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By Mahnuel Muñoz

In December 1959, the album “Elvis’ Gold Records Vol.2” was published, an instant classic for showing on its cover the image of Elvis wearing the legendary gold lamé suit designed by couturier Nudie Cohn. The image has inspired the design of other album covers by artists such as Phil Ochs, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi.

The album is made up of a selection of songs previously published as singles, with the usual mix of hard-hitting rock, intense ballads and roots music, with the aim of easing the wait of fans, who were counting the days until Elvis would return. of military service.

Commercially speaking, the album had a humble performance, failing to rise above 31st place in the United States. Perhaps the greatest contribution of this work is that its cover is the perfect epilogue to the first phase of the king’s career, a brief and dizzying time in which he went from being the threatening black and white southern teenager who brandished his guitar with expression facial expression of impudent ecstasy in the seminal LP “Elvis Presley” (1956) to the Hollywood ephebe of the portraits that contained his production until 1958 and culminating in the young man redeemed by fame and fortune.

The suit had been commissioned for Elvis by Colonel Parker after seeing the extravagant pianist Liberace dressed in gold in Las Vegas. Costing $2,500 (equivalent to almost $25,000 today), the suit was debuted by Elvis on March 28, 1957 in a concert before twelve thousand spectators at the International Amphitheater in Chicago. In the middle of his dedicated performance, the king knelt on stage, damaging the expensive fabric of his pants. The colonel asked that he not kneel again and Presley felt uncomfortable and limited by the outfit, so he soon changed his pants for dark ones that also made the jacket stand out.

Elvis, no stranger to aesthetic excesses, must have, however, considered Nudie’s suit ostentatious, because after a short time he kept it forever in the closet, perhaps feeling, as Peter Guralnick points out in his book “Last Train To Memphis ”, which “would have been advertising the suit, instead of the other way around.”

The suit would perhaps have remained an anecdotal element if it had not been used to illustrate the cover of this album, and in turn the album would not have acquired its influential status without having such a striking image.

Article written and provided by Mahnuel Muñoz https://www.facebook.com/mahnuelmunozoficial


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