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EPE Challenges Mariah's Record

April 05, 2008 | Other

This week's news that pop star Mariah Carey has surpassed Elvis Presley as the solo artist with the most No. 1 singles on Billboard's U.S pop chart has now officially been challenged by Elvis Presley Enterprises. When Carey's "Touch My Body" rocketed to No. 1 on this week's chart, it gave the singer her 18th No. 1, the most by any solo artist on Billboard's Hot 100.

A pair of readers have helpfully pointed out that a post on the official Elvis website, the business entity created by the Estate of Elvis Presley and the Elvis Presley Trust, claims that the King had, in fact, 18 No. 1 singles, meaning Carey would have simply tied Presley.

But not so fast, writes Billboard's chart guru Geoff Mayfield in this week's edition of the magazine. The confusion lies with 1958 chart-toppers "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog." The Presley site lists the two songs as separate No. 1 singles.

Seemingly makes sense, except that when "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog" topped the chart, they did so as one double-sided release. Writes Mayfield in his column, "Billboard's charts department and the magazine's ranking trivia expert, Fred Bronson, consider those two songs comprise but one single, and thus a singular No. 1 shared by the two songs."

And thus the debate will surely rage on.

From the EPE site:

Elvis Presley Record Chart Statistics Clarification

Elvis Aaron Presley had 149 songs to appear on Billboard’s Hot 100 Pop Chart in America. Of these, 114 were in the top forty, 40 were in the top ten, and 18 went to number one. His number one singles spent a total of 80 weeks at number one. He has also had over 90 charted albums with ten of them reaching number one. These figures are only for the pop charts, and only in America. He was also a leading artist in the American country, R&B, and gospel fields, and his chart success in other countries was substantial.

It is estimated that Elvis Presley has sold over one billion record units worldwide, more than anyone in record industry history. In America alone, Elvis has had 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), with more certifications expected as research into his past record sales continues and as current sales go on. Research is also underway to document his record sales achievements in other countries. It is estimated that 40% of Elvis' total record sales have been outside the United States.

Elvis Presley Billboard Chart Statistics: #1 hits:

