Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancelled?

Pretty self-explanatory
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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby Neil. » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:27 pm

I love the rough-hewn 'In Another Room' - however, I do think 'My Mood Swings' always sounded a bit demo-ish. Maybe this'll be a live version with The Brodskys, or summat?

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby cwr » Mon Jul 05, 2010 9:44 am

I think if there were anything new or unreleased on this collection, we'd already know about it. If any of these were alternate takes or new recordings, I'm certain that the official press release would've played up that aspect.

As it is, only "Impatience" is currently unavailable to buy (in the US, anyway-- regions like the UK could always pick it up on NORTH.) You can pick up "In Another Room" on iTunes for 99 cents, as part of the Delivery Man "special edition."

So, unless EC does some liner notes, there will basically be nothing of interest to fans who've been keeping up with official releases for the past decade or so. Which is fine-- I'm not arguing that he should be actively trying to get loyal fans to shell out for collections like this-- but I still find it kind of hard to imagine the type of person who would be the target for this release. Someone who doesn't have most of his albums since PFM, and who doesn't really WANT to get them, who just wants a sampling of them... There are no "hits" to speak of, since none of these songs really made an impression outside of people who were listening to the albums. Why would that person *care* if there were a couple of "rarities" like "In Another Room" or "Impatience"?

A disc like this is almost like Exhibit A for people who want to argue that EC's career has gone off the rails. If each phase of his career is represented by a compilation like this, the first one is so packed with popular hits that it gets reissued again and again (Columbia, Ryko, Rhino, Hip-O), sometimes expanded to a double-disc without any filler. The second one has one big "hit single" and a couple of minor charting singles, but barely makes any impression at all. Now, this one comes out, with no real hits at all, and it arrives at the end of a decade where the idea of a compilation CD has become antiquated, where "shuffle mode" and iPod playlists immediately deconstruct any thoughtful re-contextualizing of songs an artist like Elvis might hope to achieve by, say, opening with "Bedlam" and following it with "Stella Hurt."

Now, I personally think that EC's career is in fine shape, that he continues to do vibrant work and remain interesting at a point where a lot of artists are desperately trying to reclaim former glories. He has his TV show, he continues to make good records, and his concerts are as good as ever.

But "Pomp & Pout" feels like it will inevitably be a disc that adds up to less than the sum of its parts. I don't know if it's a contractual obligation to Universal, but it seems like yet another Costello CD release that is a little bit baffling to me. I didn't understand why Hip-O wanted to reissue bare bones releases of the Columbia albums so soon after Rhino had produced still-definitive double-disc sets. I didn't understand why they would want to put out a "themed" compilation alongside another "best of the first ten years"-- it was announced as the first in a "series" of themed Costello compilations, but presumably it sold so poorly that they never thought to do a follow-up. And even Elvis himself has expressed bafflement at the number of 1977-1979 live recordings they've released in the course of the last two or three years. The energy that went into any of these releases would've been better spent trying to figure out a way to make Costello's website better. (Honestly, those "Costello Show" CDs? I bought the Hollywood High one, but wouldn't they make more money if they started a "concert of the month" subscription download series, where you pay 6 to 8 bucks to get a new concert from the archives each month? And wouldn't fans be happier about it? It seems like an idea like that would be a winner for both the record company, the artist, and the fans...)

If some places sell P&P for close to $10, it might do okay. I can see people picking it up if it's a cheap disc and a chance to catch up on an artist they like but have stopped actively following. But it will probably just serve as a little boost of pre-publicity for the real draw of the year, American Ransom.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby EarlManchester » Wed Jul 14, 2010 10:22 am

Evidently, the release date has been bumped to August 10...

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby Top balcony » Wed Jul 14, 2010 4:15 pm

cwr wrote: I still find it kind of hard to imagine the type of person who would be the target for this release.


cwr

Completely agree with all your comment, particularly the snippet above, and I speak as someone who has happily shelled out loads for different versions of the same songs over the re-issue years, Extreme Honey, however,was probably the tipping point for me, 1 new song for the price a full CD, and all the "old" songs sound much better in their original context.

If they put as much effort into marketing this product as they did in promoting his recent UK/R.I.tour ( ie zip) the this could well end up as being his all time lowest seller, and not the ideal market warmer for "King of England" (what I'm choosing to call "American Ransom" until the proper name is leaked).

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby And No Coffee Table » Fri Jul 16, 2010 2:14 pm

EarlManchester wrote:Evidently, the release date has been bumped to August 10...


And again to August 24...

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby johnfoyle » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:06 pm

Since I still listen exclusively to discs I got Martin to compile the tracks for this compilation onto a disc for me. Not being sure of which Dust was used both were included , bringing the disc to c.78 mins. It hangs together very well.

The placing of tracks out of their , for us more devoted fans,usual context gives them new emphasis. No Hiding Place was always rather reduced in it's impact by the steamroller effect it has in being a album opener on Momofuku. Here, after the scene setting by two more ferocious tunes, the listener is more ready for it and appreciates it the more. Ascension Day has it's compassion reinforced by how organic it sounds after the preceding artifice employed in When I Was Cruel No. 2. The calm, measured piano work in Still is in stark contrast to the endearingly ramshackle keyboard playing in In Another Room. And so.

It's also possible to notice some interesting trends. One is the seeming relevance of Elvis' marital state. All the tracks from the 'Cait' years are characterised by nervy, strained vocals, mostly pitched rather high. Those from the 'Diana' years are more level, comfortable and confident. Harsh as that may be to say so, in that the earlier relationship was so fraught, the tracks are served well by this. The tracks from PFM are astonishing. That album hasn't aged well in it's over produced state but the servings from it - This House is Empty Now,The Sweetest Punch, In the Darkest Place - come out as highlights here, their isolation doubling their emotional impact.

I could - and will - go on. Get burning for yourself and see what you think.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby And No Coffee Table » Wed Jul 21, 2010 10:12 am

And No Coffee Table wrote:I'm assuming "Dust" is "Dust 2..."


It's actually "...Dust" according to iTunes, which has 30-second samples for all the tracks.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby The Gentleman » Mon Jul 26, 2010 3:41 am

It would seem the uk edition might have a slightly different track list, or Eil.com has some outdated info. They list the contents as:

1. Bedlam - Album Version
2. Stella Hurt - Album Version
3. No Hiding Place - Album Version
4. This House Is Empty Now
5. Impatience
6. Tart - Album Version
7. The Sweetest Punch
8. My Mood Swings - 'The Big Lebowski' Soundtrack Version
9. When I Was Cruel No.2 - Album Version
10. Ascension Day
11. Monkey To Man - Album Version
12. The River In Reverse
13. Country Darkness - Album Version
14. 45 - Album Version
15. God Give Me Strength
16. She
17. In Another Room - The Clarksdale Sessions Edit
18. Still

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby sweetest punch » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:12 pm

CD Universe speaks of 2 editions ( http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=8243691 ) :
"International version with two alternate tracks not on the USA version; 'She' & 'God Give Me Strength'. 18 tracks."
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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby krm » Thu Jul 29, 2010 1:00 am

sweetest punch wrote:CD Universe speaks of 2 editions ( http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=8243691 ) :
"International version with two alternate tracks not on the USA version; 'She' & 'God Give Me Strength'. 18 tracks."


wow, will probably make the sales skyrocket.......

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby Neil. » Thu Jul 29, 2010 3:18 am

Very wise move, putting 'She' on there - but imagine the puzzlement of people who only know 'She', and excitedly play the album only to be presented immediately with 'Bedlam'!

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby johnfoyle » Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:50 am

The Amazon pages no longer have a release date.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003MT ... B003MT2EOQ

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_nos ... rs&x=0&y=0



CD Universe are listing Aug. 31 '10

http://www.cduniverse.com/productinfo.asp?pid=8243691



http://consequenceofsound.net/2010/08/0 ... -years-mr/


Consequence of sound



Album Review: Elvis Costello – Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years

By Matt Melis

August 2nd, 2010

While the need for a compilation documenting Elvis Costello’s first decade of recording under the Universal umbrella may be debatable, it’s certainly no stretch to suggest that this was one of the iconic singer-songwriter’s more eclectic, experimental, and collaborative periods. Painted from Memory paired Costello with legendary composer Burt Bacharach on a stirring set of perfectly structured pop songs. When I Was Cruel recalled his disgruntled, if not brutal, youth. Longtime Attractions and Imposters band mate Steve Nieve accompanied Costello on the piano ballads of North. The country-tinged The Delivery Man featured vocals from country stalwarts Emmylou Harris and Lucinda Williams, and Momofuku, written and recorded in only a few days, owed its rocking edge to Costello’s chemistry with indie-everything Jenny Lewis. Throw in a collaboration with Allen Toussaint for disaster relief, a live jazz record with the 52-piece Metropole Orkest, and an opera commissioned by an Italian dance company, and Costello may likely be the music industry’s leading genre-hopper.

Pomp & Pout: The Universal Years attempts to sample from and do justice to the aforementioned forays and projects in a tidy 18-track collection. And like most compilations, it’s a bit of a hodgepodge with almost zero cohesion. For example, while listeners may never tire of hearing the aggressive punch of “Stella Hurt” or the glowing barnburner “No Hiding Place”, to follow them with the melancholy and orchestrated “This House Is Empty Now” makes for a rather awkward transition. With Costello having tackled so many styles in the previous decade, this collection really can’t help but make the listener feel bounced around like a pinball at times.

However, what separates Pomp & Pout from many compilations—and what listeners should really appreciate—is Costello’s noticeable hand in selecting the tracks. Sure, there are the radio-friendly “45” and “Monkey to Man”, but this is far from being a mere collection of singles. Instead, Costello seems to make it a point to choose songs that really map out where he has been creatively. No track could better encapsulate The Delivery Man than the underappreciated “Country Darkness”, which wanders gently in between Costello’s raw, vocal outpourings. “When I Was Cruel No. 2”, which adds, subtracts, and builds piece by piece, largely reveals how Costello wrote When I Was Cruel alone using a guitar and machine-played beats. Costello also has the good sense and taste to include b-side treats “Impatience” and “In Another Room”, not to mention the infectious groove of “My Mood Swings” from The Big Lebowski soundtrack.

Costello completists won’t find anything here that they haven’t heard before, and no doubt they’d prefer to revisit these songs in the contexts of the original albums. But for those in Elvis’s army who didn’t follow Costello down certain musical paths that strayed too far away from his signature pub rock/new wave sound, Pomp & Pout offers a taste of what was missed. “Still” showcases the eloquence and beauty of the North sessions, with Costello’s voice softly set to delicate piano arrangements (the opposite of his singing on the better known Painted from Memory). “The River in Reverse”, from the album of the same name recorded with Allen Toussaint, delivers funk with equal parts despair and outrage in response to the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe.

So, for those who have lost touch with Costello over the years—or simply haven’t been able to keep up with such prolific output—Pomp & Pout is a perfect means of playing catch-up and getting reacquainted. For those who have been with him at every turn, his new record, American Ransom, is slated to be released later this year.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Aug 02, 2010 12:22 pm



Buy.com has it rescheduled for January 1, 2037.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years , July 13 '10

Postby And No Coffee Table » Mon Aug 02, 2010 7:38 pm

AllMusic review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine:


When Elvis Costello signed with Universal it was under the condition that he could record for any of their various imprints, thereby giving him full license to indulge in all his interests, whether it be rock & roll, R&B, opera, or torch songs. This made for an interesting era without many hits, so compiling an overview of his stint with the label is all about personal choice -- and in the case of Pomp & Pout, it’s all about Costello’s own take on 1998-2008, a take that is typically idiosyncratic. Many of the singles from this decade -- “Toledo,” “She,” “Tear Off Your Own Head (It’s a Doll Revolution)," “Go Away” -- are left behind, as is “God Give Me Strength,” the cornerstone of his Burt Bacharach collaboration Painted from Memory, while a handful of relative oddities (“My Mood Swings” from the Big Lebowski soundtrack; the North bonus track “Impatience”; “In Another Room” from The Clarksdale Sessions, the accompanying EP to The Delivery Man) are elevated in the canon by their presence here, but Pomp & Pout winds up excavating album tracks from his primary Universal albums: the 1998 Bacharach collaboration Painted from Memory, 2002’s When I Was Cruel, 2004’s The Delivery Man, his 2006 duet The River in Reverse with Allen Toussaint, and 2008’s Momofuku. This may mean that his more adventurous moments are downplayed -- there’s nothing from The Sweetest Punch, For the Stars, Il Sogno, and My Flame Burns Blue, and even North is relegated to a footnote -- but it does give Pomp & Pout a unified vision, one that’s rooted in classic rock, pop, and R&B, one that doesn’t seem as willfully eclectic when presented as a collection as it does when heard album by album. And in that sense, Pomp & Pout winds up as a representative sampler of this decade: it may miss some signature songs, it may take a couple of detours, but the foundation is strong -- and the same can be said of the era as a whole.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby wordnat » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:10 am

I wouldn't be surprised if they held P&P back -- I found it strange that two EC records would be released just a couple of months apart. Also, if NR was completed in March, why wait until October to release it? I don't get it....

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby wardo68 » Tue Aug 03, 2010 10:45 am

Universal would certainly be happy to cash in on an upcoming Costello album however they can. Especially when the new album is on a label they don't own.
As for the delay between completing the new album and releasing it, consider that SP&S sat in the can for over a year before it came out.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby johnfoyle » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:15 pm

http://consequenceofsound.net/2010/08/0 ... -years-mr/


Thanks Matt for a very interesting review. Its good to read someone who has clearly taken the time to assess a album and put it in it’s proper context. It makes it all more disappointing to get the news that this release has , it seems, been dropped from the schedules, most ‘net retail outlets no longer listing a sale date. The album is supposed to have a sleevenote by Elvis; did they appear on your review copy? If so, were they detailed and have, perhaps, any new/surprising info.?

John Foyle August 3, 2010 at 7:52 am


John,

Thank you for your kind words. Yes, it now seems that I may have reviewed a record most of us will never get to own. Why it was inexplicably pulled, I haven’t the foggiest. There has never been any shyness about releasing Costello projects in the past. (Luckily for fans, everything here is already available and/or obtainable.)

As for liner notes, I was not privy to them. I was working off a digital copy for this review, not a physical copy. In this brave new world of music coverage, reviewers don’t always get sent the record anymore. For example, Bob Dylan will mail me a CD, while the late-great Johnny Cash prefers to send me a digital download. Who am I to argue with The Man In Black?

Your question is a good one, though. Costello’s compilations and re-releases always tend to have interesting and insightful liner notes, so it is a shame his comments on the record may go unread.

best,
matt melis


Matt Melis August 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby Jeremy Dylan » Tue Aug 03, 2010 4:46 pm

wordnat wrote: Also, if NR was completed in March, why wait until October to release it? I don't get it....

It was recorded in March - who knows when it was completed? It had to be mixed, the however many recorded songs had to be whittled down to a final track selection, it then had to be mastered, album artwork had to be designed and approved, then a marketing strategy had to be put in place, possibly a single was chosen which will see release earlier, and a release date would've been selected to give an appropriate gap from the last album and to maximize the potential for initial sales, possibly coinciding with some sort of American tour for EC and the 'Canes. It's not like T-Bone just can burn the tracks on a CD-R the day after the session and post it to Wall-Mart.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby cwr » Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:06 pm

I've been one to argue that EC should be able to release some songs really fast if he wanted to use his website to get something out there instantly. But as far as releasing a physical record, we only have to look at his two most recent releases, Momofuku and Secret, Profane & Sugar Cane to see what happens when a Costello record gets rush-released.

Momofuku was recorded and in shops within a very short period of time and its sales were very poor indeed. SP&SC was recorded over a year before it came out and was his highest charting debut since 1980.

Now, I'm not sure that the time between recording and release was really the big factor there-- I'd say that SP&SC being for sale on Starbucks' Hear Music label seems to have been an enormous factor in terms of getting people to actually buy it. But it's not terribly surprising that EC is perhaps reluctant to repeat the Momofuku approach after SP&SC did so well with a more relaxed release strategy...

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby Neil. » Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:19 am

Sounds like a good stategy, pulling Pomp and Pout... we don't want mixed messages coming out of the Costello camp! American Ransom should defo take top priority - Pomp can wait till 2011.

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby Masterpiece? » Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:56 am

And maybe they can use the extra time to figure out a way to get She added to the track list in the US. (GGMS is a lower priority for me, but that would be nice too)
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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby wordnat » Wed Aug 04, 2010 9:42 pm

Jeremy Dylan wrote:
wordnat wrote: Also, if NR was completed in March, why wait until October to release it? I don't get it....

It was recorded in March - who knows when it was completed? It had to be mixed, the however many recorded songs had to be whittled down to a final track selection, it then had to be mastered, album artwork had to be designed and approved, then a marketing strategy had to be put in place, possibly a single was chosen which will see release earlier, and a release date would've been selected to give an appropriate gap from the last album and to maximize the potential for initial sales, possibly coinciding with some sort of American tour for EC and the 'Canes. It's not like T-Bone just can burn the tracks on a CD-R the day after the session and post it to Wall-Mart.


Unless you're Boston, it doesn't take 7 months to mix/master/etc. I have a feeling the delay was a "business" decision, as these things always are. I wish we could go back to the time when "Revolver" followed "Rubber Soul" by -- what? -- 8 months or something? Those must have been the days...! Sigh....

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby Poor Deportee » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:00 pm

wordnat wrote:
Jeremy Dylan wrote:
wordnat wrote: Also, if NR was completed in March, why wait until October to release it? I don't get it....

