Record Store Day
Happy Record Store Day! I hope some of you have managed to get out and snag some vinyl from your ‘wants’ list. Twitter is full of great photos of passionate music fans up with the birds, standing in a queue. Controversially, for the first time in four or five years I haven’t got up early this time around but will be heading down to Flashback in Islington a bit later on, in the knowledge that I will have exactly zero chance of picking up an a-ha picture disc or any of the David Bowie items. Can’t complain though, because I’ve been lucky enough to get some items to preview as you may have noticed during this week.
I know RSD can frustrating, and you never get everything (or anything?) you want, so next week SDE will try and ease the pain by running a series of competitions, giving away one Record Store Release every day, including some sought after items like the Simple Minds’ Waterfront picture disc and the Small Faces singles box. More information on this coming soon, so stay tuned!
Roger Waters may have not made a new studio album in the last 24 years (his unending fascination with The Wall continues) but his last effort, 1992’s Amused To Death was a cracker, and so I was very pleased to hear the news that RCA/Legacy was not only reissuing the album but also packaging the remastered stereo mix with a blu-ray audio that contains a brand new 5.1 surround sound mix by James Guthrie.
Spare a thought though, for Analogue Productions who have spent the last two years trying to get their own reissue of the album off the ground. There have undoubtedly been some politics behind the scenes but there is no doubt that the major label reissue of the 5.1 mix does rather take the wind from sales of Analogue Production’s proposed SACD which was originally announced as a stereo-only disc in January 2013. Sixteen months later in April 2014 AP proudly informed everyone that the SACD would actually now include a brand new surround mix. That exciting news was dulled by another year of silence and now Sony are saying ‘thank you very much’ and putting out everything AP were going to do (including a double vinyl edition) and more (a double LP picture disc).
If you’re a fan of the SACD format, the good news is AP are still releasing a Super Audio CD and the are also working with Sony and pressing Sony’s own 200g double vinyl at their own highly rated Quality Record Pressings plant.
Incidentally, I’d normally have no truck with ‘revised artwork’ but I have to acknowledge that Sean Evans’ new treatment (or de-monkeying) of the album cover is excellent in every respect, including some superb typographical details.
The Only Star TIN Heaven
Union Square Music have created some great Frankie Goes To Hollywood releases over the years, including last year’s now out-of-print Inside The Pleasuredome box set, but this latest offering, Simply Frankie Goes to Hollywood, surely takes the biscuit (tin).
Don’t get me wrong, as an actual compilation it’s very good indeed, but there are two problems. Number one, Union Square are facing a ‘Mother Hubbard’ situation with the ZTT Frankie Catalogue, because you have to conclude that after more than half a decade of deluxe album releases, Art of the 12-inch sets, and compilations like SexMix THE CUPBOARD IS BARE when it comes to unreleased material, or alternate takes of interest, so they have to keep rehashing the same releases. Feeding Frankie fans with material they already own. Didn’t ‘mad cow’ disease start in a similar way? Number two issue with this new release is that it’s in a bloody tin box. I do not want my CDs in a tin box. It’s a silly idea, hard to store (segregation – or Frankie apartheid – is inevitable) and did I say it’s a silly idea? The only thing I want in a tin box is shortbread. Preferably with a tartan pattern on the outside along with a picture of a ‘Scottie’ dog.
Incredibly, this is actually part of a ‘Simply Tins’ series, so there are more. It feels like something off of ‘The Apprentice’. You know, team ‘Massive Dynamic’ (apologies to Fringe) go to focus group with CDs-in-tin idea. Focus group says “that’s shit” but team MD decide to do it anyway. They lose. You’re fired (without ‘regret’).
Anyway, it’s a crap idea, but I pre-ordered one anyway. Because I love buying physical music. Or as my mum used to say “you have a mental illness”.