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Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:42 pm

r&b wrote:All well & good but according to Priscilla, when he was given the songs for Double Trouble, and saw he had to record Old McDonald, he said to her, 'Has it really come to this?' So in a way he didn't choose everything he wanted to record He was told to sing that song for a scene in the movie. He could have demanded the scene & song be cut, but instead complained only to his wife and friends. Never the powers that be. I may be wrong but I cannot imagine a POS song like that and other movie songs ever being on the Atlantic label.

Thank you for your response and your additional points.

I maintain that RCA did not choose which songs Elvis recorded, which seemed to be the thrust of your original post. Hill & Range suggested songs and Elvis agreed to record them. RCA (starved of product) had little option but to release them as per the Colonel's release schedule. I have no doubt that Elvis detested almost all of his 1960's movie output.

Whether Atlantic would have agreed to release the Paradise, Hawaiian Style LP is something we'll never know. If the LP was a guaranteed 350,000+ seller then they may have bitten the bullet.

Elvis had unprecedented creative control in his recording career because neither Steve Sholes nor Chet Atkins knew what the hell to do with him in January 1956. When "Heartbreak Hotel" hit in the way it did (Elvis' choice of song, Elvis' production), followed by the summer bombshell of "Don't Be Cruel" and "Hound Dog", RCA execs decided that the best thing for them to do was to stand aside and let the genius continue to be his own producer.

The movies and the soundtracks became the problem during the mid-60s, as did Parker's edict that Elvis record nothing but new H&R product in 1961.

Elvis hit like no-one else before him: record companies were in awe of his sales figures. I do believe that Atlantic would have been good for Elvis but how they would have dealt with Parker (and the enormous financial success that Elvis brought) is an interesting question.

I am not trying to absolve RCA of blame, I'm just trying to make sure what it is they're being accused of.

Great conversation, thanks for your valued input.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 6:49 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:11 pm

brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.[/
quote]
Yes they did have the connections. Atlantic were a very big company. Maybe not as big as RCA in the 50's but they certainly had money to promote. Atlantic grew and grew as a company and was a very well respected label.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:47 pm

Right. Elvis could move to Atlantic after 1962.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:09 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.[/
quote]
Yes they did have the connections. Atlantic were a very big company. Maybe not as big as RCA in the 50's but they certainly had money to promote. Atlantic grew and grew as a company and was a very well respected label.


For the umpteenth time Atlantic records in that period didn't have as many connections as RCA did.

They were nowhere near as big as RCA in 1955/1956.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:37 pm

brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.[/
quote]
Yes they did have the connections. Atlantic were a very big company. Maybe not as big as RCA in the 50's but they certainly had money to promote. Atlantic grew and grew as a company and was a very well respected label.


For the umpteenth time Atlantic records in that period didn't have as many connections as RCA did.

They were nowhere near as big as RCA in 1955/1956.

You clearly know very little about Atlantic Records. You have a lot of learning to do. And don't come back saying i've got a lot of learning to do...i know RCA were a big record conpany, the bigest. But Atlantic were doing very well, they could have handled Preskey, no problem.

Atlantics track record of artists was exceptional and those artists sold a hell of a lot of records, they were leading conpany in r&band they grew even bigger in the 60's with that staggering soul music. Even in 55/56 they were a wealthy company. So don't tell me they couldn't handle Presley.

So what you getting uptight about, Brian? By saying "for the umpteenth time"?
Last edited by mysterytrainrideson on Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:37 pm

Ok, but after 1962 what good RCA did for Elvis? Next to nothing. They treated him with no respect, culminating in 1972 with that awful compilation "Burning Love and hits from the movies", and also "Separate Ways", the Camden albums, and so on. Of course with the full support of the good ol' Colonel.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:44 pm

zolderopruiming1 wrote:Looking back we all have 20/20 vision. Elvis should have.... Elvis could have.....
Fact is the story is as it is. As for "now money", everybody at the time was in for "now money".


"Everybody"? Actually, no.

