[…continued from last past]
So the brief here was to discuss CDs I have made through great effort for my simulated label, that eventually actually get made by real labels. This was a weird phenomenon where there are no easy attitudes to take.
HOLLY + THE ITALIANS – The Right To Be Italian [REVO 050] 1999
In spite of the not very accurate REVO catalog number assigned to it years afterward when I was trying to piece together exactly what projects I had done and in what order, this was among the first things I had remastered from vinyl. Since it didn’t seem like it was likely to get a real release. No one seemed to care but me and my friends! I can’t remember what I may have included as bonus tracks.
I was shocked to see that tiny indie reissue label Wounded Bird released both of Holly Beth Vincent’s albums on Virgin/Epic in 20012. I saw them once in a store [Manifest in Charlotte] in 2003-4 and immediately bought them. Good thing too, as they went OOP quickly and commanded stupid prices [which they are worth]. The bonus tracks here drew from the non-LP B-sides to the three singles from this in the UK as well as the re-recorded A-sides where applicable. The UK LP had a different running order than the US LP/CD. I have to admit, that “Rock Against Romance” makes a more impressive finale than the quirky “Means To A Den.” I also suspect that the UK LP and US LP were mixed differently; and I am not sure which mix was used on the CD. I only have the US LP.
TOM TOM CLUB – Close To The Bone [REVO 024] 2001
I always held a big torch for the second Tom Tom Club album, but the first one always got all the love, in spite of it being less than perfect. I have to say that “Booming + Zooming” was strictly filler to my ears. I much preferred “Close To The Bone” since the album had no such missteps. I was hungry for the album on a disc so I remastered from my vinyl and gave it a reasonable complement of extras. BONUS TRACKS: I added the Yella 12″ that had Tom Tom Club issuing a rap version of “Genius Of Love” [like everyone and their brother at that time…] but done under a different name and on the Antilles division of their UK label, Island Records. I also had the “Man With The 4-Way Hips” 12″ remixes, and the “Spooks” 12″ remix on the “Wordy Rappinghood” USP 12″ on there as extras.
The album finally got a CD release as part of a twofer DLX RM in the UK in 2009 that combined the first and second albums with a host of extra tracks. I made sure to get one of these before too long. Interestingly enough, they included many of the same tracks as bonus material that I did. Two mixes of “4-Way Hips” and only one of the Yella single, but I still don’t have the “Pleasure Of Love” 12″ with the short remix they included instead, so it was definitely worth buying. They put the “Spooks” remix on the first CD in the package, naturally.
CLAUDIA BRÜCKEN – The Solo Rarities [REVO 031] 2004
I had long collected everything I could get my hands on from Ms. Brücken. Her first solo album for Island in 1991, had a nice run of single only tracks and mixes. When I finally shelled out for the “Bastille Mix” of “Absolut[e]” in 2004, I felt the time was nigh to produce the companion disc for her “Love: And A Million Other Things” CD. It featured eight mixes from 12″ and CD5s and was filled out with two extras as the BONUS TRACKS: Razormaid remixes of Act’s “I Can’t Escape From You” and from this album, a fantastic remix of “The Fanatic [Nail In My Soul]” that was amazingly not a single anywhere. The cover was an unabashed XL/ZTT pastiche complete with pretentious liner notes that quoted Roland Barthes.
Best of all, I made a 214 page Claudia Brücken discography detailing my collection in 214 pages of high-res scans that I included as a bonus session on the disc as seen at right. I may not host music files for download, but what other music blogger gives you a Brücken coffee table book on a simple click? You’re welcome. One of these days I need to take this project ahead to encompass the many releases that she has had after 1991! This would be twice as long now, and worst of all, I don’t even have her last two albums yet! I never see them in stores and need to act before things get out of hand.
Leave it to our friends at Cherry Red to have released a DLX RM of “Love: And A Million Other Things” in 2010 that had a bonus disc of the very complete singles and mixes that I had made six years earlier. They couldn’t find the “Bastille Mix” of “Absolut[e]” master so they had to master the track from vinyl, the same as me. I’ve yet to do an A/B comparison. Maybe I should and report back with my findings. The second disc is identical in content as my disc was with the following differences. They also included the shorter “I, Dream” 7″ mix I left off for some reason [maybe space] and of course the Razormaid material was missing. Razormaid thinks so highly of Ms.Brücken, that they had released a compilation of all of their Brücken remixes in 1999 as shown below. I only have the titles in red in my collection elsewhere, so there’s a lot of things unknown to me.
