'The Joan Deary Tapes Vol.1'
& The Collapse of the Elvis Bootleg Empire; Has Ernst Won the War? - Part 2
EIN 2023 CD Review - by Piers Beagley
Back in 1999 Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon convinced BMG to let them start the FTD collectors label in order to counteract the Elvis bootleg companies which had been selling unreleased material to fans since the very first bootleg back in 1970.
Back in 2021 the previously reliable ‘Madison’ bootleg label failed fans with their 'A Legendary Performer Vol. 9’ and now in 2023 a new label 'JD Inc' is fooling collectors in the same way.
EIN’s Piers Beagley checks out the lack of new material and again reflects that this is the end of the bootleg era...
Now updated with EIN reader comments - See Below
NOTE 1: EIN does not sell Elvis Bootlegs nor do we even have a shop. The
EIN team have also never been involved in the production of Elvis bootlegs. We all
have more-than-full-time “real” jobs and run the EIN website with our own money purely to help keep Elvis’ legacy burning bright.
Two years ago EIN posted an article suggesting that the Elvis bootleg era was over, that FTD and Ernst Jorgensen had truly won the war.
By posting our negative review of the Madison ‘A Legendary Performer Volume 9’ I got myself banned for three months from the FECC and Phoenix message boards! Make of that what you will.
Elvis died over 45 years ago so of course the RCA vaults are dry and all we can hope for is the final bottom of the barrel scrapings. Previously the 'Madison' bootleg label was one of the few that always produced high-quality releases, Venus followed in similar fashion but neither have released anything worth purchasing since my original 2021 article. Dodgy fake acetates just don’t count.
So it was a surprise to many that a new bootleg label ‘Joan Deary Inc’ suddenly popped up two months ago promising a very similar series of releases to the Madison ‘A Legendary Performer’ set. Perhaps Madison decided to change their name after I ridiculed them, I truly do not know.
In the publicity fans were promised…
.. The Joan Deary Tapes offers brand new content obtained a couple years ago from Joan Deary's personal collection after carefully digitizing these tapes we are now able to share something special.
The CD offers unique content, with different mixes and some outtakes that have never been issued before and is the start of a brand new CD series.
Every track comes in great sound quality and has been remastered for optimal listening pleasure and the digipack is filled with liner notes, information and brand new unpublished photos.”
EIN was suspicious from the start...
A) The original ‘Joan Deary Tapes’ bootleg was issued back in 2008 by the Surprise label. At the time it was reviewed as, “Introducing a new label with a fake a release isn't a very wise way of doing business. 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.” - Why has this concept resurfaced 15 years later?
B) The publicity for this 2023 release sounds identical. What is worse is that this collection of songs looks nothing like the material Joan Deary would have been compiling for an RCA release.
C) In fact the only Joan Deary connection that EIN spotted was that, like her original RCA ‘Legendary Performer’ releases, this selection only features two genuinely “Unreleased” takes out of the twenty-one previously released tracks.
To be honest I saw no need to purchase this CD but several EIN readers wanted to know more before they put down their hard earned cash. Of course after the initial reviews started being posted I would have definitely avoided it but living “down-under” means that any orders take a while to get here.
THANKS to my friend Keith Flynn we do have the confirmation that two of the tracks are previously unreleased. Fans can ignore the unreleased take 6 of ‘If I Get Home On Christmas Day’ since it runs less than 14 seconds and Elvis never starts singing.
Presented in a 3-sided digi-pack the liner notes are minimal and are exactly the same as the sales publicity.
The three black&white photos of Elvis from 1972 are fine, if somewhat familiar. Although not stated on the sleeve they are from Elvis’ November 17 1972 concert in Hawaii.
There is one photo under the CD holder with Elvis looking very "coiffured" - as shown below from the original photo.
Audio Quality: ‘JD Inc’ promised “Every track comes in great sound quality and has been remastered for optimal listening pleasure”. Sadly this is seriously misleading since their audio quality is really poor with bad peak audio-clipping. No audio-engineer has been involved here, it’s a bodgy home computer compilation and it has been mastered way too loud.
