Update : Elvis' Christmas Album 9,000,000 Sales
Source: Nick Keene / Todd Morgan
January 2, 2008
Elvis' Christmas Album is the top-selling holiday release of all time with 9 million in sales. But they made an error listing the original 1957 version.
The version of the album that has sold 9,000,000 is the RCA Camden reissue from 1970, also titled Elvis' Christmas Album, which features the eight Christmas-oriented tracks from the original album plus two additional, later recordings. Included in that figure is the Pickwick reissue from 1976, which sold tons in the States in the years following Elvis' death. Pictured below.
The original 1957 album LOC-1035, is certified for Triple Platinum (3,000,000 units) by the RIAA. Those sales were achieved between 1957 and 1969.
We have confirmed this with EPE's Todd Morgan and our own Nick Keene who has done extensive research into Elvis' sales.
Blue Christmas * Silent Night * White Christmas * Santa Claus Is Back In Town * I'll Be Home For Christmas * If Every Day Was Like Christmas * Here Comes Santa Claus * Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem * Santa, Bring My Baby Back (To Me) * Mama Liked The Roses.
1. Elvis Presley - 'Elvis Christmas Album,' 1970. 9 million.
2. Kenny G - 'Miracles: The Holiday Album,' 1994. 8 million.
3. Various Artists - 'Now That's What I Call Christmas,' 2001. 6 million.
4. Mannheim Steamroller - 'A Fresh Aire Christmas,' 1988. 6 million.
5. Mannheim Steamroller - 'Mannheim Steamroller Christmas,' 1984. 6 million.
6. Barbra Streisand - 'A Christmas Album,' 1967. 5 million.
7. Mariah Carey - 'Merry Christmas,' 1994. 5 million.
8. Johnny Mathis - 'Merry Christmas,' 1958. 5 million.
Released in 1957, 'Elvis' Christmas Album' is the top-selling holiday release of all time with 9 million in sales, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. The single 'Blue Christmas' is a Christmas classic, even parodied by Porky Pig.
Holiday records are unique in the way they're promoted and marketed.
'It is a very short window that begins in late October, hits its peak the first two weeks of December, and then falls off the cliff right after the holiday,' explained Ben Kline, executive vice president of sales, marketing and new media for Universal Music Group Nashville.
Though the window is tight, successful releases will do well for at least a few seasons before trailing off, said Peter Strickland, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Warner Brothers Nashville.
This year's hot holiday release is Josh Groban's 'Noel,' a traditional collection that has already scanned more than 2 million.
But for many, the star at the top of the tree remains 'Elvis' Christmas Album.' Released at the height of Presley's fame, it's a must-have for the serious Christmas music fan.
Ironically, the album's biggest hit, 'Blue Christmas', was the one track Elvis didn't want to record. As Gordon Stoker, a member of the Jordanaires, the vocal group that backed Presley on that song and many others, recalls, Elvis at first refused to do 'Blue Christmas' out of respect for Ernest Tubb, who had had a No. 1 hit with it earlier.
When the producers said he had to cut it, he told folks at the session to come up with something so bad that it would never see the light of day as a single, Stoker told The Associated Press recently from his Nashville home.
'We thought that 'oo-ooo-oooo' was bad enough that they wouldn't release it,' Stoker said of the signature backing vocals. To this day, he said, 'It still sounds bad to me when I hear it.'
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