Elvis Presley

For LP Fans Only

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For LP Fans Only marks the first time RCA dipped into the Sun vaults to fill out an Elvis Presley LP. To a certain extent, their hand was forced. By January 1959, when For LP Fans Only hit the stores, Elvis was eight months into his Army stint with no end in sight, so RCA was stuck for new product and the easiest solution was to dig up Sun sessions and pair them with early RCA cuts initially released on singles or EPs. Just under half of this is devoted to Sun sides, and not only are "That's All Right," "Mystery Train," "I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone" and "You're a Heartbreaker" some of the best music Presley ever made but they're paired with early RCA sessions that complement them perfectly: in fact, the hopping "My Baby Left Me" feels as if it could've been recorded by Sam Phillips. Apart from the cute, charming enough "Poor Boy" -- a rare Presley co-write taken from the Love Me Tender EP that could qualify as the record's only stumble -- this LP rocks hard with a serious bluesy bent: there's a carnality to his growl on "Lawdy, Miss Clawdy" rivaled by his smoldering "I Was the One," then he tears it up on "Shake, Rattle and Roll." Whether RCA truly intended For LP Fans Only to be a tight, exciting record is questionable -- it was product, pure and simple; there was no way for the label to realize the blessing they were giving to Presley fans by getting the Sun sessions into circulation (this would be the only place they could be found on LP until 1976) -- but they stumbled upon one of the finest full-length rock & roll records of the '50s.

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