Anything about Elvis
More than 30 Million visitors can't be wrong

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 4:50 pm

nohair 1 wrote:Pretty sure the entire Love Letters album consisted of rejected tracks? Modern artists have more control over what is released or not. Elvis had little say, RCA would release anything because it would sell.. Little wonder Elvis lost his enthusiasm for going into the studio.


In a sense Elvis did not care too much. he just did the material he was offered like he always did what he was told to do. On one of the outtakes on Love Letters FTD you can hear him joke that the song he is recording is "not good, not bad, but mediocre". Well, if it is that why do you record it?

The Colonel is to be blame here, just as RCA for the ridiculous three albums a year obligation but it is certainly also to blame on Elvis who simply did not give any direction to his career. Posthumously we have seen very bad mainstream releases (like the 1980 and 1984 boxes) and from 1987 on some great releases as well Sun Sessions, The Memphis Record, Masters boxes in 90s and outtakes boxes in the final decade.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:57 pm

midnightx wrote:
Rock Legend wrote:I think there’s some decidedly subpar stuff on important career overviews like WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES – The 70s Masters… Material like the aforementioned It’s Different Now, Alla’ En El Rancho Grande, Froggy Went A Courtin’ – and yet finished masters like Early Morning Rain are not there.

Again, pinpointing a handful of "rarities" on a retrospective set that are included for 1) historical reasons so that the enthusiast and historian can gain additional insight into an artist's creative process, and 2) that are included as marketing and retail enticers -- are not tracks that set the tone for such a release. It’s Different Now is a useless track, but it isn't as if it is any worse than Mr. Songman. The inclusion of Mr. Songman as a master recording and single is far more troubling on many levels than a rehearsal take of It's Different Now. The vast majority of the '70s set is of medium to high quality (particularly for the era in which it was released) in terms of presentation, mastering, and content.

For every dud you can name that has been issued from the archives, I can name dozens that are stunning and are of very high quality. More importantly, often the majority of archival material is part of expansive sets aimed at the hardcore fan, not the casual consumer. The "Joe Public" that you refer to is most often going to purchase "hits" compilations that rarely have "archival" material included. "Joe Public" gets his hits -- he usually doesn't spring for the Platinum box set loaded with rarities. And frankly, I strongly believe the Platinum set provides an invaluable insight into Elvis Presley's talent and artistry, possibly more so than a straight hits compilation.


I think you are underestimating how many copies of these sets were sold. These were not just sold to hardcore collectors. I think most of these titles sold more than 100,000 copies each. So its scope is much wider than what you are assuming in your posting.

I’m also not too sure about the historical reasons / insights that you mention. I think some of what has been released on the main label should never have been released in the first place. Can you tell me what the point is of having stuff like the ‘Bad Nauheim Medley’ on an important set like PLATINUM?.... Elvis doodling around on the piano in a rather amateuristic way & in terrible sound-quality? And surely those who are interested in the historical aspects of recordings like this won’t be too thrilled with the fact that the recording has been edited significantly? Maybe you and I can find some merit in recordings like this, but it’s safe to say that a clear majority of the 100, 000 people who bought that set turned the CD off the moment the moment this recording came out of the speakers. And what’s the point of releasing ‘I’m Beginning To Forget You’ (on the same set), which has Elvis moaning like a cow? I honestly cannot see the historical interest in this case, especially since a far better version had already been released on ‘A Legendary Performer vol. 4’.

And why is ‘Elvis At Sun’ a much better listening experience than ‘Sunrise’? One really has to wonder what the point was of releasing those truly awful, unlistenable quality Louisiana Hayride recordings (which also suffer from speed variations). As I remember, ‘Sunrise’ even got a poor review in ‘Elvis - The man and his music’.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:09 pm

jeanno wrote:Mx
A good example of poor material released post 1977 would be the set "Elvis Aron Presley": the 1961 show was great but most of the 60s Out-takes are no standout (Datin´, Dog´s Life...) The selection of TV performances had no interest at all (a mixed bag of 1968-1973-1977 tracks) and the 75 show(s) was nice but neither outstanding (a full 69 concert would have given a better idea of how good was Elvis at his best). Knowing the quantity of great material they had a the time, why didn´t they gather better material (ala "Platinum") instead of giving us goofy outtakes of poor movie soundtracks?


