It’s the weekend! It has been a very busy week (so far) so it’s time to kick back with some stories and updates from the past week, along with gossip and news from the weeks to come…
Rolling Stones / Sticky Fingers
Next week sees the release of The Rolling Stones‘ Sticky Fingers reissue. Look out for an extensive SDE photo gallery of all the different editions on Monday, but to whet your appetite below is an image of a letter written by Mick Jagger (in early 1969) to Andy Warhol that features in the album booklet. As you can see, Mick is thanking Andy for agreeing to do the artwork, and hilariously Mick tries to warn Warhol off making it too ‘complicated’ and ‘more complex than just pages or fold out’. Of course Andy Warhol would ignore all this and his working zip design was expensive, tricky to duplicate and even scratched records. I wonder how much he charged? Mick casually just asks him to ‘write back saying how much money you would like.’
Read more about the Sticky Fingers reissue (see letter image below)
Led Zeppelin reissues come to an end
In little over a year (June ’14 to July ’15) Warners will have managed to reissue nine Led Zeppelin albums. That’s 45 individual product lines if you’re totting up all the various editions. A tip of the hat is certainly due for logistics and organisation – we’re FIVE YEARS into Paul McCartney’s archive collection series and have had fewer albums reissued. If you’ve bought all the super deluxe Led Zep sets, you and your bank manager will be aware that you’ve probably spent over £800 – ouch! For that you’ve got some shelf-straining boxes (beautifully packaged) and about seven hours of bonus material. I know it’s about much more than just the ‘companion audio’, but using that alone as a measure, you have paid over £100 for each hour of new material. Hmm. These super deluxe boxes really have really been a triumph of presentation over content and for the money being asked there definitely should have been a blu-ray audio and/or SACD in there somewhere. The books are great, but there’s not much in them, save for captioned photographs. There’s nothing to read. The McCartney books are in a different league in terms of content, even if they don’t have the flashy die-cut front cover.
Dreaming of a Sting reissue
Thank you for a fantastic response to the Sting feature yesterday, where we all salivated over a made-up Dream of the Blue Turtles deluxe edition. A few of you had some harsh words for the record company, but one of the frustrations when you are waiting, and waiting, and waiting for a favourite album to be reissued is that you really have no idea what is behind any delays or inaction. Fair enough, sometimes labels are guilty of just sitting on stuff and doing nowt with it, but there can be all sorts of reasons – more often that not related to the artist and their management. If we’re talking about a band, there could be disagreements internally, or legal disputes (royalty rates, unrecouped advances) that prevent anything from being released, Amazingly, I’ve even talked to artists who genuinely don’t think anyone would be interested in a reissue of one of their albums! Sometimes a label will take the initiative and sometimes it will be the artist. There can also be all sorts of politics going on behind the scenes. Holly Johnson did a deal about five years ago that saw the reissue of some of his solo albums. This was in return for him actively promoting Universal’s Frankie Goes To Hollywood Frankie Say compilation. Having said all, that if Sting knocked on the door of Universal’s Kensington offices tomorrow and said ‘please reissue my solo albums’ they would of course bite his hand off.