It becomes immediately noticeable on ‘Golden Coins’ the third track which promised “from a better source” but has Elvis’ vocal distorting on the loud sections. It sounds much worse than the 2018 Victrola bootleg release of ‘Harum Scarum’ (both on headphones and loud-speakers) and drove me to examine what was going on.
To the left is the “Victrola” version to the right is the new ‘JD Inc’ version.
As anyone can see, my ears did not deceive me, the audio hits max clipping and sounds, and looks terrible.
Sadly it gets even worse as the bootleg continues! It’s a shocker!
Anyway the tracklist certainly looks like a follow-up volume of ‘A Legendary Performer’ series so let’s give it a spin…
1. Loving You (Fast Version - Main Movie Version - Take 14, Different Stereo Mix)
This is a great track to kick-off with. In fact so good that FTD released is as track 1 on their ‘Silver Screen Stereo’ release back in 2001. This is mastered “loud” but it is still binaural, Elvis on the left channel only, and sounds like what we have already.
2. Don't Leave Me Now (Take 18 - Alternate Master Stereo Mix)
This was the third track on FTD’s ‘Silver Screen Stereo’ release back in 2001! Again same binaural mix. Mastered “loud”
3. Golden Coins (Takes 1 - 4 - From Better Source)
Takes 3 & 4 were on the FTD ‘Harum Scarum’ soundtrack while extra takes 1 and 2 (all 1 minute 15 seconds) were on the 2018 ‘Avventura In Oriente’ bootleg. But as soon as Elvis starts singing “Golden coins I will bring to you” @01:30 you can hear annoying peak distortion on his vocal. This was the moment I had to investigate the audio levels of this release – and the results as shown above were not good. ‘JDInc’ flagged “From better source” - this is a total con worthy of Col Parker!
4. Nothingville - Guitar Man* (Unknown Take)
Finally something new and enjoyable, Keith Flynn says this is unreleased Take 2. The Venus bootleg ‘Singer Presents’ featured the previous take 1 where Elvis never started singing ‘Guitar Man’. This is the next step and very nice it is too. This would lead to the final version take 10 (released on RCA ‘Memories’) which runs the same length of 1:56.
5. Release Me (February 18, 1970 DS - Different Mix)
Already into the seventies by track 5. This was officially released on FTD’s ‘On Stage’ and sounds like the mix from bootleg ‘Rebooked At The International’.
6. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' (August 13, 1970 DS)
Release multiple times – the best mix probably being FTD’s ‘The Wonder Of
You’. There’s peak distortion here.
7. Tomorrow Never Comes (Slightly Longer Master)
This sure isn’t the master since Elvis leads the session saying “now modulate” as they head to the second verse. This is the first attempt as featured on FTD’s ‘Elvis Country’.
8. We Can Make The Morning (Undubbed Unedited Unfaded Master)
The same as the ‘Elvis Back In Nashville’ version except for the final 2 seconds of Felton’s “That’s a gas” not fading out at the end
9. I'm Leavin' (Take 1 - Rehearsal + Unfaded)
Any new version of this great song is a plus for my collection. Sadly this is 20 seconds shorter than the better quality version of the same track on ‘Elvis Back In Nashville’. A real disappointment.
10. If I Get Home On Christmas Day (Takes 6* & 7)
As noted above 14 seconds of unreleased ‘take 6’ which falls apart before Elvis starts. Take 7 is on FTD’s ‘The Wonderful World Of Christmas’ but without the annoying audio peak clipping on this release.
11. Amazing Grace (Different Master Mix)
There’s more Elvis and less gospel choir here. Again mixed too loud for the final section.
12. Young And Beautiful (On Tour Rehearsal)
This is a shocker. The distortion is obvious even on a regular car stereo. Every Elvis fan would have already have this and most recently on the SONY ‘ON Tour’ set in splendid sound. This is so bad I had to do another audio comparison. Below left the SONY /RCA recent release, right the badly clipping 'JD.Inc' version.
