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From Sunset To Las Vegas

By ElvisNews.com/ Lex, September 30, 2009 | Book

The latest regular FTD is a 2 CD set that contains the rehearsals for the Las Vegas engagement in August 1974, filled up with some live tracks from that gig. Is it worth buying?


I can’t say pink and purple are my favourite colours, but together with the orange it looks very “seventies”. By the way, the title changed compared to the announcement and spread cover... The pictures used in the fold out case are all very unclear, the one on the front is the best. Well at least they are taken during this particular engagement. I wonder if FTD will ever learn from the bootleggers, but I’m afraid they never will.


Most of us will know the rehearsals. I have to admit that I loved them when they first came out, but didn’t play them at all the last years. To compare I picked up my DAE release and didn’t hear much improvement (if any at all). It is fun to hear Elvis direct the band and background singers. To me the biggest con for these rehearsals is that there is too much Sherrill Nielsen (alias The Singing Saw). I never liked the guy's voice and the more I hear him, the more I dislike him.

This brings me immediately to the second CD… how on earth could they put Bringin’ It Back and Aubrey by this singing tool on it? Just because Elvis is mumbling on the background? I can understand they leave it in a complete show, but on a collection like this?? There were more than enough good performances by Elvis during this engagement…. I’d rather hear Elvis’ rambling on karate than that eerie squeezing sound of Nielsen… If I want to hear the beautiful Aubrey, I’ll pick up my Bread CD and for the other track… we have it by Elvis, so why listen to this version? To me it really spoils the second CD with an otherwise nice and fun compilation of live tracks.


It’s obvious that the presence of mr. Nielsen doesn’t make me happy, but if you can stand him and don’t have the rehearsals this might be an interesting buy.

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Jerome-the-third wrote on September 30, 2009
I have it and I most say the artwork isn't stunning nor is the sound. Also including aubrey and bringing it back by Nielsen is something I don't understand either. FTD is a collector's label but perhaps for the starting collectors because I don't think many people will by this release if they already have the material. To convince these people sound and packaging must be outstanding..
Natha wrote on September 30, 2009
Thanks for the warning. I won't be buying this one. Valuable review and right Lex is. All the way. Lately I skipped FTD many time already as their product is below standard.
Santa Claus wrote on September 30, 2009
Maybe they added the Nielson songs to clear the always present rumour that these are live-versions by Elvis. What makes me angry about this release is that Ernst mentioned in the first anouncement that he has a 'far superior tape' than the bootleggers. First though: If you have it, why didn't you use it for the two tracks included on the "70's masters box"? So, the announcement sounded like a lie to me. Having the CD now ... it was a lie! This rehearsal was recorded at RCA Studios, so I was hoping for a new found professional recording. But now, 22 Euros later, I'm still listening to the same dull hiss. Ernst, you can re-release "Girl Happy" if you think you've (again) done a worse job the first time around. But don't fool the fans.
NONE000000 wrote on September 30, 2009
It has always been such a huge disappointment to me that it was not Elvis to cover the song "Aubrey". It's a beautiful song that Elvis could have done a beautiful job on (provided they went with a simple arrangement like the original by Bread).
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 01, 2009
Ernst release the april 9 th & april 10th 1972 shows,its long over due,ftd has been around for over 10 years and still no Elvis on tour shows,its bad enough no real dvd set will ever come but ftd can at least do there part to focus on Elvis on tour 1972!
GeertFromNl wrote on October 01, 2009
I'm very disappointed with this release as the sound is NOT better than on the DAE cd. The bonus live material do not give much value to this 2 cd-set either. Amateurs. I will sell it then at least i'll get back my money.
HangLoose wrote on October 01, 2009
There is an error on this CD,one take of "It's Midnight" isn't there! Why they left it out? Was it intentional or was it an error?
