Idol Chatter

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame claims that Elvis Presley holds records for the most Top 40 hits, the most Top 10 hits and the most weeks at Number One. He was a cultural icon that grew from humble circumstances to launch the rock and roll revolution with his commanding voice and charismatic stage presence. He redefined what it meant to be a singer and entertainer.

The King of Rock and Roll certainly knew what he was doing during his many years of fame, and still continues to grab the attention of audiences everywhere even after his death. Presley built one of the most impressive catalog of recordings in rock history, but here is our top 10 favorite hits from the iconic musician.

“Jailhouse Rock”

Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote “Jailhouse Rock” specifically for Elvis Presley’s 1957 movie of the same name. It’s unclear if Elvis realized exactly what many of the suggestive lyrics meant, but they also flew by most of the listeners. Regardless, the song ended up knocking “Wake Up Little Susie” off the top of the charts.

“All Shook Up”

You can’t help but dance to this great tune. Released in March 1957, it epitomizes the rock ‘n’ roll sound that energized teens all over the world and made Elvis famous. If you listen to the song hard enough, you can hear Elvis slapping his guitar on the track.

“Suspicious Minds”

Written by Mark James, “Suspicious Minds” was one of the better tunes prepared specifically for Presley during in January 1969 recording dates at American Sound Studio Memphis (the same session that produced “In The Ghetto”). His voice is powerful in this ballad, which embraces a more soul and R&B than rock sound. It would become Presley’s first U.S. chart-topper since “Good Luck Charm” seven years earlier – and his 17th and final Number One hit, holding that position the week of November 1, 1969.

“Heartbreak Hotel”

Released in January of 1956, this tune was inspired by a suicide note that was printed in The Miami Herald. The heart-wrenching song didn’t catch the public’s attention until a few months after its release, once Elvis started appearing on television.

“In The Ghetto”

The song, written by Mac Davis, featured Presley’s expressive vocals telling the devastating story of a young boy’s life of poverty in the inner-city. The song became the springboard for Presley’s comeback in 1969, peaking at Number 3 during a 13-week run on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love”

The dreamy song, which was written for Presley’s 1961 movie Blue Hawaii, ended every single one of his post-comeback shows. It has since been covered by everybody from Bob Dylan to U2 to UB40, who turned it into a huge hit in 1993.

“Hound Dog”

This song was a blues classic long before anyone had heard of Elvis Presley. In July 1956, the King made a TV appearance where he serenated a real puppy, which propelled the song to the top of the pop charts. The hard-hitting drums by D.J. Fontana perfectly complemented Presley’s edgy vocals.

“It’s Now or Never”

Elvis also enjoyed Italian classics and wanted to record an American version of “O Solo Mio.”  Once he was discharged from the Army in 1960, he worked with RCA executives to make this a reality. Wally Gold and Aaron Schroeder wrote a version in 30 minutes that was recorded flawlessly by Elvis on the fourth studio take. The record showed Presley’s extraordinary talent beyond Rock n’ Roll.

“Love Me Tender”

Few entertainers can say they had a year like Elvis Presley did in 1956. Single after single flew up the charts, with “Love Me Tender” being his final Number One of the year. He played the song on The Ed Sullivan Show shortly before a movie of the same name hit theaters.

“(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear”

The song became extremely popular in 1957 when people were running to theaters to see Elvis’s second movie, Loving You. Surprisingly, teddy bear sales went through the roof, too.

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