Features

Saturday Deluxe / 15 August 2020

The Blondie who cried wolf

Almost two years ago, Blondie announced that a ‘Complete Studio Recordings’ box set with albums, rarities and some unreleased material would be released in “the fall of 2019”. There was even an image to promote it – see below:

Needless to say, this didn’t happen. Did the band, or their representatives, or their record label come forth and offer any explanation for this broken promise? That’ll be a ‘no’.

Well, here we go again. Last Monday, Blondie once more posted some box set news on their website, under the heading ‘The first Blondie archival box set coming soon‘. Alongside a photo was a brief message telling fans that “Coming in 2021” was “the first authorised Blondie archival box set in the band’s history including extensive liner notes and essays, complete discography and historical photographic history hardcover books plus rare unreleased bonus material.”

Interesting. Not only did they miss the opportunity to treat their fans like grown adults and acknowledge that they’ve actually already announced a such box set and offer an explanation as to why that didn’t happen, but with this ‘other’ box they are being far less specific as to what will be in it. The last box was going to be the six albums, remastered, with two bonus discs.

Also, in that list of what the box set will include, I’m mildly concerned to see “rare unreleased bonus material” listed right at the end, like artificial preservatives on a list of ingredients. Nice though a complete discography, liner notes and photos may be, the actual music is really what we are interested in.

In other Blondie news, like Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have sold their publishing to Merck Mercuriadis’ Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited, for an undisclosed sum. The deal is for 197 songs. In layman’s terms, this is the ageing rock star version of your Nan and Grandad giving up their house for an ‘equity release scheme’ so they can go on that cruise they’ve been talking about. Debbie and Chris will no longer earn publishing royalties for their songs, in the future, but in a deal estimated (by The Times) to be worth up to £20m, that’s quite a few cruises.

116 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 15 August 2020

  1. Bruce Kelso says:

    sadly blondie starting with the lp heart of glass and everyting after that they became irrevalant. once part of the nyc punk scene along with the talking heads, television, and others the pop hit of the heart of glass they were soon elavated to that of a major band instead of being underground as their first two lps surely were.they were ready for major explotation. all of a sudden blondie was debbie harry and backing musicans. from that 3rd lp to the final one the material was thin and so commerical that no early fan by 1983/84 was still aboard and debbie and chris know that.so in doing this they have financial security for the rest of their lives. for others of the band i am sure that their songs are not inclued in this deal

    • Tony O says:

      talking pretentious nonsense mate, using terms like ” the material was thin and so commerical that no early fan by 1983/84 was still aboard” yes they evolved and millions of fans still enjoyed their later work.

    • Deanery says:

      I just want Eat to the Beat in a bright, lemoney translucent yellow….with a 12X12 triplicated foldout of the albums out-take photo’s.

  2. steve says:

    And here I am … still wanting an official release on vinyl of ‘No Exit’.

  3. Mark says:

    Mmm… I’m reminded that the Purple Rain deluxe was supposed to contain 2 DVDs. I don’t they they ever said what the other DVD was intended to contain, but it was quietly parked after the initial press release. One assumes it was the complete show from 1983 where Purple Rain itself largely stems from.

  4. Tony says:

    “Poor communication with their fans” — see Tears for Fears. I love them, but that “Seeds of Love” box set and that new album? I’ve about given up on both. PS I love Blondie. And this site. The comments are always worth a read.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Fair point, although unlike the Blondie box set the Seeds of Love reissue has never officially been announced (believe it not!).

      • Derek Langsford says:

        In the January 2019 SOS Steven Wilson interview he said he just finished work on the TSoL 5.1. And with it being stated on this website that the rest (presumably track selection for the CDs, mastering, artwork, booklets etc.) were all done a couple years before that, it seems that Universal are hopefully waiting for the right time to release it. I was hoping by the end of they year based on hints given at the beginning of the year. But then again so was the new album.

        Meanwhile fans have to be satisfied with FB postings of very old pictures of Curt and Roland with inane captions.

      • Andrew says:

        Hmmmm! ;)

    • Tom m hans says:

      Tony I dont know what to obsess about once Seeds Of Love SDE has finally been released. If ever. Maybe Neil Young Archive Volume 3.
      Thanks Paul, Macca booklet has been delivered in the States last week.
      I secretly hoped it will fit into RAM SDE lift off box…. peace

      • Quante says:

        Obsessions? For me it will be when is Kate Bush releasing a new album? She’s surely got time for another two or three albums in her before the telegram from the future king arrives.

        Roger Waters only has another twenty two years to go before his next studio album is due, judging by the gap between amused to death and is this the life we really want. That would make him ninety eight years old! I’d imagine his subject matter might focus on how poor the pavements are for elderly. At least he still tours with his amazing shows.

        • Chris Squires says:

          Obsessively waiting for Super Deluxe Editions of Kate’s first 5 albums. Actually just one would be a start, so if they did a 5 disc The Kick Inside, that would scratch the itch.

