Million Dollar Quartet (Osc) CD (2011)

Artist: Various

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Product Overview


Label EMI Distributed Label/emi
SKU 222542654
UPC 857974002000
UPC 14 00857974002000
Format CD
Release Date 7/26/2011
Author Various
Technical Info
Engineer Chris Steinmetz
Producer Chuck Mead; Hank Neuberger
CatalogID 40020
Lable Name Entertainment Company of America Re
Released 07/26/2011
Original Release 2011
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 47m : 16s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00857974002000
Album Notes and Credits
Liner Note Author: Colin Escott.
Recording information: Avatar Studios, NYC (03/22/2010); Chicago recording Company (03/22/2010); Avatar Studios, NYC (10/27/2008); Chicago recording Company (10/27/2008).
Photographer: Joan Marcus.
Arranger: Chuck Mead.
On December 4, 1956, Carl Perkins held a recording session at the Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and producer and label head Sam Phillips brought in a new, unknown signee to Sun, Jerry Lee Lewis, to play piano. During the session, Johnny Cash, then also a Sun artist and a country star, dropped by, as did Elvis Presley, whose Sun contract Phillips had sold to RCA Victor, which had made Presley a major pop star. The four artists posed for a photograph, and three of them (Cash went home early) played as Phillips let the tapes roll. A bootleg of the session was dubbed The Million Dollar Quartet; eventually the album was given a legitimate release. Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, in their book for the 2010 Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, use the recording session to encapsulate various events in the lives of those present. In their telling, Perkins seethes with anger at having missed his shot at stardom when a car crash prevented him from singing his song "Blue Suede Shoes" on national television and Presley scored a hit with it instead. Lewis is cocky and egotistical, bursting with the arrogance that will make him a star within a year. Cash is looking for a way to tell Phillips that he's leaving Sun for a major label. Phillips is hoping to re-sign Cash, while also pondering an offer to join RCA. Presley is hoping to help persuade Phillips to take that offer. Along the way, the four musicians sing and play nearly two dozen songs, including their own hits and other then-contemporary material. (Escott and Mutrux have not felt restricted to the songs -- mostly gospel numbers -- that Perkins, Lewis, and Presley actually performed.) On this cast album, there are snippets of dialogue, but for the most part it's the songs that dominate, as Eddie Clendening impersonates Presley; Lance Guest is Cash; Levi Kreis plays Lewis; and Rob Lyons inhabits Perkins. (Elizabeth Stanley plays a fictional Presley girlfriend and gets to do a couple of numbers, too.) Of the four principals, Guest is the closest clone to his character, effectively re-creating the sound of Johnny Cash. Lyons doesn't really sound at all like Perkins, though he does sound good. Clendening and Kreis are somewhere in between. The arrangements lean toward rockabilly, with plenty of slapback bass, and the performers are uniformly enthusiastic. Of course, the original recordings are far superior, but effectively assembled and performed jukebox musicals like this help keep the music alive. ~ William Ruhlmann
Disc 1
1 Million Dollar Quartet: Blue Suede Shoes
2 Million Dollar Quartet: Real Wild Child
3 Million Dollar Quartet: Matchbox
4 Million Dollar Quartet: Who Do You Love?
5 Million Dollar Quartet: Folsom Prison Blues
6 Million Dollar Quartet: Fever
7 Million Dollar Quartet: Memories Are Made of This
8 Million Dollar Quartet: That's All Right
9 Million Dollar Quartet: Brown Eyed Handsome Man
10 Million Dollar Quartet: Down by the Riverside
11 Million Dollar Quartet: Sixteen Tons/My Babe
12 Million Dollar Quartet: Long Tall Sally
13 Million Dollar Quartet: Peace in the Valley
14 Million Dollar Quartet: I Walk the Line
15 Million Dollar Quartet: I Hear You Knocking
16 Million Dollar Quartet: Party
17 Million Dollar Quartet: Great Balls of Fire
18 Million Dollar Quartet: Hound Dog
19 Million Dollar Quartet: Riders in the Sky
20 Million Dollar Quartet: See You Later, Alligator
21 Million Dollar Quartet: Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On

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