It is estimated that Elvis Presley recorded 600 to 700 songs during his career. He recorded a variety of genres, which include rock and roll, country, gospel, and blues. As the King of Rock and Roll, he has influenced generations of musicians and fans with his unique style and energetic performances.
Elvis Presley’s music career spanned over two decades, from the mid-1950s until his untimely death in 1977. He grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi, and later moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he recorded his first album for Sun Records. His music career was nothing short of a phenomenon.
He became a household name in the mid-1950s with his unique style of music that blended elements of rock and roll, country, and the blues. His songs were characterized by their catchy melodies, driving rhythm, and lyrics that captured the hearts of a generation.
Elvis Presley’s music was known for its distinct style, which incorporated elements of blues, gospel, and country music. His music was characterized by his groundbreaking sound, his unique voice, and his larger-than-life persona. He was a true original who broke down barriers and changed the face of popular music forever.
Even today, his music continues to inspire and influence new generations of musicians and fans, cementing his place as one of the greatest performers of all time. Elvis was not just a singer but a cultural icon who captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world.
In this article, we have compiled a list of the 20 best songs recorded by Elvis Presley. These songs represent the best of his music career and showcase his unparalleled talent and creativity as a musician.
- 1. “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley
- 2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
- 3. “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley
- 4. “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley
- 5. “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley
- 6. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley
- 7. “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley
- 8. “Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis Presley
- 9. “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley
- 10. “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley
- 11. “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley
- 12. “Hard Headed Woman” by Elvis Presley
- 13. “Little Sister” by Elvis Presley
- 14. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley
- 15. “Always on My Mind” by Elvis Presley
- 16. “An American Trilogy” by Elvis Presley
- 17. “My Boy” by Elvis Presley
- 18. “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley
- 19. “Don’t Cry Daddy” by Elvis Presley
- 20. “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
1. “Jailhouse Rock” by Elvis Presley
Jailhouse Rock, one of Elvis Presley’s most iconic songs, has become a classic in the world of pop music. The upbeat and energetic track tells the story of a party in a county jail and features a catchy melody, impressive vocals, and a lively rhythm section.
The song’s popularity has endured for decades, and it continues to be a fan favorite due to its depiction of Presley’s raw and untamed talent. The impact of Jailhouse Rock extends beyond Presley’s career and has influenced countless artists and bands in the pop industry.
2. “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” is one of the most beautiful and romantic songs ever recorded by Elvis Presley. The heartfelt lyrics describe the overwhelming feeling of falling in love, even if it goes against logic or wisdom.
The song’s gentle melody and Presley’s tender vocals perfectly capture the vulnerability and depth of emotion that come with love. The metaphor of a river flowing to the sea emphasizes the inevitability of love, while the chorus conveys the singer’s helplessness in resisting it.
The song’s popularity has endured over the years, and it remains a beloved classic among fans of all ages. Its timeless message about the power of love has influenced countless other artists in the music industry and has solidified Elvis Presley’s place as one of the greatest romantic singers of all time.
3. “A Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation” was a major hit and had a significant impact on music culture. The song was released in 1968, during a time of great change in the world and in the music industry.
It was a departure from Elvis’s earlier, more conservative music and instead featured a more upbeat, funky sound. The song’s catchy melody and clever lyrics quickly became a hit, and it has since become one of Elvis’s most popular songs.
4. “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley
“Heartbreak Hotel” is considered one of the best songs of Elvis due to its significant influence on shaping the rock and roll genre.
The song was praised by critics and listeners alike for its melody, lyrics, and performance, earning it a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Tracks that Shaped Rock and Roll.” “Heartbreak Hotel” marked a turning point in Elvis’s career, launching him to fame and cementing his status as the “King of Rock and Roll.”
5. “In the Ghetto” by Elvis Presley
“In the Ghetto” is a song by Elvis Presley released in 1969 that was written by Mac Davis. The song tells the story of a boy born into poverty and raised in the inner-city ghetto, where he ultimately meets his tragic end. The song’s powerful lyrics and emotional delivery struck a chord with audiences worldwide and earned it critical acclaim.
