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Ernst Jorgensen and FTD--Don't Take Either For Granted!

Sat May 24, 2003 5:20 am

I often wonder if Ernst Jorgensen feels as though he is fighting a losing battle. Some three years ago, to combat the bootleg market and give true blue Elvis fans more of what they would die for, Jorgensen developed the FTD record label--a record label designed for the purpose of releasing historic performances, whether from studio or on stage, from Elvis Presley's amazing and astounding career. Mr. Jorgensen has gone above and beyond the call of duty, but yet, it seems as though he can't do anything right.

Every release is sure to draw criticism. But, most of what is posted is nothing short of ridiculous. This past December, we were fortunate to receive an audience recording of what can be described as Elvis' last true great performance on stage, entitled "Pittsburgh--New Year's Eve." However, this drew criticism from copious fans for several reasons, with the primary complaints being that it wasn't a soundboard recording and the fact that it came from the same source as the bootleg of the concert. Can you believe that some die-hard fans didn't buy the bootleg? They certainly can't be considered die-hard.

More recently, it was announced that the next FTD release would be that of Elvis' performance at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, from October 1, 1974. Not only are fans complaining because the release, which is a SOUNDBOARD, is a mono recording, but because it contains the same old song lineup from previous releases. I am amazed. Here is what appears to be a great release--never before heard with the exception of the 12,301 who attended the Joyce Athletic and Convocation Center that Tuesday night. Let me make this clear. No audience recording has surfaced. This performance wasn't released as a bootleg. It is fresh. And yet, criticism runs rampant. Someone recently said that with each concert recording we are fortunate enough to receive, it is in some way comparable to a ticket to that particular performance. FTD's July release is our ticket to Elvis at Notre Dame.

It has often been said that people don't truly appreciate something until it is gone.

In a way, I wish Ernst didn't sign a new deal with BMG, because all of US who have been so very fortunate over the past three years, would then learn to appreciate how truly lucky we have been.

Kudos and Cheers to Ernst Jorgensen for the fatastic job he and his staff have done. Hopefully, he will realize that there are a some Elvis fans that are grateful for his continued loyalty not only to Elvis Presley, but to the Elvis Presley fan as well.

Elvis Fan


Sat May 24, 2003 5:27 am

Excellent post. :D

Sat May 24, 2003 5:34 am

Nice post.

Anyone possessing even a hint of intelligence knows just how good the Elvis fan has it right now.

Of course, the above does not apply to everyone on the internet -- as evidenced by some members of this MB.

God bless Ernst, Roger and the FTD label.

Sat May 24, 2003 5:36 am

FTD sucks, Ernst sucks worse, the FTD's are all crap..

just perpetuating Tom's myth....


Sat May 24, 2003 5:59 am

I truely agree with both elvis-fan and the good DR. Ii do not agree with Kylan's statement though. I am personally appreciative of anything they(FTD,BMG,EPE) do release. Chris

Sat May 24, 2003 6:21 am

I have been very pleased with the content that FTD has put out in the last three years. I look forward to each new release by the FTD team. Enjoy it folks, nothing lasts forever.
Thanks to Ernst, Roger and the BMG staff. These are great times to be an Elvis Fan!!!!
We must appreciate what we have now.


Randall :)

Sat May 24, 2003 6:31 am

I hope Ernst doesn't feel as though he is fighting a losing battle.
Sales from the FTD label must indicate there are still a tremendous amount
of die hard fans interested in getting everything they can get their hands on.
Myself included.
As far as I'm concerned FTD was a stroke of genius.
In my book Ernst and BMG are appreciated for what has been released - both the quantity and the quality.

Very insightful post EF.

Sat May 24, 2003 6:47 am

anybody who doesn't like ernst or ftd can keep their mouth shut understand!!!!
everything released has been great. who else has it good as us elvis fans no one.
if not for ernst we wouldn't have the sun acetates or anything else.
so hush.

Sat May 24, 2003 6:49 am

I GREATLY APPRECIATE what Ernst has done. And will do.

As I have noted, possibly on the old board, he is in a sort of no-win situation. His FTD label is for "the fans", who are sure to be the most vocal about any problems. As we see on this board and I am one of those who has noted problems. WE are fortunate that there are such "problems" to BE vocal about.

It takes a kind of mental toughness to be in that situation, and Ernst has shown he has it. He has my respect for that and more, even when I don't always agree with what he has done or has failed to do.

Sat May 24, 2003 6:50 am

As one who questioned the upcoming FTD release, I feel that I must respond. As I said before, I am not condemning Ernst, RCA, BMG, FTD, FBI, PTA, FEDEX or anyone else for their releases. I was simply questioning the relevance of releasing this particular show when there is so much other concert material, as well as studio stuff, that is much rarer and far more interesting. I will buy this CD as I have all other FTD's in order to sustain the label. I am also quite certain that I will thoroughly enjoy the show as I have never heard it. I was questioning the timing and prioritizing of this release, not the good intentions of those who do it.


