Defending FTD’s Release Strategy

As a fan of Elvis Presley, Star Trek, Star Wars, Superman, and various other pop culture touchstones, one of the things I’ve noticed over the years that ties all of them together is that their various fandoms are never quite satisfied.

Take the recent announcement of upcoming Follow That Dream Records releases, consisting of a half dozen interesting – even exciting – CD and vinyl releases on the horizon for the rest of this year, thirty-three years after Elvis’ death. Among them are a 1971 soundboard recording of a concert at Boston Garden and a Classic Album re-issue of a 1973 album and associated alternates.

Predictably, the reaction on various Elvis message boards and forums across the web is lukewarm at best. FTD’s decision to release the Boston Garden show gets criticized because some fans have already bought that one on bootleg once or twice.

Hey, if you bought bootlegs, that’s your problem!

I don’t want FTD to take bootlegs into account when deciding their releases. I fully support their decision to officially release the Boston Garden show. If FTD has access to great Elvis material that has already hit the bootleg market, then bring it on.

If you have bought the bootleg release and now have to either re-buy it or decide not to buy it when it comes out on FTD, then, again, I say that is your problem.

As for 1973’s Elvis (“Fool”) album, there is the typical whining that this album was not a worthy follow-up to his Aloha From Hawaii success and, thus, is undeserving of the Classic Album treatment. Sometimes, I’m not sure to which Elvis Presley these people are listening. Elvis is a great album, with several performances that are not to be missed – including Elvis at the piano on “It’s Still Here.”

Another argument goes that while Elvis may indeed be worthy of an FTD, there are other albums of higher priority that should have come first – Promised Land, Jailhouse Rock: Volume 2, and Ernst Jorgensen’s mysterious Sun project being the oft-cited examples.

This makes no sense to me. FTD is supposed to structure its releases in order of priority? That would mean that they would front-load all of the best releases. Eventually, you would hit a point where all that was left was stuff like Double Trouble and Roustabout. All the good stuff would be gone, and we’d have nothing left to be excited about.

Instead, they have to vary things up. All-in-all, I think FTD does a fantastic job of that – particularly in the last two or three years.

There are also complaints that a tie-in to this year’s Elvis On Tour Blu-ray/DVD/theatrical event was not announced. FTD is the collectors label. Whether it comes this year or next, any corresponding audio releases for Elvis On Tour will likely debut on the main Sony label, with a related FTD release at some point after that.

So, stop all the whining, will you? You’re starting to sound like a bunch of Trekkies.

2 thoughts on “Defending FTD’s Release Strategy

  1. Well said Tygrrius, Nice article and I have to agree with you, if people are to impatient and go for the bootlegs then they have only themselves to blame for the so called “lack of new material”. As far as I’m concerned I can’t wait for the Boston release, will be great to have the “71” concert.

    If people didn’t support the mostly poor quality bootlegs then the likes of FTD releases and Sony etc would be greatly appreciated by far more fans. As it is I’m very happy too FTD and Ernst for their efforts in ALL Elvis’ material that gets to escape Officially.

    P.S Just over 20 days to go and I’m like a kiddie at Christmas waiting for EOT on Blu-ray.

    Cheers to you all.

    Ray

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    • Thanks, Ray. Yeah, Elvis On Tour will be here before we know it! I can only imagine what it must have been like back in the day to be anticipating an actual Elvis concert. The wait must have been nearly unbearable.

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