"Lost" Mono Master of Coltrane's My Favorite Things  Found, ERC Releasing

When Rhino released in 2016 John Coltrane—The Atlantic Years—in Mono box set, one LP was missing: My Favorite Things. The set did include a 7" 45rpm single of the title track. The long thought destroyed in the Atlantic fire (yes, they had one too) has been found, according to The Electric Recording Company's Pete Hutchison.

ERC today announced a limited to 300 copies "true mono" version. I emailed asking if it was going to be a "fold down" from the stereo tape and he replied:" It’s not a fold down. The original mono tape was thought to be lost in a fire but was in fact re boxed in a plain case and lost , then rediscovered. The authenticity is identified by the edits on the tape. This is the official line from Warner music group and is backed up from us . Great to release on the 60 th anniversary."

That's great news!

volvic's picture

Although I wish and hope someone else other than ERC will release this in a pure mono version.

Big Star's picture

There is tape damage on both sides on the tape of this recording. Audible. That said if it turns out great maybe some other labels will take their shot and produce more.

Analog Scott's picture

can you give us a little bit more info about this damage?

Big Star's picture

Yeah, no problem. Go to the ERC site and look at the tape info sheet. They took photos of it along with the reels. In the notes it mentions the damage. I’m not saying the record won’t turn out fantastic it’s just interesting. The other thing is when you watch ERC’s process (analog plant has a great YouTube video) they don’t do remastering (some minor tweaking). They give you the tape with their fantastic vintage valve machines. The damage apparently is minimal but we know how special us audiophiles are LOL. Anyway, I’m sure they thought they could work with it. It was just something I read. We shall see. Any damage information gets my attention with a record at this price.

jazz's picture

…have to live with unmastred and unrepaired tape copies, too. Not sure if us record buyers, used to mastered media really want or need that. I guess it depends and makes only sense in case of an anyway flat transfer and a great master tape condition.

Analog Scott's picture

yeah, hope it's no big deal.

Bmcpherson's picture

Had to preorder. Now if they could find the Mono Giant Steps masters . . .

Michael Fremer's picture
Was in the box set but "My Favorite Things" was not. If you are suggesting they didn't have the master for the mono box, why would they not put "My Favorite Things" in that box from whatever source they do have?
Bmcpherson's picture

I was told by friends at Rhino that the original non-fold down Giant Steps mono master tape was destroyed in a fire - hopefully that's not true as I'd love a true mono version!

garyalex's picture

And it's already sold out.

Lazer's picture

I was lucky enough to notice the email about 8 minutes after I was received that email. It’s actually an email I knew was coming and had been waiting for the last few days. I didn’t know what the album would be but I’ve kinda got their timing down. This album will now be the the 6th ERC album I’ve been lucky enough to buy!

jazz's picture

Well, some mono releases have their charm against the stereo, especially if the stereo have an extremely in the speakers sound. But generally I’d be more fascinated if all previous releases would have been mono and someone now came out with a rediscovered stereo tape.

Elubow's picture

The quality of ERC’s reissues may be excellent but I still think their pricing philosophy sucks. At the inflated prices that they charge, clearly their appeal is largely to wealthy customers who don’t mind spending $500 + on a single LP. Clearly, Pete Hutchison can charge what he likes—it’s his company. But would it really cost that much more to press 1000 or 2000 lps and charge less? And he could certainly recoup the costs in the additional sales. After all, producing 1000 vinyl copies is not like making 1000 speakers or amplifiers. I can’t believe the licensing fee would be that much more and in terms of the record sleeves, they’ve already done the hard work of duplicating those when they did the first 300. Clearly, they don’t give a shit about feeling of many in the vinyl community in general. I really detest these boutique products. And I wonder how many Michael would have bought if he didn’t get them gratis.

