|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (February 2011) |
50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong: Elvis' Gold Records - Volume 2 is the ninth album by Elvis Presley, issued on RCA Victor Records (LPM 2075) in November 1959. It is a compilation of hit singles released in 1958 and 1959 by Presley, from two recording sessions in June 1958 at RCA Studios in Nashville and three at Radio Recorders in Hollywood. The album peaked at #31 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, and is considered to be one of the most successful and influential compilation albums of all time. It was certified Gold on 11/1/1966 and Platinum on 3/27/1992 by the R.I.A.A.
Gold Records Vol. 2 comprises every single, both A-sides and B-sides, released by Presley during 1958 and 1959, with the exception of "Hard Headed Woman" backed with "Don't Ask Me Why," both of which having been previously issued on King Creole. The singles all made the Top Five on the Billboard Hot 100, and the b-sides all charted in the Top 40 independently of the hit sides. In the 1950s, a gold record awarded for a single referred to sales of one million units, different from the definition in use by the late 1970s for albums, where a gold record came to mean sales of 500,000 units. Exact sales figures from the RIAA for each record, however, are difficult to confirm.
The original 1984 compact disc issue in reprocessed (fake) stereo sound was quickly withdrawn and reissued in original monophonic. The July 15, 1997 reissue doubles the number of tracks to 20, adding the b-side "Playing for Keeps" from a single issued on Elvis' first singles compilation. The remaining bonus tracks derive from albums and EP singles released in the decade, with "Peace in the Valley" released on both EP and the Christmas LP. The bonus tracks are interspersed within the original tracks, with the running order to the album substantially altered. The album was reissued again with the bonus tracks removed and the original running order restored.
Although RCA executive Steve Sholes was the in-house A&R man for Presley, and nominally in charge of his recording sessions at RCA, accounts by Presley historian Peter Guralnick and Presley discographer Ernst Mikael Jorgensen indicate that Presley himself acted as the producer for his RCA sessions in the 1950s.
The unified Billboard Hot 100 singles chart was not created until August, 1958. Chart positions for records prior to this date would be taken from the Best Sellers In Stores chart, although early measurement of rock and roll records also came from the Most Played In Jukeboxes chart. Chart position for bonus album tracks taken from Billboard Top Pop Albums.
The famous cover photo, of multiple images of Elvis wearing the gold lamé suit designed by Nudie's of Hollywood, has been copied many times. Album covers so inspired include:
- Phil Ochs' Greatest Hits album of 1970; not a "greatest hits" album at all but consisting of new original material, ironically subtitled "50 Phil Ochs Fans Can't Be Wrong!"
- The 1983 album by Rod Stewart, Body Wishes.
- The Elvis Costello & The Attractions bootleg album of the same name from the 1980s.
- Blues Traveler's more modest 1,000,000 People Can't Be Wrong of 1994.
- Blumfeld's second studio album L'Etat Et Moi from 1995.
- The Fall's compilation 50,000 Fall Fans Can't Be Wrong from 2004.
- 100,000,000 Bon Jovi Fans Can't Be Wrong, also from 2004.
- 50,000,000 Soulwax Fans Can't Be Wrong from 2005.
The meme has also been adopted to other media, such as:
- The second album by the group Dread Zeppelin, which is fronted by an Elvis impersonator, from 1991 is titled 5,000,000 in reference to this album; the footnote says "Tortelvis Fans Can't Be Wrong." The cover more obviously spoofs Led Zeppelin's fourth album.
- The title used verbatim in the lyrics to "The Thanksgiving Song", by Adam Sandler in 1993.
- The 1997 documentary by Joe Franklin 50,000,000 Joe Franklin Fans Can't Be Wrong.
- Mindless Self Indulgence's song "You'll Rebel To Anything (As Long As It's Not Challenging)" from their 2005 album of the same name contains the lyrics, "you're telling me that 50,000,000 screaming fans are never wrong, I'm telling you that 50,000,000 screaming fans are fucking morons".
- Die! Die! Die!'s self-titled debut features a song named "Franz (17 Die! Die! Die! Fans Can't Be Wrong)" in 2006.
- Steven Pastis, author of comic strip Pearls Before Swine, released a collection in 2010 titled "50,000,000 Pearls Fans Can't Be Wrong."
The cover to Welcome To New York, a 1970s Rolling Stones bootleg, is a cartoon by William Stout, showing the Stones against a grafitted wall which includes the phrase "50,000,000 flies can't be wrong - eat shit!"
The title is itself a reference to the hit song of 1927, "Fifty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong", by Willie Raskin, Billy Rose, and Fred Fisher, most notably performed by Sophie Tucker. It is also supposed to be an estimate of the number of singles that Presley sold worldwide by late 1959.
Its evolution of the phrase into a snowclone - as expressed in the Simpsons pastiche "Fifty million smokers can't be wrong," for example - ironically ridicules argumentum ad populum, the misconception that popularity or consensus equals validity.
Chart positions for LPs and EPs from Billboard Top Pop Albums chart; positions for singles from Billboard Pop Singles chart
1997 reissue with bonus tracks
- ^ Beard, Tyler. (2001). 100 Years of Western Wear, p. 72. Gibbs Smith, Salt Lake City. ISBN 0-87905-591-X.
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