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Too Much (Of Everything)

By Peter VerbruggenMar 12, 2005
I bet I’m not the only one to think so – but maybe I’m the first to speak out… I’m wondering in all sincerity: aren’t we getting an OD lately? Don’t get me wrong: a day without Elvis is a day not lived. Elvis is literally everywhere in my life: in my car, on my tv, against the wall – hell, even on my desk. But what I mean is: isn’t BMG/Sony overdoing it? Aren’t the Powers that Be releasing Too Much for the average fan? And if so, is there a risk of loosing fans along the way? The answer, I’m afraid, is plain and simple: yes.

Let’s take a minute to see what we need to buy the first few months of the year, only to keep track with the Elvis world. Or differently put: what kind of money do we have to spend to stay a happy, up-to-date fan?

First off, we have the wonderful FTD series. Just out are the movie FTDs “Kid Galahad” and “Follow That Dream”. Up next are the book and 2CD “Rockin’ Across Texas”, the live concert “Big Boss Man” and the 2CD “Elvis Is Back”, followed by the 2CD “Elvis Today” – a total of, roughly, 175 euro, maybe more.

Then, there’s the BMG releases “Love, Elvis” (one unreleased track!) and the 2CD “Elvis By The Presley’s”, another 45 to 50 euro. And while we’re at it, let’s include Lisa’s 2nd CD as well – just the ‘clean’ version please: 20 euro. Now, which fan hasn’t bought the CD and vinyl sets of the “UK N° One Hits”? Didn’t we all wanted Elvis to conquer the charts again? I did, for one. I bought both sets (250 euro), didn’t you?

Perhaps even more interesting, are the new DVDs: “It Happened At The World’s Fair” (15 euro) and “Elvis By The Presley’s” (30 euro). Books… how many do you need? Let’s stick to the must-haves only, such as “A Date With Elvis” (50 euro), “Elvis In Munich” (40 euro) “Elvis Talk” (20 euro) and “Like A Prince From Another Planet” (20 euro).

Without even mentioning the countless import CDs (including true gems such as “Bilko’s Gold Cuts” and “Hampton Roads”), eBay treasures, or rare promo records, we come to a total of 700+ euro. In addition to that, there’s “Elvis The Concert” (60 euro) and a bunch of new souvenirs that yell out our names. Or differently put: we need at least 125 to 150 euro a month to continue our hobby. If we can’t afford it, we’ll regret it later on – after all interesting titles have gone.

I’m old enough – 38 – to have known the times when all the fans got was another Best Off-album and a lousy bootleg-LP (remember “Oh Happy Day” or “The On Tour Soundtrack”? Weren’t we excited as kids in a toy store?). I’m not saying that things were better back then – far on the contrary. It is wonderful to be an Elvis fan in the new millennium. But being president of a fanclub with close to 900 members, I know by experience that not everybody is able to make ends meet anymore – especially when BMG is flooding the market as they have been doing these past couple of months. Oddly enough, it seems that, in a way, BMG/Sony wants to compensate the lack of releases in the eighties and early nineties by continuously releasing new titles. The UK 18#1 box sets aren’t even complete yet, and already we know that Autumn brings us more of the same: a 20 piece US box in at least two different formats…

Who are we to complain, as long as the BMG Bosses don’t forget to look back and assure themselves that everybody is still on board. We all know that first class bullet trains are for the rich only – and in Elvis’s case that’s just not right: everybody’s entitle to enjoy his legacy and the new releases. I would hate it if the constant flood of (expensive) new releases divides the fans in two parts; those who can afford their hobby, and those who have to settle for less - or worse: for copied CDRs. In that case, ironically, BMG/Sony will have maneuvered the fans exactly to where they don’t want them to have them. Fans who stop buying the original product, are of no interest to the record company. Let’s hope BMG is smarter than that. But that is just my opinion.

