Sunday, March 22, 2009

Madison has left the building

It seems there will be no more releases from the Madison import label. According to a message from those at Madison the latest release Rock My Soul (volume five in the Standing Room Only tapes series) will also be the last. Judging by fan responses, the label will be missed.

I for one can understand why. As I've written before, I'm not heavy into bootlegs, but the quality of Madison's releases make them hard to ignore. I discovered that when I got myself a copy of Closing Night - February 1970 about a year ago. Not only was I impressed with the sound quality, the CD also came together with a 16-page booklet and good artwork on the cover.

Since then I've obtained a couple of more albums from Madison, and never once have I been disappointed. One Night Only! featuring Elvis gig at the Boston Garden November 10, 1971, must be regarded as a classic. And the double CD Holding Down The Fort presents the Elvis Presley show from Fort Worth June 3, 1976, complete with opening acts by Joe Guercio Orchestra, The Stamps and The Sweet Inspirations.

I also like the fact that the soundboards from Madison doesn't have parts edited out, which is often the case with releases from FTD. That's strange, don't you think? After all, FTD is a colletors label, and my experience is that collectors want it all. I have never understood the reason to cut way the introduction on One Night In Vegas, to mention one example.

So why is Madison quiting? I for one don't think it's because FTD has driven the label out of competition. As a matter of fact, to me, these two labels have been complementing each other lately, with Madison standing for quality when it comes to soundboards and rehearsals and FTD delivering excellent albums in the classic series.

Granted, there have been some great soundboards from FTD too. But what I have never been able to figure out is why Jorgensen treat them and the classic series so different. Why is there no booklet included with photos and information, and why is there so little thought when it comes to covers and layout?

But back to the reason why Madison says adios. I think the persons behind the label simply have run out of unreleased material. So I guess it's entirely up to FTD to provide the fans with new stuff now. Not an easy task, since so much have already been put out. But please surprise me, Ernst!


Jeroen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jeroen said...

The sad truth is that Madison did not get terminated because of lack of material. They still had some very interesting material, including a couple of soundboards. No, they got terminated because a competing bootlegger, G.R. from Amsterdam, spilled the beans to E.J. and Sony. This individual has always been jealous of the respect that this label has earned. Now he can continue ripping people off with his endless reissues with 'improved sound'. The Elvis world is filled with rotten people. Often those that are well-known and well-liked turn out to be genuine assholes in real life. G.R., shame on you for telling on Madison!