Costello Specs #1: (May 1995)

The Elvis Catalogue from a Statistical Perspective

by Dave Pannell




This is the fist of a regular series of short articles for the unhealthily obsessive EC fan. We will be looking at the amazing body of Elvis releases from a statistical perspective. In this issue we examine the number of tracks of different types released over time. The tracks include all official album tracks, singles, B-sides, CD reissue bonus tracks, promo-only releases and collaborations on which Elvis shares the lead vocal. Totals for the 18 years up to the end of 1994 are shown below.

Type of track Number
Studio original 266
Studio cover version 59
Live original 26
Live cover version 18
Instrumental 32
Remix/edit version 17
Total 418

The graph below shows the distribution of these releases over time. The year refers to the year of first release, not the year of recording. Each track appears once in the graph, not once for each time it was released in different formats or on different albums.

The graph clearly shows a number of trends that will not come as a surprise, but also some trends that you may not have expected. In the "expected" category, you can see the following.

There are some less obvious points that may have escaped the notice even of unhealthy obsessives.

Dave Pannell's Elvis Costello Page
Copyright © David J. Pannell, 2009
Last revised: March 30, 2009.