Features

Saturday Deluxe / 11 April 2015

It’s the weekend! Time for SDE to put a dollop of jam in its porridge and kick back with some stories and updates from the past week, along with gossip and news from the weeks to come…

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions / Collected Recordings 1983-1989

Causing a commotion

Excuse me, where did you get that promo photo? I don’t have one yet & thought we were officially announcing at the end of month.

So tweeted Lloyd Cole to your correspondent on Wednesday this week. Awkward…

Ever since Cole had announced to his Facebook followers late last year that a Commotions box was in the works, I’d had my ear to the ground (on your behalf) trying to stay abreast of developments. There had been various updates from the man himself, so the box was hardly a ‘secret’ and a key development in the last seven days was Universal themselves posting both an packshot of the set, along with quite a few details around the content and the ability to pre-order it. Amazon UK listed it early on Wednesday morning, so with the release was well and truly in the public domain, up it went on SDE.

‘Tagging’ Lloyd Cole in the tweet that promoted the SDE post, clearly gave the game away, and it was at that point that his firmly worded query came in! When he said he thought “we” were officially announcing it at the end of the month he is clearly referring to an arrangement between artist (him) and label (Universal). SDE was never on a conference call or sitting in a meeting when this was agreed so was hardly part of the “we”. And given the fact that the label half of the “we” ignored the agreement and posted it for pre-order on their website in early April (now removed!), SDE proceeded with a clear conscience.

Thankfully, when I pointed out to Lloyd that the ‘promo photo’ was published on Universal’s website he was magnanimous and even agreed to SDE’s request for an interview to discuss said box set. Watch this space!

But what all this shows is that the game has changed over the years and in a world that has a ‘blogosphere’, newsgroups, chat rooms, forums, Twitter, Facebook and the like, record labels simply do not have the same control they once had over the flow of information. They can either view blogs like SDE as some kind of ‘enemy’ (slightly ridiculous idea) or embrace the enthusiasm and passion for physical releases from both contributors and readers alike. As far as I’m concerned, as an online publisher, if I agree in advance to an embargo with a PR company or record label then that should be (and will be) respected, but if no approaches you about a forthcoming release and you find out about it from your own volition then that’s a whole different ball game. I’d be very interested in your thoughts on all this, so do leave a comment.

Full details of the six disc box set can be found here.


nite


Good ‘nite’ to eighties compilations?

Compiling ‘various artists’ compilations in the ‘old days’ surely must have been like rolling off a log. Back in the late eighties, CBS released a ‘soulful’ compilation called Nite Flite and sold over 600,000 copies. Whoa! The compilation only had 16 tracks and they didn’t even bother to license from other labels. When they ran out of CBS artists they just doubled up. So Alexander O’Neal appeared twice (If You Were Here Tonight, and Criticize). They had to pay for some TV advertising, but relatively speaking it was easy money. CDs were still sexy and desirable at this point and let’s state the obvious, there was no way to create such a thing by yourself. No CD burners, no iTunes ‘playlists’. The best you could do was the create a ‘mixtape’. Alison Moyet, Paul Young, Sade, were regulars on these kinds of collections because they were all CBS artists.

I mention this because the same company will in a couple of weeks issue a 53-track synthpop compilation (called, er, Synthpop) which contains over ten number ones and over 45 top ten hits and has been roundly criticised by SDE readers for containing the “usual hodge-podge” and having a “lack of imagination”. Just goes to show how much the market has changed and how great the challenges are to “monetise” catalogue music for physical releases. It’s over thirty years since the first Now That’s What I Call Music set (which coincidentally had a similar number of chart toppers as the forthcoming Synthpop) and it seems that, at least for the discerning listener, bunging some ‘80s hits on a few CDs just isn’t good enough anymore.

If we’re going to part with our cash and actually play a ‘various artists’ compilation, then there needs to be an angle. We want 12-inch versions – the rarer the better –  (although even that is started to get a little tired) or tracks that haven’t appeared on CD before. DJs/producers like Blank & Jones or Ben Liebrand have been putting together creative and fan-pleasing sets like this for years and really have a good understanding of what will appeal. And that isn’t bog-standard versions of Relax or Don’t You Want Me.


Deals for the Weekend

Sign-up for SDE Deal Alerts straight into your inbox!

Jethro Tull / Minstrel in the Gallery 4-disc /  £22 from Amazon UK



Paul McCartney / RAM deluxe book 5-disc / £57 from Amazon Italy


Paul Simon / Graceland 25th Anniversary Collectors Edition Box Set Photo

Paul Simon / Graceland super deluxe  / £45 from Amazon Germany

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46 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 11 April 2015

  1. Giggi says:

    Who cares about the Lloyd Cole thing? Get a life Sinclair, the world does not spin around you.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I happen to think the way record companies market releases and the control they (try to) exercise is quite interesting. That was the point of the article.

