Saturday Deluxe / 5 December 2015

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SDE back in Blighty

This time last week I was holed up in The Washington Square Hotel in ‘The Village’ in New York City, writing day three of my NYC diary. What a fantastic trip, made all the better thanks to your feedback and comments – sharing great info about record shops and places to eat. I even had the pleasure of SDE reader Greg’s company on the Thursday evening (we went for Pizza), which was extraordinary given that it was Thanksgiving and he had family at home!

I’d also like to say ‘hi’ and thanks to all the record store owners who gave me a friendly welcome, let me poke around their establishments with my camera and spared the time for a chat; in particular Gloria at Disc-O-Rama, John at Record Runner, Mike at Co-op 87, and Brian at Record Grouch.

Anyway, I’m just about over my jet lag and already thinking about a similar trip in Europe at some point during the first part of next year (suggestions welcome).

You can read the SDE New York adventure here.


Ticketweb profiteering

I had a bit of a rant about this yesterday on twitter. I ordered a couple of tickets to Nik Kershaw‘s Men United in aid of Prostate Cancer UK gig yesterday morning. Ticketweb in the UK seem to be the only online ticket agency selling and I went through the normal process, but when it came to ‘select a delivery method’ screen, I was about to select ‘e-ticket (print at home)’, naturally assuming it would be free, when I was shocked to note that this company has the gall to charge £2.50 for fans using THEIR ink and THEIR paper and THEIR printer at home. This beggars belief! Talk about treating your customers with disdain…

It’s bad enough anyway, but to think that this is a charity gig and Ticketweb are happily creaming cash off of punters with nonsensical charges. It’s outrageous. They are already levying a ‘booking fee’ so this £2.50 charge is pure and utter greed.

I tried to elicit a response from the organisation yesterday, but they have ignored all communications. I know they are all as bad as each other, to a degree, but please I’d encourage you to avoid using Ticketweb if at all possible as a protest to this disgusting, contemptible fee.

Tweet to Ticketweb UK and let them know what you think of this charge.

Bob Dylan 1965-1966 / The Cutting Edge: The Bootleg Series Vol 12 Collector's Edition 18CD

Surprise for Dylan fans who splashed out on the Collector’s Edition Cutting Edge

It’s rare these days for a major record label to ‘surprise’ fans with something truly unexpected, but that is exactly what Sony have done in the last 48 hours to those fans who swallowed hard and bought the $600, 18CD ‘Collector’s Edition’ of Bob Dylan‘s recent Cutting Edge Bootleg Series Vol 12 set (I’m still ‘thinking’ about a buying…).

They have emailed all purchasers an unexpected free download of 208 tracks (that’s ten hours) of unreleased live Bob Dylan performances from his 1965 tours! Very cool, and I’m sure a proper festive treat for fans. Hats off to Sony/Columbia for this gesture. I get that these sets are ludicrously expensive, but the money was already in the bank and this wasn’t something they needed to do.

Wording of the email in full:

Dear Collector,

We hope you are enjoying The Cutting Edge 1965-1966: The Bootleg Series Volume 12: Collector’s Edition. Thanks again for your purchase!

The holidays are coming early for you via a special gift from Columbia Records: 208 tracks encompassing more than ten hours of previously unreleased live Bob Dylan performances from his landmark 1965 tours, including 14 complete concerts – both acoustic and electric – and an array of recordings from television shows, hotel rooms, and other live appearances.

These live performances are being offered as a free download (in 320 Kbps MP3 format) exclusively to purchasers of the Collector’s Edition.”

Read more about Bob Dylan’s The Cutting Edge.

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.

Jethro Tull / Too Old to Rock N Roll: Too Young to Die! / 4-disc boxBit of a boring week chart-wise, if I’m honest. Adele and Elvis continue their lockout of the number one and number two positions in the UK physical (and combined) album charts and it’s more about what hasn’t charted.

ishouldcocoNo sign of Parlophone’s excellent reissue of Jethro Tull‘s Too Old To Rock ‘n’ Roll: Too Young to Die! four-disc reissue and even more surprisingly the three-disc version of SupergrassI Should Coco didn’t even sell enough copies to breach the top 100 in physical sales. I’m sure it didn’t help that, for reasons unrevealed, the three-CD deluxe turned up two and a half months AFTER the vinyl reissue. A pity, because the track listing is superb, even if the accompanying booklet is frankly, crap, with no essays, insight, annotations, track guides or ANYTHING to evoke the era.