1956: 1. Heartbreak Hotel 2. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You 3. Don’t Be Cruel 4. Hound Dog 5. Love Me Tender 1957: 6. Too Much 7. All Shook Up 8. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear 9. Jailhouse Rock 10. Don’t 1958: 11. Hard Headed Woman 1959: 12. A Big Hunk O’ Love 1960: 13. Stuck On You 14. It’s Now or Never 15. Are You Lonesome Tonight? 1961 16. Surrender 1962 17. Good Luck Charm 1969: 18. Suspicious Minds
Source:LA Times
jean michel wrote on April 05, 2008
First time I hear/see EPE defending publicly Elvis as a record holder/Billion units seller. Maybe they are begining to understand that Elvis is about music & not rubber ducks ! Maybe , this "battle" will push BMG/EPE to be more active & creative with Elvis music. God knows what they could do to put him back on top of the charts where he belongs . I know , I said "maybe" twice ; I am a dreamer.
JimmyCool wrote on April 05, 2008
I would like a Remix album of less known songs to have a few new #1 hit singles.
mak1965 wrote on April 05, 2008
There will be folks passing Elvis' Records who cares?? NO ONE will ever be as great as a singer/Performer! So There!!! Pee-Wee Herman "I Know You Are , But What Am I" Ha!
sivle3 wrote on April 05, 2008
This is Excellent I am behind EPE 100% I think we should congratulate them for finaly taking a stand for him. I have had my complaints of EPE over the years but not here, and let this just be the beginning of the challenges of records that Elvis rightly owns, I am going to email EPE and tell them they have my full support long live the king!
Kenneth wrote on April 05, 2008
mak1965 lots of people care and what's with weird comment about pee wee herman.
Mofoca22 wrote on April 06, 2008
yay about time there standing up for elvis. time to start churning his music out again. especially the unknown songs that could be smash hits
hedgehog wrote on April 06, 2008
The last N01 in America in 1969 SHAME on you America, at least hear in the UK we try and do our bit to keep the king on top
get real wrote on April 06, 2008
Sore losers. It is just a matter of time before Mariah beats The Beatles also. Give her 3 or 4 years.
Aarons wrote on April 06, 2008
WAIT A MINUTE this news article says, '1958 chart-toppers "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog."' These songs weren't chart-toppers of 1958, they were chart-toppers in 1956. So far as am concerned Geoff Mayfield is wrong.
Steve V wrote on April 06, 2008
Wasnt A Little Less Conversation a #1 on some US Billboard chart? I remember reading that in 2002. Wouldnt that count as a # 1? The charts are so bogus nowadays anyway, so this is a silly topic.
sivle3 wrote on April 06, 2008
steve V you are exactly correct also the rerealed singles. A little less conversation was a #1 billboard hit it was on good morning america. I am glad you agree. It seems a lot of people who are elvis fans here are pulling for the others I have to wonder were the loyalty lies. And the one that said shame on america 60% of his records were sold here which mean britain shares 40% with all other over seas countries. I will give credit where it is due The UK does a lot for Elvis but because of copyright laws it seems there is a better selection of material than the US at times. Less don't get in the blame game I hope we are here for the same reason for Elvis and by the way the last billboard #1 of suspicious minds is the song you are making reference to, however we put him #1 over and over in the R&B, country and gospel. I was glad to see that the singles box set hit several #1's in the UK. So I will give credit where it is due just don't get holier than thou
Viva wrote on April 06, 2008
Just for information: ALLC was Number one on the Billboard sales chart, which you think would be the best way of judging a songs popularity as it relies on sales figures alone, but unfortunately the chart which is given the most credence and the one the powers that be refer to is the Billboard Hot 100 chart which also takes into account radio airplay (and I dare say bribe money). As ALLC did not get that much airplay in the states it failed to hit the top spot despite outselling everything else out there. It's inaccurate, corruptable and clearly wrong, but since when was that good enough reason for change. And by the way: Too little too late EPE.
Ruthie wrote on April 07, 2008
Yes, Mayfield is wrong. If you refer to Ernst Jordensen's book, Elvis Presley, A life in Music, THe Complete Recording Sessions, you will see the correct recordings in the correct years. Of course EPE should challenge Billboard. THe information is not entirely correct. Besides, it's the least EPE can do. But, again, remember it is only Billboard. It's only their opinion. Nothing to get worked up about. I would be more upset over their statement that 2 hits selling on one recording can only be counted as one hit. How do they figure? Both songs sold millions & reached #1 regardless of whether both songs were on one record or two! Of course, Billboard gave Sinatra credit for 2 hits when both were on the same recording. Same goes for Duke Ellington, although I doubt Billboard rated in that era! In their Bible of Rock & Roll, Billboard gives 3 pages to Presley, more than any other artist listed in the book. Mainly, you have to remember that someday someone is going to beat ELvis' record if you are just looking at No. 1 hits. However, beating is total record isn't going to happen in my lifetime! Just think: on top of everything else, how many other singers are in every music genre Hall of Fame.
ext_mnx wrote on April 08, 2008
I have an interesting history from myself: A few years before, a store give me a cd from pariah carey; and sure, pariah carey, her old company, this store and billboard used this gift as a trick and put it as a sale. And I was so angry that I destroyed it. The cd from pariah carey was a cd single what a trash }: ( I want a Elvis Presley cd
Kenneth wrote on April 08, 2008
jack409, riaa is another player who is not playing on a level playing field but that will show up with billboard. sorry to confuse you GET REAL.
king35 wrote on April 08, 2008
Right you are "Ruthie", how can a 45 rpm with 2 separate songs be considered one hit just because they were released on the same record? they are still 2 different songs. If they both went to no. 1, then they both should get separate no. 1 billing.
Always on my mind wrote on April 08, 2008
Do the records that were remixed by others, 25 years after Elvis' death, count? If so, he's had at least 20 #1 hits.
ext_mnx wrote on April 08, 2008
