Elvis Presley: UK #1 Albums
11 #1 Albums: 1956-2007
In the late spring of 1956 however, the role of leader of the Rock n Roll movement was taken over by Elvis Presley. Elvis looked the part as well and Bill Haley was already in his 30s and never had the sexual attraction of his younger rival. Elvis Presley's first chart album, Rock n Roll also spent just one week at the top in 1956. The first RCA single Heartbreak Hotel established Elvis as an international superstar and by the time he had also had hit singles with Blue Suede Shoes, I Want You I Need You I Love You and the double sided Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel, the first LP was eagerly awaited. When Rock n Roll was finally released it was a compilation of four of the Sun label tracks recorded in 1954/5 but also included a cover of Little Richard's Tutti Fruitti and Carl Perkins Blue Suede Shoes. Despite the LPs impact, entering at no.3 at the beginning of November and one week later, hitting no.1, it only spent a total of seven weeks on the listings and by mid December, it had departed.
Top albums of 1956
1 Soundtrack - Carousel
2 Soundtrack - King And I
3 Soundtrack - Oklahoma
4 Bill Haley & Comets - Rock Around The Clock
5 Frank Sinatra - Songs For Swingin' Lovers
6 Bill Haley & Comets - Rock n Roll Stage Shows
7 Lonnie Donegan - Showcase
8 Elvis Presley - Rock n Roll
9 Mel Torme - At The Crescendo
10 Soundtrack - Eddy Duchin Story
After one week at no.1 with Rock n Roll the previous year, he reached no.3 with its follow up Rock n Roll no.2 featuring both the rockin side of Elvis Rip It Up, Long Tall Sally and Paralysed and his ballads Love me and Old Shep. There was also a compilation LP The Best Of Elvis. He went one place better to end the year at no.2 with Elvis Christmas Album which combined the four tracks from the 'Peace In The Valley' EP, religious gospel collection including the title track, Take My Hand and I Believe, along with recordings of seasonal standards and popular Christmas classics White Christmas, Silent Night, Santa Claus Is Back In Town, Blue Christmas and O Little Town Of Bethlehem. He also achieved his second no.1 LP with the soundtrack to Loving You which spent 3 weeks at no.1 and 10 weeks at no.2, using songs featured in Elvis' second film on one side with new tracks on the other and included the hits (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear, Party, Got A Lot Of Livin To Do and the title track.
In September, Elvis Presley returned to the top with the soundtrack to his film King Creole. One place lower at no.2 was last year's soundtrack Loving You and a new compilation Elvis Golden Records. King Creole was the last film made by Elvis before entering the US army and also the last in black and white. The songs in the film included the hit singles Hard Headed Woman and the title track and features the Jordanaires on backing vocals, particularly on all the ballads. Elvis Golden Records was one of Rock n Roll's first unashamed greatest hits collection, 14 tracks, 10 of which were US number one singles between 1956 to date.
With Elvis Presley away on military service in the US army, his two 1959 albums both peaked at no.4, A Date With Elvis and Elvis, a reissue of the Rock n Roll LP with 4 extra tracks. A Date With Elvis could also be described as a re-issue of sorts as five of the tracks were from the Sun records era of 1954-1955 including Milkcow Blues Boogie, Good Rockin Tonight, Baby Let's Play House and Blue Moon Of Kentucky, the packaging was a deluxe gatefold sleeve, innovative at the time with photos of Elvis in uniform.
With Elvis' return from the US army with new material, Elvis Is Back not surprisingly, produced another no.1. Elvis had matured whilst away and released an album with a mixture of blues, It Feels So Right and Like A Baby, ballads The Thrill Of Your Love, Soldier Boy and Peggy Lee's Fever, Rock n Roll Dirty Dirty Feeling, a Gospel track I Will Be Home Again along with Such A Night and The Girl Of My Best Friend.
Top albums of 1960
1 Soundtrack - South Pacific
2 Elvis Presley - Elvis Is Back
3 One Hundred & One Strings - Down Drury Lane To Memory Lane
4 Buddy Holly - Buddy Holly Story
5 Soundtrack - Can Can
6 Duane Eddy - The Twangs The Thang
7 Cliff Richard - Cliff Sings
8 Original London Cast - Oliver
9 Everly Brothers - It's Everly Time
10 Cliff Richard - Me And My Shadows
The best selling LP of 1961 was Elvis Presley's GI Blues which had entered the chart in the final weeks of 1960. GI Blues moved up to no.1 in the second week of 1961 to become Elvis' 5th no.1 LP, remained at the top throughout January and February, had another three weeks at no.1 in March and a further twelve weeks between April and June, spending a total of 22 weeks at no.1. With four no.1 singles during the year, Elvis Presley was, by quite a distance, the best selling artist of 1961 and this year, he also enjoyed a no.2 LP with Something For Everybody, a no.3 with the Gospel LP His Hand In Mine and right at the end of the year, released the LP that would go on to dominate the first half of 1962, Blue Hawaii.
