Sunday, April 8, 2018

1001 Albums Post 1: Sinatra and Elvis

So it seems that this list, 1001 Albums You Must Hear is done in order of release, or at least by decade. We start in the 50s, not generally my favorite decade for music, though it is the source for pretty much all the music I know in one way or another. I'm no music expert, musician or otherwise qualified person, I'm just some guy that likes music and wants to learn more about it, or at least be more exposed to more of it. And I like to write about the stuff I do. Doesn't matter if anyone else reads it, it's a record, a journal for me. That's good enough.

First up was Frank Sinatra's, "In the Wee, Small Hours." Not a Sinatra fan, not really at all. And yet, I can totally see someone sitting in their living room, at night, perhaps with a bit of rain coming down outside listening to this while sipping a cocktail. It's a lonely record and very evocative of a big city night in the mid 50s. Or at least that's the vibe I get from it. Likely wouldn't seek it out again, but I get its vibe just fine.

Next up was Elvis' first album, eponymously titled. It's a mixed bag of Elvis stuff and, according to the book, that's exactly what it is with some songs leftover from Sun Records recordings and some other, later tracks put together for this first full album. It's fine, if you like Elvis and I'm sure it rocketed him to stardom. But when it came to his cover of, "Tutti Fruitti," I had to roll my eyes as I remembered that this is the decade where any exciting music made by black people had to be re-recorded for white audiences by white performers or it wasn't accepted. Which is stupid. I have heard worse versions of this song, such as the one by Pat Boone also done during the 50s, and this is the only version some white audiences ever heard. Still, to my ears, Elvis doesn't bring anything to the track and can't touch Little Richard. The album is all right, didn't grab me, convert me or otherwise change my mind. Elvis was a fine performer, icon, etc. Just not my cup of tea.

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