Elvis Presley

The Music of Elvis Presley: The 1950s

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Although it looks like a low-quality budget volume, the three-CD box set titled The Music of Elvis Presley: The 1950s is a solid compilation of nearly 50 tracks from Presley's most seminal decade of recording (comprising just over four years of tracks). Beginning with his breakout Sun sides ("That's All Right," "Mystery Train"), the set quickly moves into the RCA years, devoting close to 90 percent of its time to his major-label career. All of his major hits of the '50s are here -- "Heartbreak Hotel," "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "All Shook Up," "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear," "Jailhouse Rock," "Trouble" -- and they're given context by the wealth of great material he recorded that didn't hit the Top Ten (although virtually all of them charted somewhere). Although the outer package of the box set doesn't bode well for the inside, The Music of Elvis Presley: The 1950s includes plenty of photos, a booklet with a solid essay, and complete information for each track (including recording dates and chart tabulations). RCA could have fit far more material on these three discs, but if the price is right, this set can't be beat.

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