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Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux remaster


Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux remaster

Postby RichardAnvil » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:21 am

Hi,
I know this section is about reissues but it also seemed the best place to ask all you people in the know why are Polydor so opposed to remastering and doing a deluxe issue of the first Visage album? I’ve heard snippets from some people that they have been unwilling to allow Access to tapes for compilations or reissues. This was why the Cherry Red ‘The Anvil’ reissue took the album from the Canadian CD release and the 12” mixes and b sides from vinyl. The first album has a worldwide no.1 single on it yet all we have of the first album is a CD issued way back in the early 90’s. I’ve heard that even Midge and Rusty are getting doors closed in their faces on this. Can anybody shed any light on what’s happening?
I know way back when the band were in the charts there were some problems the guys had with releasing in the uk as they were signed to Polydor New York, not London. Has this any baring on it?
Back in the late 90’s I found a record label who wanted to reissue the Visage back catalogue and even met with Steve Strange but when Polydor were approached they just said they were not interested in having it released.
I was surprised when Cherry Red released Beat Boy mastered from the original tapes (such a shame they didn’t do their research and missed out on including the remix album or the white label only mixes) but in relation to the first two albums this was the runt of the litter which barely scratched the charts while the first album has Fade To Grey and The Anvil was a bigger hit than its predecessor.
I’ve read on so many blogs about how many fans want the first album remastered and released as a deluxe (including the never released Eve of Destruction, All The Kings Horses and the vinyl only release of the original We Move plus goodness knows what else, e.g. pre-Midge mixed versions of Blocks On Blocks and Visage) and a quality remaster and deluxe of The Anvil. Even when Steve Strange died there was no interest in reissuing to cash in on the bands music being in the news, almost unheard of in music executive/accountants circles.
So what’s going on?
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby Rubellan » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:41 am

Uh, no on the Cherry Red assumption. Cherry Red were in their period of saving money by "remastering" from previously released sources, be it previous CD's or vinyl. If your license is approved by a major label, that means you will be given at the least an in-house digital transfer of the masters for an additional cost. Universal say it's about $400 for the album master and approximately $100 for each bonus track.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby thunderbird2 » Thu Feb 01, 2018 8:38 am

Scott I believe it is the licencing issue you mentioned re being signed to the new York label . Cherry Red were very interested in releasing a double CD of all the 12" mixes and versions that were out there and could not get the clearance. Also as you know there were the recent albums Wild Life compilations, there were a lot of complaints regarding the fact that the extended versions were not ( at the beginning) advertised as re-recordings as a lot of fans (including me) wanted these all together . the website stated that the US record company were only prepared to let them release the original 7" versions. now if you are a positive person you might think that they are planning something themselves but I would have thought the optimum time would have been after Steve Strange's untimely death. it cant be impossible to licence as a lot of these 12" compilation cd's seem to get clearance on the extended versions of most of them
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby postpunkmonk » Thu Feb 01, 2018 10:30 am

As far as I know, the fact that they signed with Polydor NY could have everything to do with how and reissue is stalled. Visage never amounted to anything but a cult act in America. They sold well in the UK/Europe for '80-'81. All of that material, if you look at the indicia, had to be licensed from Polydor NY. Today, we have a world where the rights holders to Polydor US masters may be one company and the Polydor UK masters in another's hands due to the massive consolidation in the industry, which instead of making licensing these kinds of projects easier, is paradoxically the opposite.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby RichardAnvil » Thu Feb 01, 2018 2:38 pm

