independent and unofficial
Prince fan community site
Thu 23rd May 2019 3:31pm
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 2 of 3 <123>
  New topic   Printable     (Log in to 'subscribe' to this topic)
Reply #30 posted 06/30/11 6:52am

electricberet

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.

It's possible that WMG believes that they have the right to release digital remasters under whatever contracts currently govern, but that they won't do so without Prince's input because his lawyers interpret the contracts differently and they don't want to risk a lawsuit. Also, a remaster campaign would be more successful if the artist actually promoted it, whereas Prince would be sure to raise a big stink if anything happened without his approval.

The bottom line is that we don't know the state of play because we haven't seen the contracts. Personally, I am not really that concerned about digital remasters from Prince right now because I have enough to spend money on with the upcoming Pink Floyd remasters and the ongoing Paul McCartney campaign. I would like to see Bernie redo the other WB albums for 180-gram vinyl the way he did the three that were recently released, but it's not that big of a deal because I have the original pressings. So, Prince can eat his candy himself for all I care.

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 #31 posted 06/30/11 7:10am

databank

avatar

JoeTyler said:

Thanks for the info

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

To blame for what? I'd appreciate remasters but from a guy who's released more than 60 albums + hundreds of non-album tracks, I guess I can do without remasters: his catalogue deserves a serious archive program because we have so many songs in so many different sound quality, but I'm happy to have SO MUCH music in the first place (while many other artists who DID release remasters have so little to offer all in all).

Besides, once again to blame for what? Blame him if he still won't release remasters after 35 years, but for now wouldn't it be stupid to allow WB to do it now and give him 20% of the $ when he can do it later and get 100%?

Give the dude a break lol

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #32 posted 06/30/11 7:36am

JoeTyler

avatar

databank said:

JoeTyler said:

Thanks for the info

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

To blame for what? I'd appreciate remasters but from a guy who's released more than 60 albums + hundreds of non-album tracks, I guess I can do without remasters: his catalogue deserves a serious archive program because we have so many songs in so many different sound quality, but I'm happy to have SO MUCH music in the first place (while many other artists who DID release remasters have so little to offer all in all).

Besides, once again to blame for what? Blame him if he still won't release remasters after 35 years, but for now wouldn't it be stupid to allow WB to do it now and give him 20% of the $ when he can do it later and get 100%?

Give the dude a break lol

friend, the only major artists that don't have their back catalog (or at least, their best/most popular albums) remastered/expanded/re-released are Metallica AND Prince, two of the biggest money-obsessed whores you'll find in the industry...

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #33 posted 06/30/11 7:37am

Cravens

avatar

databank said:

JoeTyler said:

Thanks for the info

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

To blame for what? I'd appreciate remasters but from a guy who's released more than 60 albums + hundreds of non-album tracks, I guess I can do without remasters: his catalogue deserves a serious archive program because we have so many songs in so many different sound quality, but I'm happy to have SO MUCH music in the first place (while many other artists who DID release remasters have so little to offer all in all).

Besides, once again to blame for what? Blame him if he still won't release remasters after 35 years, but for now wouldn't it be stupid to allow WB to do it now and give him 20% of the $ when he can do it later and get 100%?

Give the dude a break lol

Remasters are about better sounding music, not about "look how much he has already done". It's quality over quantity. Sure it's probably nice enough that he's made lots and lots of music .. but is it enjoyable to listen to the old cd's when they were mastered by people who were only beginners with an still infant technique? What about preservation of important music for the future?

Imagine, if you will if, Purple Rain could never get a DVD release, but had to remain in VHS-quality in all this time. Would a such film survive? Would it be seen? Or would it die, and cultural history would eventually just forget it because the "quality" was just so unsufferable to watch, that no one would?

Just like no one listens to 78s today because the quality is below what's accepted, the future could be that Prince's music gets to die off. Why would my sister's kid buy a Prince album when he think it sound so "old and dusty"?

And I'll claim that Prince's music is bigger than Prince himself. It has found its way into our culture, formed it, articulated it. He may be the originator of it, but in many ways, it is no longer "his".

