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Elvis Presley Hit's #1 in UK


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Elvis Presley Song Hits No. 1 in Britain

Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:00 PM

LONDON - Elvis Presley's music lives on - and continues to set records in Britain - taking the No. 1 position on the country's singles chart.

The weekly singles hit parade - first started in Britain in 1952 - reached its 1,000th week Sunday with Presley's rereleased 1959 hit "One Night" claiming the milestone No. 1 position.

The track, one of 18 Elvis hits being rereleased to commemorate what would have been his 70th year, was joined by another Elvis favorite "Jailhouse Rock," also recently rereleased, which came in at No. 10.

By storming to No. 1, "One Night" became Presley's 20th No. 1 hit on the British charts - a record in itself. The Beatles only managed 17 No. 1 hits.

Presley had his first No. 1 hit on the British charts in 1957 with "All Shook Up."

His success Sunday surprised bookmakers, who were forced to shell out to bettors who had backed the King on long odds to claim the 1,000th No. 1.

"To our knowledge this is the first time that an Elvis bet has taken us to the cleaners, as the majority of Elvis bets we take are for him to be found alive," said Rupert Adams, a spokesman for William Hill bookmakers.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Great post Jimmy. That's almost 46 years to the day since "One Night/ I Got Stung" (Double A side) was #1 in the U.K. previously. :) I don't follow the Charts like I used to anymore - especially the Billboard Hot 100. How could the JXL remix of "A Little Less Conversation" only place at #50 when it was the U.S.#1 Best Seller for 3 weeks ????


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A number of news articles in the UK recently (such as the one below from the Yorkshire Post) have pointed out that the singles charts are no longer what they were - and the fact that one can reach #1 with sales of 25,000 or less leads to a view that record labels can now easily manipulate chart positions for PR purposes, further debasing any value.

Top 10 chart starts to sound a little off-key

Elvis's One Night has become the 1,000th British number one single. But have the pop charts reached their sell by date?

Chris Bond reports.

JUST for the record the first British singles chart appeared in November 1952.

Published by the New Musical Express, it comprised of 15 records with Al Martino's Here in My Heart, the first UK number one. The American crooner topped the charts with his romantic ballad and it would be another five years before Elvis exploded on to the music scene, sending parents apoplectic and teenagers crazy in equal measure.

And so the "King", along with the likes of Jerry-Lee Lewis and Little Richard, brought rock 'n' roll to a mass audience for the first time.

Within a decade of the first chart, Buddy Holly had come and gone and a bunch of mop tops from unfashionable Liverpool arrived ready to conquer the world and the rest, as they say, is history.

It is perhaps fitting then that Elvis topped yesterday's official UK chart with a re-release of One Night, originally a number one hit in 1959.

But the "king of rock 'n' roll" has done so by selling fewer than 25,000 records. This after reaching the top spot last week with the re-release of Jailhouse Rock which sold 21,262 copies ? the lowest sales ever recorded for a number one single. Some music insiders claim this is a distorted picture as the record company SonyBMG are re-releasing all his past number ones as limited editions.

But irrespective of this, the singles chart is undoubtedly in a steep decline, the only question is whether it's terminal.

As a musically challenged teenager, my Sunday afternoons were spent hovering next to my bedroom radio as David "Kid" Jensen and his cohorts kept listeners on tenterhooks as they did the irritating, yet compelling, countdown to the top 10.

But while not so long ago artists had to shift at least 100,000 copies of their song to have a chance of the coveted number one slot, now it can be achieved with a quarter of that number.

Chris Charlesworth, editor of Omnibus Press, publishers of The Complete Book of the British Charts ? Singles and Albums, believes singles have lost their appeal.

"Some of my all-time favourite singles didn't reach number one and some real rubbish has, like Mr Blobby.

"Whereas Waterloo Sunset, which is a fabulous song, only reached number two," he says.

"Penny Lane, the B-side of which was Strawberry Fields, which many people say was their (The Beatles] optimum achievement, didn't get there.

"The number one that week was Release Me, by Engelbert Humperdinck. And I think the British record-buying public should hang their head in shame over that one."

Mr Charlesworth, who publishes a new book, A Thousand Number One UK Hits, next month, says the charts have become much more clinical.

"There has been a lot more number ones in recent years than there were in the '50s, '60s and '70s. You used to get 20 number ones a year but now there's 40 or so. A lot of songs are number one for just one week. This is down to clever marketing on the part of the record industry. Reaching number one has been debased to a certain extent. It doesn't mean the same thing now."

Louis Barfe, author of Where have all the good times gone? The rise and fall of the record industry, says the charts have been struggling for years.

"I think when CDs came along singles started to look like bad value and the singles chart has been in decline for about 15 years I would say.

"The best barometer is the decline of Top of the Pops. Twenty years ago, to have it shunted to a Sunday would have been unthinkable," he says.

"And if it takes 20,000 copies to get to number one, then I'm slightly cynical about Elvis being number one. It's all too neat. I think it's a deliberate marketing ploy."

Recently, the singles market has had to contend with the downloading phenomenon. Only last month, it was announced that songs downloaded from the internet have outsold CD singles for the first time.

Mr Barfe says the growth of internet sites, such as iTunes and Napster, has had a significant impact.

"The record companies have finally got round to selling downloads and selling them at better value than a single."

But despite falling sales and an ever-broadening music landscape, Mr Barfe thinks the charts are unlikely to fade away

"As long as records are selling people are going to want to classify them. The charts will always be there, it is just a question of how useful they will be."



n Cliff Richard has had 64 top 10 hits in his career, more than anyone else.

n Frank Sinatra's My Way has spent 124 weeks in the charts, more than any other single.

n I Believe, by Frankie Laine and Paul Weston and his orchestra, has spent more weeks at number one than any other song, 18.

n John Lennon wrote 28 number one singles, one more than his nearest rival Paul McCartney.

n The youngest person to have a number one single was Little Jimmy Osmond ? at nine years and eight months in 1972.

n Elton John's song Candle in the Wind, released after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, is the biggest-selling single of all time with about 37m copies sold worldwide.

17 January 2005

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What an excellent post Adrian ! :coolio:

"There has been a lot more number ones in recent years than there were in the '50s, '60s and '70s. You used to get 20 number ones a year but now there's 40 or so. A lot of songs are number one for just one week. This is down to clever marketing on the part of the record industry. Reaching number one has been debased to a certain extent. It doesn't mean the same thing now."

As you say, the UK Charts are seeing a new song DEBUTING at #1 almost every week, which is just as ridiculous as the situation* in the US Charts - MORE SO I think. Records used to have to be DAMN GOOD to debut at #1 AND to top the Charts for more than a few weeks.

I've always been a fan of the Charts, and have copies (in book form) of every U.S. Billboard Hot 100 since it began in 1955 until the end of 1989 (you'll see below why I didn't bother after that). I also have details of every US #1 since 1920.

Billboard changed it's method and sources of compiling the Hot 100 from 30 November 1991*, having just the opposite affect to the UK Charts - LESS #1s; MANY less, seeing some spend up to 16 weeks at the top, which is ridiculous. In 1991, before the change, there were 27 #1s, and the following year only 12. In 2002 there were only 8 - the lowest ever.

Thanks for sharing the info with us ! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Old 55 ( :

I've not been around much this year, so, I'm sorry to take so long to check in!

Indeed, the context for charts has been irrevocably altered - making the new era numbers not be the standard markers they once were. Charts were fun, and did matter!

Glad I was able to offer something of interest to such an afficionado as yourself :)

cheers, Adrian

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