Monday, February 12, 2024

Review For LP Fans Only

The Dutch Music On Vinyl re-issued the classic ‘For LP Fans Only’ as a limited edition of 2,500 individually numbered copies on translucent blue colored vinyl. A good reason to give this hit compilation a spin.


When I opened the package I couldn’t help but smile back at Elvis, just look at this friendly handsome guy looking you in the face. The glossy finish gives this album a real deluxe touch. 

The cover is a faithful recreation of the original album art, with only Nipper missing for the usual copyright reasons. Another oddity is that probably someone at Sony provided the Music on Vinyl label the artwork used for the Friday Music release of this album (the prefix is "FRM 1990"). On the back the promotional picture showing Elvis in his army uniform, “suitable for framing” for all the girls he left behind. 

The album comes on solid blue vinyl, flat as it should be with great sound, probably using the digital masters. 


The album was originally released as a placeholder to keep Elvis’ name before the public for the two years he served his country for Uncle Sam. As there was no possibility to get Elvis in the studio and no opportunity to record live performances or movies, RCA and Colonel Parker had be creative. 

They pre-recorded material for five single releases, and as Elvis scored in the albums market, RCA also wanted to cash in with another album by their hot commodity. They created a compilation from previously released material from various sessions for RCA and 20th Century Fox and Sam Phillips’ SUN records. 

The result is an awkward compilation of  RCA single and EP tracks - the bonus track ‘Poor Boy’ from the movie ‘Love Me Tender’ - and four SUN songs that were previously issued as singles by Sun Records. As those originally had a limited release, they were very difficult to come by outside of the south, although RCA released them on single when they bought Elvis’ contract with SUN records.

The smooth Elvis on the cover is actually a little deceiving. Listening to this LP you could say that this is more a Rockabilly album than anything else, even when by this time, Elvis had moved on to a more smooth Rock and Roll sound. The raw edge from his early recordings on this compilation make them sound bluesy and sexually charged. Listen to Elvis tearing up ‘Shake Rattle and Roll’ and the carnality to his growl on ‘Lawdy Miss Clawdy’. For many fans this would be the only place they could listen to the SUN recordings on LP until 1976 next to the SUN tracks on his debut album.

Fortunately you can still hear this on his first RCA recordings like ‘My Baby Left Me’, a shameless reworking of his first local hit ‘That's All Right’, and his smoldering performance of ‘I Was the One’, the B-side of his debut single. Just two songs fall out-of-tone, the before mentioned ‘Poor Boy’ as an upbeat, but light composition and the audio of ‘You’re A Heartbreaker’. 


Even though the songs were compiled from various recording sessions over a two-year period, combining raw and raunch with smooth(er) recordings, the resulting album works very well as a whole. And while the LP did not sell as well as Elvis’ first albums (stalling at #19 on Billboard's album chart, where his previous LPs hit the Top 3), it is still a great compilation 55 years later. The only complaint I have that it is too short!

This re-issue by the Music on Vinyl record label is an enjoyable, good looking and good sounding upgrade if your original copy is worn out.

The LP is available from >>> Amazon U.S. (Associate Link).