With the upcoming release of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, I’ll be marking the occasion by reviewing all of Elvis Presley’s 18 #1 hits on Billboard including 11 that topped pre-Hot 100 charts and 7 that topped the Hot 100 after its 1958 inception.
Elvis Presley- “Too Much”
HIT #1: February 9, 1957
STAYED AT #1: 3 weeks
These days, it’s a popular thing among music critics to discuss an artist’s imperial phase meaning the period when an artist is at their very biggest that anything they put out will be a hit no matter what. Today, an artist like Drake will clog up the charts whenever he puts out new music thanks to his massive built-in popularity before they all fall off and get forgotten. In looking at Elvis Presley’s career and his endless amount of hits, he might just be the first artist to enjoy an imperial phase in the modern Drake sense. As 1956 turned to 1957, Elvis was so popular that any new song he put out was guaranteed to top the charts even if it was “Too Much,” a song that may have been big in its time but nowadays feels like it might well not exist.
As its short Wikipedia page indicates, “Too Much” is a song that doesn’t have much of a backstory behind it. It was originally recorded and released in 1955 by Bernard Hardison before it got into Elvis’ hands a year later for his take. “Too Much” is a standard ‘50s rock and roll song with its simple distorted guitar playing and high pounding piano. It’s yet another song about Elvis being all crazy for a girl wanting her to be around him all the time admitting to loving her too much.
“Too Much” isn’t exactly a terrible song. I like the rock and roll playing and Elvis’ singing for this kind of love obsession song but it’s not a song that stands out a lot either. It’s a song that’ll forever stay in 1957 but compared to other memory-holed hit songs, you could do a lot worse than “Too Much.”
BONUS BEATS: As I mentioned, “Too Much” is one of those songs that people instantly forget about after it falls off the charts. There are no major placements of “Too Much” in terms of samples, covers, or media placements so instead let’s go with the Spice Girls’ 1997 single “Too Much” which doesn’t have anything to do with the Elvis song other than sharing the same title but it’s the best I can do for this Bonus Beats:
(The Spice Girls’ “Too Much” peaked at #9 making it their last Top-10 hit in America. It’s a 5.)
One thought on “Random Tracks: Elvis Presley’s “Too Much””
I’ve always like this one: it’s very aggressive, which as mentioned before wasn’t something you could say about all early Elvis songs, and it’s got a cool big-band swing to it. Nothing wrong with an artist doing a by-the-numbers kind of song, as long as it’s fun and catchy like this. Also, the ‘love to hear you sighing even though I know you’re lying’ is some grade-A filth that clearly managed to sneak past everyone’s nose…
As for the Spice Girls’ ‘Too Much’, that’s a low-key classic that gets forgotten among their bigger hits. A 7 for me…
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