It’s Elvis’ 80th Birthday, Lets Hear It For The King of Rock ‘N Roll

Above: January 8th marks what would have been Elvis Presley's 80th birthday

January 8, 2015 marks what would have been Elvis Presley’s 80th birthday. The King of rock-and-roll recorded 760 songs and changed the entire music industry in his short life of 42 years. Of course, everyone has their favourite Elvis track, but for the undecided… here are 10 classics that will get you up and celebrating the King’s 80th birthday.

1. That’s Alright Mama (1954)

Written by Arthur Crudup, “That’s Alright Mama” was named the first Rock-and-Roll record ever, placing it in the Rolling Stones top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and a must listen to on the King’s birthday.

2. Tutti Frutti (1956 cover)

Originally sung by Little Richard, Elvis’ cover of “Tutti Frutti” was released in 1956 on his first album with RCA Records. It’s a simple song but has all of the rock-and-roll vibe you need to get out of your seat and start dancing.

3. Heartbreak Hotel (1956)

“Heartbreak Hotel” was Elvis’ first single with RCA Records. Mae Boren Axton and Tommy Durden wrote the song, inspired by a story in The Miami Harold about a man who committed suicide by jumping out a hotel window. “Heatbreak Hotel” hit number 1 on the Billboard Top 100, and will get you grooving in your seat. 

4. Return to Sender (1962)

“Return to Sender” tells the story of a guy who writes to his girlfriend a litter (back in the days of snail mail) apologizing for an argument they had, only to have the letter returned to him unopened. The song has a good swing to it and is about as fun of a breakup song as you can get.

5. Viva Las Vegas (1964)

“Viva Las Vegas” is a great reminder of one of the many reasons we love Elvis, his movies. Elvis starred in more than 30 films in his life and Viva Las Vegas is one of the greats. Some things just go together, and Elvis and Vegas is one of those perfect pairings.

6. Hound Dog (1956)

It is often hard to beat the original, but Elvis’ cover of Mama Thornton’s “Hound Dog” can’t be beat. It is the essence of rock-and-roll. Originally sung by Elvis at shows for comedic relief, the cover quickly gained popularity, reaching number 2 on the US Billboard Top 100.

7. Burning Love (1972)

“Burning Love” is another Elvis cover. Country artist Arthur Alexander originally recorded it, but Elvis brought the song fame. “Burning Love” was Elvis’ biggest song since the release of “Suspicious Minds” in 1969, and was Elvis’ last song to reach Top 10 on the charts.

8. Jailhouse Rock (1957)

“Jailhouse Rock” is another one of Elvis’ songs that was made into a movie. As the title implies, this song is all rock-and-roll. “Jailhouse Rock” was named the 57th best song of all time by Rolling Stone. You can’t help but get up and dance and sing along to this gritty rock number.

9. A Little Less Conversation (1968)

It’s not hard to understand why Elvis was seen as such a sex symbol when you listen to “A Little Less Conversation.” Elvis is famous for making the girls scream and swoon, and how could you expect them to do any less with fun and flirtatious numbers like this one.

10. Blue Suede Shoes (1956)

“Well it’s one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, now go, cat, go!”
Another of Elvis’ famous covers is “Blue Suede Shoes.” The song rose to the top of the charts at the same time as “Heartbreak Hotel,” and was a favourite with audiences. “Blue Suede Shoes” is the perfect get up and dance song (as long as you avoid stepping one anyone’s blue suede shoes).

Tags: Elvis Presley, Las Vegas

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