          It’s amazing isn’t it that after 10 years of SDE (give or take) and most of our “idols” being well into the latter stages of their careers how few have made a decent fist of archiving their legacy. Whether it’s because they are too busy “Looking forward and not back” whilst simultaneously doing nothing about moving forward. Or whether they have fallen out with each other or whether they no longer appreciate the older music that many still love. Or maybe the accountant says “noooo”

          Perhaps it’s because many were at their peak whilst artists could really rake it in, no spotify, no Pirate Bay stealing their loot. So if you invested wisely you will be so comfortable you can barely hear the screams of “get on with it” from the crowd outside. Maybe it’s because they just don’t think like us. Look at Mr. Collins, several houses, at least one for each ex-wife, a bank account that would make Croesus blush and I would doubt one fan would even be close to happy with what has appeared in his name as a salute to his career.

          This Hipgnosis business isn’t going to help as anyone with that kind of deal has no incentive to get involved with an archive.
          Even the chap with the largest current SDE collective, Paul McCartney, has made many mis-steps along the way. I won’t re-tread old ground as we know what they are. I know the old adage of “Always leave them wanting more” can apply to this business but in many cases we haven’t even had something decent to want more of.

          It’s a numbers game and the numbers are not on our side sadly, soon there won’t be anybody to give a hoot whether the Rolling Stones “The Abkco years” gets a decent outing. The people who loved sixties music are dwindling, the people who loved the 70s and 80s are not that close behind to be honest.

          There are a few shining stars, but too few to get worked up about and even some of those sets are not perfect. But there’s the thing. I don’t think (obligatory internet moaning aside) people like me want perfection, we just want it to look like an effort was made, that some fucks were given and that we are not treated like fodder for the pension.

          Come on Kate, Phil, David Austin, Sting et. al. Stop mucking about or we might stop caring whether you do or not.

          • Derek Langsford says:

            Chris, I presume material for a 5 CD Kick inside box would need to include all the demos or to TKI, and the live album that includes some Lionheart songs, plus Violin. What I would obsess over would be hearing that Steven Wilson’s offer to do 5.1 mixes for Ms. Bush’s albums had been accepted. The instrument separation could open up her music with stunning effect.

            I’ll just keep dreaming before I need to obsess.

          • Chris Squires says:

            Derek

            It’s just wishful thinking. A 5 disc set would usually include a DVD. There are a lot of TV performances, four official videos (2 x WH, TMWTCIHE and Them Heavy People), a live concert that has NEVER been released in it’s entirety. I know there are lighting issues but who cares 41 years later. It’s been on Youtube for ages, put together from various leaks and broadcasts. Certainly enough exists to make a decent stab at 2 DVDs or one each for TKI and Lionheart. The key to the exercise is the official release of the demos. There’s two CDs worth right there. Cleaned up and mastered correctly they would be a delight. Original album, 2018 remaster, 2020 remix or 5.1 take your pick. Put it this way, I am way down the pecking order in Kate fandom (although not too far down the list) and there are 1000s of people worldwide who would know exactly what a Kick Inside SDE should look like, original artwork, book (so many unreleased images), 2 discs of demos and rarities, at least one remix or 5.1 disc, a full DVD (or two) of live / promo / studio footage (“Nationwide” can be on Lionheart). A well done 4 CD and 1 or 2 DVD box would fly off the shelves at £100 a pop. I mean 5000 to 10,000 worldwide wouldn’t be a stretch. It would be Bowie / Prince levels of interest.

            Between TKI and Lionheart there are two very well specced 5 disc sets. Album / album remix / demos / performances and variations / DVD.

            And then I woke up…..those bloody sheep.

          • Phil Cohen says:

            In reality, there’s little that could be added to Kate Bush’s albums. The only one of her classic five albums whose sessions produced additional songs was “Lionheart”. She was still drawing extensively from a prolific burst of songwriting that occured when she was in her mid-teens. Crawdaddy magazine once asked her whether she “dumped” many songs along the way. She said “I prefer to think of them as ‘resting’ “, and indicated that at most album sessions, that she was struggling to write enough songs, and that “Lionheart” was the only album (to that point in 1985) had produced additional songs.
            Still, it would be reasonable to finally offer her video programmes on DVD. I can’t think of any performer or group that is so oblivious to their audience….except “Kraftwerk”.
            To Chris, I agree with everything you’ve said. To those artists and record companies who are being vague as to whether they’ll issue archival boxed sets this year, I say this: Life is brief, and we don’t know if human life will still exist on this planet two years from today. If we are not obliterated by COVID-19, it may be from global warming, war or from a new virus (a variation of the Swine Flu) that recently appeared in China. As for the various contractual wranglings over 1960’s Rolling Stones, Small Faces, Hollies,Beach Boys, or Yardbirds archival materials, this will all be meaningless when the people who would have bought the recordings are dead and gone.Release the materials and bring joy to some people in a very troubled world. As for the money, You can’t take it with you when you go.

        • Quante says:

          It’s a slow day, so for fun, I’ve sketched out the song titles of a potential 98 year old Roger Waters album about the elderly, played out in real time…..no offence intended to anyone affected with the real burdens of old age health issues.

