sun 209 385x280 Why Elvis Presleys First Record Never Sounds Right

[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Elvis Presley[/lastfm] made the best records I’ve ever heard, and the worst records I’ve ever heard.  Today I’m focusing on the first record he ever made which was recorded on July 5, 1954.  It was during a session that wasn’t going well that Elvis, Scotty and Bill took a break, and made music history with That’s All Right.  But I could never find a copy on CD that sounded like the original Sun pressing, so I did a little digging and found out why we’ll never hear it as it was originally released.

When Elvis‘ contract was bought by RCA Victor in November 1955, the Sun masters were also sold to RCA including  That’s All RightRCA made a dub of the original tape adding compression and studio echo – changing the sound of the performance, and that’s how they’ve issued it every since. Purists have screamed for them to release the original version since the beginning of the digital era.  But the sad fact is, in the intervening years RCA lost the Sun master tape and only have their “doctored” copy in their vaults.

If you’re curious what the original tape sounded like, here’s a dub from my original 45.

Obviously I took better of my stuff than RCA did!


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