Remembering Elvis on His 80th with a New CD

Discussion in 'Third Party Sales & Auctions' started by Larry Jordan, Jan 8, 2015.

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  1. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    On this 80th birthday of Elvis, I thought you might like to know about a NEW CD which has been released called "Elvis: The New Recordings." This is unlike any other CD available. It consists of 26 NEW (2015) overdubs of some of Mr. Presley's best tracks (from well known songs to obscure material). Using the tools of the digital age, we stripped down some of Elvis's tracks to the bare essentials. His voice was remastered to bring out his purity of tone, overly loud vocal backings were subdued or eliminated, and some of the original accompaniment that distracted from his singing was dispensed with. His voice was brought forward so you can hear him more clearly. Then, we recruited some world-class musicians — including alumni of the Atlanta jazz scene, current members of the Grand Ole Opry band in Nashville, and others in Europe — to help create tasteful new backings to showcase Elvis to best advantage. These selections now sound amazingly fresh, beautiful and vibrant — as if Elvis just recorded them today!

    Notice to "purists": we know you detest all overdubs; you feel that originals, no matter how flawed, are always vastly superior; in your view nobody can EVER improve an old recording and it's sacrilege -- maybe even against the law -- to try! That's why you still watch b&w TV with rabbit ears and use black rotary dial phones. We've got it. Also be reassured nobody is taking your original recordings away from you. But a lot of people like recordings the way they can be reworked and enhanced in the digital age. If you don't, that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion.

    But for those who would like to hear Elvis in new musical settings, check out the samples here:

    Meg Rawcliffe and crimpies like this.
  2. Monosterio

    Monosterio Forum Resident

    South Florida
    So they're not really new recordings -- how could they be? Shouldn't it be retitled something like "The Retooled Recordings"?
  3. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Would you like to see the receipts for all the musicians I hired to create new recordings?
  4. bluesbro

    bluesbro Forum Hall of Shame

    Is it legal?
  5. guyanthonybrown

    guyanthonybrown Forum Resident

    Playable off the link above, 15 mins of samples, each about a minute.
    Elvis' perfect voice accompanied by a rich and wonderfully in tune team effort.
    Glorious sound.
    but why bother? I wonder.
    RCA, warts and all, rules in my book.
    melstapler likes this.
  6. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Why would you question that bluesbro? This is an EU release and as such falls under EU copyright law, just like thousands of other releases sold on Amazon, et al. All the MCPS fees are paid, etc. And according to the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2013 ruling, the First Sale Doctrine and specifically the U.S. copyright statute has no geographical boundaries. That's why there are millions of imports sold here every day.
  7. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Guyanthonybrown -- as to why bother -- Elvis' catalog has been plundered to death and beyond with endless repackagings and I note today the grand announcement that they are releasing another album with presumably a new picture so we have something new to look at while we listen to the same old songs. Thanks for the compliment on the musical accompaniment but it's just to give fans something fresh to listen to. As I've said before, it's much like changing the frame around a great painting.

    Also, when I have done overdubs in the past on Patsy Cline, Jim Reeves, Rosemary Clooney, Bing Crosby, et al, it has gotten these artists radio airplay anew. Two of my overdubs from the 8 CD set "The Great Jim Reeves" (containing 170+ tracks and 96 overdubs of RCA masters) garnered Reeves two Top Ten songs, one of which climbed to #1 on European radio charts this past summer. That would never have happened to his original recordings in this day and age. How many different Presley songs have you heard played on the radio lately?

    It's like Crosby. All they play is "White Christmas" every year and ignore the rest of his catalog.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  8. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    I got my first pricey stereo system in August 1977. Right after my mom and I put it in the trunk (I was 16) we got in the car and turned on the radio.

    Happy 80th...King. ;)
    ccbarr likes this.
  9. Eli

    Eli Party Coordinator

    Isle of Lucy
    I'm no purist, but I think this would have been more interesting if the new instrumental tracks had been more different from the original tracks. I liked the Elvis dance remixes, for example. Elvis with straight jazz or big band arrangements might be interesting. Or Elvis with only strings, or Elvis unplugged, etc.
  10. heatherly

    heatherly Well-Known Member

    They would need access to the multis and I'm sure the company that put out this cd does not have access to them.