13. I Got A Feelin' In My Body (Rehearsal Take)
A short but enjoyable 1 minute 20 second rehearsal, oddly it was the highlight of the previous Madison ‘A Legendary Performer Volume 9’.
14. Three Corn Patches (Take 2 - Unfaded)
The early outtakes were perhaps the most interesting thing about this dreadful song. This was on the FTD ‘Raised On Rock’ but notably without Elvis’ comment "You can't kick this motherfucker."
15. Mr. Songman (Master - Different Mix)
This sounds like the ‘Dennis Ferrante’ BMG 2000 “Promised Land” remix. Sadly this version has annoying audio-wow and runs too fast.
16. If You Don't Come Back* (Take 7)
Previously unreleased, Keith Flynn notes this as Take 4.
Elvis sounded a sleepy at the start of this session – as you can hear on take 1 and 2 again on FTD ‘Raised On Rock’. This version – if it is Take 4 – is very, very similar to Take 6 as released on the Classic Album with Elvis humming along at the end.
17. Why Me Lord (March 20, 1974 - Alternate Mix)
This sounds mastered very loud and with the channels swapped. Glen D Hardin is now incorrectly on the right channel with JD Sumner on the left .
18. And I Love You So (Take 1 - Better Source)
Previously released by RCA multiple times sounding better than this version - which is mastered too loud.
19. Hurt (Undubbed Master from Acetate)
This has been out on multiple previous bootleg releases. Perhaps the nicest version - and not ex acetate - is on FTD’s ‘Our Memories Of Elvis’ – and that’s a REAL Joan Deary connection!
20. Steamroller Blues (March 21, 1976 Evening Show)
This is fun, but collectors will no doubt own this via the Madison bootleg ‘A New Kind Of Rhythm’ where this binaural version is taken from.
21. Susan When She Tried (1980 ''Guitar Man'' Sessions Outtake)
There’s some nice banjo playing on this officially unreleased 1980 overdub. An interesting final choice.
So all in all I spent £27 purchasing a bootleg that only features two tracks I don’t already own (a total of 4 ½ minutes of new material) one of them ‘If You Don't Come Back Take 4’ so similar to Take 6 that it hardly rates. What is truly annoying for me is that the sound quality is so bad. The publicity stated, “Every track comes in great sound quality and has been remastered for optimal listening pleasure” which as you can see is bullshit. This is no doubt home p/c assembled with no quality check.
Just like 2021’s Madison ‘A Legendary Performer Volume 9’ this set again proves that there is basically nothing left in the bootlegger’s barrel.
EIN Conclusion: Sadly 'The Joan Deary Tapes - Volume 1' never lives up to its marketing and I suspect that anyone who fell for their publicity will feel the same. Obviously “Joan Deary Inc” are going to pump out more volumes as fast as they can to fool unsuspecting collectors with this last-ditch money-making exercise. So while Ernst Jorgensen has stated in the past that he had a hard time keeping up with all the new bootlegs I am sure that nowadays he sleeps well at night knowing that his and FTD’s work in protecting Elvis’ recording legacy from the illegal bootleg market is finally done.
‘JD.Inc’s publicity stated, “The CD offers unique content… and is the start of a brand new CD series”. Companies always offer their best product first to lure fans in, so if this was the best that they could do for their very first release then we can only state BUYER BEWARE for all future volumes.
Final comment: EIN reader Barry S was very keen for me to check out this CD in detail. So Barry you perhaps owe me £27 - but at least I won’t be tempted to buy any more volumes!
The new issue of EIN's favourite music magazine 'Elvis The Man & His Music' arrived the day after I wrote this review. Their simple summary of this relese was "a cynical money grab that can safely be avoided."
For more on 'The end of the Elvis bootleg era' please check our original articles below.
From Henk N
I read your review and do not agree on all things you say about this release too keep it short.... mastered too loud ? not to my ears, it sounds good to my ears the package is very nice too, unknown pictures are used.
