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This is a comments thread about Blog Post: Ben-Hur Lives! by Lukas Kendall
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   JasonComerford   (Member)

Sigh... once again, a handful of howling wingnuts show the world exactly how much they don't get it. You have to keep the lights on somehow. Simple as that. To paraphrase Steven Soderbergh, it's easier to take potshots from the tower than it is to toil in the courtyard.

Lukas isn't living like some Middle Eastern sheik. I know this because I once slept on his floor. If you make a decision on Monday and spend the rest of the week getting information that runs counter to that decision, you're within your rights as a businessperson to change your mind on Friday. Neither Lukas nor any of the other label owners owe anyone an explanation for their decisions, least of all the five people who spew vitriol on a messageboard.

2,000 more people get to enjoy this splendid music. It's too bad it's not 20,000. That's the real tragedy.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   captain_avis   (Member)

Yes, it's sad to see film music message boards denigrate into bickering and mud flinging but it's not *just* film music boards, or even message boards as a whole, it's the internet as a whole. It's amazing that people will say things online that they wouldn't in a million years say face to face.

Case in point, I once signed up for a sci fi message board and introduced myself with a line along the lines of "Hi, my name is Chris..." only to have one of the first responses be: "what a stupid boring name, how lame were your parents?"

Such is life on the 'net and while it sucks for businesses who cater to an internet based clientele to have to put up with such crap for whatever reason, it's the way of life on the internet. I think that anyone who makes a go of it with a web-based business in the long run probably fairly rapidly has to develop a thick skin.

Chris.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)


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.


Which customers are unhappy with Lukas' actions?

Mainly specuators, who have 'invested' in stock to make big profits later on.

Most other people just aren't too bothered and some are grateful that it's still available at a reasonable price.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:06 PM   
 By:   Altamese   (Member)

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.

Is that guy antagonizing you, Bruce? Yet you seem fine dealing with him yourself. *I* say something you interpret as a dig, and you're off whining to the moderator! Must be because he's a guy and I'm a girl, I guess...

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:08 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

I once signed up for a sci fi message board and introduced myself with a line along the lines of "Hi, my name is Chris..." only to have one of the first responses be: "what a stupid boring name, how lame were your parents?"

Is that why you changed it to "Captain Avis"?

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:11 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Neither Lukas nor any of the other label owners owe anyone an explanation for their decisions, least of all the five people who spew vitriol on a messageboard.





Exactly. We're not required to be party to any of this at all.


I wish all you guys who've privately thanked LK and Frank and Mike etc. would voice your enthusiams here, because for sure, the gripers will certainly do that, and it HAS to have a counter-productive effect on potential buyers who come here because they've heard about this release and others.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:21 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (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.



This is the one area where soundtrack collectors have to change their attitude. The typical soundtrack collector looks at a release like "Eye of the Devil," sees that it sold only half of its stated 3,000 copy limit, and thinks he has a valued commodity. Book collectors don't think that way. Take two books. The first is a novel from a little known author that didn't sell much of its initial press run, and the remaining copies were sold off at deep discounts or were pulped. The second book is "To Kill a Mockingbird," a wildly popular book that has been reprinted time and again and is still in print today. For which book would most book collectors rather have a first edition? I believe most collectors would prefer the first edition of "To Kill a Mockingbird" rather than a first edition of an unknown book from an unknown author.

But the key is, you have to know which copies constitute the first edition. If the FSM version of "Ben-Hur" were to go on to sell 10,000 copies, and, as the finest representation of the score, were to be re-issued by several labels in the future, would not the first edition rise in stature rather than fall? Isn't it better to have the first edition of a soundtrack that is extremely popular rather than one that nobody wanted in the first place? It would be . . . if only we knew which was the first edition.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:28 PM   
 By:   Matt S.   (Member)

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.

I can't speak for Stephen Woolston, but I certainly approve. And the only agreement Lukas has with me, as a customer, is that he agrees to send me a copy of Ben-Hur if I send him $59.99. The quantity limit is an agreement with the rights-holder of the music to determine the amount of money it will cost him. An agreement which everyone is within their rights to re-negotiate and/or renew at will.

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?

Again, the only legalities here are between the record producer and the rights-holder. If he renewed his deal with MGM to release a second run of 2000, copies, then good. The idea that he is somehow operating outside the law is absurd.

Your indignation is ridiculous, it really is.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:30 PM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

As I've stated earlier this Ben-Hur release is wonderful. Period. And it is too bad that the number isn't 20,000 or even higher. Rozsa's masterpiece deserves to always be in print and available for old and new fans...