    It does sound nice, FWIW. I'd pick this CD up if I found it for sale, I don't do online shopping anymore.
  11. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    For those who own a pretty decent size FTD collection already then this might be fun. Otherwise, discover the original material first. There is no substitute for the real thing.
    melstapler and Volt-and-Volume like this.
  12. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O! sad. I'm not feeling it.
    melstapler and Volt-and-Volume like this.
  13. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I don't have a problem with the idea of isolating the vocal track and recontextualizing it with a new recording.

    However, these recordings sound too close to the originals for my taste. I thought maybe an attempt would be made to make them sound much more modern. The arrangements are so tethered to the originals that these still sound very much like what they are (in part): '50s and early '60s recordings.
    heatherly and MRamble like this.
  14. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I realized a long time ago that a producer can't win when he does overdubs. Either he goes too far or not far enough. We showed great respect for the original integrity of the music, but improved your ability to hear the lead vocals. Too often the Jordanaires were so loud in the mixes, or other instrumentation intruded, that it interfered with your ability to discern the nuances in Presley's voice. Strangely, there were often more people in the studio playing than you could clearly hear on the original versions; I suspect because Elvis invited his posse along and everybody got into the act, whether they contributed something or not. What you're hearing is brief samples of 26 tracks, some of which are quite different than the originals. If we'd gone too far out on a limb (as I once heard someone stomp all over Patsy Cline with a tricked up hard rock arrangement that was never released), that really would not have been true to nature of Elvis's talent. So we filled empty spaces that seemed naked. With cool jazz sax, or pretty strings, or enhanced rhythm, etc. Nothing radical here. Just a nice cherry and whipped cream on top of your sundae. And btw, I personally picked strongly melodic songs to demonstrate how good of a vocalist Elvis was, for the benefit of those who thought he was much ado about nothing. I grew in my admiration of his talents as a singer, and how serious he was about how he sounded.

    I don't want to leave the wrong impression, however. We did NOT just add music to existing tracks. We did indeed get rid of a lot of the original instrumentation and/or BGVs. Our techniques for doing this are proprietary and not what you might think. We also did some extensive manipulation, editing, tempo changes and filtering. Extensive EQing was done, some reverb here and there, etc. So the original music WAS indeed changed before we even applied our new instrumentation.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    heatherly likes this.
  15. revolution_vanderbilt

    revolution_vanderbilt Forum Resident

    New York collecting a trove of public domain tracks, recreating old arrangements, slapping a fancy new cover on it, and regurgitating it all, in hopes of making a quick buck off the talent and legacy of someone who died over 40 years ago. Can't wait to discern those nuances. It's like Elvis singing karaoke.
    goodiesguy and J.A.W. like this.
  16. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    WOW. What a bitter assessment "revolution". You don't think there's been some shameless profiteering going on with regard to Elvis by many, for years? And how do you have ANY insight at all into whether we'll make a "quick buck" or not? We didn't "slap" anything together. This was done with top industry professionals in every respect, including world class musicians who have backed major stars, plus engineers that are very skilled. Considering you couldn't possibly have a copy of the CD as yet, your dismissal of it seems a bit premature.

    There are plenty of examples online of labels exploiting p.d. material and "slapping together" releases without bothering to care how they sounded, just to exploit the Elvis mania that's out there. We COULD have done that. But instead, we invested money and great care in creating something unique, fully aware that some people would have a knee jerk negative reaction to it.

