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Heartbreak Hotel - 50th Anniversary Single


Heartbreak Hotel - 50th Anniversary Single
5.0 / 5
Released: 2006/01/10 by RCA
Released to celebrate the milestone 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley's first RCA recording session and first #1 hit "Heartbreak Hotel".

ElvisNews review

Released to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Elvis first nationwide #1 hit SONY / BMG re-released "Heartbreak Hotel".


Contrary to the "That's All Right" re-release the front cover of the single does not come in the original design of the single release (a generic RCA paper sleeve) but with the cover of the EP that was released in April of 1956. The original single artwork is used inside. This shot of Elvis remains a personal favorite, and a classic one as it found its way to the "Christmas Peace" release too. It is a pity the color of the paper wasn't used to fill out the entire inside cover, now it leaves an empty white space. Although the total design is done very well with a picture disc we have one big disappointment; why not create a vinyl look for this single too when two weeks after the release of this single a complete box of singles with vinyl look are released?

The yellow sticker label says "First RCA Recording", but that was "I Got A Woman". Apparently there are versions of the single around with a wrong date (November 11, 1955) for the RCA contract signing.


Recorded on January 10th, and released on January 27th 1956, “Heartbreak Hotel” crossed genres, topping various charts in the U.S. and from there around the world. After "That's All Right" marked the birth of Rock And Roll, this single marked the birth of the King Of Rock And Roll, and it is not even a Rock And Roll song. Elvis just put together what he knew and liked.

A very melodramatic song about a man left by his girl, hinting on suicide, and that recorded performed in 1955 and put on tape in 1956. We have heart other version of this song, but no single version can top this performance by Elvis. And let's not forget the great guitar licks by Scotty Moore, they are as much part of the song as Elvis' voice and Bill Black's bass. This single comes with take 6 (with count-in) of this song as a bonus.

Fifty years after its initial release the single still remains a strong song, topping the (sales) charts in the U.S. again. And with the U.K. re-release coming up a possible hit on that side of the Atlantic too.

The flipside "I Was the One," gets overshadowed because it was the flipside, but it can hold its own and stood the test of time, listening to it fifty years later.


A nice idea to re-release the song, it got Elvis a lot of media attention (for selling only 4500 copies to make it to #1 on the sales chart) and reminded a younger generation where it all came from.


Buy at Amazon.co.uk
JerryNodak wrote on December 31, 2005
Something "new" to collect that will just gather dust. Ho hum.
Greg Nolan wrote on January 03, 2006
On the contrary, Jerry. By design, this is a limited-edition collectible that Elvis obsessives will want to pick up. Most of us have the tunes many times over, but the "collector" wants it all. I"m somewhere in the middle. Besides the single being pretty much dead in the USA, this is mainly a strategic attempt by RCA to garner publicity for the milestone "50 year" status of Elvis in '56 that started with this single. I think that's a worthy goal.I don't expect much publicity, but if it gets a line or two in the USA, I'll be pleased. I love all decades of his career, but almost no one can get away with disputing Elvis' legacy of 1956, so it's a good way to fight back with the "ROLLING STONE" crowd that dismisses (or forgets) the power of Elvis. It would be nice if this turns out to have a previously unreleased alternate. I don't have the 45 rpm so the sleeve alone is worth it for nostalgia's sake. It's a beaut.
Cruiser621 wrote on January 04, 2006
Years ago here in the states, BMG released this puppy on a CD that included the original versions of Heartbreak Hotel and I Was The One and also included an alternative version of each song, I think version 5 for Heartbreak and version 2 for I Was Thew One. If you have that CD, you don't need this one as it really is a copy of El's EP (Extended Play) released in 1956.
Rating: 5 / 5
JerryNodak wrote on January 05, 2006
Greg: I understand and agree with your points. I was merely expressing my lack of interest in purchasing said product.
Greg Nolan wrote on January 06, 2006
It's a fine release nonetheless. There are plenty of things I pass on that actually serve a decent purpose, like the recent HITSTORY project. Despite my misgivings on that release, it is not the worst conception around and serves as today's version of the old "Worldwide Gold Hits" boxsets of the early '70s. I'd have a hard time giving that thing one star. Likewise, this release blows the horn for the 50th anniversary of a still-somewhat forgotten milestone tune.
pasa-ryu wrote on January 09, 2006
cant wait to get my copy from hmv!,i preordered it from hmv store)hope it reaches no.1?..we all know it deserves to be no.1.
Rating: 5 / 5
Sheila wrote on January 16, 2006
Just got this single....Great artwork cover and has a picture disc! great to add on to my collection! Excellent!!!!!
Rating: 5 / 5
Mystery Rider wrote on June 30, 2007
More items like this should hit the market. a collectors dream and under $2.00 how can you got wrong.
Rating: 5 / 5