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Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:04 pm

How many #1 songs did Elvis have on the pop charts in the U.S.? Not that the answer will change my life, but I'm just curious because I read various accounts with some songs. For instance, what was the story with Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog? Notes in the "30 #1 Hits" CD list both at #1 for 11 weeks, and I have read the same other places over the years. That makes it appear that the songs were tied for #1 for 11 weeks. I have also read that the songs flip-flopped at #1 for a total of 11 weeks, but I've never seen the break-down of weeks for each song. Other reports say Hound Dog didn't actually reach #1.

Joel Whitburn lists "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" as a #1, but it's not always mentioned as a #1 in other places. It's not recognized as a #1 on the "30 #1 Hits," for example.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:33 pm

showfan wrote:How many #1 songs did Elvis have on the pop charts in the U.S.? Not that the answer will change my life, but I'm just curious because I read various accounts with some songs. For instance, what was the story with Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog? Notes in the "30 #1 Hits" CD list both at #1 for 11 weeks, and I have read the same other places over the years. That makes it appear that the songs were tied for #1 for 11 weeks. I have also read that the songs flip-flopped at #1 for a total of 11 weeks, but I've never seen the break-down of weeks for each song. Other reports say Hound Dog didn't actually reach #1.

Joel Whitburn lists "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" as a #1, but it's not always mentioned as a #1 in other places. It's not recognized as a #1 on the "30 #1 Hits," for example.


Things are complicated in the US because of the variety of charts there.

There are charts such as 'Best Sellers in Stores', 'The Hot 100' & ones that include airplay by DJs, etc.

Elvis' total of No.1s depends on which charts are included in the tally.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:24 pm

showfan wrote: Joel Whitburn lists "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" as a #1, but it's not always mentioned as a #1 in other places. It's not recognized as a #1 on the "30 #1 Hits," for example.


''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

If they had the room to include one more song it would have been on there.

Most people recognize Elvis as having 17 or 18 number one hits in the USA depending on whether or not you count Hound dog as a hit single.

Billboard use to count it as a double sided hit but now they don't so to them Elvis is downgraded to 17.

Of course Billboard changes their minds like the weather so i pay them no mind.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:44 pm

brian wrote:
showfan wrote: Joel Whitburn lists "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" as a #1, but it's not always mentioned as a #1 in other places. It's not recognized as a #1 on the "30 #1 Hits," for example.


''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

If they had the room to include one more song it would have been on there.

Most people recognize Elvis as having 17 or 18 number one hits in the USA depending on whether or not you count Hound dog as a hit single.

Billboard use to count it as a double sided hit but now they don't so to them Elvis is downgraded to 17.

Of course Billboard changes their minds like the weather so i pay them no mind.


I know that Hound Dog was certainly popular, but it's chart position has always been confusing to me. Apparently it's confusing to Billboard as well since they have changed their mind about it, as you pointed out. So, how did it actually perform on the charts? I know a lot of Elvis's flip sides actually had their own position on the charts, why has Hound Dog been a point of confusion?

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:58 pm

showfan wrote:
brian wrote:
showfan wrote: Joel Whitburn lists "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" as a #1, but it's not always mentioned as a #1 in other places. It's not recognized as a #1 on the "30 #1 Hits," for example.


''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

If they had the room to include one more song it would have been on there.

Most people recognize Elvis as having 17 or 18 number one hits in the USA depending on whether or not you count Hound dog as a hit single.

Billboard use to count it as a double sided hit but now they don't so to them Elvis is downgraded to 17.

Of course Billboard changes their minds like the weather so i pay them no mind.


I know that Hound Dog was certainly popular, but it's chart position has always been confusing to me. Apparently it's confusing to Billboard as well since they have changed their mind about it, as you pointed out. So, how did it actually perform on the charts? I know a lot of Elvis's flip sides actually had their own position on the charts, why has Hound Dog been a point of confusion?


Very simple it's just rule changes not confusion on their part.

in the United States if you have a single that was a double sided # 1 hit they count them as one song instead of two.

For years Billboard did count Elvis' hound dog and Don't be cruel as two #1's but now it's just one.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:28 pm

What actually happened back in the day was that "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" were so equally independently popular that one week they would list one title as the top side #1 hit and the next week the other. Until recently, most historians (Joel Whitburn/Fred Bronson and well everybody else) considered it a tie. So two number one hits on the same record. It's worth noting that on the Top 100 chart, the very loose predecessor of the Hot 100, "Hound Dog" only made #2, the reason being its airplay was a little lesser than it's top side because many stations still had not made the swing to playing rock and roll records, especially raucous rock n' roll like this. But it's a two sided one, one of the great legends of rock n' roll, no matter what they're saying these days.