Something for Everybody included the rockers I'm Coming Home, Judy, I Slipped I Stumbled I Fell and Put The Blame On Me as well as the ballads There's Always Me, It's A Sin and In Your Arms. His Hand In Mine is Elvis' first full length Gospel LP following his 'Peace In The Valley' EP, four years ago. His backing singers on this LP included the Swan Silvertones and The Golden Gate Quartet and they greatly influence Elvis' lead singing. This was Elvis back to his original musical roots where he had heard Gospel music in black churches in the 1940s. Joshua Fit The Battle and Swing Down Sweet Chariot sound as if they could have been performed in a church and the LP ranged between the quartet ballad songs, His Hand In Mine, In My Fathers House, Known Only To Him and He Knows Just What I Need, to Rock n Roll, Milky White Way, and Working On The Building.
Top albums of 1961
1 Elvis Presley - G.I. Blues
2 George Mitchell Minstrels - Black and White Minstrel Show
3 Soundtrack - South Pacific
4 Shadows - Shadows
5 George Mitchell Minstrels - Another Black and White Minstrel Show
6 Cliff Richard - Listen To Cliff
7 Cliff Richard - I'm 21 Today
8 Original London Cast - Sound Of Music
9 Original London Cast - Oliver
10 Bob Newhart - Button Down Mind Of Bob Newhart
Between January and September 1962, Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard spent 30 weeks at no.1. The year began with Elvis' Blue Hawaii at the top, his 6th no.1 LP and the second best seller of the year. Blue Hawaii spent 18 weeks at no.1 and 10 weeks at no.2, a total that could not be bettered this year. The film soundtrack produced memorable hits such as Can't Help Falling In Love and Rock A Hula Baby. Elvis plays Chad Gates, an ex GI from Hawaii and wants nothing more than to hang out with his friends and girlfriend on the beaches even though his father wants him to begin work at The Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit Company.
By the end of June, he had his 7th no.1 LP, Pot Luck which with 6 weeks at the top, became the 4th best seller of 1962. The number one single She's Not You was not included. Suspicion, a track that would have to wait a further 14 years to receive a release on single was a highlight. Also on 'Pot Luck' was the usual mixture of ballads That's Someone You Never Forget and Fountain Of Love. Elvis' second HMV LP Rock n Roll No.2 was re issued on his current label RCA, reaching no.3 as it had done first time around in 1957.
Top albums of 1962
1 Soundtrack - West Side Story
2 Elvis Presley - Blue Hawaii
3 Cliff Richard & Shadows - Young Ones (Soundtrack)
4 Elvis Presley - Pot Luck
5 Soundtrack - South Pacific
6 Kenny Ball-Chris Barber-Acker Bilk - Best Of Ball Barber & Bilk
7 Shadows - Out Of The Shadows
8 George Mitchell Minstrels - Black And White Minstrel Show
9 Lonnie Donegan - Golden Age Of Lonnie Donegan
10 Shadows - Shadows
What a comeback.
It had been three years since Elvis Presley had enjoyed a top 10 album and seven years since his last no.1 but in 1969 he achieved 3 top 10 albums, 2 number twos and his 8th number one, all in the space of four months.
In May, Elvis The NBC TV Special spent one week as the runner LP, in July, Flaming Star was the runner up for three weeks and in August the album From Elvis In Memphis, spent one week at the top and just five short weeks in the top 10. The NBC TV Special features several medleys including one 14 minute medley with live versions of a few of his biggest early hits, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, All Shook Up and Can't Help Falling In Love, Jailhouse Rock, Don't Be Cruel, Blue Suede Shoes and Love Me Tender.
'Flaming Star' the film dated back to 1960 but at that time, the soundtrack was not released. Now riding a new popularity, it was finally released and would have topped the charts had it not been for the budget priced Jim Reeves 'According To My Heart' album. The NBC TV Special was a great success and this prompted Elvis to return to his Memphis roots and record an album of songs that had been sitting in his repertoire without being exploited in any way, but songs that Elvis actually wanted to sing, all original recordings although Only The Strong Survive had become a hit for Jerry Butler It Keeps Right On A Hurtin' was a country hit for Johnny Tillotson and Gentle On My Mind was the song that provided Dean Martin with his comeback. The album ended with one of his biggest hits for five years, the no.2 single, In The Ghetto.
Elvis Presley: On Stage was a live album of recordings made at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in February featuring mostly cover versions of recent hits, Release Me, Sweet Caroline and Proud Mary, as well as live versions of his own hits Suspicious Minds and In The Ghetto and it did also introduce his own The Wonder Of You which as a live recording was a number one single for 6 weeks in the summer.
