Elvis Presley was a man who knew his way around a love song. Whether he was asking his girl if she was lonesome tonight or chastising her for her suspicious mind, he was never so good as when he was singing with his heart on his sleeve. If you’re ready for some sweet, tender loving from the King, these are the 10 best Elvis Presley love songs to check out.
10. Burning Love
Burning Love was written by Dennis Linde and originally recorded by country-soul artist Arthur Alexander in early 1972. It failed to go anywhere that time around, but later that summer, Elvis Presley came and turned it into a huge hit with his harder rocking version. It became his biggest hit since Suspicious Minds three years earlier, reaching number 7 in the UK and number 2 on the US Billboard Top 100 chart – his last ever entry on the top ten of the chart.
9. Are You Lonesome Tonight
Are You Lonesome Tonight was written in 1927 and first recorded by Charles Hart the following year. After that, numerous artists tried their hand at it, but it took Elvis to turn it into an international sensation. Recorded in 1960 at the behest of his manager Colonel Tom Parker (or rather, the insistence of Parker’s wife, Marie Mott, who thought Elvis would do a fine job of reworking her favorite song), its release was delayed by Presley’s record label who wasn’t sure the song was a good fit for Presley’s image. As it turned out, Marie was right and the record label was wrong – the song topped the pop charts in both the UK and US and was eventually certified 2 x Platinum.
8. Stuck on You
Presley’s first new song after the end of his two years of military service was Stuck on You. Clearly, his stint in the army had done nothing to diminish his fans appetite for new material – released in March 1960, the song soared to number 1 on the Billboard Top 100 chart to become his thirteenth chart-topping hit. It also reached number 1 in Belgium and the Netherlands, and the top 5 in the UK.
7. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear
Written by Kal Mann and Bernie Lowe and recorded by Presley for the soundtrack of his second movie “Loving You,” (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear became the singer’s third number one pop hit of 1957, topping the Billboard Top 100 chart for seven weeks. It also managed to reach the top spot on the country chart and R&B Best Sellers List – his first-ever number one on the chart.
6. I Want You, I Need You, I Love You
Named one of the best Elvis Presley love songs by yourtango.com, I Want You, I Need You, I Love You came directly after the blockbusting Heartbreak Hotel and directly before the equally massive Hound Dog. Even so, it managed to hold its own against both, becoming Presley’s second number one on the country music charts and reaching number 3 on the Billboard Top 100 chart.
5. The Wonder of You
The Wonder of You was first released by Ray Peterson, who earned a top 40 hit with it in 1959. Ten years later, Presley approached Peterson about re-recording it. Speaking to davidneale.eu, Peterson recalled: “He asked me if I would mind if he recorded ‘The Wonder of You.’ I said, ‘You don’t have to ask permission; you’re Elvis Presley.’ He said, ‘Yes, I do. You’re Ray Peterson.'” Released in 1970, the song became one of Presley’s biggest hits in the UK, topping the charts for an impressive six weeks. Over in the US, it hit number one on the easy listening chart.
4. Suspicious Minds
Songwriter Mark James recorded the original version of Suspicious Minds in 1968. When producer Chip Moman was scouting around for songs for Presley’s 1969 comeback album From Elvis In Memphis, James, who also co-wrote Always on My Mind for Presley, suggested Suspicious Minds. Although it hadn’t been a hit for James, Presley decided to take a gamble on it anyway. The result was one of his biggest ever hits and one of the most enduringly popular songs in his catalog.
3. Love Me Tender
Up next is a song adapted from the melody of the 1861 American Civil War song Aura Lee. According to the song’s lyricist Ken Darby, Presley played a crucial role in the song’s creation. “He adjusted the music and the lyrics to his own particular presentation,” he explained to bloginroll.com, adding “Elvis has the most terrific ear of anyone I have ever met. He does not read music, but he does not need to. All I had to do was play the song for him once, and he made it his own! He has perfect judgment of what is right for him. He exercised that judgment when he chose ‘Love Me Tender’ as his theme song.” Released in September 1956, the song took Presley to number 1 on both the Billboard and Cashbox charts.
2. Always On Mind
It’s often been said that Always on My Mind was inspired by Presley’s marital woes, but according to its co-writer Willie Carson, it was written for every man who’s ever experienced relationship problems. “(It) was one long apology,” he’s explained. “It’s sort of like all guys who screw up and would love nothing better than to pick up the phone and call their wives and say, ‘Listen, honey, I could have done better, but I want you to know that you were always on my mind.'” Either way, it became a major success for Presley, charting in the top 40 in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada, and Belgium.
1. Can’t Help Falling in Love
Rounding off our list of the ten best Elvis Presley love songs of all time is this glorious tune from the soundtrack of Presley’s 1961 movie, Blue Hawaii. Based on the 18th century French love song Plaisir d’amour, Can’t Help Falling in Love topped the UK charts in 1962 and reached number 2 on the Billboard Top 100 chart. 60 years later, it still ranks as one of the tenderest and most poignant love songs ever recorded.