Ton Bruins wrote on October 01, 2009
Thanks Geert for the Info..I will skip this one then..
dgirl wrote on October 01, 2009
I guess the best thing is the cover. Well there are fans that buy for the cover. Enjoy.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 01, 2009
Why didnt Elvis sing aubrey or bringin it back (his song)i find that to be strang,and i cant fathom why he liked to hear the guy sing,he sounds terriable,id love to have some rehearsals from july 1970 instead!
Orion wrote on October 01, 2009
I don't think I've heard this rehearsal in its entirety, but it must not be too bad if the import of "from sunset blvd to paradise road" is always in the top 5 countdown of imports. I have the second disc on the ft. baxter release and when I compare that to FTD's release of the Aug. 19th show I feel it is a bit more easy to listen to and enjoy - so, I'm hoping that this rehearsal is from original cassette and is mastered to best level that it can be by FTD. I am realistic in that there is only so much that can be done with a rehearsal from mono soundboard on a 35 yr. old TDK cassette. It's not like its a 16 track reel to reel that can be mastered properly. It is what it is, and I'm glad that somebody hit the record button so I can hear Elvis and the band work up "Down In The Alley" for it's one and only live appearance in an Elvis show. I look forward to my copy of this arriving next week. Oh, as far as why Elvis didn't sing on "Bringing it Back" - I think it's because he hadn't recorded it yet. He didn't cut it until March of 1975. Obviously, he loved the song and that's why he asked Sherrill and the boys to sing it.
whetherman wrote on October 01, 2009
Personally I find this FTD version to be far INFERIOR to the Fort Baxter release. Elvis voice sounds overly loud, less smooth and very distorted on the FTD and the band disappears completely after the first couple of bars of each song whereas they didn't totally disappear on Fort Baxter. Plus as mentioned they've left out one take of It's Midnight, why? Add to this the 2 non-Elvis tracks at the end and you've got a product I wish I hadn't bothered with.
whetherman wrote on October 01, 2009
Sorry, not Fort Baxter. I meant DAE
Erika Freiburger wrote on October 02, 2009
Sadly i agree with dgirl: the only good thing in this release is the front cover and some of the bonus tracks. Unfortunately even the bonus tracks are disappointing,because half of them aren't even unreleased. "Bringing It Back" and "Aubrey" were issued on the "Desert Storm" bootleg,"Trying To Get To You","It's Now Or Never" and "Help me" were issued on the "Live In Las Vegas" box set in 2001. The sound quality is worse than on the bootleg 2CD-set and the rehearsal is edited. It was complete on the bootleg. Also half of the bonus tracks are wrongly dated. To me it seems it's just an unplanned rush release they made within a few hours. I'm glad we have a label like FTD and i'm very thankful for the lot of unreleased material they gave us in the last 10 years but they issued many disappointed CD's,too and it's one of them. I will gave it to a friend of mine,because she still doesn't have this rehearsal. Love,Erika
Steve V wrote on October 02, 2009
Sadly, the only thing a release like this does for the Elvis fan is lighten the wallet. It does nothing for his legacy and actually can damage it in a way. Too many releases in sub-par quality with sub-par performances is not what this label should be about. And dont get me started about re-releases. The label should scale back a bit and just release quality including the packaging. But lets face it, the well is dry so we have to expect stuff like this I guess.
pasa-ryu wrote on October 02, 2009
i really enjoyed this album,but my only gripe is that they should have released an entire las vegas show like the import version did!(maybe rca/ftd will release the september 2nd.1974 midnight show??-a.k.a. "Desert Storm".)I enjoyed some the 'live' tracks they included but was well disapointed with having to be forced to hear sherill neilson's awful voice at the end!!-i thought it was suppossed to be an "ELVIS" cd??(its elvis we wont to hear,not one of his band mebers or entourage)secondly:in regards to cd two;i think they could have included alot more 'live' tracks on the cd as it wasn't even 70 mins long(a cd can hold at-least 80 mins)I compared it the "import" version that most Elvis fans would have("sunset blvd to paradise road")and hardley noticed a difference in the sound quality at all??(i think maybe it did sound a little bit louder i supposse??.)Still,well worth getting if your a fan of elvis rehearsing and singing live in las vegas.