Michael Fremer's picture
I would have bought some for sure, but couldn't afford most and definitely couldn't afford all.... I don't understand the limited edition business model either but.....I have been told that the cost of insuring the tapes is insane and he's paying that....
Big Star's picture

What I do respect is the tape copy says 58 seconds audible tape damage. Not sure why they thought that would be a good idea to work with. That’s a significant amount of time on a record at that price. They also don’t remaster, as you know - they give you the tape. But they sold out and the market is undefeated at telling us demand. Hope it’s a success! What think about the tape damage?

Big Star's picture

57 seconds side 2
30 seconds side 1


Michael Fremer's picture
Precisely what is the damage (drop out? tape "fold" etc.) we don't know. Sometimes these issues are barely audible. At least here buyers were made aware of the issue(s).
Big Star's picture

It’s big league that they were up front.

Dane Henas's picture

I couldn't agree more. He could press twice or 3 times as many using the same stamper if that's what it's all about. It's insane to do all of that pre-press work and print only 300 covers. Maybe for the mono/stereo issues he's done he uses a common cover slick like they did in the old days, but that's only 600 slicks--still a tiny number to print. Plus I don't but that these sound better than an OG pressing no matter how much care he puts into the mastering chain. They put a lot of care into the mastering of the OGs back then--the tube gear was new too and the tapes weren't 60 years old! A sucker and his money...

Lazer's picture

I’m not sure why you are and others are so offended by their business model. Car lovers don’t question the Lamborghini business model but for some reason audiophiles get upset about ERC. Personally, I can’t afford a Lamborghini, not even one. I’m not a billionaire as some have said you need to be to buy ERC records, I’m a normal guy that likes to listen to vinyl. I’ve found that the better the quality of the record and the steps to produce that record make a huge difference in the quality of the music I’m listening hearing. If you want to hear what the best sounds like and it’s important to you, as it is to me, the cost is a stretch but I just prioritize my spending accordingly. People ask me all the time how I justify spending so much money on audio. I usually say something like “Jim, you have a $75,000 dollar boat. How do you justify that.” I done have boats or snowmobiles. I have my stereo. That’s what I like.

Lazer's picture

For all the typos but hopefully, you get the point.

Jazz listener's picture

the very limited run and exorbitant price does a tremendous disservice to the customers. Surely there is a better way to do this. For example, a limited edition with a few “extras” thrown in, which could be as simple as “deluxe” packaging and different coloured “limited edition” inner sleeves, some archival photos, etc. followed by a regular joe version for the masses. Given that this is a lost recording, the volume they could likely sell at premium prices, even for the regular version, would be far more than they will make doing it the way they are.

arcman67's picture

I'm not certain how long ERC gets an exclusive license for this particular mono version. However, people can always write to the master tape owning label and ask them to release a "normal" LP version. Even with the audio damage, this would be a wonderful RSD release at more normal pricing.

isaacrivera's picture

I have the 2013 ORG reissue which is in stereo and it sounds fantastic. I would love a decent Mono AAA reissue, but ERC, excellent as they are (I have 2 of them) are beyond my budget. However, I do think they are a good deal if you are into that kind of collecting. Most of the titles they are reissuing are long out of print in AAA and $$$ to get on the used market. I have their Mobley's Message in mono and the AP AAA reissue of same, which cost a 10th of the ERC price tag. The ERC is superior in every way, but the AP is not a 10th of the quality. If you can afford them, ERCs are definitely better though.

Put the needle on the record's picture

Was at Barnes hospital in St Louis, MO when I noticed the email had dropped about 6 minutes earlier. Placed an order for 1 but received and error message upon clicking the buy button. Frantically ordered again, thinking it might be gone very very soon. No error message with that one. A few minutes later I received two confirmation emails, both went through. Weird and expensive, but now I'm getting 2 copies. Continued to monitor the site to see how long it was going to take to sell out. 38 minutes. Not bad for a very expensive album dropped with no warning.

Elubow's picture

“Frantically ordered again, thinking it might be gone very very soon.”

