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David Bowie reissue pioneer fronts new CD-only catalogue record label

Jeff Rougvie, who helmed Rykodisc’s exemplary David Bowie ‘Sound + Vision’ back catalogue programme back in the early nineties, has launched a new record label, Supermegabot Music Concern, with a remit to reissue ‘great records.’

Working with former Ryko colleague Thomas Enright, the label will reissue music that spans many genres, with initial releases including punk, power-pop, art-rock, new wave and eighties funk. Those dismayed at the current propensity for all things vinyl, might be pleased to hear that Supermegabot won’t be issuing any of its titles on LP and will be showing some loyalty to the humble CD, by issuing exclusively on that format. That should also keep the releases relatively affordable and perhaps encourage fans to ‘take a chance’ on something that piques their interest.

Ryko’s Bowie reissues covered his RCA-era & set new standards for presentation.

Six releases are planned before the end of this year, but what are they? In an effort to engage immediately with knowledgeable music fans, the label is launching without actually announcing any of the titles! Instead, we are encouraged to compete in the ‘Supermegabot Challenge‘ and try and guess the releases. The reward for the person who accurately guesses correctly will be a copy of all of the label’s releases in year one.

Rougvie explained this quirky launch strategy by saying “We’re music obsessives launching a label for music obsessives – so we want to reward one of them for proving their depth of knowledge. A contest seemed like a fun way to launch and engage music fans at the same time”.

Most releases will feature bonus tracks and the aim is to get the artist involved, wherever possible. The titles should be available from various channels, although the focus will be largely online (Supermegabot website, Amazon, Pledge etc.).

SDE will of course keep readers informed when releases are announced, but in the meantime head over to the Supermegabot website for more information and of course give that challenge a go!

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76 responses to David Bowie reissue pioneer fronts new CD-only catalogue record label

  1. noyoucmon says:

    With a resume like his, you’d think he’d find a name better than “Supermegabot.” I’d be rethinking that.

  2. noyoucmon says:

    Name aside, I do like that they’re focusing on CDs. I buy tons of vinyl but I love both formats.

  3. Jon says:

    One of the reissues is Eddie Martinez’ only solo album, No Lies. It’s very rare and hard to find as it went qukly to the discount bins. It was produced by the late, great Benard Edwards.

    “You’ve heard him on Run-DMC’s “Rock Box”, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” or maybe his work with Mick Jagger, David Lee Roth, Gato Barbieri, Cher, Stanley Clarke, LaBelle, Kurtis Blow, Yoko Ono, Steve Winwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Linda Ronstadt, Lou Reed, Meat Loaf and a million others. Never before on CD.”

  4. Jon says:

    Paul Westerberg (The Replacements)

    “The King Of Bubbleglam! The Last Rockstar! James Gunn is a fan! Leader of the Big Star of the oughts, whose two biggest influences were the Monkees and Guns N Roses. His incredible band made amazing music, got signed to major label after a bidding war, then everything went sideways. This time: JUSTICE!”

  5. Nick81 says:

    CD only, excellent news. I hope the ‘Eighties Funk’ means Rick James. His back catalogue is in dire need of a rerelease on a physical format.

  6. Jon says:

    Eddie’s “No Lies” LP (Never on CD)” (1984)

    https://www.discogs.com/EPM-No-Lies/release/1391992

  7. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Um”Arousal, plateau, orgasm, resolution”? It’s on the tip of my tongue…

  8. CJ says:

    I’m very glad someone is making sure the CD carries on. I bought a new car this past weekend, and it came without a CD Player. The manufacturer doesn’t even offer the option to add a player to the vehicle at a premium. And when I took the car to a retailer that specializes in after-market players, they looked at it and said the design makes it completely impossible to install a player without completely ripping out the entire user interface with the car’s on-board computer. If I want to listen to CDs, I’m back to the 1990’s, with a discman, a cigarette adapter, and an AUX cable.

    In trying to find options online, I discovered that almost every major manufacturer has eliminated CD player options on their vehicles, despite over 70% of the car-buying market still wanting a player in their cars. So maybe the trend will reverse itself.

    In the meantime, I bought a passport drive and have learned how to rip to lossless audio files, but I’m rather pissed that I am now in a position where i can’t buy something at the store and pop it directly into my player on the drive home.

