By Hayden Wright
Elvis Presley’s influence is felt so powerfully across all genres of music that it’s hard to imagine him as an unknown up-and-comer. A new box set titled A Boy From Tupelo – The Complete 1953-55 documents the early period of his career before he was a household name. The exhaustive collection includes every studio take, live performance, and radio appearance Presley made during those pivotal years. His first number-one hit came in 1956 with “Heartbreak Hotel.”
The three-disc set debuts July 28 and contains heretofore unreleased recordings like a live performance of “I Forgot to Remember to Forget” from 1955.
The studio takes came from sessions Elvis funded himself before signing a record deal with Sun in 1954. His subsequent move to RCA catapulted him to musical stardom, movies and cultural immortality.
In addition to recordings, the collectors’ set includes a 120-page book with rare photos, essays and more details about Elvis’ early years. Ultimately, the collection proves how hard Presley hustled to become the king.
“Through all the years working with the Presley legacy, it has bugged me that so many seem to believe that Elvis was just at the right time and place, and got lucky,” curator Ernst Mikael Jørgensen told Rolling Stone. “The music, the facts and the stories in A Boy From Tupelo aim to be put this right. It’s all about talent, hard work and originality.”