Third Man Records, in conjunction with Sony Music Entertainment and the Sun Label Group, is proud to announce its 59th Vault package, Elvis Presley at 706 Union Ave: The Sun Singles 1954-55. Celebrating the seventieth anniversary of these monumental recordings, this collection includes faithful reproductions of all five of Presley’s original 7-inch 45rpm singles on Sun, pressed in a hypnotic yellow and black marble colored vinyl. Additionally, a bonus 7-inch EP of four Elvis songs recorded at Sun which didn’t see release until later are collected in a prime pretty picture sleeve and pressed on yellow and black “sun ray” splattered vinyl.
To further accentuate the set, Third Man has included two linen-style postcards in the box, one depicting the classic, unassuming facade of the Sun storefront and the other showing, in glorious detail, the beauty of sound absorbing acoustic tile. Also added here is a name-tag styled patch spiritually inspired by the accoutrement of Presley’s truck-driving job at Crown Electric, extolling the titular hook of that first Elvis a-side. And finally, a substantive, milled nickel 45 adaptor, featuring the iconic rooster emblazoned on all those early singles.
Beyond that, ONE lucky customer will receive a package that contains original 1950s pressings of ALL FIVE Elvis Presley singles on Sun. Sought after by collectors for decades, these records’ value align more with precious metals than molded plastic. A true golden-ticket opportunity. Order now through January 31st at www.thirdmanrecords.com/vault. Packages begin shipping in April.
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In the course of popular culture, tectonic shifts of “before” and “after” demarcation, of truly watershed importance, land once, maybe twice a century.
America’s greatest contribution to the world is, undoubtedly, rock and roll music. Firmly embedded in the firmament of just about the entire globe, drawing its genesis back to a simple storefront recording operation far from any big city metropolis, rock and roll infuses a vibe, the spirit, all of life with the sense of opportunity.
So only in America, where the confluence of blues music and country perfectly overlapped smack dab in the middle of Memphis, Tennessee, would a shot heard ‘round the world emanate from an untested nineteen-year-old truck driver with no legitimate professional recording experience.
And that nineteen year-old, at the insistent urging of a visionary producer, over the course of multiple sessions and various different songs, trying to croon his way into something, out of exhaustion or plain old letting loose, starts to goof around, to “act the fool” on a song that’s already eight years old at that point, ancient essentially, and turns the world on its head.
The songs recorded by Elvis Presley at Sun Studio survive as a psychic ur-text of rock and roll and its antecedents as a cultural phenomenon. From the initial fool-actin’ of “That’s All Right” from July 1954 through the unimpeachable “Mystery Train” of just one year later, the five singles produced by Sam Phillips with Scotty Moore and Bill Black as trusty guitar and bass accompaniment brim with a primitive, simple perfection
These songs changed the trajectory of the 20th century. It’s best put by the estimable Peter Guralnick when he writes…
“If Elvis Presley had never made another record after his last Sun session in the fall of 1955, there seems little question that his music would have achieved much the same mythic status as Robert Johnson’s blues. The body of his work at Sun is so transcendent, so fresh, and so original that even today you can scarcely listen to it in relation to anything but itself. Like all great art its sources may be obvious, but its overall impact defies explanation.”
THE SUN SINGLES 1954-55
That’s All Right b/w Blue Moon Of Kentucky
I Don’t Care If The Sun Don’t Shine b/w Good Rockin’ Tonight
Milkcow Blues Boogie b/w You’re A Heartbreaker
I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone b/w Baby, Let’s Play House
Mystery Train b/w I Forgot To Remember To Forget
Blue Moon - Just Because b/w Trying To Get To You - When It Rains, It Really Pours