independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Thu 18th Oct 2018 9:40pm
Welcome! Sign up or enter username and password to remember me
Forum jump
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Has Warner the power to remaster his 78-93 albums?
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Page 1 of 3 123>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Author

Tweet     Share

Message
Thread started 06/29/11 1:55pm

JoeTyler

avatar

Has Warner the power to remaster his 78-93 albums?

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #1 posted 06/29/11 2:04pm

mydrawers

avatar

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #2 posted 06/29/11 2:10pm

JoeTyler

avatar

mydrawers said:

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

that doesn't answer the OP question, does it?

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #3 posted 06/29/11 2:30pm

TwiliteKid

avatar

JoeTyler said:

mydrawers said:

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

that doesn't answer the OP question, does it?

It doesn't, but it might be the better one to ask.

To address your question though: I suspect there's a clause in the contract demanding Prince's approval before Warner can alter the existing releases.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #4 posted 06/29/11 2:34pm

savagedreams

mydrawers said:

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

if they are remastered properly they can be improved on, especially in just the volume, without being brickwalled. if they get remastered and not to your liking dont buy them, but they really do need a bit of remastering

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #5 posted 06/29/11 2:49pm

electricberet

avatar

Dirty Mind, Controversy, 1999, and Purple Rain have already been remastered for vinyl reissues. There has been debate in other threads as to how they could do this. It's possible that something in Prince's contracts gives them the right to press new vinyl records but not new CDs. Or it's possible that Prince signed on to the vinyl reissues because it fits with his current anti-digital mindset, but he won't agree to digital remasters.

Incidentally, the current U.S. CD pressings of Prince's early albums have not changed since the original "Target" pressings made in West Germany and Japan circa 1983-85. I confirmed this by checking the peak levels:

http://www.stevehoffman.t...-p-18.html

No one really knows for sure what rights the parties have here unless they've seen the contracts. And I suspect no one who has seen those contracts is going to post anything about it here.

The Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,518 American Indians and Alaska Natives currently living in the city of Long Beach.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #6 posted 06/29/11 2:49pm

Timmy84

TwiliteKid said:

JoeTyler said:

that doesn't answer the OP question, does it?

It doesn't, but it might be the better one to ask.

To address your question though: I suspect there's a clause in the contract demanding Prince's approval before Warner can alter the existing releases.

I think Prince and Warner are arguing over that clause. All about control.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #7 posted 06/29/11 2:52pm

roverlo

avatar

I think it has to do with the complex nature of the intellectual properties rights. They still belong to Prince, so he still has to approve of a re-release. That copy-right can be pawned to anyone else, he pawned them to WB for a period of 30 years (as I have understood).

Though the copy-right can be pawned but the actual (and final) say about a re-release cannot be taken away from the composer. It is and remains his/her personal right - this includes also a release of his song by another artist (covers).

Which leads to a catch-22: Prince has a right to stop WB from re-releasing his work (as remasters), WB has a right to stop Prince from releasing the remasters for the time the pawn of the intellectual properties of the masters lasts.

If my info is correct, Prince could release his remastered version of 'For You', 'Prince' and 'Dirty Mind' if he wants to. Of course he knows that is not commercially interesting and will not be until 2012 - when the pawn of 1999 ends or maybe even 2014...

And even then... the remastered albums will be available for free through the internet in less time than the time required by an apple to fall to the ground. Not to steal your thread, but I think this is the main reason why he is not keen about internet at the moment. He just sees his pot of gold shrinking with the possibility of free downloads of his remasters through torrent websites!

Hope this answers your question a bit smile

edit: the contractual clause may exist as well, but is not strictly necessary as intellectual properties rights are governed by international treaties to which the US is also a member.

[Edited 6/29/11 14:59pm]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #8 posted 06/29/11 2:58pm

electricberet

avatar

There's always been a lot of talk on here about the supposed reversion of control back to Prince 35 years after each album was issued. But this could have been renegotiated at any point, either in the big contract that turned Prince into a "slave" in the 90s or subsequently. The various contracts may be vaguely worded and subject to different interpretations; thus, even if we had them it wouldn't tell us what exactly is going on in the negotiations. Prince's recent interview comments suggest that he has no plans to release digital remasters now or in the future, but we all know how he can change his mind about such things. After all, he told us that the Black Album was evil and we shouldn't buy it, but then it got released anyway.

The Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,518 American Indians and Alaska Natives currently living in the city of Long Beach.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #9 posted 06/29/11 3:33pm

daPrettyman

avatar

electricberet said:

There's always been a lot of talk on here about the supposed reversion of control back to Prince 35 years after each album was issued. But this could have been renegotiated at any point, either in the big contract that turned Prince into a "slave" in the 90s or subsequently. The various contracts may be vaguely worded and subject to different interpretations; thus, even if we had them it wouldn't tell us what exactly is going on in the negotiations. Prince's recent interview comments suggest that he has no plans to release digital remasters now or in the future, but we all know how he can change his mind about such things. After all, he told us that the Black Album was evil and we shouldn't buy it, but then it got released anyway.

That was supposedly 2 get out of his contract.

**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••-
U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
http://www.twitter.com/nivlekbrad
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #10 posted 06/29/11 3:39pm

armpit

avatar

mydrawers said:

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

...No, so you can hear all the instruments crisply and all those little subtle nuances in the background.

I'd love to see remasters happen but I think we'll be waiting a longggg time for that.

"I don't think you'd do well in captivity." - random person's comment to me the other day
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #11 posted 06/29/11 3:47pm

daPrettyman

avatar

armpit said:

mydrawers said:

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

...No, so you can hear all the instruments crisply and all those little subtle nuances in the background.

I'd love to see remasters happen but I think we'll be waiting a longggg time for that.

If u grab the recently released vinyls, you can hear those. They sound wonderful!

**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••-
U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
http://www.twitter.com/nivlekbrad
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #12 posted 06/29/11 4:15pm

electricberet

avatar

daPrettyman said:

electricberet said:

There's always been a lot of talk on here about the supposed reversion of control back to Prince 35 years after each album was issued. But this could have been renegotiated at any point, either in the big contract that turned Prince into a "slave" in the 90s or subsequently. The various contracts may be vaguely worded and subject to different interpretations; thus, even if we had them it wouldn't tell us what exactly is going on in the negotiations. Prince's recent interview comments suggest that he has no plans to release digital remasters now or in the future, but we all know how he can change his mind about such things. After all, he told us that the Black Album was evil and we shouldn't buy it, but then it got released anyway.

That was supposedly 2 get out of his contract.

I have read that, but I've also read that it was unrelated to the contractual obligation, but WB gave him a $1 million check to release it. Either way, when Prince is faced with a choice between cash and principles, he will choose the cash if there's enough of it.

The Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,518 American Indians and Alaska Natives currently living in the city of Long Beach.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #13 posted 06/29/11 5:32pm

mzsadii

avatar

TwiliteKid said:

JoeTyler said:

that doesn't answer the OP question, does it?

It doesn't, but it might be the better one to ask.

To address your question though: I suspect there's a clause in the contract demanding Prince's approval before Warner can alter the existing releases.

Well, we can only wait and see.

Prince's Sarah
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #14 posted 06/29/11 5:48pm

mydrawers

avatar

JoeTyler said:

mydrawers said:

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

that doesn't answer the OP question, does it?

Actually, it does: AGAIN, they have not been remastered because they don't NEED to be remastered.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #15 posted 06/29/11 6:00pm

jpnyc

Prince has already stated that negotiations over remixes/remasters/rereleases have been dragging on due to the constant management shakeups at Warner. Unless things settle down with the new owners nothing is going to happen.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #16 posted 06/29/11 6:37pm

electricberet

avatar

jpnyc said:

Prince has already stated that negotiations over remixes/remasters/rereleases have been dragging on due to the constant management shakeups at Warner. Unless things settle down with the new owners nothing is going to happen.

Either party to a negotiation is always going to blame the other for the failure to make a deal. Prince is obviously living in a fantasy world in any event, so I wouldn't put any stock in anything he says.

The Census Bureau estimates that there are 2,518 American Indians and Alaska Natives currently living in the city of Long Beach.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #17 posted 06/29/11 8:09pm

dalsh327

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

There's the multitrack tapes Prince owns, and the finished mix tapes Warners has when they want to put a "best of" out.

