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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Ben-Hur Lives! by Lukas Kendall
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:09 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Drusus: "What do you want here? Can't you see we're preparing the Tribune for burial?"
Ilderim: "Indeed, but I agreed a wager with Messala. I've come to collect".
Drusus: "Oh, very well. How much do we owe you?"
Ilderim: "The wager was three thousand talents at odds of four to one".
Drusus: "Liar! I was there... the wager was one thousand talents!"
Ilderim: "Yes... but after the race was finished I decided to increase the amount of the wager".
Drusus: "You can't do that".
Ilderim: "Yes I can".
Drusus: "No you can't.
Ilderim: "Can".
Drusus: "Can't".
Ilderim: "Can".
Drusus: "Can't".
Ilderim: "Can".
Drusus: "Can't".
Ilderim: "Can".
Drusus: "Can't".
Ilderim: "I can and I have done".
Drusus: "The Britannia Sale of Goods Act is on my side".
Ilderim: "That's not applicable".
Drusus: "Yes it is".
Ilderim: "No it isn't".
Doctor: : "OH SHUT UP YOU BIG BABIES!"




 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:12 AM   
 By:   Lokutus   (Member)

It'll still be a limited edition. Whether it's capped at 2,000 or 4,000 or 6,000, FSM will probably still print a finite number of these and the score will eventually at some point fully sell out.



Which doesn't change the fact that FSM again makes idiots of their regular customer by lying to them repeatedly and trying to force-sale their product under some false pretenses, which are still being stated on their product.
Why their product is still said to be limited to 1000, 2000 or 3000 copies when there is so many pressed? Until they'll reprint back covers of all affected CDs and state either "this is not a limited edition", delete or increase the number of copies to the correct number, they are nothing but liars.



Thank god for Doug Fake who decided to value and respect his customers instead of getting a few more bucks for Inchon and others that sold quickly and after the same thing happened again with Explorers, he decided to promptly change Intrada's model of limited editions.

FSM instead does the same thing over and over again. Claiming this is limited to XY copies while they are printing many more and make fools of the customers. I just don't see how anyone can be so happy about being lied to on regular basis for so many years. This is a sad day as I've just lost all my respect for Lukas. I don't care about the speculators and how many copies are available for anything, I just care for honesty and can't respect anyone who doesn't value his customers and is dishonest to them. This is just disgusting.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   Sirusjr   (Member)

Even though this is a big title, I am surprised that anyone would have felt pressured to buy a FSM title released as limited to 2000 copies. Before the actual sell-out of Ben Hur first pressing there hasn't really been a FSM title that sold out very fast in recent years, certainly not anything that lasted for less than a month. Anyone claiming to have felt rushed by the limited number on the original pressing I find hard to believe.

Considering this isn't the first time FSM re-pressed a title that was selling well to keep it in print, I don't see why anyone would have taken Lukas's original statement that he wasn't going to re-press the title at face value as an absolute promise. His statement made it clear that even he didn't think this was going to be as popular as it was and disappear in less than a month. Should he have mentioned in the original announcement that more titles may be pressed if it sells fast? Maybe, but considering how unexpected the quick sell-out was, I can appreciate the decision to press more copies.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   captain_avis   (Member)

To get back to the music itself, I'm hoping to get an honest recommendation from folks here. I quite like Ben-Hur and have a copy of the Rhino 2-CD set, though I'm otherwise not a huge Rozsa fan.

For a casual fan of this score is the reported sound quality boost worth the $50 upgrade cost? How different are the alternates of the score? How different are the performances on the re-recordings?

Thanks for your input. As you all know there's tons of tempting material out there so it's always difficult to prioritize spending on scores...

Chris.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:38 AM   
 By:   Bob Shelack   (Member)

I bet Lukas can't wait 'till the last FSM cd is released and he's done.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:46 AM   
 By:   TJ   (Member)

How would you react when a concert is advertised as "One night only! Only area appearance!", sells out in 2 hours, then the promoter adds another night and says "By popular demand - second show added!"?

It's funny, Bruce has been mentioning for a while now that the current limited edition models are going to be become problematic. By these latest episodes, you can see he is mostly correct. For myself, I'm glad that the music is available to everyone who wants it and I hope that the studios change their licensing restrictions to a time-based model instead of a copy-limited model.


I LOVE IT. It's basic economics of supply and demand.


How man times have The Eagles gone on a Farewell or Reunion Tour? I'm glad they did "another" one or I might not have had the chance to see them live.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:49 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Thank god for Doug Fake who decided to value and respect his customers instead of getting a few more bucks for Inchon and others that sold quickly

Respectng who?