Zoltan84 wrote on October 02, 2009
Which idiot edited this rehearsal? Felton Jarvis? On the bootleg release it's more complete. I don't like when FTD releases inferior versions of famous bootleg CD's.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 02, 2009
Is there any reason they put tracks on ftd's that have been issued before on the main label,its a waste of space,this is not my fav period of Elvis music,at times he seems as unfocused as ftd can be,i also think ftd have put out some terrific releases,but it has clearly become more about quanity than quality,i just hope they tackle Elvis on tour 72 before the label goes!
adiels wrote on October 02, 2009
I didn't have the bootleg and was really looking forward to this one. Sorry to say, but I'm really disappointed. Not as good sound as I expected, and the tracks aren't really up to regular rehearsal standard. Will keep it since it's new material to me, but will probably not listen to it any more. Right now, "Jailhouse Rock FTD Edition" is spinning in my CD player, and I like that much more. Will play it a lot! Great release!
tornado wrote on October 03, 2009
I don't see why some fans are so disapinted with this release. My friend and I compared with the 70's box-set version of Twelth Of Never, noticably the sound on Sunset To Vegas has been imroved. So what's the fuss about? The only thing that is a shame is that back in 1974, nobody cared to miked the session properly.
Ton Bruins wrote on October 03, 2009
The fuss is about the fact that many fans all ready had the bootleg from DAE..When the FTD label releases the same thing one could expect that the sound would be better..I asked around and the sound isn't any better..I don't like to buy the same stuff twice, only when the sound is clearly improved..
John4126 wrote on October 04, 2009
If you already have the DAE release of the rehearsal - dont waste your time getting this. The sound is no better and to my ears slightly worse.
John4126 wrote on October 04, 2009
To include live tracks already available on other releases is about par for course for this label. I havent bothered with an FTD release since The In Person cd. As for the cost - it's not worth it. Not for the few tracks you dont already have and the shoddy cover artwork. Just look at Today or Something for everybody. I bought the re-mastered Abbey Road instead. Wow! Now there is a label that knows how to treat it's premier group!
SnOwMan wrote on October 04, 2009
It's one of the worst FTD releases. Go for the bootleg instead. As others said,it was a stupid decision to include tracks that were already released on the main label (on the Live In Las Vegas box). Why not a complete,unreleased show instead of this crap? Collectors won't find new material on this 2CD set,except 4 or 5 live tracks. But are they worth $35? I don't think so. For cover collectors only.
Ton Bruins wrote on October 04, 2009
FTD is sinking down...too many re-releases on different CD's..not good..It's a label for the real fans and collectors for god sake ! I am disappointed right now..
FLY-TROUBLE! wrote on October 04, 2009
Only one word: dissapointing! Ernest Jorgensen and Lene Reidel did it again. Don't waste your money on this rubbish!
FJE wrote on October 04, 2009
Since I don't have the bootleg versions of this rehearsal I took the plunge and purchased this latest FTD escape! I'm afraid I have to join all previous postings and say that it is a big disappointment. Besides Elvis not being at his best vocally (which is no fault of FTD of course) the sound is awful. Like others said, on some tracks the band is almost inaudible and sounds like Elvis is warbling by himself. What makes it more frustrating is the way Ernst & Co ignore our complaints and never release a statement justifying (?) the poor quality of the latest releases. I know he was banned by Sony/BMG/RCA not to keep us informed on future releases but surely he can comment on what has been released and give the reasons for the anomalies we complain about.
Linda Kovalcik wrote on October 04, 2009
I'm shocked! This new FTD is awful. Ernst,why did you edit the rehearsal? And why did you re-release previously issued material? Nothing new! FTD = reissue label!!! This was the last FTD i bought. Bye.