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #34 posted 06/30/11 8:47am

electricberet

avatar

JoeTyler said:

databank said:

To blame for what? I'd appreciate remasters but from a guy who's released more than 60 albums + hundreds of non-album tracks, I guess I can do without remasters: his catalogue deserves a serious archive program because we have so many songs in so many different sound quality, but I'm happy to have SO MUCH music in the first place (while many other artists who DID release remasters have so little to offer all in all).

Besides, once again to blame for what? Blame him if he still won't release remasters after 35 years, but for now wouldn't it be stupid to allow WB to do it now and give him 20% of the $ when he can do it later and get 100%?

Give the dude a break lol

friend, the only major artists that don't have their back catalog (or at least, their best/most popular albums) remastered/expanded/re-released are Metallica AND Prince, two of the biggest money-obsessed whores you'll find in the industry...

Regarding Metallica, "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" were remastered by the legendary Steve Hoffman for DCC. They are now out of print and quite expensive, so I don't have them.

That leaves Prince as the only major artist whose classic albums have never been digitally remastered.

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 #35 posted 06/30/11 8:47am

daPrettyman

avatar

MickyDolenz said:

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.

I don't buy that.

If those remasters are promoted properly (like they did The Ultimate Prince and The Best of Prince), they could sell well. All WB has to do is put a little effort in online advertising as well as a promotion at Best Buy (or some other store that still sells music) as well as a television campaign and they would do well. Prince wouldn't even have to say or do any type of promotion.

**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••--**--••**--••-
U 'gon make me shake my doo loose!
http://www.twitter.com/nivlekbrad
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #36 posted 06/30/11 9:51am

fuzzfacefrombb
oard

electricberet said:

JoeTyler said:

friend, the only major artists that don't have their back catalog (or at least, their best/most popular albums) remastered/expanded/re-released are Metallica AND Prince, two of the biggest money-obsessed whores you'll find in the industry...

Regarding Metallica, "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" were remastered by the legendary Steve Hoffman for DCC. They are now out of print and quite expensive, so I don't have them.

That leaves Prince as the only major artist whose classic albums have never been digitally remastered.

Both of those were "secretly" remastered well in the late 90s I believe. Any cds of those albums that had the "certified platinum" stickers on them (and any moving forward) were remastered, but not labeled as such. There is some good info on this in the Steve Hoffman forums. If I remember correctly, the consensus is that they don't sound nearly as good as the early pressings. The Hoffman remasters, on the other hand, are quite excellent. I finally managed to pick up RtL for a decent price last month.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #37 posted 06/30/11 11:23am

electricberet

avatar

fuzzfacefrombboard said:

electricberet said:

Regarding Metallica, "Ride the Lightning" and "Master of Puppets" were remastered by the legendary Steve Hoffman for DCC. They are now out of print and quite expensive, so I don't have them.

That leaves Prince as the only major artist whose classic albums have never been digitally remastered.

Both of those were "secretly" remastered well in the late 90s I believe. Any cds of those albums that had the "certified platinum" stickers on them (and any moving forward) were remastered, but not labeled as such. There is some good info on this in the Steve Hoffman forums. If I remember correctly, the consensus is that they don't sound nearly as good as the early pressings. The Hoffman remasters, on the other hand, are quite excellent. I finally managed to pick up RtL for a decent price last month.

They are also available on iTunes with live bonus tracks. Not trying to turn this into a Metallica thread, but it just shows that Prince is out on his own limb when it comes to ignoring his back catalog.

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 #38 posted 06/30/11 11:29am

JoeTyler

avatar

electricberet said:

fuzzfacefrombboard said:

Both of those were "secretly" remastered well in the late 90s I believe. Any cds of those albums that had the "certified platinum" stickers on them (and any moving forward) were remastered, but not labeled as such. There is some good info on this in the Steve Hoffman forums. If I remember correctly, the consensus is that they don't sound nearly as good as the early pressings. The Hoffman remasters, on the other hand, are quite excellent. I finally managed to pick up RtL for a decent price last month.

They are also available on iTunes with live bonus tracks. Not trying to turn this into a Metallica thread, but it just shows that Prince is out on his own limb when it comes to ignoring his back catalog.

didn't know that. But still, they could have released those albums properly, and remaster Kill'Em All, Justice for all and the Black Album (1991)

but yeah, Prince is the biggest loony...

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #39 posted 06/30/11 5:35pm

BartVanHemelen

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.

It must be so bloody hard to read http://prince.org/wiki/Th..._1994_Deal .

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #40 posted 06/30/11 5:39pm

BartVanHemelen

avatar

mydrawers said:

JoeTyler said:

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.

Anyone who thinks SOTT sounds OK on CD needs to get his hearing checked.

Come on, dude, CD mastering was in its infancy in the 1980s. Technology has dramatically improved since then, so have skills. Compare recent Sly & The Family Stone CDs to older releases: vastly superior. Same for Bob Dylan albums.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #41 posted 06/30/11 5:40pm

BartVanHemelen

avatar

treehouse said:

Remastering involves literally restoring and remixing the recording from the original tapes.

No it doesn't. That's what happens sometimes, sure, but that's not a rule.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #42 posted 06/30/11 6:32pm

dalsh327

A SOTT remastering project is going to make the songs sound fuller and richer, esp if he's using his multitrack tapes.

But even if they were remastered a decade ago, he's probably going to go back through them and change things here and there.

A lot of CD mastering in the 80s when it came to someone's back catalog was horrible. Over the years, they've done a lot of searching for master tapes, which have turned up in the most unexpected places. I don't even know if Prince even had the physical tapes pre Paisley Park until recently...

WB is run by Universal, but during the "Slave" era, Time Warner had just acquired it. Most of his publishing is also through Universal.

I think it's pretty much going to be like NIN releasing Pretty Hate Machine, where the differences are going to be in the little details, playing both CDs back to back.

The Stones Exile on Main Street was a huge reissue project, and Jagger had always said he wanted to fix some things on it. Some people still love the Virgin reissue more, some people love the Universal reissue, and some fans just burned the better of the two versions. Sometimes it's worth having more than one copy, and not get be too quick to sell off what you have. They wind up gaining value when the hardcore fans stand by a previous remaster.

Van Halen remastered the classic era, but Alex had said they decided not to add bonus tracks and just made the packaging like the original albums.

But Sharon Osbourne learned her lesson when you try to mess with original recordings, when she had Diary and Blizzard re-recorded.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #43 posted 06/30/11 6:58pm

electricberet

avatar

If Prince ever gets control of his back catalog and decides to release digital remasters, I think it's very unlikely that he will simply give us better sounding versions of what we already have. He'll go through and remix them, at the least, and possibly re-record certain parts. In the worst care scenario, he'll change the lyrics to promote burqas or whatever he's into at the moment. Either way, I think it's likely that the existing CDs are the only official digital versions we're ever going to have that actually reflect the way the music sounded when it came out in the 1980s. He's just too much of a control freak to let the albums be digitally remastered in a way that is faithful to the original versions. (Although he did essentially do that with the vinyl remasters, so I could be wrong.)

At least some fans were listening to the albums from Purple Rain onward on CD as they came out, and the current CD versions of those albums are therefore authentic even if they sound bad to our ears. (The albums before Purple Rain are another matter, as they weren't issued on CD until after the vinyl had already been released.) I don't know if Prince will ever release digital remasters that sound better, but whatever he releases is likely to reflect his vision of the albums at the time he revisits them, not what his vision was in the 1980s.

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 #44 posted 06/30/11 9:01pm

Pbing

electricberet said:

I don't know if Prince will ever release digital remasters that sound better, but whatever he releases is likely to reflect his vision of the albums at the time he revisits them, not what his vision was in the 1980s.

I could see it playing out both ways, really. But yeah, I think we can all agree that a nice remastering (from the original master tapes) as opposed to remixing (ie. creating "new" master tapes with tweaks) is the way to go.

IMO the most important part of a remastering project is the "re-transferring" part of it… as in, re-digitizing the original analogue 2-track master tapes. It's not as if the mastering engineers in the 80s were all terrible, it's that they were working with the very first, most primitive digital equipment. The sound card in your computer today is leagues better than the a/d conversion they were using at the time to master ALL CDs. The "re-transfer" is the reason that new digital masters of old analogue albums can suddenly reveal new detail that was never in the original digital releases.

