SDE’s Disappointments of 2019

SDE has explored the best reissues and favourite albums of 2019 but hey, what about the not-quite-so-good things that happened (or good things that didn’t happen) in 2019? The stuff that makes us, the fans, bang our head against the wall… like artists who think their 50+ demographic love streaming and have no interest in hearing ‘the old stuff’ remastered with bonus tracks on CD and vinyl. Broken promises, weird decisions, baffling omissions… here’s SDE’s ‘best’ disappointments of 2019:

Tears For Fears’ The Seeds of Love wasn’t reissued. Don’t ask.

Paul McCartney didn’t put out an archive release. In particular we want him to ‘finish’ the 1970s and ‘do’ London Town and Back to the Egg.

Macca did put out that ‘suitcase’ Traveller’s Edition of Egypt Station however absurd it may seem.

Duran Duran continue to be completely disinterested in their own back catalogue, save for playing the hits at concerts and allowing Warners to put out ‘As The Lights Go Down’ for Record Store Day. Liberty is 30 this year, by the way. With a new album touted for 2020, getting the band engaged with their post-80s past will be as easy as a nuclear war.

The folks responsible for reissuing Now That’s What I Call Music on CD keep putting them out with numerous errors (wrong versions of tracks) and don’t seem to care. Stop getting NOW wrong!

HMV nearly went under. Thankfully, it was ‘saved’ by Canadian businessman Doug Putman but it remains to be seen whether he can keep the retail chain viable in the longterm. There still isn’t one in London, unless you want to trek to Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush.

Lindsey Buckingham had a brush with death after undergoing  ’emergency open heart surgery’. Mick Jagger had heart surgery as well in 2019, although the wiry Rolling Stones frontman ‘won’ the recovery process and was seen jumping around in a dance studio only six weeks later!

Sting issued the largely pointless ‘My Songs‘ album (twice!). None of the Police long-players or his solo records have been expanded or reissued, even though Stewart Copeland said (in 2018) that unreleased Police material would be coming down ‘the pipeline’. Must be a long pipe.

Phil Collins put the icing on what SDE described as the ‘shitcake’ of his ‘Take A Look at Me Now’ reissue campaign by ‘releasing’ remix and B-sides compilations as ‘digital-only’. I like Phil Collins, but that Gorilla in the Cadbury’s ‘Dairy Milk’ advert would be better at curating his back catalogue.

Kate Bush had the opportunity to put some interesting rarities on her box set-promoting ‘Cloudbusting’ and ‘Ne T’Enfuis Pas’ 12-inch singles…. but didn’t. Not only that, she ‘forgot’ to even tell anyone about the latter, with fans finding it ‘by accident’ in FNAC in France and later HMV in the UK.

Universal Music stood accused of underplaying the extent of the 2008 archive fire, with Sheryl Crow claiming that “all her masters” were destroyed. This shocking revelation did at least result in SDE getting on the BBC News at One to ‘explain’ why a record company burning your master tape was a big deal (every cloud, etc.)

Prefab Sprout's reissue campaign confirmed by vinyl reissue listings

Over 23m CDs were bought in the UK in 2019 compared to just over 4m vinyl records. That didn’t stop Sony only issuing the Prefab Sprout remasters on vinyl and not CD. This makes no sense and an explanation to the large CD buying community was not forthcoming (why not?).

Mystify: A Musical Journey with Michael Hutchence fails to include any music from the excellent Max Q album. In a revealing interview with SDE manager Chris Murphy explains that “the rights are in transit” (to be clear, not a Ford Transit) and his hands were effectively tied. This ‘journey’ that the rights are on didn’t stop the music being used in the documentary.

Andrew Ridgeley‘s memoir Wham! George Michael & Me is enjoyable but rather lightweight and offers little in the way of true insight into his relationship with George Michael. Andrew signed so many copies of the book in-store during the year, that for tax reasons his legal residence had to be changed to ‘Waterstones’.

There were no George Michael or Wham! reissues (although Blank & Jones managed to include a new-to-CD rarity on so80s 12). I’m not counting the ‘Last Christmas’ white vinyl seven inch which was dull and didn’t help get the song to number one in the singles chart, anyway.

On the subject of George Michael, Yog‘s fairly good ‘new’ song ‘This Is How (We Want You to Get High)’ wasn’t released as a physical single, but bolted on the end of the soundtrack to the dire ‘Last Christmas’ movie. The song isn’t quite as good as it should be because George mashed up most of his vocals.

Black Box Recorder say “told you so” by including a CD in their Life Is Unfair VINYL box set that isn’t in the CD version.

