View Full Version : Amount RCA made/Elvis lost
When in 1973 the Col. sold the rights to future royalties of Elvis's back catalogue(73 on back)anyone know or have an educated guess on how much RCA has reaped since then from this deal and also what Elvis and his estate lost? It has to be a lot of money way above the $5,000,000 or so they got. Some experts say this was one of the worst deals in entertainment history.
On this same subject when they put out an album of all alternate cuts or a mix of previously released and alternates, are these considered back catalogue, or are they not part of the deal since the alternates cuts were "never issued before 73"
04-18-2007, 12:50 PM
Obviously, a huge mistage, but one I don't think can be blamed completely on the Colonel. From what I understand, a cash-strapped EP was all in favor of it.
I couldn't begin to put a dollar amount on it, but most of the money RCA has made in the past 35 years has been from the 1956-1972 recordings. The 73-77 years are just not as well known to people. It also seems no strange coincidence to me that right after the deal, RCA begin packaging the earlier stuff more aggressively, for example the Legendary Performer series - using alternate and rare takes. The Colonel believed you did not dwell on the past, and did not see the value of those earlier recordings, or the attraction Elvis' early image still had with the public. As market-savvy as he could be, this was a big example of shortsightedness.
Hind sight- 20/20, but since the Col., by quite a few reports, got the lions share of the deal it seems an absurd deal now. Over 700 songs in the catalogue up to that time. I hope the unreleased takes and live concerts are not covered by this deal. Its like 2/3rds of his career sold for pennies.
I ran across this quote about this topic in another article seemed pretty relevent to my question:
....The sale of the 700 master recordings Elvis made during his career to RCA for a mere $5.4 million in 1973 is said to be among the most shortsighted deals in the history of the music business. After agents? costs, the sale netted Elvis just $1.5 million....
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