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The pursuit of starting a reissue label


Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby postpunkmonk » Wed Aug 16, 2017 8:32 am

I'm glad I held on to my US Arista "In The Name Of Love" as well as the Mexican [?] pressing I finally found of the unmolested "Set" in 2008. Since it was given a domestic Arista release in 1982, the UK edition was not available at all as an import in places I shopped. Until I saw the Mexican pressing in 2008 [across the country, in Portland], I had never seen a copy of "Set" on LP, in spite of being hot to hear the "real album." Having enjoyed "In The Name of Love" from the time of its release. Yes, the Edsel twofer was half tragic. With a name like Edsel, what else should we expect?
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Danielwaver » Wed Aug 16, 2017 1:08 pm

Scott, have you thought of contacting A&M Records (Octone Records) and see if Henry Badowski's Life Is A Grand can be ago? It'd be a great re-issue and shouldn't cost as much.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Rubellan » Mon Aug 21, 2017 8:24 am

I had a phone call with Warners/Rhino licensing last week. They seem to be more challenging to license from in the sense that they are more strict than Sony. They do allow bonus tracks on albums now and no longer view it as a compilation with a larger unit requirement, but the extras will impact the cost. They also manufacture the CD's like Sony, but they don't do the booklets and inserts. I would have to prepare my artwork, have Warners approve it, then send it out separately for print and then send the prints to Warners. He did comment that they are a little more expensive than licensing from Sony or Universal, though I don't know by how much yet. I submitted a few titles that are currently being reviewed. I was told the average turn around from request to finished product is about 4-6 months. I've also submitted another handful of titles to Sony.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby BigManRestless » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:55 am

I'd like to echo the encouragement. I trust your mastering but I also trust your taste, so if it something you'd be putting out I'd be interested enough even if it was a band I was previously ambivalent about.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Rubellan » Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:01 pm

Thanks for the continued support. It's been very frustrating. I've been in contact with three labels and it doesn't seem anyone's taking me seriously. The contact at Sony replies so infrequently. She always says "ask me any questions" and even provided me 2 direct phone numbers. Questions often go unanswered and I even got to a point where I called her yesterday. I got her voicemail, left a message but heard nothing. I understand she's busy with tons of stuff but it shouldn't take weeks to get answers to a couple questions that could be knocked out in a couple minute phone call. Some of the questions are important for making my business decisions. But I think they give priority to big spenders, and my petty 5 figures is nothing to them for a few licenses of relatively obscure albums. There's been a lot of teeth gritting and I don't think even one of my titles has moved on to their legal department yet, meaning no release from them until early next year at best.

My phone call with the man at Warners went well and he seemed very nice, though when I sent him my list of titles I wanted to pursue, I included a couple additional questions he said he was fine that I send. He replied only to acknowledge that he submitted four of my requests for approval but didn't answer the questions. I guess it's all about the numbers. But I'm going to tell Sony in my next communication that if she wonders if I will follow through with any of these album requests, I will happily pay her an advance if it means I can then be taken seriously. The same will be with Warners if their prices are not too insane.

One of the labels I've remastered for told me they are so sick of the nonsense of dealing with the majors that they are not going to pursue working with them any further. They are only going to work with artists who own their own material and suggested I do the same. To that mindset, I made contact with a band who does own the worldwide rights to their material and just gave him my proposal, as well as a link to my remaster discography so he knows I'm not some kid looking for a temporary new hobby. He responded very politely and said he will share my proposition with the band and let me know in a week or so.

That being said, if you know of any artists in this genre who do in fact own their material, list them here. The copyright law is that if an album is 35 years old (1982 or older), the artist can request through the copyright office to have the rights returned to them. Labels only fight it if they feel it would be financially worth their while, meaning a decent seller. Otherwise they just say ok. Problem is that doesn't necessarily mean they give the masters back to the artist.
Last edited by Rubellan on Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Bellenger1981 » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:31 am

Thank you for the update, Scott! Good luck! Hopefully, you can get the ball rolling soon on these releases. Please continue keeping us updated. Really looking forward to some official releases from you.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Surly » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:37 am

I believe David Sterry owns the rights to all of the Real Life material. When he was on The Hustle podcast, he couldn't mention specifics of the case, but if I heard correctly, his Australian label went bankrupt early on and he spent years sorting through it all. The material was licensed to Curb in the US.

https://www.facebook.com/thehustlepodcast/

He put out Heartland on CD on his own back in the '00s but the mastering is very quiet. I think he released Flame digitally in Australia but it's not available here. I'd do both of those albums, and for Heartland, I'd include the 12" mix of "Send Me An Angel," the amazing b-side "Like A Gun" (it should have been on the album), and the single mixes of "Catch Me I'm Falling" and "Always." Oh, and the single and extended mixes of "Send Me An Angel '89" as well.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby crystal » Fri Aug 25, 2017 12:47 pm

Rubellan wrote:That being said, if you know of any artists in this genre who do in fact own their material, list them here. The copyright law is that if an album is 35 years old (1982 or older), the artist can request through the copyright office to have the rights returned to them.

That is interesting to know, wasn't aware of this - do you know if that is the copyright law worldwide or just US? Asking, because I never heard of this in Europe.
Otherwise, really frustrating (though not surprising) to hear what you are going through with majors.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Rubellan » Sat Aug 26, 2017 12:21 pm

Thanks Surly, I sent an email off to Sterry yesterday. Hope to hear back. I would love to do a deluxe edition of Heartland, and maybe even Flame.

