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15 June 2016

5 Times Elvis Shaped The Future Of Music

Like all the biggest stars, Elvis only needs one name. But how did this boy from Mississippi become The King? Before Elvis In Concert comes to The O2 in November, we look back at the hip-shaking, lip-curling, video pioneering career of the one and only rock ‘n’ roll master.

1. He took rock ‘n’ roll mainstream

Ok so it was Bill Haley's Rock Around The Clock that started the craze. But no one can deny it was Presley who took rock ‘n’ roll to the masses. He was the complete package - young, dangerous, beautiful – Elvis sang like a gospel God and had the decade's best songs – it's no surprise he became a global phenomenon.

2. Forget show biz, he invented music biz

Elvis was no dummy, but his ruthless manager Colonel Tom Parker was the true brains behind the outfit. Parker believed it was his job to make money - and boy, did he do that. If there was a buck to be had, Parker would exploit it – like the string of Elvis feature films (even Elvis hated them!) The music business has been following Parker’s lead ever since.

3. He married sex and music

If you thought Miley Cyrus and Rihanna’s videos and live shows were raunchy and controversial, take a minute to consider Elvis, waving his pelvis around and singing about Hound Dog on TV in 1956. Adults looked on in horror as this sexy, rebellious maverick hip-thrusted his way through a set on the The Milton Berle Show. The youth, on the other hand, screamed with excitement, and the rest, as they say, was history. Thangyouverymuch!

4. He gave us the teenager

Yes, the teenager existed before Elvis, but his arrival gave birth to an explosion of youth culture never seen before. Once upon a time, you finished school, got a job and started dressing like your mum and dad. All of sudden, there was something in between. Teenagers had their own fashions, music and language - parents have been scared silly ever since! Hasn’t stopped them loving the same music though, has it Amber?

5. He’s inspired every singer EVER since!

'Before Elvis, there was nothing.' That's what John Lennon said, and his fellow Beatle Paul McCartney shared the same belief. For kids growing up in the 50s, Elvis turned life from boring black and white to glorious multi-colour. Bob Dylan was a fan, and just about every big star of the 1960s. And his influence is still around today, from Arctic Monkey Alex Turner's hair to Britney Spears' glitz-and-glamour residency in Vegas. Long live The King!