As a chronicle of the King's mainstream breakthrough year -- and thus a critical year in American pop culture -- Elvis 56 is a breathtaking document. This 2003 reissue features the same 22 songs (including two alternate takes, notably a previously unissued take of "Heartbreak Hotel") as the earlier disc, but an up-to-the-minute remixing and remastering has vastly improved the sound quality. The tracks are heavily weighted toward material that appeared on Presley's first two studio albums, supplemented by non-album singles, including such vital entries as "Hound Dog," "Don't Be Cruel," "Too Much," "Any Way You Want Me," and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You." On Presley's Sun recordings, guitarist Scotty Moore's pop-influenced country stylings and robust, hollow-body tone suggested the fuller sound producer Chet Atkins sculpted here for the Hillbilly Cat in RCA's Nashville studio, where the singer was accompanied by his usual band along with some A-team session players and, crucially, the Jordanaires vocal group. The result is seminal and still-influential pop-rockabilly in the up-tempo numbers and a country-pop approach on the ballad sides. The material favors Elvis's R&B/blues bent, ranging from covers of a couple of Little Richard hits, Lloyd Price's R&B boiler "Lawdy Miss Clawdy," Ray Charles's "I Got a Woman," two Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup tunes, and the first of many Leiber-Stoller songs in the Presley canon, including the haunting ballad "Love Me." Forty-seven years after the fact, this music remains potent and exciting.