Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

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Moleskin
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Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Moleskin » 17 May 2017, 14:19

This article isn't about us, and it would be a shame to get distracted here by discussing our own attitudes to Elvis.

I'm more interested in some of what is reported in the article and what we think it might mean.

[A]ccording to a snap YouGov poll of 2,034 British adults, a hefty 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they had never listened to an Elvis song, with none of this age group listening to him daily and only 8% listening monthly.


Spotify reveals he achieved 382m streams in 2016. Yet compare this to other deceased stars such as Bowie (who clocked in at more than 600m), Michael Jackson (also more than 600m), or the long-disbanded Beatles (1.3bn), and these numbers look less impressive.


“Elvis was an excellent singles artist,” explains Hesmondhalgh. “He emerges before the formation of rock culture as we know it, so the mythology of the original rock album was lost on Elvis. He doesn’t have anything near a Sgt Pepper for young people to connect through.”


I wonder if the rights holders (RCA) have mis-used his catalogue. Recent releases have drilled down to specific sessions (Stax, the Jungle Room) with multiple takes, rehearsals, studio chat etc, that are more interesting to the fan than the newbie. Perhaps they'd be better advised to release less material, better promoted, and hinged to specific anniversaries? Make a big splash about the 60th anniversary of Elvis Is Back in 2020 for instance - or From Elvis in Memphis in 2019?

I guess the other question is does it matter? Except in so far as other acts (The Beatles) are still deemed significant (I mean the forthcoming Sgt Pepper reissue has been reported in the newspapers - when did you see a news report about a new Elvis record?) and you would imagine that Sony would like to see Elvis compete.

Obviously there isn't an obvious hook such as we have with Sgt Pepper. There's no new stereo mixes to commission are there? Do things like the RPO albums harm his legacy?


Any thoughts?
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby bobzilla77 » 18 May 2017, 22:28

Spotify reveals he achieved 382m streams in 2016


Loser!

I've been on the receiving end of some of those reissues, they're mostly nothing special. The last thing that was real cool I think, was the 1957 box set of the the earliest RCA stuff. There's not much coming out that a collector wouldn't already have access to. It's just, as was said, repackaged in different buckets.

I'm not sure what they can really do for him. He was supposed to go on tour as a hologram but that never happened.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby bobzilla77 » 18 May 2017, 22:29

I bet we do see a lot of 68 Comeback next year though.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby COLIN LAND » 18 May 2017, 22:37

bobzilla77 wrote:I bet we do see a lot of 68 Comeback next year though.


I wouldn't be surprised.

Mind, the box that came out around 12 years ago was really very special. It'd take a lot to beat that.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 18 May 2017, 23:43

He hasn't been marketed to this generation that much. Eventually he will be.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Velvis » 19 May 2017, 00:23

I think he seems to many younger people be an obsession of unhip, rural people. The kind who voted for Trump. Those associations tend to drag him down. However, a lot of younger people like Johnny Cash. Johny had the good taste to have lived longer and cover NiN and Nick Cave.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Charlie O. » 19 May 2017, 03:23

[A]ccording to a snap YouGov poll of 2,034 British adults, a hefty 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they had never listened to an Elvis song, with none of this age group listening to him daily and only 8% listening monthly.


Jeez, how many of US listen to him monthly? I'd be surprised if I did, and I like him a lot.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 19 May 2017, 05:37

Charlie O. wrote:
[A]ccording to a snap YouGov poll of 2,034 British adults, a hefty 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they had never listened to an Elvis song, with none of this age group listening to him daily and only 8% listening monthly.


Jeez, how many of US listen to him monthly? I'd be surprised if I did, and I like him a lot.


Imagine having 71% of 18 to 24 year olds saying they have heard your music 40 years after your death!
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Moleskin » 19 May 2017, 10:21

Charlie O. wrote:
[A]ccording to a snap YouGov poll of 2,034 British adults, a hefty 29% of 18- to 24-year-olds said they had never listened to an Elvis song, with none of this age group listening to him daily and only 8% listening monthly.