Pink Floyd needlessly include DVDs and Blu-ray, repeating the same content, in their The Later Years box set. Rumours of VHS tapes in a possible ‘Middle Years’ have proved unfounded.

Back in 2018 UMC announced that a Blondie box set would be issued in “the fall of 2019”. The Complete Studio Recordings 1975-1982 would be available on vinyl and CD and would feature remastered versions of the first six albums along with two bonus discs of B-sides, rarities and “previously unreleased curiosities from deep in the Blondie vault.” NONE OF THIS HAPPENED and neither the band nor the label offered any explanation as to why. Rude.

There were no Madonna reissues. The endless ‘coloured vinyl’ editions of Madge’s albums are getting quite tedious. Life is a mystery.

Depeche Mode announced MODE, a career-spanning box set that fans on SDE embraced with the words “pathetic”, “far too expensive”, “underwhelming” and “useless”. This set is currently delayed until 24 Jan because upon reviewing the first boxes coming off the production line the band “identified a handful of places where the box is not up to our standards based on the prototypes that were approved.” (i.e. they looked crap).

I get that it’s a great pop song, but a-ha have become overly fixated on ‘Take On Me’. Deluxe reissues of Minor Earth Major Sky and Lifelines came and went with little fanfare. The band played nothing from either album on their ‘Hunting High and Low’ tour (which continues into next year). And what’s happened to the vinyl versions of Stay On These Roads, East of the Sun West of the Moon and Memorial Beach?

Roxy Music‘s Andy McKay is forced to cancel a ‘Roxymphony’ tour with Phil Manzanera due to health issues (specifically problems with his hands that restrict movement and hinder sax playing). Luckily, you can buy a signed CD+DVD of the only concert that was performed on the SDE shop.

ABBA announced in April 2018 that they had recorded two new songs. These were originally supposed to emerge later that year, only for it to be delayed to 2019. Nothing has happened, yet. Rumours persist that the work has expanded to a possible album, but it’s all quiet at the moment and we don’t know what the ‘status’ of that virtual reality tour is, either. An unnamed source has put the delays down to persistent teething troubles with the tech, which have resulted in Roy Orbison appearing on stage, alongside Agnetha, Benny and Frida, with Bjorn nowhere to be seen!

All of the above pales into insignificance when you consider that we said goodbye to many great talents including Scott Walker, Keith Flint, Ric Ocasek, Mark Hollis, Marie Fredriksson and Neil Innes. RIP.

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Stephen Muzyka

Great feature, and so many good points raised. For me, and indeed many others, the continuing non-appearance of the Small Faces ‘The Autumn Stone’ has reached maddening proportions. We’ve been promised an expanded set since 2014 and still it hasn’t appeared.

As others have pointed out, it’s now been delayed for longer than the actual band were together! It’s especially disappointing as 2019 would have been the 50th anniversary.

On a more positive note at least we got the Ronnie Lane set last year, which was truly wonderful, and the deluxe box of New Orders’ ‘Movement’ was great -my favourite NO album incidentally – (although they should have included the all the 12″ too). Plus points too for the Kinks ‘Arthur’ and the ‘Space Oddity’ box.


A comprehensive Bonzo Dog Band retrospective box was tentatively on the cards from Madfish/Snapper Records for the latter end of 2019, but it all went quiet around August, unfortunately (think along the lines of their superb Pretty Things box from a few years ago).

Neil innes was involved with the Bonzo box’s production. With his sad and sudden passing over Christmas, hopefully the box will not now be forgotten entirely and will be off the back burner soon – if anyone deserves a fulsome tribute for his services to music (and comedy), it’s Neil.

Mr Smyth

Not a reissue but no where else to park this comment: I would love to see a new Rolling Stones album, the one they’ve been working on on & off for at least 2 years, with an Arena tour where they play at least half of it. NOT another tour where 90% of the setlist is completely predictable. Mick Jagger CEO obviously more interested in $$$$$$ than one more ( Surely there couldn’t be more than one more in reality ) brand new album, so they go out on a creative high rather than “No Filter” volume 4!

bruce kelso

the stones have out worn their welcome. the only thing to do is open the archives of studio and live material from the early 70s. like a 3 cd goats head soup box to start.


Btw, thanks for existing SDE. Valuable resource and cheeky too. Im hoping Roxy Music continues deluxe sets of their catalog, which I won’t hold my breath for, but hope springs eternal. Live sets don’t count.


Paul, you should mention the zero interest Mark Knopfler has in reissuing Dire Straits back catalogue. Is there any band with such impact and record sales with zero deluxe or expanded releases out there?


