Three Dog Night’s ‘Joy to the World’ Has a Weird Connection to Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

Three Dog Night’s “Joy to the World” and Elvis Presley‘s “Heartbreak Hotel” don’t sound alike. Despite this, they share a major connection. Interestingly, one of the members of Three Dog Night explained why he has mixed feelings about “Joy to the World.”

"Heartbreak Hotel" era Elvis Presley with a guitar
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Why Chuck Negron has issues with Three Dog Night’s ‘Joy to the World’

Chuck Negron is a former member of Three Dog Night. He’s not a big fan of “Joy to the World.” “It’s not one of my favorites, either, in the essence of a song,” he told Forbes in 2022. “It’s not close to being something representative of the band. It does show how eclectic we could be, though. Of course, we all love it because it changed our lives.”

Negron discussed the origin of the song. “What happened was that Hoyt Axton had come to the studio and pitched, ‘Joy to the World,’ to the band, and they turned it down. I wasn’t there. Then Hoyt came back, pitched it again, and they turned him down again. Again I wasn’t there.”

Subsequently, Axton made some lyrical changes and the band accepted the song. “We finished it up in the studio and went on the road,” Negron recalled. “All of a sudden we heard that ‘Joy’ was going to be released. We couldn’t believe it!”

RELATED: Why Three Dog Night’s Danny Hutton Regretted the Title of ‘Joy to the World’

Hoyt Axton is the son of the co-writer of Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

“Joy to the World” has an interesting connection to “Heartbreak Hotel.” According to Stereogum, Axton was the son of Mae Boren Axton. Mae co-wrote “Heartbreak Hotel” with Tommy Durden. 

According to The New York Times, Durden had a positive view of “Heartbreak Hotel.” “I wish I had 12 more songs just like it,” he said in 1982. “It has paid the rent for more than 20 years, but you can’t get rich writing songs unless you have a lot of big ones.”

RELATED: How The Beatles’ Paul McCartney Got the Bass Used on Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’

How Three Dog Night’s ‘Joy to the World’ and Elvis Presley’s ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ performed on the charts in the United States

“Joy to the World” became a massive hit. For six weeks, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. The track stayed on the chart for 17 weeks in total. Three Dog Night released “Joy to the World” on the album Naturally. The album reached No. 14 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 64 weeks.

The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits reports the song was No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 for eight weeks. The Billboard Top 100 was the predecessor of the Billboard Hot 100. “Heartbreak Hotel” appeared on the compilation album Elvis: 30 #1 HitsThe compilation topped the Billboard 200 for three of its 121 weeks on the chart.

“Joy to the World” and “Heartbreak Hotel” don’t sound much alike but they share a family lineage.

RELATED: Why The Monkees’ Micky Dolenz and The Carpenters Lost the Chance to Record Three Dog Night’s ‘An Old Fashioned Love Song’ 1st