Elvis Presley was a singer and actor who began his career in 1946, and he is usually associated with music genres including rock and roll, pop, country, rockabilly, gospel, blues, and R&B. He had established himself in the music industry by the mid-1950s but was then conscripted to the US Army in 1958. After serving his country for two years, Presley resumed his music career in 1960, and it was during this decade that he recorded some of his most successful music. His success in the music industry continued into the 1970s. In addition to being one of the most acclaimed music artists of the 1960s and 1970s, Elvis Presley also enjoyed success as an actor. He made his acting debut in the 1956 film ‘Love Me Tender,’ then appeared in three more films in the late 1950s. During the 1960s, Presley had roles in 26 films, and he recorded songs for the soundtracks of many of these movies. Presley’s most recent films were the `970 film ‘Elvis: That’s the Way It Is’ and the 1972 documentary film ‘Elvis on Tour.’ Presley’s career was cut tragically short when he died suddenly of heart disease at his home in Memphis on August 16, 1977. From the beginning of his career to his untimely death, Elvis Presley had released 23 studio albums, 29 Eps, 24 box sets, 18 soundtrack albums, seven live albums, and 117 singles. There were also 107 posthumous compilation albums and 24 posthumous singles released. Here are the best Elvis Presley songs of all time.
20. Blue Suede Shoes (1956)
Despite not achieving the same level of success as some of Presley’s other 1956 singles, ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ remains one of his most recognized songs. It was most successful in the Netherlands as it reached number two on the charts. This song was also a top ten hit in Sweden, Australia, and the UK. ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ was the first single released on Presley’s 1956 self-titled album.
19. The Wonder of You (1970)
‘The Wonder of You’ was one of Elvis Presley’s best songs from the early 1970s. It peaked at number two on the US Adult Contemporary chart and was a number one hit in the U< and the Netherlands. The song also reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. It was written by Baker Knight and was originally recorded in 1958 by Vince Edwards.
18. Fever (1960)
‘Fever’ was written by Otis Blackwell and Eddie Cooley. It was first recorded in 1956 by R&B singer Little Willie John, and it features on his debut album ‘Fever.’ Elvis Presley released his version of the song in 1960. Others who have since released covers of the song include Peggy Lee, Michael Buble, Madonna, Boney M., The McCoys, Beyonce, and Christina Aguilera.
17. If I Can Dream (1968)
Although ‘If I Can Dream’ is not one of Elvis Presley’s most commercially successful singles, it is one of his most memorable due to the lyrics and their meaning. The song was written by Walter Earl Brown, and it contains direct quotations from the famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech made by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. Elvis Presley recorded the song just two months after King’s assassination.
16. Burning Love (1972)
‘Burning Love’ was one of Presley’s most successful hits of the 1970s. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and was a top ten hit in multiple countries internationally. The song features on the album ‘Burning Love and Hits from His Movies, Vol. 2.’ It was written by Dennis Linde, and it was first released earlier in the same year by Arthur Alexander.
15. (Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame (1961)
Although ‘(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame’ only reached number four on the Billboard hot 100, it topped the charts in Canada, the UK, and Spain. This song was written by Mort Shuman and Doc Pomus, and it was first recorded in 1961 by Del Shannon. Later in the same year, Presley released his version of the song.
14. Mystery Train
‘Mystery Train’ is one of the songs released by Elvis Presley in the earlier stages of his career, and it is sometimes overlooked. However, many music critics and industry experts consider this track to be one of Elvis Presley’s greatest songs. It was written and recorded by Junior Parker, and Presley released his version of the song in 1953,
13. It’s Now or Never (1960)
Elvis Presley had multiple number one hits throughout the 1950s, and he proved that he intended to rule the charts into the 1960s when he released ‘It’s Now or Never’ in 1960. It was a number one hit in multiple countries, including the United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden. The song was written by Willy Gold, Aaron Schroeder, and Eduardo di Capua. It sold more than five million copies worldwide, making ‘It’s Now or Never’ one of Presley’s best-selling songs of all time.
12. All Shook Up (1957)
The last single released from the album ‘Elvis’ Golden Records’ is ‘All Shook Up,’ and it topped the charts in the United States, Canada, and the Netherlands. In the United States, it stayed in the top position for eight weeks. The song was composed by Otis Blackwell, and he wrote the lyrics after seeing a colleague shake up a bottle of Pepsi and his colleague suggested to him that he based a song on the phrase ‘All Shook Up.’