Does seem the logical answer but also rather crazy. I assume all the masters are in the UK but the licence holders are in the US. They couldn’t get anyone to sign them up in the UK after Radar Records folded, even though they pretty much had a finished album ready to go, so had to go to New York to get signed. Maybe we need a solicitor to sort this out.
I was rather surprised when Rusty reissued Frequency 7 a few years ago, making me think he must have copies of the masters himself, though of course this was recorded before they signed to Polydor, the same goes for the 7” version of Tar which was included on Wild Life. What gets me though is how down the years lots of cheap reissue companies have released jumbled compilations sometimes with rare tracks. How come they can get a licence for individual tracks but no-one can get one for all of the backcatalogue, not even Midge, Rusty or Steve Strange’s family.
Who do we need to write to at Polydor US to get someone to allow a licence? Would asking a US record company to reissue have a better chance than a UK one? Is anybody actually trying to work this one out already or has everyone given up?
It just amazes me that you can now buy rereleased fully remastered, deluxe albums by bands which almost got into the charts while the Visage album which as well as charting itself also includes three international hit singles is being left to rot in some basement.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby omar » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:54 am

I for one would love to see Visage's entire catalogue get the remastered/deluxe treatment properly. The first album would be a dream come true but The Anvil and Beat Boy reissues from Cherry Red were mediocre and should be reissued with more bonus material.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby postpunkmonk » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:04 am

…to say nothing of the "Fade To Grey: Singles Collection [Dance Mix Album]." My copy I obtained [at much cost] 15 years ago leaves much to be desired. Only in recent years have I seen all of those insane white label promo mixes on Discogs from albums 2+3. Some of the entries there looked faked, so it's hard to tell what's real.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby ZippY » Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:25 am

omar wrote:I for one would love to see Visage's entire catalogue get the remastered/deluxe treatment properly. The first album would be a dream come true but The Anvil and Beat Boy reissues from Cherry Red were mediocre and should be reissued with more bonus material.


Totally agree with that.

For so long the fans were/are treated like toddlers with their 'Best Of Visage'-compilations thrown out to keep them kinda happy. I am basically sick of it.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby RichardAnvil » Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:26 am

Thanks guys, I am both pleased and also not surprised by your supportive comments and your strong feelings, if not anger, that these albums are not getting the treatment they deserve and the fans are being ignored.

So what I want to ask for is for some practical suggestions on how to try and do something about it.

I’ve seen some comments here by people who have been or are currently involved in remastering and reissuing 80’s albums. I’m new to this forum but would like to invite them to give their advice.

Also is there anyone on this forum who knows how to contact Midge Ure? While it was a band effort it was really his baby for the first two albums, leading the concept, inviting the band members and then producing and mixing the albums. He is quoted as saying that The Anvil was mainly written, recorded and produced by himself. In his autobiography he explains that the reason why side 2 sounded so different to side 1 was because he basically had a breakdown from overwork half way through recording it so spent less time on side 2. With so much energy and artistic input he must have some view on what isn’t happening to his work and may have an insight, or even better a solution, to the Polydor problem.

I would also suggest contacting Rusty Egan as the other early creator of Visage, though I have heard he’s not the easiest person to talk to about the past. It would be good to know important information like;
- where are the tapes?
- is there anything unreleased in the vaults (I know there has been but does it still exist?)

Or what about the Steve Strange Collective? They have at least been dealing with Polydor over the Wild Life compilation (whatever your views on how positive an outcome that was). Could they help?

Someone mentioned the cost of licensing an album and extra tracks. If we could find out a total then maybe we could crowd fund getting remastered/deluxe versions of all the 80’s albums.

I quote the old adage ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’ and if enough fans will it then there’s a way to get around all these barriers.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby Rubellan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 11:51 am

Oh, trust me. I'd love to do an official remaster/reissue of the debut or a collection of original 12" mixes. And if I EVER get any of my requests to Universal approved, that will at least give me a timeframe of how long something may take. And since I'm U.S. based and their contract was signed in NY, perhaps I would have better luck than a UK label. One Way records didn't seem to have too much trouble with their CD reissues years ago. Universal are already reviewing 5 requests for me. If I get to a point where I send in a second batch, I can include it but as you may be able to tell from other threads, the whole reissue process takes an eternity for anything to get done. I hate to say it but check back in about 3-5 years at this rate.