The maddening thing about the Tears For Fears situation is that Roland, Curt, their management, people at Universal, perhaps even Steven Wilson, lots of people directly involved with this project know EXACTLY why this hasn’t been issued, and yet no one will say. It’s not like, “Whoops, we did the 5.1 mix and then forgot to release it after the first two.” I believe this was their biggest-selling album worldwide, so why won’t anyone involved simply state what the reason is for the delay in releasing it (and that’s assuming/HOPING it will be released eventually)? Baffling and infuriating.


This still leaves open the big question: why are their management sitting on this, and do Roland and Curt have any say or opinion regarding the stalemate? The fact may absolutely be that — as you state — their management may be the culprits behind the delay, but the REASON for their so far not having “approved” it is still left unanswered and , at least to this fan, remains a “big secret.” Those close to this project know what the issue is, but no one’s saying anything. Legalities, can’t find certain rarities or BBC sessions, ANY excuse — although preferably a real one — would be better than year after year of total silence.

And I still find it difficult to believe that Curt, Roland, someone above the band’s management at Universal etc. couldn’t simply call them up and ask, “What specifically is the hold-up on releasing this, how do we resolve this and how soon?”.


Thanks for mentioning Lindsey Buckingham. I protested my fave band Fleetwood Mac this past spring for firing Lindsey and instead bought a ticket to his solo tour. Like many fans it’s not unreasonable for us to ask Stevie and Christine to make up with Lindsey, forgive and record one great last album together.


Not one to flog a dead horse BUT; it would be nice if The Beatles Singles Collection would get that CD box in 2020, instead of just moving on.Why won’t “they” listen? The Depeche Mode CD Box will surely be something but to not provide a matching box of black vinyl and black sleeve art is wack.I was this close to having a 2001 monolith black box capable of emitting eighteen albums of sounds of their universe while I dance around apelike tossing my Depeche Mode guitar pics into the air! Oh well. Happy New Year Paul and SDE readers.


My personal lowlight 2019 has been ordering the Josef K box, never receiving it, and not getting ANY reaction on any of my inquiries via mail, fb, ig, or here. None of my comments have ever seen the light of day here, probably this one won’t also. Absolute bummer. Good site though, but 55£ down the drain for me.


Oops, there it IS, but still no reaction…


Count me in as highly disappointed about the no-show of the Blondie box.

Also the new (and older) TOOL not released on vinyl.

And lastly for me, the 1999 sets leaving the Prince promo videos of the era out.


Well at least we have 2 of the bigger albums from the late 80’s getting deluxe treatments later this year to look forward to.
As long as the powers that be don’t put a hold on them.


The Kate Bush boxes and reissues were a big disappointment. We got neither the expanded deluxe treatment nor reissues faithful to the originals, but somewhere in-between. Sonic improvement is next to negligible and there are several new flaws introduced. When only a couple of the B-sides are missing (I counted 4), why not include them all? Only one track is new (Humming). No video content. The choice of the extended versions wasn’t updated from the 1990 box (The Red Shoes era is missing).

Why make a gatefold sleeve for Hounds of Love LP but not The Dreaming or The Kick Inside? Why the fish pics design for the boxes? Why are the vinyl boxes titled “Remastered In Vinyl I / II / III / IV” but the CD counterparts “Remastered Part I / II” – and not “Remastered on CD I & II / III & IV”? The inconsistent naming of the boxes also means that “Remastered Part II” on CD contains different albums than the download version with the same name.

All in all the boxes were a half-baked affair and that’s just sad.

Bernard O’Hara

I would love to see a full release of the Knebworth 90 show, which is 30 years old this year (audio and visual) – but I don’t imagine it will happen (though great to see the Floyd set released in the Later Years box, despite the imperfections in that set…)

Jim Meil

Hello to All,
As this is my first post I hope it is appropriate. How about the fact that Cher’s Warner Brother albums from the 70’s have not been reissued? Oops my bad, they haven’t come out on CD AT ALL….! For the uninterested we are talking about Cherished, Stars, I’d Rather Believe in You, and Allman and Woman (with Greg Allman). I realize that there is some discussion of where Cher might fit into musical pop history….. However she has been “rather successful” during her career as a singer (a #1 song in each of six decades for starters….). Currently her “Here We Go Again” Tour is playing to sold out arenas all over the world. I know, another “Farewell Tour” lol…..While certain folks might not appreciate or like some of her music I think a little respect is due. Any signer or entertainer that can stay in the business that long has earned my respect. So perhaps some serious thought should be given to getting those Warner Brothers albums on Cd. Heck even Sonny’s Inner Views LP was released on CD and that one is no masterpiece…….

