domingo, 15 de junio de 2014

Blue Moon

The first and only verified recording session for Blue Moon took place at Sun Studio on Wednesday night, August 19, 1954. The only musicians at the session were Scotty and Elvis on guitar and Bill on bass. Sam Phillips was in the control booth. Guralnick describes the session and its results as follows:
"On August 19 they spent hours doing take after take of 'Blue Moon,' in an eerie, clippity-clop version that resembled a cross between Slim Whitman's 'Indian Love Call' and some of the falsetto flights of the r&b 'bird' groups (the Orioles, the Ravens, the Larks). After it was all over, Sam wasn't satisfied that they had anything worth releasing, but he never uttered a word of demurral for fear of discouraging the unfettered freshness and enthusiasm of the singer."

Elvis's version was never released on Sun Records. It was among the unused Presley recordings turned over to RCA when it purchased Elvis's contract in late 1955. It was released, along with three other discarded Sun cuts, on Presley's first RCA album in March 1956. In September that year, RCA released Blue Moon as a single backed with another Sun recording, Just Because, as part of a mass singles release. In listing all the titles in its "Review Spotlight" column on September 8, 1956, Billboard labeled them, "Fourteen tunes, formerly available on Presley's LP's or EP's, now available on seven singles, within reach of any kid with 89 cents."

It soon became apparent that of the seven singles, Blue Moon/Just Because was selling the best. In its September 22 issue, Billboard listed that single in both its "Coming Up Strong" and "This Week's Best Buys" lists. "This disk, with emphasis on 'Blue Moon,' is stepping out and starting to move," Billboard reported.
Elvis's version of the song entered Billboard's "Top 100" chart at #87 on September 29, 1956. It's chart performance ranks as the most unusual among all of Presley's chart records during his career. While it had a very respectable 17-week run on the "Top 100," it didn't follow the normal chart pattern of steadily rising to a peak and then falling steadily back down the chart.
Instead Elvis's recording went on a chart roller coaster ride. It rose to #55 in its third week, and then fell back to #84 two weeks later. Then it rose back into the '60s for two weeks before falling back into the '90s, where it stayed for 6 weeks. Then it went back up again to #60; then back down to #97 for a couple of weeks. Twice during its up-and-down chart movement the song fell off the "Top 100" completely, only to resurface one or two weeks later. Finally, on February 9, 1957, it exited the chart for good.
During its 17 weeks on the "Top 100," Elvis's version of Blue Moon never reached higher than #55. Still it was on the chart longer than I Was the One and Blue Suede Shoes, both of which were top 25 hits for Elvis that year.

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