Ultimate Gospel Press Release

Following is a press release from BMG regarding a new gospel compilation. BMG/RCA TO RELEASE “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” ON MARCH 23RD First-Ever Greatest Hits Gospel Album Features all of Elvis’ Greatest Inspirational Recordings Elvis Presley is an entertainment legend whose influence on the music industry is unsurpassed. While many people may at first associate Elvis with rock music, some of Elvis’ most profound influences, and his most popular recordings, have been gospel music. More than 250 million Elvis gospel recordings have been sold in the U.S. alone, but never before has there been a greatest hits collection of these inspirational songs. On March 23rd, BMG Strategic Marketing Group/RCA Music Group will release the single-disc Elvis gospel compilation: “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL.” Growing up, religious music played a central role in Elvis’ daily life. The Presley family attended The First Assembly of God Church in small-town Tupelo, Mississippi. When Elvis was just three or four years old, he would walk up to the choir in the middle of church and start beating time. As a teenager in Memphis, Elvis and his friends would sneak into churches in primarily black neighborhoods just to listen to the music. The welcoming congregations and stirring music inspired Elvis’ appreciation of the multiple facets of religious music. Elvis and his family were also fans of the Grand Ole Opry, a syndicated Nashville radio broadcast with country music stars who often included religious songs in their repertoire. Elvis went on to record gospel albums himself, with his first, "How Great Thou Art" winning Elvis his first Grammy Award. “How Great Thou Art” mesmerized many fans who had never even heard gospel music. Elvis went on to win two more Grammy Awards in his lifetime for his gospel efforts. Scheduled for release on March 23, 2004, “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL,” is one of the most highly-anticipated CDs of the year. The long-overdue album is the first-ever greatest hits single-disc Elvis gospel compilation from BMG, with all of Elvis’ greatest inspirational recordings. With more than an hour of music on 24 tracks, this album is the ultimate collection of Elvis gospel hits. “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” provides testament to Elvis’ musical excellence and acknowledges the priceless contribution of the talented songwriters, musicians and producers involved. “The importance of gospel music in the life of Elvis Presley cannot be overstated,” said Joe DiMuro, Executive Vice President BMG Strategic Marketing. “‘ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL’ is a fundamental, and long overdue, addition to the Elvis catalog.” The 24 tracks on “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” are Elvis’ most inspirational recordings. They include such timeless religious songs as “Amazing Grace,” “Crying In The Chapel,” ”How Great Thou Art” and ““Peace In The Valley.” All of the tracks were mastered from original master tapes using DSD technology to ensure optimum sound quality. The clean, elegant album cover features a photograph of Elvis’ famous profile, head bowed and eyes closed. Elvis’ musical contributions are unsurpassed: He is the only artist to be inducted into all three music Halls of Fame, including Rock n’ Roll, Country and Gospel. He holds the record for most top 10 pop singles (40), the most gold and platinum awards (148) and is the world’s best selling artist, having sold more records than any other artist in history. His popularity remains intact to this day as there are more active Elvis Presley fan clubs around the world than for any other artist – dead or alive. The historic release of “ELVIS 30 #1 HITS” by BMG/RCA in 2002 not only thrilled long-standing Elvis enthusiasts, but introduced millions of new fans to the music of Elvis for the first time. In 2003, BMG/RCA followed up the triple-platinum “#1”s with another, complementary compilation of hits, “ELVIS 2ND TO NONE,” which has already been certified platinum. “ELVIS 2ND TO NONE” presented an even broader range of Elvis’ talents and incorporated multiple musical genres including R&B, rock ‘n roll, pop, country, dance and rockabilly. Now, “ELVIS ULTIMATE GOSPEL” will be a true testament to the musical legend’s incredible breadth of work. Track Listing: How Great Thou Art So High Amazing Grace Crying In The Chapel You’ll Never Walk Alone Swing Down Sweet Chariot Milky White Way His Hand In Mine I Believe In The Man In The Sky Where Could I Go But To The Lord If The Lord Wasn’t Walking By My Side Run On He Touched Me Bosom Of Abraham Lead Me, Guide Me Joshua Fit The Battle If We Never Meet Again I, John Reach Out To Jesus Who Am I? Help Me Miracle Of The Rosary Take My Hand, Precious Lord (There’ll Be) Peace In The Valley (For Me)
Source: EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises / Updated: Feb 26, 2004 

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gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 9, 2004report abuse
Actually it is 2 weeks from today that the 'Ultimate Gospel will be released. Can't wait. IN Nashville the actual construction of the Gospel Hall of fame, will be completed by the end of this year. Hopefully, they will have a nice grand opening party, and play alot of Elvis Gospel music. Right now, there is just an area where his plaque is displayed, and soon there will be an actual building.
