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18 UK No.1's ??

Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:25 am

According to the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, 'ALLC' became Elvis' 18th UK No.1 breaking the tie of 17 which he previously enjoyed with The Beatles.

Beatle fans have long complained that 'Please Please Me' was a UK No.1, but not in the chart used by this book.

The charts Guinness use are as follows:

1952-1960 - New Musical Express [NME]

1960-1983 - Record Retailer [RR]
[From 1969 the RR chart is compiled by the British Market Research Bureau, also used by the BBC & considered the official chart]

1983-1992 - Gallup

1992-2003 - Chart Information Network [CIN]
[In 2001 they changed their name to The Official UK Chart Co]

In the period up to 1969, before the BMRB chart became the official chart, there were other charts published, which were just as 'official' & legitimate as the ones that Guinness used.

The Melody Maker [MM], Disc [D], Record Mirror [RM], & New Musical Express [NME] all had charts not utilised by Guinness at times during this period.

This is where the uncertainty about number ones arises.

Looking at these 'other' charts reveals the following Beatle No.1's not listed in the Guinness book:

1963 - Please Please Me [NME, MM & D]

1967 - Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane [MM]

1968 - Magical Mystery Tour EP [MM]

So their total of 17 could read 20 !

So The Beatles have the most UK No.1's !

But wait a minute.......didn't Elvis have any 'extra' No.1's from these other charts ?

You bet !

1957 - Party [MM]

1960 - Stuck On You [MM, D]

1960 - Mess of Blues/Girl of my Best Friend [MM]

1961 - Wild In The Country [NME]

So Elvis' tally of 18 No.1's could read 22 !

Still the champ !
Last edited by ColinB on Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:45 am

Cool post Colin. :D


Mon Jun 16, 2003 11:59 am


In The Ghetto was also a number 1 on the NME chart.


Mon Jun 16, 2003 12:53 pm

Andrew -

'In The Ghetto' doesn't count because it came in 1969, when there was an 'official' chart in operation [in which it was a No.2].

It is in the earlier period [1952-1968] when all the charts have a claim to be legitimate, & not just the ones chosen by Guinness.

Mon Jun 16, 2003 2:29 pm


You're absolutely right.

Do you know anything about the methodogies for collecting record sales stats used by the different chart compilers? I was wondering what makes them all slightly different?


Mon Jun 16, 2003 4:34 pm

Andrew -

The methods varied, I believe the very first chart was compiled by simply ringing round a few retailers & asking them what was selling !

Later, but still in the very early days, a weekly hand-written form was filled in, with the cynics claiming that a junior Saturday-girl sometimes would just jot down the first 20 records she could think of ! [I don't think it was ever that bad].

The accuracy of the chart depended on how many retailers were involved, & where they were.

Hence the discrepancies between the various charts.

But the point I was making was that the 'other' charts, not used by Guiness [before the first 'official' chart in 1969] were equally legitimate with the ones they did use.

The claim that Elvis had '22' UK No.1's is not a spurious one; a point with which I believe Guinness would agree.

Mon Jun 16, 2003 5:50 pm


I agree your point was not spurious and was infact a very legitimate claim.

I was just curious as to what led to the discrepancies


Tue Jun 17, 2003 4:36 am

AndrewJ and Colin:

By 1969, as Colin has pointed out, there was already an "official" chart in the UK, and In the Ghetto did not reach number one on this official chart. However, that did not stop the compilers of 30 #1 Hits from putting the song on the album due to it's dubious distinction of heving been top of an unrecognised chart. It did not reach number one officially in either the US or the UK.

Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:22 am

stephen, if u read the back of your E1 booklet, Ernst clearly states that they used (U.S.) Billboard and Cashbox and (U.K.) New Musical Express and Record Retailer charts for the selected #1's!!! also, correction: "In The Ghetto" debuted 5/03/69 on the Cashbox chart and reached #1!!! for a chart run of 13 weeks. hope that helps clear things up on that one.

Tue Jun 17, 2003 2:34 pm


Thanks for pointing that out. I was already aware of this, and my point was that the song did not make number one in the US or the UK in either of the "officially recognised" charts. I know we had this debate over and over last year in respect of Burning Love, and I have no desire to re-open that particular can of worms. Besides, on my copy of E1, it says that In the Ghetto was number 3 in the US and number 1 in the UK, so its inclusion is surely not based on its making number one in the Cashbox chart.

Tue Jun 17, 2003 3:37 pm

I believe that "Burning Love" peaked at #7 in the UK and #2 on the Billboard charts in the US.
It is the only single from "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits" that hit number one solely on the CASHBOX chart.

Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:54 pm

Plus all the double A sides!

The Beatles #1 album has songs like Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out, Elanor Rigby / Yellow Submarine and Something / Come Together that were the two sides to a single - Elv1s didn't otherwise we would have had extra one's (and 2 cd's which wouldn't have been a good idea)

I Got Stung
I Need Your Love Tonight
Little Sister
Rock A Hula Baby and more?