          Side one

          No. Title Length
          1. “4:30AM (Apparently They Were Allowed Out Of The Care Home)” 3:12
          2. “4:33AM (Zimmer Frame)” 4:08
          3. “4:37AM (Immigrants With Boats And Kent Skies)” 2:17
          4. “4:39AM (For the First Time Today, Dementia Part 2)” 2:02
          5. “4:41AM (Whatever Happened To The Sexual Revolution)” 4:49
          6. “4:47AM (The Remains of Our Minds)” 3:09
          Total length: 19:37
          Side two

          No. Title Length
          1. “4:50AM (Incontinence)” 6:59
          2. “4:56AM (For the First Time Today, Dementia Part 1)” 1:38
          3. “4:58AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin, Pass The Medication)” 3:03
          4. “5:01AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking In Slippers)” 4:36
          5. “5:06AM (Every Stranger’s Eyes Is Staring At Me)” 4:48
          6. “5:11AM (The Moment of Clarity – We’re All Doomed)” 1:28
          Total length: 22:32

  5. Stephen says:

    What a great thread – Paul, as always, thanks for curating a site that makes these sort of conversations possible among people who are interested.

    Don’t really have anything to contribute to the conversation but have found it interesting to read this morning.

  6. Otto says:

    Yeah, that is strange. Great article, did someone contacted the publisher?

  7. Dr Volume says:

    I didn’t know about these publishing sell offs, that’s really interesting. Seems a risky investment (remember Bowie Bonds?). I guess they have to work the catalog and get as many sync deals as possible otherwise you’re banking a lot on the listening habits of future generations, some unforeseen seismic shift in the music industry (Napster and downloading left Bowie bonds almost junk status). You’d probably want to make sure your investment keeps their nose clean and isn’t likely to get ‘Cancelled’ due to some past misdeeds or future controversy too.

    • Big Rin says:

      Let’s clarify this – Hipgnosis have not acquired the publishing rights to the Blondie catalogue. They released an ambiguous press release that implied that was the case and it seems to have taken a lot of people in. They have actually acquired Debbie and Chris’ performance rights – ie the money generated when the songs are performed on radio and TV, what is generally known as the ‘artist share’.

      The publishing rights lie with BMG, who have a realationship with and pay royalties to, the writers. The re-records were primarily made so the band could inisist on them being used for TV, film and advertising, rather than the original Chrysalis masters where the band don’t have a great deal.

      This is a regular tactic of Hipgnosis – yes they have bought significant publishing rights but sometimes they are buying performance rights, artist royalty flows, producer royalties, etc – there’s a lot of smoke and mirrors here.

      The upshot is that this sale has no bearing on whether the box-set is released.

      • Dr Volume says:

        Ok I think I get it, so they don’t own the songs, instead they paid Debbie and Chris an advance on one stream of future earnings – presumably on the basis that they will be worth more than the “undisclosed sum” in the long run. Puzzled as to what influence Hipgnosis has over driving up the revenue, how can they push to get covers and sync deals if they don’t own the catalogue?

        • Big Rin says:

          Dr Volume, they can’t push really push covers and sync deals, although they will benefit from deals done by the publisher and record companies when they collect performance fees. In this case they are collecting residuals, although they seem to have convinced the press and shareholders that they acquired something more.

          BMG did contact the BBC and other outlets and tried to explain but only the BBC amended their story, although the writer didn’t really understand the technicalities. As I say, smoke and mirrors and a great press story!

          As

          • The Cordwangler says:

            The Times piece on Hipgnosis is very interesting and makes clear there is quite a lot of confusion over what Hipgnosis are buying and how these deals actually work. The Times quotes Mercuriadis as saying ‘You could write a whole article on how it works. Every deal is different. It’s complicated’. The Times states ‘to put it as simply as possible, what Hipgnosis has been bulk-buying is the songwriters’ share of publishing rights. Yet some of those songrwriters are locked in to deals (possibly decades-long) with publishing houses that would usually seek sources of income for songs and collect the resulting royalties. That should be problematic. Apparently not’. (Which felt like a sceptical coda to me.)

            The article continues that apparently others in the music industry are also rather sceptical of Hipgnosis ‘s deals. One manager of several big artists (who refused to be named) said ‘Even lawyers who have done some of these deals don’t understand the details. They love them because they are huge, hence their fees are too, but a lot of people out there are scratching their heads as to why such massive sums are changing hands’.

            As far as I know if Mercuriadis (of Hipgnosis) is misrepresenting what he’s doing that would be problematic legally as Hipgnosis is a publicly traded company.

            The Times interviewer asks, in relation to allowing the Hipgnosis song catalogue to be used in any old adverts, political broadcasts, etc, ‘so the songwriters have the final say?’ (over how their song is used). Mercuriadis replies: ‘No, I own the songs and I say how they are used. But we will always consult with the artist and the writer first’.

