Saturday Deluxe / 14 September 2019

Too Much Information? Not from Kate Bush…

In 1993, way before the internet had entered people’s lives, Duran Duran sang of ‘Too Much Information’. The song (from ‘The Wedding Album’) was basically about the commercialisation of TV and mainstream media (“The pressure’s on the screen to sell you things that you don’t need”).

Twenty six years later and those days seem almost quaint compared to today. Now it really is a case of information overload, especially when it comes to new music releases and reissues. You have bands or artists in direct control of their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds, then another layer of record company, PR and management promotion, plus every interview they do with any media outlet is promoted ad infinitum.

I guess because fewer and fewer people who like music are willing to actually buy physical product, every possible drop is squeezed from the marketing lemon, to give a ‘campaign’ some zip, until it is all but impossible for the consumer to NOT know about that seven-inch box set, or the ‘indies-only’ coloured vinyl, or whatever.

For fans, this removes the once treasured ‘surprise’ factor. The days when you walked into a record shop (remember those) and experienced the natural high of spotting something YOU DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED. These items would normally be some kind of limited edition… maybe a vinyl picture disc, a CD or cassette single, a ‘remix’ 12-inch issued to keep the song in the charts that bit longer. Not always though. It almost beggars belief but there were times when sometimes you didn’t know someone had a new album out. Imagine that! These days everything is communicated from the outset with such clarity and the messages are repeated so much, that it’s all but impossible for this to happen (assuming you have a computer or a mobile phone!).

Step forward Kate Bush. Now no one can accuse ‘our’ Kate of over marketing either herself or her releases. Martin Kemp and Shirley Holliman may have decided that news of their forthcoming album (‘The Swing Of It’) demanded a teaser campaign on twitter, followed by appearances on ITV’s ‘Lorraine’ and Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 show, but Kate is above all that crass promotion. You could argue she takes it to extremes, because she doesn’t even tell you when she has a new record out!

Recently, a special 12-inch version of Kate’s single ‘Ne T’Enfuis Pas’ was issued in France. Now this single was fairly obscure even when it was originally issued in 1983, having been issued only in France and Canada. The song (and its B-side) was included in the rarities discs in last year’s box sets, but Kate has clearly approved this special 2019 12-inch for the French market (one thing’s clear, nothing happens without Kate’s approval). But she hasn’t bothered telling anyone. Nothing on her twitter feed, nada on Facebook and zilch on Instagram. You have to laugh.

Of course SDE did tell you about this, but it seems both the record label and Kate thought they’d leave it to the exclusive French retailer FNAC to do the marketing grunt work. There were no announcements at all. It didn’t seem to occur to them that people outside France might be interested in this rarity.

Even when Kate does promote something, it’s done with all the enthusiasm of a teenager ‘helping’ to do the washing up. Early this year a 12-inch ‘Cloudbusting’ picture disc was released. This was available globally at specific retailers. Exciting, right? Here’s how the news was tweeted from Kate’s official account:

12” Cloudbusting Picture Disc” [followed by link to her website]

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s refreshing in some ways, but it’s rather amusing how uninterested Kate is in social media. Like your Grandad who does understand ‘the’ Facebook. You naturally assume that someone in Kate’s PR team handles all her social media posts, but they are so awful and inept that I’m not so sure. Has Kate really issued an instruction along the lines of “no fancy stuff, just stick to the facts”! Or “Under no circumstances should you retweet anything unless expressly authorised by me personally!” (there has been four retweets – and no replies to anything (!) – in the last nine years). How about “Please note, me releasing new product does not constitute permission to clog up my ‘socials’ and post about it!”.

In 2014, the year of Kate’s momentous ‘Before The Dawn’ concerts there was only seven tweets, in total. Martin Kemp has already tweeted 30 times in the last eight days about ‘The Swing of It’!

Of course, we wouldn’t change Kate for the world, and her lack of enthusiasm about this new release has given fans in French the fun of walking into their local FNAC and getting *that* hit of excitement, as they see a copy of ‘Ne T’Enfuis Pas’ on the shelves (a case of “What the FNAC…?”)

You can still pick up a copy from FNAC’s website but it looks as if you have to rely on ‘third party’ sellers, so the price is now slightly inflated. eBay is the other option, of course.

