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  1.  
    @R Swimmer: I don't have the greatest turntable setup but I love vinyl, the ceremony of playing, the heft of the the whole package, the full 12" cover the lot.

    That said I'll be ordering the SE to go with my copy CBU just for the packaging.
  2.  
    I really enjoyed the SE for Change Becomes Us, which I think is one of the best Wire releases. I look forward to the SE of Silver/Lead and have already ordered it. Also loved the feature on music that shaped Colin on pitchfork.com.
  3.  
    OK - the pricing issue on the SE revealed something a bit more complex than previously thought. I, alongside most working on the release, made the, I think forgivable, mistake of thinking that the SE is a version of Wire's new album. It seems we were wrong. For VAT purposes the SE is in fact simply a book! And as such shops don't have to charge VAT on it.. Obviously the dealer price (the price our distributor charges the shops) was based on the fact that the shops would have to charge VAT. We are looking at £6.00 difference on a £30.00 item! So what we have done is get our distributor to put up the dealer price so that the shops will need to charge something nearer to the price on our own store in order to get a profit. The consequence of that has been that some have lowered their orders so we are manufacturing less. For me that's fine. Ultimately it's not everyone who can afford or see the point in shelling out £30.00 for a special version of the new album. It was never intended for the mass market and should not be subject to any "pile 'em high & sell 'em cheap" kind of mentality. The appreciation of those that can see the value in it is our ultimate aim.

    Of course, in relation to the wider format debate, the VAT authorities are correct. What is interesting and valuable about the SE is the book aspect. I think people will be pleased with it. The SE to "Change Becomes Us" was definitely a bench mark product but there were, in hindsight, things that could have been better about it and I hope we have made some of those improvements on the new one. It is a lot of time, energy & work to get these things together but hopefully you'll consider it's been worth it.

    I suspect that the various formats will simply remain with us for the foreseeable future. For the mainstream market the leading format will be streaming, buying digital products is definitely in decline. I suspect how most will use a hybrid product like the SE is to rip the CD (or get the "instant gratification" one from our shop to save you the bother :) and keep the book on a bookshelf but the fact that the music is carried on CD gives a flexibility of access that vinyl simply can't match.. So in my opinion I think it is the ultimate version. Time, budget & energy permitting I think we'll do more
  4.  
    Curious. I thought it's only a book if it only contains paper. Adding a CD makes it mixed media, which I always thought incurred VAT. (Wrongly, apparently.)
  5.  
    Cheers. Looking forward to my 'book'.....
  6.  
    Am I being naive? Why not just sell it as a book and save your fans some money?
  7.  
    The curious thing to me about the SE—CBU SE, in this case—is that it has no ISBN, yet is classified as a book? As a package, it seems more like a box set, minus the box packaging.
  8.  
    For artists I follow and admire, I think it is silly to quibble over a few quid. The Wire oeuvre has brought me hours of enjoyment, gotten me through difficult times, and has shaped my perspective--as all good art does. As a result, I find it difficult to treat art as a commodity. If necessary, I can skip a few coffees, which are NOT a replacement for food or happiness. 8-p As more artists forge direct relationships with their audiences and cut out the corporate leeches, uh, middlemen, I feel it is even more important that I support these artists' visions and business endeavors.
  9.  
    But if I've understood correctly, the extra difference isn't going to the artist but to the taxman, all for the sake of the description.
  10.  
    Book? CD? Surely it's best categorised as art object?!!

    (Looks like the retailers have pushed the price of the item up.. I agree with hgrey - I'll get mine from the source.)
  11.  
    Can we all agree that a band that has put out consistently great material for 40 years has earned the right to put out a distinctive art piece to celebrate that milestone that might be a little on the expensive side?
  12.  
    "...anyone who orders the mini-album on vinyl or CD will get a copy of the digital..."

    Just re-reading this from the Silver/Lead news bulletin on PF front page. So is this in fact another 'mini' album or is that a cut-and-paste error (harking back, as it does, to NK within the context of the quote)?

    On a side note, curiosity only, do sales of the SE (book) count towards chart placings? Or could we potentially see Wire in the Sunday Times best-seller lists?
  13.  
    Ten tracks. 37 minutes. Seems like a standard Wire album to me. Not sure about the news here. Might be a copy/paste error.
  14.  
    Yes, a typo! Now corrected.
  15.  
    Something about the front cover kept me thinking I'd seen this before...

    Not the same but different you see:

    https://www.discogs.com/Wire-Ahead/master/50630
  16.  
    Is "Playing Harp With The Fishes" the new title for "Wolf Boar"? From what I can make out of the lyrics they seem to reference the ocean quite a bit.
  17.  
    Short Elevated Period received a lukewarm response from the panel on Steve Lamacq's Roundtable show on 6Music tonight (Feb 23).
    Not even JJ Burnel from The Stranglers fully appreciated it. Still, at least 6Music as a whole are big supporters of the band