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EPE Ambitions 2007: Thirty Years Later

December 28, 2006 | Other
Pressrelease from EPE on the plans for 2007. With younger and younger audiences discovering Elvis and the number of projects planned for 2007, the King of Rock & Roll continues to entertain with a career reaching new generations. The anniversary year begins with the January 8 celebration of his birthday at Graceland and continues through Elvis Week 2007 in August, which promises to be the largest ever.

Nearly thirty years ago on August 16, 1977, legendary entertainer Elvis Presley died at age 42. In his 23-year career, he become the top-selling recording artist of the music industry, spent time on Hollywood's lists of highest paid actors and top box office draws, broke viewer ratings records with his television specials and television guest appearances, and broke concert box office records in Las Vegas and on national tour. At the start of his career, his unique, instinctive, natural blending of pop, country, gospel and R&B music, presented with his charismatic and then-provocative style, touched off a revolution in music and popular culture. Today, his influence still reverberates and his presence seems more ubiquitous than ever.

There are at least 400 active independent Elvis fan clubs around the globe and on the Internet there are hundreds of Web sites devoted to interest in the superstar in addition to the official site, Elvis.com. In recent years, Elvis CD and DVD releases have topped the sales charts in territories around the world. Today, licensing activity for official Elvis products and ventures is at an all-time high. Recently Atlantic Monthly magazine published the results of its poll of ten eminent historians to name the 100 most influential figures of American history. Elvis Presley is one of only a handful of entertainment artists to make the list.

Graceland Mansion, his beloved home in Memphis, Tennessee, which has been open for public tours since 1982, welcomes over 600,000 visitors per year - half of them today are age 35 and under. In 2006, the Graceland staff played host to President George Bush and avowed Elvis fan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi of Japan, an event that generated extensive media coverage everywhere. Also in 2006, Graceland Mansion, the most famous home in America after The White House, was designated a National Historic Landmark in recognition of the fact that Elvis Presley lived there. Presently, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. (EPE), the company that manages the Presley assets, and its parent company CKX, Inc. are engaged in developing a master plan for an extensive revamping of the property surrounding the original Graceland grounds. It’s currently scheduled to be realized within the next few years and will include new visitor amenities, exhibition and entertainment facilities, and hotels.

Now, Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. and CKX, Inc., along with their collaborators, licensees and venture partners, are preparing for a full and exciting year of activity in 2007, the 30th Anniversary of Elvis' passing, which is expected to help carry the Elvis phenomenon to even greater heights. It begins with the Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration at Graceland in January, follows through with special DVD and CD releases and special official products from licensees, and crescendos in August with what is expected to be the biggest of all the annual Elvis Week celebrations to date.

Among the key happenings in 2007 are:

The Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration

The 30th Anniversary year of 2007 will have its official kick-off with The Elvis Presley Birthday Celebration, a roster of special events at Graceland and elsewhere in Memphis, January 5 through January 8. Among the events are The Elvis Presley Birthday Pops presented by the Memphis Symphony Orchestra at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Memphis on January 6 and the annual Elvis Presley Day proclamation ceremony at Graceland Mansion on the morning of January 8.

DVD and CD Releases

Currently on the global market as the 30th Anniversary year is about to dawn are the Summer 2006 single-disc concert releases Elvis: '68 Comeback – Special Edition DVD and Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Special Edition DVD, which are follow-ups to the 2004 smash hit release of deluxe box sets of material shot for these programs, and the November 2005 release Elvis – The Ed Sullivan Shows, a three-disc DVD set containing in their entirety the three Ed Sullivan Show episodes in which Elvis appeared.

Completed and in limited release in 2006 are the single-disc DVD Elvis Lives – The 25th Anniversary Concert and the DVD box set Elvis: The Ultimate Movie Collection – Graceland Edition, both of which will see their full retail rollout in early 2007. Anticipated for 2007 are upgraded DVD re-releases and first-time DVD releases of a roster of Elvis Presley movies.

In the summer of 2007, EPE is set to release an all-new and expanded edition of its popular DVD, Elvis Presley's Graceland – The Official Tour DVD.

Information on the aforementioned DVDs can be found on Elvis.com and ElvisDVDs.com.

Details are forthcoming regarding plans by Sony BMG, owner of Elvis Presley's RCA Records label catalog, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary year.