Oh, and the cost I listed was just their estimate for master transfers. It's not the cost of licensing the material, which will cost well into the thousands.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby RichardAnvil » Sat Feb 03, 2018 4:47 am

Hi Rubellan,
Thanks for your reply. Have you had any success with Universal/Polydor requests? Don’t mean to be disrespectful but as I don’t know who you are do you have enough clout for Universal/Polydor to really take notice of you? If they are like any other business if you don’t deal directly with the top nothing happens unless you are big enough to make them notice you and see it as a priority. You know far more about this than me, so I apologise if you take offence, but there must be a way to improve the odds. I’m just thinking who else we would need to deal with to get things moving? For me a timescale Of 3-5 years would be totally acceptable, it’s more a concern that it will never happen.
Would it help to have information on;
Where the tapes are?
Which unreleased tracks there are?
Getting an agreement from all copyright holders for a release (tracks with 7 writing credits must be a nightmare to sort out legally).
Also do we know if anyone else has also requested licences to reissue (eg the Steve Strange Collective?)
I’d be happy to try to make contacts to find this out if we had a backing release company (eg you Rubellan).
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby omar » Sat Feb 03, 2018 8:57 am

Its kinda odd Universal that owns now both Polydor and EMI were able to license the Strange Cruise (EMI) album to Cherry Red for a reissue , but are having problems with the Visage stuff.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby discoginfo » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:29 pm

I found a "wish list" I made many years ago.

1980 VISAGE album plus essential extra tracks - CD 1

Visage 3.53
Blocks on Blocks 4.00
The Dancer 3.40
Tar 3.32
Fade To Grey 4.00
Malpaso Man 4.14
Mind of a Toy 4.28
Moon over Moscow 4.00
Visa-Age 4.18
The Steps 3.14
We Move 4.00 (B-side Mind of a Toy)
Fade To Grey (Dance Mix) 6.41
Frequency 7 (3.05) (B-side Tar)
Mind of a Toy (Dance Mix) 5.14
We Move (Dance Mix) 6.28
Frequency 7 (Dance Mix) 5.02
Visage (Dance Mix) 6.01
Second Steps 5.26 (B-side Visage)

CD 2
Fade To Grey 6.14 [German extended edit]
The Eve of Destruction (1978 demo)
All the King's Horses (1978 demo)
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay 4.17 (project 1981 single)
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay (instrumental 12" B-side) 5.50
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay (Dance Mix) 5.50
(there is probably more rare unreleased material from this period)

http://www.discog.info/
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby ZippY » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:16 am

discoginfo wrote:I found a "wish list" I made many years ago.

1980 VISAGE album plus essential extra tracks - CD 1

Visage 3.53
Blocks on Blocks 4.00
The Dancer 3.40
Tar 3.32
Fade To Grey 4.00
Malpaso Man 4.14
Mind of a Toy 4.28
Moon over Moscow 4.00
Visa-Age 4.18
The Steps 3.14
We Move 4.00 (B-side Mind of a Toy)
Fade To Grey (Dance Mix) 6.41
Frequency 7 (3.05) (B-side Tar)
Mind of a Toy (Dance Mix) 5.14
We Move (Dance Mix) 6.28
Frequency 7 (Dance Mix) 5.02
Visage (Dance Mix) 6.01
Second Steps 5.26 (B-side Visage)

CD 2
Fade To Grey 6.14 [German extended edit]
The Eve of Destruction (1978 demo)
All the King's Horses (1978 demo)
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay 4.17 (project 1981 single)
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay (instrumental 12" B-side) 5.50
Ronny: If You Want Me to Stay (Dance Mix) 5.50
(there is probably more rare unreleased material from this period)

http://www.discog.info/


Good tracklist, although I would put all the B-sides tagged after the album on CD 1 and the demos & remixes on CD 2. This is to give the discs better equal timings.
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Re: Visage - why are Polydor opposed to 1st album delux rema

Postby discoginfo » Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:29 am

I am fully aware of that! That was just a compilation to include all tracks. Years ago.
My idea then was to have the B-sides in order of the single they belonged to.
But now I'm not sure that's the best. It's just one way of doing it.
Placing all 12" mixes after the album is another way.
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