11. Kentucky Rain (1970)
‘Kentucky Rain’ was written by Eddie Rabbitt and Dick Heard, and it was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1970. Some of the musicians who featured on the track include session pianist Ronnie Milsap, bassist Tommy Cogbill, organist Bobby Emmons, pianist Bobby Wood, guitarist Reggie Young, and drummer Gene Chrisman. This song was certified Gold by the RIAA in the United States.
10. American Trilogy (1972)
When Elvis Presley released ‘American Trilogy’ in 1972, it was not commercially successful. However, the popularity of the song grew later, and it is now considered one of the best songs he ever released. It is a medley arranged by country composer Mickey Newbury that is based on the 19th-century songs ‘Dixie,’ ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ and ‘All My Trials.’ Until his death, Elvis Presley regularly performed this song at many of his concerts as one of his showstoppers.
9. In the Ghetto (1969)
‘In the Ghetto’ was written by Mac Davies and released as a single by Elvis Presley in 1969. It was the only single released from the album ‘From Elvis in Memphis.’ Although it only reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100, it was a number one hit in multiple countries worldwide. When the song was released, it became the first top ten hit Elvis had in the United States in more than four years, so it was referred to as his comeback song at that time.
8. Hound Dog (1956)
‘Hound Dog’ was the fourth single released from the 1956 album ‘Elvis’ Golden Records.’ It was Presley’s fourth consecutive single to reach number one on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a number one hit in the Netherlands and Canada. The song was written by Mike Stoller and Jerry Lieber, and it was originally performed by Big Mama Thornton in 1952. Presley’s version became one of his best-known tracks.
7. A Little Less Conversation
‘A Little Less Conversation’ was written by Mac Davies and Billy Strange. Presley recorded and released the song in 1968, and it featured in his film ‘Live a Little, Love a Little.’ Although it was not a major hit when it was first released, it has since gained in popularity. It has been used in many media productions and has been covered by other artists. One example is a remix of the song that featured in the animated film ‘Shark Tale.’
6. You Are Always on My Mind (1972)
Smooth Radio lists ‘You Are Always on Mind’ as one of the best Elvis Presley songs of all time. The song is sometimes referred to simply as ‘Always on My Mind.’ This ballad was written by Wayne Carson, Mark James, and Johnny Christopher. The first person to record the song was B.J. Thomas in 1970. Presley released his version in 1972. It has also been covered by Brenda Lee, John Wesley Ryles, Willie Nelson, and the Pet Shop Boys. Presley’s version reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 but reached number four in the Canadian charts.
5. Can’t Help Falling in Love (1961)
Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss wrote ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ which was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1961. The song featured in Presley’s film ‘Blue Hawaii,’ so the single also featured on the soundtrack album from the film. It has since been recorded by multiple other artists, including Bob Dylan, UB40, and the Swedish pop group A-Teens. ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’ is included in Rolling Stone’s list of the greatest songs of all time.
4. Heartbreak Hotel (1956)
‘Heartbreak Hotel’ was the first of Elvis Presley’s hits to achieve number one status on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a number one hit in Canada and the Netherlands. Although the song was written by Tommy Durden and Mae Boren Axton, Presley also received writing credit for this song. The song was inspired by an article in the newspaper about a man who jumped from a window in a hotel.
3. Love Me Tender (1956)
‘Love Me Tender’ was the last single released by Presley in 1956, which was one of the singer’s most successful years. It was a chart-topping hit in both Canada and the United States. Elvis Presley wrote this ballad song, and Vera Matson is credited as the lyricist, although it later transpired that her husband, Ken Darby, was the real lyricist. The song has featured in multiple films and television series.
2. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
Presley’s 1957 single ‘Jailhouse Rock’ remains one of his most loved and well-known songs. It was a chart-topping hit in the United States, the UK, and South Africa. It was co-written by Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller. Elvis Presley performed the song in a film that was also called ‘Jailhouse Rock.’ This song has been recognized by the American Film Institute and the Grammy Hall of Fame.
1. Suspicious Minds (1969)
According to Rolling Stone, the best Elvis Presley song is ‘Suspicious Minds.’ When the song was released in 1969, it was Presley’s first number one hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 in seven years. It also topped the charts in Canada, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Norway, and South Africa. The song was written by Mark James, who had released his own version of the track in 1968.