            I can’t help thinking that statement leaves the artist/ songwriter a hostage to fortune: as far as I understand it a publicly traded company’s first duty is to maximise the payouts to the shareholders. Mercuriadis, on the BBC site, says the company will be actively seeking to place songs. If EDF wanted to use Atomic, or an Evangelical Christian organisation wanted to use Rapture in advertising campaigns, and each offered $2 million for their usage, Hipgnosis would surely have a duty accept to maximise profits. The company may consult the artist and writer first, who might say no, but then the company could go ahead anyway. And the company can still legitimately say we consulted the artist and writer first…

            The company under Mercuriadis may prove deeply respectful of the artists’ and writers’ catalogues but, again, being publicly traded there’s no reason to believe he will always be in charge or always own the company: it could end up in the hands of oweners who are less concerned about the artists’ feelings. It could end up owned by the Saudi or Chinese sovereign wealth funds

            Presumably if Hipgnosis own only the rights of one songwriter on a song with, say, three writers the other two could block its use, depending on the deals they each have. Only Dave Stewart has sold to Hipgnosis, Annie Lennox has not – presumably she can block usage she disaproves of?

            However, with so many different rights tied up in music publishing (songwriter, producer, public performance, recording – the recording gets 50 or 70 years from recording, the written song gets 70 years from the death of the last co-writer), I’m still not entirely sure who’s buying what from whom and to do what with! The more I read (Times, BBC, Guardian, etc). But I feel somewhat happier in my ignorance because it seems like nobody else is particularly clear either!!!

            Whatever… with Hipgnosis actively seeking to place many well-loved songs in adverts, I think we can all look forward to the enticing prospect of more floor cleaners being flogged by singing dogs, a la Queen’s Flash flogging P&G’s Flash.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            I think if an artist takes a big payday in return for selling the songwriting publishing in their songs, they are being naive if they think they will always have a ‘say’. Unless it is stipulated contractually, then they haven’t really got a leg to stand on.

          • Chris Squires says:

            What an excellent thread. Thanks to all who took the time to explain their understanding.
            Personally I think it’s a can of worms. Where doubt exists a legal loophole will always be found or sought for.

          • Big Rin says:

            Cordwangler (below), the point I’ve trying to make is that Hipgnosis don’t have to worry about dealing with the likes of EDF in Blondie’s case – they do not control the publishing or master recordings. They have acquired residual performance rights and they will make money if and when BMG and Universal (the actual owners of the publishing and recordings) place Blondie songs in films, TV, ads or games.

            Many industry figures are questioning some of the rights being acquired and the sums Hipgnosis are paying – but you can bet there are some great deals to be had by artists, particularly in the current climate and Chris and Debbie have got themselves a doozy here! It won’t make up for some of the early dubious deals they signed but it is a lot of money upfront.

      • Jarmo Keranen says:

        Is this the same Hipgnosis that created record covers for Yes, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin etc.?

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          No, this is different.

          • David Bly says:

            I had to check that, even though figuring it couldn’t be them.
            The original Hipgnosis closed up shop in 1983. I have at least one book on them.
            Stiil, I find it insulting that these corporate robbers are sullying the originals’ good name.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            “Corporate robbers’ is a bit strong! No one held a gun to Dave Stewart’s head and forced him to sell his publishing. Same with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein.

  8. Robert W Lett says:

    I’m just glad it’s finally coming out. I like Numero, hope it’s still with them.

  9. Toast says:

    Any longtime Cure fans remember how circa 2010 Robert Smith would regularly mention a Cure At The BBC box set being in the works, presumably something along the lines of the amazing Siouxsie and the Banshees at the BBC set that came out in 2009… Still waiting and wondering…

    • Rog says:

      I’ve been waiting for 4:14 Scream for a really long time too.

    • Dan says:

      Robert Smith has announced various projects over the last decade which never saw the light of day, I don’t even think we’ll get this new album they’ve been posting about for the past 2 years, pretty sure it was being mixed mid-2019.
      I’d be happy if we just got Wish Remastered Deluxe Edition at this point.

  10. Jon says:

    Profoundly depressing to learn that Debbie Harry is 75. Information like this threatens to break my tenuous grip on the past, which is where I spend most of my time these days.

    • Dr Volume says:

      Debbie Harry was already in her 30s when Blondie were at their peak. She’s only a couple of years younger than the Beatles and the same age as Pete Townsend

  11. Rowly75 says:

    Maybe you should have a vote or something for best artists for reissues/campaigns? Rank them?
    Best Mansun, Bowie? Pink Floyd (later years excepted!)
    Commended McCartney (lovely boxes though too many download only issues, etc.?), Beatles (some missing tracks on abbey road but Sgt pepper and the white album up there with the best), Rolling stones (just too many?!)
    Worst Duran Duran, tears for fears, blonde now!

    • mike says:

      Are we still berating Duran Duran for the 2010 remasters or the lack of reissues subsequent? There are hundreds of bands who would qualify for that!!!

  12. thewildeyedboyfromfreecloud says:

    Any Blondie is worth the wait especially when it comes to unreleased material.
    Hoping we finally get “Scenery” and “Underground Girl” on vinyl in this package.

  13. Paul Herberts says:

    On a related subject, what has happened to the Bowie 40th Anniversary Picture Discs? Has the run ended? Ashes to Ashes should have been re-released by now.

