After reading so many threads and articles about the # 1 hits of Elvis and the Beatles and the accompanying CD's of EMI and BMG, it was obvious, that most of the people were either getting the facts wrong or not understanding under which considerations the #1 CD's of Elvis and the Beatles were compiled.
Nigel Patterson (congratulations on your fantastic website) of the Australian website has made major mistakes, which I would like to point out first. He begins with using the wrong chart, NME. The today officially accepted and used chart reference is "Guiness Book of British Hit Singles". This uses the NME chart only from 14 November 1952 till the 10th of March 1960. From then on they use the charts of Record Retailer (now Music week) till today. By using the wrong chart he has credited the Beatles with a # 1 they did not have, "Please, Please Me". "Wild in the Country" and "In the Ghetto" were neither # 1 hits for Elvis in the UK charts. He credits the Beatles with staying more weeks at # 1 than Elvis, which is definitely wrong. In "Guiness Book of British Hit Singles", there is an extra chapter devoted to the # 1 hits on the UK chart. Without counting ALLC, Elvis was 73 weeks at #1 whereas the Beatles were 69 weeks at #1.
In fact the OFFICIAL UK chart. The BBC simply used the "Guinness Book of British Hit Singles" as their source. By the way, even EMI used the Chart of Record Retailer to compile the Beatles # 1 and not NME. You can read it in the booklet of the CD)
The Beatles had 25 different # 1 hits in the UK and USA charts. All of these are on their CD. 2 songs, that EMI put on their CD did not go to #1. These are "Something" and "Eleanor Rigby". EMI choose to include both sides of the double-sided # hits, which I personally would say lacks credibility and integrity. All record companies could all of a sudden declare all of their single releases as double A -sided, which would multiply the # 1 hits of all artists. "Eleanor Rigby" was the B side of "yellow Submarine", and should therefore have not been included on the # 1 CD. "Something" went to # 3 on the Billboard charts.
Elvis had 29 different # 1 hits on either the Billboard charts or the official British charts. BMG has chosen 28 of those for their CD. They have have left out "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You". Now comes the interesting part: In the UK Elvis had 4 double sided # 1 hits: One Night/I Got Stung, A Fool Such as I/I Need Your Love Tonight, His Latest Flame/Little Sister and Rock a Hula/Can´t Help falling. In a parallel move as to EMI, BMG could have included those 4 extra songs on their CD, making a total of 33. They neglected to do that, but instead of using Rock a Hula, they wisely preferred to use the other side of the UK #1 single, because Can't Help Falling was 1) the A side in the states, 2) an international hit and 3) the better song.
Now comes the part, that has caused some dispute: BMG took the freedom of using the #1 hits of the Cashbox chart. Elvis had 3 # 1 hits on Cashbox, that did not go to # 1 on Billboard: "Return to Sender", "In the Ghetto" and "Burning Love". Elvis was an American artist. What's wrong with using two different charts in a country with over 200 Mio. people. "Return to Sender" was # 1 in the UK charts, so there's nothing to discuss about that. Cashbox was grounded in 1941, published their first chart in 1942 and was an institution for decades in the American music industry. Cashbox and Billboard were the most important charts in the timeline of Elvis' active career. I find it absolutely correct to use Elvis´# 1 hits of Cashbox.
Conclusion: I don't really understand all the fuss about the upcoming # 1 CD of Elvis. The CD is not titled ´The Academic Correctly Compiled # 1 Hits´. There is nothing wrong with bending the facts a little to make a more enjoyable CD. The Millions of buyers don´t even care about the chart statistics. They simply want to enjoy the music, and they will enjoy the # 1 CD of Elvis even more if "In The Ghetto" and "Burning Love" are included. EMI included the B side of a # 1 hit and even cheated by including a # 3 hit on their CD. BMG used a second legitimate American chart and left out a Billboard # 1. Now you tell me which CD has more credibility or integrity?
B.T.W. There have been quite a lot of unnecessary Elvis vs. Beatles polls lately. I would like to point out, that BBC´s poll is definitely manipulated. As they began it was 70 % for the Beatles. Words spread around the Elvis Boards and thousands of votes for Elvis poured in, but still they showed Elvis with 30%. After a few days the poll makers started to realize how silly they would look if thousand of votes were coming in and the poll results always remained the same. Under pressure they changed the results from one day to the other. By then many people had already realized, that the poll was rigged. Another poll conducted by ITV on Teletext, where people had to phone in their votes ended with nearly 80 % for Elvis, proving one shouldn't take polls too seriously. But that's just my opinion.