    • Nigel D Day says:

      How rude ! No need for that.

    • Fenwick says:

      Hey Giggi

      What do you say you just don’t visit this site anymore if you’re going to be a rude jerk?

      • Ben Mills in Colorado says:

        Hear hear!
        “Sinclair” (as you so rudely called Paul) does a wonderful job with this site, and these are just the type of stories that keep me coming back.
        Well done Paul! Keep up the great work!

      • Noel says:

        @ Giggi – the world seems to ‘spin’ around Paul a LOT more than it does around you – otkerwise; would any of us be posting here? Get over yourself – if you don’t like it; don’t visit the site… …as Fenwick so rightly put it – jerk.

    • richie says:

      Giggi is that Italian for `prick`?

    • Charles says:

      So stop wasting the limited brain capacity you have on this site Trolly McTroll and scamper off. He received an email from Lloyd and thought the story would be of interest to people who like this site. You are the walking embodiment of ‘stupid is as stupid does’.

  2. Gary K says:

    Paul – You do a great job on this site. I really appreciate all of the time and effort you put into it. Keep up the great work !

  3. Paul English says:

    NITE FLITE is great. There’s a cool review on Then Play Long – http://nobilliards.blogspot.ie/2015/03/various-artists-nite-flite.html-

  4. Michael Pendlebury says:

    I love reading all the information posted on this site! I would actually have missed some of the sets I’ve purchased online if I hadn’t read about them on here or find out about them later when their price has risen dramatically (I’ve missed Amazon’s price guarantee on several occasions so not bothered making the purchase!). It’s funny but I find that when record companies keep us in the “loop” from the early stages of the creation of a product it makes me feel slightly more “involved” (i.e. Frankie’s Pleasuredome box set released last year) and I”m much more likely to buy. I guess that would also apply to the Lloyd Cole box set too! I got excited when I read about it on here last year and as soon as you announced it was available on Amazon I immediately pre-ordered it! It pays for record companies to get involved with a blog such as SDE!

  5. eric says:

    Most of the releases that are mentioned on this site, i’m not interested in. BUT i am an almost daily reader, because sometimes news about a gem is only found here at first. It’s obviously a fan’s work. Thank you for that.

  6. Paul H says:

    I agree with the other commendations Paul and I greatly appreciate your website (as you know). Fabulous to see the Nite Flite sleeve again as well. The compilations market was much less developed in the 80s generally with the Now TWICM series slowly pushing things along a bit and then helped further by the growth of club compilations (ministry of sound etc) in the 90s. To the point where we now see equal standings of artist and compilation releases in music shops. I think the 80s 3CD (and 12″ mix) pop market has been done to death now with the same tracks recurring and the big labels using this medium to exclusively re-promote their own rosters. In that environment I personally thought the Sony release looked very tired and carelessly constructed.

    But the non-mainstream compilation market is thriving now with excellent crate digging in certain genres providing something new to listen to. Ace is a great example of that, but there are many others. If I bought another 80s compilation I would love it to be driven by more obscure and hard to find tracks by lesser known artists – Cherry Red’s “Scared to Happy” is a good example. I guess there is a clear distinction between the general buyer picking up eighties compilations at supermarkets and garages, and the collectors who may only be looking for obscure mixes hiding in these compilations…

  7. Tim says:

    I’m with Eric above, a lot of stuff covered here makes me roll my eyes however I read the site regularly for the things that I like. Snark here and there is fine, personal attacks are another. I know it may be part and parcel of running a site like this and I’d like to lend my voice to supporting the site and its’ staff.

  8. Chris Gibbard says:

    Ignore the idiot and read this very good article. The interesting point is who now controls an artists back catalogue. We have recently seen such greats as Neil Young and Springsteen releasing remastered versions of their their old demo’s, bootlegs etc we once owned or wanted, on their own websites.
    The recent Hendrix stuff has been awful, I think family Hendrix have lost the plot, but you pay your money and take your choice etc….
    So who would you guys like to see taking control. My vote is either Jackson Browne or Van Morrison, but please, no votes for the Grateful Dead – life is too short.

  9. Jim says:

    I agree that you do a great job, and I look forward to all the information you impart. I also I agree that unless you have some sort of agreement with the label, anything goes. One of my biggest pet peeves is the stupidity of record companies. Decades on they still don’t seem to have a clue. Overpricing, shoddy releases, etc. It’s no wonder they suffer.

