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FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:26 am

This is what was posted on the Elvis Information Network - http://www.ElvisInfoNet.com:

Ernst Jørgensen kindly clarified the situation for us today and the question of future FTD reprints...
"Everytime we sell out of a product and have to reprint the title, we have a discussion on whether to improve the package or not. Currently we are (thinking of) reprinting about 11 titles, so we have 11 discussions. We will inform people through the proper channels when we are ready with these new releases and possible expanded/changed versions of titles.
- We also change our minds sometimes!!!

However it's been interesting to read the sites since Elvis Australia (Troedson) started the rumour. The way I read them is that many fans think we are "greedy bastards" if we make some of the older releases into new 2 CD packages, and they will have to buy them again. I certainly understand the viewpoint, but I'm also sure there are people of other opinions.
The label is aimed at giving fans what they want - FTD's problem is to understand what the majority of the collectors want".
- Ernst Jørgensen
(News, Source;ErnstJ/ElvisInfoNetwork)


I thought it was originally stated by FTD / Ernst that FTD releases will be limited: "Once they are gone, they are gone..." Why are they even thinking about reprinting of existing titles - improvement or not. If anything should be considered, then there should be volume 2 for these releases with new outtakes. They can use Japanese artwork as usually it was very different on the original releases. All movie FTD releases are still missing outtakes that should should be included as part of the series. I don't understand why reprinting is even an option considered by FTD.
Last edited by GregCieslik on Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:37 am

GregCieslik wrote:I thought it was originally stated by FTD / Ernst that FTD releases will be limited: "Once they are gone, they are gone..."

That was the intention 12 years ago. However, since that time the parent company has changed (BMG to Sony) and so has FTD's priorities.

For example, the standard Presley catalog has been pared down, and Ernst realized that FTD could be a place where some of the "lost" catalog items could live: thus, the "deluxe" album series. In addition, more than a few of the titles have exceeded expectations, and so more copies are being made to satisfy the fans.

Finally, it should be appreciated, not condemned, that when FTD uncovers a superior tape source (such as the Girl Happy album masters) they repress their release with the upgraded source. They do they best they can with what they have to work with at any given time.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:45 am

Reprints of previously released material is only a problem if you collect as a completist. Part of the job description is to own every variation. So then, what's the problem?

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:47 am

GregCieslik wrote:Currently we are (thinking of) reprinting about 11 titles, so we have 11 discussions....

Hopefully this will include upgrades of Recorded Live On Stage In Memphis, Viva Las Vegas and Today.

We may even get an improved Stage Rehearsal edit....

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:03 am

elvisjock wrote:Reprints of previously released material is only a problem if you collect as a completist. Part of the job description is to own every variation. So then, what's the problem?


The problem is that there are still unreleased (officially) takes that can be released by FTD instead of repressing what is already available. Explain to me what was the purpose of repressing "Girl Happy" FTD was. To include the master of "You'll Be Gone"???? They must be kidding. If they made a mistake in the first place, they should have replaced it for free.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:04 am

GregCieslik wrote:Explain to me what was the purpose of repressing "Girl Happy" FTD was.

Try reading my reply.

::rocks

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:13 am

That's around 10% of the FTD catalogue under discussion to be reissued -- and such is fair, because, if FTD are able - and willing - to upgrade appropriately, using superior tape sources and "improved" mixes then such won't pass many fans by -- and, let's face it, FTD is a business, not a charity. If they weren't earning a coin or finding avenues to do so, then the label would cease to exist. But why should anyone, thus, be eager to delve into the FTD back catalogue, spending far more than the usual retail price to obtain a much sought-after release, only to find it reissued shrotly thereafter?! Such practices may improve the "quality" of certain releases, but it also cheapens the label, IMO . . .

Therefore, at what point does FTD stop being a "collector's label" and merely become another label? After all, the lion's share of their releases are open to discussion with regards to artwork, content, audio-quality etc. So whose to say that a complete overhaul of the catalogue isn't out of the question?! After all, neither FTD or Sony want much desired outtakes and material to fall out of circulation; therefore, such may be re-released in any number of guises, i.e. as good as some of the Classic Album releases are, material is being twice bought in numerous instances because some of the content can be found in FTD's regular releases.