To me the silver 8LP boxed set Elvis Aron Presley is one of the highlights of posthumous material released by RCA...

1] First issue of Elvis' 1956 closing Vegas performance
2] First issue of 13 minutes of Elvis' 1962 interview giving a genuine introspective into the man himself
3] First issue of the complete March 1961 Hawaii benefit show - IMO this alone is worth the price of the set
4] First issue of Follow That Dream in stereo (although an excellent alternate take)
5] The studio banter during Datin' is one of the funniest outtakes I've heard of Elvis and although the song is lame, to hear Elvis cut up like that is more than worth a listen
6] Unreleased August 1970 Vegas rehearsal numbers
7] First release of the August 26, 1969 laughing version of Are You Lonesome Tonight
8] Unreleased 1969, 1970 and 1972 Vegas performances
9] The four unedited numbers of Elvis singing/playing alone at the piano
10] First issue of a 1975 live concert performance (compiled from his May/June 1975 tour shows)

For the time and even by today' standards, this set is exceptional and gave fans a look at a cross section of Elvis' entire career.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:20 pm

Rock Legend wrote:
midnightx wrote:
Rock Legend wrote:I think there’s some decidedly subpar stuff on important career overviews like WALK A MILE IN MY SHOES – The 70s Masters… Material like the aforementioned It’s Different Now, Alla’ En El Rancho Grande, Froggy Went A Courtin’ – and yet finished masters like Early Morning Rain are not there.

Again, pinpointing a handful of "rarities" on a retrospective set that are included for 1) historical reasons so that the enthusiast and historian can gain additional insight into an artist's creative process, and 2) that are included as marketing and retail enticers -- are not tracks that set the tone for such a release. It’s Different Now is a useless track, but it isn't as if it is any worse than Mr. Songman. The inclusion of Mr. Songman as a master recording and single is far more troubling on many levels than a rehearsal take of It's Different Now. The vast majority of the '70s set is of medium to high quality (particularly for the era in which it was released) in terms of presentation, mastering, and content.

For every dud you can name that has been issued from the archives, I can name dozens that are stunning and are of very high quality. More importantly, often the majority of archival material is part of expansive sets aimed at the hardcore fan, not the casual consumer. The "Joe Public" that you refer to is most often going to purchase "hits" compilations that rarely have "archival" material included. "Joe Public" gets his hits -- he usually doesn't spring for the Platinum box set loaded with rarities. And frankly, I strongly believe the Platinum set provides an invaluable insight into Elvis Presley's talent and artistry, possibly more so than a straight hits compilation.


I think you are underestimating how many copies of these sets were sold. These were not just sold to hardcore collectors. I think most of these titles sold more than 100,000 copies each. So its scope is much wider than what you are assuming in your posting.

I’m also not too sure about the historical reasons / insights that you mention. I think some of what has been released on the main label should never have been released in the first place. Can you tell me what the point is of having stuff like the ‘Bad Nauheim Medley’ on an important set like PLATINUM?.... Elvis doodling around on the piano in a rather amateuristic way & in terrible sound-quality? And surely those who are interested in the historical aspects of recordings like this won’t be too thrilled with the fact that the recording has been edited significantly? Maybe you and I can find some merit in recordings like this, but it’s safe to say that a clear majority of the 100, 000 people who bought that set turned the CD off the moment the moment this recording came out of the speakers. And what’s the point of releasing ‘I’m Beginning To Forget You’ (on the same set), which has Elvis moaning like a cow? I honestly cannot see the historical interest in this case, especially since a far better version had already been released on ‘A Legendary Performer vol. 4’.

And why is ‘Elvis At Sun’ a much better listening experience than ‘Sunrise’? One really has to wonder what the point was of releasing those truly awful, unlistenable quality Louisiana Hayride recordings (which also suffer from speed variations). As I remember, ‘Sunrise’ even got a poor review in ‘Elvis - The man and his music’.