TV Land

Throughout August 2007, the TV Land network will pay tribute to Elvis Presley featuring his movies, televisions specials and other programming, including material from Elvis: '68 Comeback – Special Edition DVD and Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Special Edition DVD. "Elvis Month" on TV Land will be complemented by an off-air promotional campaign.

Graceland's Silver & Gold Anniversary and More

The year 2007 marks not only the 30th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley, but also the 25th anniversary of the opening of Graceland Mansion for public tours and the 50th anniversary of Presley's purchase of his famed home. Elvis bought Graceland in March of 1957 and it opened to the public in June of 1982. In addition to the aforementioned new Graceland Tour DVD release, commemorating this dual anniversary will be the enormously popular artist Thomas Kinkade, who will unveil his special painting of Graceland Mansion and release limited edition prints, which will be available in both canvas and paper. The painting will be unveiled in a special event at Graceland in March 2007, approximately one year after Graceland was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Also in March 2007, a special exhibit of Elvis Presley's stage costumes from the major concert era of his career, 1969-1977, will open in the Graceland visitor center at the Sincerely Elvis Museum, an exhibition space that features a new themed exhibit each year or so. The permanent exhibits at Graceland relating the story of Elvis' career feature a significant display of costumes, which hold a certain fascination for the general public and have great meaning to devoted Elvis fans. The special exhibit will feature more than 50 additional Presley stage outfits, such as the famed "jumpsuits," with metal and rhinestone studding and matching capes, and others with elaborate embroidery. In addition, there will be related photographs, archival documents and performance footage. The special exhibit will be on display for two years.
Source:EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises
zahir wrote on December 28, 2006
Surprisingly, from this Press release, it seems that EPE does not have plans for anything really new in 2007, leave alone a special CD or DVD release on the 30th Anniversary !!!
Jim Semple wrote on December 28, 2006
My expectations were too high, that was a hugely disappointing announcement (for new stuff, greedy like I am :-)
Santa Claus wrote on December 28, 2006
Hello EPE, this is a whole bunch of text. But please give me one information. I'm sitting here in europe. What's in it for me? Beside the fact that I can buy all the DVDs I got again for some small upgrade (Most probably no unseen scenes but lot of talking as on the upgrade of Love Me Tender). I tell you what's in it for me: I hope that the bootleggers come out with another dozent of TTWII and On Tour DVDs.
Steve V wrote on December 28, 2006
Not so exciting for the 30th is it? I guess the folks who like mugs, candles, wax figures or whatever may have a banner year. The folks who want & need new music and video product will not. I'm glad the Sullivan shows were released however. Great set!
Brian Quinn wrote on December 28, 2006
I can only echo what has already been said. Totally boring. Nothing exciting planned. New blood needed at EPE.
RonBaker wrote on December 28, 2006
Does this mean the 'remix' album is no longer in the works? I like hearing original recordings, but I have ALL of those...at least all the released ones. These remixes can be done without spoiling the originals...'I Was the One' wasn't so good, but at least it was a try. I prefer the Felton Jarvis remixes of the 80s to the originals in most, but not all, cases. I hope RCA surprises us and does something really super for 2007...before we all get too old to appreciate it...I turn 54 this week!
stu wrote on December 28, 2006
"Elvis On Tour" SE DVD? Gold/Platinum award presentation? Remix album? Hopefuly these will be looked at soon.
Mielvis wrote on December 28, 2006
It appears EPE is too busy counting the money to do anything creative for us "old" fans that were there when Elvis was alive.
Eriksen wrote on December 28, 2006
This is what EPE should have planned for 2007. Harum Scarum CD with 1 new bonus track. 68-special extravaganza edition. Aloha XI in black and white. The Having fun with Elvis on stage 10CD box. New Elvis-stamps. TTWII, Aloha and 68 Sp. 3 deluxe edition with 2 min. of new material. It happened at the worlds fair CD deluxe edition with great poster inside. I would have bought it all. Great releases.
PTCJones wrote on December 28, 2006
I have to agree with what's already been said by most here. Despite the long description, there is nothing new coming up save for an expanded Graceland DVD from EPE. With regards to the remix CD and other potential releases, the cat's still in the bag according to this so don't give up hope yet as I'm sure there will be a big push. We already know about the Sun project.