The Goldsmith fans who couldn't get hold of 'Inchon' without paying big money to speculator scum. Do they feel valued?

Or

The speculators who bought up multiple copies of a limited edition to sell on at a huge profit.These are the people who are seeing their income stream dry up as the labels start to value the regular customer rather than those in it for a quick buck.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   TJ   (Member)

To get back to the music itself, I'm hoping to get an honest recommendation from folks here. I quite like Ben-Hur and have a copy of the Rhino 2-CD set, though I'm otherwise not a huge Rozsa fan.

For a casual fan of this score is the reported sound quality boost worth the $50 upgrade cost? How different are the alternates of the score? How different are the performances on the re-recordings?

Thanks for your input. As you all know there's tons of tempting material out there so it's always difficult to prioritize spending on scores...

Chris.


In my opinion, the LP arrangements are totally different from the film tracks. I think I will be listening to the two "Kloss" albums more than the film tracks. The film tracks are a long listen, but I find that to be the case with many expanded releases.

I don't have good enough ears to judge the actual sound quality, but I do prefer the sequencing of the film tracks on discs 1 and 2 of the FSM vs. the Rhino. it's been a long time since I've listened to the Rhino though.


For a casual fan of Rozsa though, I think many may find themselves satisfied with the 45 minute Decca recording on Vocalion paired with Quo Vadis.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:03 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

For a casual fan of this score is the reported sound quality boost worth the $50 upgrade cost? How different are the alternates of the score? How different are the performances on the re-recordings?





As regards sound, yes, there's quite an improvement. There's a strong bass boost, but not in such a way as to prevent very clear hi-end shining through. There's also very fine definition of things like woodwinds, pizzicato, y'know, precise single-line instruments. This is also true of the albums. Sony originally released two of the albums back in the 1990s, and did a very clear job, but here they're presented in original release order and with a particular mix that reminds one of the actual LP sound.

Not just the albums, but also the alternates are often very different. As far as new thematic content goes, there are three pieces that present new MELODIC material you won't find on the Rhino, namely the rejected Entr'Acte, (of which there are TWO takes, and partly a third if you include the LP 'Overture') which contains a really violent and pulsating complex theme that's meant to evoke the chariot race and the Judaeo-Roman conflicts, then there's the 'Haroun al Rozsad', which is a stunning, even cheekily humorous dance for the background musicians in the supper scene with Sheik Ilderim, and there's an alternative 'Desert' using different material that's derived (but not instantly recognisably) from other themes elsewhere. The Parade of the Charioteers is presented complete for the first time, without cuts. It's worth mentioning that even die-hard researchers who knew their stuff didn't realise some of these cues were still extant, and they all sound perfect.

There are also many takes that are quite different or more complete. The LP material was also extensively revised from the OST as quite different compositions sometimes, but often restoring cut-out stuff.

Occasionally, you see the links not immediately obvious on other releases. The 'Desert' cue for example uses short snippets of themes in 'Gratus' Entry' which links it more organically to the rest of the score, not just as a one-off set-piece. Some alternates, as with the finale and the Nativity and the cues for the aborted section of 'Arrius' Party' just open up familiar pieces and restore the 'first listen' experience.

It is an unusually fine representation, and the notes unite the elements into a detailed ride, if that's your bag.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

This thread is pissing me off.

I don't mind people being mad and saying so. Hey, we've all got a right to express ourselves.

But, we're done already.

And now it's my turn to express myself.

It never ceases to amaze me how people bitch and moan because film score labels decide to make scores available instead of keeping them unavailable.

Hey, I've got an idea. Should we also burn all masters tapes of this, and Inchon, and Capricorn One, etc, just to make sure no one can ever release this material again?

And God forbid that Lukas and co might actually be thinking about making money. After all it's such an altruistic society we live in, isn't it speculators?

Listen. Carefully.

The Ben-Hur run is being extended.

Because the first run clearly wasn't big enough.

Get over it.

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:25 AM   
 By:   Grimsdyke   (Member)

We can argue about technical points of UK trading standards law but is it relevant to a US online retailer?.

I don' think so but the artwork should have a '2nd pressing' disclaimer now because otherwise it could really be a case of false advertising.

But I am really tempted to put several users on ignore now !!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Of course, the fun game is: What if BSX or another label had done this exact same thing? And no matter what people answer now, I think everyone knows exactly what would happen smile

I think everyone knows that by "another label", you really mean yours, and I imagine that has more to do with the reputations of representatives from the referenced labels as participants on these forums than any business decisions those labels choose to make.


You know exactly what I mean and instead in typical FSM board fashion choose to make a personal dig. A little odd and more than a little tiresome, rather than just addressing the point and the POINT is that if another label other than FSM had done this it might not have gone down so well. You know it, I know it, and the man in the moon knows it.