  10. Rich says:

    ….agreed that the game has changed with (r)evolution of social media, Paul, in reference to record labels not having control they once had. The issue of embargos being nullified by public domain info release has been around for decades, and now there are simply too many sources (of varying degrees of credibility/accuracy; and including ecommerce sites in a variety of geos where product availability often differs by days, weeks or months) for *anyone* to control/own (putting aside, as if we could, the challenges of sorting out all the versions/SKUs). And as SDE blog and countless forums that allow public commenting can attest, no one (not even forum moderators despite their best efforts) can control the feedback/commenting from “readers” who air their opinions, responses, and feedback — including corporations (e.g., Universal), public/subscribers, artists (e.g., Lloyd Cole) and their agents (e.g., PR folk), each of whom represents often divergent interests, perceptions and experiences of “the truth.” Of course, the goodness in all this proliferation of sources is that info flows at rates and in quantities that are orders of magnitude greater than previously. And a downside is that much of that info is of questionable accuracy and completeness (e.g., timing, specification). We are all faced with the tasks and challenges of filtering and qualifying the info. And some of us even are able to “take advantage of” the shifting sands and sometimes temporary appearance/disappearance of pre-mature or time-constrained (and even mistaken) info release, a la deal alerts, which in the era of adaptive ecommerce pricing come and go as we all have come to know. And when we find and learn to trust the most credible — e.g., SDE — we are thankful and supportive.

  11. John says:

    What an awfully rude thing to comment Giggi! Maybe YOU should
    get a life.

  12. Jim says:

    Coincidentally, the rather great ‘Then Play Long’ blog which, if you’re not familiar with it, aims to document every UK number one album, has just reached ‘Nite Flites’ and is well worth a read.

  13. Haze says:

    Keep up the fine work Paul. Really looking forward to the LC interview.
    Interestingly – Complete Recordings is sales ranked 323 on Amazon at the moment. Astonishingly high considering that the only details on the page are that it’s a 6 disc set. It doesn’t even have Lloyd’s name on it! In fact if you search Amazon for Lloyd Cole this set doesn’t appear at all.
    Having just ordered it Amazon’s “other people have ordered these” suggestions are Pat Benatar, Synth Pop and Mike Oldfield. Three of the most recent items featured here. Coincidence? I don’t think so….

  14. Bill says:

    Question: Paul will the DVD be region free or otherwise playable in the U.S.? Incidentally Paul, you do a great job with this site!

  15. Ilia says:

    When there gonna be a super deluxe edition of: REM – Automatic for the People ?

    • DogfacedBoy says:

      I’d hope there is a soundboard of the 40 Watt Club show they could put out in a deluxe AFTP set

  16. Paul Sinclair says:

    Thanks for all the supportive comments, everyone!

    Re REM, in theory the next few years should see lots of ‘product’ given the 25th anniversaries of Out Of Time and Automatic For The People are coming up in 2016 and 2017 respectively. We shall see.

    • CJ Feeney says:

      As REM have stopped making new music it will hopefully give some of them more quality time to “curate” the back catalogue. Springsteen, Neil Young, Dylan et. al. will always have more concern for their new music, so will defer decisions on re -issues to others in many cases or just wait for a lull between projects.

  17. Pvnoort says:

    Paul keep up the good work as this is a proper way to be informed on the music business. Regardless of what record company’s do, for them this is a great way to get their material promoted. This also goes for the artists, hence the fact that they allow or ask you to do the interviews…
    @gigi…no the world does not spin around Sinclair, but he contributes to the world of music lovers without being rude like you…

  18. bob says:

    One of the great things about this site is that anyone can contribute without having to register, I find that fairly rare these days. However when I read posts by trolls like Giggi I can understand why most sites require registration. It is just so silly and pointless to be so rude, if you don’t like this site why not just visit one of the numerous other music blogs.
    I think the reason is that this blog is a fairly unique thing on the internet, a friendly society who check the site often because even if we don’t like a particular release we like to know about it and read the related interviews etc. I visit several music sites but I find this one offers me more than the others and that’s why I check in most days.
    Long may it continue.
    Thanks Paul

  19. Leemer says:

    Back to the original question. I think everything provided was done on the up and up. Bad on Universal for their mistake in posting and offering for pre-sale outside what was agreed. Someone made a mistake. Nonetheless, that cat got out of the bag. It’s not like someone went down to Universal’s offices, found inside information and stuffed it down their pants, is it? This was done purely on a publicly released info gathering basis. I don’t think Lloyd is pissed at this site where he gets free adoration and more importantly free publicity. He was probably a little irritated that his PR team wasn’t singing in harmony, let alone together. That is the way reporting goes.

    C’est la vie . Keep up the good work.

  20. Darren says:

    With all due respect, Lloyd Cole is hardly a platinum selling artist and only ever had a handful of top 40 singles (mainly just about scraping into the top 40). I’m a huge fan of 80’s music and there is very little that charted that I don’t remember, but I am hard pushed to remember him at all. I’ve just gone over to Wikipedia to refresh my memory and even with the titles to hand I don’t remember any of the songs. So I think Lloyd should be grateful that anyone is still interested in this 30 years later.

