The funny thing about Elvis Presley? He’s known as the King of Rock’n’Roll, but he earned that title before rock’n’roll music could really develop! It’s like crowning a king of a baking contest before the cakes come out of the oven…
When Elvis hit the scene, rock music was only a feeling- a thought, really. There were some adding an edge to old blues standards in the mid 50s, but Elvis brought that music to “white America” at that time. Here was this young, good-looking kid playing these old rhythm and blues songs from black artists of the South. People loved the beat and were much more accepting of the music when Elvis’ face was on the sleeve.
Elvis Presley had only a few really great rock’n’roll years- there was the time he first spent at Sun Records, where he recorded his first songs in the famous Elvis rockabilly style. Then he moved on to RCA, where 1956 showed an incredible output of now early-rock classics. Songs like “That’s Alright” (from the Sun days) and “Hound Dog” (from RCA) are woven into musical history. So many countless artists (even the Beatles) cite Elvis as an inspiration and influence on their music. And it all started with those early recordings.
After Elvis went off to war, he came back with a much more “adult” and polished image. His campy movies and cheesy songs of the early 60s reflected how rock music had essentially “died” while he was away. The raunchy “shake, rattle, and roll” style of rock music in the mid 50s was now replaced with songs that your parents could listen to and enjoy. The squeaky-clean image of rock musicians then put a bad taste in the mouths of true rock’n’rollers.
Of course, the Beatles came around and changed all of that. Yes, their music was still mainstream and likable to the masses, but it had less of that softer sound and went back to biting, jangly electric guitars. Elvis finally caught up to the pack again in the early 70s with his classic “Burnin’ Love”, but by then it was too late to save the once King of Rock’n’roll.
Here at the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog, we have the opportunity to breathe new life into these Elvis Presley songs that are now decades old. These songs are still great, but it’s tough for people of newer generations to appreciate his music (especially the early music) because of how “tame” it is compared to new rock music. We record cover song music videos that strip away some of that production that dates some songs and present the song as it originally was written- in an acoustic style with just the singer and his guitar.