    • Amy L says:

      It’s a conspiracy. Everyone in the world wants you to stream and they do everything in their power to discourage you from buying physical media. I don’t know why everyone is in a rush to get rid of their physical media. Watch 20-25 years down the line, you’ll only be able to “rent’ music and then everyone will wish they had their CDs back again

      • Carlton Fisher says:

        I think that’s part of the drive to streaming, yes. No one will “own” music anymore. And I think that many of the stories about physical media being on the decline actually have nothing to do with consumer trends, but with retailers buying into that line of thinking. Of course people aren’t going to stores to buy CDs anymore–the stores stopped selling them. Our local FYE (mall music/movie retailer) rebranded itself recently as more of a “memorabilia” store–toys, clothing, figurines–with a tiny music and movie section in the back, and every time I am in there, the manager and associates are complaining that people keep coming in asking for more movies and CDs, but corporate refuses to allow them to expand their floor space for it. Instead, the corporate line is that people who want a physical copy of the CD can burn one on their download stations–which means you go to a kiosk, look up the album you want, get it on a burned disc with no artwork, and pay the same amount of money you would for the factory manufactured version. Not surprisingly–not too many takers.

        • Amy L says:

          So right Carlton. There must be a reason why the majors are so hellbent on everyone streaming. I think you’re right: no one will “own” music in the future. I watch people already re-buying streaming content over and over again for various reasons. Or they stream a movie and its only good for a limited amount of time. It’s insane. Give me physical media any day.

      • Brad Allen Chase says:

        Amy L: No manufacturing or distribution costs for streaming and minimum artist royalties.

      • Robbie says:

        It’s the same with DVDs and videotapes. I remember a time when I had to watch a tv Show like Star Trek when it was shown. And then it was gone. Then my dad bought a VCR and I was happy to tape my favourite Shows. Then came DVD and I was happy that I no longer had to worry about damaged tapes. And now People Keep telling me how great it is to have Netflix where they can watch they favourite Shows whenever they want to. When I reply that I can do the same with my DVDs without paying a monthly fee I usually get blank stares and “So what?” replies. But I always have the last laugh when someone complains that Netflix has removed certain Shows from their schedule.

      • Tom Doody says:

        I best hang onto to 15,000+ CD’s I have crated and packed away in my loft .. Maybe there will be money in them some time in the future

      • LMTR14 says:

        even then there are the still the old discs available. who needs new music anyway?!

    • bob says:

      man thats sad. I love the CD Format, sure i rip everything to my ipod classic(still waiting for higher hd that 160gig in my classic before ever buying ipod touch), But i love having my cd collection, i own it and if my ipod or the internet breaks i still have my cds to play. I had Vinyl just before the CD format came out and then replaced all my vinyl with it. I hate streaming only crap as it always sound inferior and most of the time compressed all to hell. I dont understand the the hipster movement of the new vinyl i see them pushing in the windows of urban outfiters and charging $30-40 for a vinyl, when the cd costs 1/2 that. I guess everything old is new or at least lets make them all think its old snd chrge them twice as much. The few vinyls i still have are original vinyl that either have never been on cd, or collectable autographed from pre-1985

      • Paul W says:

        Bob, beware of the trap I fell into when one of those companies that fix iPods installed a bigger hard drive into my iPod Classic for me. I can’t remember the size, but it was something like 250gb, albeit with the actual capacity 20gb or so lower than that. As I genuinely cannot tell the difference between a file at 320kbps and 128kbps, so I convert everything into the lower rate, so I could get more on my iPod.

        However, problems arose when I got the capacity increased and the iPod just kept freezing and crashing, etc. I sent it back for repair 4 times before learning that the iPod’s software can only cope with around 50,000 tracks (actually, it varies, and mine was having trouble around the 48,000 mark), so with my tracks all reduced to 128kbps it left most of the additional capacity useless. This was something they neglected to say on their advertising!

        I’ve therefore ended up with three iPods, 2 160s and an 80, and have split my library between the three of them.

        • Chris Merritt says:

          Thanks for the warning – my 160 classic is starting to have failures, so I was considering this. I do wish they’d offer an iPod touch with a HD of 200 gb. If they did, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. Starting to consider the iPhone 8 as it has 256 gb – but I love my click wheel! It’s small and easy to use everywhere…

          • CJ says:

            I like my iPod classic for when an iPod is really convenient (long trips away when I want more than one case of CDs to choose from, camping, working out, etc.), and I won’t switch to a newer one because the the capacity decrease in newer models (which seems weird, considering the trend in almost all electronics is more and more memory, not less). but I still would rather have my physical CDs with me most of the time in the car. The one thing I am happy about with this new passport drive is that I can rip the audio from my box sets to it to have in the car, which is great because the car is where I still wind up doing most of my listening because of my schedule, and it’s completely impractical to take a box set wit me. I also like that I’m not trying to take digipacks and cardboard slip cases with me in the car, which tends ot beat the packaging up more. So I guess there are benefits to the drive instead of the player. Doesn’t mean I don’t miss it though.

