All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Thu May 10, 2007 7:41 am

Promocollector wrote:Let's just say that you talk the talk in the Elvis world, whereas this person has Walked the Walk.

Let's just say it's clear your anonymously-sourced posting is talking the talk in the Elvis world -- blowing smoke might be a better term -- while my view is directly verifiable.

likethebike wrote:I think if Ernst has one great flaw in his handling of the Elvis catalogue it's an inability to deal with criticism. This has been the case with both FTD and the main catalogue. A good example was the wrong take of "A Big Hunk O' Love" on the '50s boxed set.

All things being equal, to accept a sweeping statement like the above, one needs more than a single example nearly 15 years old.

Ernst has done a tiny bit better since 1992, has he not? Some with a broader view might even maintain the creation of the FTD line itself is a response to fan disenchantment with retail BMG releases.

Thu May 10, 2007 7:51 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Ernst has done a tiny bit better since 1992, has he not? Some with a broader view might even maintain the creation of the FTD line itself is a response to fan disenchantment with retail BMG releases.

One thing that should be pointed out is the fact the of all collector's labels, FTD is by far the best in terms of quantity and diversity. Fans sometimes forget that most legacy artists do not have vaults that were filled with as many gems as Elvis' were. Loads of studio outtakes, multi-track live recordings, some rehearsals and tons of soundboards. It should be a fan's dream-come-true. Ask Doors' fans how they are doing with Bright Midnight -- 4 full multi-track concerts in 7 years. Hendrix fans have had 7 releases in 7 years (and the frustrating thing there is Jimi's vaults are as plentiful as Elvis' was). Dead fans have had 36 Dick's Picks in addition to some great vault releases such as the fantastic 1969 Fillmore West boxset, but there is little variety, just loads of shows and the Dead releases have almost come to a screaching hault recently. The Allman Brothers dangle a live show once a year. Others such as Mountain and Rainbow have only issued a couple of shows, some (Mountain) in bad sound quality. So at the end of the day, with all of the arguable flaws that Ernst and FTD may possess, both are standouts in the "collectors label" world. FTD is far and above the best and every fan should be thankful.

Thu May 10, 2007 11:17 am

Midnight- I think Hippo Select's Motown reissues definitely give FTD a run for their money. That's not any reflection on FTD as they have more material to choose from especially as a lot of Motown has never been on CD and Berry Gordy would have his acts record stuff and then decide after consultation with his quality control board against releasing it.

I'm not sure if ACE counts as a collector's label but I've longed believed they are the top reissue label.

Dr. I can name at least two other incidents off the top of my head. One was when he was questioned about a Rhino version of "Hound Dog" that allegedly had superior sound. Ernst basically claimed people were hearing things as Rhino did not have access to masters. That may be true but people weren't pulling that idea out of their backsides. Another was a question/complaint about the length of either FTDs or the regular label I can't recall which one. Ernst's answer was if you're getting 20 songs on a CD you can't complain. That would be true if these were contemporary songs. However, Elvis songs' were often very short. The Double Trouble FTD is 25 songs and clocks in at only 53 minutes and only about 22 minutes are new to fans. This is on a CD that retails for about $30 or more. It's perfectly reasonable to me for people to ask for music for their money. I think it's safe to assume that if there's more music you'll probably spend more time with the CD over the long haul.

In both these instances, BMG/FTD/Ernst may have very legitimate reasons for the problems. With Double Trouble for instance, this may very well have been all that the label had. I don't have a problem with that I just have a problem with Ernst dismissing the complaint as so much whining.

I also feel the "If you don't like them don't buy them" argument is perverse. If any other business, outside of a utility company, told this to its core demographic they'd fold up. The goal of the label is after all to sell their units and there's nothing wrong with taking criticism about what fans like and don't like and adjusting releases accordingly.