Then as now, some management teams actually care about the artist, their goals and their professional future.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 8:55 pm

mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.[/
quote]
Yes they did have the connections. Atlantic were a very big company. Maybe not as big as RCA in the 50's but they certainly had money to promote. Atlantic grew and grew as a company and was a very well respected label.


For the umpteenth time Atlantic records in that period didn't have as many connections as RCA did.

They were nowhere near as big as RCA in 1955/1956.

You clearly know very little about Atlantic Records. You have a lot of learning to do. And don't come back saying i've got a lot of learning to do...i know RCA were a big record conpany, the bigest. But Atlantic were doing very well, they could have handled Preskey, no problem.

Atlantics track record of artists was exceptional and those artists sold a hell of a lot of records, they were leading conpany in r&band they grew even bigger in the 60's with that staggering soul music. Even in 55/56 they were a wealthy company. So don't tell me they couldn't handle Presley.

So what you getting uptight about, Brian? By saying "for the umpteenth time"?


I grow tired of arguing with you over stupid crap.

I think you are mistaken about Atlantic records in the 1950s and what they were then.

Anytime someone makes a valid point about Atlantic records not having the money and not as much connections to launch Elvis' career you start this crap.

Believe what you want.

Why don't you and Atlantic records get a room.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:08 pm

brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
brian wrote:
mysterytrainrideson wrote:
promiseland wrote:
George Smith wrote:Elvis worked with enormous creative freedom at RCA during the 50s and it's difficult to say that this was a bad thing.

What Atlantic might have offered was some form of creative soundboard: EP often did his best work when challenged.

I'm not sure I can imagine anything better than "Hound Dog" or "Don't Be Cruel" ... wow ... !!

This being said, and a excellent point. So then what difference would another label have made, other than their own promotional tactics?.

Atlantic had just the same connections has RCA and Presley's management had. As i said earlier, some of Elvis' regular songwriters were also staff writers for Atlantic, even before they started writing for Elvis.


RCA was the much bigger label then and had more money to spend on promotion for Elvis.

That's very important when trying to launch a new singer.

So no they didn't have the same connections.[/
quote]
Yes they did have the connections. Atlantic were a very big company. Maybe not as big as RCA in the 50's but they certainly had money to promote. Atlantic grew and grew as a company and was a very well respected label.


For the umpteenth time Atlantic records in that period didn't have as many connections as RCA did.

They were nowhere near as big as RCA in 1955/1956.

You clearly know very little about Atlantic Records. You have a lot of learning to do. And don't come back saying i've got a lot of learning to do...i know RCA were a big record conpany, the bigest. But Atlantic were doing very well, they could have handled Preskey, no problem.

Atlantics track record of artists was exceptional and those artists sold a hell of a lot of records, they were leading conpany in r&band they grew even bigger in the 60's with that staggering soul music. Even in 55/56 they were a wealthy company. So don't tell me they couldn't handle Presley.

So what you getting uptight about, Brian? By saying "for the umpteenth time"?


I grow tired of arguing with you over stupid crap.

I think you are mistaken about Atlantic records in the 1950s and what they were then.

Anytime someone makes a valid point about Atlantic records not having the money and not as much connections to launch Elvis' career you start this crap.

Believe what you want.

Why don't you and Atlantic records get a room.

Ooooooooooo, aren't you a touchy fella! And i've grown tired of your lack of knowledge!

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:15 pm

Mysterytrain clearly knows more about this subject than anyone else and he'd be a fool to listen to differing views.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:18 pm

