Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:51 pm

Strictly going by Billboard USA charts, I am amazed these songs were not bigger hits than they were. If you think of any reason why, I'd like to know your opinions.
Or you may chime in on other songs as well

Memories - It certainly had airplay and is a favorite today so I cant imagine why this didnt click big time after the TV show aired.
Clean Up Your Own Backyard - In the midst of the Elvis comeback this did nothing, but I thought it had all the right elements.
Promised Land - should have been top 10. Arguably his best 70's single release
If I Can Dream - Why not top 5? Especially since the TV Sepcial gave it life and it was so much in tune wih 1968.
Way Down - Yes I know # 1 in the UK , but even after Elvis died, and his records started selling like crazy, this did not crack the top 10 here in the USA.
If You Talk In Your Sleep - Funky 70's rock, that went nowhere.
Aint That Loving You Baby - too dated a sound for 1964 I guess?

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:05 pm

Some that come to mind off the top of my head
My Baby Left Me (This and Lawdy Miss Clawdy are the only two RCA recordings that capture the Sun spirit and tone)
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Loving You
It Hurts Me (DJs: flip it over!)
Witchcraft (DJs: flip it over!)
Love Letters
Indescribably Blue
Big Boss Man
Guitar Man
US Male
Let Yourself Go
A Little Less Conversation
Clean Up Your Own Back Yard (Yes I agree with you)
I've Lost You
Kentucky Rain
I'm Leavin'
I Really Don't Want To Know
I've Got A Thing About You Baby

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:50 pm

skatterbrane wrote:Some that come to mind off the top of my head
My Baby Left Me (This and Lawdy Miss Clawdy are the only two RCA recordings that capture the Sun spirit and tone)
Lawdy Miss Clawdy
Loving You
It Hurts Me (DJs: flip it over!)
Witchcraft (DJs: flip it over!)
Love Letters
Indescribably Blue
Big Boss Man
Guitar Man
US Male
Let Yourself Go
A Little Less Conversation
Clean Up Your Own Back Yard (Yes I agree with you)
I've Lost You
Kentucky Rain
I'm Leavin'
I Really Don't Want To Know
I've Got A Thing About You Baby


I was going to mention Guitar Man and Big Boss Man also, but Elvis was so far from the charts by late 67 I knew they had no chance. I agree withyou on My Baby Left Me and Kentucky Rain also!

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 8:26 pm

Going by your list you mean bigger hits rather than hits because a top 20 hit is still a hit.

''I've got a thing about you baby''
''Guitar man''

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:25 pm

I don't know if it is true, maybe somebody can confirm it, but I am sure I read that RCA pressed not enough copies of I can dream, it caught them off guard. Anyway what seems hip today or to us may not seem so 40 years ago. Promised land got a lot of AirPlay and promotion, just as if you talk in your sleep but the unpromoted I've got a thing about you baby sold much more. So mediocre sales and lots of AirPlay landed sleep and promised on the top 20 and 500000 copies but less promotion resulted in just number 39 for thing about you.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:28 pm

r&b wrote:Strictly going by Billboard USA charts, I am amazed these songs were not bigger hits than they were. If you think of any reason why, I'd like to know your opinions.
Or you may chime in on other songs as well

Memories - It certainly had airplay and is a favorite today so I cant imagine why this didnt click big time after the TV show aired.
Clean Up Your Own Backyard - In the midst of the Elvis comeback this did nothing, but I thought it had all the right elements.
Promised Land - should have been top 10. Arguably his best 70's single release
If I Can Dream - Why not top 5? Especially since the TV Sepcial gave it life and it was so much in tune wih 1968.
Way Down - Yes I know # 1 in the UK , but even after Elvis died, and his records started selling like crazy, this did not crack the top 10 here in the USA.
If You Talk In Your Sleep - Funky 70's rock, that went nowhere.
Aint That Loving You Baby - too dated a sound for 1964 I guess?


Save the last two, I agree. Most especially those highlighted.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:32 pm

Life
It's only love
I'm leavin
moody blue

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:44 pm

Six responses and no 'My Boy' jokes??

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:46 pm

Generally Top 20 is considered a fairly major hit and successful record. "Way Down" save for radio airplay was a hit by any standard selling more than one million units.

