Thursday, December 28, 2006

Reissue issues

John R. writes:

My name's John and I have actually been reading your blog for a few months now after I began my personal project looking for all my old vinyl on CD/Download/Etc. My apologies for not having the "chutzpah" to write sooner!! I'm a writer (for and self-confessed 80s nut meself (4000 CDs and 1500 records approximately) so I was a bit intimidated by your expert knowledge - anyone who has personally interviewed Brian Canham and Nick Beggs is an expert in my book!
Speaks of Pseudo, I was wondering if you had any info for Almacanter Records, I found their site but I'm very cautious about ordering from obscure sites other than the ones I personally know and trust (like n5MD and Magnatune). I'm very excited about their Pseudo Echo CDs (and the Our Daughters Wedding CD) and wondered if you had any thoughts on ordering from them.
Thanks so much for your time and look forward to hearing from you!!
john R.
(P.S. Do you know if there are any plans EVER to release Vicious Pink's 1986 album on a non-bootleg CD??)



Thank you for your praise. I recently picked up the Almacantar Records reissue of the Passion Puppets' Beyond The Pale. The quality of the reissue is better than I expected. Reissues are a huge market now with labels like Almacantar, Wounded Bird and even Superfecta releasing many albums that never made it onto CD. When it comes to Pseudo Echo, they have gone so far as to promote the reissue of Autumnal Park, Autumnal Park Live and The 301 Demo Sessions on their official Web site. Autumnal Park was even remastered for this reissue.

That may be my biggest issue with reissues. If the sound has been remastered, you are getting a far superior product than originally released on CD. Some reissues come from whatever the best quality option was available... often times not a master. So far, many of these labels are aware of that. I would not hesitate to purchase from their Web site but if you are very hesitant, several are available on eBay (but I believe that the person selling has ties to the company as they only are selling their products.) This way, you do have the chance to voice your displeasure if it arrives in poor condition or doesn't arrive at all (not that I believe an email to their Web site wouldn't suffice.)

I'm very pleased to see so many rare CDs get out into the hands of fans and collectors alike. There has been a huge market for some very poor quality knock-offs (that 1988 Y Kant Tori Read album or Vitamin Z's 1985 release Rites Of Passage.) I would personally love to see Vicious Pink reissue their sole studio album... and demos. I have yet to hear of it but I'll keep my eyes open. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to get ahold of Brian Moss and ask him (he was working on a project called Mirazma recently.) Right now, we all hear how dreadful the market is for CD sales but I still think that the sales are still there for products people want. And there is always iTunes.



Anonymous said...

Martin and John, I feel obliged to warn you about the Autumnal Park "remaster" from above record company:

Pseudo Echo arrived yesterday. Very fast: in 4 days. Super service, including e-mail status reports on my order.
CD looks good and professional: good quality printwork (be-it only a doublesided inlay). Quickly put it in my player, to get a bit of a shock: it appears to be a plain Vinyl-rip! And a bad one at that too. Acc the CD cover it is a 2005 Digital remaster by Darren Glen. Well Darren, my own vinyl version sounds even better straight from the player without "remastering". And it's not only the vinyl crackles that bother me: mostly it's the awful sound quality: very harsh as-if it was ripped without using a good (or any) pre-emphasis filter....

Very disappointed. Luckily I still have my own vinyl ;-)

Anonymous said...

The same remarks I put up on their website, but were removed within a day... point proven I'd say.

An80sNut said...

Well, don't expect me to do the same. I'm happy to hear your input on this. I'll probably be addressing it on the podcast this week. I do note that I'm pretty upset hearing this as the release was promoted pretty heavily and even the Autumnal Park Live was released. I need to get a comment from the company, I think.