Orion – Sunrise

Who is your absolute favorite musician?  Are they dead?  Do you wish there was an untapped vault of their material that you have never heard?  Well, if the answer to the first question is Elvis Presley, then I have good news for you.

I am a huge Elvis fan.  I have been to Graceland many times, I know all of his music, and I have his face tattooed on my right shoulder.  However, I did not know about Orion until I saw a documentary about the man while on a flight.

Here is the short story: Jimmy Ellis sounded exactly like Elvis.  The man who bought Sun Records from Sam Phillips signed Ellis to a record contract, gave him the stage name Orion, and made up a backstory.  Orion’s music was not long lost Elvis recordings or Elvis hiding his identity, but they did not mind anyone believing that they were.  In fact, Orion’s mere existence perpetuated the whole “Elvis isn’t dead” theory.

What does the music sound like?  Elvis.  Seriously.  Sunrise sounds like 1970s Vegas-era Elvis.  It has an accessible rock n roll feeling with head bobbing beats and sing-a-long lyrics.  Plus, the man sounds exactly like Elvis.  His voice is indistinguishable.

The most noticeable difference between Sunrise and Elvis recordings is the production value.  Elvis albums sounded big and full.  His band was amazing.  The band on this record sounds canned.  It sounds like a cheaply recorded backing track with background singers that were plucked off the street.  The music on this album is a cheap reproduction of that 70s Elvis style of rock that has threads of country and broadway musicals running through it.

It is the off-brand cheese of music.  It looks like cheese, it feels like cheese, but it only tastes like cheese if you use your imagination.  The redeeming quality of this record is Orion’s voice and how much it sounds like The King.  It is uncanny.

If you are an Elvis fan like me, buy this record.  It truly is worth the listen.

My favorite track:  You Can’t Judge A Book

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