(What did the critics and fans say?)
"Milkcow Blues Boogie" is one of Presley's most important Sun recordings. It begins slowly, and very well, before Presley stops and says: "Hold it fellas. That don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change!" He then launches into a faster version, with a fine lengthy guitar solo, before the song fades out. This was the first Presley recording to adopt this trick.
Robert Matthew-Walker, Elvis Presley: A Study in Music, 1979
Sun rockabilly classic, which starts off with Elvis talking about the old milk cow and saying, "Hold it fellers. That don't move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change!". And that's exactly what Elvis, Scotty and Bill do - with a vengeance. A unique bit of hillbilly boogie.
Martin Torgoff, The Complete Elvis, 1982
Lesson #1 is that rock music is in the fighting spirit, not in the amperage of the guitars; indeed, some of the toughest rocking has come from all, or mostly acoustic bands; Elvis presented a primer lesson from the famous Sun sessions, with a simple blues song through the most famous faux false start in rock history; he and the boys start out all slow and bluesy, before stopping the band cold and calling it out like the hippest beat poet: 'Hold it fellas. That don't... move me. Let's get real, real gone for a change'. Then they did, let it loose, turned every bit of intensity in their beings into a jumping arrangement, much faster and more rhythmically nuanced a performance than the opening. Much of the intensity is in the fast and furious, but precisely laid out detail work; there is a strong sense of spontaneity and discovery, but what ultimately makes this a hall-of-fame performance is the vocal performance; Elvis doing tricks, making sudden octave wide jumps. "If you see my milkcow..." There is a charismatic determination of spirit that Nietzsche would no doubt have recognized as the will to power; when the King got through with it, it was no longer anything to do with a high calcium drink, but about the singer's assertion of his place in the universe.
...It's a magnificent readying of the song - it's one of Elvis' finest vocals of this period and the spontaneity of the musicianship is simply a joy. One of the masterpieces of Sunrise.
Thomas Ward, from the AllMusic review of "Milkcow Blues Boogie"
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