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The 50th anniversary edition of this historic jam session with featuring elvis presley, johnny cash, jerry lee lewis and carl perkins, for the first time ever containing the complete recorded session in the original sequence with 12 more minutes than any previous release. During the afternoon of tuesday december 4, 1956, the world''s first superstar jam session took place and the million dollar quartet was born Elvis, john, jerry lee, and carl sang and performed their favourite songs at the famous sun studio in downtown memphis, tennessee. Includes an informative new essay by sun label expert colin escott.

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Customer reviews

4 out of 54 out of 5
30 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Vinyl Bill
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Interesting history from Sun Studio, Memphis
Reviewed in the United States on February 24, 2013
In early 1956, four brand-new stars of the Sun Studio gathered to make some informal recordings together. They were, of course, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Almost all the songs are gospel music, the common ground for these four... See more
In early 1956, four brand-new stars of the Sun Studio gathered to make some informal recordings together. They were, of course, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Almost all the songs are gospel music, the common ground for these four musicians. Elvis is the "alpha male" here, and I could pick out his voice easily; not so much for the others. I guess Sam Phillips put on a reel of tape and let it catch what might feed through the (not very well placed) microphones. I heard several instances of tape dropout, exactly how tape sounds when it gets "crinkled" through careless rewinding. However, I''m not complaining. I''m happy to have this 40 minutes of musical history in my collection. When my wife and I visited the Sun Studio as tourists in January 2013, I noticed a very large print of the quartet hanging on the studio wall, and that fired my interest in acquiring this LP.
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CSM7USA
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Too much chatter
Reviewed in the United States on March 5, 2013
I love each of these artists but as a combo they just did not peak my interest. Too much banter back and forth to really grasp the music.
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W.C. Cline
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Two Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 11, 2018
The singer''s. Expected a quartet not soloists.
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K. Black
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Three Stars
Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2016
disappointing music
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Daniel Jolley
5.0 out of 5 stars
A remarkable musical artifact
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2002
This is a remarkable recording, offering not only a glimpse of the real Elvis Presley but standing as a musical artifact of the birth of rock and roll. I should point out that the Million Dollar Quartet is a bit of a misnomer; although Johnny Cash was present at one point,... See more
This is a remarkable recording, offering not only a glimpse of the real Elvis Presley but standing as a musical artifact of the birth of rock and roll. I should point out that the Million Dollar Quartet is a bit of a misnomer; although Johnny Cash was present at one point, the couple of songs he supposedly sung on have never been found. What we have is an incredible jam session featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins (plus an assortment of lesser known musicians). The date was December 4, 1956; the place was the legendary Sun Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee. Elvis Presley was already a superstar, Carl Perkins was struggling to reproduce the success he had found with Blue Suede Shoes a year earlier, and Jerry Lee Lewis was basically unknown, having just cut his first tracks a couple of weeks earlier. They start singing some gospel songs, but the session picks up steam from there and continues through a great variety of musical songs and styles, all of which offer first-hand insight into the advent of rockabilly music and its metamorphosis into good ol'' rock and roll.
Elvis dominates this session, but Jerry Lee Lewis is also prominent throughout, which is pretty amazing considering the fact that he was still on the verge of success. Carl Perkins remains in the background, taking the lead only on the short song Keeper of the Key. Elvis'' tremendous gospel singing comes through loud and clear on such staples as Just a Little Walk With Jesus, Peace in the Valley, and Down By the Riverside, and Jerry Lee''s strong backup on these songs surprised me with its uniqueness and power. Soon the guys shift to bluegrass, giving us snippets of several Bill Monroe classics. Then the real fun begins. Elvis explains how the song Don''t Forbid Me sat in his house for months without his knowing about it; although it was written for him, Pat Boone ended up recording it. When he sings a part of it for the guys, all of us fans can only think what could have been because it is a great song. Then the guys do some Chuck Berry songs, repeatedly coming back to the truly entertaining Brown Eyed Handsome Man. Jerry Lee just loves the line about Venus losing both of her arms while wrestling to win herself a brown eyed handsome man. The greatest part of this session, to my mind, is Elvis'' imitation of an imitation of his Don''t Be Cruel. He talk about seeing a member of Ward''s Dominoes perform the song in Las Vegas; he was so impressed that he went back four straight nights just to hear it. That singer was Jackie Wilson, and Elvis'' imitation of Jackie''s imitation of his own song is really something special. Toward the end of the session, the magic seems to evaporate somewhat, with Jerry Lee Lewis taking the lead on several songs. His End of the Road is classic Jerry Lee singing and piano-playing. Unfortunately, when Jerry Lee sings Crazy Arms, he is too far away from the microphone to be heard clearly, but that is not to be unexpected in a jam session such as this. Throughout the session, there is almost constant chatter among the musicians and those gathered around listening to them.
This CD is basically a time capsule left to future generations containing primary source material on the birth of rock and roll. Elvis fans will absolutely love it, but anyone interested in the music of that era should find much insight and enjoyment of their own in listening to it. Few of these songs are complete; most of the time, the guys constantly move back and forth from one song to another, sometimes having trouble remembering all the words (which is not a bad thing); all told, this CD features almost one hour and seven minutes of musical magic. The sound quality is not all that bad, especially considering when the session took place; it''s pretty amazing that this would ever have been recorded in the first place. Sometimes the music gods smile down on all of us and grant us a miraculous gift, and this may well be one of the greatest gifts of them all. Early on, you can hear Jerry Lee Lewis say, "Boy, this is fun!"--my sentiments exactly.
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Bill Porter
1.0 out of 5 stars
WARNING: This is not the official BMG release, but a counterfeit product!
Reviewed in the United States on August 21, 2006
A word of a caution for anybody remotely interested in this material. It was just confirmed that BMG will officially release "The Complete Million Dollar Quartet" on Sep.19, 2006. This will feature for the first time ever, the COMPLETE RECORDED SESSION in the ORIGINAL... See more
A word of a caution for anybody remotely interested in this material. It was just confirmed that BMG will officially release "The Complete Million Dollar Quartet" on Sep.19, 2006. This will feature for the first time ever, the COMPLETE RECORDED SESSION in the ORIGINAL SEQUENCE with 12 more minutes than any other previous release! Stay away from the cheap rehash labels (such as this Charly release), do yourself a favor and seek out the original BMG release when it comes out. The sound quality alone will be superior to anything out there as they''ve used tapes from Elvis'' own archives.
2 people found this helpful
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dphilip
3.0 out of 5 stars
Million Dollar Quartet
Reviewed in the United States on August 17, 2009
It wasn''t like the Million Dollar Quartet show that I saw. I thoroughly enjoyed the show. The album doesn''t have as much Elvis as I thought/hoped it would have.
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Top reviews from other countries

Bob Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 1, 2018
Without a doubt it did 4 of the best performers to come out of the 50.s
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Dodo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2014
This is a quirky album for dedicated fans as the quality of the music is up and down. It is a real curiosity to hear these amazing artists jamming together, even if the results are rather haphazard. It is old fashioned.
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Thbrookes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Million Dollar Quartet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 19, 2016
Many great songs from four of the greatest that will have you foot tapping singing along with them, as you remember their best
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great CD
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 14, 2016
This is a great CD which brings back many happy memories.
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sadoldfart
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Nothing new.....
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 2, 2013
....but great nonetheless. Only four stars because we all know the quartet and we know the songs. Just nice to have them together on one disc.
2 people found this helpful
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