It does Ernst no disservice to say he and his handling of the catalogue is not always perfect. I have tremendous respect for what he's done for the catalogue and for Elvis. What he did in the mainstream in the 1990s was incredible, probably the most intelligent handling (marred only slightly by corporate interference) of any major artist catalogue in the business, was absolutely tremendous. And "Big Hunk O' Love" aside, King Of Rock N' Roll was a towering release that did more to rehabilitate Elvis' reputation than anything outside Peter Guralnick's two books. And with the FTD label, he's by and large done a terrific job in compiling quality releases.

I know it's hard to please everyone and Elvis has a lot of conflicting constituencies but I don't think it's asking too much to let fans know what's happening and why.

Thu May 10, 2007 11:23 am

With respect to the price, I personally wouldn't mind seeing a lower price , however I doubt a lower price would happen if a FTD web-site were set up anyway.

For the reason they would have No choice but to stay full retail just as EPE does with their pricing, to, shall we say give a opportunity to the Fan clubs who buy wholesale the opportunity to decide if they could or would sell at a lower price.

Which is unlikely either in most cases, because the margins or the volume isn't big enough to satisfy any fan club or store to justify discounting on this type of product.

Thus by default FTD or EPE would not lower their price either because in return it would then discourage buying the product from FTD direct at wholesale which the fan clubs do in volume.

If the fan clubs were put in a position to have to compete in pricing with FTD or EPE at a retail level....
there would be more than a few fan clubs that would pull back their orders, so It just wouldn't happen...
nice thought tho.....

What I do for see maybe happening is direct downloading offers through an FTD web-site, but again there is that catch 22 they would have to think about as to how would it effect the purchasing the fan clubs do for the tangible product in CD and Cover format....

Regarding Ernst or Roger talking more in public this would be nice too, still it's always more of a welcome or even more exciting when they space their talks the way they do, especially when they have a lot to offer in information for forth coming releases or new information they have uncovered....

I'm a little disappointed they are not allowed to talk more in detail as to what they do officially have left in the vaults, yet at the same time I do appreciate maybe why this has become a guarded secret....but I still don't like it :lol:

I question sometimes how much life FTD does have left, tho I would like to believe it will still continue for at least another 5 or 10 years...lets hope so anyway's.... :wink:

PEP 8)
Last edited by PEP on Thu May 10, 2007 11:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

Thu May 10, 2007 11:40 am

likethebike wrote:
Dr. I can name at least two other incidents off the top of my head. One was when he was questioned about a Rhino version of "Hound Dog" that allegedly had superior sound. Ernst basically claimed people were hearing things as Rhino did not have access to masters. That may be true but people weren't pulling that idea out of their backsides. Another was a question/complaint about the length of either FTDs or the regular label I can't recall which one. Ernst's answer was if you're getting 20 songs on a CD you can't complain. That would be true if these were contemporary songs. However, Elvis songs' were often very short. The Double Trouble FTD is 25 songs and clocks in at only 53 minutes and only about 22 minutes are new to fans. This is on a CD that retails for about $30 or more. It's perfectly reasonable to me for people to ask for music for their money. I think it's safe to assume that if there's more music you'll probably spend more time with the CD over the long haul.

In both these instances, BMG/FTD/Ernst may have very legitimate reasons for the problems. With Double Trouble for instance, this may very well have been all that the label had. I don't have a problem with that I just have a problem with Ernst dismissing the complaint as so much whining.

I also feel the "If you don't like them don't buy them" argument is perverse. If any other business, outside of a utility company, told this to its core demographic they'd fold up. The goal of the label is after all to sell their units and there's nothing wrong with taking criticism about what fans like and don't like and adjusting releases accordingly.

It does Ernst no disservice to say he and his handling of the catalogue is not always perfect. I have tremendous respect for what he's done for the catalogue and for Elvis. What he did in the mainstream in the 1990s was incredible, probably the most intelligent handling (marred only slightly by corporate interference) of any major artist catalogue in the business, was absolutely tremendous. And "Big Hunk O' Love" aside, King Of Rock N' Roll was a towering release that did more to rehabilitate Elvis' reputation than anything outside Peter Guralnick's two books. And with the FTD label, he's by and large done a terrific job in compiling quality releases.