Jarmo Keranen

Cher has the ownership of Allman and Woman mastertapes. Warner Brothers can’t reissue it if Cher doesn’t approve it. Don’t know about the other albums. In 1979 Rolling Stone Record Guide call the album worthless. The album’s cover is one of the worst ever. I dig the Allman Brothers Band, Gregg’s solo records and some of Cher’s too, but i think this is their all time low!


I’ve been saying this for YEARS. The fact that she has been back on Warners since the mid 90’s only adds to the irony.

Add me to the list of those disappointed by no London Town + Back To The Egg SDE’s or Duran Duran back catalog – and also add me to the list of those thrilled with 1999, Abbey Road, and Conversation Piece (though the price tags on the latter two were a thumbs-down.).

I know the Cher issue has nothing to do with 2019 specifically, and neither does this, but I’ll mention it anyway: I was very disappointed when the early 2000’s Elton John hybrid SACD and 2CD Deluxe Editions were cut short before all of the classic 70’s albums got released as such. Thought I had read somewhere that Greg Penny actually did surround mixes and DSD transfers of Don’t Shoot Me, Caribou and others that were never released. Would also love to see 2CD Deluxe Editions of those two albums…as well as Madman Across The Water & Honky Chateau. Hell – at least give us the full 17/11/70+ as a 2CD Deluxe Edition!

José Luis Arabito

The dvd and blue ray thing from Pink Floyd is the same as with The Early Years…


I agree with everything you wrote above Paul – and ‘easy as a nuclear war’ and ‘life is a mystery’ fairly tickled me! Loving your work in 2020!


1. The Woodstock multi disc behemoth would have been perfect were it not for the absence of the complete set performed by Jimi Hendrix. Experience Hendrix refused permission so we were stuck with the trimmed and chopped version authorised by the family, omitting the two songs sung by Larry Lee and mixing out much of his supporting playing during the show. It’s difficult to know what the Hendrix family issue is, after all with the Grateful Dead show in the box the accolade for most untogether performance was already in safe hands.

It’s not as if the Estate has an issue with other performers riding the Hendrix train; when the family put out the four Band of Gypsy shows last year we had all of Buddy Mile’s scat singing in there. If you’ve never heard Buddy’s contribution, think of it as a bit like being at a Maria Callas performance and seeing her being joined by the Crankies mid show.

With the amount of time and effort put into bringing the box together, the actions of the Hendrix Estate just look to be petty and small minded.

Number Two, step up New Order and Movement. Movement wasn’t the best album of 1981, in fact it isn’t even New Orders best album but kudos to the compilers for doing a full belt and braces job. Shame that the attendant singles were not included and instead were shunted out as four stand alone 12” singles adding another £40 to the cost of an already expensive set.

And related, at three we have the Rhino Factory Box of the first ten label releases. So, that’s one reissued LP, four reissued 7” singles, reproduction posters and ephemera along with a book all for a staggering £180. I know that this also included a two CD set of Joy Division interviews and a Tiller Boys 12” but the world didn’t exactly stop on its axis when they hit the decks. The fact that King Crimson can put out 20+ CD boxes with books and assorted reproductions for circa £120 just makes the Factory box look somewhat mercenary by comparison.

And at four, let’s not forget rocks answer to Philip Green – the Rolling Stones. The Let It Bleed box simply compiled the already issued Mono and Stereo pressings with a 45 and interview disc. Adding a book seems to justify a retail price well north of £100. Sir Michael of Jagger once said “My hearts labour, my minds liberal but my money’s Tory”. World’s Greatest Rock n Roll Band? More like Worlds Shrewdest Accountants.

And finally, Record Store Day. Honestly, do we really think that having an event that gets people into record shops for TWO days will answer the woes of the retailers? And am I the only one to have noticed that certain eBay sellers seem to have a whole raft of RSD pressings up and listed on the morning of the event itself? There is something rotten here and if anything is worthy of a Panorama investigation it’s these shenanigans.

Jarmo Keranen

I think the Rolling Stones had nothing to do with the Let It Bleed box. Same goes with the Beggars Banquet and Their Satanic Majesties Request boxsets. Put the blame on Allen Klein’s estate. By the way Let It Bleed does’t include interview disc. It was Beggars Banquet boxset!