  14. David B says:

    As well as Blondie don’t forget the long-overdue Pink Floyd “Animals” 5.1 sacd (originally due 2019?), or the Beach Boys “Sunflower/Surfsup” set- (promised for Feb 2020) and maybe not for this site but Universal promoted a cd box set of Tom Jones’ Decca albums (a few years ago) that came to nought ..

    But with the lack of new material to push for this Christmas maybe just maybe we’ll see some interesting re-releases … let’s see what happens .. cheers.

    • Ben Williams says:

      The Beach Boys set is called Feel Flows and is slated for release later this year :-)

      • Craig Hedges says:

        Other message boards are saying the Beach boys box isn’t happening, Why…well there is a history for box sets being delayed or scuppered by a particular member of the band. We all know who….

    • Jarmo Keranen says:

      If we talk about the music Tom Jones fit any kind of sites!

      • Chris Squires says:

        Not a massive Tom Jones fan but…..

        If there was a ranking of the relationship between age and percentage retained voice quality then he must be at No.1. When you listen to most Sexagenarian / Septuagenarian pop rock stars you know the voice has lost power and tone. And of course Tom isn’t 28 any more. But crikey, he can still belt out a tune and he just turned 80.
        No names but you know the usual suspects…… Tom just has that little bit more to give than most.

        I still think Jeff Lynne sounds pretty good but he is a mere babe at 72.

        • Quante says:

          Jon Anderson has a brilliant voice, but is a mere 75. I’ve not heard his new album 1,000 Hands which came out on Friday, but I’ve no doubt his vocals will sound as strong as ever. Jon did have vocal problems some years ago, but he must’ve recovered well and he sounded excellent on the tour with Rabin and Wakeman. Awaken is one of the top tunes in my listening musiquarium…..Stevie Wonder a youngster at 70 still has a stunning voice.

        • Hugh Hall says:

          I’d never been a fan of Tom until I heard ‘Praise And Blame’ (2010) and then ‘Spirit In The Room’. Boy does his voice suit those songs.

  15. gwynogue says:

    If a comprehensive Blondie box set does eventuate, I hope Debbie’s solo material gets the same treatment. That would be awesome! But she’s been on several different labels, so that could be another nightmare. I hope it happens in her lifetime.

  16. P.E. says:

    I emailed the Numero Group who released the six track Heart Of Glass 12” as a teaser for the six album plus extras box set that was originally announced. This was around January of this year and all they told me was it was still happening but delayed. So, hopefully, it’s still them that are doing this box set as they generally release decent product packages.

  17. Hugh Hall says:

    I think the headline is totally ambiguous. “The first Blondie archival box set….” could mean the first of more than one or could equally mean the first ever. My money is on the latter.

  18. Sunday Girl says:

    I hope Chris and Debbie will do the right thing and graciously hand over a million a piece to Frankie, Nigel, Gary, Jimmy and especially Clem without whom they may have been still performing on open mic nights at clubs in the East Village.

  19. Nathan Dodd says:

    Back in 1991 it was announced that a DVD box set would be released to accompany the 4 CD box set of “Just For The Record” by Barbra Streisand. Some twenty nine years later this still hasn’t seen the light of day, but Sony has insisted that Miss Streisand is still working on the project and it’s hoped that it will finally be released by Christmas 2040.

  20. Yani P says:

    I bought the 6 albums in the boxset a few years ago..still not managed to get them out of the slipcase..

    • Ryk says:

      Yani,

      I too purchased the first six albums in a box set 3 or 4 years ago. No bonus material though. Like you, mine are also unplayed.

      • Ryk says:

        I’ve just checked my database. It was in February of 2016 that I purchased the vinyl box set containing the first 6 LPs and it cost the equivalent of about 60 quid (NZ$121.02 including shipping). So, this announcement is not correct if they say it is the first ever Blondie box set to be released.

        I really should play those records though.

        • Chris Squires says:

          The tightest squeeze in showbusiness.
          I would say most of these Blondie box sets are unplayed, not because the music isn’t wonderful, but because people struggle to get the records out and then struggle to get them back in again. It was a massive design flaw at the time. The only one similar issue I have had is with the Trojan Records 6 x Vinyl set, very tight.

  21. Phil Cohen says:

    As a fan who has all of the EMI/Chrysalis expanded Blondie album CD’s. the CD singles boxed set, the live albums, and compilations (with unreleased tracks) such as “The Platinum Collection” & “Blonde and Beyond”, this possible boxed set has little new to offer. In fact, back when EMi owned the recordings, they stated that the only remaining unreleased Blondie songs are some unfinished tracks produced by Giorgio Moroder. Unless the group wants to go into the studio to complete them, there is nothing new that could be offered.

    • Die Young, Stay Pretty says:

      I too have accumulated the whole oevre. There’s always something left in the can that “has been unearthed.” I will likely be a sucker and buy this new set also.

    • Richard says:

      I would guess that like most bands they can put their hands on early versions of existing tracks, along with demos, all of which would come under the heading of “Unreleased”. There wouldn’t necessarily have to be any new songs.