Claudia Brücken: Incarnations US CD-R 
- Claudia Brücken – Kiss Like Ether 6:44
- Propaganda – Dr. Mabuse 7:40
- Propaganda – P Machinery / Frozen Faces 8:43
- Claudia Brücken – Absolute 6:55
- Claudia Brücken – Fanatic 6:35
- Act – A Friendly Warning 5:08
- Act – I Can’t Escape From You 6:01
- The Brain – I’ll Find A Way 5:20
- The Brain – I’ll Find A Way (Remix) 5:41
- Propaganda – P Machinery / Frozen Faces (Remix) 6:55
Next: …Battle Of The H17 Boxes
hi mr monk,
lots of great projects you got going on there.
i too know what its like to have passion projects and do lots of work on them.
however, mine have all be collaborative with other fans that like the groups
i do : underworld, new order, simple minds, and more.
lastly your claudia brucken link is broken, it should be this:
Click to access brucken_discog_2019.pdf
neagtive1ne – Thanks for the link. I was trying to copy the correct link but was encountering difficulty in the dashboard. And the text window to show the URL is not scalable, so you have to right click on faith. I had not tested yet since I was checking out the Midge Ure package! I have only collaborated at the dawn in internet time with the Wang Chung mailing list people. Since then it’s been me, alone in my Record Cell. I come by the “Monk” name honestly.
mr monk, typo alert:
“I was shocked to see that tiny indie reissue label Wounded Bird released both of Holly Beth Vincent’s albums on Virgin/Epic in 20012”
too far into the future, maybe 2012.
negative1ne – That was 2001-2 but not on computer now. Will correct later.
The two Holly and the Italians albums (I know, the second one is billed as a Holly Beth Vincent album, but whatever…) are just superb. Loved them to death on vinyl, and was so happy Wounded Bird reissued them. I feel like I should keep them in a safe, since they’re so very scarce in the second hand market! I know they’re available on iTunes, but – well, you know…MP3s!
Holly also put out a Xmas single last December, which I’ve never heard. I was friends with her on (the dreaded) Facebook, but she honestly came across as unwell, and has since disappeared from social media and music websites (like bandcamp and soundcloud). An underrated talent, that’s for sure.
Taffy – Ms. Vincent tends to be active in bursts of output. Where she will be online doing things for a few years and then… not so much. I hope she’s all right. Xmas single? I still need the “Hey Boy” 7″ which is at least still available. And yes, keep those CDs in the Taffy Vault. They’re cheaper than they used to be in the second-hand market, but $30-50 is still rich for my blood!
Those Wounded Bird cds tend to go out of print ridiculously quickly. I’ve got a few including the Modern English “Stop-Start” reissue but thw second hand prices are out of control in most instances. Any guess on how many copies are pressed of their releases? Would love a label like Cherry Red to scoop up the licences and give them deluxe reissues.
RobC – I wonder what the Wounded Bird story is? They and similar labels like American Beat Records obviously fill very niche nooks and crannies of the shrinking CD market. They are all over the map with as many titles as I would never want to hear, cheek-by-jowl with releases I’d treasure. The main aesthetic simply seems to target titles the majors couldn’t be bothered with.
Wow PPM; sweet Brucken PDF-CTB. Between this and the VOTB PDF from a while back, I’m afraid to ask how many hours were spent creating them. And are you able to listen to music while you design these? As a numbers-nerd, I find regular spreadsheet crunching and music are great partners but when delving into complex Power BI models, the music has to stop.
And +1 on Rob C’s comments re the Wounded Bird released disappearing quickly. I only have 3 on that label (Stop Start / Jules & the Polar Bears ‘Phonetics’ and of course PPM’s highly recommended Figures on a Beach) and get many unsolicited Discogs ‘wanna sell’ emails. The label has quite a few artists on their roster list but not much that interests me.
I had the Figures On A Beach, both Polyrock and Eye To Eye among others but have long since sold them but wish i hadn’t. Not sure any of them will ever be reissued. As time goes by more and more of these obscure releases become less likely to get a reissue. There are great indie labour of love labels like Rubellan Remasters that try but get stonewalled by labels.
I have a few Rubellan releases; Trees (another PPM recommendation) and the first Visage (although not sure why as I have 2 of the first Polydor and the One Way releases). I also read quite a bit of his issues with the labels on the Steve Hoffman forums; so unbelievable the time it takes to get anything reviewed, approved and cleared. He sounded so frustrated.