Jeez, how many of US listen to him monthly? I'd be surprised if I did, and I like him a lot.


Good point.

Velvis wrote:I think he seems to many younger people be an obsession of unhip, rural people. The kind who voted for Trump. Those associations tend to drag him down.


Could we put together a 'hip' Elvis CD from his later career? One that avoids too many of the obvious hits?

1. I'm Leaving
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby COLIN LAND » 19 May 2017, 10:28

Nobody should be surprised by this. It's nothing to do with marketing and it's everything to do with the fact that he's from the black-and-white world, the crooning world, the quiff world. No matter what you might think of him, he doesn't sing for people today.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Jeemo » 19 May 2017, 10:50

The If I Can Dream album with orchestral backing and guest singers sold 1.6 million. I think there's plenty juice left in that tank.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby kewl klive » 19 May 2017, 10:52

Has he ever been on a Mojo/Uncut cover?

The Guralnick books chipped away at the iconography, humanised him, but his is work from another age (60 years ago!).
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby kewl klive » 19 May 2017, 10:56

Jeemo wrote:The If I Can Dream album with orchestral backing and guest singers sold 1.6 million. I think there's plenty juice left in that tank.


A lot of happy Grannies at Xmas.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Moleskin » 19 May 2017, 10:56

Jeemo wrote:The If I Can Dream album with orchestral backing and guest singers sold 1.6 million. I think there's plenty juice left in that tank.


Does that sort of thing sell to anyone who isn't already a (rabid) fan?
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby COLIN LAND » 19 May 2017, 10:58

clive gash wrote:Has he ever been on a Mojo/Uncut cover?


Hm. Good question.

I guess not.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Moleskin » 19 May 2017, 11:03

clive gash wrote:Has he ever been on a Mojo/Uncut cover?

The Guralnick books chipped away at the iconography, humanised him, but his is work from another age (60 years ago!).


As to your first question - twice on Mojo based on a quick image search. Never on Uncut.

As to your second - I wonder how Elvis compares against other 50s artists - Buddy & Chuck for instance. Presumably he's a lot bigger on Spotify etc, probably than the two of them put together.
Last edited by Moleskin on 19 May 2017, 11:05, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 19 May 2017, 11:05

Velvis wrote:I think he seems to many younger people be an obsession of unhip, rural people. The kind who voted for Trump. Those associations tend to drag him down. However, a lot of younger people like Johnny Cash. Johny had the good taste to have lived longer and cover NiN and Nick Cave.


Intelligent post.

It's all about perception. How do people anno 2017, young people, see, 'experience', the Presley phenomenon?

It is not an easy question. I don't really believe that someone aged 19 sees EP as we ourselves saw Dixieland at that age.

Eh, wait.

I'm already drifting into too much unqualified guesswork. I will return on the matter.

Because I think that these things are important, in a societal and sociological sense.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Moleskin » 19 May 2017, 11:09

Bride Of Sea Of Tunes wrote:
Velvis wrote:I think he seems to many younger people be an obsession of unhip, rural people. The kind who voted for Trump. Those associations tend to drag him down. However, a lot of younger people like Johnny Cash. Johny had the good taste to have lived longer and cover NiN and Nick Cave.


Intelligent post.

It's all about perception. How do people anno 2017, young people, see, 'experience', the Presley phenomenon?

It is not an easy question. I don't really believe that someone aged 19 sees EP as we ourselves saw Dixieland at that age.



Yeah, I think the past is more present to the modern world than it used to be, if you see what I mean.
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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby NMB » 19 May 2017, 11:11

'O' wrote:
clive gash wrote:Has he ever been on a Mojo/Uncut cover?


Hm. Good question.

I guess not.


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Re: Elvis's posthumous popularity is plummeting

Postby Jeemo » 19 May 2017, 11:12

Moleskin wrote:
Jeemo wrote:The If I Can Dream album with orchestral backing and guest singers sold 1.6 million. I think there's plenty juice left in that tank.


Does that sort of thing sell to anyone who isn't already a (rabid) fan?


No idea but it had a second volume.
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