Steve V wrote on December 28, 2006
Eriksen- Be careful what you wish for. EPE may be listening!
JerryNodak wrote on December 29, 2006
Eriksen: Now, the deluxe "World's Fair" CD with great poster inside, THAT idea I like!!
sherriemr wrote on December 29, 2006
If anyone was expecting anything really new from EPE...I'm sorry it's very disappointing...but then..isn't that what we true fans have come to expect from EPE? Disappointment? They don't offer anything new, they just keep doling out the same stuff, only repackaging it. And the fans keep eating it up. They count on it. "EPE" does NOT stand for ANYTHING to do with Elvis anymore...hasn't since Elvis died. It only stands for MONEY, HONEY. Bottom line. So sad. :(
EspenK wrote on December 29, 2006
I'd say it was all about "Money Honey" back when he was alive too, sherriemr. May I remind you about the 60s movies, or the 70s unhealthy concert race, not to mention the mainly mediocre studio releases... So nothing new in that respect - they only keep a tradition alive ;) However I do miss more details about the Elvis week in august. A friend of mine and me are heading to Memphis this autumn and are really curious about what to expect!
Rob Wanders wrote on December 29, 2006
Steve V wrote on December 29, 2006
EspenK I'm afraid youre right. Even when Elvis was alive, it was more about money than creative art. Think back to 1960 and the great Elvis Is Back, perhaps his most progessive LP. It didnt make as much money as the soundtracks that followed so that progessiveness was never really approached again, except perhaps 1969's Elvis In Memphis. Thats a big gap bewtween great studio work. Sorry , I dont count Pot Luck as a great studio LP. Something For Everybody was good but not quite great and the gospel LPs were not for the pop market, altho great. The most creative period in pop music, the 60's , and the King Of Rock N Roll puts out 4 studio LPs and umpteen ridiculous soundtracks. Makes me think of what might have been since his voice was at its peak then. Thanks Colonel. So EPE carry on!
Martin DJ wrote on December 29, 2006
Okay, we've all had a good laugh about EPE's 'ambitions' for 2007. Now what about FTD's plans?
EspenK wrote on December 29, 2006
Indeed, Steve. Its fun to just imagine if we could "splice" today with the 70s, how the reactions on this site would be when Elvis released "Now" only a few years after his best studio albums so far in his career (and, as we know now, the best albums he ever got to make)... And then, the year after that give us "Raised On Rock". When you look at it this way, I'd say the Elvis fans today are having a better time then what they had back then...! :D
ep3577 wrote on December 29, 2006
I hope we get a deluxe box set of Elvis On Tour, this should be at least a 3 to 4 DVD set with one unreleased concert on CD included, possible a November Christmas release?! Lets get Best Buy involved with this project like they did with The Rolling Stones and Elton John Box sets that sold very well. Lets get going EPE, you know what we want... the time is now! Lets hope for the best.
Viva wrote on December 29, 2006
I am simply staggered by EPE's nerve. All they've done is tippex out the "2006" bit of last years press release and added "2007" instead. This news does clearly illustrate the fact that EPE think us fans really are as thick as pigshit. These days I just wish that the whole Elvis industry would collapse. Having said that, the way those morons are handling things, that day isn't too far away in any case.
Dixieland Rock wrote on December 29, 2006
Maybe we'll get lucky and get a DVD release of the best of the Impersonators or a 30th Anniversary Edition of the duck. Maybe the infamous styrofoam cup will go on tour....lol
EPE wrote on December 29, 2006
The primary purpose of this release, typical for us to do in December as a big anniversary year is about to dawn, is to get the 30th Anniversary year on the media's radar and give a summary rundown of the highlights of the year that are ready to be talked about. More detailed releases for each individual project will follow as the year unfolds. And there will be more going on in 2007 than is mentioned in the release. Various projects were not ready to be mentioned at all just yet and a couple could be noted only briefly at this point. There's some negative reaction here and on the various messageboards. A lot of it focuses the lack of any exciting news about new DVD releases and Sony BMG's plans. Apparently, folks are not paying much notice to these lines in the release: "Anticipated for 2007 are upgraded DVD re-releases and first-time DVD releases of a roster of Elvis Presley movies...Details are forthcoming regarding plans by Sony BMG, owner of Elvis Presley's RCA Records label catalog, to commemorate the 30th Anniversary year." When the owners of the recordings and films are ready to announce their plans, they will, and we'll help them get the word out. They just weren't ready for more than a passing mention in our "preview" alert to the media about the upcoming 30th Anniversary year.
