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The Joan Deary Tapes

By ElvisNews.com/ Kees, December 27, 2008 | Music

The new Surprise Records import label released the "Joan Deary Tapes". Are we in for a nice surprise?



The new label paid attention to what a lot of fans believe to be the most important (reading the discussion on many message-boards) part of a release; a nicely designed cover and booklet. The Surprise label delivered.  We get a good looking booklet in quality print with nice shots of our man illustrated with original album and single covers of the songs on this compilation. The liner notes are just one page - the other pages contain the lyrics - and contain a short bio on Joan Deary. Unfortunately they don't tell anything on the content of the disc, the "legendary" Joan Deary tapes. (Shown below are the preleminary and definitive backcovers)


The set comes with a nice poster, but as it is bigger than the jewel case I have to store it somewhere different and break up the set...


Are we in for a surprise content-wise? Legend wants that the late Joan Deary (Elvis' RCA record producer) worked on the tracks on this compilation for a possible future release on the 'Greatest Hits' series, but after Volume 1 was released a second volume never saw the light of day and rumor has it these professionally remixed tapes were put into the archives.

The Surprise label claims this compilation contains these mixes and they are now available for the first time on this CD. Like many fans I'm not a sound expert who can hear if this is a different mix created using the original studio tapes or a new mix created using previously released material simply enhanced with a fair amount of digital processing using an computerized equalizer, compression, reverb and other options from the dashboard.
Trying to find confirmation on the possibility the original tapes found there way to collectors and/ or import producers also left me empty-handed. The conclusions on various message-boards is inconclusive, but the majority of the votes goes to "fake".

Where does this leave me and you? Seeing that there is no evidence that supports the claim that this disc contains the original Joan Deary tapes - which have been around on CD-Recordable since 2004 with pretty much the same tracklisting in the same sequence - I believe this disc contains fake recordings.
Does that make this a bad release? Well yes of course as it is a bootleg :-) and they try to sell you something that isn't what it is supposed to be. But I must admit though that the CD sounds great on my stereo; it has a full sound which goes very well with the country style songs on this compilation. And the tracks, with the exception of "This Is Our Dance" which I never liked, itself make a strong compilation. It was no punishment to try to find out if this was the real thing and write this review playing this CD a few times.


If these were the tracks the late Joan Deary selected for a greatest hits compilation it would have been a great package. It is sad this never was realized. As for the Surprise label; introducing yourself with a fake a release isn't a very wise way of doing business. If you're in it for the money, just release volume "100" in the "A Legendary Performer" series, you could probably end up with pretty much the same complitation. Let's see what they will release next.


01. Hey Jude
02. Help Me Make It Through The Night
03. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Trade)
04. I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
05. When I'm Over You
06. Always On My Mind
07. It Aint No Big Thing (But Its Growing)
08. I'm Leavin
09. Where Do I Go From Here
10. Until Its Time For You To Go
11. If I Were You
12. Got My Mojo Working / Keep Your Hands Off Of It
13. Fool
14. This Is Our Dance
15. Cindy, Cindy
16. Separate Ways
17. (Thats What You Get) For Lovin Me
18. Life
19. Love Letters
20. Ill Never Know
21. We Can Make The Morning
22. Early Morning Rain
23. Sylvia
24. The Sound Of Your Cry

