Yes, yes I know. You are a busy person and have a lot to do. I’m only asking for a mere 120 seconds of your time.
Stop for a moment, breathe deep, and take my hand. Now close your eyes and step back in time with me. Let’s go back to 10 am on October 19, 1956.
Why? Because that’s the very day Elvis Presley’s much awaited second LP was released across America.
With the exception of “So Glad You’re Mine”, the albums’ songs were all recorded between September 1-3, 1956 at Radio Recorders in Hollywood CA. Not surprisingly, RIAA gold certification came a few weeks later after 3 million copies were sold. It was number 1 for five weeks on Billboard’s top LP chart. Not bad for the Hillbilly Cat from Tupelo who was driving a truck just a couple of years earlier.
As you can see from the bottom photo, the well known side on shot of Elvis looking up and playing the guitar was copied around the world.
Don’t you just love it? I mean REALLY love it – when countries simply refuse to march to the commercial drum of compliance and boldly state … “The American cover is good.,but we can do much better”.
England was one of those countries.
Take a quiet moment and a long hard look at the English artwork for Elvis Presley’s second LP. It’s entitled “Elvis Presley No. 2″ and was released on the HMV (His Master’s Voice) label. If you have never held this album in your hands then you simply must take my word for it. The image of Elvis is breathtaking up close. He does look good enough to eat.
Picture this beautiful young man fast approaching the peak of his power and the height of his career. As you can see from the detail of this photo, the record that was released with this LP is so typically British. It shows a regal and beautiful rich color and an elegance personified in such a timeless way, there is no other like it.
Wonderful pieces of Elvis cover art such as this showcased to the world a young man who was the ultimate symbol of American youth in all it’s newfound intoxication. The kid that symbolized that youth forever set his peers free from parental bondage and the ties that bind. He gave permission to break the plain vanilla mold and colorized music into a flavorful youthful treat.
The release of Presley’s second album from England was a musical moment in time, a sign post showing the way forward. In actuality, it was much more than that. It soundly pictured the present but unbeknownst at the time, it boldly represented the future, a future hundreds of years from now when his fans will gaze in amazement at Elvis artwork done by only ONE country, for only ONE entertainer.
Sadly, that entertainer was never given the opportunity to view an international exhibition of his finest works. You should not have to suffer the same fate. This example along with countless others, opens a somewhat hidden (until now) doorway along a beautiful path. There is so much more out there of which the general public has no idea to the depth of intense international beauty.
Elvis art remains timeless.