Elvis Presley's 1959 bestseller "One Night" (RCA) returned to No. 1 in the United Kingdom yesterday (Jan. 16), becoming the 1,000th chart-topper in the history of the national singles chart.

Elvis Presley's 1959 bestseller "One Night" (RCA) returned to No. 1 in the United Kingdom yesterday (Jan. 16), becoming the 1,000th chart-topper in the history of the national singles chart.

With "A Fool Such As I" out today as the next single in Sony BMG's Presley reissue campaign, an HMV spokesman says the publicity surrounding his return to the top of the singles chart, and the landmark 1,000th No. 1 "massively boosted demand" for the reissues, "not just among Elvis fans, but more general record buyers as well."

Market-leading retailer HMV says sales of this and other singles in the reissue series are restricted to one per person. "One Night," the latest disc in the label's chronological re-promotion of all 18 of Elvis' original U.K. No. 1 singles, sold 20,463 copies in its first week up to and including last Saturday (Jan. 15), according to the Official U.K. Charts Co.

That sum marks the lowest-ever tally for a No. 1 single in Britain. "One Night" claimed the mantle from last week's No. 1, the previous Presley reissue, "Jailhouse Rock," which had just 21,262 sales.

Executives at rival record companies suggest that the marketing tactic could deliver several more No. 1 rankings. (Presley now has a career total of 20 in the United Kingdom.) They say this could hurt the credibility of the singles chart, where low sales make it vulnerable to "hijacking" by collectors.

Sony BMG marketing director Darren Henderson says of the widely publicized campaign: "It is a marketing exercise, of course it is, but it was genuinely designed to celebrate [Presley's 70th] birthday [on Jan. 8]. It just so happens it captured the imagination of the media and the fans, and we delivered what we believe to be an exceptional product."

Questions? Comments? Let us know: @billboardbiz

Print