Kate Bush in control
It was Kate Bush‘s birthday on Thursday. Happy Birthday to her! Unfortunately for fans around the globe, no David Bowie-style birthday product announcement was forthcoming. We are all waiting patiently for last year’s incredible Before The Dawn show to come out on blu-ray, hopefully in some kind of lavish box set. It was filmed for a few nights and the audio for every single show was meticulously recorded. If it was any other artist you could virtually guarantee the product would be ready for Autumn 2015 but hey, it’s Kate. It is quite conceivable that it will NEVER be released if she’s unhappy with some element. Let’s hope that’s not the case.
Talking of Kate Bush, back in June I reported that a new song or new version of a Kate song would be included with The Art of Peace’s Songs For Tibet II compilation which was being brought to market via PledgeMusic. Well they’ve rather reneged on that promise and instead the KB contribution is Wildman from 50 Words For Snow. Boring!
On the PledgeMusic site Rupert Hine (who has been pulling the music together) provided an update and ensured fans that “Kate had really wanted to come up with something unique” for the project (really?) but that “time was slipping away”. What has happened, apparently, is that mixer and recording engineer Stephen Tayler (who has worked with Kate quite a bit) has created a ‘treatment’ of the song that – and I quote – “relies more on psychoacoustics and sonic-processing releasing fresh harmonic information in an ear-tingly and subtle way”. Er, what?!
With the greatest respect to Mr Hine, I’ve never heard so much mumbo jumbo. On iTunes it is labelled as “Wild Man (Remastered Shimmer)” but – call me cloth ears – from the clip I’ve listened to I can’t hear any difference at all. The sheer desperation to convince Kate Bush fans that this is something unique is palpable. Regular SDE readers will know I love Kate, but despite clocking up almost 40-years of recorded music, she apparently wasn’t willing to dig out an “unreleased version of previously released song” or a “new recording” which is what Art of Peace told Rolling Stone they would be delivering. I did put some questions to The Art of Peace about all these shenanigans but presumably ‘time was slipping away’ for them too, and they’ve not responded about why they haven’t delivered what was originally promised.
Paul says ‘no’ to Say Say Say remix
It may have one of the naffest sleeves of all time (portraying an anatomically incorrect Paul and Michael holding hands) but Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson‘s Say Say Say was an enormous hit in 1983. The single stayed on the top of the US charts for six weeks and remarkably, despite all his other successes, Billboard rank the 45 as Michael Jackson’s biggest Billboard hit. The song reached number two in the UK and topped the charts elsewhere and played no small part in the success of its parent album Pipes of Peace.
It was Macca’s first single where an outside remixer had been brought in, and so for the 12-inch single John “Jellybean” Benitez created a 5.40 Say Say Say remix and a 7.00 minute instrumental remix version. Apart from the song’s B-side Ode to a Koala Bear these remixes are the only non-album material issued at the time Pipes of Peace, but…wait for it… neither remix is included on ANY format of the new Pipes of Peace reissue. Not that McCartney has forgotten about the single, he has prepared a brand new remix of the song which features on all the new editions, but the old mixes are absent. What you can say (say say)? Did I also mention that the bonus CD of Pipes of Peace has 44 minutes of free space on it. Someone please direct me to the nearest wall so I can bang my head against it. Actually, don’t bother. I’ll go to the same wall I used for Peter Gabriel’s So and Cyndi Lauper’s She’s So Unusual deluxe editions.
This doesn’t bode well for fans of Paul’s 1986 album Press To Play where literally every single had a remixed A and B-side. If and when that album gets the archive collection treatment PM may well think a handful of acoustic demos will suffice for bonus material.
You can read more about the new Paul McCartney reissues here, but have a listen to the groovy 12-inch of Say Say Say below!