If Platinum "sold" 100,000 copies, it is most likely based on the actual CDs in the set, not the actual set itself. It is more than likely 25,000 actual sets were sold. Regardless, 100,000 is not a massive figure when you consider there are billions of people in the world, and millions of music consumers out of the world population. It is music retail 101; "Joe Public" is not the type of consumer that typically branches out and buys high-priced archival sets. The scope is not as deep as you would think.

Elvis' mainstream catalogue sans posthumous material is a very mixed bag and does not do his musical legacy the necessary justice it actually gets with posthumous, archival material. Few would argue otherwise.

Is Led Zeppelin worse off now that the band has issued the 2003 archival "DVD" and "How The West Was Won" sets? We are talking about one of rock's most exciting, powerful, and influential live acts that officially only released one substandard live album (The Song Remains The Same) during its existence as a working unit. If anything, the 2003 archival sets only enhanced the band's musical legacy. The list goes on and on with posthumous and archival sets released by artists and labels alike.
Last edited by midnightx on Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:29 pm

jeanno wrote:Mx
A good example of poor material released post 1977 would be the set "Elvis Aron Presley": the 1961 show was great but most of the 60s Out-takes are no standout (Datin´, Dog´s Life...) The selection of TV performances had no interest at all (a mixed bag of 1968-1973-1977 tracks) and the 75 show(s) was nice but neither outstanding (a full 69 concert would have given a better idea of how good was Elvis at his best). Knowing the quantity of great material they had a the time, why didn´t they gather better material (ala "Platinum") instead of giving us goofy outtakes of poor movie soundtracks?

I see no reason to debate the merits of the Deary's content decisions for the EAP box set. The main point is that the EAP set was marketed and promoted toward a specific Presley fan and consumer; not "Joe Public." Could the set have been more effectively executed? Sure. But "Joe Public" was not dropping a significant amount of money on the box set as an impulse buy and then scratching his head wondering what the hell an outtake of "Datin'" was doing there. "Joe Public" was more than happy with his generic "hits" compilation. To assert neither "Joe Public" or the enthusiastic, hardcore fan-base should have had the option of exploring Elvis' work and creative process at a deeper level from a posthumous archival set like EAP simply because Elvis didn't give his approval for release, is completely misguided.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:46 pm

I'll say no.

Simply because most of the compilations and box sets released don't contain the bad material that Elvis had recorded.

What had a negative impact on Elvis' legacy was recording the bad movie songs in the first place.

Sony, BMG and even RCA did a good job of not using those songs on mainstream releases the majority of the time.

Futhermore these posthumous releases have helped keep Elvis' name in the public eye if these releases ceased his name might've faded by now.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:53 am

midnightx wrote:
Rock Legend wrote:Sure, some of those albums released during his lifetime were substandard, but still, the numerous posthumous releases containing substandard outtakes, poor quality home-recordings, rehearsals, etc. probably did harm his legacy somewhat. Not the kind of stuff you’d want Joe Public to hear, and yet it’s out there.

I'm not so sure there are numerous posthumous releases that actually contain "substandard" outtakes, poor quality home recordings, and rehearsals. The vast majority of mainstream archival releases containing outtakes have been quite strong; whether you are talking about the Essential Series or the Platinum set. The first couple of rarities box sets, Golden Celebration and EAP, were high-priced sets marketed as vault projects -- it is unlikely "Joe Public" made up a large portion of the consumer-base for such releases. Even modern-day archival sets of outtakes offered plenty of riches; and again, few casual "Joe Public" consumers were really going to pluck down $50-$100 for Today Tomorrow & Forever and Close Up, especially considering they were marketed as archival sets containing virtually all outtakes.

Aside from a few tracks on the aforementioned Golden Celebration Set or Platinum, BMG/RCA issued one release of "poor quality home recordings" back in '99 with "The Home Recordings" set. There was even a disclaimer on the back of the set about sound quality issues versus historical content. Again, one "home recording" title out of all posthumous releases since 1977 is hardly damaging to any legacy.