  9. JG says:

    That is a terrible name.

    I’m supposed to trust this guy’s taste?

    I don’t think so.

  10. Brian says:

    Anyone know the Britpop one? It’s the only one I’m missing for the win!

  11. paolo says:

    Dead or Alive please, since Edsel seems uninterested in individual album reissues.

    • Colin says:

      Hi Paolo, you might be able to get the individual albums on ebay. Look out for someone selling the Boom box set individually! Be sure you are getting the corrected discs though and not the faulty ones!

  12. Pieter van der Velde wzn says:

    LP’s are beautiful and yet in my car I prefer CD’s.

  13. Bruce says:

    Eddie Martinez also played with Blondie on their tour in 1982 which proved to be their last for some time, replacing Frank ‘The Freak Infante. Good to see his album re- released .

  14. RJS says:

    “One of the most promising Britpop bands. Acclaimed singles, bidding wars, incredible press”

    Shed Seven.

  15. Mij says:

    Neurotic Outsiders is the second one down, although John Taylor and Steve Jones were hardly members of “rock” bands!

    • Urs says:

      I also thought of them, but the picture of the second one doesn’t correspond to the album cover of Neurotic Outsiders. :-/

  16. Stewart Mowat says:

    Bono favourite . Wire Train.

  17. John Lloyd says:

    The horrendous name seems to come from them already being an established ebay seller, of comics and CDs – although their $4 Spiritualized double disc with an equally horrendous $36 postage charge might make people think about what’s to come…

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Spiritualized-Royal-Albert-Hall-October-10-1997-Live-2-CD-set-Bright-Orange-Box-/322562653720

  18. Derek Cornish says:

    well, judging from the bit of the covers in the clues I can make out Wire Train’s “In A Chamber” and Human Sexual Response’s “Figure 14”

  19. Bruce says:

    Arousal, plateau, orgasm, resolution. Paging Masters & Johnson! Back in print for the first time in 25 years. = human sexual response fig 14 (it’s an ok album not great)

  20. Steve Marine says:

    “Those dismayed at the current propensity for all things vinyl, might be pleased to hear that Supermegabot won’t be issuing any of its titles on LP and will be showing some loyalty to the humble CD, by issuing exclusively on that format.”
    – This is the best thing I’ve read in a long, long time. Three cheers to them!!!

  21. elliott buckingham says:

    simon f gun control or gun as it was known across the pond never released on cd 1985crhyslis records absolultely brilliant were the uk and us pressings had a different mix and different tracks

  22. Julian H says:

    Oh, I’ll say it – I have nothing against LP and don’t mind it if deluxe editions get released on CD and LP simultaneously. Though it bugs me if the LPs get a better mastering than the CDs.

    What annoys me is box sets that bundle the formats together without an option to buying one (CDs) without the other (LPs). And often that makes the box sets far more expensive than they need to be.

  23. Alan says:

    Nice one re CDs – time for a CD comeback, especially for when the t’internet goes awol for whatever reason, or the powers-that-be decide you can’t actually “own” music as another poster said. And also, my children/grandchildren will one day inherit a collection which they can either keep or sell off for a considerable sum if their musical taste differs from mine.

    I’m after an Age Of Chance box set incorporating all the early singles, Peel Sessions, compilation tracks etc. This was one of the most influential and vital bands of their era. It’s time that was recognised.

  24. Francis says:

    More interesting is Jeff Rougvie’s timing, coinciding with his extensive comments on the latest David Bowie ANCIANT box set. He takes the time, knows what he’s talking about and appears to be pretty sincere. Well worth reading.

    http://www.jeffrougvie.com/

  25. Dean says:

    I don’t know what they’re planning to release – but if they can perform an absolute miracle, and yes it’d take an act of God to make it happen, I’d like to see John Cale’s Caribbean Sunset and Comes Alive get a digital release. Why this hole exists in his discography is anyone’s guess.

  26. AFAB says:

    Very welcome initiative.

  27. Professor Quatrmass says:

    Interesting, but yeah, that label name needs work. Also, I lost faith in Mr Rougvie back when he was overseeing the Bowie project – there was an article in Goldmine (I think?) bemoaning the lack of bonus tracks from the Aladdin Sane reissue, and mentioning the All the Young Dudes out-take that’d been floating around on bootleg for years.

    Rougvie – who had full access to the Bowie archive, and was therefore viewed as an unimpeachable source – responded by insisting there wasn’t an out-take, and that the bootleg version was a radio session. Of course, a few years later, when EMI had the catalog, that same “radio session” was released and, guess what? It was an out-take, after all, and I think a second one has also been released since then. Whereas no research has ever turned up any information on Bowie ever recording the radio session he mentions.

