TRANSLATED! The SDE guide to reissue and music box set PR


Whether it’s via Press Releases or the blurb on those stick-on spec sheets on the back of music box sets, record labels can *sometimes* over-egg the pudding when it comes to the claims about the music contained within. With that in mind, here’s a lighthearted look at reissue and music box set PR….

“Career spanning” >  The bits of the artist’s career the label have the rights to.

“Host of unreleased recordings” > Music rejected the first time around for being sub-standard.

“Rare photographs” > Photographs you’ve seen before.

“Remastered” > Louder, with less dynamic range than the CD you’ve owned for 25 years.

“Remastered by *insert name of artist*” > The artist sat there drinking tea, while a qualified engineer did the work.

“Remastered from the original tapes, where available” > Most of it isn’t from the original tapes.

“Complete Studio Recordings” > All of the studio albums, but no B-sides, remixes or tracks from compilations.

“Personally overseen by *insert name of the artist*” > The artist forgets to include half the rarities and leaves of stuff they don’t like anymore. Label too scared to argue.

“Previously unreleased on CD” > Until a fan informs them that it isn’t.

“Audiophile vinyl” > Vinyl.

“Pressed on 180g heavyweight vinyl” > So it must be good.

“Pressed on 200g heavyweight vinyl” > So it must be even better.

“Vinyl replica sleeve” > Cheap packaging solution (Japan excluded).

“25th Anniversary Edition” > 24th, 25th or 26th Anniversary Edition

“Lithograph” > Poster on posh paper.

“Poster” >  Folded 32 times rendering it useless

“Tote Bag” >  We’re getting desperate

“Keyring” > See ‘Tote Bag’

“As originally envisaged by the artist” > They’ve changed their mind.

“Limited Edition” > The label will stop producing it a some point.

“Bespoke packaging” >  You’ll never be able to store it

“Seminal album” > Album.

“Landmark release” > Sold loads at the time.

“Influential” > Didn’t sell much at the time.

Got your own, to add to these? We’d love to read them! Leave a comment with your own contributions.







75 responses to TRANSLATED! The SDE guide to reissue and music box set PR

  1. Le Baron says:

    So so so so so so so so funny !!!!!!!!!

  2. Tim says:

    lol….brilliant. Nice to have a chuckle as a start to the week, thanks Paul.

  3. Jack says:

    That is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.

    It may have been lighthearted, but it is 100% accurate.

    More articles like this among the announcements and reviews would be most welcome.

  4. As the kids say nowadays…. LMAO ;-)

    Very good!

  5. DJ Control says:

    So True!

  6. Angus says:

    “Comprehensive”–> Missing several super-obvious inclusions

  7. “Rush released” – exactly what it says – i.e. done in a rush, with no proof reading – so has loads of mistakes and inaccuracies, which will be repeated by ignorant quiz masters in pubs for many years – much to the annoyance of those that know the correct answer (speaking from experience here I’m afraid)

  8. Justin says:

    “New 5.1 Surround Mix” > only if you pay $150 for other stuff you don’t want.

  9. Jonathan says:

    i’ m seeing a lot terms from oasis’ last box set… :)

  10. Tony says:

    Extended version —> We delayed the fade out on the track for 5 seconds

  11. Stefano says:

    Brilliant, very funny – and sadly very true. The worst would be the remastering standard nowadays. Who invented this standard, I’d like to know! That imbecile should leave the music business right away.

  12. b-side says:

    2CD+DVD – you’ve got 3 discs with virtually the same music!

  13. Rob C says:

    Hilarious! This is really spot on! Unfortunately it’s all too true.

  14. Ricky says:

    “Super Deluxe” > We have bundled as many cheap to produce reproduction items as we could get away with into a big box to try and distract you from the fact we are charging you silly money to get the one disc of audio that you actually want and which we haven’t released separately so that we can force your hand financially as a music collector and fan of a particular group/artist.

  15. deus62 says:

    original cover(s)/replica sleeve(s) = completely illegible miniature cover


    original cover/replica sleeve – original cover, maybe, but not really, with a white/black/gaudy frame around it

  16. grantc says:

    “Authorised by the Artist” : We told them we were releasing this.

  17. grantc says:

    “Exclusive Liner Notes” : Penned by a jobbing writer who may or may not be familiar with the artist.

  18. grantc says:

    “Never-Before-Heard Outtakes” : We had no idea these existed until we went to throw them out.

    • Dennis Bedi says:

      “Never-Before-Heard Outtakes” : We had no idea these existed until we went to throw them out…..but should have continued to throw them out the clue being the label outtakes

  19. grantc says:

    “The Breakthrough Album” : Their first success after umpteen releases.

