Elvis Presley's 12 greatest songs of the 1960s

Elvis Presley skyrocketed to fame in the 1950s, and his influence only furthered in the 1960s.
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In the 1950s, Elvis Presley dramatically changed the music industry. He helped mainstream rock n' roll. More so, he thrilled and represented the young generation. His rebellious persona, charisma, and talent allowed him to sell millions upon millions of records. He became one of the most famous people on the planet, to many adults' dismay.

The 1960s was a different decade for Elvis, but a profound one in his career. Still incredibly popular, Presley spent most of the decade making films. His movies, often massive box office successes, introduced many great songs including his signature ballad, "Can't Help Falling In Love." Elvis himself knew that some of his films were forgettable, however, his musical contributions in the 1960s rival those in the 1950s.

As with the first entry in this series, let me be upfront and share that these rankings are based solely on personal opinion. As a diehard Elvis fan, I appreciate every era in his career and believe that he released some of his finest work in the 1960s. My favorite Elvis song of all time was released in this decade. While Elvis received much criticism for his Hollywood career, the 1960s were very good to him creatively and musically. Due to the amount of music he released between 1960 and 1969, I could only limit my list to 12 songs.

Elvis Presley's top 12 songs from the 1960s ranked

12. "(Marie's The Name) His Latest Flame"

Released in 1961, "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" is very reminiscent of Elvis's 1950s style. Similar to "I Need Your Love Tonight", this song is a banger. It's a fine example of early rock n' roll. A song that entices listeners to get up and dance, "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame" is addictive. Interestingly, while recognized as an Elvis song, it was actually a Del Shannon cover, according to Old Time Music.

11. "Pocketful of Rainbows"

As much as I love Elvis's rock n' roll work, I am equally passionate about his ballads. His musical diversity made him stand apart from his peers. His ballads proved that he was much more than a rock star. "Pocketful of Rainbows" was from Elvis's 1960 film, "G.I. Blues", and in my opinion, was the crowning musical achievement of the movie. This song is beautiful and relaxing. More so, it shows a gentler, romantic side of Elvis. Other noteworthy "G.I. Blues" mentions include "Wooden Heart", "Tonight Is So Right for Love", and "Shoppin' Around."

10. "Stuck On You"

I grew up in the Lilo & Stitch generation, and of course, I became an even bigger fan of the movie due to its inclusion of Elvis in the soundtrack. "Stuck On You", released in 1960, was one of the Elvis tracks featured in Disney's modern classic. A traditional Elvis rock song, "Stuck On You" is catchy and fun to listen to. It's Elvis being Elvis, and there is nothing better than that.

9. "The Lady Loves Me"

"The Lady Loves Me" was a memorable duet with Ann-Margret from Elvis's 1964 film, "Viva Las Vegas." One of my favorite Elvis film songs, "The Lady Loves Me" is entertaining alone in its lyrics. However, when Elvis and Ann-Margret battle it out in this funny duet, it makes for an unforgettable experience. Elvis and Ann-Margret were having pure fun and a true romantic connection on set, and it's easy to tell. I include "The Lady Loves Me" in my ranking as it is one of my favorite duets in music history.

8. "In The Ghetto"

Elvis only recorded a few songs in his career that sought after change. He was not one to release politically inspired songs unless he felt a strong conviction to do so. Elvis once even said in an interview that he was just an entertainer and preferred to keep his views to himself. In 1969, however, he recorded "In The Ghetto", an anthem to help those who are less fortunate.

The song discusses a boy in the Chicago streets who grows up to be a troubled young man. Furthermore, it highlights how his untimely and preventable passing affects his hurt mother. Elvis, who was known for his generosity, sought to inspire others not to "look the other way" and do something to make a difference. I love this song's message and can feel Elvis's passion in every word he sings.

7. "I Got Lucky"

"I Got Lucky" is a fun, rock song from Elvis's 1962 film, "Kid Ghalahad." While many would not put this song on their Top Elvis Songs of the 1960s list, this one is simply a personal favorite. It's catchy, upbeat, and always a pleasure to listen to. "I Got Lucky" reminds me of 1950s Elvis. It's frequently on repeat and I'd be remiss if it did not have a place in my ranking.

6. "I'm Coming Home"

Like "I Got Lucky", "I'm Coming Home" is another Elvis rarity I love. I was actually introduced to the song through Baz Luhrmann's 2022 biopic and as soon as I heard it, I couldn't stop listening. Let me be clear, I prefer the original version of the track in comparison to Luhrmann's remix, but I greatly appreciate that his film allowed me to discover it. One of my favorite Elvis rock songs, "I'm Coming Home" is pure rock n' roll and pure Elvis. The best combination ever, in my humble opinion.

5. "Return To Sender"

"Return To Sender" is a fantastic rock n' roll song from Elvis's 1962 film, "Girls! Girls! Girls!" Elvis's performance of the song in the film exuberates charisma and swag. One of his best-known songs from the 1960s, "Return to Sender" is more than worthy to be in my Top 5. I love this song and always enjoy listening to it, whether on the radio or by my own selection.

4. "How Great Thou Art"

Elvis only won three Grammys, and they were all for his gospel contributions to music, according to Billboard. I am a huge fan of Elvis's gospel records. In my opinion, he could sing gospel like no other. When listening to Elvis' gospel tracks, his passion is felt. His voice is strong and powerful, yet elegant and comforting at the same time. Perhaps his most crowning achievement in gospel music, and my personal favorite, is his 1967 rendition of "How Great Thou Art."

3. "Can't Help Falling In Love"

To many individuals' surprise, "Can't Help Falling In Love" was from an Elvis movie. Yes, one of his most famous and beloved songs, came from the soundtrack of a film. That film was 1961's "Blue Hawaii." "Can't Help Falling In Love" is certainly Elvis's most popular ballad and has earned a reputation as the ultimate wedding song. "Can't Help Falling In Love" proves that Elvis contributed timeless music in the 1960s and that his film career did have incredible moments. A beautiful song, "Can't Help Falling In Love" remains relevant today for good reason. It was one of the finest compositions to come from the 20th century.

2. "Suspicious Minds"

"Suspicious Minds" was 1960s Elvis at his finest. By the late 1960s, Elvis felt he had something to prove. He wanted to leave movies behind him and focus solely on his music career again. He wanted to release songs that could rival major acts of the day. In 1969, "Suspicious Minds" reminded everyone that Elvis was still king. It's a near-perfect rock song, not only sung by a seasoned performer but by a founding father of the rock n' roll movement. "Suspicious Minds" is one of my favorite songs of all time, and in my opinion, only one Elvis song tops it.

1. "Memories"

A ballad from the 1968 Comeback Special is your favorite? Indeed, and let me share why. Many would suggest that "Can't Help Falling In Love" is Elvis's greatest ballad, and while that is a fair argument, I have always preferred "Memories."

"Memories" encapsulates Elvis's vocal gift. Not only was Elvis the greatest entertainer of his era, but the greatest singer. This song proves it, in my humble opinion. Not only is it a beautiful song, but I would go as far as to say that it is a perfect song. I have listened to this song, almost every day, since high school. I love listening to music as I fall asleep at night, and "Memories" is the highlight.

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