I know it's hard to please everyone and Elvis has a lot of conflicting constituencies but I don't think it's asking too much to let fans know what's happening and why.


LTB,

I disagree slightly; by and large Ernst is doing a great job. I think his time consuming and painstaking work to catalogue the session tapes and search for and find missing tapes is the reason we have FTD in the first place.

Ok, 'Double Trouble' was a bit of a bust - it was never going to be any great shakes anyway based on what was recorded whether it was 53 minutes or 73 minutes long. But for every 'Double Trouble' there is an 'Elvis is Back' or an 'Elvis Presley.'

With respect to 'A Big Hunk O' Love,' I don't think anybody noticed that the 50s box set contained an alternate version until Ernst mentioned it in 1998.

If FTD/Ernst were more available to the public i'm sure they would have to spend large amounts of their time listening to the demands of the fans - most of the time these are not even realistic, i.e. every 3 months when speculation begins for the next releases we get people demanding Tahoe 71, the Astrodome 70 etc etc.

I'm sure one of the less interesting part of Ernst job is to listen to endless debates of whether the Rhino version of Hound Dog sounds better and whether another release has a version of Mystery Train that is 2 seconds longer!

Andrew

FTD

Thu May 10, 2007 11:44 am

I agree with a lot of the comments here and I do find it frustrating sometimes that some FTD's are not quite the whole article. With that I mean, poor mastering at times, naff or non-existent "artwork" (the covers for "On tour - the rehearsals" and "Made in Memphis" spring to mind). Also the lack of information with the releases. (This does NOT apply to the 7" sleeved ones which have all been superb).
Also, although it may sound a bit petty, I find the titles of some of the releases are lazy and uninspired, such as "An American trilogy", "Unchained melody", "So high", "Big boss man", etc. These are uninspired and tell the potential buyer nothing about the content of the CD.
And if no website is ever going to materialize for FTD, why not just include a 2 or 4 page insert with each release detailing the recording details, how the tape was found, etc etc.
Having said all this, I love the collection and feel we have been 'spoiled' with the amount of material coming through. Long may it continue, but, perhaps with a little more thought and care on occasions.

Thu May 10, 2007 11:45 am

Maybe someone can explain me this.

It's always been very popular amongst Elvis fans to bash Ernst.
A while ago, when Ernst was ill, he suddenly turned into a saint and everybody was daily visiting their local church to light a candle for him.
Right now Ernst is okay and it's time again to put him down.

Strange behaviour in my eyes.

What's the big deal here?
Ernst is doing his job (and we should be thankfull for that).
Sometimes he makes mistakes. So what! Don't we all make mistakes at our job?
If you don't like what he does, don't buy it! Nobody will care.

He also tries to please all of us.
That means that sometimes you'll like it, sometimes it leaves you cold and sometimes you could even hate it.
And again, I've never seen a terminator running around to eliminate Elvis fans that don't buy all FTD releases.

Thu May 10, 2007 11:56 am

AndrewJ wrote:
likethebike wrote:
I have tremendous respect for what he's done for the catalogue and for Elvis.


LTB,

I disagree slightly; by and large Ernst is doing a great job.
Andrew


Andrew, I don't think anyone is saying Ernst is doing a poor job, on the contrary, blind Freddy can see that we have been able to enjoy a wealth of new material since he has been at the helm.
Some constructive criticism can be a good thing, if it is given and taken with respect.

Thu May 10, 2007 12:00 pm

KempoDick wrote: And again, I've never seen a terminator running around to eliminate Elvis fans that don't buy all FTD releases.

:smt066

Thu May 10, 2007 12:09 pm

Promocollector wrote:I was told (pm'ed) by a very well respected former member of this mb that the only thing that Ernst has any interest in, is his Sun project. This person said that neither Ernst or Roger listen to any regular FTD releases before they are released to the public, which is the reason why we get so many errors on the regular cd's.


Provided that's true, then maybe once the Sun book is out, Ernst will find some time again to do a final quality check on the FTDs to be issued.

