Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lousiana Hayride: Box Set, iTunes Or MRS?

I've had a hard time deciding if I'm going to order the Young Man With The Big Beat box set. As stunning as it looks, the only previously unreleased material on it (except a couple of extended interviews) is Elvis' final performance on the Louisiana Hayride.

Don't get me wrong, I'm really looking forward to hearing the Hayride show in its entirety. But if the set is made available on iTunes or the like, and the tracks can be bought individually, I might go for just bying the unreleased stuff that way. After all, such a solution will make for a much smaller hole in my wallet.

But now it looks like there will be a third option. Yesterday the UK based label the Memphis Recording Service (MRS) announced that it will release a CD in association with ‘Joseph A Tunzi’ (JAT Productions) featuring the complete live recordings of the Louisiana Hayride performances by Elvis Presley.

According to MRS the CD (titled The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956) "will also contain the recent discovery of Elvis’ last performance on the Louisiana Hayride in December 1956. This will be a more complete version of the show and for the first time, be speed and pitch corrected, which Sony has failed to master for their upcoming release."

A safe bet is that Ernst Jorgensen can't be too pleased. Especially since MRS also promises that "The 100 page bonus book has many rare and newly discovered photographs that were due to be shown first, in the upcoming FTD Sun book." Is JAT Productions playing both sides?

I talked to my brother about this release today, and according to him the Louisiana Hayride show is public domain material due to the fact that it's a radio broadcast that was released to the public in 1956. He also told me that radio shows featuring Hank Williams have been released this way. If so, the MRS release is a legal one. 

The Memphis Recording Service has always impressed me with their releases, such as Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley and The Rise Of Elvis Presley 1955. Collecting all the Louisiana Hayride recordings on one CD is another creative move. Three and a half years ago I put forward a similar idea, a concept that featured all the available live material from the 50's on an FTD box.

At the same time, it isn't often an Elvis box set comes along these days. Especially not a deluxe edition such as Young Man With The Big Beat. So maybe I should buy them both and make that hole in my wallet a really big one?


Troy Y. said...

Since this is obviously my first time ever on a blog, I managed to post my comment on the wrong article. Here's where I meant to put this. Sorry for the double-post...

I've not seen it on iTunes yet, but Amazon US has Young Man With The Big Beat available as individual digital downloads. This means that fans can purchase just the Hayride portion, if desired. This is a classy move by Sony.

Regarding the other alternative you mentioned above, just because something is legal doesn't make it right. I'll stick with Sony.

Thomas said...

Really great news, Troy! Here in Sweden it's available on iTunes as well, the whole set or as individual tracks. Thank you, Sony!

Anonymous said...

only problem ive had listening to mrs products too much fake reverb 5.1 sound mono sucks.
dont screw with the sound by adding anything to it.esp the 1st 2 releases sound worse than any ftd/sony product.if they dont f. with the audio it will be good.

MĂ„rtenbrother said...

I just bought Paralyzed on iTunes, he sure sounds cocky! "Nobody move - I think I see Moby Dick!" Great listen. Think I buy the rest of the Hayride concert as well. Yes, a good move to be able to purchase it this way. And I think you're on to something about what you say about MRS also, Troy.

JohanD said...

I have the boxset, it's an outstanding piece of art.
Such an excellent view at the young Elvis, unbeatable!!
The Hayride show is kick-assy good.
I will buy the MRS one too, cause i like their idea of all the Hayrides recordings on one cd, but i'll advise to cash out for the Sony set too, Thomas, it's THAT good!!