The actual recent confusion on "Hound Dog" though has simply been the fact that Billboard is using the criteria of singles as opposed to songs. So while there's two hit songs, there's only single. It's a qualification designed to benefit the current artists.

These are the Billboard Pop #1s

1. "Heartbreak Hotel" seven weeks 1956
2. "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" 1956 only #1 on Best Sellers list which Bronson in his books on the subject, as opposed to his corporate towing of the line in the magazine's current pages, recognizes as the real predecessor to the Hot 100. One week 1956.
3. "Hound Dog" 11 weeks tie 1956
4. "Don't Be Cruel" same
5. "Love Me Tender" Five weeks 1956
6. "Too Much" 1957 Best Seller only Three weeks
7. "All Shook Up" 1957 Nine weeks. (That nine weeks is the Jukebox. Its peak on the others was eight.)
8. "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear" 1957 seven weeks
9. "Jailhouse Rock" 1957 seven weeks
10. "Don't" 1958 five weeks
11. "Hard Headed Woman" 1958 Best seller only two weeks
12. "A Big Hunk O' Love" 1959 Two weeks
13. "Stuck on You" 1960 Four weeks
14. "It's Now or Never" 1960 Five weeks
15. "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" 1960 Six weeks
16. "Surrender" 1961 Two weeks.
17. "Good Luck Charm" 1962 Two weeks
18. "Suspicious Minds" 1969 one week

In addition to those these three songs earned a #1 placing on the Cashbox chart, a chart many in the industry believed to be just as viable as Billboard.

1. "Return to Sender" 1962 (#2 BB)
2. "In the Ghetto" 1969 (#3 BB)
3. "Burning Love" 1972 (#2 BB)

Elvis had at least another dozen songs make #1 on the lesser charts as did many of the songs listed above.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:50 pm

"Hound Dog" 1956

#1 record on Billboard's "Best Sellers In Stores" for 5 weeks, flip the record over and "Don't Be Cruel" was #1 for 6 weeks.

ICR, but on the Billboard "Jukebox" and "Most Played by Disc Jockeys", the record wemt to #1 on one of those charts, #2 on the other.

On The "TOP 100", "Hound Dog" peaked at #2, (for 3 weeks), debuted at #24, to be exact, and charted for 28 weeks, but "Don't Be Cruel" took the top spot.

You could try googling this stuff, you should be able to find this info in no time.

As for logical purposes, this classic 45rpm was a 2 sided record, meaning 2 separate, individual songs, but for some insane, ludicrous, illogical purpose, Billboard now acknowledges, "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel" as 1 song !

yeh ok ...

Hope this helps.

Oh, and I don't care what noone says, "Hound Dog" is a monster #1 hit !!!

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:11 pm

brian wrote:''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

That was not the reason, brian.
The 30 #1's that were included on the disc and the front cover art was ready to go to production when "A Little Less Conversation" suddenly became a worldwide #1 smash hit (except in the U.S.).
The decision to include it as a bonus song was made at the eleventh hour.

Therefore, if there was room to accommodate a last-minute bonus song, then there would've been room originally for "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You".

As to "why" it was to be left off even before "A Little Less Conversation" came along is still up for debate.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sun Nov 11, 2012 10:40 pm

Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

That was not the reason, brian.
The 30 #1's that were included on the disc and the front cover art was ready to go to production when "A Little Less Conversation" suddenly became a worldwide #1 smash hit (except in the U.S.).
The decision to include it as a bonus song was made at the eleventh hour.

Therefore, if there was room to accommodate a last-minute bonus song, then there would've been room originally for "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You".

As to "why" it was to be left off even before "A Little Less Conversation" came along is still up for debate.


Thanks for the information.

I guess they just didn't want to include it then.

I thought since they had 30 and then 31 songs with A Little Conversation that ''I want you'' was just left out due to space.

It would have been logical if that were the case so i naturally assumed.

Maybe they thought 30 was enough but since ''A Little less Conversation'' was a recent contemporary sounding hit they included it on there to try to get more people to buy the CD.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:27 am

brian wrote:
Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:''I want you, i need you, i love'' wasn't on Elvis 30 #1 hits because they didn't have the room.

That was not the reason, brian.
The 30 #1's that were included on the disc and the front cover art was ready to go to production when "A Little Less Conversation" suddenly became a worldwide #1 smash hit (except in the U.S.).
The decision to include it as a bonus song was made at the eleventh hour.