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 6, 2004report abuse
Just 2 weeks, and the new 'Elvis Ultimate Gopel', will be released...
TonyP (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2004report abuse
Good news that an Elvis song was included on the compilation linked with the film. Perhaps I was a little pessimistic with my previous comment :-)
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 4, 2004report abuse
Well, if 'Ultimate Gospel', Elvis' new CD, doesnt tie into the 'Passion of Christ, Mel Gibson colaborated with a nashville company on songs inspired by the Christ, and Elvis Presley's 'Where no one stands alone', will be on it. Some good news. The song is one of my favorite Elvis Gospel songs...
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2004report abuse
Respectfully, I don't agree with Tony about the tie into the Passion. People are converting with this movie. It does not tie in directly, but indirectly, as a result. The violence is what it was during the last day's of Jesus. That is what leading up to the crucifiction was. To get to the very greatest of who we are, we must go through the very least of who we are. That is true spiritual evolution, and accepting that is forgiveness, hope and connecting with our own soul. Elvis gospel music can help greatly with that, because he sang it from that point of view.
TonyP (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2004report abuse
I have my doubts about the cross marketing potential of the gospel album with the movie The Passion. The Passion presents a brutal, violent and shocking portrayal of the last 12 hours of the life of Jesus. It has little in common with an hour spent listening to Elvis delivering fine reditions of southern spirituals. I don't see that the two will link well at all. It's not like The Passion will create a Christianity kick and legions of converts. Perhaps the better marketing strategy would be to focus around the forthcoming Easter celebrations?
Scotch (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2004report abuse
James 69, you said, "by the way it is currently at number 430,691 in sales at amazon.com!". As of right now, the ranking is at 25,443. Quite an increase. Obviously the numbers are going to be in the thousands, then hundreds, then tens as the release date approaches and the marketing campaign occurs. Some of you need to get this through your head: BMG does not release every CD for YOU. They release them for you, me and the other guy.
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 2, 2004report abuse
Hopefully BMG will start promoting this new'Elvis ultimate Gospel' within the next week or so. It would be ashame not to take advantage of all the emotional energy of 'the Passion'.. We shall see..
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2004report abuse
That is all true Tony. But, the key now is the level of marketing and promotion BMG does to make this happen in a big way. It can, especially now with the Mel Gibson movie tie in...
TonyP (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2004report abuse
This is of course marketing spin on the part of BMG, but so what? They know that the diehards like us are wise to it, but the spin isn't really aimed at us. There is a concerted effort to get new fans on board and to encourage what you might call casual fans to explore more of Elvis' repertoire. I for one think it's fantastic that Elvis' material is being repackaged and marketed in this way. Sure we have the tracks numerous times on different collections, but this looks like quite a marketable format, eg it's far more likely to sell than a 3-CD complete gospel set. None of us are forced to part with our cash if we don't want to buy it. Let's look at the bigger picture. It's a great selection of tracks and anyone who bought 30#1s and wants to look beyond the greatest hits shouldn't be disappointed. The way some people talk on here, anyone would think BMG had forced them to sign a contract obligating them to purchase every release, irrespective of their personal views on it.
corey3rd (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 28, 2004report abuse
BMG cracks me up. But this makes sense. Two of the highest selling Elvis titles are the 3 CD and 2 CD Gospel sets. So why not put out a single disc of it for the people not interested in buying the higher price sets. But will BMG be yanking an Elvis title in order to keep the catalog from going out of control.
