The heavyweight acts get set to go head-to-head with their mooted Best Of compilations...

THE BEATLES and Elvis Presley are limbering up for a titantic heavyweight slug-fest this autumn as releases from both legendary acts are set to wrestle for top spot on the charts.

While the four-week run at the top of the singles chart for Elvis Presley’ remixed ‘A Little Less Conversation’ helped make him the most successful chart-topping act in history – with 18 Number Ones to The Beatles’ 17 – the autumn album battle will decide once and for all who wears the pop crown.

It was rumoured last week that Parlophone are planning to release an “ultimate” Beatles album in October to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the band’s debut single ‘Love Me Do’. According to sources, label bosses decided the double album would include 50 tracks by the Fab Four, featuring all their greatest songs. It has been tipped to dwarf the worldwide success of 2000’s ‘1’ collection.

While Paul McCartney’s spokesman Geoff Baker told NME.COM that plans for such a one-off Greatest Hits set were “bullshit” he admitted “a lot of exciting things are in the pipeline”, all due to appear in October.

The only thing that will keep The Beatles, with whatever it is they decide to release, from the top spot is Elvis Presley’ ‘Best Of No.1’s’, a double-CD featuring his 30 Number Ones, scored in both in the UK and the US. The album is due on September 23, helping mark 2002 as the 25th anniversary of [/a]’ death.

HMV chart expert Gennaro Castaldo told NME.COM it could become the biggest album of the year.

“The Elvis CD will have mass appeal,” he said. “There are two streams of potential fans. The existing fans who will buy anything that is released and younger fans who came to [a]Elvis Presley through the JunkieXL remix [of ‘A Little Less Conversation’]. It made Elvis Presley cool for a new generation. To a younger audience, he’s now not just a name but an artist they can now relate to.

“With the host of activity coming around his anniversary interest will be huge, building to the album release. It has the potential to be bigger Beatles‘ ‘1’, he added.

Castaldo said any Beatlesalbum would also have huge appeal, but he expected Elvis Presley to outsell them.

“It’ll be a gentle rivalry, much the way it was in the 60’s,” he said. “It could drive sales of both rather than see one act damage the other. Its quite exciting to think the chart battles of the 60’s are back.”