Talking of Kate, it would be remiss of me not to mention that the SDE ‘Before The Dawn’ booklet was released yesterday. Thanks to everyone who bought this – all the pre-orders have shipped, and some of you in the UK should now have your copies. These are now available for immediate shipping from the SDE shop. Helen Green’s artwork looks amazing and I’ve signed them, for my sins (I’m happy not to sign, if you prefer!)


SDE helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


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Paul, thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Thanks to you, I will receive two nice things regarding Kate Bush: the great booklet courtesy The SDE Shop and the 12’’ vinyl Ne t’enfuis pas Exclusivité Fnac (I received a confirmation of shipment by email yesterday), again courtesy of Super Deluxe Edition.
I really feel lucky
Good job, Paul! You are a master in this matter…


Quante said:
” I assume the song is high in the French physical charts?”

You’re kidding, right ?


Zongadude, thanks for the chart link.

It’s good to see how out of touch I am – not that I’d normally go looking for the French, or any chart nowadays. We used to live for the chart run down in the 70’s and 80’s.

It’s a shame the French chart doesn’t have a physical only singles chart, like it does for albums, as Ne T’enfius Pas is a single. There’s no way this track would compete well against the downloaded singles included in the chart.

Sad to see Bat For Lashes sitting at 146 and Sheryl Crow at 136 on the French physical albums chart, but not even in the top 200 for the overall chart. Sting and Shaggy have done okay and are still in the chart at 128.


Hi Quante, are there mock-watercolor drawings in the Before The Dawn release?

As for those postcards in cd singles, again another wonderful UK-only offer: cards were only in UK cds and they would only ship that marketing material to the UK. In my view that does not equal the claim of some people that things werent that different. In no way.

Gareth Jones

In the pre-internet age, besides ads in the NME etc., in the 90s don’t forget all those little postcards you could receive in the post from a mysterious P.O. Box address in Leamington Spa, after you’d filled in your details on a card inside CD singles.

Bands would frequently send me blurbs about their forthc0ming releases, so there was no chance it could pass me by. And surprises? A Britpop-era band called Speedy sent out a cassette in ’97 of them chatting and previewing tracks from their forthcoming album to people who’d joined their Leamington Spa mailings! ….Unfortunately I think their record label folded, so it was a disastrous PR exercise. The album didn’t actually get released! ….Then someone finally put it out in 2014!!

Noel Fitzsimons

Gareth Jones – yes I remember those cards – still got them. Ahhhhhhh……happy days wondering what the post man/woman was going to pop through my letterbox next!


Reference Shane’s lack of enthusiasm for the booklet artwork and it’s validity to anything Kate has released:

Err….the artwork ties into Before The Dawn, which became an album release of the greatest show on earth.

To have original artwork which reflects themes / aspects of the concert is excellent. Congratulations to the artist Helen Green for her creativity, and to Paul for commission it and for producing another great booklet.

Well done to Fnac, who presumably have restocked Ne T’enfuis Pas, thus making it harder for secondary selling at inflated prices. I assume the song is high in the French physical charts?

Colin Harper

That was a most amusing phrase, Paul – ‘Kate’s PR team’! :-D You might as well have said ‘Kate’s pet gryphon’ or ‘Kate’s unicorn’ :-D


Paul, I very much want to purchase a copy of your signed Kate booklet but am concerned about it being damaged in the post to Australia. I know that you are unable to control alnything that happens after it leaves the SDE Shop, but just hoping that it will be carefully and safely packed as your records? Thanks Paul.


Cheers for the reassurance, Paul. Sold!

Peter Muscutt

Great Kate Bush book Paul, loved the write up and how it conveyed the excitement and enthusiasm – made me feel like I was there (I wasn’t, grrrr!) interesting to read there was an interval after each section, in some shows that would kill the atmosphere but with the three different ‘feels’ involved it was necessary. And more time for beers in between! BTW the book JUST ABOUT fits in the Before the Dawn LP boxset but I don’t recommend it, it’s a tight squeeze!