Thu May 10, 2007 12:22 pm

KempoDick wrote:It's always been very popular amongst Elvis fans to bash Ernst. A while ago, when Ernst was ill, he suddenly turned into a saint and everybody was daily visiting their local church to light a candle for him.


I did that before he turned ill, too. Ernst is a true hero.

Keith Richards, Jr.

Thu May 10, 2007 2:01 pm

The "Ask Ernst" doesn't works, because Ernst is very nice fellow but nearly says anything...Maybe this will come out...maybe that will come out...maybe in the near future...not in the near future....He talks and says nothing that really matters... :lol:

Thu May 10, 2007 2:15 pm

AndrewJ wrote:With respect to 'A Big Hunk O' Love,' I don't think anybody noticed that the 50s box set contained an alternate version until Ernst mentioned it in 1998.


It was picked up on long before then by fan reviews in Elvis Mail (The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club UK).

Thu May 10, 2007 2:27 pm

I didn't notice it at first. And when I did it wasn't a big deal to me.

Thu May 10, 2007 4:21 pm

I think we all know by now there will be fewer and fewer
surprises issued on FTD.When the sounboards first arrived
songs like Big Boss Man,It's Midnight,Help Me,Im Leaving
and plenty others had only been heard on bootlegs so
they were new and exiting to fans who hadn't heard live
vesions of such songs.I got into FTD after they had been
going for a year as I had no idea about them until I got a
computer and access to the internet which opened up a
new world and a new mortgage to catch up on loads of
bootlegs.I must have about 20 live versions of Big Boss
man now but thats what happens,the more you have the
laws of diminishing returns apply.The main goal for FTD was
to issue a live show from every available tour/season so some
are obviously going to sound better than others depending
on the source and how well they are mastered but I must admit
that I expected much better on An American Trilogy than we
got sound wise.Still roll on the next lot and keep em coming
for one day threr will be no more.

norrie

Thu May 10, 2007 4:46 pm

Norrie to quote the last sentence in Your Post....

''still roll on the next lot and keep em coming for one day there will be no more''

Well said.

Thu May 10, 2007 5:21 pm

AndrewJ wrote:With respect to 'A Big Hunk O' Love,' I don't think anybody noticed that the 50s box set contained an alternate version until Ernst mentioned it in 1998.



Wrong!!

I noticed it as soon as I heard it.

Thu May 10, 2007 10:23 pm

Hello,

Doc. Carpenter wrote:

Let's just say it's clear your anonymously-sourced posting is talking the talk in the Elvis world -- blowing smoke might be a better term -- while my view is directly verifiable.


Who verified your view, Doc? Yourself!!!


Daryl

Fri May 11, 2007 12:04 am

KempoDick wrote:Maybe someone can explain me this.

It's always been very popular amongst Elvis fans to bash Ernst.
A while ago, when Ernst was ill, he suddenly turned into a saint and everybody was daily visiting their local church to light a candle for him.
Right now Ernst is okay and it's time again to put him down.
I was disgusted! People did not give a rats ass about Ernst J's health! It was "what will happen to FTD now?! ".........It is not too much to ask that EJ dedicate a little time to fandom ...on the contrary it is 1@!~! just send us half assed soundboards with mistakes and not worry cause the stupid fans all they want is what's next!! OOOPS ..too close for comfort! :lol:
Last edited by Juan Luis on Fri May 11, 2007 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri May 11, 2007 12:15 am

Daryl wrote:Who verified your view, Doc?

No one -- yet.

A careful, intelligent reader will note I wrote "my view is directly verifiable."

Fri May 11, 2007 12:18 am

Steve_M wrote:
Spellbinder wrote:
AndrewJ wrote:With respect to 'A Big Hunk O' Love,' I don't think anybody noticed that the 50s box set contained an alternate version until Ernst mentioned it in 1998.



Wrong!!

I noticed it as soon as I heard it.


But Spelly, AndrewJ was most probably right in that he was only telling us what it was he was not thinking. :wink:


Correct!!

Fri May 11, 2007 3:28 am

Hello,

Doc Carpenter wrote:

No one -- yet.

