20 Essential Songs For The Ultimate Elvis Fan

Elvis Presley died 36 years ago. Here are 20 of his greatest songs.

1. Return To Sender - 1962

Not intended for a movie soundtrack, “Return to Sender” was so well received following its October 2, 1962, release that it soon found its way into Girls! Girls! Girls!. Elvis sings with great intensity and enthusiasm on this short, yet iconic song.

2. She’s Not You - 1962

A beautiful ballad that Elvis sang with deep conviction.

3. (You’re the) Devil in Disguise - 1963

After venturing into lightweight pop tunes, Elvis returned to his rock ‘n’ roll roots with this one - giving an intense, emotional performance.

4. Can’t Help Falling in Love - 1961

This much-loved tune, which appeared in the movie Blue Hawaii, was actually based on an 18th-century French ballad. In the 1970s, Elvis often used the song as the closing number for his shows, including his final concert in June 1977.

5. It’s Now Or Never - 1960

Elvis’s musical maturity is fully showcased in this ballad. He had developed his range and depth while serving in the army.

6. Heartbreak Hotel - 1956

This heart-wrenching tune was inspired by a suicide note printed in The Miami Herald.

7. Love Me Tender - 1956

This song’s tune came from a Civil War ballad called “Aura Lee.” The lyrics were written for Elvis’s first movie, also called Love Me Tender. The movie was forgettable, the song was anything but.

8. Jailhouse Rock - 1957

“Jailhouse Rock” marked Elvis’s third foray into film and gave him another number-one song. Even if the song hadn’t been a hit, the movie’s dance sequence alone would have made it memorable.

9. Burning Love - 1972

“Burning Love” emerged during a very difficult period in Elvis’s life. He lacked motivation, and his producer had to work hard to get him to record it. When he did record, he put the full measure of his angst into his music.

10. In The Ghetto - 1969

After a four-year drought without a number-one hit, Elvis was back with “In the Ghetto,” his most socially aware song.

11. How Great Thou Art - 1967

Elvis was a huge devotee of gospel music. His powerful rendition of “How Great Thou Art” remains iconic to this day.

12. An American Trilogy - 1972

An American Trilogy” is a song arranged by country songwriter Mickey Newbury and made popular by Elvis Presley, who began including the song as part of his regular concert routine in the 1970s, thereby making the song a showstopper.

13. Hound Dog - 1956

This song was a blues classic long before anyone had heard of Elvis Presley. But it was the King’s July 1956 TV appearances, in which he crooned to a real pup, that propelled it to the top of the pop charts. The machine-gun-like drumming of D. J. Fontana perfectly complemented Elvis’s edgy vocals.

14. Good Luck Charm - 1962

A lightweight, feel-good song that struck a chord, this tune epitomized the sound popular Elvis’s fan base of the early 60s.

15. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear - 1957

Teddy bear sales went through the roof with this June 1957 hit. The song’s popularity also helped get people into theaters to see Elvis’s second movie, Loving You.

16. All Shook Up - 1957

Released in March 1957, it epitomizes the rock ‘n’ roll sound that energized Elvis fans in America and around the world.

17. That’s Alright Mama - 1954

This was Elvis’s first commercial single and was released to great success.

18. Blue Suede Shoes - 1956

Elvis popularized this rock and roll standard written and first recorded by Carl Perkins in 1955

19. Don’t Be Cruel - 1956

This was the first song that Elvis self-produced.

20. Viva Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas is considered one of Presley’s best movies, if not the best.

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