Jon Trask

I live in France, i walked into my local FNAC and hurrahhhhhh, saw a Kate Bush 12″ – i picked it up, bought it, popped it in a 12″ ‘bag’ – raced home, delicately slid it out of its sleeve and popped it on the turntable (without caring whether i got a mark around the hole in the middle !!) – bliss, just like i did all those years ago on a Monday when new release day was……:)) – sod social media !!


I do not think there were as many surprises pre-internet as you remember. Back then, in the UK, NME, Melody Maker, Sounds, Record Mirror, and the glossies for the teen market, were always full of information on releases, concerts, etc. I remember trying to get hold of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Trampled Under Foot’ extremely rare UK-release single back in 1975, after a heads-up in the press.


I agree, I really don’t think it was as difficult pre-internet as has been described. You’d have programmes like Top of the Pops, and Wogan was another good one as it always had a musical act. Duran Duran’s Liberty album has been mentioned here – I wasn’t even into them but I clearly remember Violence of Summer on Wogan and Simon Le Bon announcing afterwards that the album would be released on 20 August that year.

You had various ways and means back then. There were umpteen record shops. You could flick through Q, or one of the dozens of music magazines in WHSmith, and find out about albums.

We think of the internet now as the centre of everything. In reality we got on fine without it. Take it away now and we’d go to pieces – no TOTP, no Wogan or Saturday morning TV, no record shops. Finding out about stuff now without the internet would be impossible, but it wasn’t then as we had so much other media.

Tony O

some of the commentators on here could just delete this site from their favourites list and move on to a comparable site……oh hold on there isn’t one!
Keep up the good work Paul and keep feeding that invaluable information from amazon and your own excellent supply service.

Stephen dC

I agree, this just proves that ‘since the internet/social media’ some people take the smallest of things [not that this slight reminisce is small] and take it waaayy too seriously. But that is the price of Liberty and the freedom of speech.

Anyone who has been on this site for more than a week will know the good banter between contributors and the insight that Paul brings make it a class apart.


For this case’s argument, internet existing since 1993 does not apply. You need to look at when it started to be obiqutous and that did not happen unti 1999ish earliest, when people really started to all have internet at their daily disposal – some might forget we are not all rich and internet was a complete unnecessary tool for most people. It was a luxury.

The artwork of this booklet is truly awful. Of course thats just my opininion. Does it even tie in with ANYthing Kate has ever released? (Designer just working on Kate stuff doesnt really count :))

And I LOVE the whole let’s not promote aspect of this!


I walked into a record store in 1996 and — behold! — a new album from The Church, my favorite band, had appeared out of nowhere. I finally joined the world of Internet users a few months later, and I learned about the album’s troubled creation and distribution.

Looking back on those days, I would have preferred that The Church had the resources to properly promote the album (they had been dropped by Arista in the USA). The pleasant surprise of unexpectedly finding the new album was replaced by disappointment that the band had lost the ability to promote its music to a wide audience.

Thankfully, the Internet allowed hardcore fans like myself to help keep them in business, at a reduced scale. A good reminder, however, that many musicians do not have the luxury of selective (or non-existent) marketing and promotion, and could not afford to stay in the music business without fighting hard for attention in the Information Overload of our era.

Dr Volume

“The days when you walked into a record shop (remember those)” – Sigh. Such a lazy, withering comment – why are you talking about them like a thing of the past. In spite of your website vigorously promoting Amazon and running your own online operation there are still plenty of Record Shops in the UK at least, and more are opening all the time. Those of us who use them know you may well find a surprise if you visit one rather than sitting at home clicking buttons and ordering things from a warehouse. Please don’t talk Retailers down like that – they’re all about physical product you can hold in your hands too.

Neil Parnell

has the hmv on oxford street near bond st tube gone then was there a few months ago


Same story in America. Tower Records is gone, Virgin is gone, Warehouse is gone, mall record stores are gone, even Best Buy no longer carries CDs. About the only place I can consistently fine CDs & albums in store is Barnes & Noble…a book store and their prices are not known for being competitive (as in I can usually find it for 1/3 or half on Amazon). Places like Wal Mart & Target only carry The Hits, so unless you want the latest from Arianna Grande, you’re generally out of luck.

I used to love spending hours in Tower Records, going through the listening stations, looking for hidden gems and the aforementioned surprises from favorite bands, but outside of used record stores (which come and go in the blink of an eye at times) or places like Amoeba Records in LA, there more than not isn’t the chance to go to a physical store to buy our music anymore and Amazon is the best choice (even though I try to frequent Burning Shed as much as I can, even being across the seas).

It makes me sad, but is the world as it now stands.


I haven’t been in london for a while, but is that big virgin store near the ‘right end’ (tottenham court tube) of oxford street, gone as well?
And those second hand stores were they had a small piece of paper with lines on it and wrote the price on that (if you’ve been in those stores, you know what I mean), do they still excist?


I had no idea Duran Duran had an album called Liberty until I went to buy the Wedding Album at a shop…I remember examining the cover wth Sterling, Warren and those women on it thinking if it was a bootleg release or not. But that surprise was not necessarily incroyable. I do miss shopping and finding unknown items. At least I still on occasion find surprising rare items turn up used in shops.


BTW – 1993 isn’t “way before the internet had entered people’s lives”; it’s exactly when it was entering people’s lives.

Ben Williams

We didn’t have a computer or internet in our house until 1998.

Stan Butler

I’ll raise you, 2004.
I can remember faxing orders to companies such as KeyMailOrder, who placed adverts in magazines, in the late 90s .


1996-97 for me, and I lived in the heart of Silicon Valley.


Firstly that Martin and Shirley album cover. That was approved?

Kate is old school. Even back in the hey day it was always ‘heres the album, maybe a little chat and can I go now and get on with the next one.’ Yes it would be great to see her curling up on the sofa with Graham Norton churning out another Greatest Hits. But its not going to happen. If there is another album guaranteed there will be an interview where she will giggle and say ‘I don;t know why it takes me so long, I was so exhausted….’ but we will love her for it. A rarity in a world where modern stars tell us everything for the sake of promotion.

Stephen K

If you lived in the United States, “most” singles were unavailable on CD Single until the early 90’s. Even the Madonnas and Depeche Modes and Pet Shop Boys, who all rated higher on promotion and release strategy than most artists, didn’t get into regular CD Single releases until around 1989. Sporadic releases, some as radio promos and some as 3″ CD Singles, would appear for “some” singles from an album. The 3″ CD Singles were very difficult to come across in most cities.

So to what you said, I concur that it was a real thrill to encounter a release you weren’t expecting. In the late 90’s, I was still coming across U.K. CD Singles of 80’s releases that I had never known had a digital release. And of course, if you could find import singles (not easy in most cities, meaning cities without an international airport, and even harder in the years after their original release), you could often be surprised by those U.K. singles which had never been released in the U.S. in any format. I don’t think any American would have anticipated there being a single for Siouxsie & the Banshess “The Last Beat of My Heart”, but there it was, on CD Single, no less, seen by my eyes for the first time 10 years after its original release.

For many popular albums by British artists, the U.S. would get about 3/4th of those singles releases. But likewise, the U.S. would run with a single that the U.K. hadn’t. So for Arcadia, the U.S. received a single complete with remix and dub for “Goodbye is Forever” which the U.K. didn’t, and the U.S. received a remix single for “The Promise” that the U.S. didn’t. And there was no-one at your regular record store going around gossiping “Did you know there’s a single release of The Promise? Of course, we’re in the U.S., so we’re not getting it.”, so apart from running across a copy in a specialty store or at a record convention, how would you ever know? And those identical looking releases that did get released in the U.S. and U.K.? Surprise, despite identical art and b-sides, the “Extended Remix” on one is different than the “Extended Version” on the other. Which, we know to expect… except when we find out that despite different titles, the mixes are actually the same. And then there are the times when two different get remixes get released under the same title… two “extended remixes”, but they aren’t the same. And then unlisted shorter or longer run times of a particular mix between countries. And of course, the Japanese CD releases, which you would have had little to no chance of ever hearing of in the 80’s, and yet they would tack on extra tracks and sometimes an extra CD (Pet Shop Boys’ Behaviour).

You could get some information (very scant) from record magazines… and if the magazine wasn’t Record Collector, that information wasn’t found in articles, it was found in the ads section through listing by New York stores that specialized in imports.

