Saturday Deluxe / 4 April 2015

It’s the weekend! A time when SDE pours maple syrup on its pancakes, has a sip of orange juice (with ‘bits’), and kicks back with some stories and updates from the past week, along with gossip and news from the weeks to come…

The Rolling Stones

The big news this week was the announcement of a reissue of The Rolling StonesSticky Fingers album.

As usual there are many formats on offer, although there are a few points worth noting. The first is that Universal/Polydor have created an edition that sits between ‘deluxe’ and ‘super deluxe’. The deluxe (as usual) is a two-CD set and the super deluxe in this case is a 3CD+DVD package that also comes with a seven-inch single and a lavish large format book. The new mid-range ‘deluxe box’ adds the DVD to the deluxe and comes packaged with a small 72-page casebound-style book in a “presentation box” (with a few postcards). The standard deluxe is £13, the deluxe box is £33 and the super deluxe is £73.

Probably the most disappointing aspect of the reissue is the fact that Universal are using the 2009 remaster which isn’t half as good as the amazing remastering created for the 2014 Japanese mini-LP SHM-CD and the hi-res SHM-SACD. Talking of hi-res, why is there no ‘Pure Audio’ blu-ray version of this Sticky Fingers reissue? Again, we know it has been released in hi-res in Japan as well as the SACDs that were issued in 2002.

Duran Duran / A Diamond In The Mind Live In Concert

Duran Duran (photographed by Stephanie Pistel)

Duran Duran

The Duran boys have been working on their new album for the last few years and word is that it will finally be released around September time. As usual, having made the record, the band have had to shop around for a record label to release it. They’ve inked a deal with Warners, so we’ll see how that pans out.

In the last 15 years the band have released long-players on Hollywood Records, Epic, and Tapete/S-Curve and only once did the relationship last for two albums, with Epic keeping the faith after the promising ‘comeback’ album that was 2004’s Astronaut. The label’s ‘reward’ was to see Andy Taylor leave the band (losing the marketing gold of ‘the original line-up back together’), and seeing what sounded like a decent follow-up album (the unreleased Reportage) ditched for the commercial folly of Red Carpet Massacre.

The band actually already have a relationship with Warners, albeit not one of their making, since the label acquired the Duran Duran back catalogue when Universal took over EMI. The ‘synergy’ of bringing together under one roof, future Duran Duran with the Duran Duran of the past under will undoubtedly have had some appeal. The new album sounds very promising with Nile Rodgers and Mark Ronson helping with production duties, but the truth is you never really know if you’re going to get Ordinary World DD or Electric Barbarella DD. The latter is a great illustration of the one of the band’s semi-regular lapses of poor judgement. Not only is it a terrible song, it was considered good enough to sit alongside the likes of Save A Prayer, Girls On Film, Notorious and Ordinary World on the 1998 Greatest compilation.


Bowie returns to The Man Who Fell To Earth

The most surprising announcement in the last seven days was the fact that David Bowie has not only co-authored a play (to be staged later this year in New York) based on Walter Tevis’ book The Man Who Fell to Earth, but that he has also WRITTEN NEW SONGS for the play (which will be called Larazus), and created new arrangements of previously recorded songs.

This is obviously excellent news, because that mid-seventies Bowie period was, arguably, the man at his zenith. He may have been crumbling physically and perhaps mentally to a degree (resulting in the self-imposed exile in Berlin) but both Nicholas Roeg’s 1976 film and the albums which featured stills from it on their covers (Station to Station and Low) were all fine pieces of work. Although David didn’t write the soundtrack for the film, his music for his aborted theatrical production of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four (We Are The Dead, 1984, Big Brother – all on 1974’s Diamond Dogs) shows a keen talent for literary adaptation. Some new songs around the beguiling character of Thomas Jerome Newton really is an exciting prospect.


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17 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 4 April 2015

  1. Nick Drivas says:

    Paul, do you think DD will ever get around to re-releasing the Wedding Album as a deluxe edition? I would also love to see Pop Trash and Medazzaland re-released.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think they will all happen at some point. Wedding Album was supposed to be happening in 2013/4 for the 20th anniversary but it got put on the back burner. Not sure exactly why but probably related to their catalogue shifting to Warners. The band are obviously quite focused on the new record, so don’t expect any reissues any time soon.

