Like tasting a fresh apple just picked off a tree, the new DVD "classic albums - Elvis Presley" breathes new bittersweet life into the first album Elvis recorded. Little footage of Elvis exists back in 1954 and 1955, but the sound recordings, filled with between take banter, paint a picture of the type of sound Elvis and his band was trying to, and did, create when he walked into that studio one sunny afternoon in Memphis back in 1954. As Sam Phillips, owner of Sun records, has stated many times over, "I was looking for a white boy who could sing like a black man". Well, Elvis with all the drive and ambition, fueled by years of sneaking into the black church's listening to the gospel music and the rhythm and blues that pumped thru his very blood, changed music forever, without even trying.
This documentary delves into that first two years of Elvis recording career and the culmination of songs that would be the basis for his first album simply titled "Elvis Presley". The transition of Elvis from "Sun Records boy" to RCA recording artist was the first step to superstardom for the king of rock and roll. This DVD has interviews with the people who were there at the time and those who are now considered to be the "experts" Listen to Scotty Moore talk about what they did back in the sun studio to created this new "rock and roll" music and how with all the technical faults, the music just had to "feel right" and then they knew they had it. Of course no show documenting Elvis' climb out of Memphis could be complete without the man who discovered Elvis, Sam Phillips. Listen how Sam gives insight as to what he was looking for and how Elvis just happened to come along at the right time.
The program continues with interviews from Dixie Locke, Elvis' first girlfriend, who was there when Elvis and the "Blue Moon Boys" were just starting to make it big, and she gives us a flip side to all of Elvis' energy by explaining what he was like when not on stage or rehearsing. And we also are treated to the modern day master of presleyannia, Ernst Jorgensen, who while playing The tracks that made up that first album, give us ideas of what Elvis must have been going thru and how songs and artists of the time recorded the music. It was very evident that after purchasing Elvis' contract from sun records, Steve Sholes and the other RCA execs took a big gamble on this "hillbilly from Memphis", but it paid off! Thru out the show, cameos by B.B. King and the very frightening Keith Richards lend us an ear on how Elvis' early music impacted them and others who's spark was ignited by Elvis and his style. The creation of this first LP, was essential in the marketing of Elvis Presley, but also was a solid testimony of the foundation that was ... ELVIS PRESLEY!
The DVD is an excellent story about the shaping of a man who changed pop culture and the music and the energy are very evident in every second of the show. The video is very clean, as a DVD should be, and the clips from the songs are superb mono. Also included are some bonus interviews with Dixie and some other stories of Elvis on the road and the buying of Elvis' contract by RCA records. All in all, a very enjoyable show that makes us take out those early albums or 45's and listen to the sounds that shook a nation, the raw energy of an atom bomb that exploded that fateful day in 1954.