Regarding the copyright, it is a U.S. copyright but I don't know if it has similar options outside of the U.S. Here's a couple articles about Section 203 that allows artists to reclaim the rights to their material, at least during a window of time:

http://www.songwriteruniverse.com/gosai ... ure123.htm

http://variety.com/2013/biz/features/ar ... 200334132/
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby swerve » Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:40 pm

Not sure what the time frame is in Canada. If it's 30 years and not 35 that opens up a lot of possibilities.

A few Canadian acts off the top of my head and SSQ below you may want to consider in which majors could be sidestepped.

Anthem released Spoons - Bridges Over Borders in 1986 and has never to my knowledge been released on CD.

You may want to follow up with Anthem to see if the band now controls this as I don't see Spoons listed at their site as a legacy artist or you could follow up with the band themselves here:

http://www.spoonsmusic.com/bridges-over-borders

Boys Brigade are listed at the Anthem site as a legacy artist ( see link below ) and would be worth looking into for their self-titled release from 1983 simply for the fact that Into The Flow ( LP Version at just over 5 minutes ) has not been released on CD and is arguably better than The Passion Of Love and Melody which are both strong tracks that have been released on a few comps.

http://www.anthementertainmentgroup.com ... s-brigade/

Malcolm Burn was part of the band and can be reached here to shed some light on the status of this release in the event Anthem doesn't control this any longer:

http://malcolmburn.com/

I'm not convinced Dawn Music out of South Africa which has released this in 2017 is a legit CD.

As for SSQ - Playback which has been mentioned by a few people here it wouldn't surprise me if you could maybe contact Jon St. James directly as I spoke to him briefly over 20 years ago after receiving a DAT from him for Jet Town to include on Hardest Hits Volume 5. He seemed to be in control of making that happen.

He's at LinkedIn:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jon-st-james-516b3624/
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby swerve » Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:29 pm

In hindsight it would have been so much easier if acts had negotiated a Master Rights Reversion in what they signed with a major.

Unfortunately I think it will be very difficult to find out which artists may have pursued this possibility after 3 decades or so ( depending on the country as it probably varies ).

The 2 Canadian act examples I gave in the previous post was an attempt to look at a label that was not a major. Unfortunately I don't know if the artists themselves now control it.

***** After further review I noticed that in the US these 2 Canadian acts had these releases come out on majors so if you are stuck being in the US having to go through the US label this doesn't help. *****

In the case of SSQ I believe Jon St. James had indicated that it was through the publisher and not the label itself that a transfer on to digital audio tape came to be and he was somehow directly connected in making this happen.

Perhaps if you had thoughts on which acts you wanted to pursue to go ahead and try to somehow reach out to them to see if they would even consider pursuing the ability to revert the rights back. If you're stuck with a 35 year window the timing is actually somewhat ideal for this avenue of reversion as each year passes ( now into the latter half of '82 ).

As I stated in my original post on Page 1 a lot of patience is required when dealing with majors ( it was like this in the early 90's ) it seems some things never change.

From what I've read a label that has folded would be an easier route to follow up with the artist. Of course where the master tapes reside could be difficult to track down in that scenario. I'm not sure if any of the acts you were thinking of may fall into this category of labels having folded.

Thanks for your continued efforts Scott.
Last edited by swerve on Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Rubellan » Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:50 am

Yes, patience is the key apparently. I did try to follow up with Sony yesterday, even offering the advance I mentioned in my previous post. Still no response. I don't see the point why she sounded as if she would be available (via phone and email) if that really isn't the case. I think I just need to push Sony out of my mind for a few weeks. If she replies, great. I hope to receive a few initial approvals from Warners fairly soon, but I'm still wondering how their cost will compare to Sony.

I got a response from the vocalist of Real Life. He said he only has the rights to Australia and New Zealand but the U.S. label owns the rights elsewhere, and they also have all of the masters and multi-tracks. I've sent that label an email and will await a possible response. I'm definitely doing what I can to dig up some releases but it's sure a rocky road.

So yes, when an artist possibly owns the rights, it could only be for certain territories, or it may only be the publishing, or only the master rights. It's clear the reason there are so few reissue labels still going is because nothing is straight forward and there are lots of road blocks and potential headaches, all for the sake of paying out large sums of money with the hope of releasing a quality product, and maybe making back your investment and even some pocket change.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Barmy » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:39 pm

What exactly are you releasing. Allegedly flawed CDs from marginal acts? I mean, really, Altered Images and the Thompson Twins. Both blah.

This thread is a mess.

If you plan to release previously unreleased bands, I'm there. Fixing some bullshit errors in prior CDs is a waste of time.
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby pinkyblue82 » Wed Aug 30, 2017 4:37 am

Scott, exactly who is this mouthy individual?
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Re: The pursuit of starting a reissue label

Postby Rubellan » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:10 am

pinkyblue82 wrote:Scott, exactly who is this mouthy individual? He needs to be cut.


He seems to crawl out of the woodwork every now and then over the years to complain about something. Best just to ignore. What it comes down to is that if someone has a problem with anything I am trying to release, they are free to jump through the same hoops to try to do releases of their own.
Last edited by Rubellan on Wed Aug 30, 2017 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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