Therefore, if there was room to accommodate a last-minute bonus song, then there would've been room originally for "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You".

As to "why" it was to be left off even before "A Little Less Conversation" came along is still up for debate.




Maybe they thought 30 was enough but since ''A Little less Conversation'' was a recent contemporary sounding hit they included it on there to try to get more people to buy the CD.


BINGO !!!

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:29 am

You will find a lot of the answers you are looking for on Elvis' own website.

http://www.elvis.com/about-the-king/music.aspx

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:07 am

minkahed wrote:
brian wrote:Maybe they thought 30 was enough but since ''A Little less Conversation'' was a recent contemporary sounding hit they included it on there to try to get more people to buy the CD.

BINGO !!!

And it worked very, very well. :wink:

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:53 am

Plus, IMO, IWYINYILY is the most dated sounding of Elvis' big hits.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:52 am

stevelecher wrote:Plus, IMO, IWYINYILY is the most dated sounding of Elvis' big hits.

More dated sounding than "Wooden Heart" and "Love Me Tender"?

I'll take IWYINYILW over those two.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:45 pm

About "Hound Dog" and "Don`t Be Cruel", the confusion is indeed caused by the various pop charts Billboard published between 1955 and 1958.

Check out the runs both songs had in Billboard`s four pop singles charts:

The "Don`t Be Cruel/Hound Dog" 45 charted as a double-sided hit with both songs listed in the same position in these two pop charts:

Best Sellers: 9-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-3-5-5-7-7-8-10-17-18

Juke Box: 20-10-4-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-4-4-6-8-8-7-9-14-19


Since the above two charts did not incorporate an airplay factor, no distinction could be made which of the two songs were more popular, hence both listed in the same position.

However, the remaining two pop charts did have an airplay factor, namely the "Disc Jockeys" chart (which was 100% airplay) and the "Top 100", which was a combination of the three other charts. The airplay factor allowed to separate both songs and to list them in different positions on the charts:

Don`t Be Cruel (listed on its own in a separate position):

Disc Jockey: 19-7-3-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-3-4-5-8-9-15
Top 100: 28-17-6-4-3-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-2-3-4-5-7-8-14-15-26-24-41-55-51-58-83


Hound Dog (listed on its own in a separate position):

Disc Jockey: 25-12-6-6-4-4-4-5-5-6-11-13-13-20-20
Top 100: 24-11-6-3-2-2-3-3-3-2-6-9-9-12-13-19-31-27-35-36-54-62-53-94


Thus the separate chart peaks of "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" were:

Hound Dog: #2 on Top 100, #4 on Disc Jockeys
Don't Be Cruel: #1 on Top 100, #1 on Disc Jockeys

While "Hound Dog" did reach #1 as the flip side of "Don't Be Cruel" on the "Juke Boxes" and "Best Sellers" charts, it never reached the top position on its own, unlike "Don't Be Cruel".

The confusion is now of course caused by the question, which chart is the guide chart for the years 1955 to 1958?

Fred Bronson for example in his book "The Billboard Book of Number One Hits" decided to use the "Best Sellers" chart as his reference for '55-'58. This is why you see many double-sided hits in that chart, not only "Don't Be Cruel/Hound Dog" but also (just listing Elvis hits) "Jailhouse Rock/Treat Me Nice" and "Don't/I Beg Of You" as no. 1 hits.

So, if you want to count "Hound Dog" as a separate no. 1 hit based on the "Best Sellers" chart, then you'd have to do the same with "Treat Me Nice" and "I Beg of You" as well as every other flip side on a double-sided no. 1 hit by any artist. Nobody is counting these songs as separate no. 1 hits, though. It is also not done with other artists' double-sided no. 1 hit flip sides, like - most notably perhaps - "Come Together/Something" by the Beatles.

Apart from Fred Bronson, there is of course Joel Whitburn. In the first editions of his "Pop Hit Singles" book in 1969, Whitburn used the Top 100 as his reference chart for '55-'58. In later editions, he changed that and in my opinion he came up with a very bad solution to this "problem". Whitburn looked at a song and then took the best performance of a song from each of the four pop charts, e.g., a song peaked at #1 for 2 weeks in the "Best Sellers" chart (where it spent 14 weeks on the chart altogether, 8 of them in the Top 10), in the "Top 100" it only peaked at #2 but there it spent 20 weeks on chart (9 weeks in the top 10). In the "Juke Boxes" chart it peaked at #1 for 1 week, spent 15 weeks in the chart altogether and 10 weeks in the Top 10.