      • Ex-Oligarch says:

        There are a many well-recorded Blondie bootlegs out there from the band’s original run, so that may be a source of bonus material.

        Then again, there have already been a handful of official or semi-legit live albums covering that period.

  22. Simon says:

    Does it really matter that a boxset was announced, got delayed and is now announced again? Aren’t there bigger things to worry about these days? I’m just grateful it’s happening and we’re still getting releases/reissues from one of the all time coolest bands. Save your scorn for Neil Young.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Man comes to one of the few websites on the planet devoted to music box sets and says ‘why are you worrying about music box sets’.

      • Olli says:

        Köstlich!

      • Peter Martin says:

        We choose to ‘worry” about box sets. Thank you for this site. One of a handful I visit daily.

      • Steve says:

        Yeah, but unfortunately Paul you’re coming across like a bit of a whinger. The box got delayed for whatever reason, getting everyone in Blondie to agree on something can’t be easy. You’ll just have to deal with it. Cheers, Steve

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          I’m reporting some news (first and foremost) and making some observations at the same time. And my observation was that it was really weird to post that a new box set is coming without any reference to the fact that THEY ALREADY DID THAT TWO YEARS AGO. If you think that is fine and dandy and a good way for them to talk to fans, then great. I don’t, personally, and if that makes me a ‘whinger’ so be it.

          • Richard says:

            This reminds me of one of those “Today we are pledging another billion pounds to the NHS!” announcements that a government will make, and while everyone is shaking hands and congratulating them the opposition stand around in the background saying, “Errr… hang on a minute. Didn’t they announce that already at the last budget?”

            I’m with Paul. It would be nice to at least clarify their statement.

          • Bruce n says:

            Agree with you Paul on this. Blondie have had poor communication with their fans for a number of years now. I know they are not the only artist to do this, but it’s almost par for the course with Blondie.

      • BSR says:

        An appropriate response to possibly the worst post I have ever seen here.

      • Francois says:

        Are there other sites? Really? Well you make me spend enough, and most of all discover so much music which is new to my ears, I’ll stick to your site

    • Jakob says:

      Follow up question: Aren’t their bigger things to worry about these days than what a music site chooses to write an editorial about? (I’m not complaining though, people whinging about whinging is one of my favourite things to see on the Internet).

      • Chris hudson says:

        Haha if true then there are certainly bigger things to worry about then worrying about people worrying about what a music site chooses to write an editorial about. I think its fair to say people are complex enough to worry about more than one thing at a time and, in any case, life goes on and enjoyable distractions make it exactly that – more enjoyable. Cheers!

  23. SimonP says:

    I thought they did a re-recorded greatest hits as a second disc to one of their recent albums because they got next to nothing from royalties on their back catalogue?

    That scenario would be why a best of box set wouldn’t be of much interest to the band. They’d earn next to nothing from it, would they?

    Then I read here that they did have the publishing rights all along.

    Colour me confusticated!

    • Phil Cohen says:

      But subsequently, the Numero label decided to focus on vinyl & downloads only, hence no CD boxed set.

  24. Poptones says:

    Debbie Harry tweeted about that box set three months ago (in may) and she also mentioned a 7″ and 12″ project and a book. She clearly mentioned the 6 albums remastered and alternate versions, demos, etc. so I guess it’s still the same initial configuration of 6 LPs and 2 LPs of rare tracks. Very good news. I have almost all 12″ singles but wouldn’t mind a 12″ box set like Depeche Mode. I just hope it won’t be one box set par album like DM and a complete comprehensive box set.

    “A request for your assistance: we’re working on the first authorized Blondie Archive project in the band’s history. In addition to thoughtfully remastering our first 6 albums, alternate versions, demos & unreleased recordings, there will also be a complete band discography book.

    We are currently working to compile an in-depth archive of all Blondie 7” singles, 12” singles and LPs from throughout the world. If you have any rare configurations in your collection, please contact us at tommy@umbrella-group.com.”

    https://twitter.com/BlondieOfficial/status/1257443646644903939?s=20

    • Gareth Pugh says:

      I must admit, the talk of collecting an archive of 7” and 12” singles read to me like an appeal to fans to send in photos of sleeves – maybe for a stand-alone book or a printed element of the upcoming box set. I’m not so sure they meant to signify they are planning a 7” and 12” packaged product as such. But I agree it would be great if they did!

  25. Charles says:

    Sounds like the negotiations for the publishing rights sell off delayed the box set. Think about it, if the company came to them with this offer a year ago it would have put any current plans on hold. The last thing Merck would want is a career defining box set to come out that they get no profits from right before they hand over a £20 mil check. Now that the deal is done they appear to to be moving forward again with the set now poised to make the profit from it. I may be wrong but it makes sense from what I’ve known about rights issues in the past.