Elvis Presley charted three albums in 1971, Love Letters From Elvis, Elvis Country, subtitled I'm 10000 Years Old, a country album with his versions of the tracks There Goes My Everything and Make The World Go Away, but also non country tracks Whole Lotta Shakin Goin' On and Snowbird and also Cmon Everybody.
Elvis Presley had the live album Elvis At Madison Square Garden, one of several live albums by Elvis during the early 1970s and featured his recent singles Polk Salad Annie, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me and American Trilogy, and also many of his older hits Love Me, All Shook Up, Heartbreak Hotel and Hound Dog.
Elvis Presley reached no.11 with Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite from the TV show
An album that was promoted well was the Elvis Presley double album, 40 Greatest Hits on the Arcade label. Despite ending the year as the fourth best selling album, it did not chart at all in 1974 in the main album charts, a victim of the ban on compilations and albums advertised on TV from entering the charts. In retrospect, it appears this ban was aimed mostly at the specialist record companies, K Tel, Ronco and Arcade who compiled albums with assorted themes, mostly compilations of various artists and advertised them on TV for a short while, but also some single artists greatest hits. And here was an album by Elvis Presley, one of the world's top artists, selling well enough to be no.1 for 15 weeks on the mid price and TV advertisted albums chart, but not appearing in the main charts at all. Indeed during December when the album was at its peak, and would have been the number one album throughout the Christmas period.
Top albums of 1974
1 Carpenters - The Singles 1969-1973
2 Paul McCartney & Wings - Band On The Run
3 Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
4 Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest
5 Pink Floyd - The Dark Side Of The Moon
6 David Bowie - Diamond Dogs
7 Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
8 Perry Como - And I Love You So
9 Simon & Garfunkel - Greatest Hits
10 Elton John - Greatest Hits
On 5th July 1975, the price criteria for eligibility for the main albums chart was changed to include any album above £1.26. The mid price and TV advertised album chart was discontinued and the main album chart was increased to a top 60 with the previous mid price title, Elvis Presley 40 Greatest and filling the chart position, 25. So Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest was a huge selling album, two years in a row! Plus charts again in 1976.
Top albums of 1975
1 Stylistics - The Best Of The Stylistics
2 Bay City Rollers - Once Upon A Star
3 Rod Stewart - Atlantic Crossing
4 Jim Reeves - 40 Golden Greats
5 Wings - Venus And Mars
6 Elvis Presley - 40 Greatest
7 Elton John - Greatest Hits
8 Carpenters - Horizon
9 Mike Oldfield - Tubular Bells
10 Perry Como - 40 Greatest Hits
Elvis Presley's ninth chart topper this year was in tragic circumstances. The Arcade records compilation 40 Greatest Hits had spent 15 weeks at no.1 in 1974 and 1975 in the separated mid price and TV advertised LP charts. When the rules were changed in July 1975 to allow its eligibility into the main album charts, it was well past it's peak and could only reach No.16 in January 1976.
Elvis' death at the age of 42 this year propelled the album back into the charts, finally reaching no.1 for just one week on the 10th of September. On that week, Elvis had three albums in the top 10, The Greatest Hits at no.1, Moody Blue at no.4 and Welcome To My World at no.7 and on a wave of sympathy and mourning, no fewer than 10 albums inside that weeks' top 30. Moody Blue would rise one place two weeks later. The Greatest Hits featured 18 tracks that had reached no.1, including a couple of double A sided hits, 8 that peaked at no.2 and a further 7 top 10 hits. It concentrated on his Rock n Roll 1950s singles but strangely excluded The Wonder Of You, his most recent no.1 hit although ended with There Goes My Everything and Don't Cry Daddy, two of his lesser hits from the early 1970s. Moody Blue was the last album he recorded before his death which showed Elvis at his mid 1970s unadventurous stage. It seemed as if everyone had already covered Unchained Melody which started this album which went on to his versions of If You Love Me Let Me Know, Little Darlin, He'll Have To Go and Let Me Be There. The title track was a top 10 single but a potential minor hit, Way Down, suddenly turned into a number one single as soon as RCA could get enough copies into the shops.
Welcome To My World was put together by RCA when they needed some new material as Elvis had not had put out a hit album since the early 1970s but this was culled from his country phase and was filled with versions of classic country hits, Help Me Make It Through The Night, Release Me, For The Good Times, I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry, Your Cheatin Heart and I Can't Stop Loving You. It wouldn't have got anywhere near the top 10 apart from in those weeks of early September, immediately following his death.
|Rock 'N' Roll||10/11/1956|
|Elvis Is Back||30/7/1960|
|From Elvis In Memphis||30/8/1969|
|Elvis Presley's 40 Greatest Hits||10/9/1977|
|ELV1S 30 #1 Hits||5/10/2002|