Courtesy of RCA Records
Elvis Presley was a very busy man during the early stages of his career. He took over the world, with huge number one hits and even appeared in many movies. Elvis’ fifth album, “Elvis’ Golden Records,” released in 1959, is a compilation album with many of those early hits.
Normally, I wouldn’t write about a ‘greatest hits’ album, however, for a special Thanksgiving edition of Old Tunes Review, I’m covering this record because it is widely regarded as the first rock n’ roll ‘greatest hits’ record ever released. It is the first of five Elvis Golden/Gold Records compilations, four of which would be released during Presley’s lifetime. It peaked at number three on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and the album ended going six times platinum.
“Golden Records” is comprised of eight number one A-side singles along with five B-side singles, which also hit the chart separately from its parent A-side. In the 1950s, a “gold record” meant that the record had sold one million units of that album or a single off that album.
This album has about ten number one hits from the Billboard Pop Album Charts that had already been absorbed into human hearts and exploded with great rhythm and singing from the King. Such number one hits include, “Hound Dog,” “All Shook Up,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Too Much,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” “Love Me Tender” and “I Want You, I Need You.” The remaining tracks included top 20 hits for the exception of “That’s When Your Heartaches Begin,” which went to number 58, and “My Baby Left Me,” which went to 31.“That’s All Right,” is the only song on the record that didn’t chart.
The other top 20 hits were, “Loving You,” from the soundtrack album of that same went to number twenty. Elvis’ huge cover song of “Blue Suede Shoes,” and the timeless, “Any Way You Want Me (That’s How I Will Be),” reached number twenty as well while the number nineteen, “I Was the One,” and the number eighteen, “Treat Me Nice,” are all excellent choices to go in your Elvis playlist for any reason. “Mystery Train,” was the last top 20 hit, but there are two more songs that cracked the top 10: the number five, “Baby, Let’s Play House,” and the number two, “Love Me,” from Elvis’ second album, simply titled, “Elvis.”
This record is a great album to show Elvis’ diversity of slow, medium and fast songs that stem from his country, gospel and blues backgrounds. All these songs have truly lasted the test of time and always will be in the heart of many Elvis fans. “Elvis’ Golden Records,” was one of many Elvis stamps on the letter of music.