Last week there was a reaction by EPE on this site to the "Preliminary Details On Upcoming BMG Releases". In that reaction they state about (not) providing news about the DVD-releases (NBC Special and Aloha): "No one in the world is more anxious to get these releases out there and to share all the details about them than we are, but we've learned that if we share any speculative details about an important project and something changes once things actually get finalized, fans barbecue us. That barbecuing tends to be worse than the one we get for not providing the speculative details. We get barbecued no matter what, it's just a matter of whether we want to be cooked rare or well done."
It looks they are damned right about this. Of course we do not agree on everything EPE does ourselves, but over the years we have seen so many negative comments about the company that it really is too ridiculous for words every now and then.
A small anthology of matters that passed the last couple of years:
The former DVD-releases of the NBC-special and Aloha. Many fans complained about the fact that the shows were incomplete. Yes, that was a bummer, also to us. But had EPE done nothing, wouldn't there be even more complaints? The question is who is to "blame" for the release of an incomplete show. EPE for not wanting to pay every price for the copyrights of a song, or the copyrightowner trying to cash in on Elvis?
Last year EPE tried to stop Elvis-fests using Elvis name. Many fans welcomed that decision, since impersonators are a thorn in the flesh of many of them (also according to a vast majority of our visitors). A few bigmouthed impersonator lovers shouted and EPE recalled their decision, giving the majority of fans reason to complain again. The recent reactions on our site on EPE not allowing an Elvis tribute in Chicago is a good example.
Many fans complain about the tacky stuff EPE sells, making Elvis look like a Disney-product. Besides the fact that a lot of the stuff really hurts the eye, it is understandable that EPE cashes in on the people that want to throw their money away. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of 'fans' that have more painted plates on the wall, or magnets on the fridge than records on the shelves. Fact is that EPE doesn't have that much material to cash in on. The vast majority of the musical rights were sold by The Colonel (with Elvis' permission) to RCA because the couple needed the money. EPE owns the rights to the Comeback Special, Aloha From Hawaii (both the official version and the rehearsal) and the CBS Special. The first two (three) were released, the last one isn't likely to be released officially in the next ten years we guess. So besides the copyright on the name EPE can make the most money with the mansion, T-shirts (who doesn't own one?) and those "Burning Love"-candle holders.
A commercial release of "Elvis In Concert" is wanted by many fans for many years. On the other hand the other half of the fans agrees with EPE that such a release will break down all the positive things that were gained the last years, and will put the attention to the ill, bloated Elvis again and his social and culture influence will be forgotten again.
Recently we saw a lot of fans complaining about the extensive attention Lisa Marie's album got by EPE. Take a look at the EPE news section there is more news on Lisa Marie there than on Elvis ... Indeed very strange that they do use all possibilities to push a product of the companies owner, especially since it's known that a lot of Elvis fans fall for anything that has a relation to Elvis. And anyway you look at it: Lisa Marie is related to him.
Constantly fans seem to forget that there are so many opinions as fans. Obviously EPE tries to satisfy the majority and do what is best for their product. Let's be honest, that must be a hard job. Of course they had a great heritage artistically, but the problem is that there will never be an addition to that heritage and EPE doesn't control the majority of it. Take the "That's The Way It Is SE" release. EPE could only cooperate with Turner Entertainment to get this release, which a lot of fans wanted, out. And what happened... it didn't sell in the U.S.. Fortunately it did better in Europe, and especially in the U.K..
We think that especially since the 20th anniversary they really seem to listen to what the fans want and when we do have our questions by any of their decisions, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Especially since they are quite open lately, we wish other bigger firms would react on questions by email as quick as they do.
We only hope EPE will not focus all their attention on the U.S. alone, but on the whole world. Special quizzes or actions are only valid for U.S. fans, free shipping from the EPE store and Special Collectors club is only available for U.S-residents. There are fans everywhere, and don't we all want that "Burning Love"-candle holder?!