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How RCA Brought Elvis To Europe

January 09, 2016 | Book

This beautifully designed book contains unseen pictures and follows Elvis ascent from hottest act in The South via US stardom to becoming RCA Victor's spearhead as the company launched the RCA label worldwide in 1956. It goes on to show how Europe was completely won over by the early 1960's.

The earliest international Elvis records are listed, and there is a guide to identify Elvis records from all European countries, including a summary of the earliest releases from each country. There are complete illustrated discographies (including variants) for all Nordic countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. There is also a guide to first pressings of the 47 Elvis EP's released in Germany for sale in Northern Europe.

Elvis' reception in the Nordic countries is covered by a wealth of press cuttings, local film flyers and posters, ads, premiere dates, pictures and stories from handovers of Swedish and Norwegian record awards, and much previously unknown record company history. Among many revelations, the most surprising is perhaps how the Swedish company Electra engineered most of the Elvis activity taking place in Northern Europe.

Spliced in between are many amusing short stories, like when three Nordic Royal Princesses sought out Elvis on the set of G.I. Blues, or how the man behind RCA in Belgium started out smuggling records in the wings of his WW2 Royal Air Force Spitfire. Or the time Norway's bestselling crooner met Elvis in RCA Studios on the day Hound Dog was recorded.

The story behind German Teldec's earliest Elvis releases is completely rewritten along the way, and for record collectors there are many new discoveries – like why do records from some countries come with push-out centers while others have large center holes. Or how can it be that up to three different label variants may occur within the same print run. Or why were Europe's earliest 45-singles sold in Sweden only and why did Denmark and Norway, each with tiny populations, issue respectively 46 and 56 different Elvis records?

And did Elvis really pose a threat to communist Eastern Europe when he served as a US Soldier in West Germany? Boy, he sure did. All these topics and plenty more are covered in How RCA Brought Elvis to Europe. And not to be forgotten: free with the book's first edition comes an unreleased 1956 vinyl EP. 

The book is written by Norwegians Sigbjørn Stabursvik and Hans Otto Engvold, supported by a network of experts from fourteen countries. Stabursvik knows things about records that most people don't, while Engvold is a hound for detail in all things Elvis. Together they bring new insights on practically every page of this excellent book, brought to you by FTD.



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TheMemphisFan wrote on January 09, 2016
Looks like a very informative, interesting book! I wonder what's on the "unreleased 1956 vinyl EP" ?
VivaLasDavies wrote on January 10, 2016
Aside from vinyl which I don't bother with, I think I might have reached an FTD cut off point with this book. Having bought the three Trevor Simpson books, which cover similar, albeit U.K., ground, for me this is one book too many. Probably aimed more at European fans (for obvious reasons).
Cruiser621 wrote on January 10, 2016
Enough. Me thinks this is the end of our Elvis journey thru time.
VivaLasDavies wrote on January 10, 2016
Just to clarify, I'll keep on with the Classic Albums and soundboards but these huge books, I'm tiring of.
marty wrote on January 10, 2016
I am half Swedish and I have an increased interest in this book. I am planning to buy this one, seems well documented and informative.
LarsG wrote on January 10, 2016
I passed on most of the recent books, but I will buy this book as it seems to be of real interest for us scandinavian fans.
Gorse wrote on January 13, 2016
One of the last releases by HMV before RCA took over in the UK was Lawdy Miss Clawdy / Trying To Get To You. This to me was one of the greatest double sides in his career and was only done as a parting shot to make a few bucks.
TheMemphisFan wrote on January 18, 2016
Has anyone noticed the image standing in the background?... apparently overseeing things. How prophetic! (Cover pic is from photo session in New York, December 1, 1955)