Elvis was a king, but in totally different sense than usually meant when that is said.
As somebody before mentioned, he rarely wrote songs - he just had hits.
Also, Elvis had the Jordainers, the backing vocal group. Beatles did all the backing vocal and harmonies by themselves.
Beatles toured around the world, but the King had concert only all around America (and two or three times in Canada.)
His manager, Colonel Parker,
...had even come up with the idea to market "I Hate Elvis" badges to make money from those who otherwise wouldn't have parted with their cash.
And when Elvis died, he was asked what he will do now, when Elvis is gone. He replied:
"Why, I'll just go right on managing him!"
Now, that's marketing. Plus, the 'Colonel' didn't care about quality of scripts offered to Elvis - he just pushed him into whatever movie he could so Elvis could perform his songs in it.
So, the movies were just a big advertise for his songs.
Parker was still struggling to believe that Presley's career would last longer than a year or two. He had seen many acts come and go during his earlier years in management, and to think that Presley, despite being Parker's most successful act to date, would be any different was foolish.
When Elvis was serving in the army, Parker also had everything in his hand.
While Presley was serving in Germany, Parker was hard at work keeping his name known to the public. He realized that by keeping RCA, and more importantly the public, hungry for more Presley material, he would be able to negotiate a better contract for him when he returned from active service. He had arranged for Presley to record five singles before his induction, guaranteeing RCA enough material to release over a two year period.
So, in conclusion, everything was prepared for the King - he just had to show at the stage and perform. And that's why he was King - everything was prepared for him.
If you watched Ed Sullivan Show, Ed shares with audience that Elvis & Parker send a welcoming telegram to the Beatles. Well, that was nice - but notice that it was signed by Elvis & Parker - and not just
by the King himself.
"The Colonel" displayed a ruthless devotion to his client's interests and took more than the traditional 10 percent of his earnings (reaching up to 50 percent by the end of Presley's life). Presley said of Parker: "I don't think I'd have ever been very big if it wasn't for him. He's a very smart man.
As you can conclude, I don't like him much.
Too much of his songs are alike (about love), too mellow. He had some good ones like In the Ghetto, Return to Sender, Heartbreak Hotel, Are You Lonesome Tonight
He also covered three songs from some British band called the Beatles: Yesterday, Something & Hey Jude
. (I'm not impressed with his versions.)
But, on the other hand, I feel sorry for Elvis. George said:
Later, I was sorry for Elvis. He had his band, his men around him - but he was one, alone. Four of us shared the experience.
And how different was the relationship Parker - Elvis and Beatles - George Martin - Brian Epstein!
The boys said to either Martin or Epstein: We are not going to America to perform until we have number one hit!
So, they were making decisions!
When THEY decided to stop touring, they stopped touring.
When decided to held the last concert, there were a lot of suggestions - amphitheatre in Greece etc., but Paul just said: Let's do it on the top of the Apple
They didn't need manager to 'manage' that concert - while Elvis needed Parker to send 'welcome to my Kingdom' telegram to Beatles!
Nevertheless, I like some of his quotes...:
Rhythm is something you either have or don't have, but when you have it, you have it all over.
Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it.'
I sure lost my musical direction in Hollywood. My songs were the same conveyer belt mass production, just like most of my movies were.
Just because I managed to do a little something, I don't want anyone back home to think I got the big head.
Since the beginning, it was just the same. The only difference, the crowds are bigger now.
My movements, ma'am, are all leg movements. I don't do nothing with my body.
After a hard day of basic training, you could eat a rattlesnake.
He was also reading a lots of books (which I also like to do):
Presley would be preoccupied by such matters (spiritual questions) for much of his life, taking trunkloads of books with him on tour.
Believe it or not...
Elvis' Greatest sh*t is a bootleg recording of Elvis Presley, released in July 1982. It assembles a number of studio recordings, a large number of film scores, and out-takes that, in the opinion of the bootlegger, represent the worst recordings Presley made in his career. The tracks are mostly recordings from film soundtracks, along with a few outtakes of well known songs; one is an aborted take of "Can't Help Falling in Love", in which, at the breakdown of the take, Presley exclaimed "Aw, shiiiiiiiit!
So, the Colonel made Elvis (no question about that he was talented), he made it to the top, but it was very lonely up there.