It doesn't matter to me whether I have the first 'edition' or not its all about the music and that's what people sometimes forget. Ben-Hur is available again sounding better than ever before and thats enough to rejoice!!!!!

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

LLL is reissuing the old Fall of the Roman Empire LP recording next week (with some bonus cues) and they're offering 2,500 of them. That's 500 more than the limit that was announced for the new Ben-Hur. And that's despite the competition from the excellent FOTRE re-recording that appeared only recently.
So the numbers often don't make a lot of sense.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

The only way you can be offended by this is if it is the limitedness of it which is important to you.

I just don't enjoy being repeatedly lied to.

--------
Lukas didn't lie. I suspect that he didn't expect 2000 copies of Ben Hur to sell out within two weeks. Therefore he changed his mind and printed more. He has put his own money on the line for this hobby of ours and if he can make some money from printing more of Ben Hur and meet demand then good luck to him.


Hmmm. What is your definition of 'lie'? Because it isn't the same as the one I'm used to. He specifically said ""To answer a question: no, we will not be repressing this after the 2000 copies sell out. We have, I think more than any of the other labels, tried to press our titles in sufficient quantities and as a result have over-pressed more often than not...and we're sitting on stock that costs money to store." Then, he did the exact opposite of what he said.

To reiterate.. I don't know anyone who is disappointed about the repressing, just the dishonesty.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 12:59 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

Some of you guys are just nutty. They are printing more so more folks can have the opportunity to get one. That's freaking great. If we cared about our fellow film score brothers and sisters and weren't so selfish sometimes we'd ALL be happy that more will be able to get this...myself included!

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:05 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Time to drop it now? Listen to the superb CDs and feel happy.
Everyone who helped produce the set – audio wizards, writers, producers, printers, everyone – should be reading glowing praises. We've had whatever moans we think were due. Enough's enough.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:16 PM   
 By:   Chris Rimmer   (Member)

Poor Lukas, he produces one of (if not the) best soundtrack albums of all time, and then decides that due to better than usual sales he needs to increase the amount from 2000 to 4000 copies, so that more people can purchase and enjoy this incredible album and what happens?

All Hell breaks loose.

I can't see the problem, Lukas changed his mind, his original decision wasn't set in stone, it was a business decision, I'm sure he said somewhere that Rozsa usually sells 1200 copies or thereabouts, so 2000 was going to be ample, he was wrong, he underestimated the demand for the set, 2000 wasn't anywhere near enough, so he's had another 2000 pressed.

Excellent news for soundtrack fans everywhere, who now have a chance of grabbing this outstanding album.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   John Smith   (Member)

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.

I can't speak for Stephen Woolston, but I certainly approve. And the only agreement Lukas has with me, as a customer, is that he agrees to send me a copy of Ben-Hur if I send him $59.99. The quantity limit is an agreement with the rights-holder of the music to determine the amount of money it will cost him. An agreement which everyone is within their rights to re-negotiate and/or renew at will.

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?

Again, the only legalities here are between the record producer and the rights-holder. If he renewed his deal with MGM to release a second run of 2000, copies, then good. The idea that he is somehow operating outside the law is absurd.

Your indignation is ridiculous, it really is.


I'm not indignant at all; you must be confusing me with other posters who have expressed their quite palpable outrage in this thread.

I'm genuinely curious as to what other collectors think about Lukas's actions - and what other soundtrack producers think. However, I also believe there is something binding in the statement printed on limited soundtrack CDs about their print run, and I'm extremely surprised most other posters here don't agree with me.

I honestly don't care whether I have copy 0001 of Logan's Run or copy 8,999. I really don't mind that I have a "second edition" copy of Explorers and not a "first edition". I have no intention of selling my extensive collection (which, incidentally, includes over 200 FSM releases) before I die, so their resell value is meaningless to me. I'm into soundtracks exclusively for the music.

Furthermore, I am over the moon that Ben-Hur has sold so well as it is one of my favourite scores; I'm only too pleased to add FSM's 5-CD set to the six other Be-Hur releases in my collection, irrespective of whether it's the first pressing or not.

Nonetheless, I do appreciate Doug Fakes integrity in acurately labelling his second Explorers release. Whether this is an ethical consideration or not is a moot point. All I'll say is that Doug felt so strongly about not losing the trust and respect of his customers that he refused to press extras copies of Inchon. You might think it's because he caved into the speculators; I personally believe he realised it was the "right" thing to do.