I think it's likely that a "re-transfer" of the tapes has been done already as part of a sensible archiving program either at PP or WB. Tapes falling apart and whatnot, you know. So part of the work for preparing remasters is already done (the most important part, as far as sound quality goes, IMO). For that reason, my guess is that there's a business reason that new releases have not happened yet.

For example, it could be that CDs are no longer lucrative enough to make manufacturing all new pressings worthwhile. I mean, the Beatles managed to sell some, but they're the Beatles. Prince is popular, but there would probably be at least an order of magnitude less interest in his remastered material than that of the Beatles. Does that mean, once you total up the Princely demands, as well as marketing and manufacturing, it's not a profitable venture? I dunno.

I find it strange that stores are selling through the original WB CDs as fast as they can. By that I mean I regularly see new copies on sale for 5, 6, 7, 8 dollars new. For a while I assumed that meant that reissues were in the works, and they were discounting the old stuff to move it before it became worthless, but I'm not so sure I think that anymore.

I guess, given it's Prince, there's probably really is no plan. I am curious why all the old albums are going for so cheap now; that seems strange. Maybe they just have way too many of them?

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #45 posted 07/01/11 1:03am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

dalsh327 said:

A lot of CD mastering in the 80s when it came to someone's back catalog was horrible. Over the years, they've done a lot of searching for master tapes, which have turned up in the most unexpected places. I don't even know if Prince even had the physical tapes pre Paisley Park until recently...

Prince has the physical multitracks in his vault. WB has the mixdowns.

WB is run by Universal

Where do you get this? Is it so bloody hard to use Wikipedia? http://en.wikipedia.org/w...sic_Group + http://en.wikipedia.org/w...s._Records

, but during the "Slave" era, Time Warner had just acquired it.

No, Time Warner is the result of Time Inc. acquiring Warner Communications. Hence the name. This happened in 1989, by the way. Once again: http://en.wikipedia.org/w...ime_Warner .

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #46 posted 07/01/11 1:09am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

electricberet said:

Either way, I think it's likely that the existing CDs are the only official digital versions we're ever going to have that actually reflect the way the music sounded when it came out in the 1980s.

[...]

At least some fans were listening to the albums from Purple Rain onward on CD as they came out, and the current CD versions of those albums are therefore authentic even if they sound bad to our ears.

Bullcrap. They've always sounded bad. The first time I listened to SOTT on CD I was baffled by the abhorrent sound quality because I've had lived with the vinyl for so long.

CD mastering was an afterthought back in the 1980s, and that's why plenty of artists have gone back to their catalog and remastered their albums. Also, since then we've seen the introduction of high-end digital audio with SACD, DVD-A and now Blu-ray.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #47 posted 07/01/11 1:14am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

Pbing said:

For example, it could be that CDs are no longer lucrative enough to make manufacturing all new pressings worthwhile.

Oh for crying out loud. Pick up a magazine like Mojo or Uncut and notice all the archive releases, often on tiny specialized labels, of artists that didn't sell any records back in the day. If those are profitable (and they must be, since those companies have been doing this for years and are still in business and have money to advertise in these magazines), why shouldn't a Prince reissue program be?

I am curious why all the old albums are going for so cheap now; that seems strange. Maybe they just have way too many of them?

Because that's the only way they sell. These are 20-30 years old, it would be INSANE to have them priced as brand-new records.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #48 posted 07/01/11 2:32am

electricberet

avatar

BartVanHemelen said:

electricberet said:

Either way, I think it's likely that the existing CDs are the only official digital versions we're ever going to have that actually reflect the way the music sounded when it came out in the 1980s.

[...]

At least some fans were listening to the albums from Purple Rain onward on CD as they came out, and the current CD versions of those albums are therefore authentic even if they sound bad to our ears.

Bullcrap. They've always sounded bad. The first time I listened to SOTT on CD I was baffled by the abhorrent sound quality because I've had lived with the vinyl for so long.

CD mastering was an afterthought back in the 1980s, and that's why plenty of artists have gone back to their catalog and remastered their albums. Also, since then we've seen the introduction of high-end digital audio with SACD, DVD-A and now Blu-ray.

