Saturday Deluxe / 14 Nov 2015

Just wanted to start this week’s Saturday Deluxe to say that our thoughts are with friends and readers in Paris after the horrifying events of last night. Sending love and solidarity across the Channel to you all x.

Alan Parsons Sleeve Notes event

I attended the Alan Parsons ‘From Mono to Infinity’ sleeve notes talk at Abbey Road yesterday afternoon, and what a fascinating event it was…

I think if most of us had been a part of just one aspect of Parsons’ career we could dine out on the memories for a lifetime, but he wowed the audience by modestly telling host David Hepworth that, yes, he was on the roof of 3 Saville Row when The Beatles played live for the last time and he was also there, just out of shot, on 8 August 1969 when Ian MacMillan took the famous cover photo of Abbey Road. He pointed out something obvious, which I’d never considered before, and that was that the reason there is that blue police van (between Ringo and John’s heads) is because the most famous group on the planet were involved in a very public photo session and they’d turned up to calm things down, since fans were turning up and people were starting to take an interest!

Pink Floyd had lent Parsons the original 16-track multi-track tape of The Dark Side Of The Moon for yesterday’s event and Alan gave us a live treat by pushing the faders up and down during tracks such as Money, TimeOn The Run, and The Great Gig In The Sky so we could hear how the elements all came together. Since Clare Torry’s vocals on the latter were made from two takes we got to hear bits that never made the final record (she starts singing much earlier than when she actually comes in on the record, for example).

Alan’s sleeve note talks continue today and next week. Read more here.

Peter Gabriel competition

Keep an eye out for lots more competitions on SDE between now and Christmas, starting on Monday next week with a fabulous prize on offer. One of you will win a complete set of the recent Peter Gabriel 2LP vinyl reissues, which are all cut to 45RPM. That’s a 12LP bundle. These records are so good and Real World told me the other day that they expect these to be completely sold out/out-of-print by the end of this year!

Read more about Peter Gabriel’s vinyl reissues here.

SDE ChartWatch

The brand new UK charts were announced yesterday. SDE takes a look at the movers and shakers with regards to reissues and box sets.

Disappointment I’m sure, for Universal with their Beatles 1 video/audio extravaganza only being the fourth best-selling physical release last week.

Even a two-hour prime-time ITV celebration ‘The Nation’s Favourite Beatles Number One’ (spoiler alert: it was Hey Jude) wasn’t enough to get the set to the finishing line ahead of Elvis, Rod Stewart and, er,  Little Mix. The fact that girl band Little Mix are so high in the physical chart shows that ‘the kids’ aren’t all about streaming tunes and listening to them on their phones and that there is life in the humble CD yet. ITV’s programme may not have got 1 to no. ‘1’ on the chart, but it did result in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band re-entering the physical chart at number 94. Slightly bizarre, in a way, since that album has no singles on it at all, never mind number ones.

Bob Dylan 1965-1966 / The Best of The Cutting Edge: The Bootleg Series Vol 12Bob Dylan‘s The Cutting Edge Bootleg Series Vol 12 release also snuck into the top ten physical releases (no. 9) which is a solid result for the set that is available in two-CD, six-CD and 18-CD configurations. I’m sure the 18-disc version hasn’t counted towards the chart placing since that was only available to order via the BobDylan.com store which ships from the USA. Look out for an SDEtv video of the various formats which I’ve filmed but not edited yet. Should be up tomorrow or maybe Monday…

Yes / Fragile remixed and expandedNot too much else going on this week to be honest. Panegyric’s Yes reissue Fragile which is a CD+Blu-ray combo with Steven Wilson stereo and 5.1 surround remixes enters at no. 74 and The Stones Roses debut re-enters at number 90, presumably as a result of the publicity generated when they announced some more live dates for 2016. After just one week, there is no sign of either Alanis Morissette or Wet Wet Wet in the top 100 physical releases which shows that unless there is some really active promotion, a reissue will almost always drop since week two’s sales can never compete with week one which takes into account all the pre-orders. Since those two were not high entries last week they’re gone already…

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