50 Greatest Elvis Songs Ever

Elvis Presley recorded more than 700 tracks in his lifetime. So, how to pick his best song ever? It’s a daunting task for our critic. Has Time Onle picked the right tracks? 1. HOUND DOG The intro explodes into your ears, and into the public consciousness, as only A Hard Day's Night and Anarchy In The UK have since. So intense, two minutes of sustained viciousness and sheer malicious glee. 2. SUSPICIOUS MINDS As a mature and supremely confident Elvis harmonises with himself, you can feel the shackles of Hollywood falling away. The shock of the middle eight ("let our love survive") will make you catch your breath. 3. MYSTERY TRAIN Singing high and free, even a runaway train can't take his gal away. Scotty Moore and Bill Black never played better, but Elvis's whoop of delight at the end takes the cake. 4. HEARTBREAK HOTEL A freaky but inspired choice of first 45 for a major label. To enhance the atmosphere of seedy desolation, Elvis chose to record the vocal at the end of the studio corridor. 5. I JUST CAN'T HELP BELIEVING Encapsulates the live, second-coming - his band never sounded better. The back-and-forths between Elvis and backing singers the Sweet Inspirations ("one more time... yeah, one more!") are the highlight. 6. SUSPICION A teenage pre-cursor to Suspicious Minds, and almost as good. Shadowed by autoharp and a sinister bassline, the victim's pained politeness explodes into paranoia at the end of the chorus: "Why torture me?" 7. GOOD ROCKING TONIGHT No less than an invitation to come join the teenage revolution. "We're gonna rock all our blues away" - the original slang usage of 'rock 'n' roll' was never more explicit. 8. DOING THE BEST I CAN From the GI Blues soundtrack, a Pomus and Shuman ballad of abject surrender. The vocal gets under your skin, keening and helpless - no wonder girls melted. 9. ONE NIGHT This snarling menace to American moral fibre had to be toned down from "one night of sin" to "one night with you," though the performance is so loaded with sexual promise they needn't have bothered. 10. TOMORROW IS A LONG TIME Cut in 1966 between some of his worst movie scores, the delicate, haunted take on Bob Dylan's song hints at a parallel Elvis universe. Dylan has since hailed it as his favourite cover version. 11. CAN'T HELP FALLING IN LOVE Irresistibly tender. The world's favourite wedding song. 12. LITTLE SISTER Nasty and playful rocker with a burning guitar line. 13. DON'T BE CRUEL The minimal, hand-clapping groove sent this to number one in '56 for eleven weeks. 14. IT'S NOW OR NEVER Inspired by Mario Lanza, adapted for a Cornetto ad, his biggest international hit. 15. POLK SALAD ANNIE Sweaty, southern-fried highlight of his Vegas era. 16. ALL SHOOK UP Introduced the classic "uh-huh-huh" to the Presley repertoire. 17. PLEASE DON'T STOP LOVING ME Intense southern soul ballad buried on the b-side of Frankie And Johnny. 18. BLUE MOON Eerie clip-clopping reading, with Elvis already sounding like his own ghost, haunting America in 1956. 19. CRAWFISH The deepest, most atmospheric song about fishing you'll ever hear. 20. A MESS OF BLUES A whisky-soaked Elvis beats himself up: "Whoops, there goes a teardrop..." 21. THAT’S ALL RIGHT A little hesitant, but this is where it all began. 22. LONG BLACK LIMOUSINE The tale of a poor southern singer gone too soon is delivered with unnerving emotion. 23. GUITAR MAN Jerry Reed’s song was autobiographical, but Presley made it his, and a springboard for artistic renewal in ’68. 24. JAILHOUSE ROCK DJ Fontana’s granite-breaking drums deserve co-star status. 25. LOVE ME TENDER First suggestions of his Italianite leanings, this showed America the boy wasn’t always a hoodlum. 26. THAT’S SOMEONE YOU’LL NEVER FORGET A graveyard ballad, though death is never mentioned directly, that could have been sung with his mum in mind. 27. ANY DAY NOW True blue-eyed soul, a beautiful song from the ’69 Memphis sessions. 28. BURNING LOVE If he wanted to, he could still take the dancefloor in the seventies. 29. VIVA LAS VEGAS A minor hit at the time, a standard now. 30. AN AMERICAN TRILOGY Elvis probably never knew Micky Newbury's patriotic showstopper was ironic. 31. TRYING TO GET YOU Both the Sun original and the bellowing ’68 comeback version are impossible to resist. 32. A FOOL SUCH AS I Messing about with his own myth in fine style. 33. RECONSIDER BABY The dirtiest, truest blues he ever recorded. Boots Randolph’s sax break is filthy. 34. TROUBLE Ludicrous lyric with an insanely aggressive delivery over a drunken, Tom and Jerry-esque Dixieland backing. 35. I’M LEAVIN’ “Tried so hard, so hard...” His most intense break-up song, this should be better known. 36. ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT Country ham (it was Colonel Parker’s favourite song) handled with real emotion. That voice had an incredible arsenal. 37. IN THE GHETTO Simplistic but affecting, this 1969 number one turned his career around. 38. RETURN TO SENDER The Presley entry point for five-year olds. 39. SHE’S NOT YOU Elvis’s best performances of the early sixties usually involved a love triangle lyric – this slow-dance special was the strongest. 40. THE GIRL OF MY BEST FRIEND Compelling and heart-breakingly sharp teen romance. 41. I’VE LOST YOU Elvis, King of Pain, reflects on the imminent collapse of his marriage. 42. BABY LET’S PLAY HOUSE Sam Phillips’ echoed production and Elvis’s hiccoughs invent rockabilly in two minutes. 43. ALWAYS ON MY MIND Regrets, he had more than a few. 44. I NEED SOMEBODY TO LEAN ON The perfect lounge jazz-blues for 3 am, from Viva Las Vegas. 45. HIS LATEST FLAME Bo Diddley beat with Latin touches, The Smiths built half their catalogue around it. 46. IT HURTS ME A soulful roar from ’64, revisited to great effect in the Comeback Special. 47. WAY DOWN He bowed out sounding pretty darn contemporary, though JD Sumner’s low, low bass notes take the limelight. 48. LOVE ME Written by Leiber and Stoller as a self-parody; the reading is so sincere, you'd never know. 49. TOO MUCH Constantly on the edge of falling apart but hard as nails, the archetypal tough rocker. 50. YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE No matter how many times you’ve heard this song before, the intensity and belief of Elvis’s interpretation will floor you.
Source: TimesOnline.com / Updated: Aug 16, 2007 
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deyounga (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 19, 2007report abuse
How can you have a top 50 list and only mention one gospel song? What about His Hand in Mine, Joshua, Swing Down Sweet Chariot, Run On? Being his favorite music, you would think these songs would rank higher.
aura (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 18, 2007report abuse
Uau!!! what a list... Love almost all songs indicated, but pls, nr. 43 for ALWAYS ON MY MIND ? This is my ELVIS favourite song. And nr. 19 for CRAWFISH ? Our portuguese fan-club considers it one of ELVIS' silly songs...
Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2007report abuse
All things being said how can you really make a list for every here there are 10 left off. But theres always Good Rockin Tonight when elvis comes on the record Player.
FJE (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2007report abuse
Some unusual choices but overall a very good list. I was surprised by the high placing of Doin' The Best I Can. As usual with these lists every fan would have on of his favourites left out but the 3 songs I usually cite as my favourites are here (No's 2, 7 & 33). I'm also glad I Just Can't Help Believing is getting the recognition it deserves.
Buddy Holly (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 17, 2007report abuse
Very good list, much better than the Dutch Collection. Thoughtful comments as well although I've read some before.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2007report abuse
"Hound dog" "Suspicious minds" Heartbreak hotel" and "Cant help falling in love" is obviously Elvis´most important singles, and I would also put Hound dog on top I believe, since it´s the most important song from the "50s. The attitude and sound from it redefined music. Little richard was good, but sounded just frantic, Bill haley had the song, but no attitude, -Elvis had the total package and just blew the competitiors away! The credit + media attention he still gets today bothers people cause their envious of the talent he possessed.
Jerome (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2007report abuse
one of the reasons of his succes, is the wide variety of his material. Never, ever can there be a list of best records. Perhaps most succesful records, but best or essential? No never..
RonBaker (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2007report abuse
Good list...
GregMcGee (profilecontact) wrote on Aug 16, 2007report abuse
Good list, however think "Jailhouse Rock" deserves a better fate than middle of the pack at #24, maybe switch it with the #8 pick "Doing The Best I Can". I would have also have included "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" for my taste, great rockin' 70's Elvis number, other than that, pretty good list. ((Also, just as a footnote, wish DJ's would call cover songs of Elvis hits by their right names. There are artists who have covered Elvis songs such as "T-R-O-U-B-L-E" (Vegas Elvis hit) and confusse it with "Trouble" (Song from Elvis' 4th film "King Creole")

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