VOL 2 is nice too i definitely here new things on both releases...
so in short i am happy to own these two releases...
EIN Notes: Regarding the audio quality..
... "If you publicise "from a better source" then it should sound better (in any crazy way) than what I already have.
Just "banging-up the volume" does not count - especially if you start cutting the peaks and causing distortion.
My job is as a Broadcast Engineer - and watching out for audio distortion in particular - it is the sort of thing I spot immediately.
To be honest I hardly ever bother to analyse the audio quality of bootleg CDs but I spotted how awful this sounded just on my car hifi.
and it is shite
- especially 'Young & Beautiful' that everyone had just previously bought on the SONY release.
I mean, why bother?
I knew some people would not agree - if it is ok for your ears that's fine - so I did provide the screen shots to show that I was not making it up."
From Henk N
And to say that "Ernst and FTD have won the bootleg war" is a ridiculous statement to say the least..
enough bootlegs are STILL coming out, even new SA releases are coming probably you are not aware of this....
Also a lot of bootleg vinyl releases are coming out, also a few are on my way as we speak, and already a new bootleg releases is announced i just saw !
so has FTD won the bootleg war ??? NO is my answer definitely NOT
EIN Notes: We are well aware of the SA bootlegs and Audience releases and we post them as news.
In our original article we did point out "There is of course more Elvis material for collectors being released. Companies such as ‘Straight-Arrow’ pump-out the rare AUDIENCE recordings of previously unexplored live concerts, the ‘ELVIS-ONE / Bootleg’ series straddles the EU Public Domain law with its extensive on-going compilations and the MRS label cleverly produces Book/CD and VINYL combos of Public Domain material. However these "Studio outtake bootlegs" surely prove that there is basically nothing left in the bootlegger’s barrel." ie worthy Studio material.
I purchased my copy simply for the new outtake of “If You Don’t Come Back” (one of the favorite Elvis songs) and honestly kind of assumed the rest would be retreads of already released material (even the supposed outtake of “Nothingville-Guitar Man” which I assumed would simply be previously released take but labelled incorrectly.
However, I was pleasantly surprised that “Guitar Man” was indeed an alternate take and also that “If You Don’t Come Back” was genuine and not simply a deliberate deception. That made the release worth it for me, but I also felt as though the mixes on all of the tracks were really good, better than I expected. I listed to this for the first time through headphones while playing it on a portable CD player and loved it. I subsequently listened using my stereo system with a different set of headphones and heard nothing of the distortion or clipping you mentioned. Perhaps my ears are not as sensitive as they used to be!
In any case, I thought I’d give my two cents here – I still enjoy buying new bootlegs and I go into buying them with the assumption that most of the material will not be new. Looking at this another way, we have had FTD releases with very little new material on them at all and we get them (or at least I get them) for that new material but also for the whole package. For this release, if people out there don’t have these tracks then it’s all new to them but if they do then at least a couple tracks are new. People could do worse with bootleg releases and there are lots out there where literally nothing is new and they are just copies of other bootlegs.
Ironically it seems we’ve come full circle with bootleg releases – we are back to the days where the main source of “new” material is previously-unreleased or unknown audience recordings!
Thanks as always for a great, detailed review and keep up the good work!
From Steve P
twenty years ago I used to buy every bootleg but now I am fed up with the publicity bull**** that they put out.
It always seems exciting and then you can work out that there is nothing worth buying.
and WHY all these acetates of material we already have often already out on rca or ftd.
I cannot remember the last bootleg I bought that i thought was worth the money.
Those days are sadly gone.
From Trevor A
To be honest I did not buy this bootleg but someone sent me a copy.
Like many fans I wanted to know if it was as good as the publicity.
I listened and was at surprised just how bad it really was!
It really is a real amateur hour production.
From FECC sweetangeline.
anyone who wants this CD for the two unreleased items is that persons choice... nothing more nothing less.
From Barry S.
Thanks for the very detailed and honest review. I think I do owe you some money!
If you are in england i will buy you a beer one day.
