Elvis Comes Alive Again

Reissue of classic material due this summer

April 27, 2004 12:00 AM ET

A series of summer Elvis Presley reissues will be released this summer, as the King's label, RCA, marks the fiftieth anniversary of rock & roll's move to the mainstream.

Though the King wandered into Sam Phillips Memphis Recording Service in 1953, it was the trio of songs -- "That's All Right," "Blue Moon of Kentucky" and "I Love You Because" -- that Elvis recorded at Phillips' Sun Studios in July 1954 that launched a career of rock royalty. Among the releases slated for reissue is Elvis at Sun, which collects Elvis' recordings from 1954 and 1955 before Phillips sold his contract to RCA for $35,000.

A new compilation, Memphis Celebrates 50 Years of Rock & Roll, also includes "That's All Right," along with other Memphis-recorded hits by the likes of Johnny Cash, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King and others.

In the video department, two of Elvis' best-known television appearances will be reissued in deluxe DVD formats. The three-DVD Elvis: The '68 Comeback Special. The concert, which put Presley in front of an audience for the first time in seven years, found a leather-clad Presley tearing through his hits after years of work on middling Hollywood films. The DVD includes all four concerts that were filmed for the special; the first time they have been released in a single set. More than half of the seven hours of material is previously unreleased.

The two-DVD Elvis, Aloha From Hawaii doesn't catch the King in quite the same period of vitality, but when it aired in 1973, more than 1 billion people tuned in worldwide. The DVD includes the original television special and a rehearsal concert. The soundtrack from that special would go on to be Elvis' last Number One album.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »