Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

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Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

Postby Blemished on Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:42 pm

So, all of David's solo albums are getting the 180g vinyl treatment - to be released in February 2019. Rain Tree Crow will follow.

http://www.davidsylvian.com/news/announcing_2019s_david_sylvian_vinyl_reissues.html

Mixed feelings on these. Glad that Alchemy will get a vinyl release - this is new to this format, if I'm not mistaken. I have all of the others on vinyl already, so not sure what the value of these is to me at least.

And not at all sure about the redesigned sleeves; the originals are so classic...I really don't like the Gone To Earth one at all - not one of my favourite pictures of David and just so at odds with the whole spirit of that album (which the original really suited). I do like the Alchemy one, but again the original is such an amazing image.
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Re: Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

Postby karnsculpture on Fri Dec 14, 2018 7:42 pm

Quote from Sylvian on Facebook, responding to some negative comments about the new artwork -

"On the subject of vinyl album artwork 2019: As the original art for my albums had been lost/destroyed on its journey from one label's stewardship to another, I decided against scanning pristine copies of the original vinyl covers (as Universal did with the recent Japan reissues) and instead create a series that works as a ‘collection’ incorporating new photographic prints and design elements. With no budget, but access to Yuka's archives and Chris’ design contributions, we feel we've created something beautifully expansive as will be evident once the set is seen in its entirety.
I was fortunate enough to have retained some of Nigel Grierson’s work for ‘Beehive' and Shinya Fujiwara provided me with whatever was missing from my personal archive for RTC. GTE was always going to be the cover that’d prove most contentious to meddle with but I was never personally in awe of the original plus I wanted to keep the series in a uniform monochrome. Nevertheless, if the original artwork had been available for the entire catalogue, I’d have sat this one out. To be haunted by one's past isn’t as edifying as it might appear (?) As it was, we (mr Bigg, Yuka, myself) attempted to create a series echoing /in-keeping with the recent 'dead bees' release. We went the extra mile to give something we felt was worthy of our collective effort. It goes without saying, if you own original copies of the albums and you don’t like the approach we’ve taken, you’ve nothing to get bent out of shape about. Feels odd to remind people that purchases aren’t mandatory. As the creator of this body of work I have a personal take on what feels right to me regarding its representation. Although I’m not personally nostalgic, I do generally respect the the bond people make between image and audio (this must surely be the goal of art & design in this context). I’ve attempted to offer something that feels both contemporary whilst being true to the period in question.

There’ll be no further involvement on my part in future reissues. Should Universal choose to release any of samadhisound’s catalogue on vinyl, and I’ve requested they do, we have the artwork in place as was. (I believe requests for CD reissues will fall on deaf ears as it’s a dying medium. It would perhaps be of greater interest if hi res files were made available of the entire catalogue. Decisions of this nature fall outside my purview). We poured time and energy into creating something that’s a limited run for a minority audience. I do hope some of you get to enjoy it. happy holidays ... ds x"
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Re: Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

Postby Blemished on Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:26 pm

Thanks for posting this, Paul. I don't use Facebook so hadn't seen this.

Good to hear this thoughts on this. It's a bit mind blowing that record labels can lose master tapes and artwork, which has been the case for both Japan and David's work. Given that these items are their main assets - the only ones really - then this is always shocking to see.

I'm sure they will all look magnificent as a set together, as all of the work of Biggs/Fuji/Sylvian does. Viewing them as a series makes sense - like a Penguin classic reissue or something. But as both DBOAC and Alchemy were never on vinyl it's a pity never to get those in an Album-sized version with the original covers. The new alchemy one is really great though.

I'm surprised at his comments on the original GTE cover - it's not my favourite - Manafon is probably that for me - but it does suit the record. Still think they got that one wrong with this release. I'd have preferred something more like the image from Yuka's book with the side of his face in complete shadow overlaid with a flower - there's a few in there that work better in my view. But it is what it is.

Interesting the comments about CDs dying out. The reality is that this is still the best format in audio terms, barring higher sample and bit-rate digital releases. Streaming and vinyl only is something of a retrograde step. I love vinyl and it's very best it can be more sonically enjoyable than CD, but you are more reliant on the production quality.

I suppose the broader question is whether he'll ever release anything new again. And if not, whether he would consider releasing any of the unfinished work from this decade or - as he's always refused to do - live recordings? Anyway, looking forward to seeing these first.
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Re: Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

Postby karnsculpture on Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:21 am

CD is less appealing for the record companies as a medium because they now make a higher margin on both vinyl and downloads. CD pricing is now low due to deals done with the big retailers, pushing the prices down compared to vinyl, which now commands a premium price. Less CDs are being bought because less are available, but also lots of people are perfectly happy with streaming or downloads. I still think that music fans want CDs if high res downloads are not available.

Gone To Earth artwork - the original painting is owned by a friend/collaborator of Russell Mills', also a Sylvian fan, and it would have been available if DS had reached out. However with the monochrome theme that the entire series is using the original image would not have worked at all - it needs to be shown in colour. The photo is Sylvian's choice and it may look better in real life - we don't yet know what the rest of the gatefold is like.
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Re: Vinyl re-releases of Sylvian solo albums

Postby javier on Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:02 am

Very interested to see the collection of artwork for these re-releases, even though I won't be buying them. The samples we've been shown look great.

Regarding the Gone To Earth artwork, I remember my first and only visit to Opium Arts to buy something or other back in the early '90s, and I was completely surprised but delighted to see the painting hanging in the office. Not wanting to appear too much a fanboy, I didn't show my enthusiasm or take the time to ask if I could really look at it, but since wish I had.

Glad to hear it has found a new caring home.
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