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THE "COVER" STORY OF ELVIS PRESLEY

Sat May 10, 2003 4:49 am

Don't get it wrong folks!
I'll stick to the "original" album covers! Recalling REVOLVER, SGT.PEPPERS, PET SOUNDS (not that great) WILLLIE AND THE POORBOYS, LED ZEPPELIN, THE DOORS, FLEETWOOD MAC ('70's)
THE EAGLES tmaf. You don't go far, to find "covers" that were simply better!
Then again, it's so hard to find a good album cover with ELVIS!
I'll mention my favourites here:
ELVIS PRESLEY
ELVIS
ELVIS' CHRISTMAS ALBUM
ELVIS' GOLDEN RECORDS
KING CREOLE
FOR LP FANS ONLY
SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY
HIS HAND IN MINE
IT HAPPENED AT THE WORLD'S FAIR
ELVIS' GOLDEN RECORDS VOL 3
GIRL HAPPY
ELVIS' GOLDEN RECORDS VOL 4
THE NBC TV SPECIAL
FLAMING STAR (CAMDEN)
FROM ELVIS IN MEMPHIS
TTWII (original)
ELVIS COUNTRY
and then, for the original albums, I can hardly find a good cover!
The closest I get is RAISED ON ROCK and GOOD TIMES, but IMO!
So now folks, roll it!

Sat May 10, 2003 6:04 pm

Many of Elvis record covers did tend to look the same. During the sixties publicity shots from the movie studios were used for most of the single and album releases, and then in the ‘70’s almost every album featured a photograph of Elvis on stage. This made it difficult to tell the difference between new recordings and budget albums, and really showed a lack of imagination. I don’t think Elvis was the type of artist that had much input or interest in his album’s cover art, whilst a band such as the Beatles saw it as part of the concept of the album, as they progressed musically during the mid sixties.

For me one of RCA’s biggest mistakes was using an old photo (circa 1964) on the back cover of the “From Elvis In Memphis” album. Here Elvis had just made some of his finest music for many years, and as he was finally coming to the end of the movie contracts his image reflected how he wanted to look, rather than the image the movie studios preferred. The front cover shot from the NBC TV special was perfect for the album, but I can’t understand why RCA didn’t use something similar for the back sleeve.

On the subject of The Beatles “Revolver”, there’s two import singles pictured in Paul Dowling’s record covers books that used a similar style of artwork, and look really unique for Elvis releases. One is the “Don’t Cry Daddy” single, whilst the other is “Suspicious Minds”, and both used psychedelic drawings of Elvis, rather than the customary publicity photo or live shot.

If I had to choose my top three Elvis album covers I would go for the first album “Elvis Presley” which I think has become a classic design over the years, and was famously copied by The Clash for their “London Calling” album in 1979.
The NBC TV Special album which is really just a photograph rather than the a sleeve design, but the photo is that good it says it all, and like The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” there was no need for any added text. I would also choose “I’m 10,000 Years Old – Elvis County”. This album looks different than any other release in the Presley catalogue, and it represents the only time that a Presley album release had a total concept that included both the packaging and the actual contents of the album.