The fact that nobody really cares that Intrada got rid of advertised limitations starting with Explorers contradicts your POINT, and in fact is not a point at all. You can say what they are doing is the same thing - but it's really not, because by omitting the number gives them the freedom to press more of a hot seller if they are so inclined.

My opinion is that it has everything to do with the popularity of titles that certain labels release (whatever reason that may be - financial backing, personal preference) and nothing to do with anything else. That's my opinion.

I call bologna when folks said they weren't going to buy any more titles from Intrada because they wanted to repress a title to fill the demand. People are still going to buy the titles they want regardless of who produced them.


I understand you have an opinion. So please explain to everyone the necessity of making a personal dig at me. What POINT was there in that? Did I make one at you? No. I'm sure you can respond to a post, take exception if you must, without the typical posturing, no? And I will say again: My POINT is absolutely valid and correct - IF, using BSX as an example, they did this, Ford Thaxton would be flayed alive on this board for doing so. You know it, I know it, and the man in the moon knows it. You can dance around that all you like, but that's the way it would be. Make of that what you will (and I'm sure it will include another unnecessary dig). Everyone has their own feelings about this, and everyone is entitled to think what they will and to express the yay or nay of it. That's what a discussion board is about.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

My POINT is absolutely valid and correct - IF, using BSX as an example, they did this, Ford Thaxton would be flayed alive on this board for doing so. You know it, I know it, and the man in the moon knows it. You can dance around that all you like, but that's the way it would be.

I disagree, Bruce. If BSX did what FSM have done with 'Ben Hur, then I believe that the vast majority of people who have applauded Lukas would also applaud Ford. There are a few people here who support labels in the same way they might support a football team, but they are in a minority. Most people here are intelligent and consistent in their opinions.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:55 AM   
 By:   mstrox   (Member)

I clicked the "after the jump" and laughed at Lukas' one-sentence explanation for why he reissued Ben Hur.

It's a lose-lose, really. Selling out and staying sold out would have irritated a certain vocal group of posters who hadn't had a chance to get their copies. Reissuing was going to irritate a different, also-vocal group of message board posters.

I'm glad that Lukas erred on the side of music availability and repressed the set. Ben Hur is a wonderful score and a landmark in film score history. I'd much rather see somebody looking for Ben Hur down the line (or any other release, to be honest) able to purchase the set at a reasonable price and support the label, than see somebody have to pay much more to the benefit of an individual.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

SUGGESTION

To avoid this kind of debate in future, I suggest labels add this to their product descriptions:

"We do not rule out extending the quantities pressed beyond the initial limited run, should we feel that is commercially warranted. We also can not guarantee that this title won't be re-issued in the future."

That way, really, no one can complain.

Cheers



Let's face it, some people ARE into soundtrack collecting for the collecting aspects of the hobby, either along with the enjoyment of the music, or to the exclusion of any musical enjoyment. And I don't have any problem with that. And I can see why they might be disgruntled by this turn of events.

If you had purchased what you believed to be a limited edition automobile, at considerable cost, would it bother you to know that the edition size had suddenly been doubled? Bad analogy, since soundtracks don't cost much. How about this. You collect a first edition of a book, but all subsequent pressings are also labelled as "first editions." Any reason to be upset?

Which raises the question, what will the second pressing of "Ben-Hur" say on the back? Until Lukas' revelations of last year, I'm assuming that all additional copies of "Mutiny On the Bounty" and other CDs that were issued beyond their stated runs carried the same "limited edition" language. This is the first case where it has been announced ahead of time that the same title is being repressed in exactly the same way. Why not follow the book publishing model, and clearly identify, with each pressing, whether it is a first, second, or later edition and whether it is a first, second, or later pressing of that edition (and the number of copies in that edition or pressing, if possible). That makes the collectors happy and the music lovers happy. Or at least happier.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 11:09 AM   
 By:   John Smith   (Member)

This thread is pissing me off.

I don't mind people being mad and saying so. Hey, we've all got a right to express ourselves.

But, we're done already.

And now it's my turn to express myself.

It never ceases to amaze me how people bitch and moan because film score labels decide to make scores available instead of keeping them unavailable.

Hey, I've got an idea. Should we also burn all masters tapes of this, and Inchon, and Capricorn One, etc, just to make sure no one can ever release this material again?

And God forbid that Lukas and co might actually be thinking about making money. After all it's such an altruistic society we live in, isn't it speculators?

Listen. Carefully.

The Ben-Hur run is being extended.

Because the first run clearly wasn't big enough.

Get over it.