    “The Masterpiece Album” : Everyone liked it except the general public.

    “The Disco Album” : Desperate for a hit.

    “The Iconic Album” : You can buy their likeness on mugs and teatowels.

  20. Tim says:

    I have bad news for you. The Japanese paper sleeve packaging ain’t what it used to be. They are still worth a look, but gone are the heavy card/wrapーaround artwork (which is is exactly what happened to LPs by the late 70s) and reproduced label art. Universal is doing a generally nice job with the Super High Material format, but I suspect to cut costs they just press up generic CDs and give you a card facsimile of the LP labels. More bizarrely, they have brought back paper sleeve releases that once had bonus tracks or were deluxe doubles; now they are like a throwback to first generation CDs, even though it’s always nice to get the paper sleeves.

    In one of the more ridiculous reissue examples, Warners Japan did CSN/Stephen Stills paper sleeves, without bonus tracks that were actually on old remaster CDs! The sleeves were at least heavy versions. Seems Sony gives the best value, but sadly the Depeche Mode paper sleeves on Sony were not heavy card. They do look good, though.

  21. Phil G says:

    “Ultimate Edition” = “all the tracks from the previous Deluxe Edition, plus a few more we had stashed for a rainy day. And before you ask – yes, we still have some more hidden away for the inevitable Ultimate Collector’s Edition in ten years’ time.”

  22. Paul Chapman says:

    haha excellent

  23. backwards7 says:

    “Exclusive remix”:- We botched this during the remastering process and are trying pass off our mistake as intentional. On the plus side the song is now almost twice its original length. Enjoy.

    “Previously unheard”: Neither the band nor anyone involved in the production of this release could be bothered to listen to these tracks.

    “Comprehensive”: Missing tracks included on the previous anniversary reissue.

    “Oasis ‘Definitely Maybe’ Super Deluxe Set”:- Pessimistic model of the a barren, continually expanding universe where matter has been stretched thin across the infinite black void of space. Looks like it might be large enough to kill you if it falls on you, but probably wont.

  24. mr59 says:

    don’t forget “with new remixes of old classics” and “now with new cover art”

  25. Anssi Mehtälä says:

    “A must have for every true fan” = you must buy over 70 songs you already have in 2578 formats, lengths and mixes to obtain a few minutes of studio wanking and doodling of very bad audio quality.

  26. Anssi Mehtälä says:

    “Recently unearthed studio recordings from 197x” = bad or mediocre demos recently overdubbed and remixed with vocals recorded last year.

  27. mr59 says:

    “with new tracklist” (hello morrissey, duran duran…)

  28. Liam Bastick says:

    Immersion Edition – full of cr*p no one wants and not containing what was sought after. Named after original typo for submersion edition insofar as most of the contents won’t float if you try to flush them.

    Includes a voucher to download MP3 versions of all tracks – does not include a voucher to download MP3 versions of all tracks.

    Signed certificate of authenticity – well it’s not like we’re going to sell fakes.

    Not available in all countries – only available in London.

    First 250 come with exclusive tote bag – after that you get two tote bags.

    Contains reusable sticker set – cheaper than trying to find source tapes for 12 inch mixes, etc. Marketing director’s 5-year old daughter loved it.

    Super Deluxe Pop-Up Edition – contents including CDs glued together.

    CDs presented in limited hard back book – we couldn’t afford jewel cases

    Beatles Limited Edition CD Mono Box Set – only four copies are available per living entity in the solar system

    Record Store Day Exclusive – available at ten times original price from record store / label employees via your favourite internet auction site.

    Limited Glow in the Dark Picture Disc Edition – sound quality will be so poor there’s no need to bother remastering it.

  29. Timbo19 says:

    “Iconic” – often used to describe an epic recording

    “Epic” – often used to describe an iconic recording

  30. Gary C says:

    “First time on Vinyl”: that means we are being complete chancers in trying to get anyone to buy this heap of sh*te outside of a bargain bin labelled ‘one hit wonders’

  31. Piet Blank says:

    absolutely superb! LOVE THIS POST!!!!!

  32. Steve Marine says:

    This is hysterical. Thank you!

  33. Nate T says:

    Special Audiophile edition — contains 2 cds, 1 dvd, 1 cassette tape (with artwork), 3 vinyl records (a 45, original album, new version on 10″ 78rpm), special 8-track, and a reel-to-reel of the first single. == Although we complain, please make copies and share with your friends.

  34. Albais says:

    Re-Remastered: Yes we know u’re thinking “But wasn’t released before and now they have a new one???” But no worries, this one sound ever worst that all previouly released editions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Always in case can hear it in a super-mega-terrific good audio system, if not just listen in on your usual one to non-enjoy all the differences can be found…

  35. Steven Cacciaroni says:

    definitely accurate with two exceptions… some remastering, like THE SMITHS whilst Johnny Marr sat alongside Bernard Butler drinking tea, actually turned out well.

