The Secret World Of Elvis

Elvis on leave from the army in Paris, early 1959.

Several weeks ago I wrote a posting on Percy Mayfield and put out a call to see if anyone out there had a line on Elvis’ x-rated outtake version of Mayfield’s masterpiece Stranger In My Own Hometown. Reader JohnnyQ responded with a link to said recording, and having downloaded it, in a fit of excitement sent out copies to several friends that I thought would enjoy hearing Elvis sing “motherfucker”, “cocksucker” and “hard prick” in the same tune. Of the responses I got back, my favorite was from esteemed author and cultural commentator Nick Tosches, who wrote: “Jim: as somebody who always felt that Elvis killed rock’n’roll until it rose from the dead again in 1965, I must say that this raises the value of his stock considerably in my mind. In fact, aside from Heartbreak Hotel and one cut on Having Fun On Stage (“…when you look in the mirror and see you are bald”, or whatever it is), this is the best Elvis I’ve ever heard”.
I concur, it is indeed right up there with Mystery Train and the version of Reconsider Baby from Elvis’ Back in my own mind. So for those who don’t bother with the comment section, I thought I’d put it right out here for the world to hear. It’s just too good to keep a secret. Monday was the thirty third anniversary of Elvis’ death (and the seventy first anniversary of Robert Johnson’s death, and it would have been Kelly Keller’s fifteenth birthday, had she lived) so consider this my tribute to all three. Don’t you love the photos?

20 thoughts on “The Secret World Of Elvis”

  1. I sent it along to my Dad, (also Nick fan, although he does not share the same view about The King) and his response was: “Jesus, it's not like Elvis to swear like that!”

  2. At last I can junk that censored version off the '70s Masters (sanctimoniously labelled 'Informal Recording') and put this in instead! Thanks, as always, Hound.

  3. there is a whole album of this material here is a link to the cover and tracks but the download has been deleted .regards brujo

  4. Great! However I don't know how Nick Tosches or any other 'esteemed author or social critic' reaches the conclusion that pre Beatles early 60's was such a bleak musical period. There are thousands of fabulous records that prove otherwise.It's true that Rock'n Roll tailed off in the mainstream that these people tend to write about, but as our kind of stuff is rarely represented there who cares anyway?This just buys into the cosy established journalistic point of view that rock'n roll having recovered with the Beatles in the mid 60's reached its zenith at Woodstock and has mostly remained robustly healthy ever since; aided of course by 'Rolling Stone', multiple awards, Halls of Fame and rockstar royalty.Personally I'd take the late 50's and early 60's over anything from the last 40 odd years.


Spit it out, partner...

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