When released, Elvis: 30 #1 Hits was an instant success, going straight to the top of the albums charts in several countries and shipping mass quantities around the world. A companion album, 2nd to None, was released the next year. By 2003, the album had received certifications in more than 15 regions and had sold millions of copies worldwide. Its most recent certification, a 6× Platinum award, for US sales in excess of six million copies, was announced by the RIAA on March 8, 2018.
Elvis: 30 #1 Hits was compiled by Ernst Mikael Jorgensen and Roger Semon using chart data from the pop singles charts in Billboard, Cashbox, New Musical Express, and Record Retailer. Not all of Elvis's number ones are included as it is only a one-disc set. It was part of a massive campaign by RCA and BMG to celebrate Elvis in the 25th anniversary of his death.
In 2003, it became the first, and so far, only Elvis album to be issued in the newly created DVD audio-only disc format. The stereo tracks (1960 and later) were remixed into 5.1 surround sound for the first time and the 13 tracks recorded in mono (before 1960) were remastered and presented in a simulated 5.1 format. The songs were presented in reverse order, with "A Little Less Conversation" as track 1, and "Heartbreak Hotel" as track 31. There are also bonus tracks which are sections of three songs ("It's Now or Never", "Crying in the Chapel", and "Burning Love"), giving an A:B comparison of the original master and the remaster. A 2003 reissue of the album featured a bonus disc with outtakes and rehearsals of several songs. A Wal-Mart release had a bonus disc with Elvis's post-army interview, while a Japanese release had a bonus disc with three versions of "A Little Less Conversation".
The album opened at number one in 17 territories around the world, taking the top spot in countries including the US, the UK, Canada, France, Australia and Brazil and shipped 4.7 million units worldwide in its first week. In its first week of release, 1.2 million units were shipped in Europe: 300,000 units in the UK (where 115,000 were sold the first week) and more than 200,000 units were shipped in Germany, France and Spain. In Australia it shipped 150,000 units the first week.
The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 the week of October 12, 2002 with more than 500,000 copies sold according to Nielsen SoundScan. It was the largest sum the chart had seen since Dixie Chicks bowed five weeks ago with 780,000 units, it also was the largest sales week for an archival album since The Beatles' 1. By October, 2003 the album had sold 3,000,000 units in the United States according to Nielsen SoundScan. The album was Presley's first album to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was his first number one since 1973. The album helped Elvis to have the longest span of number one albums on the Billboard 200. The album remained on the chart for one hundred and twelve weeks. It also topped the Top Country Albums chart. It was certified six times platinum by the RIAA on March 8, 2018, denoting shipments of six millions.
In the United Kingdom the album debuted at number one on October 5, 2002, with 115,000 copies sold, it stayed at the top of the chart for two weeks and remained in the top 100 for 125 weeks. It was certified six times platinum by the BPI on September 4, 2015, denoting shipments of 1,800,000 units.ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits has sold over 1,861,800 copies in the UK.
ELV1S: 30 #1 Hits received mostly favorable reviews from music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic gave the album a mostly positive review, but wrote that it still lacked a lot of good material and that several factors were working against it, such as the number of hits Elvis had and the songs that did not make it to No. 1.David Browne of Entertainment Weekly felt that the album did succeed in its purpose, but not all of the songs on the collection had enough "quality". Darryl Sterdan of Jam!CANOE predicted that the album would not do as well as the Beatles' 1 because almost all of the songs can be found on other collections and it is missing several definitive songs.Robert Christgau gave the album his highest rating out of all of Elvis's albums that he has reviewed and felt that the album showed that Elvis's life was "a continuous whole". Parke Puterbaugh, in his Rolling Stone review of the album, gave the album five out of five stars and felt that the recordings had improved sound quality.
The Killers' official logo, inspired by the album artwork on ELV1S: 30 No. 1 Hits
Upon noticing the album's artwork in a Virgin Megastore in Las Vegas in 2002, a young Brandon Flowers was inspired to use a marquee sign motif as the logo for his new band, the Killers. The band hired their drummer's roommate's girlfriend to design their logo, and it has been used on the band's branding, releases, promotional materials, and merchandise ever since.