    And 180 gram vinyl… Sort of tired of the thin flimsy vinyl… seems lazy and like a rip off.

  36. Alan says:

    Love it!

  37. Albais says:

    Re-Remastered Part 2 (With Special Bonus Tracks): At least if you, dear costumer, have to let out the money for something previously beeen Mastered again, here comes with some unheard stuff that they could be perfectly released by itself and made us, record companies, win some money just as we want to do. But we are too busy thinking of how get our pockets fulled with not real good stuff that can’t get a chance to think of that properly.

  38. Mike F says:

    Ha! Nice work. :-)

  39. Mike F says:

    “Available for pre-order from the artist’s website” = Pay more to get it after release date.

  40. Mike F says:

    “60 page hardback book” = no longer comes with lyrics

    “Remastered” = Expect mistakes

  41. Guy says:

    ‘Collectors Edition’ = label stuck on standard edition to encourage middle-aged, balding & slightly overweight male completists with no life* to spend twice as much money getting the same thing.

    ‘Fan-chosen compilation’ = record company chosen-compilation. Fan’s votes were ignored.

    ‘Record Store Day exclusive’ = unlimited re-release a month after RSD.

    ‘Record Store Day exclusive’ = excuse to overcharge & then hypocritically complain that it goes straight on ebay.

    ‘Limited to 1,000 copies’ = Limited to 1,000 copies in each of the 200 countries it is released in.

    ‘Free P&P’ = extortionate P&P costs hidden in an over-inflated price.

    ‘Exclusive material across all formats’ = You’ll have to buy all formats to get all the unreleased tracks.

    * = such as me ;-)

  42. Michael says:

    “Collectors Edition” – More expensive

    “Import” – More expensive here than the USA

    “Stunning Packaging” – Matt black box

    “Gatefold Sleeve” – Card folder you can’t get the disc out of

    “Deluxe Packaging” – The disc will be scratched

    “Die Cut Sleeve” – The disc will be covered in dust. And scratched

    “Handmade” – The disc will be covered in fingerprints

    “Entire Catalogue Reissued” – We’ve been taken over by private equity

    “10th Anniversay Edition” – We’ve blown all the money already

  43. Julian says:

    ““Host of unreleased recordings” > Music rejected the first time around for being sub-standard.”

    I don’t agree with this the slightest. Yeah, some people say “outtakes are outtakes” but if you don’t want outtakes then don’t buy super deluxe editions! Many fans want to hear demos, outtakes, alternative mixes. If they didn’t, who’d be reading this site?!?

    Just saying… ;-)
    The rest of your statements I’ll agree with though.

  44. Tobias says:

    Great guys!!! I´m still laughing! Very well done! :-))

  45. jut says:

    Unheard in X years = except on YouTube
    Fully authorised =more expensive than version on YouTube
    includes legendary performance = first hit on YouTube

    • Julian says:

      The artist does not get any income from a Youtube video. Why shouldn’t musicians sell their music? After all, that’s what they’re doing.

      It’s not their fault that people do bootlegs and things.

  46. Paolo Meccano says:

    ‘Deluxe Edition’: a bonus disc of unreleased demos, early takes and live/session versions, but not the hard-to-get b-sides, single edits and mixes that you actually want.

  47. Chris Kotsiris says:

    Funny, Funny, Funny. It’s always funny to laugh at ourselves.
    More of these articles please. You made my day.

  48. Wazza says:

    Rerecorded – the record company has shafted us on royalties so we’re trying to shaft them back but we don’t sound like we did 20 years ago so these versions will probably annoy the crap out of you

  49. Matt says:

    Can I just point you to the song “Box Set” by Barenaked Ladies … covers most of the above jokes with the addition of the box set referred to in the song including a disc with a recording of “his high school play”. Well worth a listen and a chuckle …

  50. Mike says:

    Pink Floyd’s marbles? At least they’re more interesting than a stupid tote bag or keyring!

  51. Philip says:

    First Time On CD – One of the band has a vinyl copy he / she hasn’t played.

  52. Isauro says:

    Hahahaha… I’m at office and everybody is watching me laughing. Just great post!

    I would add:
    High Definition Audiophile Format = the same old classic 10 titles re-released to collect the formats but not the music itself!!!