So Whitburn now looks at all these different charts and cherry-picks the best performances from each of them:

Song in question now has spent a total of 20 weeks in the chart, 10 weeks in the top 10 and peaked at no. 1 for 2 weeks.

The problem is that the song in question never had a chart life like that in any of the three charts! It's a fictitious chart which Whitburn created by that method.

This caused a lot of confusion over the years as people who only casually look at chart books may consider Whitburn's books as the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to Billboard charts.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:08 am

Thanks for all the information, everyone. Very informative!

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Thu Nov 15, 2012 4:15 am

Blue River wrote:
stevelecher wrote:Plus, IMO, IWYINYILY is the most dated sounding of Elvis' big hits.

More dated sounding than "Wooden Heart" and "Love Me Tender"?
I'll take IWYINYILW over those two.

I Want You, I Need You, I Love You was one of Elvis' first ballads recorded for RCA and a beautiful one at that... that song is classic Elvis and certainly has all the class of other stunning ballads he recorded during that period... Love Me, Any Way You Want Me... to me a song like I'm Counting On You sounds like an old-fashion or "dated" recording... but I wouldn't put IWYINYILY in that category.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:40 am

Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.

We in the UK didn't have that proplem as only one side was counted. His total UK number ones is 21 which, of course. makes him number 1 8)

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:55 am

Chris Roberts wrote:Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.


So that's why ''One night/I got stung and (Marie's the name) his latest flame/Little Sister were both #1 hits in the U.K.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:30 am

Here's my take on the national and U.K. #1 hits.

1. I Forgot To Remember To Forget
2. Heartbreak Hotel
3. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
4. Don't Be Cruel
5. Hound Dog
6. Love Me Tender
7. Too Much
8. All Shook Up
9. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
10. Jailhouse Rock
11. Don't
12. Wear My Ring Around Your Neck
13. Hard Headed Woman
14. One Night
15. I Got Stung
16. (Now And Then There's) A Fool Such As I
17. I Need Your Love Tonight
18. A Big Hunk O' Love
19. Stuck On You
20. It's Now Or Never
21. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
22. Wooden Heart
23. Surrender
24. (Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame
25. Little Sister
26. Can't Help Falling In Love
27. Rock-A-Hula Baby
28. Good Luck Charm
29. She's Not You
30. Return To Sender
31. (You're The) Devil In Disguise
32. Blue Christmas
33. Crying In The Chapel
34. (Such An) Easy Question
35. I'm Yours
36. In The Ghetto
37. Suspicious Minds
38. The Wonder Of You
39. You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
40. Burning Love
41. My Boy
42. Moody Blue
43. She Thinks I Still Care
44. Way Down
45. Pledging My Love
46. My Way
47. Guitar Man (1980 Remake)
48. A Little Less Conversation (Elvis vs JXL radio edit remix)
49. Rubberneckin' (Paul Oakenfold radio edit remix)
50. That's All Right

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:03 pm

brian wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.


So that's why ''One night/I got stung and (Marie's the name) his latest flame/Little Sister were both #1 hits in the U.K.


Yes I think so, although they were double sided hits in the UK they were both sold as one single eg they both jointly made number one. In the US they both charted as two seperate sides. in other words if say ony only one side had been counted would, for examble, One Night have made number one as it did in Britain? Of course if that was the case I Got Stung wouldn't have shown up seperatly at number 8!

Could this have have been the case? Some of our US friends who know their charts better than I may have the answer.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:15 pm

Chris Roberts wrote:
brian wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.


So that's why ''One night/I got stung and (Marie's the name) his latest flame/Little Sister were both #1 hits in the U.K.


Yes I think so, although they were double sided hits in the UK they were both sold as one single eg they both jointly made number one. In the US they both charted as two seperate sides. in other words if say ony only one side had been counted would, for examble, One Night have made number one as it did in Britain? Of course if that was the case I Got Stung wouldn't have shown up seperatly at number 8!

Could this have have been the case? Some of our US friends who know their charts better than I may have the answer.



Is there no one on this site who can either redicule or confirm above? Is it not possible that if the sales of 'I Got Stung' charting at number 8 hadn't been counted seperatly to 'One Night' charting at number4, then the later may actually have made number one? I don't know, but surely someone must have better knowledge :!:

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sat Nov 17, 2012 8:46 pm

Chris Roberts wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:
brian wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.


So that's why ''One night/I got stung and (Marie's the name) his latest flame/Little Sister were both #1 hits in the U.K.


