July 16 - New Vinyl

Due for release from the Rox Vox label is a new 1973 live performance from Las Vegas on (what appears) clear or white vinyl. More information when available. 

Statement from the Pyramid Import Label

The Pyramid import label recently released volume 7 in their 8mm concert footage 'Sold Out!' series. In reaction to discussions on-line, the label posted the following statement:  

We’ve gotten used to the fact that certain parties with vested interests have done everything to undermine Pyramid, by trying to sabotage our releases, and by spreading misinformation. That continues even today. We see comments on this forum that are sometimes so bizarre that they defy all logic. We realize that much of this is agenda-driven, but still, we would like to comment on some of it.

About the 'authoring issue'. We want people to savour and enjoy each clip, because in most cases it has cost us a lot of effort to obtain these. It is not an authoring issue, it is a choice and a quite simple matter of settings.

Another comment is about the quality of the Asheville July 24th, 1975 show. We bought three versions of that film, and used the best one. This footage was improved by a well-respected audio / video restorer, who also did excellent work on a DVD release of a television series from the 60’s. The footage was color corrected, imperfections were removed, and audio was added from the actual concert. All done second for second… A real pain in the butt, since a lot of songs are incomplete. You are talking about hours of work. Just to have that bit of footage on the DVD cost us in the region of €1200. So to have someone whining that it’s not television quality is just insane. We do the best we can, with the resources we have. If you have a better copy of Asheville, then by all means, bring it on!

Pyramid is a true labor of love. Most people on the inside know that the sales of Elvis releases have plummeted, especially in the last three years. Elvis fans are now dying off at a fast rate, and there are no new ones. Moreover, in recent years, allegations about Elvis being a ‘racist’ and a ‘cultural appropriator’ have harmed the whole brand. As a result, Elvis is not selling anymore. The sales of Elvis imports are a joke these days. You can count yourself lucky if you can sell three to four hundred copies. So comments about us doing this for a quick buck are grotesque and quite simply not true. We are having these films restored basically for our own enjoyment, and we are happy to share with others, unlike certain individuals. We see the ‘Sold Out’ series as the ultimate resource for this type of footage, presented in a manner and in a price range that makes it accessible for all fans. We have personally paid thousands of euros to obtain this footage from various sources, and now the fans can buy it at a fraction of that price. We are not saying that we are a couple of Santa Clauses, but some of the venom here is uncalled for and inappropriate. If you are one of these, then you are just a cheerleader for the people who never wanted you to have this in the first place, or only wanted you to have it at €20 per minute. So owning the same material that is now released on each DVD would have cost you a whopping €5000., and for what has been released so far a total of €35.000! And, as we know now, much of the material sold by these two collectors from the UK & Germany was manipulated in various ways: degraded, edited, movement added… Simply because they don’t want you to get what they have. They just want your money. Pyramid on the other hand is offering the fans value for money by releasing about three hours each time, at a price of ca. €37 per set. And most of the footage is presented in the best way possible. As stated previously, all footage is restored, and original audio is added. Usually we have two or three versions of each clip, and of these we chose the best one. The aim of Pyramid is always to respect the authenticity of the material, and not add or change anything. We just want to present these films as originally filmed. In various cases, we have been lucky to have worked with the original filmers, and we paid them for their work. We have also contacted various of Elvis’ friends and musicians, to get them to write liner-notes for us. Who else does that in the Elvis world? Not even the official label. 

Someone asked why we didn’t release everything in chronological order. Well, the first master we made was actually in chronological order, but after having watched it, we decided that this was just not the right format for this material. Since Elvis never really changed his setlist much on each tour, it would just be the same again and again, like an Elvis ‘Groundhog Day’. It would just not be very enjoyable. So we chose the current format, with each release basically containing footage from all the concert years, because the DVD’s are more varied and enjoyable that way. 
It may well be true that we have used material from the aforementioned contaminated two sources, which we do try to avoid. In the case of Johnson City, we had two versions. One that was a bit blurry, and another was much better and longer, but it had some shaking during ‘C.C. Rider’. We opted to use that one. These are the realities we work with. But we try to do the best we can, because we feel that this is a beautiful project, from fans for fans. If better versions pop up of certain clips we’ve already used, then we will just use them again. As stated previously, we want this series to be like a data bank where all of this footage gets a home. 

We always welcome any criticism, as long as it’s fair and not agenda driven. We know from some of the people posting trash about us here is that they are involved with other import labels. It’s always amusing to us when they post reviews and comments about a release that’s not even out yet. This has happened several times already. Or when factually incorrect stuff is posted time and again by the same individuals (just like their praise for their own product). The Elvis world is a pretty strange place sometimes. Other collectors warned us about this, and we understand why some of them choose to keep their rarities to themselves. This is what they have told us. As some of you know, we have indeed been the victims of disinformation, personal attacks and libel. Remember ‘cease and desist’, the insane YouTube videos, etc? All the product of sick, twisted minds. 

Fact is that ‘Sold Out’ has changed the whole game. In recent years, most import releases were just repeats of previously released material. It was just the same stuff again & again, in a slightly nicer packaging, in improved quality, or in ‘new stereo’. Pyramid surprised everybody with its first release, and since then has released more than 20 hours of rare 8mm footage that most had never seen before. And we will continue releasing more footage. We are still buying great stuff, material that none of us knew even existed! Granted, with 8mm material there are limitations due to the nature of home movie filming back in the seventies. We all know that. But, having said that, there are some real treasures and surprises, as each release so far has demonstrated. And we will make it all available.

(Source: Facebook / FECC)