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The 17 Best Elvis Songs of All Time: His Legacy Lives On

best elvis songs
Elvis Presley in 1957. Image by the Library of Congress on Wikimedia Commons.

Last updated on March 19th, 2023 at 09:13 pm

There’s no doubt about it, Elvis Presley was truly the king of rock and roll. Even though he has now been dead for over 40 years, his songs never fail to top the charts from time to time (especially around Christmas!).

But of all the songs he released, which songs are the best Elvis songs? We’ve investigated and put together a list based on popularity and which songs reached the top charts. Read on to discover the 17 best Elvis songs of all those he released during his career.

The 17 Best Elvis Songs


17. “In the Ghetto”

“In the Ghetto” was one of the few Elvis songs to become an immediate international hit.

While his music would eventually be famous around the world, this song was filled with unique social commentary that intrigued listeners in other countries.

This song also peaked at number 3 on the US charts, giving the singer the fame he desperately needed in 1969 after a major decline in his career.


16. “That’s All Right”

While this Elvis song never hit the top charts like most of the others on this list, it was the song that catapulted the singer to fame in 1954.

Without this tune, who knows if Elvis would have ever made it big!


15. “How Great Thou Art”

Even though he is widely seen as a symbol of sex, Elvis had gospel roots, which he displays in this song which was released in 1967.

His performance of this hymn won him two Grammys in 1967 and 1974, and is one of his most well-known songs of all time.

Related: 15+ Best Christian Songs to Add to Your Playlist


14. “Don’t Be Cruel”

“Don’t Be Cruel” was a chart-topper on its release in 1956.

This song was a staple in Elvis’ live shows but has faded in popularity since the 90s, which is why it is only 14th on our list.


13. “Blue Suede Shoes”

Elvis released his edition of this song in 1956, and while it wasn’t originally his, it performed on the charts quite well.

We added it to this list because it is often one of the first songs that come to mind when people are told to list Elvis songs.


12. “Blue Christmas”

Every year, without fail, “Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley tops the charts.

While this song isn’t his, and it was released in 1964 during his Christmas tune era, it is still a favorite of fans around the world.

This song hit number 40 on the top charts as recently as 2019, which is quite impressive considering Elvis had already been dead for 42 years.

Related: 30 Best Christmas Songs of All Time


11. “Always on My Mind”

This Elvis song was released in 1972, shortly after Elvis’ divorce from his wife, Priscilla.

While it didn’t top the charts as long as some of his other hits, it is considered one of the best songs from that era.

In 2023, it was one of the top five Elvis songs on Spotify, giving testament to Elvis’ skill to perform songs that transcend time.


10. “Kentucky Rain”

Although he was the king of rock and roll, Elvis released many ballads which he is now famous for.

“Kentucky Rain” is one of those ballads, and it was released in 1970, climbing to number 16 on the charts.

This song has clearly stood the test of time, appearing in our top ten Elvis songs.


9. “All Shook Up”

“All Shook Up” was released in 1957 and was an instant hit on all the charts.

It topped the R&B and country charts and stayed on the Billboards Hot 100 for 15 weeks (it was song 1 for 8 weeks).

This song went on to become the song of the year for 1957 and is still a popular song for musicians to make a cover of today.


8. “It’s Now or Never”

Released in 1960 after his stint in the army, “It’s Now or Never” was Elvis’ best-selling single and one of the best-selling singles of all time for any artist.

We’ve got it as 8th on this list of Elvis songs because while it was popular after its release, this song hasn’t survived the test of time and isn’t popular on Spotify.


7. “Burning Love”

“Burning Love” was released in 1972. This song topped the charts at number two and would be the last one of Elvis’ songs to make the chart at all.

While this song wasn’t as popular at the time of its release, it’s one of his songs that has outlived the singer, and it frequently appears in charts today—typically when it’s been covered by another star or featured in a movie as it was in The Game Plan in 2007.

Related: The 30 Best 70s Songs: Classic Rock, Punk, Disco, and Some Serious Wild Cards


6. “Heartbreak Hotel”

This song was one of the first Elvis songs to hit big on its release in 1956.

It instantly soared to the top Country and Pop charts, where it stayed for 27 weeks.

This song was the best-selling single of 1956, though it has since faded into the background as many people don’t think of this song when they think of Elvis Presley in the 21st century.


5. “Love Me Tender”

“Love Me Tender” was released in 1956 and was originally adopted from a Civil War ballad called “Aura Lee.”

It was unique in that it was already a gold record before it was released, thanks to a massive number of pre-orders.

When it did reach the hands of fans, they weren’t disappointed, and this became one of Elvis’ best-known songs.


4. “Can’t Help Falling in Love”

There are so many Elvis songs that reached the top charts it’s truly hard to put them in order.

“Can’t Help Falling in Love” was released in 1961 as it was featured in the film Blue Hawaii which starred Elvis.

This song is only number four on our list because it only hit the number two position on the charts during Elvis’ life. It is also the last song he performed before his death in 1977.

We put this song as more popular than “Love Me Tender” because this tune is still popular (and sometimes tops the charts when other singers cover it) today.

While this song may not have been a #1 hit during his life, its legacy has far outlived the singer.

Related: The Life and Music of Elvis Presley


3. “Suspicious Minds”

“Suspicious Minds” is one of the later Elvis songs, which was released in 1969 as the singer’s marriage (and music career) began to fall apart.

“Suspicious Minds” worked, though, and ended up topping the charts for Elvis, who hadn’t had a number-one hit in 7 years.

While it didn’t save his marriage, it’s certainly a song that went down in history.


2. “Jailhouse Rock”

“Jailhouse Rock,” released in 1957, was one of a kind.

It not only hit the top Pop charts, but also the country charts and the R&B charts.

While there is still one more song by Elvis that is more popular, most people recognize (and love) the iconic dance scene from the Jailhouse Rock movie, which was based on this song.

Related: Top 16 Best Movies About Music


1. “Hound Dog”

Released in 1956, this song was extremely controversial for its time but was Elvis’ biggest-selling single of all time. It spent over 11 weeks on the top charts, which was a record for 36 years.

This song eventually got Elvis inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988 and is listed as one of the songs that shaped rock and roll history.

There is also no doubt that this is the most recognizable of Elvis songs, and even those who don’t know rock and roll know the words.

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Written by Hope Davis

Long-time music lover Hope became a full-time writer in 2020 after being laid off from her regular job due to COVID-19. She now spends her time traveling the world to see her favorite bands while writing about them!


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