FTD have been guilty of inferior production values and poor choices since day-1, so perhaps a consideration more than reissuing self-same titles with little to warrant double-dipping, would be to raise their standards across the board, then discuss a reissue programme.
Last edited by greystoke on Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:13 am

GregCieslik wrote:
elvisjock wrote:Reprints of previously released material is only a problem if you collect as a completist. Part of the job description is to own every variation. So then, what's the problem?


The problem is that there are still unreleased (officially) takes that can be released by FTD instead of repressing what is already available. Explain to me what was the purpose of repressing "Girl Happy" FTD was. To include the master of "You'll Be Gone"???? They must be kidding. If they made a mistake in the first place, they should have replaced it for free.

Reading that interview with EJ he does say "We will inform people through the proper channels when we are ready with these new releases and possible expanded/changed versions of titles".
If true, this is encouraging news for those fans who may be put off with buying duplicate material, regardless of any sound upgrade.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:26 am

It isn't uncommon for record labels to upgrade titles with new mastering, from new tape sources, to correct tape speed, newly discovered bonus tracks, etc. For example, I can't tell you how many times I have purchased Who's Next. Why shouldn't FTD offer fans the best possible option for sound if improvements can be made over time? Additionally, it isn't as if anyone is being coerced into buying upgrades. I am fine with my original FTD version of Girl Happy -- if that is a soundtrack that some of you find essential, then buy the version with a sonic upgrade. Would it have been preferrable for FTD to issue the best version initially? Of course, but as with all record labels, issuing it right the first time isn't always possible. Too much is being made out of Ernst's comments. Most of us have attempted upgrading our masters with Anesini's work from 2007. Why doesn't the same desire and standard apply to FTD? If improvements can be made for certain titles subsequently, I don't see what the big problem is.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:34 am

My primary reason for collecting is to get the best possible sound. In fact, I've been upgrading from the first 45 I bought in 1963. If FTD can improve a release by upgrading the sound whether from better tapes or better mastering I will buy it. If bonus tracks are included, that's a plus.

MT

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 1:58 am

Here's the quandary for FTD: fans want specific releases, so they wait as long as they can to make sure they have the best sources, and then release it. And then, Ernst comes along better/more tapes from sessions of an already released album. What would you do? Leave it in the vault? I don't think that Ernst is simply withholding tapes so that he can get more money for FTD. I think he just wants to get as much Elvis material in the hands of fans, and an updated reissue is the way to do it. I don't have any problem with, especially since I don't have to buy all the releases. Ernst can't seem to win with some fans, who want everything now, but yet don't understand that new takes and generations of tapes are still being found.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:05 am

MarkyMark77 wrote:Here's the quandary for FTD: fans want specific releases, so they wait as long as they can to make sure they have the best sources, and then release it. And then, Ernst comes along better/more tapes from sessions of an already released album. What would you do? Leave it in the vault? I don't think that Ernst is simply withholding tapes so that he can get more money for FTD. I think he just wants to get as much Elvis material in the hands of fans, and an updated reissue is the way to do it. I don't have any problem with, especially since I don't have to buy all the releases. Ernst can't seem to win with some fans, who want everything now, but yet don't understand that new takes and generations of tapes are still being found.


This is not a quandry at all. Ernst is withholding tapes - he did not release all tapes from Paradise Hawaiian Style, Frankie and Johnny, Fun In Acapulco, BLue Hawaii etc. Most of classic albums also could have additonal takes released which DO EXIST but Ernst chose not to include complete sessions - Elvis Today is just one example. So why is everyone talking about more and better tapes - some of these tapes have existed for years and still are not released. I say again - if you have complete tapes release them and then you don't have to worry about upgrades.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:09 am

GregCieslik wrote:... Ernst chose not to include complete sessions - Elvis Today is just one example.

Right. Because FTD has stated many times they are not about releasing "complete sessions," they are geared to creating listenable albums that enhance the recorded legacy. Anyone can roll out takes ad infinitum and create a boring product only desirable to obsessives. That is not the path FTD has chosen, thank God.