It became one of Elvis’s most iconic and enduring hits, charting high in multiple countries and becoming certified platinum. The song’s message against the cycle of poverty and social injustice still resonates with audiences today.
6. “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley
“Are You Lonesome Tonight?” by Elvis Presley is considered one of the best songs of his career, not only for its beautiful melody and lyrics but also for its influence on the music industry.
Elvis recorded the song in 1960, and it quickly became a hit, spending six weeks at #1 on the Hot 100 between November 1960 and January 1961. The song’s melancholy nature made it stand out from Elvis’s previous upbeat, rock n roll songs and showcased his ability to sing ballads.
7. “Blue Suede Shoes” by Elvis Presley
“Blue Suede Shoes” is one of Elvis Presley’s greatest songs, originally recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955 and later covered by Presley in 1956. The song was originally written by Perkins as a tribute to his dancing shoes, and it quickly became a rockabilly classic.
The song was the opening track on Presley’s groundbreaking album Elvis Presley, released in March 1956. Presley’s performance of the song on national television helped to establish his reputation as a charismatic and talented performer.
8. “Crying in the Chapel” by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s version of “Crying in the Chapel” is one of his most iconic songs. Written by Artie Glenn and first recorded in 1953 by Darrell Glenn, the song became a much-performed gospel classic among various groups, including gospel groups. Elvis recorded the song during his “Your Hand In Mine” sessions in 1960 with his vocal backup group, The Jordanaires, and Floyd Cramer on piano.
The song spent two non-consecutive weeks at number one in the UK. The song’s influence extends beyond its chart success, as it remains a beloved and inspiring gospel song and one of the best-known and most-loved recordings of Elvis Presley’s career.
9. “Hound Dog” by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s version of “Hound Dog” is one of the most iconic and influential songs in rock and roll history. The song was originally written for Big Mama Thornton, but it was Elvis’ electrifying performance in 1956 that brought the song to the forefront.
With his signature gyrating hips and powerful vocals, Elvis infused “Hound Dog” with a raw, rebellious energy that resonated with audiences around the world.
10. “All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley
“All Shook Up” by Elvis Presley is considered one of his greatest songs due to its catchy melody and relatable lyrics that speak to the universal experience of being in love. The song spent eight weeks at the top of the Billboard Top 100 Singles chart and was the second biggest hit of Presley’s career.
Its popularity was a testament to Presley’s status as a cultural icon and helped cement his place in music history.
11. “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” is considered one of his best songs due to its emotional lyrics and the impressive performance by Elvis. The song speaks about a couple whose trust has been replaced by suspicion, leading to misery in their relationship.
Elvis’s rendition of the song helped him stage a comeback to the music scene as it became his first US #1 hit since 1962, inspiring him to launch a tour in 1970 and become a star attraction in Las Vegas.
Although it was his last #1 hit in his lifetime, the song brought back the lustre to his music, which had been waning for a while. Additionally, the song has been covered by various artists, further cementing its place as one of the greatest hits of all time.
12. “Hard Headed Woman” by Elvis Presley
“Hard Headed Woman” by Elvis Presley is considered one of his best songs because of its catchy melody and playful lyrics. The song’s message, which pokes fun at the stereotypical view of women as troublesome and difficult, resonated with audiences and helped establish Elvis as a rebel and icon of youth culture in the late 1950s.
Its success also showcased Elvis’s versatility as an artist, as he effortlessly blended rockabilly and blues influences to create a unique sound that set him apart from other musicians of the time. The song’s popularity has endured, with covers by artists such as Cat Stevens and Dolly Parton cementing its status as a classic in the rock and roll canon.
13. “Little Sister” by Elvis Presley
“Little Sister” is considered one of Elvis Presley’s most popular and influential songs due to its upbeat rock and roll sound and catchy lyrics. The song, written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, deals with the themes of love and heartbreak, which resonated with audiences at the time of its release in 1961.
