Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil

Subject: RE: [powderworks] Digest Number 2277
From: "Powderlurker ." <powderlurker@hotmail.com>
Date: 21/10/2014, 9:50 pm
To: Simon Kierse <skierse@netspace.net.au>, "powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au" <powderworks@yahoogroups.com.au>

Ah! Good point about the cat # listings.
I've been on the road for the past month (& have another 3 weeks to go) so I haven't been able to check any of this against my own LPs, CDs, etc.

In 1987 there were only 2 CD manufacturing plants, in the whole wide world. One in Austria and one in Japan. It was spooky new tech.
All CDs that needed to be manufactured had to be booked to be mastered & pressed in one of these two facilities (since Japan was dealing with the tech-hungry Asian market, it took a LONG while before they had the capacity to produce CDs for the west).
When they finally got glass-mastered, manufactured & packed... they then had to be shipped internationally (usually via surface - pearl jam's first album & singles got sent via air!). It was a long time before 'local plants' were permitted by sony (to combat counterfeiting).

Even after BSM had been released, Sony was still ordering the first 1,000-2,000 CDs, for an australian release, from overseas until they could get their own local facilities up to speed with mastering & production (to try & narrow the gap between US / Euro & Aus releases - because a LOT of CDs were being brought back from the US by travellers / entrepreneurs because it took forever for them to be released in AUS. (also, the US CDs were about US $15.99, now, vs. $24.99 - $28.99 in AUS - so you could make 10 bucks off every CD you brought back).

Needless to say, Volume & Pecking Order took priority on the release schedule (50,000 worldwide 'Sting' releases vs. 500 AUS Oils releases? Put The Oils CDs to the back of the list... after Sting, Rolling Stones & Dire Straits' Christmas output.... say, in about 2 years' time!

So... I think I got my D&D CD from the US, well before it was released in Australia (& well after the album was officially launched).
That would kind of make sense, since it was the breakthrough LP, there was a new commitment from CBS (getting a lot of push from the US parent company - guaranteeing some decent order numbers.... and they were touring North America to support sales... and expensive new formats). And because CBS/Sony would have generated all the artwork to be used internationally, to cut costs.

And then we went through it all, again, with DVDs.
DVD players were only released in 1997/1998 (in the US) and they didn't play CDs, at first (!).
And they were expensive, hard to get, and there was very minor media (movie / disc) support.
Funny thing is....
Black Rain Falls was released on Video tape on 25 October 1990. It took Oils 5 months to edit, manufacture & release the product - pretty darn fast, in those days!
It was released on Laserdisc (what?�?) in Europe, in 1991.
It was released on DVD in 2014 (14 years after DVD players became 'commonplace'. So, I guess we'll be seeing it on Blu-ray (Sony - ie Midnight Oils' label's - proprietary format) somewhere about 2025... just about when 'real-3D' & flying cars should be available?

Anyway - GBH
Yeah... "shit". Quite possibly. Don't forget that the PMRC was running riot in the US. Wal-Mart (& the likes) wouldn't stock records that were considered too 'controversial' (as branded by the PMRC, especially).
GnR's 'Appetite for Destruction' (1987) & Jane's Addiction 'Ritual de la Habitual' (1990) were both huge, at the time and both changed their covers so that big retail chains would stock the albums.

Then you get the situation where the UK gets their master from the US parent company... so the 'offending' track isn't included because it wasn't on the US release (& the record company monkeys aren't paid to think, so they just pack 'n' send)... and then they migrate the next master to Europe & to African territories...and then it goes on & on.
Sometimes the company deliberately pulls a track, either to use as a b-side, or because they want the CD to be more appealing because it has an extra track (& because it's more expensive... with a greater profit margin for the company).

Sometimes they just do mad shit because they don't really care....
What do you think the response would have been in the Oils' camp when they found out someone from the US record company had licensed & approved a D&D CD 'remaster' FROM VINYL ("The Legends of Rock" series) that got released just before the official CD remaster done by the band? I would have loved to be a fly on that wall...
'You're not releasing the official CD remaster, in the US, but you're agreeing to someone taking a copy from vinyl, messing with the equalisation (which any 3-year-old can do) and then releasing THAT as an officially-sanctioned release??'

Don't forget that it's always been a genius label manager (over & over...) who's come up with a (30-year-old) piece of paper & emphatically stated... "you know... surveys have proven that green doesn't sell... so we're banning green from your colour palette..."
I always wondered if that was another reason R.E.M. titled their album GREEN, and then coloured it orange...

that's enough of me crapping on...