Ernie's Import Lp Corner

Well, here is the kick off of my little section in Elvis-dome. Bootleg LP's have been around for quite a while of course, the beginnings of which can be traced back to Los Angeles, CA in July 1969 with the Bob Dylan "Great White Wonder" double LP. My interest was peaked as I began to collect CDs, realizing there existed a whole other world prior to the advent of the CD. I would often run into, or stumble across if you prefer, the old boot LPs at record conventions. And since the LP has long since fallen out of favor since the introduction of digital technology, I've gotten many LPs at cheap prices. I don't have EVERY version of EVERY LP ever pressed, but I do have quite a few and my main concern in my collection is to find the "quality" releases. So I'll start with two of the best boot LPs ever released.

The story goes like this: back in 1978/79 (not sure when exactly it aired) the TV special "Memories of Elvis" hosted by Ann Margaret was being put together. For the show, the vaults were raided for some clips for the special, and I guess whoever was working with the videotapes thought enough to make copies of all the '68 Comeback material. This is obviously how all the video outtakes that have circulated for years got "out", but first the audio from these videotapes made their appearance. The copies found their way into the hands of Elvis collectors, resulting in these fabulous releases. Both are on the esteemed "audiofon" label: "Burbank Sessions" vol. 1 audiofon AFNS 62768 and "Burbank Sessions" vol. 2 audiofon AFNS 62968 respectively. Volume 1 contains both June 27, 1968 "sit-down" shows on 2 LPs. Volume 2 contains both June 29, 1968 "stand-up" shows, again, on 2 LPs. Volume 1 comes with an 8 page Souvenir Photo Album with 16 high-quality black and white photographs on glossy paper from the sit down shows. Volume 2 comes with two Souvenir "tickets" to the NBC studios in an envelope. The simple fact that "bonus" packaging was included makes these even more special and professional. The artwork is fantastic!! Fabulous color photos of Elvis in that black leather suit. Sure beats a bad hand-drawn caricature on a piece of paper slapped onto a plain white LP jacket. Both LPs are gatefold covers, of course, to house the 2 LPs. The sound quality is extremely good and nothing like these LPs had been seen nor heard by die-hard Elvis collectors up until these releases. These sure beat the pants off "those concert audience recordings"!! Both of these 2 LPs sets are so convincing it would not have been hard to think they were legitimate "import" releases. Guess again, German sounding label name, address and all, they were pressed right here in the good 'ole USA.

Of course much of the material has now been released on legitimate official releases. But to point out how revolutionary these LPs were; it took almost 20 years for better audio sources to appear. Keep in mind, the first CD releases of this material were copied from these LPs!!