Jth wrote on December 30, 2006
As I've said in an Elvis forum: more and more Elvis fans are starting to moan and bitch about nearly everything, which is sad - no one seems to care that EPE doesn't own the footage to "Elvis On Tour" and instead of moaning, come up with ideas for the 30th anniversary. Oh, you don't have any --- well, neither have I.
PTCJones wrote on December 30, 2006
No disrespect, but that's the point of a forum to give out opinions, good or bad. It would be a pretty dull website if everybody agreed on what wonderful work EPE was doing. With regards to lack of ideas, Christian M made some great examples on what he would like to see released for the 30th Anniversary.
Ton Bruins wrote on December 30, 2006
Still we don't have to forget that Elvis will be gone for 30 years in 2007 and that we can not expect much more material from someone who died in 1977...However I think it's a shame that the EPE still doesn't speak out that they will do any effort to release Elvis On Tour SE on DVD. Even if they don't own the rights. The fact is they are not interested because it cost too much money. It's all business. If they really want it to be released it will be released, I am sure of that. But it has no priority to them. They are focused on the new generation fans so they will release old stuff over and over again to interest young people for Elvis. Also they will focuse on the merchandise in the near future because they make a lot of money producing crap like Elvis dolls, Elvis sun glasses, Elvis coffee cups, etc. It sells big time unfortunately and the EPE knows that. Besides we all know now that they even are on the side of the many crazy Elvis impersonators...Luckely we still have the FTD label.....
PTCJones wrote on December 30, 2006
I totally agree Ton Bruins. They seem more interested in pushing pompadours, plastic sunglasses and salt and pepper shakers than any real quality stuff. As mentioned before, many people say that there really is not much more out there regarding unreleased material, which was why I was disappointed last year when SonyBMG just released Let Yourself Go seemingly with no forethought bringing to a close the last remaining out-takes from that important period. Also, Writing For The King has a CD totally unrelated to the subject matter using unreleased concert recordings. It bothers me that this material could not have been used to enforce this 30th Anniversary in a more constructive way.
Lefty wrote on December 30, 2006
Kudos to Tom Bruins! After reading the article yesterday, I thought to myself that the only thing old fans like me have to look forward to are FTD and boot releases. It's a damn shame, really. EPE and Turner could make a fortune off of Elvis On Tour if it was marketed correctly. Yeah, the young fans are important. But it's the old fans that have the disposable cash to buy this stuff. Maybe, just maybe, FTD will remvamp Elvis In Concert. It certainly is a classic album, and there will be no better time to do it justice than in August 2007.
hound216 wrote on December 30, 2006
And what about the footage that was left off of the TTWII SE DVD? I'd like to see that, plus an FTD of the August 13, 1970 Dinner Show or one of the other shows from August '70 that have yet to be released. An FTD of one of the complete '72 EOT concerts would be great also.
Mark wrote on December 30, 2006
I have the old video that Priscilla did and i would be looking forward to this new dvd.
Eriksen wrote on December 30, 2006
Steve V/Jerry Nodak; I better be carefull with my ironic wishes, you'll never know what the EPE my go for. To be serious i would have hve been glad if Elvis On Tour and Elvis In Consert (77) had been put out on DVD. A new single remix for getting Elvis back on the charts, and a album with 70's material, with new recorded music by the TCB-band, would have been great. But none of this will happend i'm afraid. How many Alohas and CBS 68's can we take from now on. It's just crazy.
Steve V wrote on December 31, 2006
I honestly dont think EPE care enough about the older fans. if you go to Billboard magazine's website, right there on the home page you will see an article about EPE and their 2007 plans. They come right out & say they are targeting young people. That kind of audience does not relate to a 70's jump-suited Elvis at all, so forget about DVDs like EOT & In Concert. Their marketing strategy is totally in another direction. I read this yesterday. Hopefully you can still find it there.
JerryNodak wrote on December 31, 2006
EPE, Sony/BMG, Warner etc. are going to do whatever they're going to do no matter what you or I think about. If any one (or all) of them happen to release product in remembrance of the 30th year of Elvis' death that I want I'll buy it. If not I'll pass. I'm not losing sleep over any of this.