It became a classic hit for Elvis and has since been covered by numerous artists. “Little Sister” is celebrated as a quintessential example of Presley’s musical style and has cemented his status as one of the most iconic figures in rock and roll history.
14. “Love Me Tender” by Elvis Presley
“Love Me Tender” is a ballad song recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956, published by “Elvis Presley Music” from the 20th Century Fox film “Love Me Tender.” The song hit #1 on the Billboard charts the week ending November 3, 1956, remaining in the position for 5 weeks and reaching #11 on the charts in the UK.
“Love Me Tender” is considered one of Elvis’ best-known songs and was ranked #437 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
15. “Always on My Mind” by Elvis Presley
“Always on My Mind” by Elvis Presley is considered one of his best songs because of its influence on the audience and the story it tells. The song tells the story of a man who regrets not treating his lady the way he should have, but wants her to know she was always on his mind.
Released in 1972, the song was significant for Elvis as he had recently separated from his wife, Priscilla. The song’s message of regret and love resonates with many, making it a timeless classic.
16. “An American Trilogy” by Elvis Presley
“An American Trilogy” by Elvis Presley is a medley of three 19th-century American folk songs, “Dixie,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “All My Trials.” It is considered one of the best songs in his repertoire, thanks to its powerful arrangement and vocals, and has become a symbol of national unity and a call for Americans to come together.
The song’s enduring popularity can be attributed to its message and the way it showcases Elvis’s vocal range and stage presence.
17. “My Boy” by Elvis Presley
“My Boy” by Elvis Presley is a poignant and emotional ballad that has become one of the most beloved songs of his career. The song’s touching lyrics and Presley’s heartfelt delivery have resonated with audiences for decades, making it a classic in the world of music.
Its theme of a father’s love for his son and the sacrifices he is willing to make for him has struck a chord with many listeners. Despite not achieving the same level of chart success as some of his other hits, “My Boy” has endured as a fan favorite and is a testament to Elvis’s ability to connect with his audience on a deeply emotional level.
18. “Don’t Be Cruel” by Elvis Presley
“Don’t Be Cruel” became one of Elvis’s most famous hits and is widely considered one of the best songs he ever recorded. Together with his other single, “Hound Dog,” the song was issued as a single, and it holds the unique distinction of being the only single in history where both sides have achieved #1 in the US.
The song’s influence on popular music cannot be understated, as it helped to cement Elvis’s status as a cultural icon and inspired countless other artists to follow in his footsteps.
19. “Don’t Cry Daddy” by Elvis Presley
“Don’t Cry Daddy” is a heartfelt and emotional song that showcases Elvis Presley’s ability to connect with his audience through his music. The lyrics, written by Mac Davis, tell the story of a father who is struggling to cope with the loss of his wife and the impact it has on his children.
The song’s enduring popularity can be attributed to the way it resonates with listeners who have experienced similar situations. It is considered one of the best songs of Elvis’s because of its emotional depth, poignant lyrics, and the raw vulnerability in his voice. The song reached number six in the US charts and was Elvis’s first entry on the US Country chart in nine years.
20. “Viva Las Vegas” by Elvis Presley
“Viva Las Vegas” is a song by Elvis Presley that captures the excitement of Las Vegas, with lyrics about bright lights, gambling, and pretty women. The song is considered one of Elvis’ best and helped solidify his status as a rock and roll icon.
The song was a commercial success, and the RIAA certified it gold in 1992, having sold 500,000 copies in the United States. The song’s enduring popularity has helped keep the spirit of Las Vegas alive in popular culture.
These 20 songs that Elvis has recorded have truly made him a legendary icon in the music industry. His ability to infuse various genres, such as rock and roll, blues, and country, with his unique style and charismatic performance has solidified his status as the King of Rock and Roll.
Even decades after his passing, Elvis’ music continues to resonate with fans worldwide, and his influence can still be heard in the work of countless artists.