So Elvis has far more #1's than the Beatles - not just the one extra most people believe.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 4:33 pm

I think the situation with the British charts is analogous to the situation with the American Billboard charts prior to the 1958 consolidation. Joel Whitburn used a combination of the Billboard top 100, best sellers, and disc jockey for the pre-1958 period to credit Elvis with 18 # 1's. If Whitburn had only used the top 100 chart for that period then Elvis' total drops to 14.
As for Ernst's using the Cashbox chart for Elv1s 30 # 1's, the Cashbox chart was the main (the only?) competition to the Billboard chart, albeit not as authoritative, as Stephen has pointed out. But I don't fault Ernst for resorting to this. 30 # 1's was intended to be THE single cd collection of Elvis' biggest hits from his entire career. So In The Ghetto and Burning Love just HAD to be on there! Ernst found a clever way to achieve this.
By the way, does ALLC count as Elvis' 19th U.S. # 1? I say yes on the grounds that if Whitburn can use the Billboard Bestseller chart for some of the pre-1958 #1's, then we can do the same for ALLC.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 5:07 pm

hey Pete, i was listening to an interesting rock show on 106.1 RDU one night (Raleigh,NC) and it had on the singer from Three Dog Night. point is that the singer was explaining that TDN had there biggest hits on the CASHBOX charts compared to BILLBOARD!? the dj went on to say that back in it's day that the CASHBOX charts were just as "Authoritive" as "BILLOBOARD"!!! i've also heard the same thing when i asked a few dj's in my area from the local oldies station! one of the dj's also explained to me that "Burning Love" was sooooo popular when it came out, it actually WAS the #1 record in the country on BILLBOARD and that he couldn't understand how "My Ding A LING" came out on top! his source, i guess, said came from other markets that had "BL" coming out on top for playlists and requests! interesting stuff...

Fri Jun 20, 2003 7:14 pm


First off, I think you are referring to Chuck Negron, the lead singer of TDN.

Secondly, to expand on a question asked about whether ALLC should count as Elvis' 19th U.S. Number 1.

Should America The Beautiful count as Elvis' 39th and ALLC as Elvis' 40th Billboard Pop Top Ten.

Remember America The Beautiful went top ten on the same chart that ALLC peaked at number one. I am referring to the Red Cross charity single of America The Beautiful that came out post 9/11.


Fri Jun 20, 2003 9:10 pm

Daryl wrote:Hello,

First off, I think you are referring to Chuck Negron, the lead singer of TDN.

Secondly, to expand on a question asked about whether ALLC should count as Elvis' 19th U.S. Number 1.

Should America The Beautiful count as Elvis' 39th and ALLC as Elvis' 40th Billboard Pop Top Ten.

Remember America The Beautiful went top ten on the same chart that ALLC peaked at number one. I am referring to the Red Cross charity single of America The Beautiful that came out post 9/11.


Daryl - good point, I'd forgotten about the "America" single. I'll certainly support Elvis being credited with 40 pop chart top 10's!

Fri Jun 20, 2003 10:03 pm

If you list ALLC as an Elvis number one - remembering Junkies significant involvement.

Why wouldn't Paul McCartney's various guises be counted eg Beatles, Wings, Solo, etc.

In other words it would be correct to say that Paul McCartney has appeared on more number one songs than anybody else on either side of the Atlantic.

Not that it matters unless you are an Anorak :D

Fri Jun 20, 2003 10:19 pm

What about the USA country and easy listening charts - ep had a few differnt no1s on those. Guitar man 1981 and Im yours 1965 come to mind.
Why are these never counted, the usa country charts sells far more records then the current uk singles chart.

Most of all i remember allc being the top selling single in the usa last year for one week, but it did not get to number one. Thats because Billboard now take in disk jockey plays, so basically disk jockeys are picking no1s now and i wonder how many of them take a backhanders from record companies to do so. The USA billboard chart is a waste of time now because all the figures are fixed anyway.

Fri Jun 20, 2003 11:10 pm

Kiwialan -
Technically you're correct regarding Macca, but the difference is that Elvis' hits came under the name Elvis Presley, whereas Macca scored number 1 hits under: the Beatles, Wings, Paul MacCartney & Wings, and Paul MacCartney. So Elvis still holds the record for # 1's for a solo artist! (God, I believe I'm coming down with a serious case of anoraxia!).
Richard Grant -
The U.S. country and adult contemporary (A.K.A. easy listening) charts are not counted as part of Elvis' pop chart total simply because they are not pop/top 40 charts.

Sat Jun 21, 2003 3:40 pm

This thread re-opens many of the debates we had last year when the album was released. Some were resolved, some were not. In the case of many of the double-a side number ones, I imagine that these were left off due to space. Of course, it was debated at the time as to why this was not a double album. The reason for that, I think, is because the average CD buyer is less likely to be put off buying a single rather than a double album. It's clearly Elvis' fault that he had too many hits to fit onto one CD.

In the Ghetto is not such a clearly resolved issue. Other posts in this thread have already stated that the song was a number one in the US Cashbox chart, but this is not the reason why it is on the album. The sleeve notes state that it was a number 3 in the US (its Hot 100 position) and a number 1 in the UK. It was a number 1 in the NME chart, but by 1969 this was not the recognised chart.