EspenK wrote on January 01, 2007
Steve V, you seem to be upset about EPE "targeting young people". How come? I'd say it makes perfect sense to do so, from a commercial perspective. They make a living out of this, and they have to make sure they got a business to run when we get to the 50th anniversary too. If you guys try to "walk a mile in their shoes" I think it all will start to make perfect sense. Picture this: Your job is to make a living for yourself and your current and future colleagues out of whe works of a man who has already been dead for 30 years. As stated by others, EPE doesnt own the On Tour & In Concert material, but even if they did: Would you pour it all out right away? Hold nothing back? What about your job in five years? Ten? Twenty? Luckily EPE/BMG didnt do this, else we'd heard and seen it all ages ago, and had nothing new to look forward to for like the last twenty years or so. Think about it! I'd *much* rather have something to look forward to than be sitting here with a blank expression in my face, stables of CDs and DVDs in front of me, thinking "okies, that was that! Nothing more to be seen here folks, move along." while Elvis sings "What now, what next, where to?" in the background.
Steve V wrote on January 01, 2007
EspenK - Happy New Year! I am not upset by EPE targeting young people, after all that's what will keep the Elvis world thriving. I just feel that I feel us older fans are being ignored in a way. It didnt seem there was much to look forward to from reading the blogs. I wouldnt mind a remix album for instance that would put Elvis' music back on the charts, but I'm afraid ALLC was more of a fluke hit than anything else. Remember when RCA tried this younger approach in 1985 (gosh 22 yrs ago!) with Rocker, and the Blue Suede Shoes single, etc? It wasnt too successful. WHo bought those releases? We did! My son only got into Elvis because of me, not some marketing campaign. Yes I wish EPE, RCA, BMG, Turner, Warner, etc would put it all out. I dont care if they do run the well dry. I'd like to see it all for the 30th anniv. I dont want to be 70 yrs old and hoping that someday EOT will be released, I'd be more concerned with my health then than Elvis. Let them put it all out for us while we can still enjoy it and then they can target 5 yr olds for all I care. By the way I was jealous when I saw the new Sinatra release. A boxset of 2 cds of unreleased concerts and a DVD of an unreleased concert from Vegas. Now thats what I'm talking about. And Sinatra fans don't have to rely on an FTD type label for this material.
PTCJones wrote on January 01, 2007
Sorry to jump in, but as much sense as EspenK makes, I think SonyBMG lately have gone on the rampage with releases. All through the 80's and up to the late 90's, we saw a well managed schedule. I was a bit upset at the time because of RCA releasing post '73 recordings in mainland Europe only for exorbitant prices on lightweight vinyl, but they made up for it with releases such as Reconsider Baby and Rare Elvis. In the last few years though, they are pushing out material at breakneck speed to the point that I have to prioritize what I get.
RonBaker wrote on January 02, 2007
I haven't bought any of the 'genre' cds and I won't. They are a terrible idea. I know they were designed to spotlight Elvis' versatility, but the cover designs were just plain awful and the track selections questionable. The main BMG label has not really done Elvis' fans much justice (except for the Million Dollar Quartet cd...and I think it was an accident) in years! I admit buying Elvis at Sun (even though I already had 'Sunrise') as well as the 50s boxed set because I thought the sound would be phenomenal. It was pretty good. I also bought the Camden cds because they were favorite albums when they were released. My wishes for 2007 would be the entire Elvis catalog that was released as of 1977 be restored to its original running order and covers...booklets inside the covers would be nice too. And...hopefully all will be remastered to sound great...good bass...nice mids and highs and no hiss. I know...I'm dreaming.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on January 03, 2007
Ron if they put out the original catalog on the regular label,then they would have no reason for those classic albums on ftd would they? I am not a fan of the classic series as i feel the original albums should be on cd through the regular label, and not put out through a collectors label,which was started to release unreleased material!
Steve V wrote on January 03, 2007
I very much agree with that. The FTD label's intent was for unreleased 'finds', live shows, or alternate takes as the first few were. The original albums should be for the normal catalog. What they are doing is making us pay a lot of money for albums we already had , throw in some outtakes and some nice packaging. If you look at the the catalog of other artists, that kind of stuff is in their normal catalog.