It may have been an afterthought but it was a way that some people listened to the albums at the time. By way of analogy, some early 1960s rock records sound bad in stereo (e.g., the first two Beatles albums) because of the hard panning with only two tracks. But the stereo versions of those albums are legitimate mixes, as a few people bought them at the time. I'm not saying that the current SOTT CD sounds good compared to the vinyl, but people bought it on CD in 1987. If Prince puts out a new remix of SOTT that does not closely adhere to the original album as it was presented on vinyl or CD, it will not be what people heard in 1987.

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 #49 posted 07/01/11 3:41am

JoeTyler

avatar

electricberet said:

BartVanHemelen said:

Bullcrap. They've always sounded bad. The first time I listened to SOTT on CD I was baffled by the abhorrent sound quality because I've had lived with the vinyl for so long.

CD mastering was an afterthought back in the 1980s, and that's why plenty of artists have gone back to their catalog and remastered their albums. Also, since then we've seen the introduction of high-end digital audio with SACD, DVD-A and now Blu-ray.

It may have been an afterthought but it was a way that some people listened to the albums at the time. By way of analogy, some early 1960s rock records sound bad in stereo (e.g., the first two Beatles albums) because of the hard panning with only two tracks. But the stereo versions of those albums are legitimate mixes, as a few people bought them at the time. I'm not saying that the current SOTT CD sounds good compared to the vinyl, but people bought it on CD in 1987. If Prince puts out a new remix of SOTT that does not closely adhere to the original album as it was presented on vinyl or CD, it will not be what people heard in 1987.

that's exactly what has happened with every remaster of any band/artist, you know, the typical silly complain "the songs sound so different than they're not the same anymore, they're unrecognizable"

too much drama...

tinkerbell
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #50 posted 07/01/11 3:45am

BartVanHemelen

avatar

electricberet said:

I'm not saying that the current SOTT CD sounds good compared to the vinyl, but people bought it on CD in 1987. If Prince puts out a new remix of SOTT that does not closely adhere to the original album as it was presented on vinyl or CD, it will not be what people heard in 1987.

There is no need to remix anything, it just needs to be properly mastered. The 1987 CD obviously doesn't sound like the album was intended to sound.

© Bart Van Hemelen
This posting is provided AS IS with no warranties, and confers no rights.
It is not authorized by Prince or the NPG Music Club. You assume all risk for
your use. All rights reserved.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #51 posted 07/01/11 4:05am

olb99

avatar

JoeTyler said:

that's exactly what has happened with every remaster of any band/artist, you know, the typical silly complain "the songs sound so different than they're not the same anymore, they're unrecognizable"

"every remaster" -> "every remix"

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #52 posted 07/01/11 4:38am

Tremolina

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?

Obviously, they can't release digital remasters of the recordings Prince made for them without his authorization, or they would have done it a long time ago already.

It's not clear why exactly this is, because nobody here knows what's in their contracts and nobody involved is explaining it.

There is really only speculation on why this is. But it is obvious that Warners can't release digital remasters without Prince's okay.

[Edited 7/1/11 4:40am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #53 posted 07/01/11 5:16am

Tremolina

Also, the issue is a tricky one to discuss, because remastering technologies are a very specialised business and legally such matters can also be very complex. Anything said on it by whomever that is not involved, should therefore basically be taken with a grain of salt (which includes me lol).

But since we really like to debate this issue untill kingdome come (i.e untill remasters are finally released) here on the org, I can tell that the most popular theories floating around here basically are that:

a) WB doesn't have possession of the original master tapes, but Prince does and he doesn't give them to WB, so therefore they can't remaster them. Problem with this theory however is that, technology wise, possession of the original master tapes may be prefered to remaster, but doesn't seem to be required either. Legally, it's also the question whether Prince can even refuse to hand over the original tapes to WB for remastering when his contracts would require him to do that. Apparantly so his contracts don't require him to do that.

b) When Prince was signed to WB he transferred all the copyrights in his recordings to WB. Therefore WB owns all the copyright in the recordings Prince made for them to release. However it's possible there are wordings in the contracts that limit the scope of the transfer of copyright expressly, not including digital remaster releases.

c) Tho' b may not be the case (we really don't know), a third theory is that the scope of the contractual transfer of the copyrights in his early albums could not have ever included digital remaster releases, because current digital remastering technologies didn't exist yet back then. Legally an artist can contractually transfer a copyright to somebody else in full, but he can not transfer a right that does not exist yet ("future rights"), unless that is expressly agreed upon, which seems unlikely however and is legally questionable. Since Prince therefore never transferred his copyrights in as far as that it also included the right to release digital remasters, WB needs Prince's permission to do so.