P.S. Kylan,
Now that was funny! Thanks :lol:
Last edited by Tom in North Carolina on Sat May 24, 2003 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Sat May 24, 2003 6:51 am

It's true that everyone can't be satisfied. Let me tell you. I AM!!!
I wait patiently every couple months for the new releases.
I know that there are a lot of people on this messageboard that gripe about this and that with every release. I say, screw them! They are not real fans.
If you look at the responses for each release, good does outweigh the bad by about 4-1. That's just a rough guess but I think most fans are very appreciative of the releases on FTD. But the one out of five is probably enough to destroy a great thing. Let's hope not.
One more thing. I bet that 90% of the people that complain about these releases will buy every one anyway. They just like to argue and complain.

jeff R

Sat May 24, 2003 9:05 am

I have bought every FTD and BMG that has been and is available. I love em all even when they have a small fault like sausage sizzle sound on New Years Eve. :wink:
I say," Keep up the good work Ernst".


Sat May 24, 2003 9:27 am

Elvis Fan is spot on with his analysis of the current situation for FTD.
It is a wonderful label, giving us wonderful music from the vaults.
To slate Ernst is uncalled for and not valid.
People are greedy and never satisfied, they want for more and more and more....when its all gone, they'll be left wanting for more and more and not receiving it.
If the Elvis material being released by FTD is unavailable elsewhere, whats the problem ??
Your preference maybe a different concert or studio what ?? Don't slam the guys work for that !!! He will eventually release what you wish, but be patient, sit back and enjoy something you've not heard before.
You will get to here a great deal of material with this label....promote it, support it and get positive about it.

Sat May 24, 2003 9:45 am

I do appreciate the FTDs and I realize that the label is not going to be here forever. This is part of the reason why I still buy bootlegs along with the FTDs. If a certain performance never appears on FTD or the label folds tomorrow, I may never get a chance to get those tracks again.

In general, Jorgensen has done an excellent job not only with the FTDs but with the general Elvis releases as well. If even for a short while, he got all of Elvis' masters back into circulation. In addition, he has unearthed some incredible finds. In 1990 I never dreamed there would be a "new" Elvis song but Jorgensen found "Fool, Fool, Fool", "It's Diff'rent Now" and "A Hundred Years" from Now among Others. He has also brought important bootlegged works to a mainstream audience. Believe it or not there was never a comprehensive release from the 1968 comeback special until Jorgensen did "Memories" and "Tiger Man" in 1998.

More importantly, Jorgensen has given shape and context to Elvis' work. His themes and compilations are intelligent and designed to present Elvis in a scholarly and entertaining fashion. Even most of the FTDs work as albums not just collections of songs. As much as Guralnick, he has rehabilitated Elvis' reputation.

That however does not mean that he and the label should be above criticism. There have been times where the label has toppled from serving the hardcore fans to exploiting them. This isn't so much what show they pick for a CD (they have to work with what they have) but in the dodgy nature of a few projects and policies.

For instance, the price is far too expensive at $30 (up to $40 in some catalogues) a pop even in the most modest outlets. I know it's a small run collector's deal but other collector's labels get by with lower prices. The price outrage was never more evident than in TTWII book debacle. $75 for a skinny book and an album of not all unreleased material. I would not be shocked if this was the lowest selling FTD of all time.

Before FTD I had never paid $30 for a single CD in my life and I had purchased many rarities from many artists including bootlegs.

Perhaps even more dodgy are the new soundtracks. BMG deletes them to "clean up" the catalogue. However, they promise to release them on FTD for the "true fans", 99% of whom you can bet have them already. So they mix in some unreleased outtakes and some fancy packaging to get those same fans to fork over once again. If the company had truly been serious about allowing the albums to be available to true fans they would have released the soundtracks on the twofers and sold them as "bargain FTDs". Maybe to fill space they could have added the released outtakes, maybe not. But the unreleased outtakes should have been saved for future FTDs and boxes.

In general, I love what they do but when they do wrong you shouldn't be afraid to call them on the carpet.

Hello likethebike.................

Sat May 24, 2003 10:20 am

Yes, I have all the soundtracks already. I bought the entire Double Features series. Yes, I will buy them ALL again, if made available, because of the superior sound and packaging.

To Ernst & Roger and the whole gang I say thankyou and keep those soundtracks coming.

Sat May 24, 2003 1:34 pm

I love the FTD label as well. The new soundtracks are awesome.

I wish EPE would hire someone that had the care and concern of Elvis' music that Ernst has, and start releasing DVD's in the style of FTD.

Maybe not 4 per year, but at least 1 per year would be better then we get now.


EPE should follow Ernst great example of how to manage thing

Sat May 24, 2003 4:10 pm

Elvis Presley Enterprises should follow Ernsts(and company) great example of how to manage things.
Releasing DVD would be a great thing, and i think it would be a commercial
succes too.
Who wouldnt buy a DVD full of great unreleased recordings like On tour,
TTWII, CBS special(this will prob. never happen).