Did you read my post about why there was an FTD reissue of Girl Happy yet?

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 2:38 am

Hi there!! :D :D :D.

For me this is excellent news I have been waiting for years 8).

Roll on:

FTD Viva Las Vegas 2 cd set. :smt007 :smt007 :smt007 :smt007 :smt007
FTD Fun In Acapulco 2 cd set. :smt007 :smt007 :smt007 :smt007 :smt007

I asked Ernst Jorgensen personally in Memphis during this Elvis week about this and he answered me he would think about it. So if he decide to do this, please don´t blame me smt174. Bye for now :smt006.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:43 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
GregCieslik wrote:... Ernst chose not to include complete sessions - Elvis Today is just one example.

Right. Because FTD has stated many times they are not about releasing "complete sessions," they are geared to creating listenable albums that enhance the recorded legacy. Anyone can roll out takes ad infinitum and create a boring product only desirable to obsessives. That is not the path FTD has chosen, thank God.

Did you read my post about why there was an FTD reissue of Girl Happy yet?


I did read it. There was no improvement with sound quality. Most people say they can't hear any difference. I have both. The only difference is the master of You'll Be Gone is included instead of the alternate take. Big deal. I am not even going to discus the artwork changes. There is nothing significant at all. If it comes down to artwork. FTD would have to reissue almost the whole catalog to really get it right - I am talking strictly about the classic albums. The other albums have accepltable artwork - it is matter of personal tastes. However, the classic albums are a disaster. Some are not even close to the originals in clarity and ratio aspect.

If Ernst is going to rerelease these albums as 2 CD sets, then great at least we will get additional takes.

And please don't talk about FTD not releasing complete sessions because they want to produce interesting albums. NONE of these albums are listanable by any one except a die hard Elvis fans. Most people don't care about different outtakes and false starts. We do and we should get everything there is instead of splices, edits, omissions etc.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:49 am

GregCieslik wrote:I did read it. There was no improvement with sound quality. Most people say they can't hear any difference. I have both. The only difference is the master of You'll Be Gone is included instead of the alternate take.


GregCieslik wrote:However, the classic albums are a disaster. Some are not even close to the originals in clarity and ratio aspect.


GregCieslik wrote:And please don't talk about FTD not releasing complete sessions because they want to produce interesting albums. NONE of these albums are listanable by any one except a die hard Elvis fans.

Strikes 1 - 2 - 3, you're outta here.

Grab some pine, meat.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:03 am

I want to know what TONY. or even TONY has to say about this.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:14 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
GregCieslik wrote:I did read it. There was no improvement with sound quality. Most people say they can't hear any difference. I have both. The only difference is the master of You'll Be Gone is included instead of the alternate take.


GregCieslik wrote:However, the classic albums are a disaster. Some are not even close to the originals in clarity and ratio aspect.
I am referring to album covers not sound clarity just so there is no confusion.

GregCieslik wrote:And please don't talk about FTD not releasing complete sessions because they want to produce interesting albums. NONE of these albums are listanable by any one except a die hard Elvis fans.

Strikes 1 - 2 - 3, you're outta here.

Grab some pine, meat.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:59 am

Ernst is withholding tapes


You're mixing up two different parts of the argument. Let me outline the differences:

1. Ernst does not release all takes. As the good doctor noted, he never has intended to do so. Instead, he tries to release the relevant takes in a package that is pleasing to the consumer, cost effective and has artistic merit. He groups first takes, or replicates the original album running order, etc., to produce a listenable CD, not a mere tape dump.

2. I was talking about new tapes of the same material, not the same tapes of unreleased material. That's a big difference to not really address and then confuse the issue by lumping the two together. They are not the same thing. If Ernst finds a better source of already-released material, he's doing the right thing by re-releasing it. If he didn't, and people knew about it, people would flip out. The man can't win!