You were FRANTIC because you might have missed out on buying a $600 record? Poor guy. And no, it’s not surprising that it sold out so quickly- there are lots of people in this world with money to burn. The least you could do is be a nice guy and cancel one of the records and maybe give someone else a chance. Of course, there’s always the option of keeping it and selling it for double the price in a year…

Put the needle on the record's picture

I share my experience and you insult me and proceed to advise me on what I should do? Don't blame me if your butthurt because you missed out and you certainly won't get one of mine.

Elubow's picture

Thanks for enriching my vocabulary! I never came across the word BUTTHURT in the College Board vocabulary lists nor in any of my reading since. Apparently, it really is a word. Thanks for enlightening me. I’ll try to look for opportunities to use it!

Lazer's picture

It will be double the price not in a year…but in a day.

otaku2's picture

If they sell out so quickly, I don't understand why they don't sell more copies, like 750 or something. Surely the demand would be there up to SOME level more than 300 copies.

Steve Hasselhoffman's picture

It was issued in Japan in 2018 (and sounds great.) How lost could it have actually been?

jkrussell's picture

Which release should we look for now that this one is sold out (not that I could justify the cost anyway)?

Mile High Audio's picture

Thanks for the heads up. At least there is still one on eBay if I can find enough pennies in the couch...a favorite, fabulous album from "Trane" :-)

audiotom's picture

I missed the email by 1/2 an hour
It’st Coltrane!

I have the original and Poetic Champios box so I am content

the must have collector and flipper side of ERC has grown exonentially

I have, Dupre, Evans and the 3 lp Ravel box which was only 100 sopies at $1800 - gone in one day
Got to hand the sound quality to ERC
The worst response to such high ticket items
Obscene collectiors, worse flippers

Lxgreen's picture

I’ve purchased one ERC and waiting on a second this month. Obviously expensive bug the process justifies the price. The album I have sounds wonderful but not that much better than other well pressed albums. I started tracking sales prices for their previous sold out albums. Although the asking prices are much higher than the original selling price, I don’t think many are actually sold at those prices. If you look at “sold” albums on eBay, I don’t see that many sold and many went close to original price . If you buy an ERC album, buy it for the music and its rarity. I wouldn’t buy one just as an investment

DaveyF's picture

How many folks here who have bought these LP's are ok paying almost any amount of money to listen to the music imprinted therein? I ask this, as at some point the pleasure of listening to the particular artist and his work should be considered in relation to the cost to the consumer's pocketbook. Unless this cost is so minimal that the cost is basically irrelevant ( which to some folks, i am sure it is).
To that, i would also ask how much does the price of these ERC reissues have to do with their desirability, IOW, IF they were priced at 1/10 of their current price, would they have the same appeal and sellout as quickly...or would they be considered as just another reissue and not on the radar? Maybe to turn that around, perhaps they are so underpriced that the consumer is buying them immediately to take advantage of the perceived 'bargain'. In that case, i would suggest ERC raise their prices by several percentage points! After all, why leave so much $$ on the table??

usernaim250's picture

The fixed costs of an LP reissue no matter how many copies:
License fees, insurance/transport of tapes, creating art, mastering.
Per unit costs: printing, pressing, royalties, shipping, marketing.

Obviously for releases like this, the fixed costs dwarf the unit costs.
So why doesn't he make more copies? Well let's think about these titles. Many of them are titles that the rights owners hope to exploit themselves. With even Craft now in the One-Step game, they are going to be reluctant to cannibalize their own sales. If you let ERC do 2000 copies of a Miles title, allowing them to price at $150, how are you going to sell 5000 copies of your own $100 version?

What's the solution? If he only does 300 he's actually probably doing more to promote desire for that title than cannibalizing sales. Now I don't know about some of the more obscure titles, but anything notable, my guess is the labels won't allow more than 300 copies unless he substantially increases the license fee.