    • trash says:

      Wow, that’s a bit dismissive… :-)

      As we all know the quality of someone’s songwriting can’t always be measured by album/singles sales.

      Personally, I’m actually glad that it isn’t just platinum selling artists that get the reissue treatment otherwise 90% of the artists I love would be consigned to the dumpster forever :-)

    • Scott says:

      Darren, if you aren’t a fan of Lloyd Cole, why would you even bother commenting here? Still listening to him 30 years later… No one is interested? Really, I’m part of a few fan groups that are Cole related. There’s plenty of loyalty out there. If there wasn’t, why would any label bother with a costly boxed set? Just because YOU stopped listening to a Musician who still regularly puts out a new album every two years and a plethora of unreleased material to boot in ANOTHER box set, Cole for me and others ranks very high on a list of contemporary pop artists who freely continue to take chances by switching gears and song genres from one album to the next, with panache to boot. Also, if your memory escapes you about Cole, that’s your loss. I’m an 80’s historian with all music — the largest music database in the world. Sure, you can recall your favorites from that era. But where are they NOW? As far as prematurely announcing anything, Paul, when Cole came to Portland , OR a few months back, he implied to the audience that we should be expecting to hear something new about his career. Oh, and Darren, that Portland show SOLD OUT! Get outta here.

  21. Darren says:

    Besides that…… keep up the great work Paul. I have bought so many CDs because of finding out about them here. I just got the Roxy Music box set delivered today because of finding out about that great Amazon deal. So, fingers up to Giggi :)

  22. Francis says:

    It is more like a bunch of cats fighting than music lovers! MEOW!

  23. Eric says:

    I expect a slightly awkward conversation between Lloyd and Universal followed fairly quickly after he discovered what had actually happened. But yes, this is how it works (or, often, doesn’t work!) in 2015 and ultimately all publicity is good publicity, as the pre-order sales/interest based on one photo clearly demonstrate.

    As for his success in the 80s, it was mostly albums-oriented – a top 30 hit would see the album comfortably debut in the top 10 (Easy Pieces hit #5 in the 1985 pre-Christmas market, which is no mean feat), whilst Mainstream managed to dent the top 10 without even a Top 40 placing for My Bag.

    He’s an enduringly popular artist who initially broke in the 80s, like Neil Finn or Roddy Frame, rather than an Eighties popstar that nobody remembers anymore.

  24. Eric says:

    Re: Nite Flite, I’ve been collecting these lately for pennies when I find them in used/charity shops…they often have some otherwise-rare 7″ mixes, and the old 80s CBS releases would use good quality materials for the inlays. It is quite remarkable, looking at it now, that a collection which most people would now knock up in iTunes in minutes could top the charts, sell over 500,000 copies and kickstart a new (albeit brief) brand.

  25. Dave says:

    Well said Bob, I agree with every word.

  26. Daran says:

    I love hearing about how the music industry works, all the back room machinations and so forth. Love it! I guess all music lovers who wanted by never got to live their passion as a day job find this stuff interesting. As for c*ck dribble folks like Giggi, as someone once said to me “you have to live with their ignorance and stupidity for a few moments – they have to live with it and themselves 24/7″. I’m sure you have learnt to s hake it off by now Paul.

  27. Rickjapan says:

    I’m really grateful to Giggi, since he/she made me annoyed enough to post!!

    I’m a long time reader, but this is my first time to post, and I want to echo everyone else in that I think this is an excellent site. Thanks for all your efforts, Paul, and sincere hopes that you’ll continue, since this blog has some of the most reliable info and opinions I’ve found on 80s music, whether I, personally, am into the music or not. I probably won’t comment too much in the future, but that doesn’t mean I’m not reading or appreciative of the content and your efforts.

    So, from Japan, a super deluxe cheers to superdeluxeedition!!

  28. todd g says:

    as a huge lloyd fan, i greatly appreciated the original announcement and the story of lloyd’s (very Lloyd) response.

  29. Darren says:

    Scott, you need to learn to read properly. I never said no one is interested. It’s a bit pathetic to get so heated over something so trivial anyway.

  30. Darren says:

    My point wasn’t that there is anything wrong with this item. It was merely that the artist should be grateful for the promotion, not upset that it was promoted too early.

  31. Darren says:

    Scott, one last thing… you may be “an 80′s historian with all music — the largest music database in the world”, but largest doesn’t mean good. It’s full of errors. I just looked at “Total 80s Pop” and it lists “Crazy Crazy Nights” by Kissey Asplund (instead of Kiss), “I Found Someone” by Cherish Alexander (instead of Cher), “That’s Entertainment” by Jamil Al-Asadi (instead of The Jam). What a joke of a website.

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