Cheers



Mr Woolston,

You're creating a straw man argument. Nobody has even suggested keeping scores unavailable, so why the tirade? You singularly refuse to address any of the the actual points I raised in my earlier post, despite asking me for my position.

However, I conclude from your vigorous defence of Lukas that you unreservedly approve of his selling countless thousands of repressed CDs, despite entering into a clearly-stated agreement with the customer that the number would be limited to 3,000.

Am I right in assuming that, in your opinion, every soundtrack producer has the right to press as many copies of limited releases as his fancy takes him - as long as he feels the market can take it? If Bruce wants to press five thousand copies of his CDs he can do so with impunity - he doesn't even have to tell us that there are more than the "legal" 1000 copies (or so) in existence?

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   TJ   (Member)

What POINT was there in that? Did I make one at you? No. I'm sure you can respond to a post, take exception if you must, without the typical posturing, no? And I will say again: My POINT is absolutely valid and correct - IF, using BSX as an example, they did this, Ford Thaxton would be flayed alive on this board for doing so. You know it, I know it, and the man in the moon knows it. You can dance around that all you like, but that's the way it would be. Make of that what you will (and I'm sure it will include another unnecessary dig). Everyone has their own feelings about this, and everyone is entitled to think what they will and to express the yay or nay of it. That's what a discussion board is about.

I think you are trying to present opinions as facts and I think you are incorrect. That's my opinion. You are welcome to disagree.

If Ford had the financial backing and professional relationships in place to bring us BEN-HUR, sell it out in two weeks, and bring it right back, Ford would be everybody's hero, in my opinion.

My opinion is people care more about the title than the name that brought it to them. You're welcome to disagree.

Ford gets flayed for a lot of things, and there are those who have an axe to grind with him for whatever reason, but they are the minority and if they want Ben-Hur and he produced it, they would buy it just like anything else.

You certainly are allowed to have your opinion, I don't have an issue with you having an opinion, I have an issue with you suggesting that your opinion is some sort of fact that the "man on the moon knows", which is intellectually lazy.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 11:14 AM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

The one thing Golden Age film music admirers should rejoice in is that this set is in such demand and that it is now reaching a larger audience than expected. The best thing that could happen now is that the second pressing sells out within a month and a THIRD pressing is necessary.
If a few hundred listeners who are not normally Golden Agers end up being encouraged to buy more Golden Age scores through listening to this masterpiece, it's good news for all of us. If 8,000 were ultimately issued, excellent! Maybe it will serve to prompt other labels to make more Golden Age scores available. At least this time we won't hear the oft-stated "Golden Age is dead, we couldn't sell 1000 copies" diatribe.
The more sold the merrier. The real argument here should be about why only 2000 were issued in the first place, not complaints that many more will now be available.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

It's a real tragedy that this thread has deteriorated to a discussion of this business, instead of the merits of the release at hand.

Another bottom line you people might consider is that FSM is going out of business as a production label. Why is that not factoring into the equation?

This release is like a parting gift in a way.


That's why I've come to hate film-music boards. The obsessive pent-up anger because the greater world doesn't care about this artform (or do they really?) The anal-retentive shell that's left behind when genuine living passion and awareness creeps away in the night without telling, leaving only adolescent collecting-mania behind. The internet autism of lack of imagination about the 'other' that's being attacked.

I don't know what Lukas' next project is, I think he's too sharp a cookie to not have something lined up, it's not our business. But he'll need all the pennies he can get for whatever it is. This is business.

So you can all get disgruntled and claim some silly Pharisaical high-horse stances about deception etc., etc. but you'll soon be talking to the trees because FSM will be only the online mag and this board, and there'll be no releases to complain about.

You'd think THAT ONE FACT, that FSM will cease production, would stop the rivals crying outrage by the way, but it seems it doesn't. Some people have so much chutzpah. I think it's called gloating.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 11:18 AM   
 By:   Dr. Lao   (Member)

The one thing Golden Age film music admirers should rejoice in is that this set is in such demand and that it is now reaching a larger audience than expected. The best thing that could happen now is that the second pressing sells out within a month and a THIRD pressing is necessary.
If a few hundred listeners who are not normally Golden Agers end up being encouraged to buy more Golden Age scores through listening to this masterpiece, it's good news for all of us. If 8,000 were ultimately issued, excellent! Maybe it will serve to prompt other labels to make more Golden Age scores available. At least this time we won't hear the oft-stated "Golden Age is dead, we couldn't sell 1000 copies" diatribe.
The more sold the merrier. The real argument here should be about why only 2000 were issued in the first place, not complaints that many more will now be available.




_________Dr. Lao_________

 
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