3. Yes, Ernst does "withhold" outtakes. He does not release every one. If you really desire that, you can find many of them on bit torrent sites. I do enjoy the few complete sessions I've heard, but I understand that Ernst compiles releases to capture the widest collector's market possible. When he did release a glut of takes (Jailhouse Rock vol. 1 & 2), I personally felt that I didn't need all those takes, even of this great, classic material. Should he release complete sessions? Maybe. But this complaint is like whining that there was slightly too much ketchup on the best burger you ever had. :D

4. I'm not an Ernst apologist. He has made some missteps (his use of Lene Reidel, the withholding of "On Tour" shows, etc.). But, he's a human being. And, by and large, his handling of the Presley catalog has been done with great care AND success, which is no mean feat. Consider the number of Beatles concerts available on CD right now (that number is "0", by the way), and compare that to the number of concerts we can purchase at any time via FTD. I think Ernst is actually one of the few people in the music industry who understand the balance between commerce and art. I don't think a lot of fans really do.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:07 am

Lone live Ernst and FTD. My wife (who is ok with Elvis but by no means a hardcore fan) doesn't find roadtrips with FTD classic album outtakes tedious or unlistenable. the classic albums are great to me, just the right amount of outtakes...no need for every single outtake to be released.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:12 am

The first "Classic Album " releases were in 2005 where FTD first gave fans "2 CDs for the price of one". (except for New Year's Eve)

Before 2005 no FTD fans really expected the warts-and-all-the-outtakes approach that we now get.

The idea of those early soundtrack albums having all the outtakes was not what was expected.
Would have been nice - but stuff like Viva Las Vegas wouldn't fit into 80 minutes in any case.
(Do I really want 20 takes of Adam & Evil anyway?!)

But now FTD have raised the bar - and changed the initial format - so now we get (or expect!) the format of...
CD1 Original Album plus "Best Ofs" (or first takes), CD2 - All the other outtakes.

Now I think we would all love the Soundtrack albums in the same (new) extended format with all the outtakes at the same two-for-one price.
(after all you don't have to play all of CD2!!)

Strangely I am a sucker for Harum Scarum! Give me ALL the outtakes!!
- But not a great fan of Frankie & Johnny! (happy with the 1 CD version I have)

So if FTD are doing a Soundtrack reprint in any case but can now re-compile it to include a 2nd CD or even more outtakes (plus the better Vic Anesini Masters) that would surely be good for most fans.

Some may whinge but I think if FTD properly explain why they can now do an extended version, people will like it.

After all we don't have to buy it - and there have been a lot changes and expectations in the seven years since Harum Scarum & F & J first came out.

Cheers
Piers

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:25 am

MarkyMark77 wrote:
Ernst is withholding tapes


You're mixing up two different parts of the argument. Let me outline the differences:

1. Ernst does not release all takes. As the good doctor noted, he never has intended to do so. Instead, he tries to release the relevant takes in a package that is pleasing to the consumer, cost effective and has artistic merit. He groups first takes, or replicates the original album running order, etc., to produce a listenable CD, not a mere tape dump.

2. I was talking about new tapes of the same material, not the same tapes of unreleased material. That's a big difference to not really address and then confuse the issue by lumping the two together. They are not the same thing. If Ernst finds a better source of already-released material, he's doing the right thing by re-releasing it. If he didn't, and people knew about it, people would flip out. The man can't win!

3. Yes, Ernst does "withhold" outtakes. He does not release every one. If you really desire that, you can find many of them on bit torrent sites. I do enjoy the few complete sessions I've heard, but I understand that Ernst compiles releases to capture the widest collector's market possible. When he did release a glut of takes (Jailhouse Rock vol. 1 & 2), I personally felt that I didn't need all those takes, even of this great, classic material. Should he release complete sessions? Maybe. But this complaint is like whining that there was slightly too much ketchup on the best burger you ever had. :D

4. I'm not an Ernst apologist. He has made some missteps (his use of Lene Reidel, the withholding of "On Tour" shows, etc.). But, he's a human being. And, by and large, his handling of the Presley catalog has been done with great care AND success, which is no mean feat. Consider the number of Beatles concerts available on CD right now (that number is "0", by the way), and compare that to the number of concerts we can purchase at any time via FTD. I think Ernst is actually one of the few people in the music industry who understand the balance between commerce and art. I don't think a lot of fans really do.




