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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 January, 2005, 11:54 GMT
Elvis set to make chart history
Elvis Presley
Elvis is on course to notch up his 20th chart topper
Elvis Presley is on course to claim the 1,000th UK number one chart single, according to the latest sales figures.

A reissue of his song One Night is outstripping sales of nearest rivals the Manic Street Preachers by as much as 9-1 in some music retailers.

The late singer's 18 chart toppers are being re-released week by week in the year he would have been 70.

Presley's Jailhouse Rock currently holds the top spot, originally a number one in 1958.

It is predicted to slip to number five when the new chart is announced on Sunday.

If One Night tops the chart, it will be the legendary star's 20th number one - three more than The Beatles.

Ahead 'by a mile'

Major music stockists have said that Elvis is comfortably outselling its rivals and will "definitely" claim the number one spot.

A spokesman for Virgin Megastores said the record is ahead of the Manics and fellow rival the Killers "by a mile", and that they are looking to increase their stocks of the track.

Woolworths also reported that Elvis is doing "tremendously well", shifting nine times more than his nearest competitor.

Elvis Presley in 1977
By 1977, Elvis already had an illustrious chart career behind him

HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said that Elvis was "pretty certain" to claim the historic chart topper.

"It's fantastic news given that the honour could have fallen to an unknown artist or a pretty bland single," he said.

"With the obvious exception of The Beatles, there is no other act in the history of popular music which has the iconic and enduring appeal of Elvis," added Mr Castaldo.

The late musician's record company BMG are also offering artwork and a collectors' box for the number one reissues, which is proving popular with commited fans of Presley.

Sales decline

The singles chart has been a weekly fixture in the UK since 1952, when Al Martino claimed the first number one with Here In My Heart.

Singles regularly crept their way up to the top spot for the first few decades of the 'hit parade'.

But from the early nineties, records often went straight to number one after being heavily promoted prior to their release.

Singles sales have declined in recent years, with Jailhouse Rock selling just 21,262 copies to reach number one last weekend - the lowest since data began in 1969.

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