I've always wondered on "Kentucky Rain" whether some dispute between Parker and the record company stopped promotion and momentum on that record. The record took off like jumping an astounding 56 places in its second week on the charts. And then it suddenly stopped. You can't blame it all on airplay as sales were about half what were they were for the previous record and about 25 percent lower than the 1970 standard. However, the record's status was almost immediately. It's one of the songs almost everyone remembers and loves and had a far higher profile than "Don't Cry Daddy" or "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" records that sold significantly more copies. I remember in the early '80s one day I became convinced RCA had reissued it as some sort of new promotion for some reissue because I heard it so many times within the course of a single day. Pop stations, easy listening, country stations. It was played all over the place. From anecdotal evidence, I also know that no one I tell about the chart position can believe "Kentucky Rain" was not a chart topper because of how famous it was.

As Frus noted, the charts are somewhat arbitrary measure of a record's impact and success. For instance ten years earlier, the same 600,000 units were enough to land Orbison's "I'm Hurtin'" in the Top Ten and the following year Elvis' "I Feel So Bad" in the Top five.

For whatever it's worth, Ernst has consistently stated that if the charts went by sales only Elvis' numbers would be even more impressive.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:04 pm

A lot of good titles mentioned but two songs I thought should have done much better were "Guitar Man" and "Big Boss Man." By the time Clambake was released in Oct. of '67... DJs had little to no interest playing Elvis's latest single and album. If Elvis did get some good quality songs released... they were buried as bonus songs and didn't get the airplay they deserved.

Image

Image

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:21 pm

In my opinion, the most obvious potential hit that wasn't was Separate Ways/Always on My Mind. While a number of later 70's Elvis singles scored much higher on the country charts than on the pop charts (giving Elvis a hit, if not a "pop" hit), SW/AOMM only made it up to 16 on the country charts, a scant 4 positions higher than Separate Ways' chart peak - Always on My Mind, as the B side, didn't actually chart at all on the pop charts.

To me, both performances were strong single contenders, actually made sense as a single thematically, and were a follow up to Elvis' big #2 Billboard hit "Burning Love" - thus, the relative failure of the follow up stands out to me.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:28 pm

EPA4368 wrote:A lot of good titles mentioned but two songs I thought should have done much better were "Guitar Man" and "Big Boss Man." By the time Clambake was released in Oct. of '67... DJs had little to no interest playing Elvis's latest single and album. If Elvis did get some good quality songs released... they were buried as bonus songs and didn't get the airplay they deserved.

Image

Image



I hung at at a candy store when these 2 records were released. They got plenty of spins on the jukebox thanks to me introducing them to the kids there, but I never heard either one on the radio. I agree, DJs had no interest in Elvis at this time (at least in the NY area anyway)

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:29 pm

brian wrote:Going by your list you mean bigger hits rather than hits because a top 20 hit is still a hit.

''I've got a thing about you baby''
''Guitar man''


Yes I mean top 10. thanks

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 10:52 pm

Delboy wrote:Six responses and no 'My Boy' jokes??


My Boy was a number 1 hitsingle (B-side Loving arms) in Belgium

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:03 pm

sylvain wrote:
Delboy wrote:Six responses and no 'My Boy' jokes??


My Boy was a number 1 hitsingle (B-side Loving arms) in Belgium

And the naysayers shall be silenced. :D

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:08 pm

A hit in the Elvis world means at least 1 million in sales and top five on the pop charts. He set a high standard for himself.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Thu Feb 07, 2013 11:41 pm

r&b wrote:
EPA4368 wrote:A lot of good titles mentioned but two songs I thought should have done much better were "Guitar Man" and "Big Boss Man." By the time Clambake was released in Oct. of '67... DJs had little to no interest playing Elvis's latest single and album. If Elvis did get some good quality songs released... they were buried as bonus songs and didn't get the airplay they deserved.



I hung at at a candy store when these 2 records were released. They got plenty of spins on the jukebox thanks to me introducing them to the kids there, but I never heard either one on the radio. I agree, DJs had no interest in Elvis at this time (at least in the NY area anyway)


Same here! I played them on jukeboxes whenever I could and everyone loved hearing them. After hearing "Big Boss Man" on the jukebox, someone called a DJ asking him to play it. Unfortunately when the DJ asked which album? I said "Clambake." DJ started laughing, said he put "Clambake" with the other unopened Elvis album, "Double Trouble."