I’m also disappointed that HMV stores have practically disappeared from the face of London. It almost brings tears to my eyes when I remember the good old times, 15 years ago or so, when London was full of megastores such as the huge Virgin near Tottenham Court Road Station ( now replaced by Primark ), Borders stores, two FOPP stores including the now defunct one on Tottenham Court Road. I even remember the Towers store at Piccadilly Circus. Life back then was much merrier, now they are almost all gone. It’s a disgrace.

Dave R

it’s not just the big stores that are hugely missed from central London, but the second hand stores and specialist shops like Shades, once located in St. Anne’s Court, that were the go to locations in the 80s too.
Shades had a huge influence on the rise of thrash metal during that period, but was the best place for anything related to hard rock, heavy metal, glam and AOR back then. Sadly, as we are seeing with HMV, the greed of landlords prompted its closure in the early 90s.


@Daniel: But who is to blame? As a U.S. resident, I can’t speak with authority as to the state of the UK business (although on visits to London, I visited many of the record shops you mention), but I can say that in the U.S., there are few large record stores left (and none in Manhattan) because of a) landlord greed – the rents being asked are simply far more than media retail can afford to pay and b) because consumers have stopped buying physical media. In the first six months of 2019, streaming constituted 82% of industry revenue in North America, although supposedly, vinyl had a very good holiday season, although we won’t see the final RIAA numbers until March. Back in the day, over a billion long-form units were sold each year. 2019 will probably come in at about 60 million.

Stan C

Paul! This made me howl with laughter multiple times and I would like to encourage you to lean into the snark more often because, damn, it’s glorious. Your website is the only one that I visit every single day and I’ve lost count of how many amazing deals I would have missed, if not for your alerts. Thank you, for the great work you do. Cheers!


Agree with many of the comments and, of course with your list Paul. Like many others here, I’ve become addicted to the site over the past few years. Many thanks!!

My disappointments I fear are pretty exclusive to me and perhaps one or two other blokes. That being said I’m holding out hope to someday see SDEs for Mega City Four and Senseless Things back catalogues.

Also, can you clarify re Lindsey Buckingham? “had a brush with death AFTER undergoing ’emergency open heart surgery’.” Was the brush with death really after the surgery or was the surgery necessary to save his life? I honestly don’t know.



Agreed. My favourite paragraph was the one concerning INXS / MaxQ. LMAO


Sorry, should have been adressed
@Stan C (one post above)

bruce kelso

ok here is my input. allman brothers band s/t, john mayall complete turning point fillmore east july 69,jefferson airplane vollenters(studio ,so much unreleased) the who live 69 , tommy sets and intro and out to sets,the rolling stones ya yas both msg and baltimore 69,jimi hendrix complete woodstock with no edits ,the byrds( anything live 69).


No real disappointment. Maybe a 40th anniversary SDE of London Calling or a 35th anniversary SDE of Sade’s Diamond Life. Both albums originally on CBS (now Sony Music). Same for other big 80s hits like Wham’s Make it Big or MJ’s Thriller. Both on Epic Records (owned by CBS). Or even Celine Dion. These albums didn’t get the proper super deluxe treatment they deserve. Even Culture Club’s albums (released by Virgin in the UK and Epic in the US) fall into that category.

I noticed the Polydor (Jam for example), EMI, Virgin or Warner artists and bands usually get a better treatment when it comes to box sets and SDEs.


The aforementioned “London Town” and “Back To The Egg” non-releases. I’ve also been waiting since, let’s say 2010, for a “Rattle And Hum” deluxe edition. And yeah, I was looking forward to that Blondie reissue since it was announced, but I don’t think that’s ever happening.

Richard Farr

I suspect some HMVs will be relocating out of expensive large-footprint stores to smaller off-pitch locations, similar to what is happening in Plymouth.

Eric Generic

I hope that’s the case. I’d rather a smaller store somewhere than none at all. I still miss Kingston-Upon-Thames. That one closing a year ago was a shock.







WHEN THERE WAS CLASSIC MUSIC BEING MADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Derek Skipworth

If only Roxy Music would release a super deluxe ‘For Your Pleasure’ because the first one, though overpriced, is absolutely brilliant. Er….and then Stranded & Country Life too


Another disappointment was the vinyl sourced digital download reissue of Lulu’s 1982 album “Take Me to Your Heart Again.” Those late 1970s/early 1980s albums need to be reissued properly, from mastertapes.

Bruce Nicholson

Another great read both by Paul and the various comments. Music disappointments this year included:
– the lack of the Blondie box set – no announcement/reason offered for the delay; suspect more ex band members wrangling: theres never been a decent retrospective of any sort for Blondie – admittedly there doesn’t seem to be much in the vaults – but the tease, then silence was another disappointment
– the lack of a new album or the STSOL box set from Tears for Fears – feel they are going through the motions. Their live set at Blenheim in Oxfordshire in June was identical to their RAH show 18 months earlier. Disappointing
– conversation piece by bowie was great but there are so many bowie releases now it’s all a bit too much and the cost of some of them are ridiculous
– as others have said blue nile and prefab vinyl reissues seemed lacking without cd releases and extra tracks to make a proper SDE
– amazon quietly introducing paying for items on pre releases even when they were months away, then quietly dropping this
– production issues with the heaven 17 box and the blancmange vinyl – got replacements eventually but its a shame for the artists
– I love vinyl but it would be really nice to see vinyl only box sets get a cd release also.

Finally, not so much a disappointment, but a big wish for 2020 would be to see a retrospective release of Swing Out Sister featuring all b sides, remixes etc.

Eric Generic

My local HMV started a Closing Down sale today, so maybe the business isn’t in as good a shape as we hoped it might be.

Or people just aren’t falling for overpriced vinyl.


Marc Kleber

Wel said Paul, you hit the spot today,
the box of Depeche Mode will also be crap when it finally comes out as it is supposed to be as the band and Sony wants it to be, but that goes the same for the other vinyl boxset reissues of DM, useless overpriced and cheap outlay printed, even with the crappy new designings from Mute staff, instead of releasing more relevant stuff, like sofadlive on vinyl, remixboxes, older live vids remastered on dvd, they handle it like a band whos becoming outdated and believe me, they are, they now always chant around they are in front of all the new techniques, but they missed that years ago

Mark Porter

Agree with you about SOFAD live on vinyl, they need to crack on with the 12” singles boxes too.
A box set collecting all the live DVDs would be nice too.


The Biggest by far- apart from Toms Passing…..

Tom Petty – Wildflowers 25th – All the Rest Re-issue Shelved due to The Families Legal Dispute – thankfully the Dispute was Resolved a couple of weeks ago so maybe it will be out in time for the 26th Anniversary!

10+ Unfulfilled / Cancelled Orders from Amazon….

Pledge Music Going Under and Running Off With My Money!

So many other Dissapointments- There are Not enough Hours in the Day to Write them all !


Minor correction… its “Stewart Copeland” not “Stuart Copeland”.


Thank you for continuing to voice the cause of we who wait for Prefab Sprout reissues on compact disc (or lossless download).
i’ll miss dulcet tornado Sara Romweber of Let’s Active, the genius of Daniel Johnston, Kofi Burbridge of Tedeschi Trucks Band, and Paul Barrere of Little Feat.

Tim Barton

I was really hopin that Kate would give us back The Single File. Even an expanded/updated box would have been great. She really hasn’t got much left to reissue, and that classic box updated-with the On Stage EP would have been treat!

Shame about the Blondie stuff, and boo to that Depeche Mode box. Overpriced certainly. The Beatles Singles box also not all that tempting, but prices could drop at least.

Surprised the King Crimson In the Court of…anniversary box also a bit weak in terms of packaging, but the vinyl is superb! I will also add that Mute missed the mark on the Y triple CD set. Three jewel cases? For goodness sake! It would have made a nice triple in a cardboard packet-less bulky and not so prone to getting cracked!


The Single File originally did include the ‘On Stage’ EP… Just saying…


Your post (and some of the comments) made my day Paul. I’m here laughing in my chair. Best treatise of twenty twenty. Period.


Hardly a disappoinment – given an expected non-event can’t really disappoint – but… 2019 proved to be the 29th consecutive year in which The Sisters Of Mercy failed to release a new album. Despite still writing and premiering new songs on virtually every tour. Eldritch said back in 2016 “If Donald Trump actually does become President, that will be reason enough for me to release another album. I don’t think I could keep quiet if that happened.”. Apparently he can actually.

In 2011 the (one-man) band toured to celebrate 30 years as an entity – this year they could tour to celebrate 30 years without a new album! Ha!

And another comment was right: PledgeMusic was a sad loss – I hadn’t anything on order at the time but it was good to have an artist-to-audience platform like that which ‘seemed’ to work so well. Clearly not as well it transpired.

And, oh yes. Those frustrated at Shakespear’s Sister’s continued non-delivery of DE/SDE/CE/SCE/UE/whatever’s of the first two albums is correct: not least because now is the most obvious time to release them – whilst the band are back in the public eye, however briefly it might turn out to be. Get them released before the Catwomen unsheath their clawses.

Cats always have clawses…. that’s what they tell me. Have they been lying to embarass me into using the word in public?


Happy New Year to one and all!!

I think it’s a great shame about TFF and they really don’t seem to be bothered about what they record and when to release it but hopefully something will arrive unexpectedly either SOL or the new album or even both of them!!

As regarding Macca, other than the dreadful suitcase album(!) I think there was no way he was going to release any archive series albums (except for the live ones) whilst the 50th anniversaries of Abbey Road and Let It Be taking there course through the release schedule.

I think once they have cleared and if Flaming Pie is next then you might get Back To The Egg and London Town by next Christmas

There again he might give us another new album!

Randy Metro

How about most ignored super deluxe set: T.Rex Dandy In the Underworld Super Deluxe Edition 3 CDs. It is really 2 albums – Dandy & The Final Cuts plus alternate tracks. The big screw-up is how they scattered the tracks from The Final Cuts across 2 of the CDs. No new unheard song except 2.29 minute “Demo – Song Idea.”


Just thought I’d add my main gripe about expanded and deluxe versions,which is WHY is stuff deliberately left off them? i.e the expensive super-deluxe versions are NEVER the full warts and all versions despite having a VERY HIGH retailing price and the purchasers being fans that really do WANT to own the full warts and all and not have anything missing.Some omissions are often illogical too like a well-known promo video missing when they’ve got plenty of space left on the DVD they have provided that has the other promos on it etc..Or they miss out a well known mix that’s 8 mins long when the CD containing the mixes is only 56mins long so has room for it etc..All kinds of odd incomprehensible omissions that Never make the expanded edition (that might even have costed over £100 to buy i.e not been cheap)as definitive as the fans wants it to be!


I feel the same and its unfortunate but also very common problem with deluxe-editions, boxsets and anniversaries being rekeased. Seems like they will gladly leave material out, so they can justify further releases and more milking in the future. I think record companies did lost it sometime ago and there shouldn’t simply be this much released, instead Im more interested in new releases and upcoming albums than always living in the past. I decided that from now on, I wont automatically buy the same albums for the umteeth time, but instead use legal streaming services, where I’ve seen almost all interesting releases and boxsets being rekeased. Sure you dont get books and marbles etc but you can access the most important thing that matters, the music.

James (from Canada)

Still no releases from Tears For Fears is a big one for me. A couple missing:
– the initial Bowie releases were very disappointing a very over-priced
– no Bowie box or Tin Machine
– the reissue campaign for The Smashing Pumpkins continues to be stalled with still no sign of the Machina box set

Nuno Bento

Paul, you said “don’t ask”, but what the hell happened with the Seeds reissue? Do you know something?

Derek Langsford

The TFF FB feed consists of old photos being posted with an inane comments that are lapped up by the TFF sycophants. I frequently post about the lack of new material (2 new songs) in the past 16 years since ELaHE, the TSoL Super Deluxe having been shelf ready for 4 years, and the continual postponement of the new album. And while a few are in agreement with me, I also get labelled as an “obnoxious whiner.”

I will dance a jig and immediately pre-order the TSoL when its release is announced.


I’d like to add the very sad passing of Vaughan Oliver to the list, whilst not strictly speaking a musician his impact on the music world & the graphical presentation of music cannot be overestimated…his work for seminal works on 4AD by Breeders, Pixies, Cocteau’s et al…is probably a big reason why the works are so seminal…i’m hard pushed to think of another label so clearly defined by it’s ‘look’ that he created & what passes for album art these days is laughable in comparison, massive loss…

Norn Cutson

Thank you for this.
Vaughan Oliver has been a huge influence over all our culture, not just music.
You can see echoes of his work everywhere!
And we’re all the better for it!

Hans lindskog

Hello,, i must say that The bancrupcy of Pledge music was a major dissapointment. I had pledged for The complete box set by killing joke (sometimes I just need that kind of power). Hopefully this set Will be picked up and release just like The upcoming set by cat Stevens. Other vise, please release The yes 1968-69 recordings and also a complete tales from topographic oceans live set. I would also like to see The tin machine set by bowie. Best regards hans

The Geordie Expat

Hans, I agree the PledgeMusic story was a huge disappointment. What started out as a great idea- which worked for everyone concerned; artists, fans and the company, was corrupted by business types who bled the company and the artists dry.

Paul English

@ The Geordie Expat

“Corrupted by business types” – are you sure about that.

From what I could see it was managed by flakey creative types who hadn’t a clue how to run a business or provide meaningful customer service.

The Geordie Expat

Paul, I suggest you dig a little below the surface and find out about the role of the Magna group, who took over PledgeMusic in 2016, and their “Death Spiral Financing” model. Magna bought into PledgeMusic in 2015 placing Russel Rieger and Joshua Sason on the board. Magna are currently being sued by the SEC for fraud!

Mathew Lauren

Hey Paul,

I, really, appreciate how you “let-loose” here. You were frank, open, honest and DIDN’T pull (your) punches. We, the “hold-it-in-your-hands,” physical-media, music-community help support the music industry in NO SMALL MEASURE. It’s gonna take a loud, universal (no pun intended) voice to communicate our general, collective, music, RE-disappointments, while trusting that someone is acting on our behalf.

I liked that this SDE post was “to the point” and didn’t get “bogged down” with a HUGE list of 2019 disappointments. You “hit the highlights” from SDE’s POV and, thusly, put ‘em all on notice in one quick (“break-length”) read.

Kudos. Well done!

Lastly, whatever ones’ MUSIC RE disappointment(s), don’t give up. Stay positive, spread the word and keep your RE hopes alive. “It takes a village” and we can’t expect Paul (Sinclair) to carry the torch, alone!

Cheers, all. It’s a new decade with limitless possibilities!

Andrew Hapeman

Thanx for the great work Paul! Just wanted to say, can we please re-master some Stevie Wonder? How about a deluxe “Songs in the Key of Life”? “Innervisions”? “Fulfillingness’ First Finale”? Doesn’t Universal own all that? Universal seems to “deluxe” everything… but no Stevie.
Maybe you can give Universal a bit of a nudge….?


I may be wrong but I think Stevie Wonder owns and keeps all his master tapes in a vault at home.

Harcourt Fenton Mudd

Yes, he keeps them all locked…… UPTIGHT.


My biggest disappointment was The Beatles singles boxset. I really disliked the random foreign covers especially as they had reproduced the mono LPs to the smallest detail of the original issues. I decided to make my own instead using the 1976 boxset and repro period Parlophone covers found on eBay and SFF / Let it be 1980s covers. Add a set of 7” blakes sleeves and they look really nice. To me this boxset was a wasted opportunity and a mish mash.

Keith Lambert

As others have said, the lack of a live archival Led Zeppelin release to mark the band’s 50th anniversary was hugely disappointing. Jimmy Page stated on numerous occasions in 2018 that it was “definitely” coming, as was new material from from the man himself. We got a snowboard, a book, JV clothing (££££!) and some Hot Wheels cars however. T’riffic.

Uncle Meat

Don’t forget those Vans sneakers……Sigh…..


@Uncle Meat Ahhh yes of course! I knew I’d missed something out.


Talking about OMD deluxe box please note “Disc 3 – Unreleased Archive Vol I” which means (hoprfuly) a second on the way. Remember remastered albums version stopped at Junk Culture.

Since Sony brought the Depende Mode back cataloge rights I’ve been waiting for what’s really behind it. I think the first big thing happened the 18 CDs Mode box. Please note the 4 CDs bonus which put all the B-sides, non album singles and extra tracks altogether in the the package. I suppose Sony plans to release another Depeche Mode box with all the remixes only. If it happens a fan can decide among a box of albums or remixes or both. I’d really love to know why record companies keep things in secret and we are aware of what’s to come rarely, for instance ‘Seeds Of Love box’ not released in 2019 it’s mystery neither Tears for Fears dare to talk about it.
To keep it in secret is much easier !!!!!!!


My biggest disappointment in 2019 was after finding out that HMV nearly went out of business last christmas and was then saved after a thousand plus people protested about the closure of HMV in Bury St Edmunds last summer is that the landlords of the ARC shopping centre have accepted we will pay any rent you want for that unit from JD Sports and HMV closes January 25th with no music or dvd/blu ray store now in Bury St Edmunds. No more browsing on a Saturday!!

Peter Muscutt

The Black Box Recorder live CD in a vinyl box issue was certainly weird, but I’m glad they at least got it out there, especially with a lack of live BBR stuff commercially available before the box set.

I did get the CD edition as a gift for a friend, but bought the vinyl set for myself – and not just to get the live CD! Strange when you see how well The Auteurs back catalogue was handled when it was reissued in 2014. One can only hope Luke Haines’ solo albums get the treatment they deserve – although there’s not tonnes of remixes/B-sides he’s done as a solo artist, it’d be interesting to hear some demos/alternate versions for his superb solo material, possibly in a box set. Looking forward to the Peter Buck collaboration in March!