All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:03 pm

I have an interest in a number of different artists and in comparison to how their catalogues are handled, the situation with the Elvis catalogue does appear to be unique.

Some examples:

Before Neil Young’s “Greatest Hits” CD was issued in 2004 the only previous overview of the artists work was the “Decade” collection which remains available on CD and was originally issued on vinyl around 1976.

Bruce Springsteen put out his first “Greatest Hits” set in 1995 and there were no more compilations until the more comprehensive “Essential Bruce Springsteen” around 10 years later.

Prior to the release of “The Beatles #1” in 2000 the only other available compilations of the band’s hits were the red and blue albums which were originally issued on vinyl in the mid ‘70’s.

All of the above artists must surely be money spinners for their respective record companies, but we don’t see the constant repackaging and reissuing of old material that the Elvis catalogue is subjected to.

If a good compilation is allowed to stay on catalogue for a number of years it can attain classic status in its own right, being seen as the definitive introduction to a major artists work, and this is surely a positive thing.

I don’t see EMI releasing another Beatles hits compilation this Christmas, but I’m sure that “The Beatles #1” will be displayed in stores over the Christmas period and prove to be a steady seller for them.

Putting out ‘new’ releases every 12 months is overkill and the real problem with the Elvis situation is that in many cases these ‘new’ titles are less comprehensive than the title’s they are supposed to be replacing.

How does that make sense?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:38 pm

rockinrebel wrote:I have an interest in a number of different artists and in comparison to how their catalogues are handled, the situation with the Elvis catalogue does appear to be unique.

Some examples:

Before Neil Young’s “Greatest Hits” CD was issued in 2004 the only previous overview of the artists work was the “Decade” collection which remains available on CD and was originally issued on vinyl around 1976.

Bruce Springsteen put out his first “Greatest Hits” set in 1995 and there were no more compilations until the more comprehensive “Essential Bruce Springsteen” around 10 years later.

Prior to the release of “The Beatles #1” in 2000 the only other available compilations of the band’s hits were the red and blue albums which were originally issued on vinyl in the mid ‘70’s.

All of the above artists must surely be money spinners for their respective record companies, but we don’t see the constant repackaging and reissuing of old material that the Elvis catalogue is subjected to.

If a good compilation is allowed to stay on catalogue for a number of years it can attain classic status in its own right, being seen as the definitive introduction to a major artists work, and this is surely a positive thing.

I don’t see EMI releasing another Beatles hits compilation this Christmas, but I’m sure that “The Beatles #1” will be displayed in stores over the Christmas period and prove to be a steady seller for them.

Putting out ‘new’ releases every 12 months is overkill and the real problem with the Elvis situation is that in many cases these ‘new’ titles are less comprehensive than the title’s they are supposed to be replacing.

How does that make sense?


All the artists you mention control their catalog to a certain extent. I bet that EMI would release more Beatles compilations if they could.

Sun Aug 27, 2006 5:54 pm

Claus wrote:All the artists you mention control their catalog to a certain extent. I bet that EMI would release more Beatles compilations if they could.


That’s a fair point. However, I was trying to point out that in respect of the three aforementioned artists there hasn’t been a constant stream of repackaged titles, and they all have now have a hits compilation that isn’t ‘new’ but is still available in the shops, and therefore, presumably still selling.

If this is the case, it doesn’t support BMG’s argument that retail won’t carry the old titles so there has to be ‘new’ ones.

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:15 pm

rockinrebel wrote:I have an interest in a number of different artists and in comparison to how their catalogues are handled, the situation with the Elvis catalogue does appear to be unique.

Some examples:

Before Neil Young’s “Greatest Hits” CD was issued in 2004 the only previous overview of the artists work was the “Decade” collection which remains available on CD and was originally issued on vinyl around 1976.

Bruce Springsteen put out his first “Greatest Hits” set in 1995 and there were no more compilations until the more comprehensive “Essential Bruce Springsteen” around 10 years later.

Prior to the release of “The Beatles #1” in 2000 the only other available compilations of the band’s hits were the red and blue albums which were originally issued on vinyl in the mid ‘70’s.

All of the above artists must surely be money spinners for their respective record companies, but we don’t see the constant repackaging and reissuing of old material that the Elvis catalogue is subjected to.

If a good compilation is allowed to stay on catalogue for a number of years it can attain classic status in its own right, being seen as the definitive introduction to a major artists work, and this is surely a positive thing.

I don’t see EMI releasing another Beatles hits compilation this Christmas, but I’m sure that “The Beatles #1” will be displayed in stores over the Christmas period and prove to be a steady seller for them.

Putting out ‘new’ releases every 12 months is overkill and the real problem with the Elvis situation is that in many cases these ‘new’ titles are less comprehensive than the title’s they are supposed to be replacing.

How does that make sense?


Rockinrebel, very well put. Has the treatment of EP's catalogues ever made sense? As long as these many releases grind out a profit, that's all that matters in their eyes. Ernst said in Memphis this past anniversary that these many repeats are geared to attract new fans as opposed to the longtime fans who have these songs.

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:19 pm

rockinrebel wrote:If this is the case, it doesn’t support BMG’s argument that retail won’t carry the old titles so there has to be ‘new’ ones.