    The same thing happened after Jim Reeves died and his widow, Mary, in tandem with RCA, overdubbed new music. Do you know what happened? Jim is the only artist in the history of recorded music to have scored 34 charted hits AFTER his death in a 1964 plane crash, including 17 Top Tens and several #1s. He stayed actively on the charts for over 20 years posthumously. NONE of that would have happened without the overdubs, so I guess fans like to hear their favorite artists updated.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
  17. artfromtex

    artfromtex Honky Tonkin' Metal-Head

    Fort Worth, TX
  18. Driver 8

    Driver 8 Senior Member

    Count me among those who find Frankenstein projects like this to be pointless. Sorry, but I'll stick with the original recordings.
    goodiesguy, melstapler and J.A.W. like this.
  19. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Hear, hear.
    Volt-and-Volume likes this.
  20. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    "Frankenstein project?" I'd be curious to have you define that term. It's amazing how stirred up some people become over anything that's new and different and creative. I guess we should have just slapped together a bunch of old tracks and put them out four CDs for $5. I'm also surprised you think that the musicians we used, who are well respected in the industry, would not only participate in a "pointless" project but work so hard at it. And all these negative comments are based on brief audio samples and none of you even has the CD in hand as yet. Who knows? There might even be a track you like!

    What is it that motivates you to be so negative?
  21. revolution_vanderbilt

    revolution_vanderbilt Forum Resident

    New York
    Thank you for the long, defensive reply. Obviously I don't have the CD, first of all, but I do have the sample that is available online, and I gave it a fair shot. Yes, "shameless profiteering" goes on with Elvis and many other artists, alive and dead. Glad you accept that this falls into that category. Maybe I don't have insight into whether or not you'll make a quick buck, but that is obviously why you're here hawking your product. I hope you are donating some of the profits back to Steve Hoffman! World class musicians who have backed major stars, great, you hired people. And you hired good people. And they played this stuff. I'm sure they'd play anything you put in front of them as long as they were getting paid for it. And skilled engineers. How about touting what all of this really adds to the music?

    Plenty of labels exploit PD material. You are trying a clever tactic to stand above them. And not only are you aware of knee jerk reactions, but you are so quick to counter them!

    And yes, I know about Jim Reeves. He had a bunch of hits that he never even got to hear. That's pretty weird. Although at least, from what I gather, his family was involved, and I'm sure he'd have been happy knowing that his recordings kept his family well-off.
    This is nothing like that.
  22. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    Guys, don't be so hard on this guy. He was kind enough to offer this information to forum members. No need for "bashing". Have some respect. Just my 2 cents...
    bferr1, clhboa, heatherly and 2 others like this.
  23. artfromtex

    artfromtex Honky Tonkin' Metal-Head

    Fort Worth, TX
    I listened to the sample clip. Three stood out as very good.
    • She's Not You
    • Fever
    • Mansion Over The Hilltop
    I love the fiddle and steel guitar on "She's Not You". Who is playing steel?

    I like the approach taken on "Can't Help Falling In Love", but I thought the orchestration should have entered the choruses with a crescendo. But that's nitpicking. Sounds nice overall.

    I'll probably buy this.

    The one thing I didn't like was all the sax on the ballads. It crowded on Elvis' vocal, IMO.
  24. J.A.W.

    J.A.W. Music Addict

    Tell me, what's "new (...) and creative" about manipulating existing music?
  25. Larry Jordan

    Larry Jordan Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    You misread me if you felt I was doing a mea culpa about "shameless profiteering." On the contrary, as altruistic as this sounds, I have NEVER done a CD project for the money. EVER. My work is based on the love of the music and the artist, and I would challenge you to prove otherwise. You haven't seen my tax returns so you have no insight into how profitable any of these CDs are, nor can you claim any insight into my motivations. Why is it "hawking" my product to post about something new on the anniversary of Elvis's death, but it's okay for this message board to contain links to a multitude of other releases on various artists? You insult musicians by thinking that they are only out for money and would play for pay regardless of the project. These talented and dedicated people have transformed these tracks into something special.

    Jim's family was NOT involved in any of his posthumous releases, excerpt for his widow, and she did not share her riches with family members. I knew Mary for 33 years, from the time I was 13, so I know whereof I speak.

    The comparison I drew with Reeves was to point out that FANS LIKE OVERDUBS even if you don't. I'm with the fans and I find it strange psychology that some people rush to trash a release they've not even heard in its entirety.
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