At the moment, I cannot recall individual releases of "rehearsals." A few ended up on various reissues such as Memories: The '68 Comeback Special, Platinum, TTWII-SE, etc. - but, none of them were the primary focus of any release and the actual performances were quite exciting and/or intriguing from a historical perspective.

The vast majority of "archival material" issued posthumously has only enhanced the legacy of Elvis Presley and provided a greater understanding into his genius and creative process. It is unimaginable to think of what we would have lost had the opportunity not been granted to us.

I'd be more concerned about "Joe Public" hearing master takes of Life, This Is Our Dance, If You Love Me (Let Me Know), and The Last Farewell.


I thought that you liked,If you love me(let me know)!? 8)

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:15 am

If Elvis Presley records didn't sell, I doubt we would have seen the amount of releases we have been lucky to collect over the years! The greatest wonder may be the fact that greatest hits compilations, sacred albums and Camden albums outsell the classics as we like to call them!

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:22 pm

bajo wrote:If Elvis Presley records didn't sell, I doubt we would have seen the amount of releases we have been lucky to collect over the years! The greatest wonder may be the fact that greatest hits compilations, sacred albums and Camden albums outsell the classics as we like to call them!

Not really a surprise. The "budget" releases were often easily accessible to casual music-buyers at an affordable price. Just look at how well An Afternoon At The Garden has sold being in the budget bins at Wal-Mart.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:18 am

I think the Legacy Editions offer the collector a chance to by (mostly) top notch recordings at a very reasonable price. The only problem really is that they are competing with additional releases from the same label, which offer older masters at an even cheaper price. Rather than overhaul the catalogue, these days Sony seem content to pick us sales any way they can, but given the decline in physical CD sales who can really blame them.

On the subject of collector’s releases, I think we need to consider what the record company was aiming for at the time of their official release. “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” may be available to Joe Public at a budget price now, but this wasn’t the case when it was originally issued. At the time the album’s compilers obviously saw the need to balance the masters with alternate and previously unissued recordings, so that the collectors that already had the masters would still want to buy the set.

Prior to the release of “Elvis Aron Presley”, the general consensus amongst collectors was that RCA were putting out poor, substandard albums, whilst the bootleggers were giving fans the previously unissued material they craved. The set was compiled as reaction to this criticism, and was very well received by its target audience.

If, back in 1980, RCA had complied a box set full of Elvis’ very best master recordings they would have been criticised for re-issuing the same old tracks, and to a certain extent the same thing rings true for Sony today. We now have the FTD label for outtakes, but some fans still complain about the lack of out takes on the Legacy Editions, even though they are clearly aimed at the general public.

Unfortunately, I think the digital age has stripped away the mystique that once came with discovering Elvis. In some respects there has never been a better time to be a new fan, as there are countless recordings available at the click of a mouse via the internet.

However, I think the fact that so much is available so quickly means that people don’t really appreciate what they have. When I first started collecting, I had to save up to buy deleted album titles imported from the U.S. Many of these were mid sixties soundtracks, but they were not played once and dismissed as substandard. In fact it was quite the opposite. I studied the covers, listened to the music repeatedly, and in many cases tried to picture the songs in the context of the film that I still hadn’t seen.

The first time I heard Elvis cuss during the outtakes of “Can’t Help Falling In Love” on the Audifon release “Plantation Rock”; I really did get that feeling that I was listening to something that should never have been heard. Now it’s all there at the click of a mouse, but it must be so difficult for a new fan to gain a real perspective when they can listen to or watch The CBS Tapes before they’ve even heard “Elvis Is Back”.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:59 am