The trick from pariah carey is revealed from a reader: "Mariah Carey’s victory over Elvis in the US this week is not all it’s cracked up to be. One of her fansites ran a contest and offered prizes for those who downloaded “Touch My Body” from Itunes and internet sites. Fans were instructed to take a screen print or proof of purchase and email them to the webmaster. They were then entered into the lottery and then they said, the more songs you downloaded, the better your chances to win. In addition, they were also instructed to loop videos and vote for them incessantly on MTV, VH1 and BET. They were also told to call radio even if they did not live in the city the station was in. I think this is unjust as Elvis did not have that advantage back in his day and yet he accomplished so much. It’s also unjust for artists especially newcomers who do no have such fansites out there. It is especially troubling that these prizes were given to the fan site by Carey’s camp. She is soon to "beat the Beatles" and again they were a diffrent era where #1s were much harder to attain. Something must be done! This is most certailnly an unfair victory and sad. "
ext_mnx wrote on April 09, 2008
Very well words, I hope that the elvis´s fans think and do the same think. I can do it but I read the other sites and are more worries for made money and defend other interest than show the reality. The only good thing was to know: thanks to pariah carey our Elvis Presly get several number ones. And the elvis´s clubs defend pariah carey wath a laugh from me for example: the groups of groups of msn. One site of poll very good for to know results is something that begin with whatthe and ends with nationthinks and is british and very good and now elvis have the first place with 3 votes But I count and Elvis Presley have 20# number ones. And I count and the same think and I made downloads. And is good to made the tricks ... what a bad I am ... Thanks for your words
Rycher wrote on April 11, 2008
I don't really consider the moaning trash put out by that sleazy woman music, so who cares about Billboard's records, they're obviously clueless.
Kenneth wrote on April 13, 2008
but it gets her on the powerful opra winfrey television show april 14/08. advert shows big sign with #18 in background and in my opinion jack409 has this one right.
Steve V wrote on April 13, 2008
What the heck is going on here? As far back as 1987 RCA put out the 18 #1 Hits LP. Its been known forver that Elvis had 18 USA # 1 records and The Beatles had 20. Now all of sudden Carey is breaking Elvis' solo artist record with her 18th? Why does Elvis have only 17 all of a sudden? I keep reading about this everyday on the internet, in the papers, etc. Where the hell is RCA defending their past assertion on 18 # 1's? And what about ALLC being #1 on the sales chart in 2002? Totally bogus is Ms Carey having the record. Maybe later she will, but not now.
Bryan wrote on April 17, 2008
Steve V, I totally agree with you! Mariah didn't break any record at all. so yeah what the heck is going on..
Kenneth wrote on April 18, 2008
My opinion on this is that ELVIS' own country was and still is his biggest enemy and europe plus my country, canada are his best friends and i agree with jack409 about billboard.
Johnny B wrote on April 18, 2008
Suspicion, Burning Love, Always on my Mind, and Promised Land should have also hit number one.
Steve V wrote on April 18, 2008
How the heck could Suspicion have been a number one hit when it was a huge hit the year before by Terry Stafford? RCA totally blew that one. Left a gem on an LP when it should have been a single. Also Always On my Mind was a B side, and Promised Land didnt get airplay. I agree with you about Burning Love. Billboard consipracy? In the middle of Beatlemania in 1964 Billboard did a huge issue on Elvis and new RCA catalog with pull out section. Plus it really plugged his newest relase at the time Kissin Cousins. I kow cause I have that issue. Do you really think that record was going to topple the Beatles, Brach Boys, 4 Seasons, Motown, etc? Living in the New York area Elvis did not get a lot of radio airplay after 1964. Dont know what it was like in the rest of the country but to blame Bllboard is silly.
Steve V wrote on April 18, 2008
Sorry typo - I meant the Beach Boys of course!
Kenneth wrote on April 19, 2008
STEVE V, i'm interested in getting your take on why very little radio airplay after 1964, your area was far from alone, in fact the last song that was played on the big rock/ pop station in my area in TORONTO was " for the heart", twice then nothing. what and or who stopped the playing of ELVIS on mainstream radio? we'll get into billboard and riaa later as i have a real problem with both of them. thanks.
Steve V wrote on April 19, 2008
Kenneth - I live in the NY area which was never a big radio player of Elvis records. Our radio was big into R&B, Motown, 4 Seasons and of course the British invasion. Some of my take on this has to do with the way Col Parker handled Elvis with the media. He never made Elvis available to DJ's, etc. Here in NY, all the top stars always did promos for the stations (yes even The Beatles) ,showed up for interviews, etc. Once Elvis sold his soul to Hollywood, he was taken out of the mainstream music world. I think this had a lot to do with his not getting airplay. Im sure of it.
Kenneth wrote on April 20, 2008
Thank you STEVE V. for the reply, i agree with you at least in the N.Y. area but do you think that holds true for the rest of other areas because it seems like the lites went out for ELVIS airplay all at the same time. in looking back at everything i think ELVIS was surrounded by incompetent people from day one right up until this very moment and still going on. ELVIS was huge in my part of town then nothing, PARKER owned him and the others used him and still do. i smell a rat here but can't find the proper words to use right now, thank the LORD for the europeans because i don't think there is a website like this in NORTH AMERICA and when i get better i would like to talk to you more about this, again thanks for the reply.
Steve V wrote on April 20, 2008
Hi Kenneth, it may be true for the rest of the USA as well as Parker just didnt make Elvis available to the media. There are other big markets besides NY where he didnt get much airplay either. I agree with you about the incompetenece. Here you have the worlds biggest star and you dont make him available for TV spots, radio promos, good songwriters, etc. when he needed it most. Just throw him into one mindless movie after another. Elvis was to blame as well. He didnt stand up for his career until the 68 TV special (thank goodness he did!), although he complained in private. I agree about Europe though. It seems Europe likes our original rockers more than the USA - Gene Vincent, Orbison, Everlys, etc. were always more popular there.