    • Jim says:

      That was what immediately occurred to me as well, although my take is that either side could have been holding it up (perhaps Debbie and Chris wanted the deal to EXCLUDE this box, for example, to make a bit more money). Having recently read Debbie’s memoir, which goes on at length about the bad deals the band had back in the day, and the long term negative effect on her/Chris’s bank accounts, I suspect that they are a but more savvy these days…

      • The Cordwangler says:

        As Hipgnosis believe the money (for them) is in, what they believe to be an ever-growing, streaming and synchronization revenue I doubt a few thousand box set sales are going to have troubled them greatly.

  26. Andrew M says:

    Reminds me of Queen promising the archive sets after The Freddie Mercury set of (I think) around 15 years ago. There were going to be three.

    We’re still waiting….

  27. OMAR says:

    A simple announcement from the band like” it’s ready when it’s ready” would suffice. I know a lot of times all this stuff is beyond an artist’s control and gets’s delayed due to various circumstances.

  28. Luke says:

    If that so-called new ‘archival boxset’ doesn’t include bonus material (B-sides, 7 inch, 12 inch etc.) just like the upcoming Dire Straits CD boxset, than at least I feel misled since I took notice of the ‘complete studio recordings’ project 2 years ago. To read nothing about that now, is not a good sign. So if only the studio albums are going to be released in a box, I’m not buying. Simple as that.

  29. Jorje Chica says:

    Band or it’s representatives announce an imminent release, nothing comes of it, no explanation, then a further announcement some time down the road with no acknowledgment of the previous announcement, and again nothing comes of it, only for the cycle to be repeated. Welcome to the life of a fan of Immediate era Small Faces.

    See the following: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/small-faces-autumn-stone-box-set-coming-soon.707443/

    • richard says:

      I feel your pain.

    • Phil Cohen says:

      As for “Small Faces” & “Immediate Records”, I fail to see the purpose of a record label (Charly) that releases absolutely nothing. Their last CD release of “Immediate Records” recordings was back in 2014. Charly’s latest announced project (expanded editions of the first 2 Humble Pie albums) predictably crashed and burned….never to be released.
      As for projects that were announced, but never released, I recall “Yes-The Early Years”, a collection of unreleased and/or upgraded materials by that group’s original 1969-1970 line-up. The boxed set was never to be. And King Crimson’s “The Complete 1969 Recordings” met the same fate.
      These projects and sets such as Neil Young’s “Archives Vol.2” have been compared to cartoon character Lucy putting an (American) football in front of Charlie Brown and offering to let him kick it. She always takes the football away at the last second, and Charlie Brown lands on his back and goes “ARRGH!”

      • David Bly says:

        The issues with the Small Faces’ Immediate recordings is so jumbled-up and confusing, it’s not surpring that a number of issues have come up.
        Not going to go into all the past re-issues – it would take all year. But at the current moment, different companies seem to have the rights to release Immediate recordings in different countries.

        As far as I can determine, at this moment BMG has the rights to release Immediate recordings in the UK, and Charly has the rights in Europe. This can get a tad confusing as all the pressings of the LPs and CDs are made in the EU (maybe not much longer for BMG). Also confusing the issue is that both companies are allowed to Making it even stranger is that Charly is based in the UK – Charly Acquisitions Ltd., and while BMG is based in Germany the Immediate albums are released by BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd. through Sanctuary Records!

        And even odder…
        Looking at a CD/DVD set of “Ogdens..” released in 2018 (IMEB012) reveals this on the back cover…

        ORIGINAL IMMEDIATE RECORDINGS
        Courtesy of Charly Acquisitions Ltd.
        Licensed from Licensemusic.com Aps.
        ℗2018 Charly Acquisitions Ltd.
        ©2018 Charly Acquisitions Ltd.

        FOR UK ONLY

        ℗2018 Sanctuary Records Group Limited, a BMG Company
        ©2018 Sanctuary Records Group Limited, a BMG Company

        Artistry Music Limited Marketed and Distributed by Snapper Music plc. Made in the EU

        This appears to be a casre where Charly and BMG worked together to create only one version for both the UK and Europe.

        But note that the stereo LP version of the above (IMLP 012/CHARLY L 305)* released in 2017 by Charly has this around the rims of the labels… [in caps on the labels]

        ®The Immediate logo is a registered trademark of Charly Trademarks and is used under license by Artistry Music Limited. Made in the E.U.

        I have many of these odd variations, and also have an original UK stereo LP, and a later US ABKCO re-release with the round cover stuffed into a marroon square sleeve revealing the front. Also I have one box set with an autograph by Kenney Jones.
        Also have other Small Faces albums in numerous editions.

        *Putting the IMLP 012 number as one of the numbers on this stereo re-release is wrong, as the original is IMSP 012. IMLP 012 was the mono version number.

        Whew!

  30. Robbert says:

    I much prefer Blondie’s tactic to the endless string along game ABBA is playing with us. Just saying.

  31. Hedley says:

    Paul
    An excellent piece, this along with Roxy’s “For your Pleasure” has been on my announced – not coming radar. The general frustration of anticipation and then nothing. The issues disappear in to SDE hyperspace

    Meanwhile Richard and Linda Thompson and Bob Mould offer retrospectives that brighten up our pandemicy world and have “us” arbitraging between the various planets in the Amazon universe.