And since he doesn't give them that, there are no digital remasters.

All pure speculation lol

[Edited 7/1/11 5:31am]

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #54 posted 07/01/11 6:23am

SquirrelMeat

avatar

Tremolina said:

Also, the issue is a tricky one to discuss, because remastering technologies are a very specialised business and legally such matters can also be very complex. Anything said on it by whomever that is not involved, should therefore basically be taken with a grain of salt (which includes me lol).

But since we really like to debate this issue untill kingdome come (i.e untill remasters are finally released) here on the org, I can tell that the most popular theories floating around here basically are that:

a) WB doesn't have possesion of the original master tapes, but Prince does and he doesn't give them to WB, so therefore they can't remaster them. Problem with this theory however is that, technology wise, possesion of the original master tapes may be prefered to remaster, but doesn't seem to be required either. Legally, it's also the question whether Prince can even refuse to hand over the original tapes to WB for remastering when his contracts would require him to do that. Apparantly so his contracts don't require him to do that.

b) When Prince was signed to WB he transferred all the copyrights in his recordings to WB. Therefore WB owns all the copyright in the recordings Prince made for them to release. However it's possible there are wordings in the contracts that limit the scope of the transfer of copyright expressly, not including digital remaster releases.

c) Tho' b may not be the case (we really don't know), a third theory is that the scope of the contractual transfer of the copyrights in his early albums could not have ever included the right to digitally remaster them with the current remastering technology, because current digital remastering technologies didn't exist yet back then. Legally an artists can contractually transfer a copyright to somebody else in full, but he can not transfer a right that does not exist yet, unless that is expressly agreed upon ("future rights"), which seems unlikely however. Since Prince therefore never transferred his copyrights in as far as that it also included the right to release digital remasters, WB needs Prince's permission to do so.

And since he doesn't give them that, there are no digital remasters.

Pure speculation of course lol

We love speculation. lol

None of us know for sure, but I bet it is a simple as P's contract not allowing the issuing of material in any other form without permission from the artist.

Remember when he was asking people to send in official releases that he says he didn't sanction? The 3" CD singles and double tape releases etc. He was obviously looknig to bash WB for breaking the contract, even though they were official WB releases.

I guess WB can only release the albums on Vinyl, tape and CD as is, and the promtional singles in any given time period.

Maybe WB could remaster on a like for like, but don't see the point without artist support or additional material.

.
  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #55 posted 07/01/11 6:28am

Pbing

BartVanHemelen said:

Pbing said:

For example, it could be that CDs are no longer lucrative enough to make manufacturing all new pressings worthwhile.

Oh for crying out loud. Pick up a magazine like Mojo or Uncut and notice all the archive releases, often on tiny specialized labels, of artists that didn't sell any records back in the day. If those are profitable (and they must be, since those companies have been doing this for years and are still in business and have money to advertise in these magazines), why shouldn't a Prince reissue program be?

I am curious why all the old albums are going for so cheap now; that seems strange. Maybe they just have way too many of them?

Because that's the only way they sell. These are 20-30 years old, it would be INSANE to have them priced as brand-new records.

I don't really understand what you're saying here. The CD format is on the way out. I don't follow the trials and tribulations of the music industry that closely, but my impression is that there just as many "tiny specialized labels" going under these days as there are breaking even.

Even so, for a major label (not to mention Prince) to get of its ass and reissue some records would require a guarantee of not just breaking even or making a little money back, but making a LOT of money. They don't get out of bed, so to speak, for small change. Same seems to be true of Prince as well.

