Control of RCA and the Rivalry for the music of Elvis Presley. 1974 - ELVIS RADIO 24h


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9 dic 2022

Control of RCA and the Rivalry for the music of Elvis Presley. 1974


Control of RCA and the Rivalry for the music of Elvis Presley. 1974

RCA already owned the entire catalog of Elvis Presley's songs and was willing to use it, naturally for its own benefit, even if it hampered new releases of recently recorded material by its artist. On January 1, 1974, they decided to publish a new LP, with songs that until now have not been used, as well as some alternative takes, some live recordings and interviews.

Joan Deary would combine fragments of interviews, a number that were not included in the 1968 TV special, and such well-known songs as "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Don't Be Cruel" into one album.A curious Album called "Elvis: A Legendary Performer Vol.1", which would be the first of a series of subsequent publications.

All this was the product of the idea of Joan Deary, producer at RCA, who also appeared a special cover that appeared in an elegant booklet, with twelve pages, with total freedom to repackage the old material to her liking, without having the usual interference from the Colonel Parker, no royalties to pay.

The Album would result in over 750,000 copies, which was far more than Elvis was going to sell with the three albums to be released of new Stax Studios material.

The Colonel and Elvis were losing money, but also Tom Parker would be regretting the rest of his life and Elvis too.

All this also meant a kind of internal rivalry between record publishers, which could prevent anything new that Elvis was going to record.

Joan Deary would become an executive carrying Elvis's catalog for RCA Records. She began in 1954 as secretary to Steve Sholes at RCA, later became assistant to RCA Vice President Harry Jenkins in 1972 and would go on to produce several albums for RCA, as well as being responsible for recording at January 1973 from "Aloha From Hawaii".

This ambitious producer, Joan Deary had always wanted to control the Elvis product, so she tried on previous occasions to control the production that was taking place, but this would be complicated because Elvis never wanted to replace Felton Jarvis.

As for the publication of the LP, it was also hindered or delayed because the Colonel wanted to prevent it on time at all costs. This, as was customary, had an absurd reason, since Elvis's last published album was in September 1973.

And also the publication in January of this new Lp would coincide with that of the new single, on January 10, 1974, with the songs "Got a thing on you baby" and "Take good care of her."Two Songs recorded on July 22, 1973 at Stax Studios.

Curiously, this Single announced a new program "ELVIS 1974 Easter TV Special", which would never be made. It seems that Colonel Parker's office had received a proposal between October and December of the previous year. But this misleading publication was not avoided since the proposal was finally rejected due to Elvis's busy concert schedule.

The new Single was an advance of what was going to be published on LP, in the "Good Times" Album, which would be published in March 1974. Much behind the original recordings. Everything was very slow and without any logic.

Elvis lacked a good promotion, this Single was hardly broadcast, nor would there be any publicity, so it would only reach number 39 on the Billboard charts, although it did reach number 4 on the Country charts. Sales around 500,000 copies. It must be added that the production added to the original recordings, overloading the accompaniment and overshadowing Elvis's voice, did not benefit from the final result at all.

"Elvis: A Legendary Performer Volume 1" peaked at number 43 on the charts and was subsequently certified double platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in July 1999.

What would become clear is that Elvis was still a successful product to be exploited and RCA would know how to take advantage of its value over time. Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis lost to the economic power monster, with control of the RCA and it was still only the beginning.
"Following the Path of the King..."

Information provided by De Tupelo a Memphis

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