Elvis opens with "Rip It Up," one of three Little Richard covers on the album. From the exciting drum intro, it's clear the band does indeed intend to rip it up. While Presley's voice doesn't match the high-octane power of Richard's, he puts his own spin on the song making for a different, yet equally exciting, version.
"Love Me" is one of the all-time-great Presley ballads and one he'd feature extensively when he started touring again in 1969. One only needs to hear the opening "Treat me like a fool" to be instantly transfixed. Otis Blackwell's "Paralyzed" is a forgotten gem on the LP and would have been released as a single had it not been so similar to "Don't Be Cruel," also written by Blackwell. Presley delivers a confident vocal that betrays his young 21 years on the track.
The included bonus singles for Elvis aren't just bonus tracks —they changed rock 'n' roll. From the doo-wop-influence of "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" to the aforementioned pop gem "Don't Be Cruel," these were legendary songs by a soon-to-be legendary artist.
Presley brought Big Mama Thornton's "Hound Dog" to a white audience, giving the song a hard edge with a gritty vocal. The track features some tasty lead-playing by Moore and remains one of the highlights of the rock 'n' roll era. The CD's final track, "Love Me Tender," a reworking of the folk song "Aura Lee," became the title song to Presley's first movie and one of his best-loved tracks. The song showed a softer side to the young rocker and became a staple of his live shows for years to come.
It's easy now to say how influential these songs were, but at the time, no one had ever heard rock albums such as Elvis Presley and Elvis. Women wanted to be with him, men wanted to be him, and parents feared him. Presley changed the game, paving the way for every rock artist that came after him, making Elvis Presley (Legacy Edition) essential for not only Presley fans, but fans of popular music as well.