Queen / Bohemian Rhapsody 40th anniversary 12-inch singleIf we reflect on the UK VINYL single charts this week we can see the impact of Black Friday releases with Queen‘s Bohemian Rhapsody  12-inch straight in at number one. Sony’s picture disc of George Michael‘s Freedom! ’90 at number two and Macca‘s Say Say Say 12-inch close behind at number three.

All this activity forces David Bowie‘s Golden Years picture disc down to number five, although he still has five seven-inch singles in the top 30!

SuperDeluxeEdition.com 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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Wow, if you’ve only just noticed the print at home fee you can’t go to many gigs! It’s been that way for years! It has always annoyed me, to the point where I will often opt for posting the ticket out to me as on some sites they charge the exact same fee as the e-ticket/print at home option (or a difference of something like 10p). As a means of silent protest, I like to think I’m doing my utmost to get my money’s worth out of these greedy ticket companies. And as someone who saves the tickets for shows I attend, I’d rather have the small cardboard one in any case than the shoddy piece of printed paper I will end up with after it has accompanied me in “the pit”. ;)


It used to be that one could bypass the “handling fees” and the like by going directly to a venue’s box office. Somewhere in the last five years, that’s started to go away, with venues sending you directly to the Ticketmaster phone number or website to book seats.

When the artists I tend towards charge $25-$35 a ticket, an $8 service fee is enough for me to opt out. At the end of the day, that just means I tend to opt out of live music save for really special shows. A shame, but this is a legitimate case of monopoly ruining the industry.

As for the Dylan downloads, bootleg or no, someone had to compile and set up that download and ten hours of audio is nothing to sneeze at. Hell, King Crimson would have sold you a box set (which I would have gladly bought) whether or not it was a set of audience recordings! ;-)

Sorry to hear the Tull isn’t doing brisk business. I was never that sold on the album, but the new mix/master gives it a bit more shine than it previously possessed.

Presley Spigot

Try Tokyo for a tiki tour of record shops & 2nd hand vinyl. It’s fantastic. Makes NYC look like kids stuff. And if you’re an 80s freak, pure heaven. Let me know when you go & I’ll meet you there, show you round. You’ll need my help, trust me. & You’ll love the place.

James Giraffe

I totally agree about ticket sellers. However, I’ve been very impressed with Wegottickets. They didn’t even offer the option of having a ticket posted. They just emailed a ticket reference number that I had to tell them at the venue. They actually begged me to write down the reference number, instead of printing the email. They told me that it’s 40% better for the environment to NOT print the email and just write the number down on a scrap of paper. How amazingly “green” is that? Well done them, I say.


James, I think it’s safe to say the Tull box may not be selling as well since it’s not one of their more highly regarded albums. Many fans, myself included, consider it to be their worst album of the 1970s. I will buy the new deluxe box eventually but haven’t gotten around to it yet.


Any idea why the Tull Too Old to R&R is not selling. I got mine from FYE on black sale day for $27. This is a great set, mix & value. U would think it would be scooped up quick. Is it because it is not major title?


I did ask about the fees for print your own tickets once and was told it was for the doormen etc who get paid from this portion. Not bad, £2.50 for a quick pat-down & checking your pockets! Although no doubt some faceless boss gets the majority.

Even worse than the extra ticket charges is the fact that if a concert is cancelled, you only get the face value (plus any p&p) back, not the fee!

A few years ago I bought 6 Eminem tickets with See for a stadium gig (I think at the MK Bowl) and when he dropped out (drugs or something?) See refunded the amount, less the fees which totalled over £25. When I queried I was referred to the T&Cs. I complained about a rip-off and they told me that someone had to pay for the computers etc! I’ve never bought from See again, yes I know they’re all part of the same company but it’s a matter of principle.

A year or so ago, a gig by Banco De Gaia (check ’em out!) was cancelled & so angry was the artist, Toby Marks, about the non-refund of fees that he complained on behalf of his fans – to no avail. By way of apology he gave free downloads of a selection of his digital ep. Top bloke.

Anyway, it is a rip-off and the ticket companies are raking it in, everyone knows it but no-one with any power wants to do anything about it. Given they now control online touting as well (and isn’t it strange how tickets appear on their websites before gigs even go on sale….) it’ll only take regulation chance to do anything, which I can’t see happening.