  53. Marbles – must be a Pink Floyd box set

  54. Cary Allen Wilson says:


  55. Cary Allen Wilson says:

    “Keyring” > See ‘Tote Bag’

  56. Tim Larkham says:

    I’m particularly fond of the TV advertised releases tag line “The perfect gift for… Christmas/Mother’s Day/Valentine’s Day/Father’s Day”. Of course, one of the major reasons for the Led Zeppelin reissues coming out next week is Father’s Day. Doncha love marketing?

  57. Daniel Mason says:

    HAND SIGNED CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY BY THE ARTIST – Said artist was locked in a room, one afternoon, after a record company funded lunch. Said artist got bored half way through. End result; Full signature reduced to initials
    FIRST (insert number here) COPIES OF THE RELEASE COME WITH A HAND SIGNED CERTIFICATE OF AUTHENTICITY BY THE ARTIST – Said artist was not offered lunch and brokered deal with record company to sign as little as possible

  58. William says:

    Uber Deluxe—> same as the deluxe but in an unstorable box filled with ill thought out crap like stickers,badges, a pair of shades and a fan-club magazine you already owned and was even available in newsagents originally, cost us pennies to produce as the items were unsold and collecting dust in a merchandise store room but we’re adding it to the super deluxe to make it uber deluxe and throwing another £100 on the asking price!!

  59. Jason Paskowitz says:

    “Groundbreaking” – Sold 3 copies first time around.

  60. Philip says:

    Previously Unheard – Recorded under the influence of drugs and forgotten about until a tape tuned up.

    Strong possibility it’s not even by the band in question (see Tarkus reissue).

  61. David says:

    Slightly off topic:

    The official Pink Floyd store is currently listing a Division Bell 5.1 DVD at £9.99 for anybody interested.

  62. Tim J says:

    And no one yet has even mentioned multi-formatting!

    Multi-formats: 9 versions of the album you’ve owned forever anyway all in one box ) and only need one of them, depending on your preferred listening system. (How I Wish that 8 of You Were NOT Here, Pink Floyd!!)

  63. Tim J says:

    “Exclusive Historical Recordings” – but only if you buy the Super Deluxe Version, which otherwise just contains 3 CDs of “greatest hits” which you own a million times already. (Grrr, Rolling Stones – literally)

    “Exclusive 2-CD Version” – because we took the bonus tracks from the £5,99 version and put them on a separate disc, hoping you won’t notice. (Sony, you reached new depths for Paul Simon’s “Graceland” box – it makes your Oasis box look like gold!)

  64. Wax Monster X says:

    LOL! Brilliant! And so effin’ true!

  65. Johan Erikson says:

    Very funny! And don´t forget:

    Previously unheard remixes – new, very poor remixes that removed all traces of the original song and replaced them with a new beat. Don´t for a second think they are period pieces.

    Lavish book filled with photographs – twenty pages of photographs, 15 of which are unrelated to the album itself.

    Extensive liner notes – three rows of intro from the artist, then a copy of the artist biography on allmusic

    Complete recordings – except three tracks that we couldn´t fit onto the discs, oh and by the way those three are the most sought-after ones.

    Complete recordings – except the 7″ single versions that are familiar from the radio, nobody wants those eh?

    Complete recordings – except those tracks that the artist wanted to remove.

    Complete recordings – except those only released in Japan or the US, they don´t count do they?

  66. Joe Mints says:

    “Career spanning retrospective” = Does not include any material from the album/s when the band tried to carry on without a key member/s. e.g The Velvet Underground, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Clash etc.

  67. Jeff R says:

    “Eco-Friendly Digipack” = your CD will be scratched to hell before you remove it from the too-tight sleeve, and sleeve itself will look like it has been through the wars in less than 5 years.

    And, although I’m not sure how you’d pair it with an existing hype-phrase, any recent major reissue campaign from a 70’s megaband (Fleetwood mac, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, Rod Stewart) etc = “15 years too late, the current income stream has thinned to such a trickle that they’re finally taking label advance money to remaster and dig through the vaults. Also, all parties will lose money.”

  68. Adolfo says:

    Recently unearthed = artist finally got around to cleaning out closets before moving mcmansions!

  69. James H says:

    Exclusive archive video footage = we downloaded a bootleg DVD off a torrent site, reencoded it from PAL to NTSC and stuck it on the bonus disc, because we were too lazy/cheap to go and get the master copy from the TV station. Oh, hi Genesis, didn’t see you there…

  70. Nico says:

    If you are The Who, Kinks, Rolling Stones, Bowie then you will need to release another disc of;
    Greatest Hits, Essential, Best of, Icon, Ultimate, Rewind, Big Hits, Changes, More Best of, Collection, Playlist, Masterpieces, Pure, Best of Mono, Singles Collection etc eyc

  71. Zongadude says:

    Ah ah ah. This is great ! :)
    And soooo true…..

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