You state that "the quantity limit is exclusively an agreement with the rights-holder of the music." I'm sure that Doug and Bruce at Kritzerland are of a different opinion. I doubt whether they consider it ethically appropriate to do what Lukas has done.

Having read all the posts in this thread, It's clear that I'm not the only one who believes the labelling on the repressed Ben-Hur needs to be modified to reflect the true status of the extra sets. Even some of Lukas's apologists concur.

I like the book analogy that a previous poster made. I don't know a single book collector (and I am acquainted with dozens) who would be happy to discover that reissues of a given book are being labelled "first editions". In fact, I suspect that legal action would be taken by quite a few of these fellow collectors.

If you think the analogy is unwarranted, then so be it. But please allow me to be surprised at the ethical relativism of many of the posters here.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:21 PM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

To reiterate.. I don't know anyone who is disappointed about the repressing, just the dishonesty.

It's dishonest to change your mind in the light of changing circumstances?

I don't think so.

 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:38 PM   
 By:   David (Giacchino-fan)   (Member)

To reiterate.. I don't know anyone who is disappointed about the repressing, just the dishonesty.

It's dishonest to change your mind in the light of changing circumstances?

I don't think so.


No. It's dishonest to do what expressly said you wouldn't do. How clear can I make it? If he had never said "no, we will not be repressing this after the 2000 copies sell out", then he wouldn't have lied. Using a nice phrase like 'change of mind' is deceptive. He didn't only change his state of mind, he followed it with action that he told everyone he wouldn't do.
Is Lukas doing something illegal? No.
Is he doing something that will help his company and himself? Yes.
Are most folks happy that more people can enjoy the music (including myself)? Yes.
Is it dishonest? Yes.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Erik Donovan   (Member)

The only way you can be offended by this is if it is the limitedness of it which is important to you.

I just don't enjoy being repeatedly lied to.

--------
Lukas didn't lie. I suspect that he didn't expect 2000 copies of Ben Hur to sell out within two weeks. Therefore he changed his mind and printed more. He has put his own money on the line for this hobby of ours and if he can make some money from printing more of Ben Hur and meet demand then good luck to him.


Hmmm. What is your definition of 'lie'? Because it isn't the same as the one I'm used to. He specifically said ""To answer a question: no, we will not be repressing this after the 2000 copies sell out. We have, I think more than any of the other labels, tried to press our titles in sufficient quantities and as a result have over-pressed more often than not...and we're sitting on stock that costs money to store." Then, he did the exact opposite of what he said.

To reiterate.. I don't know anyone who is disappointed about the repressing, just the dishonesty.


AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!! Why do people not see this was a lie? A lie that helped sell the original pressing! I hate limited editions, I hate speculators and I hate lairs! DO NOT SAY IT! Do not print anything other than Limited Edition Pressing on the inserts and do not state a limited number. I love what Varese has done with their Limited Edition Series, they are limited to 1000, but no where on the inserts do I see that! I think it is great that more and more people will be able to get this.

This popped into my head:

"Do you, _______, take _______ to be your wife/husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her/him, forsaking all others and holding only unto her/him?" ("I do")...pause..."wait, I changed my mind!"

For those of you have acquired, my Rozsa set is sold, and I let it go for less than what I paid for it!
Starting to sell my FSM releases.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:55 PM   
 By:   Doug Raynes   (Member)

Let's put this into perspective. There are only about six people here who are complaining but it seems to be more because these same six are saying the same thing time and time again. Rebuttals simple feed their constant whinging.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 9, 2012 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   Bob Shelack   (Member)

AMEN, AMEN, AMEN!! Why do people not see this was a lie? A lie that helped sell the original pressing! I hate limited editions, I hate speculators and I hate lairs! DO NOT SAY IT! Do not print anything other than Limited Edition Pressing on the inserts and do not state a limited number. I love what Varese has done with their Limited Edition Series, they are limited to 1000, but no where on the inserts do I see that! I think it is great that more and more people will be able to get this.

This popped into my head:

"Do you, _______, take _______ to be your wife/husband? Do you promise to love, honor, cherish and protect her/him, forsaking all others and holding only unto her/him?" ("I do")...pause..."wait, I changed my mind!"

For those of you have acquired, my Rozsa set is sold, and I let it go for less than what I paid for it!
Starting to sell my FSM releases.


Mate, have a look at the pic below, calm down/cheer up and get on with the rest of your day.

 
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