1958 was the year of Elvis’ famous army draft. Being one of the biggest names not just in rock ‘n’ roll/pop at the time, but in the entertainment industry as a whole, he was offered the privilege of serving as a mere entertainer for the Special Services. He declined, stating that he doesn’t want to be treated any differently than his regular fellow soldiers: “The Army can do anything it wants with me”.
Within the two years he served, Elvis barely recorded any new music at all. The sole session was held at Nashville on 10th and 11th of June, 1958, with only 5 new compositions recorded. I Got Stung was the first one of them released as a single, peaking at #8 in the charts. Next came (Now and Then There’s A) Fool Such as I released as a double A-side with I Need Your Love Tonight, both top 10 hits. Since Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby would be saved for a 1964 release, A Big Hunk o’ Love was the last remaining song of the session.
And the most successful one upon release. Guitarist Scotty Moore and bassist Bill Black, who had been with Elvis since his early Sun Studios days, were both abandoned in favor of top Nashville session musicians. The song has a rocking feel and was co-written by Aaron Schroeder, the author behind multiple Presley compositions. Elvis’ Gold Records, Volume 2 was its home album – one of the many compilations the recording label had prepared to keep the fans satisfied while Elvis was serving in the Army.
A Big Hunk o’ Love spent 2 consecutive weeks at number one in Billboard Top 100 before being dethroned by The Browns’ The Three Bells.