They'd prob. take a check from Prince to give him the rights to his tapes now, they're making their money in Harry Potter and Twilight franchises .

I think Purple Rain is going to get a Deluxe Edition treatment because it was edited down to fit vinyl. It's probably not the album Prince envisioned to put out. But it should've been done in 2004 when they did the DVD special edition.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #18 posted 06/29/11 10:05pm

MickyDolenz

Remastering costs a lot of money (and a lot of time), especially if it is done by competent people, like with The Beatles & Genesis albums. Maybe Warners doesn't think most of Prince's albums will sell enough to justify the expense. Look at other Warner Brothers' acts like Madonna & Van Halen. Only a few of their early albums were remastered. The Beatles have guaranteed sales, Prince does not. If you go to the average record store, The Beatles albums are always kept in stock. With Prince, it's generally 1999, Purple Rain, and maybe The Best Of Prince.

For 75 years straight, the #1 genre in music, selling wise, was rock n' roll worldwide. Last year (2017) in June, it got de-crowned by hip hop. Hip hop is the #1 genre. It's hip hop - rock - country - pop or pop - country. ~ Pras
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #19 posted 06/29/11 10:13pm

The1592

If I'm not mistaken, Prince owns the publishing rights to his music, and Warner Bros. owns the masters; and if I'm still not mistaken, that means Warner Bros. only owns the recordings, not the rights to release those recordings (publishing).

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #20 posted 06/29/11 11:16pm

treehouse

Labels typically own the masters, and can do anything they want with them - reissue them, burn them, whatever.

Reissue projects are a dime a dozen, and can involve simple clean ups, or licensing to sublabels. This typically happens with out of print work, or boxsets where you can add bonus material.

Remastering involves literally restoring and remixing the recording from the original tapes. They recreate the records again in the studio. The labels employ a very select trusted group of engineers to do this kind of work, and the projects are labor intensive. Most of the time they do improve the recordings and error on the side of conservation. If there's a missing or damaged track, or Prince sent off mix downs, it would prevent them from doing it.

The recording artist can't really stop this unless there are limitations written into the contract. Typically the labels negotiate some new terms, since most older artists got screwed to begin with, but the only power the artist has in bargaining is their own support, and availability to promote

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #21 posted 06/30/11 12:14am

databank

avatar

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

WB can (and just did on vinyl with a few albums) remaster the original masters but that wouldn't do much. They can't remaster the original pre-master tapes not because they're not allowed to but because THEY DON'T HAVE THEM. Prince has the pre-master tapes and therefore only Prince can do proper remasters. Simple as that.

Next?

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #22 posted 06/30/11 1:41am

Xibalba

I wouldn't hold your breath:

"I personally can't stand digital music," he said. "You're getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can't feel anything. We're analogue people, not digital."

Prince - June 2011

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #23 posted 06/30/11 2:15am

NouveauDance

avatar

electricberet said:

jpnyc said:

Prince has already stated that negotiations over remixes/remasters/rereleases have been dragging on due to the constant management shakeups at Warner. Unless things settle down with the new owners nothing is going to happen.

Either party to a negotiation is always going to blame the other for the failure to make a deal. Prince is obviously living in a fantasy world in any event, so I wouldn't put any stock in anything he says.

Right, it's not just the management structure of WB, it's Prince's reaction to that management structure. Obviously it must be a pain in the arse every time you meet with them it's a new set of suits, it makes it hard to build a rapport - but something tells me Prince isn't exactly the most amiable person in this situation any way.

I'm sure Warners would love to have dropped a 20th anniversary special edition of _____ X album - it's Prince who's not giving the go ahead. I don't think his reasons are unjust, but I don't think it's a priority for him.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #24 posted 06/30/11 3:13am

Cravens

avatar

I would imagine that agreements between Prince and Warner grew more complex in the early 90s and even more complex when they agreed to split with each other.

I imagine Prince thought, somewhat, like this:

1990: "Fuck it, motherfucker, the past is the past gimme the money. You can keep them ol' records of mine. I'll just make some new ones, and they'll be just as good. What? Yeah, sure I'll sign."

1991: "Gimme the money, you know I'm worth it. Sure I'll sign."

1992: "Gimmegimme. Don't you bitches want me to sign something?"