Hello,

To me there are two ends of the spectrum. I don't necessarily think the word posthumous is the correct term when discussing the merits of archival releases. The Beatles broke up in 1970 while all four members were still living. I think that the Beatles releases post-breakup for the most part, outside of a handful of compilations in the '70s have been pretty much spot-on. You had the "Red" and "Blue" double albums, a live album ("Live At The Hollywood Bowl," "Live At The BBC," "Anthology 1, 2, 3," "1," "Let It Be... Naked," "Capitol Albums Vols. 1 and 2," "Stereo Albums boxset" and the "Beatles In Mono" box set.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have recording artists well past their prime making re-recordings for some no-name budget label just looking to make a quick buck. I'm not going to name any names, but I'm sure you're familiar with these types of compilations. Honestly, I think Elvis falls somewhere in between, probably leaning a little more towards the Beatles end. There have been some fantastic posthumous releases of Elvis Presley material. No way do I think that Elvis would have ever approved of all the material that's been released since his passing. At the same time there have been some shoddy attempts with the numerous gospel, Christmas, love songs, country songs, rock songs, greatest hits compilations over the last 35 years. I think this has really hurt Elvis in some ways. To me the question should be, if you were a newbie fan or a young fan just getting into Elvis' music, where should you start? Of course this question would have to be followed by how much of a budget do you have and what aspect of Elvis' music do you like. If your budget is only $10.00 and you were looking for a single CD greatest hits package, then I'd probably have to say "ELV1S 30 #1 Hits." If your budget was $100.00 and you were looking for a good career retrospective, I'd say you couldn't go wrong with the "Elvis 75 Good Rockin' Tonight" box set. If your budget is $1,000.00, I'd say you couldn't go wrong with "The Complete Elvis Presley Masters" box set from a few years ago.

To me though, where I see the problem arise with posthumous releases is the striking resemblance between a new release and previous release in tracklisting and the only motive is to put out new product. Could someone tell me what the difference is between "Heart & Soul," "Love Songs," "50 Greatest Love Songs," "The Very Best Of Love," and "Love, Elvis." Or how about "If Every Day Was Like Christmas," "White Christmas," "It's Christmas Time," "Christmas Peace" and "Elvis Christmas." You could do the same thing with Elvis' gospel recordings ("Amazing Grace - His Greatest Sacred Performances," "Peace In The Valley - The Complete Gospel Recordings," "Ultimate Gospel," and "I Believe - The Complete Gospel Masters"), his country recordings ("Great Country Songs," "The Country Side Of Elvis," "Country." I would much rather have them trying to sell a select handful of titles that run for the most part parallel to Elvis' catalog while he was alive than have haphazard compilation after haphazard compilation. Maybe that isn't the sexiest way to go because then the record label couldn't justify putting out a new compilation after another new compilation, but I think it ultimately gives the consumer a clearer definition of what Elvis' catalog entails.

Daryl

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:40 pm

"Elvis sings for Children and grown-up's too" what was RCA thinking in 1978?? Gotta be Elvis' worst album released after his death! I did buy it at the time.Still have it, never play it. Really, I think the only albums that should be available for all time are the following :
Elvis' Golden Records
Elvis' Gold Records Vol.2
Elvis' Golden Records Vol.3
Elvis' Gold Records Vol.4
These were the ones I first got Decades ago.Good for the beginner.
Elvis Presley (first album)
Elvis (second album)
Loving you
King Creole
Elvis' Christmas Album (the '57 version)
Elvis is Back!
Pot Luck
Something For Everybody
From Elvis in Memphis
How great Thou Art
Elvis Country
On Stage
Elvis As Recorded at Madison Square Garden

For someone who just wants the hits and a larger set :

Elvis 50 Gold Award Hits vol.1
(is this still even in print on CD?)
Do away with all the crap releases ie.. Elvis it's christmas time, Elvis sings for Kids,2nd to none, etc... The above would be good starter sets for anyone looking to find out about Elvis. For someone who's not a completist, this is all they'd need. If I was just starting out this is what I'd be looking for.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:23 am

Yeah, the "Gold(en) Records" albums are pretty good, specially with the bonus tracks included.

Re: Posthumous releases - negative impact on Elvis' legacy?

Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:29 am

midnightx wrote:included for 1) historical reasons so that the enthusiast and historian can gain additional insight


This has been said to be one of the reasons why EIC should be released. Contrary to Froggy, EIC was meant to be released...