GeertFromNl wrote on October 04, 2009
R.I.P. FTD (1999-2009). Reissues,reissues and reissues.
Santa Claus wrote on October 04, 2009
Ernst wants to fight the bootleggers with this crap? He's sitting directly at the source, has a ten year progress in technical equipment and still can't do it? And this arrogance he's treating us with. Remember the master-error on "Easter Special". He replaced this CD. When he messed up with "Where No One Stands Alone" a few years ago, he just replied "Bad Recording" and left us with rubbish. This time .. no comment at all about the editing. Once he wanted to support the fans. But now I have the impression that we are supporting him with thousands of Euros every month buying trash with absolutely no commercial value.
Linda Kovalcik wrote on October 05, 2009
During the years on the classic albums they reissued their own CD's: Out In Hollywood,Long Lonely Highway,6363 Sunset,Easter Special,Silver Screen Stereo,Fame And Fortune,The Nashville Marathon and Studio B. Then they reissued The Way It Was and Rocking Around Texas without the book. Then Standing Room Only,Blue Hawaii and The Jungle Room Sessions on vinyl. The tracks on So High,Made In Memphis,Let Yourself Go and I Sing All Kinds will be repackaged later,too. Is it the future of FTD ,Ernst?????
HangLoose wrote on October 05, 2009
Let's be honest: it's a piece of crap. One take of "It's Midnight" is missing and without it it's not complete. And the sound quality is terrible. Some of the home recordings sound better than this.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 05, 2009
Ftd is just keeping with tradition,there has never been proper treatment of the catalog,and its simply became quanity first and im not sure quality even matters to ftd anymore,i dont mind the book cd's being put out without the books,since theres such a raise in price for books i dont want,but the reissue of tracks already put out by ftd and the main label.are a way to milk the fans,its really that simple,ernie doesnt want to comment on what is released and why its released,with ftd its either praise them,because your not gonna get feedback from them,bootlegs have more of a press releases and more details about there releases than this so called collectors label,and i for one find the cheap packaging and no booklet issue a bit of slap in the face for fans,this is after all a collectors label,before the i love everything ftd people get mad, i will say ftd has had some great releases,but i feel the classic albums was the start of the end,they found a way to give you little for much!
FLY-TROUBLE! wrote on October 05, 2009
What annoys me is that Ernst said (lied) in the announcement that it will be a remastered or reworked version of this rehearsal in much better sound quality. Well,the sound isn't better at all. It's rather worse and more distorted. Add to this the edits and the hodge podge bonus tracks (which are not even unreleased) and the final result is a weak sperm.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 05, 2009
And its not gonna change,i just hope for at least a set of on tour shows,i have given up on the label,they are churning out what they can before the label ends,and they are making good money on it, dont let anyone convince you otherwise,i actually have seen these ftds' going for $45 a piece before shipping,there never was a website set up for this label,and osme fans are paying crazy prices,this is not a fan friendly label,more and more fans are seeing the light and seeing through the smoke screen when it comes to this label! as someone lying about them having better tapes,its just more of the same,if theres an issue with something they just make up some excuse!
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 05, 2009
I must add that i find it very funny that fans can makes excuses for the mistakes made by this collectors label,sound errors,anyone notise that on the standing room only ftd that the outtakes of for the good time has the same hiss but i swear its even worse,of course many will have an excuse ready,how about were no one stands alone n unchained melody.oh yea thats right ,the source had the error yet the bootleg with same song had perfect sound,ftd's should sell for no more than $15 but due to the fact that they charge so much,sellers have to sell them for more to make any money at all! ok my rant is over!
Zoltan84 wrote on October 06, 2009
Weak and substandard.
dannyboy1 wrote on October 08, 2009
Wow, these reactions are very interesting. I haven't been buying every FTD now for a couple of months, due to financial difficulties. I ordered "Jailhouse Rock" but not this one. Looks like I made the right choice.
