LOVE ME TENDER – Elvis Presley's First Film Role (Part 8)

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LOVE ME TENDER - Elvis Presley

The long-awaited single with “Love Me Tender” on the A-side and the bravado sung ballad “Anyway You Want Me (That’s How I Will Be)” on the reverse appeared in stores only on September 28. And in just a few days it became the best-selling record in the entire United States. ” This record, which became a hit before it was even released, has since set an all-time record for first-week sales,” reported Billboard magazine in its weekly “This week’s best” column. buys”). “Acceptance in the fields of pop, country and rhythm and blues is total, so like his (Elvis, author’s note) latest record, this one should soon dominate the charts in all three categories. Of course, ‘Love Me Tender’ has gotten the lion’s share of the attention so far, but there are some indications that Ross Junginckel’s ‘Anyway You Want Me’ on the flip side may also shine .

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Billboard’s prognosis turned out to be extremely accurate. In early November, “Love Me Tender” reached the number one spot on the popular magazine’s list and stayed there for the next five weeks. Presley’s film recording also achieved a similar result in the Variety magazine’s Best Bets list (although, unlike Billboard, it chose a completely different song as the leader). ” This Elvis Presley record, like his other records, is an automatic hit ,” noted an October 13, 1956 review. However , ‘Love Me Tender’, the title song from the movie 20 thCentury Fox, in which Presley makes his debut, is completely different material for this singer. This time, he tries to sing a proper-sounding ballad instead of a song in a frenzied, driving style that has characterized his previous performances. The result is not too overwhelming, but his fans will accept it. On side two, Presley returns to his normal style and this could be the track to take the lead .”

It is also worth adding that, as predicted by Billboard, the ballad “Love Me Tender” was also classified on the lists dedicated to other music genres. Shortly after its premiere, it entered the rythm’n’blues charts, where it took (!) third place! Just like the rest of the country music charts.

Outside of the US, the single did not achieve such spectacular success. In the United Kingdom, on the Official Chart there, “Love Me Tender” debuted on December 13, 1956 at number nineteen, from which it rose to number eleven at the beginning of the new year (listing on January 3, 1957) (it spent two weeks there).

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Also outside the top 10, Elvis’ hit film charted in another UK chart, by the music magazine Record Mirror (number 12) as well as charts in West Germany (number 16 on the Musicmarkt) and Austria (number 10).

These clearly weaker results of the new single by Elvis were mainly due to the fact that at that time the phenomenon of rock’n’roll outside the United States was not so common. In fact, it was just ” crawling “, as one could read in some studies. Just like knowing the artists who represent it.

For many listeners, the most popular rock’n’roll artist at the time was still Bill Halley. Elvis, on the other hand, had not yet fully ” established himself ” in Europe. This situation was to change dramatically over the next few months…

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On February 6, 1957, just four months after the release of Elvis’s first film single, RCA Victor announced that the album had sold an impressive two million and three hundred thousand copies! A better result was only achieved by the single released in the same year with the recordings “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel”, which sold three million two hundred thousand copies. Even considered groundbreaking “Heartbreak Hotel” failed to achieve a similar result (it is estimated that it sold in the amount of one million six hundred thousand copies).

Currently, sales of the single with the recording “Love Me Tender” have exceeded three million copies, and the release itself has gained the status of a triple platinum album.

Information provided by EP Promised Land (Poland), Marius Ogieglo.

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