1993: "Who cares about Purple Rain? That's so 80's"

1994: "Prince is dead. Nobody cares about the past! I live for the future. Don't sign me off yet!"

1995: "Y'all holding me back with your Prince-shit. You can keep Prince. I'm on a motherfucking moonbeam! Yeah. I'll sign that. What is it? Is it money?"

1996: "What's in the past is in the past. I can make money with my new music. More money than the Slave who made 1999 ever could"

1997: "What the fuck you mean they OWN Prince? That's my money they're earning. That's my music. That's not my signature! How can that me my sinature when .. when .. it says Prince .. and.. and I'm called *cough* yeah .. that!?"

1998: "GIMME"

1999: "What the Jesus!? A man's entitled to his own God given legacy. That's MY legacy! Ain't about the money that I need to repaint my house. It's the principle of things!"

2000: "Tell you what motherlover! There's only one Prince, and that's me! God knows me by that name, and you ain't gonna fool around with God! They stole my legacy!"

This isn't what happened of course, but just to illustrate, that Prince has had plenty of options to renegotiate through out his career and he has probably had plenty of motives for various choices, plus I bet he (along with most) really thought that Purple Rain et al. was in the past and he would go on to produce better works in the future - something I'm sure could motivate a certain carelessness towards his rights to certain key-albums. I don't think he necessarily signed off his rights to his albums because of greed at all, but maybe the naive overestimating of his ability to "just" make another Purple Rain (like, erhm, The Gold Experience).

Anyway, in the end: no one knows for sure what Warner and Prince has agreed to. Bets are, that Warners care mostly about 1999 up until SotT, and none of us know if the counting of the 30 years wait starts in the year the albums were released or the year Prince re-signed to Warners or the year he left.

So to answer: It is obvious, that what ever happens to the music of Prince from the 80s, both parties have the ability to veto the other, and Prince probably already has done so.

[Edited 6/30/11 3:21am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #25 posted 06/30/11 4:41am

JoeTyler

avatar

Thanks for the info

bleak scenario, anyway; something tells me that Prince IS the one to blame...

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #26 posted 06/30/11 5:11am

love2thenines2
003

Prince has declared clearly that he does not want anymore recording new & old albums ...if his deeper wish was to release the remasters...so ..the game would have already begun since few years back...End of the game & talkings....Prince is only interrested by the stage now! Shame!....Prince is an half of an artist now!

mad

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #27 posted 06/30/11 5:15am

GoldiesParade

avatar

He might have the right of refusal with them, I recall the extended version of Sexy Dancer was wropped from Ultimate because he did not want it on there. That information may be wrong though, because I read it on this forum.

http://www.goldiesparade.co.uk/ - Prince discography, tour history, news and more.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #28 posted 06/30/11 5:21am

NouveauDance

avatar

GoldiesParade said:

He might have the right of refusal with them, I recall the extended version of Sexy Dancer was wropped from Ultimate because he did not want it on there. That information may be wrong though, because I read it on this forum.

Erotic City, IIRC.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #29 posted 06/30/11 6:28am

steakfinger

mydrawers said:

JoeTyler said:

there's a thing that I don't understand. Prince doesn't have the rights of the music he released with Warners, right? The rights belong to Warners. Then, what the hell is Warners waiting for? Where are the remasters?

for those who have Spotify, you'll find that there are the 78-93 albums, including Come and The Vault... that's definitely Warners' doing...

can someone explain this to me?? Thanks

can we dream about Purple Rain 84-14 30th Anniversary Edition??

Those CD's sound fine the way they are. They don't NEED remastering. Why? So they can be loud and brickwalled like the way CD's are mastered today?? No thanks.

They seriously need remastering. Remastering is a lot more than loudness. The Beatles remasters are not loud, not brickwalled and they sound absolutely lush and amazing. Most of mastering involves EQ and the art of balancing frequencies. The original mix might sound fantastic on the stunning monitoring you would find in a nice studio, but it takes some work to make that translate onto the kind of system most people would have in the homes/cars. You are 100% incorrect. Hopefully I've expanded your rather limited palate of information regarding the recording process.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Page 1 of 3 123>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
« Previous topic  Next topic »
Forums > Prince: Music and More > Has Warner the power to remaster his 78-93 albums?