Peter Verbruggen

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Reactions

see see rider (profilecontact) wrote on Nov 27, 2005report abuse
i say keep the releases comin'. no one says you gotta go out and buy them all in one day. if you're a fan of something or somebody, too much is never enough. i don't think the FTD stuff is going anywhere, their selling too much of it for it to go out of print. besides, they no there's still alot of people in the world that still don't have it all or are just getting started. also for the record, i have both of lisa's cd's, not because she's elvis's daughter, but because i think she's proved she's made her own mark and the music is great.
50millionfanscantbew (profilecontact) wrote on Jun 28, 2005report abuse
Be carefull what you buy
Eduardo (profilecontact) wrote on May 19, 2005report abuse
You are SO right Peter Verbruggen - By the way great work you did with Wilkinson. Want to come and visit you/see you next time in Brussels. Totally agree with you, BMG and EPE seems to be on a rollercoaster ride with apprarently NO planning nor any marketing sense behind the whole operation of releasing and re-releasing the same materials over & over again. The prices of the CDs with books are outrageous and I refuse to buy them as a principle. The book from the Presley is another rip off. Is that what we can expect from Sillerman & his boys/girls ?? Would love to read many silent elvis fans reactions on this. Badly needed now.
jeremytcb (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 30, 2005report abuse
Put me down as another who disagrees. I know a lot of Elvis fans that are getting up in years. no need to trickle it out. It is not like the releases won't be there if you can't afford to get them all now. I can still get every one of the FTDs that have been released so far. Put it out and let the people decide what they want to buy. As you have seen most people don't buy all of it anyway. I am mainly interested in soundboards and some people in alternate takes - give the people releases to chose from. I remember the bad old days...no complaining here!
cathyreno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2005report abuse
Hi everyone, I agree with most of your comments personally
If I really want it I'll buy it ie '68 delux box set' and the 'aloha set' So far I havent been dissapointed at what I can get, be interesting to see what xtra footage will be in the 'Elvis ' By the presleys. T C B
JerryNodak (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 18, 2005report abuse
Release 'em by the truckload, Ernst. I'm not getting any younger. I'd like to enjoy all the Elvis I can while I'm still able. Much of Elvis' core audience is now in its fifties or older. Release the stuff NOW!! Don't wait.
joemin (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
The real problem with too many simultaneous releases is that it impacts on chart performance. I would love to see the TV soundtrack make #1 around the world. However, I fear that the abundance of other product available will syphon away demand for the album among casual fans. I think BMG MUST focus on getting a #1 album every year, or every 2 years at most.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
glennd: not anymore, to my opinion. I think I already own all interesting bootlegs. And, before all, I don't want audience recordings.
glennd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 16, 2005report abuse
PAULFROMFRANCE: There are indeed interesting bootlegs. TCB.
dailyone (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 15, 2005report abuse
if no one wanted to buy, there wouldnt be any
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2005report abuse
glennd: Do you mean an official company like BMG must take in consideration the fact that some outlaw companies use their "product" name (providing Elvis is a product), to manage the way they have to release records ?? There is allways something funny to read on this board. :-))) Anyway, there isn't any interesting bootlegs anymore. So...
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2005report abuse
As if Sony/BMG /FTD should slow down because of bootleggers... LOL. There aren't many decent bootlegs releases lately anyway. Still I think the flood of (especially FTD releases) is heavy, but I'll struggle and survive :-)
glennd (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2005report abuse
I think BMG and FTD should slow down there releases a little bit cause it is too much of everything outthere. We have the official Cds and FTD and also the Bootlegs. So we should be happy, but some of us aren´t happy, included me.
TCB.
ranger (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 14, 2005report abuse
I think that the worrying thing doesn't so much concern the fanatical Elvis fan who will buy anything, but rather the casual potential buyer. In my opinion it was a mistake to release the singles on a weekly basis; this saturation has backfired in the guise of sniping and ridicule. Any future campaigns should be more streamlined, with a greater gap between releases. It seems that the record industry has two policies on releasing back catalogue material. Either flood the market (Elvis, The Rolling Stones re-issues in 2002) or release absolutely nothing (Dylan's Basement Tapes, The Beatles Xmas Flexis, early Syd Barrett/Pink Floyd material). On a personal note, I'm new to these Elvis 'imports' and I plan to limit myself to 50s material...which is quite handy because there doesn't seem to be such an abundance of product from this particular era.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Ton: ok, I will not do it ! :-) ElvisNews: Thanks. I totally forgot we could contact some members this way. Not me. :-))))
emjel (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
I haven't got a problem in the quantity of items that are released. As has been said, no one is forcing you to buy it all immediately - just as long as it is available for a while. There are many fans who haven't got time on their hands now - we're all getting older - and the more out-takes that are made available, the better I and no doubt many others, like it. I know many fans like the live stuff and soundboards, but in all reality, how many times can you listen to Elvis (post 1972) throw away classic hits of Hound Dog etc at breakneck speed, and go through the same motions with Love Me etc. Elvis sounds as bored as I am listening to them. Of course, if they were coupled with film, then that would be another matter altogether!!
scarlet o hara (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
It's really good that there is a good choice out there. But I decided a few years ago that I wouldn't buy the stuff that I have allready got. But I will buy as many concerts as I can afford as I feel that this was the real Elvis, and I love the way he felt so close to the audience. I just wish I could have gone to see him myself. If BMG and FTD want to dish these out by the ship load, then I will buy them. And I have to confess, I have actually bought my first Elvis t-shirt, which I wear with pride nearly everyday, and I've been a fan for over 35 years! Also not forgetting all the posters that I have bought over the internet which 30 years ago would not have been possible.
I suppose the problem was that all those years ago we couldn't get hold of all the stuff that we can today. I mean to be able to see Elvis in such great detail in my front room is absolutely amazing, we were lucky to get a brief glimpse of him on top of the pops in the seventies, so I say if there is the demand out there, then just keep bringing it on.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Don't do it Paul, you'll be banned ! lol.
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Ton, actually, it's 64.95 Euros (+ postage, of course, so depending where you live, maybe it could be 79 Euros. But I don't know if I can put an url here without taking the risk to be banned. Is there a webmaster to tell me what I can do here ? :-)