Yes I think so, although they were double sided hits in the UK they were both sold as one single eg they both jointly made number one. In the US they both charted as two seperate sides. in other words if say ony only one side had been counted would, for examble, One Night have made number one as it did in Britain? Of course if that was the case I Got Stung wouldn't have shown up seperatly at number 8!

Could this have have been the case? Some of our US friends who know their charts better than I may have the answer.



Is there no one on this site who can either redicule or confirm above? Is it not possible that if the sales of 'I Got Stung' charting at number 8 hadn't been counted seperatly to 'One Night' charting at number4, then the later may actually have made number one? I don't know, but surely someone must have better knowledge :!:


I think you were right.

People say the reason (''Marie's the name) his latest flame'' didn't hit number one in USA was because of the equally popular ''Little Sister'' got a lot of airplay causing them to hit #4 and #5.

People say that if ''(Marie's the name) his latest flame'' and ''Little Sister'' had been released separately as A - sides they both probably would have hit #1.

"(Marie's the name) his latest flame'' and ''Little Sister'' was a double sided #1 in a couple of countries including the U.K.

So a couple of years ago i asked in a thread how come the split airplay prevented them from going to number one in the USA but not in U.K.

ColinB relplied and said the U.K. and other countries only counted the song as one side.

I imagine the popularity of several B sides prevented the A side from going to number one in the USA.

A shame about both singles not hitting number one in the U.S. but RCA didn't have room in the schedule to release both as A -sides.

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:47 pm

brian wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:
brian wrote:
Chris Roberts wrote:Surely Elvis would have further number 1's if for excamble 'One Night' which got to number 4 and its other side 'I Got Stung' which was a number 8 weren't counted separatly. In the US there are further excamples of this happening.


So that's why ''One night/I got stung and (Marie's the name) his latest flame/Little Sister were both #1 hits in the U.K.


Yes I think so, although they were double sided hits in the UK they were both sold as one single eg they both jointly made number one. In the US they both charted as two seperate sides. in other words if say ony only one side had been counted would, for examble, One Night have made number one as it did in Britain? Of course if that was the case I Got Stung wouldn't have shown up seperatly at number 8!

Could this have have been the case? Some of our US friends who know their charts better than I may have the answer.



Is there no one on this site who can either redicule or confirm above? Is it not possible that if the sales of 'I Got Stung' charting at number 8 hadn't been counted seperatly to 'One Night' charting at number4, then the later may actually have made number one? I don't know, but surely someone must have better knowledge :!:


I think you were right.

People say the reason (''Marie's the name) his latest flame'' didn't hit number one in USA was because of the equally popular ''Little Sister'' got a lot of airplay causing them to hit #4 and #5.

People say that if ''(Marie's the name) his latest flame'' and ''Little Sister'' had been released separately as A - sides they both probably would have hit #1.

"(Marie's the name) his latest flame'' and ''Little Sister'' was a double sided #1 in a couple of countries including the U.K.

So a couple of years ago i asked in a thread how come the split airplay prevented them from going to number one in the USA but not in U.K.

ColinB relplied and said the U.K. and other countries only counted the song as one side.

I imagine the popularity of several B sides prevented the A side from going to number one in the USA.

A shame about both singles not hitting number one in the U.S. but RCA didn't have room in the schedule to release both as A -sides.


Thanks for all the responses everyone. I guess there's a lot I don't understand about a "double-sided" hit and such. It seems like if a song is popular enough to be #1, it should reach that position regardless of it's flip side. Are you saying that if both "Little Sister" and "Latest Flame" had been released as separate singles, they would technically have gotten equal treatment, but since one was a B-side, the DJ might have played it instead of the A-side, thus cutting down on the lead songs opportunity at airplay?

Re: Elvis's #1 songs

Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:53 pm

From a business point of view, a 45 with two strong songs made sense because more people would purchase such a release. Of course with the system used by Billboard, that might have led to both sides charting lower.

But don't forget that in those days, there were quite a number of top artists who released two strong songs on one 45. There were many flip sides charting in Billboard in the 1950s and 1960s.

It would be interesting to have a look at #1 hit singles whose flip side also made the top 10. There were many occasions where that happened.

Hence one can't really say whether "His Latest Flame" would have hit #1 if its flip side had been a less commercial track than "Little Sister" (or vice versa). It might have reached #1 but it might also have stalled at #2. We don't know!

However what we know is that having a strong flip side didn't mean that the a-side had no chance of hitting #1. Many times that happened, as mentioned above.