    I hope his research for these new reissues is more accurate.

  28. John says:

    I know this isn’t necessarily what this new label is about, but I’m hoping Jeff Rougvie gets his hands on Adam Ant’s Persuasion, and it finally gets its long overdue release. I can’t think of anything more supermegabot than that.

  29. Kauwgompie says:

    Eddie Martinez’es album was produced by Bernard Edwards and featured Chic collaborators like Fonzi Thornton and Alpha Anderson. That is reason enough for me to be first in line to buy this reissue when it comes out.

  30. Daniele says:

    the britpop band picture looks familiar to me, but really can’t identify the album cover…

  31. Jarle L. Nyvoll says:

    If the remit is to reissue “great records”, I hope he takes the wide view as far as what constitutes a great record. I love Billy Joel, Miles Davis and the rest, but I hope we get to see some albums that have slipped the net so far.

  32. Adey says:

    At last, somebody who wants to cater for people who like cds, instead of catering stamp collectors/hipsters with shelves full of unplayed coloured vinyl!

  33. Jeff Rougvie says:

    Many, many thanks for all the positive comments and the contest entries. No one has gotten that britpop one yet, that I’ve seen anyway!

    Here are some thoughts on the comments:

    We are focused on finding records that missed their audience first time round and less on reissuing well-known, highly successful records. Think Big Star in the early 90’s. As much as we like many superstar artists, those names are less likely to be on Supermegabot (I doubt the labels who own them would let them go!). We WILL be digging up lots of cool stuff that people missed out on the first time round. Do please keep in mind that art is subjective and what we may consider great records may not be what you consider great. Mileage varies, etc.

    Age of Chance: great suggestion. I haven’t listened to them in years, but recall them fondly.

    I would love to get my hands on “Persuasion” but am trying to make another Adam Ant project work first. I am a huge fan.

    Those Cale titles are tough. I imagine there’s a very good reason they haven’t come out again. Having worked with Cale in the past, John is quite firm in his convictions, so don’t hold your breath.

    It’s funny someone mentioned Simon F, I was thinking about compiling that album and the Intaferon singles onto one CD. I am a sucker for the sheer kookiness of “Get Outta London” and anything produced by Martin Rushent. If I understand correctly some of the Chrysalis stuff that was signed out of the UK offices was apparently been sold off (possibly piecemeal) in the wake of the Universal / EMI merger. I’m not even sure where to look for that stuff now, although I hope it becomes clear in the near future.

    Yes, I have been selling & buying stuff on eBay for years – 20 years actually. I have accumulated a lot of goods over my world travels and am moving much of it out these days as the house is a bit cluttered. Thanks to whoever mentioned the “Spiritualized” CD, it sold last night, likely as a result that mention! S&H from the USA is expensive due to a number of factors (primarily having to do with eBay and PayPal), but Supermegabot Label releases will available in the UK and EU with reasonable local S&H rates. More on that soon.

    Finally, sorry so many of you are put off by the label name. We’ll try harder next time.

    I don’t know about you, but the reason I buy music is because I LIKE IT. I EVEN LOVE IT. I think this is the best reason to buy anything!

    That said, I have bought albums unheard because it is on a great label. Stiff, 4AD, Creation, Sire, Island, Vertigo, Virgin, Omnivore and all the great labels of the past all earned their reputations as labels of quality, even if not al of their releases hit the target.

    There have been plenty of stupid, meaningless label names that say nothing about the music they release; Fat Possum, Blind Pig, BMG Rights Management, SONY, Bong Load, Universal, Geffen (the ego!), Cavity Search, Delicious Bowels Agency, Edsel, Anal Log, Don’t Fall Of The Mountain, and my one of my favorites, Funded By Mom Records (all real, BTW). There are literally hundreds more, equally stupid, equally nonsensical. Some of them have put out incredible records, others have not.

    Supermegbaot will strive to earn a reputation as a quality label. You may not like the name, but you’ll probably remember it!

    Good luck to all humans! Thank you to all SDE readers! Always remember, music is the best!

    PS: that Bowie All The Young Dudes thing? Covered in depth on my site. But in short, that song was not in the vault at the time we worked with David. It was returned to Bowie after our deal expired. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been confused and we absolutely would’ve used it.

    • Ex-Oligarch says:

      “Stupid, meaningless label names that say nothing about the music they release”? Not so fast.