It was recorded in March - who knows when it was completed? It had to be mixed, the however many recorded songs had to be whittled down to a final track selection, it then had to be mastered, album artwork had to be designed and approved, then a marketing strategy had to be put in place, possibly a single was chosen which will see release earlier, and a release date would've been selected to give an appropriate gap from the last album and to maximize the potential for initial sales, possibly coinciding with some sort of American tour for EC and the 'Canes. It's not like T-Bone just can burn the tracks on a CD-R the day after the session and post it to Wall-Mart.


Unless you're Boston, it doesn't take 7 months to mix/master/etc. I have a feeling the delay was a "business" decision, as these things always are. I wish we could go back to the time when "Revolver" followed "Rubber Soul" by -- what? -- 8 months or something? Those must have been the days...! Sigh....


Funnily enough, hasn't EC talked about basically unleashing a barrage of albums on the marketplace? He seems to be slowly coming around to that approach. Certainly his career seems (to my mind anyway) to be increasingly focused after the general randomness of the 'Brodsky-and-Beyond' era. But you're right, the record companies would surely never allow that sort of spray-it-all-out-there philosophy.

It's clear that Elvis sees the existing business model as fundamentally broken, but equally clear that he has no real idea of where to go from here in terms of recordings and releases, so I gather he's just recording records when he feels like it, either because he's got the itch or because he wants some new material to perform. He doesn't seem to have much hope for sales at this point anyway, so my guess is he's basically given up as far as the distribtuion side goes.
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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby cwr » Wed Aug 04, 2010 10:30 pm

I still think there is one way that Costello could pull off a hit record at this stage in his career.

Write a bunch of songs tailor-made for his favorite famous singers. Then ask them to come in and record them with The Imposters and with EC producing, possibly even singing a few close harmonies or backing vocals.

It's kind of similar to what Stephin Merritt did with his albums as THE 6THS, but I think it's a concept that would suit EC very well. After all, he's really good at writing songs to suit other singers' styles, and he's often done so without knowing whether that artist would ever cover it. But if, for instance, he had simply ASKED Johnny Cash to record a vocal for "Complicated Shadows", I'm sure he would have done it.

Would Paul McCartney come in and cover a song if Costello wrote one for him? I'd bet he would. That alone would probably make the album a bigger seller than most of Costello's regular albums. But can you imagine EC writing a song for, say, Aretha Franklin, and then getting to hear her sing it because he's making it happen?

Maybe Costello would be too proud to make such a transparent attempt at concocting a hit record. But it sure would be a lot of fun to see what he would come up with and who he would be able to get to appear on it. And, in some ways, it would be a perfect showcase for one of Costello's greatest talents...

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Re: Pomp & Pout: Best of The Universal Years -release cancel

Postby Jeremy Dylan » Wed Aug 04, 2010 11:26 pm

wordnat wrote:
Jeremy Dylan wrote:
wordnat wrote: Also, if NR was completed in March, why wait until October to release it? I don't get it....

It was recorded in March - who knows when it was completed? It had to be mixed, the however many recorded songs had to be whittled down to a final track selection, it then had to be mastered, album artwork had to be designed and approved, then a marketing strategy had to be put in place, possibly a single was chosen which will see release earlier, and a release date would've been selected to give an appropriate gap from the last album and to maximize the potential for initial sales, possibly coinciding with some sort of American tour for EC and the 'Canes. It's not like T-Bone just can burn the tracks on a CD-R the day after the session and post it to Wall-Mart.


Unless you're Boston, it doesn't take 7 months to mix/master/etc. I have a feeling the delay was a "business" decision, as these things always are. I wish we could go back to the time when "Revolver" followed "Rubber Soul" by -- what? -- 8 months or something? Those must have been the days...! Sigh....

EC has released 11 albums in the last ten years. Outside of Willie Nelson and Jim Lauderdale, he's shooting them out at an unheard of rate for this period. U2 are averaging one every three or four years, Beyonce every two or three years, Green Day every three years, Dylan every four years, etc. Compared to most artists, a new album only a year after the previous album is a very quick turnaround. And if SP&S had had a few hit singles, I doubt we'd be seeing a new album this year.
Besides, it's not like the songs are being kept under wraps and secret from us until October - I've got multiple recordings of The Spell That You Cast, I Lost You, Jimmie Standing In The Rain, Slow Drag With Josephine, Five Small Words, Condemned Man and Poor Borrowed Dress and am enjoying them a lot. It won't kill me to wait two and a bit months for the studio versions.


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