ElvisNews: You can contact Ton by clicking his name
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Paul, were do you buy it for 65 euro ?
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Ton: "Rocking accross Texas" is 69 Euros at Amazon (in France at least), and 65 Euros in Holland (where I buy all the FTDs).
PaulFromFrance (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Peter, I understand your point, but: We don't have to buy all the books. The only recent one that could interest me, is "Elvis in Munich", because it's European, so, generally speaking, more "in-depth" and/or with more "never-seen before" pictures (like "Elvis in Paris"). Unfortunately, they didn't answered to my mail asking to how to buy it. About the BMG/Sony releases, they can't do otherwise. Why ? Because the fan base is getting older, and we need everything we can get before it's too late.
So, for me, the right way is to buy all the Elvis music I can (the FTD serie is number one stuff to my taste), buy all the official DVDs (even the movies I have a hard time to handle), and make a strong selection among the books.
No need to buy Lisa's records, just because we enjoy her father's music.
About the official releases, we can make some drastic choices: for example, I don't buy the U.K. vinyl singles, only the CDs (because of the covers). I agree that all of this is expensive, and that everyone can't offer everything, but it can't be otherwise. I don't want to wait 30 years to have it all, because... I'll be dead in 30 years (and I'd be happy to have 30 years). It's as simple as this.
Ton Bruins (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
I think Peter is right. The advantage I have is that I skipp the soundtracks of those silly movies. That saves me money. In the near future I will buy "Big Boss Man", "Elvis Is Back", "Elvis Today" and the imports "A Legendary Performer, vol. 5" and "Keep The Fire Burning". There fore I have to skipp "Rockin' Across Texas" because I think that 79 euro is way to much for a book and 2 soundboards. It's true that in the past I payed 20 or 25 dutch guilders for a CD, today it's about 25 euro for a normal FTD CD. That's more than 50 guilders ! But I am not complaining either, because we fans always wanted those soundboards and CD's full of outtakes. So just buy what you can affort and what you like.
elvinpelvin (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
Peter V. I think you're wrong. I agree, that there is a lot of material to keep up with. But, an average fan, does not have to buy them all. You gotta remember, there is so much, so much, so much Elvis memorabilia out there that's collectable. My point is, even if RCA/BMG, and FTD, stopped releasing cd's for quite awhile, unless you're a multi-millionare, the average fan can not keep buying the collectables and cd's they want. I'm happy for the variety of cd's to choose from now. You also forget that you're a veteran Elvis fan. What about the new generation of fans that are just starting out, getting to know Elvis for the very first time. I've been a fan for 20 years. When I was first introduced to this magic and electricity called Elvis, I bought everything I could get my hands on.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 13, 2005report abuse
OD? You don't have to buy everything. It's good that now we have a bigger and better choice to choose from. Keep releasing them BMG/ Warner/ EPE etc MORE please...
jb gude (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
I have often complained about the ridiculously high prices being charged by the FTD: It is however apparent that there are more than enough customers to keep BMG thowing out the releases at a manic schedule: I just cannot fathom the logic of BMG they want to give the fans alternate takes -so they put out a special FTD at a fancy price -just so they can protect the general public !
Can they not release these at a budget price with a sticker advising the public that it is alternate material and reccomended for the serious Elvis collector ? Will they offend the public ? are the public too dumb not to know what is a "collectors series" ?
Ofcourse with the BMGs policy many fans themselves are confused -take the Romantic, Valentines and other in the same genre - ofcourse not forgetting the recent "Love" ,with " Old Shep" " If I can dream" and an "unreleased" -take what a dishonest statement to publish.
I have reluctantly stopped buying many of the FTD's put out in the last few months, especially the movie soundtracks - I have bought just two soundtracks- I cannot justify spending that much money for tracks that I already have and for the most part not in very great improved sound quality.
I have stopped collecting books & pictures long ago : I just do not have the space or the inclination to go through these books and I fortunately do not need to get Lisa's CD's : I just am not interested in her music.
So yes BMG has managed to put off -and while I at times find myself tempted -I have decided to stay away - except for the better ones, for example the " On Tour rehearsals"
John_Burrows (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
The heck, we were starvin`in the Eighties ... so keep ´em releases coming! :)
Tomek (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
Man I earn 200 Euro for a month here in Poland, I don't even think to buy them all, hahaha. Big Boss Man from FTD maybe and that's all I can affort. Now that's the problem :)
M.A.R.K (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
I try to follow your reasoning, Peter. But why do we need to buy everything? I am sure that every fan came make up her or his own mind as to what to purchase, and what not. And the fact that I won't buy Lisa Marie's newest (Tell Me Why, I should???) or all those useless DVD's you name, won't make me less of an Elvis enthusiast. Just make a distinction between interesting and useless, and you'll be fine. Being an Elvis fan doesn't mean having to buy everything they release or offer.
caseyiodine (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
No. I think we are gearing up for an un-believable run for Elvis. We have to stop being selfish and realize that there's a new generation out there, and that they have to be introduced in a strategic way. The years 05,06,07,08 will be all big years for Elvis,so get ready; the campaigns are lined up and rarin to go.
Lex (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 12, 2005report abuse
I could easily skip Lisa, saves me €20 :-). But I completely agree with you, it's heavy to keep up nowadays.

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