    Now I wait for Bob Bootleg Series 16, after a disappointing 15, something Beatles and some heavy price adjustments on Prince and The Stones. And although not an SDE the double disc release of Bobbie Gentry “Delta Sweete” is nothing short of stunning especially the stereo remix

    You site is much appreciated and enjoyed. Have a great Saturday

  32. Graham says:

    Don’t think anyone will be going on a cruise anytime soon!!!

    Agree with Paul that the wording is odd with the music seeming a secondary concern & that they should have acknowledged the previously announced box set.

    Just hope it’s decent.

  33. Johnny Spasm says:

    Paul, don’t you think you’re being a bit harsh? OK, so the box set didn’t come out last year. I’m sure you found something suitable to give the Blondie fan on your Christmas list, instead. As far as aging rock stars go, Debbie turned 75 last month. She wants to sell her publishing & go on a cruise, GOD bless her. Settle down, drink your tea, and look forward to the coming box set.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I wasn’t criticising their decision to sell their publishing. Probably a very good decision. I just don’t like the communication. All this ‘let’s pretend we didn’t announce the box in 2018 and hope no one will notice’.

      • Christopher Bloom says:

        I interpreted it more as, “This has taken so long that we’re sure you’ve forgotten, so HERE’S SOME GOOD NEWS!”

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          A generous view :) It really should have been titled “Box set update” and started along the lines of “Let us explain what’s going on with the box set we first told you about back in 2018. Unfortunately… “

  34. Bruce Nicholson says:

    I’m not convinced it will be multi box and I’m not convinced there are stacks of unreleased tracks coming. Having said that thetexare two distinct periods of Blondie – the first 6 albums and then post reforming, so maybe two or more boxes will be needed.

    I wondered if the delay to the box set was due to the hipgnosis deal. Debbie Harry and Chris Stein have about 35 blondie songs which are credited to just them. There are several ex members to negotiate around too?

    I wonder too if the numero group are still involved who released the (great) heart of glass 12 inch at the end of 2018.

    Looking forward to it, but as you say Paul I wish they’d be more upfront with fans.

  35. fish says:

    why would they sell their publishing? artists have fought very hard to get publishing back due to badly signed deals at the beginning of their career. why would you ever want to get rid of it for one lump sum? they have to have enough money right now to keep their publishing. curious

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think it’s fairly obvious isn’t it? They are in their seventies. Multi-million pound divided now to enjoy the rest of your life or much smaller amounts dribbling in annually.

      • Chris Squires says:

        Simplest answer – Debbie has no kids to leave anything to. What good will 30 million over 10 years be to you when you are dead. Take the 20 million now.
        Chris has two girls which changes things but, if I had no kids and was 75 I would want my pie now. That’ll do nicely.

  36. James Giraffe says:

    At least it’s still going ahead!

    Why do you think that this is a different box set though? Surely this is just a new announcement about the same box set that was announced ages ago?

    And when they say the “first” box set, I don’t think they mean “first in a series of”. I read it as “first” as in there hasn’t been one before.

    I bought Debravation (Producer’s Cut) from a seller on Discogs in January. We were chatting and I mentioned the box set and said “oh I do wish they would hurry up.” He said he is actually one of the people compiling it. He said it’s still going ahead and asked if I had any vintage merchandise or memorabilia that I could send, as they were in the process of trying to create a collection of memorabilia from fans.

    Sadly, and goodness knows why, the messages are no longer in my Discogs inbox, so I can’t copy and paste them, but that’s all he basically said anyway.

    I hope it’s a good box, but I’m sure it’s been stated that there was nothing else to release in the Chrysalis archive.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      It just sounded to me like maybe they’ve had a rethink and reworked it. Otherwise why not repeat the details they mentioned in 2018? I don’t think they meant ‘first in a series’ either. Not sure why you thought I did!?

  37. Neil Kelly says:

    I did wonder but with old age i didn’t even remember we’d gone way past the original promised release date. Guess in 2022 it will be ‘Coming 2023’…

  38. Greg says:

    I was shocked to read in his autobiography that Elton John sold his publishing as well.

  39. Emile MacDonald-Williams says:

    Paul – do you think they viewed the Super Multi Discs Box Sets (Bowie 5 years and Prince SOTT / 1999) and decided to go down this route? Multi disc expansions of individual albums? Just a thought?

  40. Isaías says:

    It seems like they’ve given up the idea of only one box and maybe preper a much deep work in order to add more material and release more than just one box. It looks like 2 deluxe boxes coming out !!!???

    • Johnny Spasm says:

      They refer to it as a complete discography. Sounds to me like their original plans changed to including everything up to Pollinator.

      • Egor says:

        I don’t think so. Early in May they tweeted about upcoming box set, and it’s just 6 original albums: «In addition to thoughtfully remastering our first 6 albums, alternate versions, demos & unreleased recordings, there will also be a complete band discography book. We are currently working to compile an in-depth archive of all Blondie 7” singles, 12” singles and LPs from throughout the world. If you have any rare configurations in your collection, please contact us at…».
        (twitter.com/BlondieOfficial/status/1257443646644903939)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *