Having been away for two days I was a little bit disappointed when I opened the door to my apartment and quickly scanned the mail lying on the floor. Nope, still no sign of the two new FTD releases Elvis Country and Nevada Nights.
Having already read reviews of these albums (somebody obviously has a faster mailman than I do) they seem worth waiting for. Nevertheless, it's becoming more and more clear that Ernst Jorgensen and company put their energy on the classic album series rather than on the original 5" digipacks. Also, it's pretty obvious that the 5" albums are turning into a kind of soundboard label.
This is certainly no surprise, but just for the fun of it I counted the smaller digipacks and these are the statistics:
Of the 40 5" digipacks released so far (I'm not counting The Way It Was re-release) 21 contain live material. That may not seem much, but if you concentrate on the later FTD years (2004-2008) 12 out of 17 are soundboards or professionally recorded concerts.
So why isn't that surprising? Simply because there is no use putting together alternate takes albums like Made In Memphis or Nashville Marathon when all the outtakes sooner or later wind up on on the classic albums.
I'm all for the 5" digipacks becoming a soundboard label, but I would like to see them treated with the same care as the classic albums gets. As the price is the same, it would be nice to have a booklet included with photos from the show and some nicely written linear notes. After all, if the bootleggers can do it, then why not FTD?
PS: Maybe I'm wrong and the next 5" won't be a soundboard. Maybe it will be the re-release of Flashback from the FTD book with the same name. I wouldn't be surprised. Would you?