Back in 2007, The Blow Monkeys, first waded into the waters of crowdsourcing when they funded their excellent “Devil’s Tavern”  return album with money that a small portion thereof came from yours truly. For my donation, there is my name in the liner notes of the first pressing, but the real gift was the return for this agile band that I’d missed for nearly 20 years. The Robert Howard solo records were good; he’s a talented songwriter, but the band had a magic that his later collaborators could not touch. Their subsequent albums, which I still have yet to buy [mea culpa!] were more traditional affairs courtesy of Cherry Red, but their new album, currently in production, will have a full-on modern Pledge Music campaign the likes of which, the world has not yet seen.
While I will be doing good if I can pledge for the basic CD with all monies currently in saving mode due to a rare vacation planned for this fall, the array of pledge points available is the most stunningly granular and yet, elaborate, selection that I have ever clapped eyes on. They have already met 27% of the goal with 83 days to go. Of course, there are basic downloads, vinyl and CD packages, but if you wanted a signed CD you are all out of luck. At $38, all copies available have flown the coop. The autographed vinyl is still hanging in there with 47 left. Don’t ask about an autographed download! There are the normal band tchatchkes; T-shirts and tote bags that are sometime bundled with vinyl or CD. But there are some other offers that are kind of intriguing.
The alternative download package at $15 would be the kind of thing that I would definitely want. It may be remixes, alternative versions, or unused demos or songs; basically what might have been on singles, back in the day. Remember those? No details yet but I get it – exclusive downloads for the Blow Monkeys connoisseur, and at roughly 60-70 titles in the Record Cell, I hope that I rank as one of those.
The album release party for 50 fans is a bargain at $171 [especially since it includes libations and food] but that’s for UK fans only. More awesome was the Executive Producer credit, which at £5000 [$8561] was definitely not chump change. I say was because the credit has already been snatched up by an obviously well-heeled Blow Monkeys fan who will now get a big box o’stuff as well as their name in the credits as Executive Producer on the album as well. So now the music industry operates just like the film industry! Who knew?
That’s the ne plus ultra of BM pledge fandom, but for me the more intriguing tributaries of the mighty river Blow Monkeys are the items of band clothing worn in iconic music videos. To wit:
- Tony Kiley tie [“Wicked Ways” video] – $257
- Mick Anker bowler [“Springtime for the World video] – $514
- Neville Henry suit [“This Is Your Life” video] – $685
- Dr. Robert coat and tie [“Digging Your Scene” video] – $1027
Imagine the fun of wearing the very coat and tie that Dr. Robert did when he crooned to the elderly woman with stars in her eyes in the astonishing “Digging Your Scene” video? Make this pledge then head on down to your local retirement home and relive that astonishingly crass moment in music video that made me a fan for life right there on the spot. Woah. Chills.
Those are fascinating but he real gold is carefully hidden on the pledges page. I’m talking about the “Animal Magic” test pressing. At $599 it’s not cheap, but if you buy it you’ll have the original Pete Wilson production of “Digging Your Scene” which is available nowhere else on earth [yet.] I always found the slick synthetic production of Michael Baker grated against the rest of the lushly produced “Animal Magic” album. That hit single was definitely the harbinger of the least appealing sounding Blow Monkeys album, “She Was Only A Grocer’s Daughter,” and I always resented it sticking out like the sore thumb on “Animal Magic” that it was. If I had more money than sense, I’d definitely spring for that pledge to hear the song in what is undoubtedly a more pleasing production as it originally was, before [let me guess] RCA meddled in the track listing. But these are flights of Blow Monkey fan fancy. I’ll be doing well to ever get the CD but if I can pledge for that alternative download, it will soothe my savage breast.
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