KeithC – I admire Mr. Davies efforts, but I would never in a million years attempt to do what he does. I’m happy playing in my personal sandbox where my only battles to fight are in finding the time and money to make a CD project.
Rob C – The labels stonewall everyone, equally. From boutique labels to Cherry Red; it’s always difficult getting a license approved. As the labels have consolidated, and only three big players divide the whole pie, it seems even more fraught with caprice and misery. And record labels have always had a culture where turnover was rapid and projects that were stared under a different regime often got abandoned after the changing of the guard in the highly political and hyper territorial environment.
KeithC – I worked for about 2 weeks, as I recall. Maybe 50-60 hours? Back in 2004 I would have been listening to music since the Mac had a CD-ROM in it. My current iMac doesn’t have one, and I bought a DVD burner, but the four USB slots are maxed out with the hard drives and the UPS cable, so I usually have to swap out the UPS when I need to input the DVD drive, or the USB audio interface when digitizing vinyl. I really need a hub but they are a morass I’ve yet to act on.
What are Power BI models?
netative1ne – Hah! I use to work for Gartner back in another life! If I had never escaped from Orlando, I would have recognized that term.
Glad you escaped; best blog on the net and a daily drop in for me. Not sure how you find the time but very grateful for all you do (even if it results is a drain on my lousy CAD$ bank account from most of your recommendations).
–> now if only I could listen and actually do some thinking related work at the same time.
I just read that whole thing with my mouth open. You remaster vinyl for CD? On your own? Amazing.
steveforthedeaf – It’s a pretty widespread hobby, I’m sure. I’ve been doing it for 20 years now.
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I neeeeeed that Razormaid Incarnations disc!!
With maybe 1 or 2 exceptions, razormaid mixes are the probably the worst
examples of cut and paste mixing i have ever heard. the early ones just
loop parts over and over, just terrible.
maybe they got better later on, but i doubt it, and have avoided them
like the plague they are. disconet, and ultramix, and hot tracks, are
no better either.
i don’t know why dj services do such a horrible job of trying to make
remixes, when some fans can do them on par with the original
artist or even better. ewwtube has tons of examples of those.
negative1ne – You are wrong about Razormaid. From their early days they would loop and splice and use EQ to effect the differences in sound. That was about all they could do then. Even so, they had better ears than the competition that they inspired. By their second or third year, labels would give them the multitracks and the results got exponentially better! Such that labels would re-license their mixes for commercial use! Any Razormaid mixes from ’86 onward are excellent by any standard.
You are right to cast aspersions on Ultimix, Disconet, et. al. Those mixes were also ran material.
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thats good to hear, but the prohibitive cost of those collections
have always scared even me from thinking about it.
i bought 3 or 4 razormaid vinyl and cd compilations thinking
i hit gold in the early days. only to be hugely, disappointed,
so much so, that i’ve been scarred for life.
even with multitracks, that might help, but i’m not ever going
to risk finding it out.
erasure – blue savannah (well done)
new order – subculture (only 1/3 of them, without the horrible back up vocalist singing her own take on it).
ceta javu – situations (depeche mode clone)
partial credit, only because its hard to mess up great songs
ultravox – white china (partial credit), because i still don’t know who actually
remixed it, this seems like an edit of the full mix
simple minds – new gold dream (partial credit, again was impressed at first,
but then found out it was just an edit of an existing mix)
sharpe and numan – change your mind (good, but just rearranging things)
peter godwin – images of heaven (again, just rearranging things)
if they had more quality ones, it might have been a different story.
Thanks for the 214 of CB… best blogger on the net by far!
Dave Myrvold – You’re welcome! Enjoy the hi-res images in that PDF. It’s as close to having the records as you can get without having the records.
I don’t have my razormaid stuff to hand any more (though I still have ’em), but I will mention that I used to DJ in clubs and select Razormaid remixes were very popular with the crowds for keeping [that song they love] going way longer. I remember the RM version of “Working With Fire and Steel” very fondly, I think what I liked about them is that they would extend the song without having go on too long — seven minutes was a rarity among the mixes I enjoyed. I also liked their “Talk Talk” (by Talk Talk) remix, OMD’s “Tesla Girls,” and IIRC their “Dead Man’s Party” mix by Oingo Boingo, among others.