Elv1s 30 #1 Hits

Music review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Elv1s 30 #1 Hits Music Poster Image
Singles collection is a good intro to Elvis' many styles.

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Kids say

age 5+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Most songs are about typical pop-music romantic joys and sorrows, but there's also a nod to social consciousness ("In the Ghetto") and old-time religion ("Crying in the Chapel").

Positive Role Models & Representations

With rare exceptions (e.g. the slightly sleazy "Don't"), The King comes across as a positive figure in these songs -- seductively romantic, but also steadfast and true, even when the woman he loves is giving him fits (e.g. "Hard Headed Woman"), and/or complaining about being treated badly when he deserves better (e.g. "Hound Dog"). He also shows concern for his fellow man (as in "In the Ghetto") and religious devotion ("Crying in the Chapel").

Violence

"In the Ghetto" treats as a tragedy the death of a young man who turns to crime and is killed in the course of a robbery.

Sex

While most of the songs (e.g. "Surrender") owe their sex appeal more to The King's sultry voice than their lyrics, "Don't" has a vibe that's all about the singer pressuring his girl to deliver more physical affection than she's comfortable with: "When the night goes cold and I want to hold you baby / Don't say 'don't'."

Language
Consumerism

The liner notes booklet contains lots of useful information about the music, and also ads for Elvis memorabilia and other Presley products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The King's lifestyle excesses famously contributed to his early death, but they don't show up in the lyrics of his songs here.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Elv1s 30 #1 Hits spans The King's multi-decade career and offers a good overview of his many styles, from '50s rockabilly to '70s lounge act. Many tracks, especially the ballads, showcase Elvis' distinctive sultry, seductive vibe. But while you may want to discuss some of the era's cultural overtones (from romance to religion) as they come up in the lyrics, there's not much problematical material. "In the Ghetto" treats as a tragedy the death of a young man who turns to crime and is killed in the course of a robbery. And "Don't" has the singer pressuring his girl for more physical affection than she's comfortable giving.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old February 26, 2016

My favorite singer!

Elvis is my favorite singer of all time! I love this CD because it has all of his #1 hits! I think kids 5 and up will understand some of the songs. They would e... Continue reading

What's the story?

ELV1S 30 #1 HITS (which actually includes 31 hits, with the bonus track \"A Little Less Conversation\") collects a career's worth of Elvis Presley's singles that topped one chart or another in the United States and elsewhere. While this scheme winds up excluding some of his best-known tracks, especially from his early career, the CD offers a fine introduction to The King's work, and its range of styles, for those just getting to know him.

Is it any good?

There are lots of Elvis hits collections, including some that focus on particular genres such as gospel or love songs; fans of The King have quibbled that Elv1s 30 #1 Hits includes a few "hits" best known outside the United States while leaving out iconic early releases that didn't chart quite so well. But for those who need an introduction or would like to get such diverse tunes as "Hound Dog," "Can't Help Falling in Love," and "Burning Love" in one package, Elv1s 30 #1 Hits is a fine choice. An informative booklet includes interesting background on the songs, including the fact that "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" was first a hit in the '20s for Al Jolson.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Elvis was so popular in his lifetime, and why he remains a cultural icon today. Which of these songs do you like best?

  • Do the songs here reflect today's attitudes about romantic relationships, or are they really out of date?

  • Do you think "In the Ghetto" is effective at raising concerns about poverty and social injustice? Why or why not?

Music details

  • Artist: Elvis Presley
  • Release date: September 24, 2002
  • Type: Album
  • Label: RCA
  • Genre: Compilation
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No

For kids who love '60s and '70s music

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