Elvis' first single was recorded and released by Sun Records in July 1954, and in 2005, Rolling Stone declared it the song that started the rock & roll revolution.

Good Rockin' Tonight: The second single from Sun Records, recorded in 1954.

Mystery Train: In September 1955, "Mystery Train" became the first Elvis recording to hit Number One on any Billboard chart.

Wear My Ring (Around Your Neck): A relatively chaste Presley song that tackles the quaint topic of going steady, this track from 1958 nonetheless riled Catholic leaders, who deemed it "suggestive."

A Little Less Conversation: The unofficial Brat Pack theme song has been used in countless movies and television ads, but it still sounds good.

Hound Dog: An indusputable classic.

Kentucky Rain: Along with hit singles "Suspicious Minds" and "In the Ghetto," "Kentucky Rain" was recorded in the so-called "Memphis sessions" of January 1969 and is widely considered to be one of Presley's best.

In The Ghetto: On Presley's most explicitly political gospel-influenced ballad, he creates a moving illustration of the circle of life and death in the nation's slums -- a clear influence from his own rags-to-riches history.

Suspicious Minds: Released August 26, 1969, "Suspicious Minds" was Elvis' seventeenth Number One single in the United States and his final Number One before his death. The passion in his voice might be explained by the fact that he and his wife were cheating on one another at the time.

Unchained Melody: Though it has been recorded an estimated five hundred times by artists ranging from the Righteous Brothers to Barry Manilow to Harry Belafonte, the King does a killer version here in his dying days.
Source:Rolling Stone
Colonel wrote on August 18, 2006
I don't think that Priscilla was cheating on Elvis in '69. Elvis on her, absolutely but she? I may be wrong though.
Shakingruud wrote on August 18, 2006
Yes she did. In fact, in 1968 she had a short affair with her dancing teacher......
nrbl wrote on August 18, 2006
after the dancing teacher, it was her Karate teacher, Mike Stone
MarkE wrote on August 18, 2006
im glad Unchained Melody is getting the attention it deserves
E.J.F... wrote on August 18, 2006
I was (pleasantly) surprised by several choices, namely "Wear My Ring", "Kentucky Rain" & "Unchained Melody", which are not the usual picks most critics opt for. Good selection. Great taste Mr. Editor! But why not a list of Elvis' 100 best songs!!
byebye wrote on August 18, 2006
Yeah, nice list. Of course "Heartbreak" and Jailhouse" belongs there too.. but then again, there are so many perfect songs to choose from making a top ten Elvis list. The fact that Rolling Stone magazine understands the total devotion from Elvis on his Unchained melody performance, makes the demand for a re edited Elvis in concert "77 DVD even more justify to release. There is 100% heart in those performances, and that is so rare these days. People would appreciate that a lot more then all the other superficial crap that is out there, and only making them bored... Come on EPE!!!!!!
see see rider wrote on August 18, 2006
Forgive me but....What does Elvis & Priscilla cheating on each other got to do with the topic at hand?? Nice selection..though obviously a lot of song's were not mentioned but still a nice selection within' it's self.
Carl wrote on August 18, 2006
The RS list shows a balanced approach or assessment of Elvis' entire musical career. Usually, only the RCA period from 1956-1958 is highligted. But here, RS editors focus on the key Sun singles from 1954-1955, the lesser known RCA singles from 1956-1958, and the usually totally neglected 1969-1977 period. They still, however, neglect the 1960-1968 period when Elvis had important rock releases like "Little Sister" and "Return to Sender" and "Devil in Disguise". Nevertheless, this RS list is a good balance and reflects Elvis' phenomenal "comeback" in the last five years. "A Little Less Conversation" is the result of this resurgence. This song was practically unknown before its "discovery" in 2002. RS editors have altered their assessment of Elvis. And this list shows it.
Carl wrote on August 18, 2006
With regard to "Unchained Melody", the composer of the song, Hy Zaret, gave an interview to a newspaper in which he stated that Elvis' version of the song was his favorite of the 500+ covers. The song was first featured in the 1955 movie Unchained and was sung by Todd Duncan. An orchestral version by Les Baxter went no. 1 in 1955. Al Hibbler did a popular cover the same year. It speaks volumes about Elvis' vocal ability that his version is regarded as the best out of all the many different versions of this song. RS editors also reassert that Elvis' Sun single from 1954, "That's All Right", started the rock and roll revolution.
see see rider wrote on August 19, 2006
With more regards to "Unchained Melody", let's not forget that there was actually two live versions of this song Elvis recorded although not much in difference. The first version was on the "Moody Blue" album recorded live on April 25th, 1977 at the Civic Center in Saginaw, Mich. The second version was recorded live on June 19th, 1977 at the Rushmore Civic Center, Rapid City South Dakota where the band starts to play a little bit midway through the song then stops, as to where the version on "Moody Blue" it's just Elvis singing with the Piano. The second version (with the band) was also released as a single with "Softly, as I leave you" as the B Side (Recorded live in Las Vegas Midnight Show 1975) within' Month's after Elvis's passing. According to log sheets, the June 19th version of "Unchained Melody" is said to be the last song Elvis ever recorded. The song has been recorded buy many people since it was written..probably most notably "The Righteous Brothers", but was also recorded buy one of Elvis's favorites "Roy Hamilton".
efan4ever wrote on August 20, 2006
Unchained Melody on the Great Performances compact disc is the one he did by himself. The version on the Moody Blue album was he and the band. I believe RCA added the band during the mixing of the disc.
see see rider wrote on August 20, 2006
The single for "Unchaine Melody" that was released month's after Elvis's passing has drums in the song (Which can be found on the "Elvis Aron Presley Box Set, a.k.a. The Silver Box" Set) with "Softly, As I Leave You" as the B-Side..Which can also be found on the same Box Set.
Steve V wrote on August 24, 2006
I always loved the 1958 sessions. It was a much bigger sound than 56-57. Nice to see Wear My Ring getting some recognition. My fave was always Big Hunk O Love. What a record!
Devon wrote on August 29, 2006
When the day is bad and im feeling sad there is nothing like.....Return To Sender...Thats the King to me!!!!!!