Elvis' Gold Records, Volume 2, also known as 50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong, is the ninth album by American singer and musician Elvis Presley, issued by RCA Victor in November 1959. It is a compilation of hit singles released in 1958 and 1959 by Presley, from recording sessions going back as far as February 1957.
The title of this album is shown on the original record's labels as "Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 2," with a comma and an abbreviation of "Volume", but on the jacket, it appears as "Elvis' Gold Records — Volume 2". The phrase "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" does not appear on the labels of any of the original records, and it is the title of the records—not the jacket—that is usually given preference when conflicting titles appear on albums. Therefore, the phrase was not part of the original title of the album. It was from 1959 through 1961; beginning no later than 1962, RCA Victor added "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" to the labels of a few mono records and to the newly released "electronically reprocessed stereo" records. The boasting on the label appears nearly exclusively on records from RCA Victor's Hollywood pressing plant; copies pressed at the other plants tended to use the proper title only. It remained there for several years, but by 1968, it was removed from the labels and was not found on any records for years, but then it was added (again), this time to the CD releases of this album, where it has stayed.
"Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 2" peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart. It was certified by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for a Gold Record Award (based on $1,000,000 in wholesale sales) on November 1, 1966. It was certified for a Platinum Record Award for sales of one million copies in the US on March 27, 1992.
Elvis' Gold Records, Vol. 2 consists of both sides of five singles released during 1958 and 1959. Two sides made number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and six others reached the Top 10. In the 1950s, a Gold Record awarded to a single required certified sales of one million copies in the United States. This is different from the definition in use since the 1990s, when a Gold Record for a single was reduced to sales of 500,000 units.
In 1984, RCA reissued the original 10 track album on compact disc in reprocessed (fake) stereo sound. This issue was quickly withdrawn and the disc was reissued in original monophonic. RCA reissued the album again in 1997 in a 20 track expanded edition, adding one A-side ("Hard Headed Woman") and one B-side ("Playing For Keeps"), along with tracks from top-selling EPs (e.g., "Peace In The Valley"). Several of those EP tracks were hit singles in other countries, notably the UK (i.e., "Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me"). The bonus tracks are interspersed within the original tracks, with the running order to the album substantially altered.
The unified Billboard Hot 100 singles chart was not created until August, 1958. Chart positions for records (below) prior to this date were taken from the magazine's "Best Sellers in Stores" chart. In some cases, the early measurement of success of rock and roll records also came from the "Most Played on Jukeboxes" chart. Chart positions (below) for the bonus tracks on the CDs were taken from the peak position that the EP album achieved on Billboard's then extant EP chart (1957–60).
Mindless Self Indulgence's song "You'll Rebel To Anything" 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.
Stephan Pastis, author of comic strip Pearls Before Swine, released a collection in 2010 titled "50,000,000 Pearls Fans Can't Be Wrong."
In 2013, the band Supersuckers released a free digital EP entitled 50,000 Middle Fingers Can't Be Wrong.
Doc Yewll references this album while talking with T'evgin in the Defiance 3rd season episode, The Last Unicorns.
The blurb "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't Be Wrong" that became an on-and-off part of the album's title originated with a one-page article titled "Can Fifty Million Americans Be Wrong" by Les Brown that appeared in the September 19, 1956, issue of Down Beat magazine. The article was an unfavorable look at Elvis and his fans, with Brown bemoaning the lack of appreciation of the "fine talents" of Jerri Southern, Dick Haymes, and "other serious vocal artists." The article concludes, "The educational responsibility seems to fall mainly on the disc jockey, who still has the greatest proximity to, and the greatest influence over, the record-buying public. Fifty million Americans can easily be misled."
The expression 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. The song prompted the creation of a popular tag line about fifty million people being wrong. Methodist pastor J. Resler Shultz of Harrisburg, PA, used "Can fifty million Americans be wrong" as the title of a sermon in 1931. Articles with similar titles have appeared somewhat frequently since that time—some being about food, politics, or religion. It is also an estimate of the number of singles that Presley sold by late 1958. Steve Sholes, Elvis' producer, said, "Every record Elvis has ever made for us has sold over a million. Since January, 1956, we've sold 50 million Elvis Presley records in this country alone, not counting foreign sales or albums."
^The Evening News, Harrisburg, PA, October 3, 1931, p. 2
^Examples, New York magazine, Vol. 6, December 17, 1973, p. 127; "Fifty Million Frenchman Can be Wrong," Captain C. T. Lanham, The Field Artillery Journal, Vol. 35, p. 513 (1935); Inland Printer, Vol. 101, p. 38 (1938); The Peabody Reflector, Vol. 10, No. 5, p. 168 (1937); New Scientist, Vol. 31, p. 498; Audio-Visual Guide, Vol. 11, p. 10 (1944); Political Action of the Week, CIO Political Action Committee, no page given (1953); The Best Television Plays of the Year, Vol. 3, William J. Kaufman, p. 354 (1954); and Finance, Vol. 90, p. 64.
^quoted in "Stars in a Golden Spin," Rebecca Franklin, Chicago Tribune Magazine, October 26, 1958, p. 20