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    "The bootleg series is not supposed to go onto any other digital services until at least 3 months after the final instalment is available to series subscribers"

    I was under the impression that this series was exclusive to this site, for 'core fans'. Apparently, though, it will in time cease to be something "the general & largely disinterested public cannot have". So much for not saturating the market! Theoretically this suits me fine, as I have a strong dislike of 'exclusive' material being offered to 'core fans', which really means people who happen to be in the right place at the right time and have plenty of spare time to spend on the internet ...

    However, if these shows are going onto other sites, then they will be more likely to turn up on soulseek, fan-blogs and the like, and thus lose any sense of 'specialness' ... which as I said, is theoretically okay with me (the non-exclusivity, I mean) ... EXCEPT for the fact that I've just forked out £68 for stuff that looks like it'll be available everywhere in due course and therefore not so special after all. Probably Amazon and Play next, too? Will the DVD likewise become available in some future retrospective package of Wire material from the 80s?

    By the way, I note this statement:

    "for the biggest Wire fans, we're offering a series subscription for the special price of £66.99; this subscription will not only include recordings of nine classic Wire gigs, but also a DVD"

    I think the word 'biggest' should be replaced with 'wealthiest' ... note the number of comments about people not being able to snap up the lot due to the high price (a bit of a case of shooting oneself in the foot, here?) ... lots of us are suffering in the current financial climate and music ultimately comes somewhat lower down the priorities list ... I have managed to purchase the complete subscription, and rightly or wrongly am rather peeved that the high prices previously justified as being due to small potential audiences, etc etc ... are actually going to be bolstered by sales via i-tunes, e-music and even napster ... so much for 'core fans'. Obviously I want Wire to make money and continue releasing music (preferably on CD!), but making the material available on those sites will open the floodgates for file sharing, etc. No doubt this stuff will all come out in a hugely expensive 'limited' (ha ha) box set at some point, too (it always does: this IS the music industry after all). And I STILL can't believe that there's no inlay tray artwork (with tracklist) either ... 'sympathetic packaging' my arse!

    Okay, there's no arguing with the fact that the shows sound far better than I ever dreamed they would and clearly some amount of work has gone into them and Wire deserve to make some money from their music and I'm glad to have them ... but every time I play them I still get a bitter taste in my mouth ... maybe it's because I cannot get used to the idea of paying more than a pound or two for something I cannot hold, a real object, a piece of art to touch and savour or what have you ... something REAL!

    Just to point out: I have been a rabid fan of WIRE since the mid-80s and have searched out every last thing that the band have produced ... I even unearthed a track that WMO hadn't heard of at the time (It Can't Be True Can It - found on a big chunky 2-disc Japanese CD of Manscape) ... so I really do love Wire's music ... really I do ... I just can't get my head around the all the thinking behind the marketing of this project!

    Just to mention, however, that greedbag's service has been exemplary. Any problems get in touch and they will sort you out in a friendly manner ... which really is something special these days!

    Love and best wishes

    PS - none of the above is meant to give offence to anybody, if offence has been taken at anything I have said then I apologise wholeheartedly!
    Wire does 'what Wire does', as a long time fan I am a little disappointed though, now working only two days a week they are totally out of reach for me, but I'm not 'bitter' about it, it just is, it's not Wire's problem.
    stop yer gripping and enjoy the music!! members of Wire have a right to earn a living like the rest of us, I suspect a few of us here won't be able to enjoy this series (because of the cost factor) what else is new..........
    This from Colin (posted on his facebook page)
    The version of "Drill" from London 7/21/88 is absolutely out of control!!! Love it!!!
    In light of what Ari has written above, I would just like to stress I've not having a moan about the cost etc of the subscription service because re-reading what I've written previously it might come across like that and I don't want it to. Circumstances are what they are for all of us which is why I was wondering if the subscription is time limited because I want a piece of the Wire-tastic action, just not at the moment.
    Hippriest these are not that 'exclusive'. If you're a big fan of a band these days it doesn't take more than a quick google search to find the bands website and see what's on offer, you certainly don't need plenty of spare time to find Pinkflag.

    You say you're opposed to any kind of exclusivity, and yet you seem to be annoyed that something you've paid for isn't as exclusive as you thought? I'm confused!

    Bear in mind that a new release on iTunes is usually 7.49 so with the dvd it works out less than that per release if you buy the sub. You should also consider that if these came out on CD they would cost considerably more than that. The Astoria show would be a double CD for a start so that's ten CDs and a DVD in a box set with full part of a £100 retail I'd say.

    Swimhq has already made it quite clear that the DVD won't be available anywhere else and has also stated there will be no physical release and gives reasons why. When he talks about not saturating the market he means not having loads of Wire live CDs in the racks or on Amazon like you get with The Fall. So don't expect that 'hugely expensive' box set anytime soon.
    Thanks for the uncyclopedia link Ari... fun stuff. :)

    As far as the Bootleg Series Subscription goes, perhaps it was a little on the pricey side alone (but less so with the DVD taken into consideration)? Maybe also so if one is just comparing 'generic product'.

    However, this certainly isn't generic product, this is 10 Wire gigs that I didn't think I'd ever get to hear at this quality, especially the Astoria gig, which was the first Wire show I ever saw. For me, it's almost worth the price alone just to dive into that version of 'Drill' again (the one that sounds like there's 10 people on stage thrashing away! :)

    And as much as I enjoy physical objects and multi-layered artwork for me the true value in music is when it's played and the reaction it has on my brain. (And as long as the quality is equivalent to a CD I'm happy).

    The E-Music/iTunes/Napster thing was a mistake but I can't begrudge the band from making a bit of cash from this venture (considering there's also been a lot of work behind the scenes, locating, collating and mastering/restoring these gigs). As a band who been true to their art for so long I'm happy for this not to be a fan exclusive and again, the chance to get paid for what they do so well.

    This comes on the heels of another of my favorite bands toying around with releasing cheap mash-up as a single in order to drum up interest from the public for a new album. I'd much rather give my cash to Randy, Cracker, Springsteen and Toolongtotype. :)
    -- Hippriest these are not that 'exclusive'

    This site gives the impression that they are an exclusive for 'core fans' ... sticking them on i-tunes blows that out of the water.

    -- You say you're opposed to any kind of exclusivity, and yet you seem to be annoyed that something you've paid for isn't as exclusive as you thought? I'm confused!

    Yes, and I don't blame you! Basically, it just seems odd to imply exclusivity when the intention is there all along to sell to the "the general & largely disinterested public". Or something.

    -- ten CDs and a DVD in a box set with full part of a £100 retail I'd say.

    £68 on downloads and a sleeveless DVD or £100 on a fully packaged set? Give me the box any day! Yes, it's pricey, but I'd somehow try to stump up the extra £32 for 'real' discs - or it could be my Christmas present! Maybe it's the luddite in me, but downloads just aren't the same.

    -- So don't expect that 'hugely expensive' box set anytime soon.

    Well, artists are always saying 'never' and going back on it! I quite like the idea of a Fall-style barrage of CDs, actually ... they'd certainly sell more! Yes, I'm all for it: a whole slew of Wire live CDs on Voiceprint! :) (Whatever anybody says, there were some bloody good moments on those live Fall CDs ... not a lot, but a few!)

    At the end of the day, all I can say is that I was expecting the price to be about a fiver each, which I suppose they almost are if you can get the subscription. Which I have done, so really everything is hunky dory for me, Wire-wise. Unfortunately some people can't, and when those people are regulars on a site that is the initial point of sale, it's sad and a bit self-defeating. So I feel sorry for those who will lose out. Because I'm a softie like that. Maybe I should just think, well, I now have ten lovely concerts to look forward to, and never mind those who can't afford 'em!

    I'd still like a bit more art and some notes to download, though! :)

    Transmission ends.

    For the record, there is no way this set would cost £100 in the stores—it would cost a whole lot more than that. Wire is a somewhat niche band anyway, and a niche product by a niche band would get a limited run at best and be a tougher sell. In order to justify release (which means making a profit), the individual gigs would need to be sold for somewhat more than £10 each. (Bear in mind that in physical product, singles are loss-leaders. In the indie space, things get even worse—if anyone remembers those great-value five-quid Swim collections from years back, they were essentially non-profit, and that was a decade ago. Also, remember when PWEI did something similar, but with live burns from each 'reformation' gig? IIRC, they were £15 or so.)

    On the current pricing, it's a little more than I was expecting, but the price-point has been set to ensure the band actually makes something from it, thereby not only enabling Wire to make more new material, but also potentially setting things up for a second bootlegs series. That some people cannot afford it sucks, but you know something? If the set was £50 or £40, some people would still be saying the same.

    The one area of criticism I have some sympathy with is the lack of CD layouts for people who want to burn their own physical bootleg set. Presumably Colin has an art template for the JPEGs burned into the tracks and available with the artwork, so I'll look into whether one of us can provide some downloadable cover art from the website.
    - I'll look into whether one of us can provide some downloadable cover art from the website.

    That would certainly make a world of difference to me. As an obsessive compulsive collector type, I like nothing better than a shelf with matching CD spines lined up in a row (God, how sad). At present the artwork supplied is just the front cover so a tray inlay would go a long way to making this a really official - and official-looking - set. Fingers crossed!
    @Slim: I asked Colin about the nature of the sub, and he says there are no plans to make it time-limited.
    Slim wasn't aimed at 'you', was aimed at 'all' moaners'........
    So because some1 has a dif pov from you they're a moaner? Hmm interesting - send them to the ovens!
    not at all, you can't deny 'some' of us moaned, me included!!
    I think it's ok to express a pov & i think the band are hunky dory with that. Tho' i do think that a) some comments were best directed at Greedbag/State51 & b) it should be put to bed now.

    We read, we moaned, we bought, we heard, we were contented!
    • CommentAuthoruri says...
    • (CommentTimeJul 14th 2010 edited)
    I'm interested in what people think of 'the song experience' in the live vs properly released versions. Take 'Ally In Exile' from Edinburgh and compare with 'I Don't Understand' which it warped into. In my opinion, irrespective of the changes, the live version knocks seven bells out of the R&B one and the R&B one is a cracker anyway.

    Wire live IMHO have sounded better than the studio wire at least since the '80's. So, the opportunity to obtain the best bootleg material to let people actually listen and compare is a great idea. One can never really compare a single listen of a song at a gig with a multiple listen of a released variant probably some time later. Added to the fact that a well recorded bootleg always sounds better than the live experience simply because the volume at a gig tends to deaden the ears' sensitivity and one tends to be watching more and listening less at a gig.
    As I said before the early release onto other services was a mistake. I have now been informed by State 51 is now rectified. Some sites may still carry images but you can't buy anything. As Craig reported there never was any plan to time limit the subscription series. If the model is felt to have worked (by you guys as much as by us) we'll continue the series and look to add every time an exclusive physical item. Have also been thinking about artwork, to be honest I didn't think anyone would be that interested to have anything beyond the front cover looking out at your from you iPod / iPhone but then I'm not a "fan" I'm just in it :) If we do it then the question is what size format? One presumes jewel case but maybe someone has other ideas? Beyond track listing and label stuff there's not really a lot more to put but maybe someone has live shots specific to those shows? Timing wise I think it would be best to make it all available somehow through the shop when the mail out of the "Bloomsbury" DVD goes out. I need to check the specifics but in theory anyone who bought anything should be able to go back in to their download area and pick up the artwork.
    I vote for the standard jewel case. Homemade digipaks are easier said than done (trust me!) and empty standard jewel cases are a dime a dozen. They are getting harder to find new and pristine, yes, but not difficult at all to find secondhand. Craigslist is usually full of them, or I would ask around at your favorite local record shop.

    (ask around at research universities, too - the faculty/students/postdocs/etc usually have drawers full of conference proceedings and old research data on discs that they've been just waiting for an excuse to get rid of. trust me, part 2)

    I suppose it could be argued that doing slimline cases like old CD singles would only require one sheet of paper and a simplified design... but getting the fold right to make sure the tiny little strip that gives the title info is centered sounds frustrating to me.

    Plus, unless one plans on going all out and printing on heavy stock - having a standard tray insert hiding under the disc tray would mask the fact that it is on standard copy paper.

    Ultimately my vote would be to focus attention on the series itself rather than niceties, but if someone's volunteering I'm all for it.
    I'm sure someone official has got it covered but if not I'd be happy to setup a template for the rest of the CD artwork parts. (Note: I'm a graphic designer, have done a couple of covers and have InDesign), it looks like it's mainly going to be typesetting unless suitable quality live shots are found. No biggie either way but thought I would offer. :)
    Craig, thanks for asking. Ari, no bother.