The art of commerce

Elvis Presley died thirty-nine years ago today but the money keeps rolling in. Presley earned vast sums of money durIng his lifetime, and his estate has earned much, much more since 1977. His music and his movies continune to sell, regardless of quality, which was very much the state of play while he was alive. Indeed, his entire career was a continual battle between art and commerce. His enjoyable 1960 soundtrack LP GI Blues, for example, outsold the superlative Elvis is Back! album from the same year by a ratio of 5:1, despite the latter being one of the finest collections of music he ever produced. As such, it's no wonder he spent much of the mid-1960s lost in Hollywood making one hugely

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