Released in late 1956, just seven months after the arrival of his self-titled debut, Elvis would become the singer’s second chart-topping album of the year. That’s a huge achievement, to be sure—but not necessarily a surprising one: Presley’s rise had been so rapid, it was all but a given that Elvis would claim the No. 1 spot. That’s probably why Presley and his producer, Steve Sholes, weren’t too concerned about reinventing the wheel with Elvis, which finds Presley returning to the country, R&B, and rock sounds that had made his first release so massive. What sets Presley’s second album apart from the singer’s debut smash—which featured singles recorded at various points in the mid-1950s—is that the 12 tracks on Elvis were largely the result of just a few designated sessions. That makes Elvis more akin to what we’d now consider a studio album—a rarity at the time. As a result, there’s a consistency to Elvis, which feels impressively casual at times; if you close your eyes while listening, it almost feels like a lost document of some imagined, impossible roadhouse show (the real Elvis shows, of course, were drowned out by screams). As for the songs, Elvis features intentional nods to Presley’s own history (and mythology): “So Glad You’re Mine” was written by Arthur Crudup, while “When My Blue Moon Turns to Gold Again” had famously been performed by Bill Monroe—two musicians whose work Presley had covered on his very first Sun Records single. And “Old Shep” is the Red Foley song that Presley supposedly sang in a state fair contest when he was 10 years old. The biggest song from Elvis, though, found him reuniting with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller—the songwriters behind “Hound Dog”—for a completely different-sounding song: “Love Me,” the woeful lover’s plea that turned out to be a pitch-perfect vocal showcase for Presley.

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