So, I had a couple thoughts on the latest revelation that Mariah Carey, probably the figurehead for all that I hate about pop music-diva-“Far & B it from the real thing” bullshit, passed by Elvis Presley in terms of total career hits. Following this news, I saw her on a commercial with Carlos Santana where they were pitching perfume and stiletto heels and I was wishing that the American public hadn’t forgotten Glitter and hadn’t been so easily fooled. Do you all REALLY think she makes good music? Evidently, you do.
Ultimately, I think my reaction could be summed up in one small sentence: ”I hate America.”
But, while scouring the Interweb for some likeminded assault and battery with which I could violently hurl toward little Ms. “ME ME” in the hopes that she would GOOGLE her name and find my vicious and relentless rant about how fucking stupid people are for giving her lame ass a lot of undue cash and attention, I found a perspective piece by a gentleman at The Los Angeles Times. And, to be honest, it actually made me feel better. It was as if I had lit a candle at church.
But, it did get me thinking: In this day and age of posthumous marketability and nostalgic appeal, had Elvis been Biggie’d or Tupac’d, for lack of a better descriptor, I think Carey would’ve had a much more difficult time breaking his record. Don’tcha think that Carey's chart advances were aided by the fact that Presley’s output halted as soon as his heartbeat did? Obviously his catalogue’s been dissected for every greatest hits and rockabilly compilation known to mankind since ’77, but there haven’t been any ACTUAL Elvis releases, records that we could hold up as “The Final Testament From The King Of Rock N’ Roll.” And, since hip-hop has seemingly turned postmortem exploitation into a solid moneymaker, isn’t it about time Lisa Marie and Priscilla jumped on the bandwagon? I’m sure they can dig up some old B-sides that have been put out a million times before but refashion them with some new production that makes them sound like never-before-heard tracks that were just found on some anonymous shelf at Sun Studios. People fall for that shit all the time; right, George Lucas? Even Courtney Love managed to sweeten up a middle-of-the-road Nirvana greatest hits record with the inclusion of Kurt Cobain’s final piece of recorded angst and solitude. I even fell for that one.
Or, maybe the rehashed, remastered, reconceived Elvis route is too littered with potholes from being so heavily traveled. As another option, since Lisa Marie is a “rock star” (chuckle), maybe she could start a group with a “Tribute To Daddy” bent that has the connotation of familial respect. She could call it Lisa Marie & The Family. They could release meaningful, but lucrative, albums out of respect, and potential monetary gain, for The King that feature some original material with Elvis spliced in to keep his memory alive. Yeah, I like it. Album titles, album titles... No Way Out… Of Graceland, Life After Death Of The King or Presley: Resurrection. The possibilities are endless and all of them could maybe lead to more number one hits for Elvis Presley. This is the type of marketing and music industry genius that could’ve had Mariah Carey suffocating under the weight of a truckload of new and improved Elvis. Forget impersonators or velvet: THIS IS THE REBIRTH!!!!
But, then again, maybe the dead are best left to lay with dignity. Despite his drop in the charts, we can at least be thankful that Presley’s visage isn’t spray-painted on any denim jackets or car hoods, shamelessly flashed for the camera as the music by some lesser-than barely registers in the collective ear of the world at large for more than a month. Mariah Carey should maybe get some credit for her accomplishment, though I attribute most of her success to a public with no taste and no recollection of when R&B really HAD a soul. And not the same soul Santana speaks of after taking a whiff of Mariah’s perfume.
Letters From A Tapehead
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