Elvis Presley

A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings

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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

A Boy from Tupelo rounds up all the known existing Elvis Presley recordings from 1953 through 1955, a sum total of 53 studio takes and 32 live performances. The subtitle of the triple-disc set is The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings but it could as easily been dubbed The Sun Years, as the first two discs not only contain all the masters Elvis released for Sam Phillips' legendary Memphis label, but all the outtakes, the four alternate mixes of Sun material released by RCA, and the four acetates Presley privately cut for Phillips' Memphis Recording Service. The third disc is devoted to live material, primarily recorded at the Shreveport radio show Louisiana Hayride, but there are also some tracks recorded at concerts and radio stations in Texas and Mississippi. A lot of this third disc has shown up on prior Presley compilations, usually collections targeted at the hardcore Elvis fans, but A Boy from Tupelo presents all this music in a logical, orderly sequence that suits Legacy's previous big Presley boxes, such as 2011's Young Man with the Big Beat: The Complete 1956 Masters. If A Boy from Tupelo doesn't seem as revelatory as that five-disc box, blame it on the fact that apart from the live recordings -- which are cleaned up, but often can still seem pretty rough -- this is heavily recycled material. Elvis' Sun sessions were first reissued as a 16-track LP called The Sun Sessions in 1976, which was trumped 11 years later by the CD release of The Complete Sun Sessions -- which itself wound up getting usurped in 1999 by the double-disc Sunrise. Additionally, this music can be found on 1992's five-CD The King of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50s Masters, the massive 2010 box The Complete Elvis Presley Masters, and 2016's The RCA Album Collection, albeit spread over some of that set's 60 CDs, so no matter how well executed A Boy from Tupelo is -- and it's very well done, boasting a handsome, detailed book and clean sound -- it can't help but feel a little old hat. Still, those consumers in the market for the earliest Elvis will be satisfied by this, as it not only has everything in one convenient box but the addition of the live material does provide a nice coda to the familiar Sun sessions.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Elvis Presley 02:33 Amazon
2 Elvis Presley 02:52 Amazon
3 Elvis Presley 02:03 Amazon
4 Elvis Presley 02:05 Amazon
5 Elvis Presley 02:38 Amazon
6 Elvis Presley 02:42 Amazon
7 Elvis Presley 01:59 Amazon
8 Elvis Presley 02:06 Amazon
9 Elvis Presley 02:43 Amazon
10 Elvis Presley 03:01 Amazon
11 Elvis Presley 02:27 Amazon
12 Elvis Presley 02:32 Amazon
13 Elvis Presley 02:34 Amazon
14 Elvis Presley 02:15 Amazon
15 Elvis Presley 02:38 Amazon
16 Elvis Presley 02:12 Amazon
17 Elvis Presley 02:42 Amazon
18 Elvis Presley 02:19 Amazon
19 Elvis Presley 02:38 Amazon
20 Elvis Presley 02:31 Amazon
21 Elvis Presley 02:30 Amazon
22 Elvis Presley 02:35 Amazon
23 Elvis Presley 02:06 Amazon
24 Elvis Presley 01:58 Amazon
25 Elvis Presley 02:05 Amazon
26 Elvis Presley 02:45 Amazon
27 Elvis Presley 02:52 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 2

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Elvis Presley 03:26 Amazon
2 Elvis Presley 02:37 Amazon
3 Elvis Presley 04:13 Amazon
4 Elvis Presley 03:51 Amazon
5 Elvis Presley 03:36 Amazon
6 Elvis Presley 04:08 Amazon
7 Elvis Presley 02:17 Amazon
8 Elvis Presley 01:08 Amazon
9 Elvis Presley 03:36 Amazon
10 Elvis Presley 03:24 Amazon
11 Elvis Presley 03:53 Amazon
12 Elvis Presley 02:44 Amazon
13
Elvis Presley 00:10 Amazon
14 Elvis Presley 00:49 Amazon
15 Elvis Presley 00:09 Amazon
16 Elvis Presley 03:47 Amazon
17 Elvis Presley 02:59 Amazon
18 Elvis Presley 02:50 Amazon
19 Elvis Presley 02:51 Amazon
20 Elvis Presley 02:49 Amazon
21 Elvis Presley 04:15 Amazon
22 Elvis Presley 04:30 Amazon
23 Elvis Presley 01:36 Amazon
24 Elvis Presley 04:26 Amazon
25 Elvis Presley 02:02 Amazon
26 Elvis Presley 03:20 Amazon

Track Listing - Disc 3

Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Elvis Presley 02:52 Amazon
2 Elvis Presley 02:22 Amazon
3 Elvis Presley 02:23 Amazon
4 Elvis Presley 01:58 Amazon
5 Elvis Presley 02:01 Amazon
6 Elvis Presley 01:52 Amazon
7 Elvis Presley 02:50 Amazon
8 Elvis Presley 02:22 Amazon
9
Elvis Presley 00:15 Amazon
10 Elvis Presley 02:42 Amazon
11 Elvis Presley 02:03 Amazon
12 Elvis Presley 02:32 Amazon
13 Elvis Presley 01:53 Amazon
14 Elvis Presley 02:15 Amazon
15 Elvis Presley 02:17 Amazon
16 Elvis Presley 01:36 Amazon
17 Elvis Presley 01:38 Amazon
18 Elvis Presley 02:03 Amazon
19 Elvis Presley 02:06 Amazon
20 Elvis Presley 02:35 Amazon
21 Elvis Presley 02:22 Amazon
22 Elvis Presley 01:47 Amazon
23 Elvis Presley 03:03 Amazon
24 Elvis Presley 02:17 Amazon
25 Elvis Presley 02:47 Amazon
26 Elvis Presley 02:37 Amazon
27 Elvis Presley 03:16 Amazon
28 Elvis Presley 03:18 Amazon
29 Elvis Presley 03:09 Amazon
30 Elvis Presley 02:49 Amazon
31
Elvis Presley 05:31 Amazon
32 Elvis Presley 03:30 Amazon
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