VanGogh (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
"Elvis went on to record gospel albums himself, with his first, "How Great Thou Art" winning Elvis his first Grammy Award. “How Great Thou Art” mesmerized many fans who had never even heard gospel music." Uhhh, anybody else think it's odd that BMG/RCA doesn't even know what Elvis' FIRST gospel album was? "His Hand In Mine" ring any bells? It's the name of one of the tracks on this CD. I guess the quote about his first gospel album winning his first Grammy just sounded better than his second gospel album winning his first Grammy. Ahhh, accuracy has never been of much concern with the way Elvis and his music have been treated at RCA anyway. Afterall, if they think we're stupid enough to rebuy the same gospel collection over and over again ("Peace in the Valley:the complete gospel collection" and "Amazing Grace" immediately come to mind, but their have been plenty over the years) I guess they assume we're too stupid to know that "His Hand In Mine" came out 7 years before "How Great Thou Art."
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
The point is; it is BMG's responsibility, to make sure they do a major campaign on the lines of 'Elvis 30's', so the youth and others will become aware of the depth in this side of Elvis. They promote the hell out of Rod stewart singing classics. If they design a commercial with that in mind,and give it network exposure, the sales will go through the roof. Does anyone realize this is a perfect time due to all the emotional energy of Mel Gibsons movie. This would have a secondary benefit in putting Elvis's last two major releases back in the top 40... It's win, win for BMG. The media will get behind it, if BMG starts the ball rolling, and the media know about it... INstead of us talking , lets think of something to do.. We as a group of loyal fans certainly can brain storm as well as the pin-heads on Donald Trumps apprentice show.lol Only kidding. Come on guy's think of something.....
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
Yes, slip of the tongue ! I meant BMG and not EPE, my apologies.
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
And by the way it is currently at number 430,691 in sales at amazon.com!!
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
Jim Semple, this has nothing to do with EPE, it is BMG releasing this, I am sure you must know this. Funny BMG is making this sound like as they say a "Highly Anticipated" album of 2004....Gimme a break....We are only weeks away from this release and the media ain't touching it, or should I say the media ain't talking about it at all. "30 #1 Hits" had plenty of people talking months before it's release, and BMG dare say that this Gospel cd is one of the most "Highly Anticipated" cd's of 2004? Who are they kidding?
Jim Semple (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
What concerns me is all this about the ''new sound''. Some tracks on other ''new sound'' CDs to me don't sound any different at all. The problem is, in 2 years time, 5 years time, 10 years time, sounds will improve and improve, so do EPE keep releasing the same compilations time and time again ?? I reckon in 5 years time, we will have numerous versions of the same CD !!
dismas (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
"Highly anticipated"? "Long overdue"? Are you kidding me, or what? Throughout his 23-year recording career, Elvis only recorded three full gospel LPs, two gospel singles, one gospel EP and a handful of other religious tracks that were included on his secular albums. Since his death in '77, they've been the most reshuffled and reissued tracks this side of his equally limited number of Christmas recordings. The most recent of these rereleases, "Christmas/Peace," first appeared in CD shops mere months ago. I'll buy it for the upgraded sound, but I'll also feel like a sucker for doing so. As much as I really do love this stuff, I've gotta ask, "When is enough finally gonna be enough?"
Pharamond (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
For the ........ and the last time.
kelvin m wilson (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
as someone who loves elvis' gospel work i hope that this release will get all the promotion bmg can put behind it and so introduce this side of elvis to a new generation of fans. from there hopefully they will digress into all elvis music and films.
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
Well Cruiser. If you're not a fan of Elvis Gospel music, then please let the Fans make that decision. This is the first time the songs will be re-mastered, so for those who have it already, the re-mastering will be a wonderful addition , and for those that don't, it introduces them to one of the most important aspects of the mans life.
Cruiser2145 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 27, 2004report abuse
What a rip off!! How many times does BMG stoop to the coffers of greed?
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 26, 2004report abuse
Great News. I love it.. Now, if BMG can only put together a blockbuster promotional campaign. They will not only bring E30's back to the top 40charts,but also '2nd to none'..This album will show the world why Elvis is King. He took the core of both black and white gospel music and brought it to the center. When he did it in 1966,he was the one that made Gospel music cool, and his 'Crying In the Chapel' single, was the only Gospel song to go to Number 3 on the billboard pop charts, ever..We needed it then, and now we need it more than ever. The youth culture need it. They need to hear it, not from the ego, but from the heart and soul, the way Elvis give's it to you...

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