Follow That Dream [FTD] : The Official Elvis Presley Collectors Label
FTD (Follow That Dream), Sony BMG's Official Elvis Presley Collectors label was established in 1999 to serve the dedicated Elvis collector and to complement the commercial and artistic level of RCA's retail release schedule by issuing repertoire that is considered of interest to serious Elvis fans and collectors, material that is generally not part of mainstream RCA label releases to the public at large.
There are the original Collectors CD's with CDs ranging from soundboard recorded concerts (Recorded from the mixing desk in mono) to full RCA professionally recorded concerts in stereo and some great alternate take CDs - Such as The Jungle Room Sessions and Memphis Sessions etc, later FTD introduced the Elvis Classic Album Series where they release the original Elvis albums in deluxe 7" size packaging with a booklet and a usually a second CD of out takes from the same period as the recordings on the album. There is also the Movie Soundtrack Series usually released as a single CD but again in deluxe 7" packaging with booklet.
What to buy? Where to start? What is a good FTD release?
These questions can be a matter of opinion but with a little help from this page you can't go too wrong.
From here, just dive in, you have to start somewhere!
These are the main groups
The Classic album re-issues are 2 CD sets, including the original album with bonus tracks [singles etc] and a second disc width session out takes. Alternate takes as Elvis records takes until he gets to the one deemed right for release. You get to here Elvis talking, laughing, producing, a little bravado swearing occasionally.
These are all essential.
As long as you don't dislike a particular album then, although even then often the outtakes can surprise.
Part of this is the Classic album series really but separated in our shop under movies to make it easier to find. These releases can be described in the same way as the above but normally only with one CD.
Both the above a presented as mini LP format with 7 inch packaging instead of a LP's 12 inch.
But impressive non the less. Gatefold sleeve with booklet, includes session details, photos etc.
You can view a good example with our Wild In The Country review. Follow the links to images of the pages and booklet etc. There is the 'Behind The Scenes' page from the booklet, 'The 'Storyboard' page and the 'In And Outtakes' page, again both from the booklet' plus two photos from the booklet.
FTD have now released several professionally recorded concerts [16 track stereo master recordings] . These are released in basic cardboard 'digi-pack' [5 inch size] – they are essential. Quality sound and performances.
Remember it is the music the counts in the end!
Then a large number of concerts recorded at the soundboard [and referred to as soundboard recordings] [Again 5 inch size digi-packs]. These vary in quality and Elvis' performance. There a many great ones and you can find many reviews on the website. But particularly here what one person will like another may not. Do you prefer a concert with rare songs or better quality sound? Elvis in 1974 or 1976? Soundboards are mono and they are not up to professional RCA recordings as mentioned above. If you ask which are the best, obviously you would spend your money on the RCA recordings first and then take it from there as far as concerts go.
To mention some I really like; Chicago Stadium 2 CD, great sound, and a good 1976 performance from Elvis. Not how I express this, Elvis generally was not the performer he was from 1969-1974 in 1976.
Then there are still many 5 inch size alternate takes CDs, slowly being deleted [As the Classic albums are providing the out-takes now], many, most are truly essential. To name some, The Jungle Room Sessions, I Sing All Kinds, Stage Rehearsal, So High and Our Memories Of Elvis : and many more ...
And then you have books released by FTD, some with CDs, some without.
And Vinyl records are alive!!!!! With FTD releasing many of Elvis' albums on deluxe heavy vinyl sets along with special release compellations. Vinyl albums are back again. Sales of the 'new old records' on 33 rpm skyrocketed last year with 39% increase compared to 2010. Worldwide, over 3.9 million vinyl albums were sold last year. Elvis is among the most popular artists for vinyl collectors, due to the many re-releases of his former albums. The Official Elvis Presley FTD have begun re-releasing Elvis' entire catalogue on vinyl records.
FTD have even released a double CD audience recorded set of his New Years Eve Concert from 1976.
An audience recording is all that is in existence.