Ernst Jorgensen has made a lifelong study of Presley, and as the director of RCA s Elvis recordings catalog for the past decade he has been granted exclusive, unlimited access to the label s tape vaults and archives With Elvis Presley A Life in Music Jorgensen puts us in the studio for every single session of Elvis s twenty four year career, from the first acetate he cut as an eighteen year old truck driver into the series of concerts recorded just before his death inAt the heart of the book is an unparalleled collection of data on the recordings themselves From complete musician rosters to master take information, this collection sets a new standard for recording session guides Behind such statistics, though, is the story of Elvis Presley the recording artist master synthesist, driven perfectionist, a one man industry brought down by the very system built to support him In a narrative rich with anecdote and insight, Jorgensen reveals how this ambitious singer worked tirelessly to create the sounds he heard in his own mind and how, even when business or personal trials overwhelmed him, the music was always at the center of his life This book tells a sad story I read the first 130 pages or so, which describes his pre army recordings, and then forced myself to skim through the last few hundred which discuss his decent into madness Madness How else can you explain a guy who goes from inventing rock n roll in Memphis, combining R B, Country, Gospel, Blues and Pop in songs like Mystery Train, to recording utter crap like Yoga is as yoga does for the Easy Come Easy Go Soundtrack He did make a comeback in the late 60s This book tells a sad story I read the first 130 pages or so, which describes his pre army recordings, and then forced myself to skim through the last few hundred which discuss his decent into madness Madness How else can you explain a guy who goes from inventing rock n roll in Memphis, combining RB, Country, Gospel, Blues and Pop in songs like Mystery Train, to recording utter crap like Yoga is as yoga does for the Easy Come Easy Go Soundtrack He did make a comeback in the late 60s, but he had already spent 9 years churning out some of the silliest nonsense ever put on record What a waste of talent Everybody blames the Colonel, but this guy was savy, he knew what he was doing His friends recalled that he wouldn t let them play his records at parties at Graceland, saying things like turn that crap off He was also known to be so amused at the stupidity of the stuff he was recording that he could barely keep from laughing long enough to get it on tape He only had himself to blame At least we can listen to the early stuff, and forget the stupid movies, and later fat amphetamine incoherent stage babble paranoid Howard Hughes period A delightfully comprehensive work that gets the attention to where we should be looking the music It has all the information about every session you could possibly want, plus a lot of good extras, like many studio photos I had never seen It can be read for reference or straight through I read everything up until the army and skimmed the rest Jorgensen is a real fan, an excellent writer, and an astute observer A must have book on the King for sure. If I had to own two books on Elvis Presley, it would be two of these three listed alphabetically by author Peter Guralnick Last Train To Memphis Ernst Jorgensen Elvis Presley A Life in Music The Complete Recording Sessions Greil Marcus Mystery Train Nuff said