ALTERNATE TAKE #8
With Steve Barile
Whenever another anniversary is near, I like to collect
the past year’s important audio/video releases and examine the “ most recent
body of work. ” In doing so this
particular year, something rather unique occurred to me.
That being that anything worth having or waiting for has been produced by
the fans, for the fans. Allow me to
explain. As many of you know, I am a
staunch advocate of the FTD label. In the
past year alone, there have been at least 8 new CD releases, 3 of which were
double issues totaling 12 “ new ” CDs!
I say “ new ” because invariably there are always unreleased
alternate gems included in these first rate packages and in many cases
incorporate gorgeous archival photos and images of vintage memorabilia.
Especially let us not forget the ( usually ) superior sound quality.
Whether your favorite is Made In Memphis or Clambake, the
above appraisal applies. Directly
responsible for these most exciting and comprehensive releases is…a FAN!
Thanks so much, Ernst, please don’t ever stop.
Another facet of CD collecting is in the area of “
imports. ” Since the inception of “
imports ” on vinyl ( around 1970 ), one was always able to decipher the cheap
attempts at making a quick profit from those that were truly a labor of love
produced with the intent to please the diehards…by the fans, for the fans. The
Audifon label comes to mind for the brilliant Burbank Sessions deluxe albums and
boxed sets such as Behind Closed Doors. In
the past decade, we’ve had the good fortune to be on the receiving end of such
“ dream come true ” CDs such as those coming from Baxter, Bilko, DAE and
most recently, the Madison label. This
label’s professionalism and concern for sonics has commanded close attention
and earned much respect. By example:
give a listen to the much improved mixes of Funny How Time Slips Away,
The Wonder of You rehearsals and Danny Boy from Legendary
Performer Vol. 8. These are stellar
mixes of the hypnotic kind. The most recent CD from Madison ( although not without minor
distortion ) called One Night
Only, is in my opinion a more enjoyable sonic listen than the RCA release of
the atrociously mixed, albeit classic, Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square
Garden. Also deserving scrutiny are
the top quality booklets accompanying the recent Madison discs.
The use of great, rare photos to correspond with the carefully chosen
track listing and always interesting text conveys sincerity and commitment.
On the horizon for Madison is something called Let It Roll which
potentially can become an all time, top ten, desert island Elvis disc!
Again, directly responsible for these highly acclaimed “ imports ”
are none other than…the FANS!
Ranking right up there with my enthusiasm for quality CD collecting is my penchant for video footage. After all, with video we get to actually see the ultimate artistic specimen! Nowadays more often than not, the actual sound for previously silent film footage is being quite professionally overdubbed using soundboards and stereo CDs making for a totally new and different viewing experience. I personally can recommend the following videos that are guaranteed to blow your mind!
· Chicago, October 14, 1976
· Birmingham, December 29, 1976
· Vegas, August 19, 1974 opening show
All of the above incorporate precise soundboard overdubbing
· Elvis On Tour outtakes “ Final Maste r” ( includes perfectly synched interview )
· Elvis On Tour outtakes “ Through My Eyes ”
· That’s The Way It Is outtakes “ I’ll Be There ” Volumes 1 & 2
Again, these are precisely synched from stereo masters.
There’s even a fine compilation called Love Coming Down
featuring the CBS ’77 video tapes in improved picture and stereo sound quality.
Directly responsible for all of this eye candy is…you guessed it…the
FANS! I am honored to call this
group of qualified fans and conscientious individuals that are taking matters
into their own hands, my friends. My plan
is to stay close. You’re in good hands
with real fans! Let it Roll…Steve