Jerome-the-third wrote on October 09, 2009
the fort baxter did not sound great either and I can not compare this release with this ftd. but on some takes like on it's midnight, you hear the group Voice so terrribly hard that I am afraid my speaker will explode. well, the packaging of this ftd is not that great either..
djm wrote on October 09, 2009
you did not make the right choice. this is a good cd with some great performances, esp down in the alley. your loss if you miss out on it.
Linda Kovalcik wrote on October 09, 2009
We already bought it in 1996 when DAE's "From Sunset Boulevard To Paradise Road" came out.
Dan The Man wrote on October 09, 2009
I don't get all this negativity? It's not a pro recording of E at his best job! It's a discovery!!! of E rehearsing for an engagement(never ment to be released). It has been released before, but FTD does'nt have to care(why should they?) These audio tracks are released some 25(twenty-five) years later.... and you people moan??? The same people who bash a 75 release is also bashing these beautiful FTD's. I'll say keep'm'coming Ernest.
Jerome-the-third wrote on October 09, 2009
well I like releases like this and I bough this ftd, but I think the packaging (for this kind of money) could be better, especially compared to some bootleggers around nowadays..
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 09, 2009
I agree that Ftd should not care if this rehearsal was released on bootleg,but i never liked this rehearsal in the first place,it belongs on Ftd but that doesnt mean it belongs or is worthy of sitting my shelf,money is a bit tighter for some of us,some may love this release,but i have to pick and choose and an on tour show is more up my alley!
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on October 09, 2009
The packaging is cheap and uninspired,bootlegs look more like official releases,i find that ironic!
Linda Kovalcik wrote on October 10, 2009
It's hardly a "discovery" as it has been out since 1996. It was a bad rehearsal back then and it's still bad rehearsal now. But at least on CD 2 of "From Sunset Boulevard To Paradise Road" there was an excellent opening show. On CD 2 of this FTD there's nothing,except a few previously released live tracks from different shows. Scrimpy bonus material to say the least.
KTemple wrote on October 12, 2009
Nobody is holding a gun to your head to buy anything!Isn't is marvellous to have anything released at all 32 years after his death. We have the luxury of picking and choosing there is so much stuff. If you don't want it don't buy it.
Sundial77 wrote on October 12, 2009
I agreewith you fitz!!
Erika Freiburger wrote on October 13, 2009
You're right,nobody forces us to buy it. Unfortunately i bought it. It was my mistake and i don't blame anyone else. Love,Erika
SnOwMan wrote on October 15, 2009
These idiots even copied the title of the bootleg CD partially. Unimaginativeness to say the least. But at least it wasn't titled after a song like half of the FTD releases.
pasa-ryu wrote on October 15, 2009
youre missing the whole point of the RCA/FTD lable:it was set up in 1998 by RCA to try and stop illegal bootlegging and hence their reason to copy the DEA import version!(to show to the fans that the black market aint the only people with unreleased elvis performances)I also happen to think it's been a long time coming by RCA \and remeber reading the review of the dea import cd when it said "Rca/bmg should be ashamed of themselves for not releasing this rehearsal"..we finaly get an 'official' cd release and we still COMPLAIN..it makes me sick to my back teeth how ungrateful some elvis fans really are..we can pick'n' choose 32 years after elvs' death exactley what cd's we wont!!-lets be a bit more grateful please.
Sirbalkan wrote on October 29, 2009
ALL ELV1S FANS... Read the comment written just below, of the member "PASA-RYU" and stop complaining. Just imagine... after 10 years there will be no more good releases like this because the guy is already dead,he can not produce something new...ACCEPT IT AND CHERISH FTD.ENOUGH.....
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on November 29, 2009
You seem to have the same attitude as ernie,as long as there are releases there will be people who dont like them or have issues with them,this will happen on every release,no its not complaining,its called giving your opinion!