Ernie's Import Lp Corner

 The Rockin' Rebel - Volume III

“ The Rockin’ Rebel vol. 3 ” on Golden Archives GA-350 was released in 1979 and hails from the USA.   

The cover of this final volume is not a gatefold cover, but has a wonderful Sun era black and white photo possibly taken by Memphis photographer Jim Reid ( thanks Claude ).  This photo, once again, follows the theme of the LP series thus far.  The back cover has a black and white still from Jailhouse Rock flanked on the left by the track listing ( black text on a yellow background ) with information on the individual tracks. 

The LP label on this third volume is no different than the previous two volumes; the standard treasure trunk overflowing with “archived discs” with a red background on the top half, and light blue background with the track listing in black text on the lower half.  The sources of the tracks are of excellent quality, and once again the LP is a quality pressing with very little surface noise. 

Side 1:

“ Loving You ” main version “ KX ” take 19 is prefaced with 15 seconds of dialogue that was taken from prior to take 20 and spliced in front of the dialogue that precedes take 19.  The producers, however, edited out a snippet of the sound engineer who is calling out the take numbers after Elvis says “Lets make one more then hear this last one…naw naw”.  The phrase “ KX 20 ” from the control room is edited out but is clearly heard on the second CD of the two-CD FTD “Loving You” release which contains this complete session from Feb 14, 1957. 

“ Old Shep ” is the alternate take 5 (take 1 was the master) which was released in error on some pressings of Elvis’ second LP “Elvis” from 1956.  It was officially released as an alternate take on the 50’s Masters Boxset, but on this LP is most likely taken from an original 33 1/3 LP source as released by accident. 

“ Loving You ” ballad/farm version “ HZ ” from Feb 14, 1957 give us three false starts and a complete alternate take: Take 7 false start, Take 8 long false start, Take 9 long false start, take 10 complete.  The producers edited all of these takes and removed the two hand claps between the count off and acoustic guitar intro chords.  In the case of the takes 9 and 10, Elvis clears his throat during the hand claps which remain intact on the FTD “ Loving You ” session CD. 

The next three tracks are taken from Elvis’ July 1, 1956 Steve Allen Show appearance.  “ I Want You, I Need You, I Love You ” was Elvis’ most recent single released in May 1956 to a pre-order of 300,000 ( the largest pre-order for RCA at the time ).  “ Hound Dog ” was sung to a basset hound and Steve Allen makes mention that Elvis is going to record the song the following day in the studio.  And lastly Elvis’ involvement singing four lines in a comedy sketch as “ Tumbleweed Presley ” is included for some giggles. 

Side 2:

“ Loving You ” main version “ KX ” take 6 was also recorded during the Feb 14, 1957 session.  The producers of this LP edited out the four snare drum beats between the count off and the start of the song, which plays in full on the FTD “ Loving You ” session CD.  Direct comparison proves this to be take 6; Elvis’ phrasing is a perfect match, even down the single wrong bass note (1:27 on the mono source, 1:25 on the binaural source) on the session CD. 

Elvis’ first Ed Sullivan appearance on Sept 28, 1956 was hosted by Charles Laughton as Ed Sullivan was watching from a hospital room after being in an automobile accident.  The introductory comments made by Charles are included on this album and Elvis performs classic 50’s versions of “ Don’t Be Cruel ”, “ Love Me Tender ”, “ Ready Teddy ”, and “ Hound Dog ”.  Thankfully we have these TV performances as visual and audio documentation of Elvis performing live in the 1950s. 

Next up is an October 1956 March of Dimes interview.  The questions are not heard, only Elvis talking as if responding to questions (though it sounds like he is just reading answers as if he is being asked questions).  The RCA studio version of “ Love Me Tender ” is featured here. 

Finally we wind up with an interview by Ed Ripley recorded in Daytona Beach, Florida at the Peabody Auditorium.  Ed narrates an introduction, which provides insight into how the interview came about as Col. Parker came to their local radio station to purchase advertising time for the upcoming show and the Col. granted Ed permission for the interview.  During the interview, fans can be heard in the background and at one point one fan breaks a glass window.  This LP is apparently the first source for this unique interview. 

While Elvis’ early career is better represented by the first two volumes of this LP series, there are certainly some great moments on this LP that continue that theme.  I think the 1957 tracks are a little out of place as they are more polished and because they are from a movie soundtrack, present Elvis in the more expanded roll of film entertainer.  These light hearted films of course were to lead Elvis’ career into a slump in the 60’s.  However good these 50’s films may be, the direction his film career, and hence his music career, took tend to take the glimmer off of his early film work.  His early films may have been mediocre to good, but what didn’t happen is the big disappointment. 

As Elvis had been able to prove himself in the music realm, he was never given a chance to prove himself with the challenging dramatic roles he wished for.  Elvis proved the spark to meet a challenge truly gone when he allowed himself to be talked out of starring along side Barbara Streisand in the remake of “ A Star is Born ”…that would have been Elvis’ 70’s comeback achievement.  Instead it rocketed little known singer/songwriter Kris Kristofferson ( who had penned/co-penned a song or two that Elvis had recorded ) to fame.  Regardless of the outcome, which we know all too well, this LP doesn’t quite meet the standards of the first two volumes but there are great enough moments to recommend this LP on the tails of the first two in the series.  For the third time, though not as cohesively as the first two times around, this LP keeps the theme in tact.  Combine the excellent tracks and excellent sound quality with an outstanding cover photo and we have the same result as before…Elvis is “The Rockin’ Rebel” vol. 3.

Ernie Boyes Jr.