Ah, Elvis. Probably the best known pop artist in history that only needs a first name. Sure, Madonna is big. Sting. Prince. And the artist formerly known as Prince. But Elvis. He meant so much to so many. Had so many looks and distinctive periods in his career. Perfect to create a series of action figures: Jailhouse Elvis, Wartime Elvis, Comeback Elvis, Bowel-movement Elvis. It is such a shame that his memory has been cheesified by excessive merchandising and bad jump-suit clad caricature-style impersonators. This, to me, obscures what makes Elvis so great. This recording contains few of Elvis’ best known songs but it obscures not Elvis’ greatest quality: his free and natural vocal performance. His phrasing and delivery works so perfectly with what was a fresh new sound coming out of that studio. Combined with Scotty Moore’s sweet guitar licks, history was being made, and they didn’t even know it. That’s the best! Elvis before he was “Elvis”. At this point, he was just a guy who loved music and could really sing. That’s what I love about these recordings.