I think RCA was the bigger company in 1956, yes, but I believe Atlantic had its pulse on what was happening in the music industry way more than RCA did. Elvis still would have recorded those great songs he did in 1956 no matter what the label, but just the roster of talent Atlantic had in 1956 was second to none as far as writers, arrangers, artists, especially for the youth explosion. Certainly hipper than RCA. Ahmet & Wexler were visionaries like Sam Phillips only at a bigger label with a lot more cash. RCA had no one like this (Steve Sholes lol?) Elvis was the first to explore this kind of music for RCA. Atlantic had been doing it since the early 50's like SUN. Sam himself has stated he was disappointed with what RCA had done with Elvis initially.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:23 pm

r&b wrote:I think RCA was the bigger company in 1956, yes, but I believe Atlantic had its pulse on what was happening in the music industry way more than RCA did. Elvis still would have recorded those great songs he did in 1956 no matter what the label, but just the roster of talent Atlantic had in 1956 was second to none as far as writers, arrangers, artists, especially for the youth explosion. Certainly hipper than RCA. Ahmet & Wexler were visionaries like Sam Phillips only at a bigger label with a lot more cash. RCA had no one like this (Steve Sholes lol?) Elvis was the first to explore this kind of music for RCA. Atlantic had been doing it since the early 50's like SUN. Sam himself has stated he was disappointed with what RCA had done with Elvis initially.

Hope your reading this, Brian.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:29 pm

We just imagine how great could be in the 70's a collaboration of Elvis if he moved to Atlantic with the great Led Zeppelin band and many others. I know at RCA was also David Bowie in the 70's but Atlantic had so many great names at that time. So I think Elvis could make a greater music in the 60's and 70's if he moved to Atlantic. But of course, if he fired the Colonel, because Parker was always connected to RCA.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:00 pm

r&b wrote:I think RCA was the bigger company in 1956, yes, but I believe Atlantic had its pulse on what was happening in the music industry way more than RCA did. Elvis still would have recorded those great songs he did in 1956 no matter what the label, but just the roster of talent Atlantic had in 1956 was second to none as far as writers, arrangers, artists, especially for the youth explosion. Certainly hipper than RCA. Ahmet & Wexler were visionaries like Sam Phillips only at a bigger label with a lot more cash. RCA had no one like this (Steve Sholes lol?) Elvis was the first to explore this kind of music for RCA. Atlantic had been doing it since the early 50's like SUN. Sam himself has stated he was disappointed with what RCA had done with Elvis initially.


Therein lies the problem with this discussion.

I have never disputed what Atlantic records would have done creatively with Elvis had they gotten him over RCA in 1955.

Largely because it's all speculative and we don't know what would have happened had he went to Atlantic records.

I'm speaking of the financial aspect of the music business which is very important.

The problem is that Mysterytrain likes the artists that recorded for Atlantic in the 1950s and 1950s more than RCA and he dreams about Elvis recording for them.

Mysterytrain is looking at it more from a creative point of view rather than a financial one.

Also of course anyone that agrees with him is a genius and anyone that has a different point of view is an idiot.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 10:28 pm

Unfortunately, in the 1963-1977 years, RCA had little to promote Elvis and sometimes they shortchanged him. If Elvis didn't record at American Studios in 1969 such wonderful songs (thanks, again, Chips Moman and Marty Lacker) now we could have only one major hit of Elvis (Burning Love) recorded in 14 years - Crying in the Chappel was recorded in 1960-. So what did RCA for Elvis in 14 years? Just flooding the market with many substandard releases and treating Elvis always like a cash cow?

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:09 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Unfortunately, in the 1963-1977 years, RCA had little to promote Elvis and sometimes they shortchanged him. If Elvis didn't record at American Studios in 1969 such wonderful songs (thanks, again, Chips Moman and Marty Lacker) now we could have only one major hit of Elvis (Burning Love) recorded in 14 years - Crying in the Chappel was recorded in 1960-. So what did RCA for Elvis in 14 years? Just flooding the market with many substandard releases and treating Elvis always like a cash cow?


I'm sorry to keep on about this, but RCA did not choose which songs Elvis sang and that is the crux of the problem: there are a few records which could have charted higher during the later years with more promotional push but how many of Elvis' later singles and albums truly deserved to hit the top 5?

RCA didn't want Jarvis on A&R and production but Elvis did, and indeed employed Felton as his personal producer.

It was great that Elvis recorded with Chips in 1969 but that was not RCA's decision: they had no say over where Elvis chose to record.

I agree that better promotion and better programmed (and fewer) albums might have helped but it really comes down to the songs that Elvis chose to sing and that had nothing at all to with RCA Victor.