When U.S. Male came out although the b side, it seem like more DJs played it than "Big Boss Man" and "Guitar Man" combined. I guess it being released only on a single was good news. At least the DJs gave U.S. Male a chance and probably why it charted higher than "Big Boss Man" and "Guitar Man"

Image

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:05 am

Good points. Yes I remember US Male having a liitle life on the radio. Should have been the A side outright, no question.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:14 am

Regarding ''Promised land'' by 1974/1975 it became clear that if Elvis was ever going to have another top ten or number one hit he needed to promote his records more.

RCA's strategy of just releasing songs to radio and hoping the disc Jockey's played the songs wasn't working anymore in the 1970s.

peaking at #14 for ''Promised land'' and #17 for ''If you talk in your sleep'' was pretty good considering that Elvis or RCA didn't do very much to promote them.

Had Elvis appeared on a couple of variety shows to promote them they probably would have squeaked into the top ten.

I agree that perhaps ''Ain't that loving you baby'' sounded a little too dated to be a huge hit in 1964.

I think if RCA had released it as a single in 1959 it would have been a million seller and possibly a number one hit in the U.S.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 12:48 am

I agree. Elvis on Carson or some top rated variety show post 1973 would have done wonders for his record sales and his career in general. Not too mention more video for us fans to enjoy. Col Parker, supposedly a genius in promotion, made very bad decisions in regards to this.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:32 am

I was always surprised that "If I Can Dream" and "Promised Land" didn't do better on the charts. Promised Land really rocks. I personally like "Indescribably Blue" and think it should have charted better.

But I really like the studio version of "I'm Leavin." This is an amazing song performed so well by Elvis. It should have done much better on the charts.

rlj

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:50 am

I think 'Mine' was a missed gem

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:04 am

ElvisTheKid wrote:I think 'Mine' was a missed gem


''Mine'' wasn't released as a single and is not what the thread is about.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:16 am

r&b wrote:Strictly going by Billboard USA charts, I am amazed these songs were not bigger hits than they were. If you think of any reason why, I'd like to know your opinions.
Or you may chime in on other songs as well

Memories - It certainly had airplay and is a favorite today so I cant imagine why this didnt click big time after the TV show aired.
Clean Up Your Own Backyard - In the midst of the Elvis comeback this did nothing, but I thought it had all the right elements.
Promised Land - should have been top 10. Arguably his best 70's single release
If I Can Dream - Why not top 5? Especially since the TV Sepcial gave it life and it was so much in tune wih 1968.
Way Down - Yes I know # 1 in the UK , but even after Elvis died, and his records started selling like crazy, this did not crack the top 10 here in the USA.
If You Talk In Your Sleep - Funky 70's rock, that went nowhere.
Aint That Loving You Baby - too dated a sound for 1964 I guess?

I understand your point about chart position, but weren't all of these recordings listed certified gold? That's a question, not a statement... I ask because they were all included in the Gold Records series of albums, save Promised Land.

Re: Songs I feel should have been hits but were not

Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:34 am

likethebike wrote:I've always wondered on "Kentucky Rain" whether some dispute between Parker and the record company stopped promotion and momentum on that record. The record took off like jumping an astounding 56 places in its second week on the charts. And then it suddenly stopped. You can't blame it all on airplay as sales were about half what were they were for the previous record and about 25 percent lower than the 1970 standard. However, the record's status was almost immediately. It's one of the songs almost everyone remembers and loves and had a far higher profile than "Don't Cry Daddy" or "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" records that sold significantly more copies. I remember in the early '80s one day I became convinced RCA had reissued it as some sort of new promotion for some reissue because I heard it so many times within the course of a single day. Pop stations, easy listening, country stations. It was played all over the place. From anecdotal evidence, I also know that no one I tell about the chart position can believe "Kentucky Rain" was not a chart topper because of how famous it was.


Fascinating commentary. "Kentucky Rain" is one of my personal favorites of Elvis' 70s recordings. Interestingly enough, the song is played fairly regularly on both the oldies and classic country station in our town.