  2. Orig80'saddict says:

    Hmmm….I really like Pop Trash and all their following releases. DD are great in concert and have really stayed true to their roots as compared to Depeche Mode. I love the way they do their older hits on tour.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Pop Trash had its moments – Starting to Remember being one of them – but it was a bit of a low point in my opinion, and Simon later admitted he was very unhappy during this period. They’d lost their mojo and harsh though it was on Warren, the getting back together as the original line-up was a good move, even if it did only last for one album.

  3. Ray judson says:

    Count me in the “I dig Electric Barberella” club! As far as Sticky Fingers goes I am a bit disappointed about no Pure Audio Blu Ray version. While they have done a poor job marketing those in general, I thought Exhile and Grrr sounded pretty good in Hi-Res.

  4. LedMan says:

    Paul regarding “Sticky Fingers” being released on a SACD format, to the best of my knowledge, the album has only been released on SHM-SACD format from Japan. The 1st edition was released in mini LP style packaging. I do believe that the budget jewel case edition is still available through CDJapan.com and other vendors. This edition might be discontinued and/or sold out soon so anyone who interested in a HI Rez version of this album might want to order it soon.

    I would imagine this new edition will also be released on SHM-CD from Universal Japan soon.

  5. Rgreeve says:

    I think Electric Barbarella was a great song, and so was Out Of My Mind. A better comparison would be album wise. Are we getting an ” All You Need Is Now album or are we getting a Liberty album? Or a Wedding Album vs Big Thing. Typically the singles have always been good but the albums have not.

  6. bob says:

    How come everyone has heard the album, I thought it was never released in the UK?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That’s true, but I don’t think it was that hard to get hold of. Funnily enough my sister went over to New York about three weeks after it came out, so I got her to bring me back a copy with the original pink jewel case.

  7. Jon says:

    No way “Electric Barbarella” is brilliant and IS the best song on the album. “Out of My Mind” was good to. Overall, I was really happy with that happened. They lost their shine on it’s follow up Pop Trash.

  8. Paul Edwards says:

    Agreed on Midnight Sun Paul! I think the reason EB got onto Greatest was a fan campaign to replace Careless Memories and My Own Way and to get the very wonderful Serious on there.

    EB was great live for a while and that’s why it was liked- it hasn’t aged as well as the Rio style songs it was supposed to sit alongside

  9. Mike says:

    Dont agree with you re Electric Barbarella, about the best thing on Medazzaland, would have been a first album b side granted. That’s the beauty of Duran, you take the Venice Drowning with the Serious…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      “Out of My Mind” is MILES better than Electric Barbarella, if we’re talking about Medazzaland. It has an amazing production and has a certain cinematic sophistication (obviously it was used in The Saint). Could never understand how that wasn’t a bigger hit. For me the absolute best track on that album is Midnight Sun.

  10. bob says:

    Can I ask a dumb question? If Stick Fingers has already had an amazing remastering job done for last years Japanese reissue, why wouldn’t they just use that for this edition. Presumably it got fantastic reviews etc for the sound. Why would they go back to the remaster that most people think is inferior, especially for what is supposed to be the definitive release of the album.
    ps I have to disagree with you Paul, whilst not a huge Duran fan I really liked the Electric Barbarella track on Greatest. It sounds like one of their first singles to me and was probably included because the album and single were never officially released in Europe.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      My guess about the Sticky Fingers is that is probably to do with red-tape. Universal Japan probably ‘own’ that remastering, and there may will be something in the legals that restricts that to the Japanese market. So Universal for Europe and North America can’t just take it and do with it what they wish. Even if that is true there is nothing stopping them doing a new remaster to a similar specification as the 2014 Japanese version. I don’t want to be Mr Negative, but you do wish when they start these box set / reissue projects that getting the BEST sounding version of the album should be a high priority, if not first on the list, before working out how many postcards to put in the box or choosing the metallic ink for the book.

      Will have to agree to disagree on EB. Yes, there is a certain feel to it which makes it sound like their early productions but it’s an awful lyric/idea and the chorus is woeful. It also has that slightly tinny/experimental sheen that drags it down a bit. Lacks the analogue warmth of Planet Earth or The Chauffeur, if we’re referencing early material.

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