The most comprehensive collection yet of Elvis Presley’s earliest recordings will be released July 28 in a three-CD and digital set comprising 85 tracks, representing everything Presley is known to have recorded from 1953 to 1955.
“Elvis Presley — A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings” will be dominated by songs the young singer put down mostly at Sun Studio in Memphis, but it will also include early radio interviews and songs he paid to record before Sun founder Sam Phillips signed him as a recording artist.
Among the highest-profile components of the new set, which has been overseen by longtime Presley archivist Ernst Mikael Jorgensen, is the first acetate he made in July 1953 at Phillips’ Memphis Recording Service of the songs “My Happiness” and “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin.”
Six months later he was back to pay for another recording session, where he sang “I’ll Never Stand in Your Way” and “It Wouldn’t Be the Same (Without You),” both of which also are included.
Another rarity is a recently discovered recording of “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” that Presley made in 1955 for the Louisiana Hayride show in Shreveport, La., which has never previously been released.
All tracks he recorded at Sun before RCA Records famously bought his contract from Phillips in 1955 are here, including one previously unreleased master edit of “I Love You Because” and previously unreleased takes of “Harbor Lights,” “Blue Moon,” a fragment of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and “When It Rains It Pours,” among others.
The set required about 1,500 hours of restoration work and another 200 hours of studio time to remaster, according to a statement from Sony’s Legacy Recordings, which is issuing the set.
A deluxe version will come with a 120-page book culling photos, memorabilia, essays, a calendar of Presley’s activities and other material.
Legacy also will issue a vinyl LP, “A Boy From Tupelo: The Sun Masters,” with 17 of the songs he recorded for Sun that launched him on the career path that made him one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century.
The set arrives about three weeks ahead of the 40th anniversary of his death on Aug. 16, 1977, at age 42.
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