      Blind Pig Records started from a long-running blues club of the same name. The term “blind pig” was slang for a speakeasy (illegal bar) during Prohibition, and the label issues just the sort of gritty blues you would expect from such a place.

      Bong Load Records’ name provided a direct yet suitably fuzzy and evocative description for its market niche in the 1990s: music by slacker stoners, for slacker stoners.

    • John says:

      Age Of Chance would be good, at least that first album. They’re available digitally, but oddly enough, their cover of “Kiss” by Prince is not.

      I had One Way interested in reissuing Adam Ant’s “Persuasion” in the early ’00s when I worked at Universal, but we could never find the master tapes in the MCA vaults. Maybe Marco has them?

      The Chrysalis/EMI stuff is tricky. Corey Hart was EMI and Universal owns those rights. Sheena Easton was also EMI, but her stuff is Parlophone/Warner now.

      I’ve been yelling at every reissue label for years to please release all 4 albums by The Payola$ – I cannot believe those have never been on CD, beyond a hits collection and a Millennium Collection. The guy who ran Renaissance has a shitty vinyl transfer bootleg of “No Stranger To Danger” available on iTunes; not sure how he gets away with that.

      I will buy your Wire Train reissue the day it comes out.

    • John says:

      An Adam Ant project that would supersede Persuasion? You have my attention.

  34. Jeff Rougvie says:

    PPS: I blame spellcheck

  35. Ian says:

    Jeff

    I got the Britpop one. I sent the entry in on Tuesday.

    Cheers

    Ian.

  36. Ian says:

    P.S. the UK arm of Chrysalis are very recently back in action (only this year infact).

    http://chrysalisrecordings.com/roster/

    Ian.

  37. Richard Anderson says:

    I have the correct answer to the Britpop question but not sure whether people want put out of their misery or whether they want me to post it. I entered the competition at 10 o’clock on 12th October so hoping I am the first person to get it. The picture in the competition is so well hidden in the album cover it is unbelievable. It took me hours to find it. Let me know if you want the answer or not? Richard

    • Daniele says:

      if you could give another clue beside the one on supermegabot contest would be great, it’s a game and i like to play it, not just get the name and album of the britpop group

    • Jeff Rougvie says:

      I haven’t checked the entries thoroughly as they’ve been pouring in, but the clue below doesn’t make me think you’ve gotten it. It’s a hard one. I’m hesitant to give more clues because it’s the tipping point (unless someone nailed it already).Will check and if no one has it, I’ll add a new clue on the site to make it fair to all (and will mention it here as well).

      Makes me very happy people are trying! We were concerned this approach was risky, but you lot have really gone for it!

  38. Alan says:

    Richard, please post it and put me out of my misery! I’ve got 4 of the 6 and also need the horsey cover (album cover 4) if possible…..

  39. Richard Anderson says:

    Ok. I will give you a clue to the Britpop one. I have one of these as a pet is a clue to the band. The picture is not the album cover itsself but is cleverly hidden in a pair of trousers.

    • Urs says:

      Phew, I’m giving up. After that hint and Jeff Rougvie’s comment further up, I clearly have no idea anymore what to look for. :-/

    • Richard Anderson says:

      Really sorry. I was so sure that the Britpop answer was Magic Happens by The Family Cat. They were a promising Britpop band with acclaimed singles etc. and it fitted in with ‘discover the magic you missed’. When I looked at the album cover and magnified it on my ipod touch it appeared that there were some pictures of people with long hair hidden around the trouser area of the lead singer and around the edges of the album along with some brickwork like in the competition photo so I though that maybe the picture in the competition was hidden in the album cover. I was searching at 12 midnight after consuming several beers so I now realise I may have been seeing things. I guess nothing is life in free and if someone is going to win this competition they are really going to have to work hard for it.

  40. Alan says:

    Urs, thx, but I’ve been through every comment and can’t find it! Any further clues please? Pretty please?!

  41. Professor Quatrmass says:

    Silly label names with great music – all those that Jeff mentioned, plus my current fave, Fruits de Mer.

  42. Teiemka says:

    Psst!!!!!! Prince estate……..you need Jeff Roughvie for all future releases.

    • Jeff Rougvie says:

      Let me tell, you, I’ve tried. I actually moved to Minnesota in 1984 because of Prince, but it seems like the Estate is fractured in their view going forward (they just moved or are moving all the tapes to the West Coast – WHY?! Have they seen those fires?). Also seems like they are looking for a “Hollywood” name to do the work, but I doubt there’s anyone who fits that description AND would take the job seriously. Plus, they’ve already tried that and it didn’t work out great.

      In my perfect world, it’d be ?uestlove & I sorting it ALL out and assembling new packages.

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