Roel Glas

Hi Paul. Same in Oz regarding Ticketing Agencies:
Ticketek – Service Fee $6.30 + 1.95% credit/debit card charge. Print at home $6.30, Venue pickup or mail $8.95.
Ticketmaster – Service Fee $7.95 + 1.95% credit/debit charge. Print at home is Free!!! Venue pick up or mail $6.50
I thought the service/booking fee included the credit/debit card surcharge but not any more.


Same here re: tickets. The utter gall to charge you to print your own tickets. Here’s a possible solution. Since millions can be reached via social media, a boycott for 1 week of ticket purchases would set them straight. Actions of this nature have worked before. I’m sure some social media savvy, disgruntled ticket buyer can get this off the ground.


The sound quality of the Dylan surprise download is mostly crappy…I thank them for the present but I feel like at Sony they are legalizing old audience recordings!


Re Dylan downloads. As a matter of interest, 50 years was the standard UK copyright law, which meant, say, stuff released to the end of 1965 would be public domain from Jan 1 2016. This has been increased to 70 years (the power of the Beatles etc) Does 50 years still apply to unreleased recordings, which would explain, as Bruce said, Sony’s , er, generosity?


Dont even start on the secondary ticket market, legalised touting


Oh, and Live Nation and Ticketmaster being one and the same now. Both having different websites, yes that can’t be confusing anybody…. OMD had the choice of putting a direct link on their website from either. I wonder if there is an advantage to pushing people to one or the other sites. Hmmm…

John Hornung

I found the new Supergrass reissue in Boston at Newbury Comics. It was a good deal for $22. I agree great content, but the book is terrible. No real insight or annotated notes. Adding the lyrics might have been nice too.


I bought tickets yesterday to two shows at the Royal Albert Hall for next year: OMD and David Gilmour (latter is a right result as I only saw it listed when in queue for OMD – I missed this years RAH shows and was going to fly to Toronto to see him…). Anyway, the point I want to highlight is that despite both shows being in the same venue the agents were different, with DG having the Albert Hall direct and OMD going with Ticketmaster. The latter has an unquantified handling fee included in £43.10 ticket cost + £3.45 P&P, where as DG’s ticket is £85.00 + £4.20 handling but no P&P charge. How the hell can anyone make sense of the ticketing industry with different structures of charges, even when one agent’s website redirects you to a venue’s own website (as OMD ticket purchase redirected to RAH’s), before bringing you back to the agent site where upom they whack on charges that the same venue does not add on for another artist’s tickets it is selling direct! Competition is good, but it gets even more confusing when you have multiple vendors for same gig. Currently the concert ticket industry is a total shambolic mess in dire need of cleaning up. I suspect the vested interests that make millions from all the confusion will fight to the death to keep the status quo now as the live music business is their single biggest earner.


Ticketweb disgusting but on side similar issue, the much vaunted mutual John Lewis charge you £2 to click and collect, so they charge you for you having to physically collect purchases! Way of the world in 2015 to fleece the public…. Still annoys me that the web is the more expensive way to buy gig tickets, doesnt make sense.


Has to be Paris next year. Or Berlin maybe. Really enjoyed the NYC blogs!

Warren Mason

Is AB-CD still alive and well in Paris, Rob? That is one city that knows its music!


It was a nice gesture by Sony to provide the mp3 concert material to purchasers of the deluxe box, but it was done primarily to establish their claim to the copyrights for those recordings before the 50-year window expires at the end of the year. Still nice that they chose to distribute the material this way, but let’s not pretend it was only done for the fans!

Paul Rymer

Raise the ticketing issue with Prostate Cancer UK, they may not be aware, and if nothing else may be able to get a cut of that charge. No doubt that is what the charity’s supporters would expect.

Charles K.

All ticket brokers are terrible, it’s gotten to the point that I go to very few shows anymore because of what you have to do to get tickets and the lame fees. The fees in this case is especially lame but completely unsurprising.


that is disgusting. pay to print your own tickets?!!
funny thing is I just (20 mins ago) used Ticketweb to get a ticket for Theatre of hate tonight, pretty sure that option was there (I was able to chose pick up at venue) will now deffo not use TW in future if I have a choice.

Ben in Colorado

Paul, I Agree about the Dylan bonus. In this day and age, it blows my mind that a company would go the extra mile. Faith restored? Partially…..

Alan Rosoff

I agree. What a surprise to find the email
a totally unexpected bonus