Thursday, June 29, 2006

Elvis Presley

Who's in charge of Elvis Presley's back catalog at BMG/RCA? It's frustrating for someone who would want to collect all of his catalog that it is not in print all at the same time.

Sure, one could easily buy the 50s, 60s and 70s box sets, but you still are missing virtually all of Elvis' sacred material, not to mention the movie material (which has been out of print for years).

The worst treatment was and is Elvis' 70s material. It was shoddily handled when it first came out and hasn't really improved since. Amazingly, Elvis had a bit his in 1972 with "Burning Love" and it was attached to a new album of old movie tunes when it first came out instead of an album of all new material.

They've tried to make amends with a revamped "Burning Love" CD which is supposed to take tracks Elvis was working on at the same time to give a semblance of a real album, but even this compilation has its drawbacks as their is too much reliability on live tracks of older tunes.

The 70s box set sucks because it's not comprehensive, so there are still a few missing tracks (unlike the 50s box which is essentially complete), so you have to seek out the odd 70s album from out of print CDs such as "Love Letters from Elvis", "Elvis (Fool)", "Raised on Rock", "Elvis Now", etc. to get these tracks.

Again, the 70s box has too much "live" material. Can BMG/RCA just issue the original albums with bonus tracks and keep them in print? There are about 47 different compilations out at present that seem to rely on the same 30 tunes.

The only valid compilations should be the "#1" and "Second to None" compilations and all of the others could/should be retired in favor of keeping all of Elvis' material in print in some form.

That's why I was always traditionally a Beatles fan. When they put them out on CD, they made it easy. If you want all of the material The Beatles released from 1962-1970 at EMI, you need to only purchase 15 CDs, and that's available in a box set!


Mark Arnold

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