Please click here to comment - Did you buy this release, was it value for money?
|The collapse of the Elvis Bootleg Empire: Has Ernst won the war?’: Back in 1999 Ernst Jorgensen and Roger Semon convinced BMG to let them start the FTD collectors label in order to counteract the Elvis bootleg companies which had been selling unreleased material to fans since the very first vinyl bootleg 'Please Release Me' was issued back in 1970.
Of all the bootleg labels that have come and gone the 'Madison' label was one of the very few that always produced high-quality releases and which happened to start at the same time as FTD. The designs were top-notch and with detailed sleeve notes they easily competed with the legal Elvis releases.
In 2021 ‘Madison’ have returned with the new bootleg ‘A Legendary Performer Volume 9’ but all is not what was promised. The Elvis bootleg vaults are empty and FTD appears to have won the game.
Go here as EIN’s Piers Beagley checks out the lack of new material and considers the bootleg era at an end...
The Dangerous World of Elvis Bootlegging; Vic Colonna reveals all! For the true fan the Elvis world goes way beyond the endless RCA ‘Greatest Hit’ compiles. The real Elvis musical excitement has always been found in the underworld of bootlegs of officially unreleased material. Of course it is the popularity of Elvis Bootlegs that paved the way for Ernst & Roger to create the ‘FTD’ Fan Club label. In the mists of time these bootlegs were of course vinyl albums with stunning classics as the ‘Behind Closed Doors’, ‘The ’68 Comeback’, ‘From The Waist Up’ etc all featuring unreleased classic Elvis recordings that eventually RCA would issue. Vic Colonna is one of the great names from this mysterious world that many fans will recall. EIN was delighted to discover that Vic Colonna is not only alive and well - but is also writing a book about the exciting world of Elvis bootlegs, and we were more than happy to ask the great man some questions. Go here for his revelations and photos. (Interviews, Source;EIN)
| Paul Dowling in-depth EIN Interview: Paul Dowling is without doubt one of the major names in the Elvis World. He started collecting and selling Elvis vinyl over 40 years ago and has one of the world's largest Elvis Presley record collections. He started his "WorldWide Elvis" shop back in the seventies, way before the internet, where fans could get hold of rare Elvis records and memorabilia.
With such a fascination with Elvis, Dowling not only became a big name in the early years of Elvis bootlegs but later became friends with Ernst Jorgensen and helped RCA with various official releases.
In this fascinating interview Paul Dowling discusses ....
- How he became part of the Elvis World
- How he became one of the world's most famous Elvis bootleggers
- The shock of Elvis' death
- The classic bootlegs, THE DORSEY SINGLE , TV GUIDE PRESENTS ELVIS, The 68 COMEBACK LP..
- Unreleased Elvis material - includes the possibility of 'Don't Be Cruel' outtakes!
- Famous Elvis Bootleg customers such as Elton John and RCA's 'Elvis producer' Joan Deary
Go here - & Don’t Miss - this exclusive interview with EIN's Piers Beagley - an essential read for Elvis collectors.
Bootleg Elvis (Book Review): Illicit Elvis recordings released by underground labels on pristine black or colored vinyl! For many fans the thought and memories of that important part of the Elvis music scene still resonates in 2012.
And now one of the year's greatest book releases has been published, Bootleg Elvis.......a high quality, incredibly well researched narrative and visual history of the 900+ Elvis bootlegs released on vinyl.
EIN recently delved deep inside this formidable book to sample its veritable treasure trove of Elvis delights! Old and new fans take note!!
