Elvis (1956 album)

Studio album by
Released October 19, 1956
Recorded January 30th; September 1st-3rd, 1956
Studio RCA Studio 1 - New York, Radio Recorders Studio 1, Hollywood
Genre Rock and roll, rockabilly, rhythm and blues, country
Length 29:47
Label RCA Victor
Producer Steve Sholes
Elvis Presley chronology
Elvis Presley


Love Me Tender

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars [1]
MusicHound 4.5/5 stars [2]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars [3]
Rough Guides 4/5 stars [4]

Elvis (also known as Elvis Presley No. 2) is the second studio album by American rock and roll singer Elvis Presley, released by RCA Victor in October 1956 in mono. Recording sessions took place on September 1, September 2, and September 3 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood, with one track left over from the sessions for Presley's debut album at the RCA Victor recording studios on January 30 in New York.[5] It spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart that year, making Presley the first recording artist to have both albums go straight to number one in the same year. It was certified Gold on February 17, 1960, and Platinum on August 10, 2011, by the Recording Industry Association of America.[6]

It was originally released in UK in 1957 as Elvis Presley No. 2 with a different front cover (on His Master's Voice CLP1105). It was also cataloged as Rock 'n' Roll No. 2.

Content [ edit ]

RCA Victor producer Steve Sholes had commissioned two new songs for this batch of sessions, "Paralyzed" from Otis Blackwell and "Love Me" from Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, the authors respectively of both sides of Presley's summer hit of 1956, "Don't Be Cruel" backed with "Hound Dog," the first record to top all three of the Billboard singles charts then in existence: pop, R&B, and C&W.[7] Presley decided upon three Little Richard covers, and selected three new country ballads respectively from regular Everly Brothers writer Boudleaux Bryant and guitarist Chet Atkins, Sun staff musician and engineer Stan Kesler, and Aaron Schroeder and Ben Weisman. The latter two, contracted to Hill and Range, the publishing company of Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, would write dozens of songs for Presley through the 1960s. Also included was the song with which Presley won second prize at a fair in Tupelo when he was ten years old, Red Foley's 1941 country song, "Old Shep."

With all but one track on the album recorded at a single set of sessions over three days in September, Presley and his touring band of Scotty Moore, Bill Black, and D.J. Fontana, along with The Jordanaires, managed to recreate the loose feel from Sun Studio days, mixing rhythm and blues and country and western repertoire items as they had on all of his Sun singles.[8] They reinforced this effect by including material echoing his very first Sun record: a blues by Arthur Crudup, author of "That's All Right (Mama);" and a song recorded by bluegrass founder Bill Monroe, "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again." The sessions were attended by a few outsiders, namely his current girlfriend at the time, actress Natalie Wood and actor Nick Adams, both of whom had starred in Rebel Without a Cause, Presley's favorite James Dean film. Steve Sholes was the RCA man at the session, and handled the paper work and such, but basically Elvis himself chose the songs, led the session, made all the decisions concerning which take would be the master and so forth. Thus it would be fair to say that for most practical purposes, Elvis himself at this session and throughout his career would continue to do most of the things that a regular record producer normally would do.[9]

The piano player on this album is not registered in the official RCA Victor archives, except for the song "So Glad You're Mine", which was cut at a previous session in New York. In a 1984 interview conducted by Jan-Erik Kjeseth, Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires stated that he was the piano player on most of the songs on the album. In an article written by Kjeseth for the Flaming Star magazine, it was argued that the piano player on "Love Me", "Old Shep" and "How's the World Treating You" was Elvis himself. Ernst Jørgensen, writer of Elvis Presley - A Study in Music, seems to be of the same opinion. Kjeseth also claims that Elvis played the piano on the single from this session, "Playing for Keeps". Again, Jørgensen seems to be of the same opinion. Gordon Stoker played the piano on "Rip it Up" and "Anyplace is Paradise".

Reissues [ edit ]

RCA first reissued the original 12 track album on compact disc in 1984. This issue, in reprocessed (fake) stereo sound, was quickly withdrawn and the disc was reissued in original monophonic. RCA reissued an expanded edition of the album in 1999, and again in 2005. For the 1999 reissue, six bonus tracks were added that were both sides of three singles, altering the running order. Four of the tracks were chart-toppers: "Love Me Tender", "Too Much", and the double-sided classic "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel". Bonus tracks recorded on July 2 at RCA Studios in New York City, in September at Radio Recorders, and "Love Me Tender" at 20th Century Fox Stage One during the sessions for Love Me Tender. The 2005 reissue was remastered using DSD technology with the six bonus tracks appended in standard fashion, in the following order: "Playing for Keeps", "Too Much", "Don't Be Cruel", "Hound Dog", "Any Way You Want Me (That's How I Will Be)", and "Love Me Tender". This acclaimed latest remaster was the handiwork of audio restorer Kevan Budd, who also drew praise for his 2005 remasters of Presley's first and third albums (respectively, Elvis Presley and Loving You) as well as the 2004 upgrade known as Elvis at Sun. These rock-n'roll tapes may have been among those possibly dumped into the Delaware River near RCA Victor's Camden, New Jersey plant in the late 1950s.

Personnel [ edit ]

Track listing [ edit ]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "Rip It Up" September 3, 1956 1:50
2. "Love Me" September 1, 1956 2:41
3. "When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again"
  • Gene Sullivan
  • Wiley Walker
September 2, 1956 2:18
4. "Long Tall Sally" September 2, 1956 1:51
5. "First in Line" September 3, 1956 3:21
6. "Paralyzed"
September 2, 1956 2:18
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Recording date Length
1. "So Glad You're Mine" Arthur Crudup January 30, 1956 2:18
2. "Old Shep" Red Foley September 2, 1956 4:10
3. "Ready Teddy"
  • Blackwell
  • Marascalco
September 3, 1956 1:55
4. "Anyplace Is Paradise" Joe Thomas September 2, 1956 2:26
5. "How's the World Treating You" September 1, 1956 2:23
6. "How Do You Think I Feel"
September 1, 1956 2:10


Charts [ edit ]

Certifications [ edit ]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[10] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes [ edit ]

  1. ^ AllMusic review
  2. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 892. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Elvis Presley: Album Guide". Archived from the original on September 18, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2015.
  4. ^ Simpson, Paul (2004). The Rough Guide to Elvis. London: Rough Guides. p. 110. ISBN 1-84353-417-7.
  5. ^ "Keith Flynn's Elvis Presley Pages". 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013.
  6. ^ "Searchable datebase". RIAA. 2013. Retrieved May 17, 2013. Note: Enter search for "Presley, Elvis" and go to pages 1 and 37
  7. ^ Miller, Jim, ed. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll. New York: Random House, 1980; ISBN 0-394-51322-3, p. 34
  8. ^ Guralnick, Peter. The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, insert booklet, p. 32 and 34
  9. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley, A Life In Music. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998; ISBN 0-312-18572-3, pp. 38 and 60-61
  10. ^ "American album certifications – Elvis Presley – Elvis". Recording Industry Association of America.If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 

References [ edit ]

Jorgenson, Ernst. Elvis Presley: A Life In Music - The Complete Recording Sessions, 1998. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-18572-3

Miller, Jim, ed. The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, revised first edition, 1980. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-394-73938-8

External links [ edit ]

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