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The amazing ability of Elvis Presley…

By Mahnuel Muñoz

Elvis Presley’s amazing ability to turn his songs into real places, situations and even real people is, in my opinion, what has earned him worldwide recognition in popular songs, even above his extraordinary voice.

Fashions took away rock, they brought it back, they changed his clothing… But Elvis would always show off his ability to create truth in pieces of the most varied styles…

From his first recordings he already demonstrates the shocking gift to construct the story and immerse himself fully in it, dragging us with him without remedy. “Blue Moon” and “Harbour Lights” seem to me to be two of the most illustrative examples of Elvis’s early ability to kidnap us physically and emotionally and take us to strange places and times.


And this gift was sublimated during his first recording session with RCA Records in January 1956. Few artists can give a credible interpretation of a story and an atmosphere like the one proposed in “Heartbreak Hotel.” Elvis takes me there. My throat perceives the dust deposited on the reception desk, my nose feels an aroma of humidity and closure, I see pale, flickering lights in the hallways, my palate is flooded with the bitterness of its rooms. “Heartbreak Hotel” doesn’t let me classify it technically. Is it a blues? Does it have any country in it? Are you into jazz? It’s not a song, it’s a life experience, a recurring dream from which you wake up drenched in sweat.

Nothing has come close since then.

Can you imagine the faces and sweat glands of the people at RCA when they listen to an Elvis that has little to do with the Hillbilly Cat from Sun Records?

“Heartbreak Hotel” is a place to stay when music closes the door on me, when inspiration turns my head, when I don’t rhyme with life, and even when well-intentioned pupils try to bare my soul.

Every time demons come to ask me for an account, the only way to avoid them is to get into the labyrinths of jazz or the narrow, dark corridors of the Heartbreak, a corner of our being, so dark that not even ghosts venture into it.

Article written and provided by Mahnuel Muñoz

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