This Collection of Elvis Presley’s Earliest Work Is Amazing

And not to be missed.

Elvis Presley
A Boy from Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings
RCA/Legacy

Sony Music

Every phase of Elvis Presley’s career produced its share of great music, but his earliest efforts are the most enduring and influential. Before the King became a sensation with hits like “Jailhouse Rock” and “Heartbreak Hotel,” he created a stir recording in Memphis for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records, in the process inventing the template for rock and roll. Elvis’ Sun singles, featuring such songs as “Mystery Train,” “That’s All Right” and “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” fused country and R&B with a revolutionary fervor that still feels fresh and vital today.

The amazing three-disc set collects all of these and much more, gathering up every known scrap of an outtake, however brief, as well as the four private recordings Elvis paid to make when he was still a nobody. The third disc offers a host of incendiary live performances—in sound quality ranging from decent to muddy—that clearly show what all the fuss was about. Between Elvis’ hopped-up hillbilly charisma and the electric buzz running through the crowd, it’s impossible to sit still, even after all these years.

One More Thing

And it's a big one. Mother Jones is launching a new Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on the corruption that is both the cause and result of the crisis in our democracy.

The more we thought about how Mother Jones can have the most impact right now, the more we realized that so many stories come down to corruption: People with wealth and power putting their interests first—and often getting away with it.

Our goal is to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We're aiming to create a reporting position dedicated to uncovering corruption, build a team, and let them investigate for a year—publishing our stories in a concerted window: a special issue of our magazine, video and podcast series, and a dedicated online portal so they don't get lost in the daily deluge of headlines and breaking news.

We want to go all in, and we've got seed funding to get started—but we're looking to raise $500,000 in donations this spring so we can go even bigger. You can read about why we think this project is what the moment demands and what we hope to accomplish—and if you like how it sounds, please help us go big with a tax-deductible donation today.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate