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    I've just been reading through some of the old Wireview reviews of some releases (I've had to dig out A.C.Marias "One of Our Girls" CD because of it) when a thought popped into my head.

    Back in the recent past WMO featured a "Colin Newman" release which never saw the light of day because, if I recall correctly, the recording never existed, which is I'm sure you agree is quite a major issue to get over. Just out of idol curiousity, what was this CD supposed to have been?
    I think demos of material between Not To and Commercial Suicide that were thought to be too bad for release. Though I might have made this up completley - I don't remember where I'm getting it from.
    This release was a selection of demos of songs Colin wrote post Not To up to about 1988. Colin loaned me his tape archive to log and make a selection. What was whittled down would have made a triple CD! Colin provided the title 'Vox Pop' and after further slashing Charles and I got it down to what we thought was a top class single CD. As far as WMO was concerned the quality of the songs and the recordings were perefectly ok for release.
    At this point Colin decided to pull back from the project. He was at this point well under way with Swim~ and the Immersion releases and felt (rightly or wrongly) that this was where his attention and energies should lie.
    Shame it never got off the planning stage as it was one that WMO were particularly excited about.
    C'est la vie! (riba riba)
    Bugger, a tripple CD set of Colin Newman demos? Sounds more or less fantastic.

    Oh well, here's hoping that it could happen in some form one day yet.
    Wait till he's away on tour or something and put it out then when he's not looking! ; )
    Half remembered fact are almost always wrong! The recordings did exist they just weren't up to snuff. Thanks for your time fellas and I'm with Keith, put them out on the QT, shhh, I won't say anything if you don't.
    Just want to add a few comments here and maybe canvas some opinions..

    As I've been running a label since the early 90's I do have quite strong opinions about what should be released & how. There is just so much released music that has very little to justify it's existence and I've always been conscious of not adding to that pile. You need to consider 3 things to justify a release IMO - market, format and context. Just shoving stuff out wily-nily is not my style. There is a small number of people who might be interested but with an active wire (both in new & historic terms) and an active Githead just how much would the market take of "Newman related" material?? So the how and the when become important considerations. One way all this might happen is that if we do take up the step of re-releasing the Beggars Newman catalogue on swim ~ Certainly this is a possibility in physical formats although the timing would be very crucial if we were to make a good job of it. I could imagine a 2nd CD with each one with extra demos or live versions. I could certainly see a market for A-Z that way although I'm not sure about the other two. Alternatively there could be a digital only route on the demos & alternative recordings etc. These are certainly not cost free options (as the Wire legal bootleg series is not). I'd like to see how the legal bootleg series pans out over time before even thinking about that route..
    With Singing Fish and Not To, the second discs could possibly cover later ground (Post Not To demos, etc.), and other Fish with words (as on CN1). You're right though; the demand for A-Z would be much higher than for the other two, partially because it has 'a reputation' that the others don't, but also because of how interesting live/demo versions of those songs would sound. For me, the demo of Don't Bring Reminders on the CD reissue of A-Z is much better than the Not To version. If there are demo recordings of that quality/difference to the finished product out there, then I doubt releasing them on some kind of bonus disc would be seen as a cash in, or something similar.

    My thoughts on the matter anyway...
    ...the demand for A-Z would be much higher than for the other two, partially because it has 'a reputation' that the others don't...

    What's the deal here ? I think Not To is easily on a par with A - Z... two albums I'm particularly fond of... the only iffy track on Not To, in my opinion, would be the George Harrison cover. Could've done without that.
    I wasn't talking about the quality of either album, Fergus, but how their percived. A-Z has a reputation (rightly or wrongly) as 'the 4th Wire album', as what 3/5ths of Wire (Mike Throne being no. 5) did next, as an out-there early 80s classic. Not To (and The Singing Fish), unfortunatley, seem to have little/no reputation outside of our small community.
    It's curious that A - Z is seen as "the fourth Wire album" as Not To is the only one that bears any relation to Wire, carrying, as it does, a number of actual Wire tunes (and the track Indians ! features three members of Wire...) Another curious aside, on Desmond Simmons' Myspace site, he, or rather Graham Duff, who apparently maintains the site, lists him as 'Desmond Simmons of WIRE'... Eh, what ?
    Glad to see I prompted a bit of discussion. For a bit of context on how I approach releasing anything see - this.

    It's part of FutureEverything which i got asked to speak at but couldn't because I was on tour with Wire - This is the page for Perspectives on Digital Music: 12 video interviews that the youtube clip is part of..
    BTW - Fergus there's no way Graham Duff maintains Desmond's Myspace!!
    Fergus there's no way Graham Duff maintains Desmond's Myspace!!

    Oh. That's curious because according to Desmond (as per correspondence with Kevin) he does:

    "I listened to them recently as I made a copy for Graham Duff, the Ideal writer/actor,and a mate of mine, who maintains my myspace site, remarked that they were if anything weirder than the album."
    Interesting vid Colin. I'm slightly surprised by your thoughts on BBC sessions though, given how bloody good/not throwaway the Wire ones sound.

    The main point is completley valid though; what is the point of releasing something if most people don't pay, thereby starving the creative flame of money/oxygen (sorry about the spurious metaphor). I suppose you could go down the Throbbing Gristle route, and release your next album in loop playing box format, but that's quite an extreme solution (and not one I'm advocating!) Obviously, the material specifically in discussion in this topic is something I'd love to hear/see, and of course ideally in a physical format (And for me ideally CD). But your/the band's 'hardcore' fans, who'd allways pay, never steal might just be too small a group to make anything viable. Not that I know anything about this! If this is all supremley obvious vaguely patronising to a label boss of 15-odd years, I appologise.

    (For the record, as one of your younger fans, I have never torrented/stole Wire's music, beyond making a CDR of Pink Flag and judicious use of Youtube. I'm sure no-one cares, but it frankly pisses me off when people assume that all young people are music thieves and place little/no cost value on the music they listen to.)
    Having heard what demos exist, either for the albums or songs written at the same time, I would say there is a definite case for doing 2CD editions of all three albums. The artwork could include commentary by all concerned of the tracks etc.
    I understand Colin's reticence at "Just shoving stuff out wily-nily" but maybe test the waters with A-Z and take it from there. singing fish was always problematic from what Colin said in that it's public acceptance and perception was never great. I agree with Fergus in that Not To deserves a second chance, but from memory I am not sure what demos there are to accompany it. I may be wrong.
    A question:

    Which masters do Colin/Wire/etc. actually own themselves at this point? Were the EMI albums licensed for the PinkFlag releases, or did Wire take back the tapes? What about Mute-era?

    As for the thrust of this thread, has Beggars returned the rights to A-Z? Do The Singing Fish and Not To fall under Beggars (as the parent label) despite the 4AD tag? Does swim~ now own everything? What about the Crammed albums?

    I guess what I'm getting at is: if cash would need to be put down to license masters or similar I think the time/money would be better spent looking forward.

    As for The Archives, my personal interest in demos tends to be fleeting unless they're radically (and interestingly) different from the final. Then again, they are much preferable to "bonus tracks" full of iffy dance mixes. Of course, interesting songs that didn't make the cut are welcome. XTC's endless release of demos from their last two albums I though was a bit unnecessary, but Andy Partridge's Fuzzy Warbles series that included songs never released on albums yielded some notable gems.

    There are segments of The Singing Fish that I find wonderful. But I will admit that I wouldn't be banging down the door of the shop to get a reissue. I'd get to it eventually.

    A-Z, on the other hand, I acknowledge as my favorite album ever (Wire-related or not) with Not To nipping at its heels. They both deserve to be in print - and bring back the great original Not To cover art!

    I would watch the market for the pre-swim~ albums to decide whether or not to proceed, since they are all at this point deleted. Currently A-Z fetches the most for a used CD, with It Seems right behind it. Can still get Fish/Not To relatively inexpensively, and Commercial Suicide tends to fluctuate since there are two releases of it.
    as a collector/admirer/fan and enthusiast of Wire who has purchased everything I could by Wire up until the last album, I think it would be a shame to issue c.d's that probably won't sell (at least in sufficient quantities to justify the initial packaging/marketing cost(s), when a download would suffice, as for costs, as the lucky owner of both A-Z, Singing Fish and Not To I'd be interested to know if it would be 'worth the while' remastering them, it's not as if, if it's mp3 quality, we'd notice a discernible difference (assuming the original quality was 'so much better' than the quality already out there), one could 'publicize their existence' on liner notes of new c.d's for new fans.
    Anyway the 'here and now-ness/urgency' of an album gets lost over time..........
    Not sure if this has been spotted before, but would make a great addition to NOT TO if it got re-released.
    Just for clarification:

    the line Desmond wrote:
    "I listened to them recently as I made a copy for Graham Duff, the Ideal writer/actor,and a mate of mine, who maintains my myspace site, remarked that they were if anything weirder than the album."

    Graham Duff and the mate of his are two seperate people. Graham Duff does not maintain Des's myspace site, but his mate does.