Tuesday, April 12, 2022

April 12 - High Resolution Publishing Deal (Updated)

The Universal Music Publishing Group and the Authentic Brands Group announced that the Elvis Presley song catalog will be administered by Universal Music Publishing and represented by Authentic Brands Group.

Publicity stated: Universal Music Publishing Group (UMPG), a leading, global music publisher, and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), a global brand owner, marketing and entertainment company and owner of Elvis Presley Enterprises, today announced an exclusive global publishing deal to represent the historic song catalog of the “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Elvis Presley.

A global music icon and one of America’s most prominent cultural catalysts, Presley helped revolutionize rock and roll, transforming it into a mainstream, commercial genre, pioneering the future of music itself. With songs that are among the most recognizable and popular in history, Presley’s vast musical legacy spans pop, country, R&B, contemporary and gospel.

As part of the expanded relationship, UMPG and ABG will represent Presley’s catalog of legendary hits worldwide, excluding the UK, including “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” “It’s Now or Never,” “Memories,” “A Little Less Conversation,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Love Me Tender,” “Viva Las Vegas,” “Teddy Bear,” “Amazing Grace,” “All Shook Up,” “Tears On My Pillow” and countless more everlasting songs.

The agreement builds upon Universal Music’s existing relationship with ABG. In November 2020, Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, and ABG, one of the world’s leading intellectual property owners and entertainment companies, announced a strategic initiative to acquire and actively manage artist brands. In working together, the companies joined forces to expand the legacies and cultural impact of artists worldwide across a wide range of consumer touchpoints to drive opportunities in merchandise, memorabilia, endorsements, brand experiences and content, among many others.

Widely acclaimed as the best-selling solo music artist of all time, Presley has sold more than 500 million records. He holds the record for most songs charting on Billboard’s Top 40 with 114 hits, including an astonishing 40 within the top 10 and 18 reaching number one. Presley won three Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, Gospel Hall of Fame, Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Honky Tonk Hall of Fame, among others. 

Presley also holds numerous records including the most RIAA certified Gold and Platinum albums, the most albums charted on the Billboard 200, the most number-one albums by a solo artist on the UK Albums Chart, and the most number-one singles by any act on the UK Singles Chart.

Marc Cimino, Chief Operating Officer at UMPG, said: “Elvis Presley has had an unprecedented and lasting global impact on music and pop culture. Jody Gerson and I, along with UMPG’s teams around the world, couldn’t be more excited and honored to work with ABG in making sure that Elvis’ iconic legacy endures for generations to come.

As one of the world’s leading brand owners, ABG’s portfolio includes iconic celebrity brands such as Presley, Marilyn Monroe and Muhammad Ali, and creates memorable brand experiences that come to life across key consumer touchpoints, platforms and emerging media.

2022 is shaping up to be a banner year for Elvis, highlighted by the highly-anticipated theatrical release this June of ‘Elvis’ directed by Baz Luhrmann, as well as the debut of Netflix’s upcoming animated action series ‘Agent King’,” said Marc Rosen, President, Entertainment at ABG. “We are honored to work in partnership with UMPG as guardians of Elvis’ incomparable catalog, bringing his music and cultural influence to audiences around the world.

It is hard to overstate the impact that Presley had on pop music and American popular culture. Presley’s unswerving devotion to the music itself – rather than existing norms – ultimately paid off. Channeling R&B, gospel and country influences through his unique voice and audacious charisma onstage, Presley struck a spark with diverse audiences that helped ignite the age of Rock ‘n’ Roll. 

In many ways, Presley’s cultural impact was amplified by his early and enthusiastic embrace of TV, film and video – a crossover that would revolutionize the way people danced, inspired visual artists, laid the foundation for MTV and modern music videos, and ultimately transformed the entire genre of live performance.

With Presley’s catalog now represented by UMPG and ABG, his music will continue to reach, captivate and inspire fans for generations to come.

Note: 'Tears On My Pillow' is not a song recorded by Elvis Presley. The song is in part published through Gladys Music / Elvis Presley Enterprises LLC.