A complete ON TOUR 1972 show would be fantastic.

Sat May 24, 2003 5:34 pm

I have said many times before that Ernst Jorgenson has been instrumental in restoring Elvis’ credibility as a serious artist, and I am extremely grateful for the new material he has released so far, and the work he has done in restoring the Elvis Presley catalogue.

Everybody has their own favourite era of Elvis’ career, and I think this is reflected in the reactions to the varied material that makes up each FTD release. Maybe we all get too analytical at times, but I don’t see anything wrong with discussing the music, as long as this is done in a polite manner, and doesn’t resort to personal insults against Ernst and the rest of the team behind FTD.

Sat May 24, 2003 9:39 pm

No one has said that one must buy each and every FTD release. I for one haven't purchased "Too Much Monkey Business" or "In A Private Moment" just to name a couple. I am more a fan of Elvis from 1969 through 1977 and would tend to believe that I am part of the majority here. Keep in mind what Ernst is working with. Most of the soundboards that exist are from 1974 and 1976. Sure it would be nice to get one from 1971 in Tahoe or a complete show from the third season in Las Vegas. But, I am content with the South Bend release. I won't complain if the musicians aren't listed or if the track times don't appear on the backcover or if each and every picture isn't from Elvis at Notre Dame. We should all be happy with what we get because it is a bonus.

Elvis Fan

Mon May 26, 2003 4:56 am

:lol: good posts i 100% agree with South Bend 1.10.74 release!

Mon May 26, 2003 7:03 am

According to me criticism, if it doesnt become simple attacks, shows respect and care for what has been critiziced: in fact critics care for FTD so much that they are never fully satisfied.

Acting as a critic, giving interpretation of what could be, analisyng different options means interest appreciation and respect for the work of somebody else.

I feel that those who act as critics are those who most don't give FTD for granted - and I am sure the FTD is happy to be challeged and interested in new ideas that might came out.

Besides, if I am allowed, there would not be a Message board if there were not critics. Of couse the same thing goes for those who are the critics of the critics :)

In general I am in favor in hearing people's point of view - even if they don't macth with mine.

Mon May 26, 2003 9:37 am

Last edited by vinyljunkie on Fri Jan 23, 2004 2:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Mon May 26, 2003 1:32 pm

Elvis is the most versatile artist of the 20th century. So are his fans. They range from fans of his earliest rockabilly to rock'n'roll, the early 1960ies Nashville-Sound, the "comeback"-Elvis of 1967-69, there're soundtrack-fans, Memphis-session-fans, gospel-fans, concert-fans, Vegas-fans, tour-fans, fans of operatic schmaltz like his 1970 Nashville sessions, others that like 1970 only his country recordings, others think they're no country, there're fans that prefer the larger than life Elvis of lets say the post-Aloha-years.

Some think the Raised On Rock stuff is cool, other's dont. Some think he should have stopped touring, others don't. Some think his Jungle Room sessions have too much overdubbs and suck, others don't. Some like the early 80ies overdubbs of Too Much Monkey Business, other's don't.

However, FTD has to satisfy them all. So, where's the problem, aren't they doing a great job? Whenever I feel that I don't like a certain release I know that it's because this one has been made for another kind of fan. That's okay, the next release will be something else. It's always been like this. To say it with Elvis: "You can't win 'em all ..."

Mon May 26, 2003 3:37 pm

vinyljunkie wrote: ....... FTD isn't the problem. The problem is the way it is being distributed. ................many fans has to break their subscribtion deals with their greedy fan-club's.

You all pick on P. Lichter but I see many Licthers in the Elvis fan-club world.

These are some very true words. I never appreciated the mentality of some fan-clubs that, you need us to have access to these FTD's. BS. That is "typical" fan-club mentality, to hold something over your head for membership or whatever else may be on their agenda.

This kind of mentality is, unfortunately, pervasive ...... and applies to many areas of the Elvis World & Elvis Collecting World. It all comes down to control and money.

BTW, Lichter deserves to be picked on. He is a scourge on the Elvis World and not to be trusted. In fact, anybody that deals with Lichter, knowing his history, deserves whatever short end of the stick they are dealt. There are a lot of greedy people in the Elvis World, but Lichter stands head & shoulders above any and everyone else atop a mountain all of his own making. No comparison is possible.


I've said it many times before, ...... FTD's are a god-send for us fans. We've never had it better. All releases are appreciated and have my full support.

Constructive criticism is always a good thing (sound, material, etc.). Complaints, however, about artwork, chosen title names, etc., ......... are all frivolous matters, IMO.

...just a fan....

Tue May 27, 2003 1:52 pm


We love ya baby!

Your releases are fantastic, please ignore the ungrateful sods who moan about them - they don't know!

Keep em coming!