#1 Arguement - I would agree %100 with the first argument if these releases were intended for general public like the original Essential Series were. Howerver, these releases are at almost 3 times the cost or a regular CD. Therefore, I would like to get everything there is. However, even if I agree with this argument and there are collectors who want to listen to edited, spliced CDs, then let the market dictate. Please release two versions of FTD release. Do a test marketing exercise. And let's see which version will sell better. He has nothing to loose. Completists will buy both copies anyway and the rest can decide. FTD can even charge more for the complete session version and press smaller quantity than the regular version.

#2 Argument - If new source tapes are found, yes please release them. However, this is not the case. The best source has already been released on complete masters. Which new source tapes are you talking about.

#3 Arguement - Of course, I am assuming that if new tapes of unheard of material are found, they should be released without any argument. I was referring tapes that FTD has in their possesion, and they are not released. So yes, they are being withold. The likelyhood of new unreleased tapes of being found is pretty minimal; however, we can wish and maybe it will come true. But at this point we know more or less which tapes exist, and they should be made available to the fans.

#4 Argument - Fully agree that he cares, but a lot of the fans do not agree with his approach to some of the releases . This is just an opinion and observation.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:38 am

MarkyMark77 wrote:
Ernst is withholding tapes


You're mixing up two different parts of the argument. Let me outline the differences:

1. Ernst does not release all takes. As the good doctor noted, he never has intended to do so. Instead, he tries to release the relevant takes in a package that is pleasing to the consumer, cost effective and has artistic merit. He groups first takes, or replicates the original album running order, etc., to produce a listenable CD, not a mere tape dump.


And yet, if he did a 'mere tape dump', we could each decide which takes are enjoyable/most pleasing to our own ears and make our own comps (or just listen to the entire sessions). Best of both worlds, IMO. Not gonna happen in most instances I know, but for those keeping count that's my vote :)

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 5:54 am

Which new source tapes are you talking about.

This:
FTD uncovers a superior tape source (such as the Girl Happy album masters)


Please release two versions of FTD release.

I can't imagine that this would be economically feasible for the label.

for those keeping count that's my vote

a lot of the fans do not agree with his approach to some of the releases


That's cool. I dug "The American Way" series, for sure. I don't know either way if most people prefer complete sessions or a compilation. The only Elvis fans I talk to are on this board. Maybe a poll would be interesting. I also don't know if it would be cost effective to release a multiple disc set of certain sessions (regarding considerations like how many discs it would fill, the interest of the particular session, etc.) The price point of such an item coupled with how many units sold may not yield enough profit for the label. Then again, there's this: http://store.dead.net/new/europe-72-complete-recordings So...maybe do complete sessions of selected milestone sessions (56, 57, American Studios, etc.)

I have no idea about this, but I wonder how well JHR 1 and 2 are doing, sales wise. In this way, we could compare the success of the two different ways to present outtakes.

Re: FTD Reprints - Ernst Comments

Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:08 am

MarkyMark77 wrote:That's cool. I dug "The American Way" series, for sure. I don't know either way if most people prefer complete sessions or a compilation. The only Elvis fans I talk to are on this board. Maybe a poll would be interesting. I also don't know if it would be cost effective to release a multiple disc set of certain sessions (regarding considerations like how many discs it would fill, the interest of the particular session, etc.) The price point of such an item coupled with how many units sold may not yield enough profit for the label. Then again, there's this: http://store.dead.net/new/europe-72-complete-recordings So...maybe do complete sessions of selected milestone sessions (56, 57, American Studios, etc.)

I have no idea about this, but I wonder how well JHR 1 and 2 are doing, sales wise. In this way, we could compare the success of the two different ways to present outtakes.


Yeah, the price point is key. The cost to press a CD is nominal, certainly under $1 per disc. However, I'm not sure how publishing, etc. plays into this. Does releasing, say, 10 takes of a given song cost more that releasing two takes? Anyone know? And if so, how much? Mastering costs of another hour or two of material are another matter as well.