That's my only point. I think if you look at what happened with the Beatles releases it supports this view of the industry. They came out in a "premium" package first, and sold a bunch, then they came out in very nice individual packages, and sold a bunch of those. Time passed, and THEN they came out on iTunes, and sold a ton there. What this says to me is that there are people who are buying EXCLUSIVELY digital music now.

I also don't know what to make of your second point. Newness of music isn't really usually what determines price. I mean the archival-type releases you use in your first point are a great example of this—they are typically full price even though they are "old". From what I understand 5 bucks barely covers the cost of manufacturing and distributing a major-label disc.

Just my opinion

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #56 posted 07/01/11 7:48am

Tremolina

SquirrelMeat said:

Tremolina said:

Also, the issue is a tricky one to discuss, because remastering technologies are a very specialised business and legally such matters can also be very complex. Anything said on it by whomever that is not involved, should therefore basically be taken with a grain of salt (which includes me lol).

But since we really like to debate this issue untill kingdome come (i.e untill remasters are finally released) here on the org, I can tell that the most popular theories floating around here basically are that:

a) WB doesn't have possesion of the original master tapes, but Prince does and he doesn't give them to WB, so therefore they can't remaster them. Problem with this theory however is that, technology wise, possesion of the original master tapes may be prefered to remaster, but doesn't seem to be required either. Legally, it's also the question whether Prince can even refuse to hand over the original tapes to WB for remastering when his contracts would require him to do that. Apparantly so his contracts don't require him to do that.

b) When Prince was signed to WB he transferred all the copyrights in his recordings to WB. Therefore WB owns all the copyright in the recordings Prince made for them to release. However it's possible there are wordings in the contracts that limit the scope of the transfer of copyright expressly, not including digital remaster releases.

c) Tho' b may not be the case (we really don't know), a third theory is that the scope of the contractual transfer of the copyrights in his early albums could not have ever included the right to digitally remaster them with the current remastering technology, because current digital remastering technologies didn't exist yet back then. Legally an artists can contractually transfer a copyright to somebody else in full, but he can not transfer a right that does not exist yet, unless that is expressly agreed upon ("future rights"), which seems unlikely however. Since Prince therefore never transferred his copyrights in as far as that it also included the right to release digital remasters, WB needs Prince's permission to do so.

And since he doesn't give them that, there are no digital remasters.

Pure speculation of course lol

We love speculation. lol

None of us know for sure, but I bet it is a simple as P's contract not allowing the issuing of material in any other form without permission from the artist.

Remember when he was asking people to send in official releases that he says he didn't sanction? The 3" CD singles and double tape releases etc. He was obviously looknig to bash WB for breaking the contract, even though they were official WB releases.

I guess WB can only release the albums on Vinyl, tape and CD as is, and the promtional singles in any given time period.

Maybe WB could remaster on a like for like, but don't see the point without artist support or additional material.

I think the answer is simple too, but nobody involved is saying that. In my opinion he would also have a case with option c. When he signed his first deal in '78, there is just no way he could have already granted Warners the right to release a digital remaster of For You and follow up albums.

As for Warners not seeing the point in releasing remasters, I bet they would have loved to release a remaster of Purple Rain in 2004. Riding on the waves of its 20th anniversary and Prince´s succes with Musicology they could have made sweet money with it.

These days it's a different story, tho' there seem to be talks going on. The 35 year dates are nearing. The more time passes by, the less options and bargaining power Warners is left with.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #57 posted 07/01/11 8:32am

electricberet

avatar

Tremolina said:

SquirrelMeat said:

We love speculation. lol

None of us know for sure, but I bet it is a simple as P's contract not allowing the issuing of material in any other form without permission from the artist.

Remember when he was asking people to send in official releases that he says he didn't sanction? The 3" CD singles and double tape releases etc. He was obviously looknig to bash WB for breaking the contract, even though they were official WB releases.

I guess WB can only release the albums on Vinyl, tape and CD as is, and the promtional singles in any given time period.

Maybe WB could remaster on a like for like, but don't see the point without artist support or additional material.

I think the answer is simple too, but nobody involved is saying that. In my opinion he would also have a case with option c. When he signed his first deal in '78, there is just no way he could have already granted Warners the right to release a digital remaster of For You and follow up albums.