I have a list of complaints regarding RCA's treatment of Elvis which is as long as anyone elses but I can't hold them responsible for the songs Elvis chose.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:20 pm

RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:35 pm

brian wrote:RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

I have no real evidence either way, Brian, but it would seem logical that RCA did promote their top-selling artist.

"Suspicious Minds" went to number one because it was a fabulous song with a great Elvis performance: doubtless RCA's promotion helped too.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:47 pm

Exactly. By the way, in 1970 RCA flooded the market with too many LP's, some of them of low quality. And in the 70's they included many leftovers in Elvis albums like Hey Jude in Elvis Now. After the Aloha triumph they released the mediocre Elvis 1973 LP, just for the quantity, not quality. Of course, it was also Elvis's fault who signed in 1973 a new contract with RCA which included 3 LP's per year, thanks again to Colonel Parker and RCA for such a hectic schedule release.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:51 pm

George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

I have no real evidence either way, Brian, but it would seem logical that RCA did promote their top-selling artist.

"Suspicious Minds" went to number one because it was a fabulous song with a great Elvis performance: doubtless RCA's promotion helped too.


George,

RCA promoted ''Suspicious minds'' it was all over the radio.

It takes major promotion from record labels for anyone to have a number one single.

If RCA hadn't of promoted it the song would have sank without a trace regardless of quality.

There is a lot that factors into having hit records it's not all about quality.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:03 am

Ok, but what about I'm Leavin', American Trilogy, Until it's Time for You to Go, I've Lost You, There Goes My Everything, T.R.O.U.B.l.E ? These great songs were minor hits in the Bilboard Hot 100 of the 70s's, what promotion did RCA for them?

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:06 am

brian wrote:
George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

I have no real evidence either way, Brian, but it would seem logical that RCA did promote their top-selling artist.

"Suspicious Minds" went to number one because it was a fabulous song with a great Elvis performance: doubtless RCA's promotion helped too.


George,

RCA promoted ''Suspicious minds'' it was all over the radio.

It takes major promotion from record labels for anyone to have a number one single.

If RCA hadn't of promoted it the song would have sank without a trace regardless of quality.

There is a lot that factors into having hit records it's not all about quality.


I'm sure you're right, Brian, this is not an area that I specialise in and I have no personal memories of that period.

But I would also suggest that the song wouldn't have hit the top spot without being unquestionably brilliant.

Which does beg the question: Which is more important -- performance or promotion?

Or is it a little bit of both?

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:09 am

jurasic1968 wrote:Ok, but what about I'm Leavin', American Trilogy, Until it's Time for You to Go, I've Lost You, There Goes My Everything, T.R.O.U.B.l.E ? These great songs were minor hits in the Bilboard Hot 100 of the 70s's, what promotion did RCA for them?


I didn't say RCA promoted Elvis in the 1970s.

Also I don't think most of the songs you mention were that commercial.

Re: Elvis & Atlantic Records

Sun Jul 14, 2013 12:10 am

George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:
George Smith wrote:
brian wrote:RCA actually did promote Elvis in the 1960s if you don't like the material he was putting out that's a different matter.

After all ''Suspicious minds'' never would have went to #1 if RCA hadn't of promoted it.

I have no real evidence either way, Brian, but it would seem logical that RCA did promote their top-selling artist.

"Suspicious Minds" went to number one because it was a fabulous song with a great Elvis performance: doubtless RCA's promotion helped too.


George,

RCA promoted ''Suspicious minds'' it was all over the radio.

It takes major promotion from record labels for anyone to have a number one single.

If RCA hadn't of promoted it the song would have sank without a trace regardless of quality.

There is a lot that factors into having hit records it's not all about quality.


I'm sure you're right, Brian, this is not an area that I specialise in and I have no personal memories of that period.

But I would also suggest that the song wouldn't have hit the top spot without being unquestionably brilliant.

Which does beg the question: Which is more important -- performance or promotion?

Or is it a little bit of both?


not every song that is a big hit is a good song.