Super Hawaii

The Mobile Fidelity record label released the Super Audio CD (SACD) edition of Elvis Presley’s 1961 ‘Blue Hawaii’ soundtrack. The music on this Limited Edition of 3,000 copies was mastered by Rob LoVerde at Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab. The CD comes housed in a single-pocket cardboard gatefold.

Publicity stated: The old adage about Elvis Presley is that his soundtrack work never held a candle next to his studio albums. Though true for a majority of his film-related outings, the traditional notion is forever disproved by his ‘Blue Hawaii’ set. 

Originally released in 1961 in support of the film in which he starred, the triple-platinum LP spent nearly five months at the top of the Billboard album charts; outsold his two prior studio efforts; and ultimately, remains the second-best-selling soundtrack of the musical-dominant 1960s. And now, it has received sonic treatment befitting rock royalty.

Mastered from the original master tapes and limited to 3,000 numbered copies, Mobile Fidelity's hybrid SACD of ‘Blue Hawaii’ transports listeners to both the carefree innocent escapism of the early ‘60s and calming, breezy atmospherics of the famous Pacific Islands. If you've ever wondered what it might be like to have Presley inhabit your room, this collectible reissue makes it happen via lifelike presence, clarity, immediacy, and transparency.

Recorded before the King started to burn out on soundtracks and go into a creative tailspin, Blue Hawaii presents him in tremendous voice. The newly uncovered layers of detail, body, emotionalism, and tonality on this SACD bring that treasured element - as well as the brilliance of the arrangements and accompaniment – to light like never before. Presley's warm crooning alone warrants unmitigated attention. It's not for nothing that this record - replete with panache, whimsy, romance, and seriousness – forever altered the course of his career.

Much like the film itself, the music on ‘Blue Hawaii’  subscribes to a feel-good aesthetic. Presley plunges into a stylistic deep end with equal parts fearlessness and fun. He delves into early rock ‘n' roll (‘Rock-A-Hula Baby’); touching balladry (‘Hawaiian Wedding Song’); playful rumba (‘Beach Boy Blues’); relaxing luaus (‘Hawaiian Sunset’); and naturally, island-inspired fare (‘Ku-U-I-Po’). 

It becomes immediately evident that the King is enjoying himself and committed to the mission. Is Blue Hawaii all serious art? No, but it was never intended to be. Rather, it serves as a showcase of Presley's outgoing personality and chameleon-like ability – like that of Frank Sinatra – to inhabit different roles and entertain.

Of course, ‘Blue Hawaii’ remains timeless for another reason: The inclusion of the timeless, gorgeous, and still-untouchable staple ‘Can't Help Falling in Love’. Penned by Hugo Peretti, Luigi Creatore, and George David Weiss, the love song quickly transformed into an international standard - with Presley's definitive version hitting No. 2 on the charts and ultimately becoming the closing song to his concerts. 

Ranked among the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone, its conviction, sentiment, and depth testify on behalf of why Presley still reigns as the King.

However subtly, the staple also underscores another reason ‘Blue Hawaii’ should never be overlooked in Presley's canon: the ace musicians involved in its creation. Guitarists Scotty Moore and Hank Garland; drummer D.J. Fontana; percussionist Hal Blaine; pianist Floyd Cramer; bassist Bob Moore; and iconic gospel backing vocalists the Jordanaires all contribute masterful performances. Hearing them with such expressiveness, openness, and realism on this SACD should forever alter how Presley's 1961 soundtrack - the finest of his career - is viewed. As he sings in the title track, dreams come true, indeed.

Tracks: Blue Hawaii - Almost Always True - Aloha Oe - No More - Cant Help Falling In Love - Rock-A-Hula Baby - Moonlight Swim - Ku-U-I-Po - Ito Eats - Slicin' Sand - Hawaiian Sunset - Beach Boy Blues - Island Of Love (Kauai) - Hawaiian Wedding Song.

Note: Any sonic artifacts present are a product of the original master tape. Attempts to eliminate them would have negatively impacted the integrity of the presentation.

(Source: Universal Music / ABG / PR Newswire / MoFi)