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Ciscoking wrote on December 27, 2008
It`s a turkey,....not more... and not less..
Harvey Alexander wrote on December 27, 2008
This includes some of Elvis' worst ever recordings. This Is Our Dance, Hey Jude, Life and When I'm Over You are things he should've refused to pay any attention to. Is these were genuine tapes worked on by Joan Deary don't you think the sleeve notes would tell us the full story? They don't, that's because it's a fake release put out to con the fans (again). Any difference in sound quality is because somebody's tweaked them a bit on their computer at home.
Steve V wrote on December 27, 2008
As someone else always states on certain releases, C-R-A-P.
Jerome-the-third wrote on December 27, 2008
Glad I got this one for one euro..
SnOwMan wrote on December 28, 2008
Ciscoking wrote on December 28, 2008
Yes..plain C-R-A-P (copyright by Cisco)
You Dont Know Me wrote on December 29, 2008
Basically total rip off release SAVE YOUR MONEY- AVOID THIS ONE!
JimmyCool wrote on December 29, 2008
In my case, I can't complain... I haven't heard "Early Morning Rain" in that quality before ;)
Doug wrote on January 01, 2009
Fake or not I like it. I never heard "Fool", "Early Morning Rain" in that quality before. It is not a bad release.
GeertFromNl wrote on January 02, 2009
It's fake,forget it.
EspenK wrote on January 05, 2009
I downloaded it this weekend and I gotta say that I don't really hear such an improvement in sound as some claim? Listening closely to "Fool" from "Elvis", "70s masters" and this release through a good headset the only major difference I can clearly hear is that they have used a compressor on the tracks. The compressor is heavily pumping the sound on low attack/release settings. In my opinion it is not suitable for this kind of music, the sound is "flickering" in a way that sounds very artificial (or computerized) for this genre of music. For electronic dance music it's a cool (and extremely common) effect, but old music recorded with analogue instruments in studios are supposed to have a dynamic sound with highs and lows. If you prefer this kind of sound on your Elvis tracks it's a much better idea to use a compressor on your audio output instead. Then you'll get this sound (or preferably, a better sound than this) on all your recordings, and you got the source intact for the day you are tired of this kind of effect or get a better hi-fi equipment. If you use a PC to play your music there are a lot of free and good compressor plugins out there. Personally I'd reccoment Winamp with Volume Logic. WinAmp is the only free player that I've testet that can handle large music collections with ease (I've not tried MS Media player though). Volume Logic is not free but for just a few dollars you get a very good and easy to use compressor. No need to be a technician to use it at all, there are two settings, "on/off" and a couple of sliders to adjust the amount of the effect.
GeertFromNl wrote on January 07, 2009
Holy crap!
Rev. Gerhard wrote on January 07, 2009
"But I must admit though that the CD sounds great on my stereo; it has a full sound which goes very well with the country style songs on this compilation." So it could be possible that Joan Deary would have been satisfied.
Greg Nolan wrote on January 09, 2009
Espen, like others here, I agree this is of dubious quality, but you "downloaded" it? How good could that sound? It doesn't do much for the hobby anyway - no liner notes, photos and overall an empty experience compared to a real disc - in my opinion.
EspenK wrote on January 09, 2009
Greg, you can download CDs in "lossless" quality, meaning the sound is identical to the sound of the source - nothing is lost. That being said, most "normal" persons will not be able to hear the difference in audio quality listening to a CD and the same recording in mp3-encoding at high quality settings. About the hobby: Oh indeed you are right! I *always* - with no exception - buy the official (BMG/FTD) releases that I want. Both morally and legally I should, and I do, with pleasure. Bootlegs on the other hand, is a different story altogether. I may buy those that are really, really good, both regarding content and wrapping. But those are far between... And I really think other fans should do the same: In my not so humble opinion a huge share of the bootlegs that are released are overpriced "junk" only released to earn money on material that's not even theirs. This material should be *shared* amongst fans, or be sold at a price that cover the cost, and that's it.
Rev. Gerhard wrote on January 09, 2009
Espen sounds well paid by Joergenson. hehehe. sorry. Just joking. But why praising the official guys too much? There is no reason for. The Deary thing is less expensive than most of the FTD products, and does not sound worse than most of them.
EspenK wrote on January 09, 2009
Technically speaking a CD is a piece of plastic engraved with data, no matter who burnt the data onto the disk. Therefore, why differ between official and boots, is what you ask right? Well, I'd like to turn the question the other way around and ask: - If there are no difference, why don't we all burn our own CDs and tresure them instead of buying the CDs others make? We can all create our own "a legendary performer volume XX" for a couple of bucks. Professionally printed CDs are dirt cheap nowadays. Why are other peoples CDs more worth to us than those we create ourselves? Thats how I feel about the bootleggers. A bootleg is just the guy next door on his home computer. They try to earn money in ways they have no rights to earn them on, by selling other peoples property. Sure, the material on the CD may be of interest, but the release itself is just some guy's work. You and me could just as well get that CD and cover printed and placed in a jewel case. When BMG release an album it's a "real" CD from the ones that own the rights of the material. That makes a huge difference to me. If that made any sense?
Rev. Gerhard wrote on January 10, 2009
It's no question that bootleggin' is illegal, and that the market of bootlegs has become smaller than ever before. So the reasons to blame them are smaller than ever too. No reason for an elephant to get upset if a mosquito tries to pierce him. Anyhow they have given helpful suggestions to the officials. And without doubt bootleggers are very good shoppers of the officials and definitely not the worst fans. This I could not maintain of the officials. But as long they serve the expectations, it's okay. They may own the rights, but much more important is to feel the own love for the artist called Elvis. Who sold nearly two Billion sound carriers, and could never really mourn that his fans have cheated him. And don't forget. Each sound carrier which is able to inspire the listener invites him to buy another sound carrier. Primarily an official of course.
EspenK wrote on January 17, 2009
I'll give the bootleggers credit for one thing: They triggered FTD to happen.
Rev. Gerhard wrote on January 18, 2009
not the smallest thing, isn't it? *smile*