“Rip It Up”, Elvis Presley

Rip It up

I first heard Elvis sing “Rip It Up” when I was 5 or 6 years old.  It was on a 4-song 45 my mother had when she was a kid, and one of the records I played a lot on my little portable, faux denim-covered record player.  I didn’t know anything about Elvis except what I saw on the cover.  He probably reminded me of Fonzie and Bowzer.

Rip It Up III

I didn’t know until much later that this was a cover of a Little Richard song, and I certainly didn’t understand what a common practice it was at the time for white artists to perform songs originally recorded by black artists.  I didn’t know that the song was an anthem to living your life for music.  All I knew was that I dug Elvis and this song.  It’s really swingin’, so much fun to dance to and sing along with.  Elvis’ version isn’t so different from Little Richard’s, just a little faster and not as much sax. 

Rip It Up II

What I notice about it as an adult is how bare bones it sounds, how basic and perfect it is.  100% rockabilly.  100% kickass.  100% real music.  If you listen to this and don’t want to hear more Elvis, you’re dead inside.

4 thoughts on ““Rip It Up”, Elvis Presley

  1. Hmm, I think Elvis never really covered Little Richard convincingly. But maybe it’s got to do with me preferring the latter when it comes to 50s rock ‘n’ roll.


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