When Napster came along in the late 90’s, it wasn’t so much that it stole the joy of looking through record stores (though offering pirated content for free did record stores – and artists and labels – no favors). It was that by the late 90’s, all of the stores that had cool 80’s imports in the 1980’s no longer carried that material because it was out of print. And finding that material used quickly dried up through the greater number of fans scraping the bottom that was still left circulating. As for finding 90’s material… my personal opinion was that it was mostly lackluster compared to 80’s music, but the other thing was you could find one U.S. CD Single that would duplicate the content of 2 U.K. CD Singles and maybe some U.K. exclusive 12″ mixes, too… all for less than the price of one import single. So if you did find some 90’s U.K. imports, you’d be looking at paying an inflated price for maybe 1 or 2 extra subpar remixes that didn’t make it to the U.S. single.

In the end (the 2000’s), the U.S. decided it didn’t have shelf space for new singles, though apart from a handful of 80’s legacy acts, there wasn’t much of interest to go after, anyway.

But for a solid decade when I first started buying music in the mid-80’s, record store shopping was magical.

David M

Wonder if it will also appear in Canada like her earlier songs in French.


Paul, I love this kind of reading that reminds me the time when I was going at record stores to see the novelties. As you wrote, there was always a lot of surprises. And the big surprise for me that I will always remember was when I went to Woolworth, in early October 1969 (I was 14), to look at new stuff and took in my hands an LP with no title, showing four guys with long hair crossing a street. « What’s that? » I said to myself. Imagine the shock I had when I read on the back of the sleeve: The Beatles Abbey Road. I was a young fan of the Fab Four but I had not renewed my registration for the fan club. So the last news I had from my favorite band was about songs for an album called Get Back. This is what I thought I would see one day in stores but surely not this kind of cover without title. How I was going to revel!

Also, thank you for this reminder about Kate Bush. Without much hope, I returned to the site FNAC and, to my great surprise, I was able to buy directly from their site the special 12-inch version of Kate’s single ‘Ne T’Enfuis Pas’ for a reasonable price. That is the way it works today : get SDE alerts (among others) and cross my fingers!

For me, Paul Sinclair remains the best nowadays!


So did you find out why the 12” was so short and if it’s the shortest 12” ever made?


Re: “It almost beggars belief but there were times when sometimes you didn’t know someone had a new album out.”

I have been surprised, and very pleased to see (whilst browsing the mighty amazon store) new releases and impending new album releases from slipknot, Sleeping with sirens, Lana del Rey & Blink 182 that I otherwise would have had no idea about at all!

All day 1 purchases for me!

Julian Hancock

An interesting article, but I have to disagree with the suggestion that surprise product was more likely in the past than the modern day. In days gone by, you didn’t get the scenario where an album by an artist f the significance of, say, Beyonce would produce an album as if from nowhere.


It is not the same. Someone could literally have an album out for a week or more and it would be surprise, or even worse, you could not get it for months because it was “import only”. There was no discogs, if you got into an artist, there could be numerous releases you never knew existed, and there was no real way to know what was released and the many international versions of remixes b-sides etc, even how many albums were released. Mentioning Beyonce is laughable because the moment something like that is available it is on every social media network. I think Paul is referring to the more organic process of discovery that is not there due to being bombarded by apps etc. No instant information or handy research. Granted, releases were announced in some form on NME or Melody Maker so it was not some big shot in the dark, but you had to already be on the lookout, blink and you miss it.

Julian Hancock

I don’t recall any record in the 70s being released that I wasn’t aware of some time in advance of its release via hype in the music press. If you weren’t aware of it then frankly you weren’t trying very hard unless we are talking about the nteenth remix of some 12 inch single. After all, record labels employed a a considerable number of PR people for that express purpose. Others were takes with the job of convincing sceptical record shop owners to take product they might not be able to shift. This required vast amounts to be spent on promotion, as reflect a in the huge debt built up by many artists. The lack of availability was largely a reflection of the shops willingness or otherwise to take a punt on stuff they would be lumbered with. Or, more contentiously, stuff they didn’t want at all but were ‘forced to take in order to get enough copies of the things they did want.

martin farnworth

A related topic is how even if an artist had an album out you could read about it in the music press but have to “risk” buying it without the chance hearing any of it. Often this involved spending 3 or 4 quid on a cd single before taking the plunge and paying for the album. Seems ridiculous now the number of times I must have done this. What I do miss though a bit is the unattainability/ mystery of artists through the fact you didn’t hear so much from them.