I agree. It's a ridiculous argument. But Sony/BMG know that these new compilations are selling, because some fans buy every new release. BMG couldn't care less about the Elvis catalog, as long as they are making money.

Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:43 pm

Joe Car wrote:Rockinrebel, very well put. Has the treatment of EP's catalogues ever made sense? As long as these many releases grind out a profit, that's all that matters in their eyes. Ernst said in Memphis this past anniversary that these many repeats are geared to attract new fans as opposed to the longtime fans who have these songs.


That would appear to be reasoning behind these releases, but as Claus points out I am sure that BMG are very much aware that a percentage of the fan base buys everything that they put out, and therefore a certain level of sales revenue is guaranteed with each ‘new’ release.

Artistically (and in terms of value for money for potential buyers) it would make more sense for “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” to remain in print, and there would be no need for a further Christmas compilation.

However, if BMG were to do this the fans that bought “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” several years ago, are not going to buy it again and again each time the festive season comes around. If a ‘new’ set is compiled though, those that collect everything are going to want it, BMG know this, and therefore the compilations keep coming.

Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:08 pm

Anybody have any idea of the amount of Christmas albums and CD's EP has sold over the years?

Sun Aug 27, 2006 9:23 pm

Joe Car wrote:Anybody have any idea of the amount of Christmas albums and CD's EP has sold over the years?


The RIAA awards for US sales give an idea.

Albums.

Elvis' Christmas Album [1957 package] = 3x Platinum

Elvis' Christmas Album [1970 package] = 9x Platinum

Memories of Christmas = Gold

Blue Christmas = Gold

It's Christmas Time = 2x Platinum

Extended Play

Elvis Sings Christmas Songs = Platinum

Singles

Blue Christmas/Santa Claus is Back In Town = Platinum

To achieve a Gold award, a quantity of between 500,000 and 999,999 discs need to be sold [if sales go above 999,999 the award is upgraded to Platinum].

To achieve a Platinum award, between 1,000,000 and 1,999,999 discs have to sell [if sales exceed 1,999,999 the award is upgraded to 2x Platinum and so on].

There were also Christmas songs on the 50's box set, which sold 400,000+ sets.

Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:15 am

rockinrebel wrote:However, if BMG were to do this the fans that bought “If Every Day Was Like Christmas” several years ago, are not going to buy it again and again each time the festive season comes around. If a ‘new’ set is compiled though, those that collect everything are going to want it, BMG know this, and therefore the compilations keep coming.


Despite the fact that some at BMG/Sony and even here seem to be hiding behind the notion that casual fans are only attracted to new covers on old material, you are right in suggesting (as I have) that the rabid "CD collectors" who give this site its very name are very likely a major factor in the shabby, duplicative state of the Elvis catalog.

So it's not even necesssarily the casual buyer that's to blame here. It's as if it is assumed that casual buyers haven't caught on that this long-gone artist recorded a mere 20-something Yule sides and that a new cover will fool them. Could it be just Jerry Nodak we can blame? :lol:
(Jerry, just joshing you, buddy.)

I recall that the last five years saw Tower Records (going bankrupt again, and looking for a buyer) each year puts out stacks and stacks of Elvis Christmas titles. Why they need to add to this I don't know.

People have been buying Bing Crosby's famous X-mas album for years, which is why it's a certified all-time sales giant. It has that time-worn but classic shot of him on the cover with a Santa hat, grinning ear to ear, yet it still sells.

With Elvis, I think the spell of his good looks and charima means that casual fans (think of some Wal-Mart in Podunkville) probably do just pick up anything that looks "fresh" with Elvis on the cover. This is clearly the "low road" that BMG/Sony is taking but it's starting to reach absurist levels, with titles like "Rock" right up against "E1" in the same rack. Any novice might say, "this guy didn't record that many tracks, did he?" Or : "dammit: this repeats lots of what I have on E1!"

This is another downside to his good looks, which for some critics alone has been enough for them to hold it against them. If Springsteen, Neil Young and even the Beatles had that sort of instant magnetism (visually, it's not really the case), they, too, might have "new" albums coming out every six months.

I've been one saddened to see record stores closing all over the US, but maybe it is time to close the door on Elvis' catalog. I see BMG/ Sony pursuing more a "fire sale" mentality as they seem aware that record stores are closing left and right. How many more years does the CD have, beyond specialty (non-record store) markets like Costco, Best-Buy, etc? Some say it is doomed. I think it could soldier on in for another five to ten years, but this will be an aging base, sadly. To coax one more lap out of the Elvis Christmas sides seems to be the goal but with much less of the dignity than if the original titles (or even recent compilations) were respected, that is, new reissues with perhaps new remasterings, newly extended liner notes, additional photos, etc. (they could then call them "new" titles if that's the rap) but with the titles respected.

I recall the uproar here when "Christmas Peace" came out in '02 in the wake of E1's success. Now we have even defenders of it saying "Hey, what's with all the new Christmas albums?" :lol:

Peter Franks' excellent 2003 post and thread entitled "50 Years, 50 Albums: Cutting The Catalogue " remains as essential as ever:

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... &highlight


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