Easy Questions And Sound Advice

( alternate take #6 )

with Steve Barile

One of my favorite ways to listen to Elvis is to load my 6 CD changer with a wide variety of assorted material culled from all facets of his diverse musical legacy.  Incorporating the random function adds a certain intrigue and a heightened interest for me.  Something about the anticipation of the next unexpected and unknown track selected at random by the changer makes for a fun and exciting Elvis listening session.

Sound Advice:  Try it; you’ll like it! 

Often times, I find my brain working the same way.  Firing (or misfiring) random thoughts, questions and (my own) answers.  Scary maybe, but it’s these random mental blurbs that currently inspire me to move my pen. 

I believe a decision has been made in recent times to reserve all future releases of most audio outtakes strictly to the Follow That Dream label or the “Dream” label as I like to call it.  This is a fine decision as far as I’m concerned especially since the casual Elvis shopper seems to be more interested and content with repetitive repackaged compilations.

Easy Question:  Why didn’t “2ND to None” enjoy the same enormous success of its predecessor “Elvis 1”?

Sound Advice:  Advertise! 

Excessive promotion was a major contributor to the success of “Elvis 1.”  With that said, it seems to me that the FTD releases have taken priority over respectable promotional campaigns for mainstream releases.

Sound Advice:  Keep up the good work! 

There will always be the curious listener – satisfied with the latest or “greatest” repackaged compilation.  However, the “Dream” label is catering to us the true fanatics of Elvis’ musical work.

Sound Advice:  Do not lose sight of this! 

The producers of these marvelous CD releases are finally delivering the goods in quantity and quality!  For this, I am deeply grateful and always excited about future projects.  I have yet to be disappointed in the overall production and packaging of these “dream” CD’s.  The seven-inch cover design for the soundtracks and “expanded” editions exhibits unique creativity and effort.  Accolades to the innovators of this idea. 

Easy Question:  What’s next?

Well, if you’re reading this, you are aware of the exciting Elvis music that is forthcoming such as the April 1st release of no less than 5 CD’s simultaneously!  A soundboard from Elvis’ March ’75 Vegas engagement boasting really cool cover art.  An expanded double CD issue of the artistically triumphant and eloquently produced classic “Elvis is Back” featuring outtakes that rival masters and as if that weren’t enough, the third Book/CD from the “dream” label entitled “Rocking Across Texas” incorporating not one but two officially unreleased soundboards from Texas circa 1974 and 1976!  This one is especially “dreamy” for me as yours truly contributed some of the unpublished photos that helped to make this the best book to date from FTD. 

In just the next three months, our “dream” label will be responsible for no less than 7 new discs (more than my changer will hold) when in July the Elvis Today album is expanded to a double set to include outtakes and feature gorgeous undubbed master versions of things like “And I Love You So” and the underrated “Woman Without Love.”  Also listen for a raw and powerful throw back to the 50’s in the undubbed master of “Shake A Hand.”  When mixed properly, these undubbed masters can and will sound fresh and new!  July also sees the release of an as yet to be determined “regular” issue.  My guess is that this will probably consist of “Nashville ‘71’ outtakes alla “Nashville Marathon.”  Then again, maybe I’m only dreaming.  While we are dreaming, let us ponder a not so easy question: what is the probability of DVD’s being produced by the FTD label?

Sound Advice:  This concept should be considered immediately. 

As we all know, there is no shortage of video footage and original film reels professionally shot and otherwise, in the possession of the estate and other select individuals around the globe.  The existence of many hours of outtakes from both MGM documentaries is no secret.  The ’77 CBS outtakes would be perfectly suited for release on this “private” label greatly benefiting from treatment comparable to the recent DVD release of “Aloha.”  The professionally shot Japanese footage of Honolulu ’72 is potentially hypnotic.  The seemingly endless quantity of unprofessional footage shot with and without sound by fans throughout the U.S. is fascinating documentation of Elvis in performance depicting him untamed and uninhibited by cameras.  Those of us who are familiar with the New Year’s Eve Pittsburgh footage can only imagine what this could look like given today’s technical remastering treatment.  Although the “amateur” DVD’s such as “Behind the Image,” “Adrenaline” and more recently, “Return To Splendor” have been enjoyable, I’m confident they would pale by comparison to anything FTD can and should produce.

Easy Question:  Ya’ll like this idea?

Sound Advice:  Wake up to reality! 

Projected for release in October is an expanded double CD issue of the “Raised on Rock” album.  Contrary to popular opinion, these sessions did render more than a few gems.  “For Ol’ Times Sake” is sublime as is “Sweet Angeline” and “Are You Sincere.”  With alternates and undubbed masters, this can potentially be the sleeper of the year!

Easy Question:  Have outtakes to the title track been found? 

That leaves at least one more “regular” issue for October.

Easy Question:  Might it be “Indianapolis ’77”?

Sound Advice: Do not issue an audience recording of this show! 

In fact, no more audience recordings on FTD.  Thank you.  The existence of Elvis’ last ever show as a soundboard is known to exist, as well as its whereabouts.  The value of this historic event and fine performance, I might add, is priceless and ($) should not be an issue.  It would be an injustice to say the least if this were released as an audience recording.  Let’s unearth this long sought after soundboard and create one of  the most surreal audio experiences known to any Elvis enthusiast. 

Future plans for yet another FTD Book/CD focusing on the Sun Years and many more expanded editions of “classic” albums with music in its undubbed form brings me to the realization that the future is so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Following that Dream,

Steve Barile 

Easy Question:  What movie is the song “Sound Advice” from?


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