A careful, intelligent reader will note I wrote "my view is directly verifiable."


It doesn't matter if your view is directly verifiable. It's been 4 years since you joined this messageboard and your view still isn't verifiable. It sounds to me as if you have grand illusions that your view will someday be verified by some unknown entity that I don't think you even have a name for. Who exactly is going to verify your view? No one. That's who. So please give up the grandeur notion that your opinion is more important and correct than any one else's on this messageboard. Because it's not. Even your beloved Jorgensen and Guralnick are not incapable of making a mistake from time to time (in Jorgensen's case, it would be wrongly listed dates, take numbers, poor mixes of songs, etc. and in Guralnick's case it would be for the most part the entire "Careless Love" book which in my view stooped to sensationalism the likes of which the Elvis fandom hadn't seen since Goldman's book). Recently I played a few of the pre Jorgensen releases on vinyl like Greatest Hits Vol. 1, A Legendary Performer 3 & 4 and I must say that those three releases sound much better on vinyl mind you than most of the stuff Jorgensen puts out to this very day. I'm sorry but Kevan Budd's crap is way too harsh on the ears as if he's trying to literally pierce my eardrums. Music shouldn't sound like that, by no means. As for Guralnick, we've already had our spat about "Memphis" but the facts remain that I would rather believe a guy who made music and lived the rock star life than some Ivy League hippie from the '60s who couldn't make music so instead was relegated to writing about it. As Rivers says in the link provided, the book should have been called "Careless Writing."

http://www.johnnyrivers.com/truth.html

Doc, you still haven't grasped the fact that Elvis' version of "Memphis" never would have been a major hit a la Rivers' version (#2 on Billboard) because Elvis recorded his version prior to Beatlemania hitting U.S. shores and Rivers recorded his version after Beatlemania hit America. Elvis would have been lucky to get into the Top Twenty with his "Memphis" as he was unable to with a much more catchier "What'd I Say"/"Viva Las Vegas".

Read and learn, my friend!

Daryl

Fri May 11, 2007 4:05 am

You are certainly entitled to your opinion, Daryl, but you state your perspective in the same manner for which you criticize DJC. I find a warmth and depth to the material mastered by Kevan Budd which I hadn't heard since listening to records. Let's keep the tone respectful. In terms of the Memphis argument, you have your take on it, others have theirs. Perhaps agreeing to disagree would work in this case. I am not aware of anyone changing someone else's perspective by trying to ram it down their throats.

Fri May 11, 2007 5:46 am

likethebike wrote:Midnight- I think Hippo Select's Motown reissues definitely give FTD a run for their money. That's not any reflection on FTD as they have more material to choose from especially as a lot of Motown has never been on CD and Berry Gordy would have his acts record stuff and then decide after consultation with his quality control board against releasing it.

I'm not sure if ACE counts as a collector's label but I've longed believed they are the top reissue label.

LTB, you are talking about reissue labels that issue material from multiple artists. In terms of pure collector's labels for single artists, FTD is certainly one of the best, if not the best. Rhino, HIP-O and ACE have all done tremendous work, but you can't compare them to FTD. FTD is an entirely different beast. No other individual artists other than Hendrix have the quantity and variety of material that the Elvis Presley vaults have. FTD has issues (questionable mixing, mastering, Ernst's ego, extremely high prices and material selection at times), but they offer fans as much as a collector's label can.

Fri May 11, 2007 7:08 am

Hello,

Midnightx wrote:

LTB, you are talking about reissue labels that issue material from multiple artists. In terms of pure collector's labels for single artists, FTD is certainly one of the best, if not the best. Rhino, HIP-O and ACE have all done tremendous work, but you can't compare them to FTD.


That's a load of bull. The only reason you can't compare the two is because Jorgensen doesn't know anything else besides Elvis. And sometimes I wonder if he even knows that subject all that well. Jorgensen should have diversified himself into working on other artists catalog besides Presley. He has really limited himself in what he can do, sort of like an actor who gets pigeon-holed into a certain-type character or a genre of film. Remind you of anybody?

Daryl