Mark Joseph Jochim

She doesn’t need formal promotion from her “marketing team”. She has you…


In 1980, way before Duran Duran (and even before the Police), the Plastics also sang about Too Much Information…

Jarmo Keranen

In 1965, way before all of those The Rolling Stones sang about useless information on Satisfaction!


Paul – did you see the 4 Madonna clear vinyl reissues that were announced yesterday? Thought they might be of interest to some of your readers


That must be about the sixth coloured vinyl reincarnation of ‘Like A Virgin’! Orange, Clear twice already, Black, White…and there’s also the picture discs. Yet so little new/interesting material from the archive; it’s a shame she and the label seem so unwilling to delve in to the vaults. Better she does it now with some control than waiting until she dies or they lose the masters in a fire (no, that’ll never happen!); quite sure Mr Nelson wouldn’t have authorised half the stuff the estate are churning out…


3 CD x 25 € en Amazon Germany. There are interesting albums, news and deluxe editions


The Cure DeLuxe Editions (2cd) 3x€25 at Amazon.de

Bob McCartney

Agree with Tom Walsh. Your hard work is very much appreciated. You are a destination site.


It’s no different to how she’s always been though. It’s coming up to the 30th anniversary of The Sensual World (any plans for an article on that? First KB “patchy” album though so perhaps not much to celebrate). That was the first KB album I was waiting for and the lack of promotion astounded me. I didn’t listen to radio then, so the first I heard of the single was on the ITV Chart Show two days before release. Other than that it was an interview on Rapido, a radio interview with Roger Scott and lots of music press interviews. There wasn’t enough TV presence. But she was in the era where they could make a decent living from album sales. She knew hers would sell so didn’t really need to promote. From that time onwards, I’ve never really expected much from her.

Simon Thornhill

Ordered another copy for a pal in Germany . For 12 euro plus postage from FNAC today.
I love that Kate shows very little interest in hyping her releases .
As for going to physical record Shoppes . I never stopped! In fact I probably spend more time and money in Piccadilly Records in Manchester now than in any other point in my 28 years of living in Manchester lol

Rodolfo Martin

Sorry if this is not the right place to ask this but this interesting article about Kate Bush brought Don’t Give Up to my memories. Peter Gabriel just announced the release of three sets of b-sides and rarities only in digital format. Isn’t this release something that deserves to me mentioned in SDE? I wish there was a physical edition of all these tracks. Regards

Michael McA

….. and Sparks have just announced 2 new sets …….


Bet you don’t rip into Peter Gabriel half as much as you tore into Phil Collins about his digital-only release a short while ago. It would seem you just pick on easy targets TBH


Saw your weekly email re Peter Gabriel Flotsam and Jetsam digital release. Would definitely buy a CD box set of that. Sad that one isn’t planned. Was also frustrated when So reissue didn’t include the non-album tracks/remixes etc.

Anders Hannus

It is available as FLAC on the Tidal store so lossless files can be bought. Was slightly surprised how many the tracks I already have (some on vinyl though).


For anyone interested, I received an email from Gered Mankowitz, this morning, informing me that his ‘Kate Bush – Symphony Of You’ book has been delayed. It definitely won’t be published this year but he’s hoping that it might be out this time next year! That is undoubtedly disappointing news.


Ignore my last, I worked it out. For United Kingdon, select Royaume Uni and you’re away. Thanks Paul, I just picked a copy up from the Fnac site for €12.99 plus very reasonable postage


Hi, I can’t see UK; England or Great Britain on the FNAC delivery page. Do they deliver to the UK?


Is there a (complete) idiot’s guide on how to order? At one point, it gave me the option of viewing the site in English, but when I did that I couldn’t get back to this item. It’s now back in French and can’t see any option.


You can use something like Google Chrome to translate pages to English … and select Royaume Uni as the country when you enter your address.

Tom Walsh

Basically, SDE serves the function of walking into the record shop. I visit it daily in the hope that I find out about a release that I would want to buy.

Tony O

interesting article and loved my Kate book which arrived yesterday, thanks