Read EIN's detailed review
|Elvis: A Legendary Performer Vol.5 – (Madison): With hard-core Elvis collectors complaining about too much already available material dominating this new import CD, EIN’s Piers Beagley was wary as he explored this new homage to old RCA producer Joan Deary. However what he discovered was a clever, stylish and cheeky box of Elvis delights! (CD Review, Source: EIN)
'Elvis~ A Legendary Performer Volume 7' - CD Review: Following The Colonel’s marketing example of ‘too much is never enough’, Madison released yet another volume in their ‘Legendary Performer’ series. With their high productions values can this really be as good as the first two in the series, or is that the sound of scrapping at the bottom of the barrel that we can hear! EIN’s Piers Beagley opens the lid and looks into the depths. (Source: EIN)
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more: Recently radio personality Mike Ragogna from KRUU-FM got a chance to interview Ernst Jorgensen in length about the new 'Elvis Presley Complete Studio Masters' box-set. Ernst provides some interesting answers as well as his own view on Elvis' musical legacy.
"Elvis lives in the minds of those musicians who took over from him. You get people like The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, and U2 --everybody somehow relates to those early Elvis recordings, and they meant something in their personal lives, and subsequently, he became an inspiration for their professional lives."
Go here for the full interview & Complete Masters images.
Rex Martin (Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly) talks exclusively to EIN: EIN recently had the pleasure of spending several hours talking to Rex Martin publisher of the legendary publication, the Worldwide Elvis News Service Weekly.
The result is a fascinating multi-part interview beginning today.
In Part 1 Rex speaks about his early years, becoming an Elvis fan, why he started the fondly remembered weekly, his trips to the US and what he has been doing since he ceased publishing the Weekly in 1978.
For those not familar with Rex's publications, the "Weekly" revolutionised how fans right around the world received their Elvis news while his Elvis booklets (see opposite) offered well researched and rare material for readers to enjoy.
EIN invites you to take a trip down memory lane and witness a very important part of Elvis world history.... (Source: EIN, Dec 2008)
|Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon discuss the FTD label back in 2002: Ernst Jorgensen & Roger Semon are the producers behind the Follow That Dream fan club label. They are the tireless & respected keepers of Elvis’ musical legacy. One of the highlights of Elvis Week 2002 was a session to discuss their FTD project. A fascinating meeting, where all kinds of points were raised and Ernst revealed some interesting inside information, including some of the material he has left and future releases. EIN’s Piers Beagley was there to ask some questions and takes notes... (Interview, Source: EIN)
Joseph Pirzada opens up to EIN: On the 53rd anniversary of the first radio broadcast of That's All Right, Mama, Joseph Pirzada, the man behind the MRS volumes and the exciting new release, "Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley", talks candidly to EIN about what was involved in producing his sets and the politics of the Elvis world.
Thought provoking, strong, and challenging, this is an interview sure to cause controversy! (Source: EIN, 7 July 2007)
Read Part 1
Roger Semon interview with EIN: Roger Semon, along with Ernst Jorgensen, is the co-producer of everything Elvis at SONY/BMG. It was in fact the UK Roger Semon produced 'E.P. Collection' that spearheaded the fabulous re-packaging of Elvis' musical legacy leading to the creation of the FTD label. Roger recently took time out of his busy schedule to talk with EIN about future releases, how he met Ernst Jorgensen, the future of FTD, 'Clambake', 'Tickle Me', 'Jailhouse Rock' and much much more. (Source: EIN, February 2007)
'ELVIS On Television The Complete Sound Recordings' Review: The 60th anniversary of Elvis’ first appearance on national television is celebrated with this 2CD/100-page set.
The new MRS box-set was publicised as containing the complete archival recordings of Elvis Presley’s television appearances from 1956-60. For the first time ever, these tracks been painstakingly remastered and restored.
The recordings contain all song tracks, comedy sketch routines and interviews including the extended Wink Martindale interview.
The 100-page book is a chronological photo journey following Elvis from the very first in 1956, to his appearance on The Frank Sinatra show in 1960. It contains liner notes accompanied by many rare and new unpublished photographs.
In the individual chapters Gordon Minto provides the main details and highlights of each TV performance. Matching the text, each chapter features around 15 pages of significant photographs, a surprising number of the in colour.
Go here as EIN's Piers Beagley checks out this new MRS CD/Book package with an in-depth review along with some scans from the book showcasing some excellent Elvis images.
(Book/CD Reviews, Source;ElvisInfoNetwork)
EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.