As for Warners not seeing the point in releasing remasters, I bet they would have loved to release a remaster of Purple Rain in 2004. Riding on the waves of its 20th anniversary and Prince´s succes with Musicology they could have made sweet money with it.

These days it's a different story, tho' there seem to be talks going on. The 35 year dates are nearing. The more time passes by, the less options and bargaining power Warners is left with.

Right. It wouldn't suprise me if it's Apple rather than WMG that will be driving the negotiations from here on out (to the extent that there are any negotiations). If Apple thinks having digitally remastered Prince albums would help their iCloud service somehow, then they might put pressure on WMG to cut the check that will make Prince happy. But it may not matter much to Apple. The way the iCloud is being set up, it's not aimed at finicky audiophile consumers. The current iTunes store often doesn't even indicate which mastering you're buying. The finicky audiophile market isn't going away, but it's too small to motivate Prince and WMG to cut a deal, except for vinyl which they may already have worked out.

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 #58 posted 07/01/11 8:44am

Tremolina

electricberet said:

Tremolina said:

I think the answer is simple too, but nobody involved is saying that. In my opinion he would also have a case with option c. When he signed his first deal in '78, there is just no way he could have already granted Warners the right to release a digital remaster of For You and follow up albums.

As for Warners not seeing the point in releasing remasters, I bet they would have loved to release a remaster of Purple Rain in 2004. Riding on the waves of its 20th anniversary and Prince´s succes with Musicology they could have made sweet money with it.

These days it's a different story, tho' there seem to be talks going on. The 35 year dates are nearing. The more time passes by, the less options and bargaining power Warners is left with.

Right. It wouldn't suprise me if it's Apple rather than WMG that will be driving the negotiations from here on out (to the extent that there are any negotiations). If Apple thinks having digitally remastered Prince albums would help their iCloud service somehow, then they might put pressure on WMG to cut the check that will make Prince happy. But it may not matter much to Apple. The way the iCloud is being set up, it's not aimed at finicky audiophile consumers. The current iTunes store often doesn't even indicate which mastering you're buying. The finicky audiophile market isn't going away, but it's too small to motivate Prince and WMG to cut a deal, except for vinyl which they may already have worked out.

Obviously if and when they do it, they should do it worldwide and make a great promotion effort. The CD market is shrinking for sure, but downloads on Itunes for example can balance that out.

Selling digital remasters from one of music´s greatest artists is still a guaranteed cash cow. Especially when they combine it with previously unreleased tracks and live material.

  - E-mail - orgNote - Report post to moderator
Reply #59 posted 07/01/11 9:09am

electricberet

avatar

Tremolina said:

electricberet said:

Right. It wouldn't suprise me if it's Apple rather than WMG that will be driving the negotiations from here on out (to the extent that there are any negotiations). If Apple thinks having digitally remastered Prince albums would help their iCloud service somehow, then they might put pressure on WMG to cut the check that will make Prince happy. But it may not matter much to Apple. The way the iCloud is being set up, it's not aimed at finicky audiophile consumers. The current iTunes store often doesn't even indicate which mastering you're buying. The finicky audiophile market isn't going away, but it's too small to motivate Prince and WMG to cut a deal, except for vinyl which they may already have worked out.

Obviously if and when they do it, they should do it worldwide and make a great promotion effort. The CD market is shrinking for sure, but downloads on Itunes for example can balance that out.

Selling digital remasters from one of music´s greatest artists is still a guaranteed cash cow. Especially when they combine it with previously unreleased tracks and live material.

There's no question in my mind that a good Prince digital remaster campaign would make money. The question is how much. Prince may have some outrageously exaggerated idea of how much money his remasters would make. Or WMG may be skeptical due to their prior experiences with Prince as to whether he's going to do his part to make it a success. Judging by Prince's latest interviews, if I were a WMG executive I would be thinking that he's going to be more of an obstacle than a help when it comes to promotion.

I think the deal will be done sooner or later unless Prince goes totally crazy and destroys everything in his vault. In which case we should go there en masse and make a human shield to keep it from happening. lol

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
Page 2 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?