Random Bump

The World Is A Ball – 30th Anniversary Release

A Pledge Music campaign is available for the 30th Anniversary of “The World Is A Ball” album. Click here for details on how to purchase this album and other release from Canadian pop phenomenon Martha and the Muffins.

Tales From Much Music

From August 31st, 1984 to the late 1990’s, Much Music was truly Canada’s Music Station.

In its heyday this 24 hour television channel featured music videos from both major and independent labels, interviews with both popular and new artists, and live performances from multiple genres. And it introduced Canadians to both domestic and foreign performers and songwriters, causing the relatively new Canadian music industry to flourish and gain international notoriety.

Written by songwriter and former VJ Christopher Ward, “Is This Live ?” chronicles this network’s early history through excerpts of interviews with former Much Music staff members, on air personalities and popular recording artists from that period.

Christopher Ward had been one of the first VJs on Much Music and was a regular host on the channel until the late 80’s, occasionally hosting programs on the channel though-out the early 90’s, so i’d say this book qualifies as being the most definitive account of the stations early history.

As an avid watcher, I had always been curious about some of the finer details that were not included in the newspaper and magazine articles I had read on Much Music and Musique Plus’ history. And I believe this book pretty much covers it all, with a few extras about some of the station’s most popular Canadian music videos.

I highly recommend this book. And yes, it is available in hardcover and in digital format from Amazon.ca, Amazon.com, chapters.indigo.ca and iTunes Canada.

Queen’s Greatest Hits On Vinyl

Queen will be re-releasing their original Greatest Hits compilation and Greatest Hits II compilation on vinyl on Virgin EMI in the U.k.

“First released in 1981, Greatest Hits is the best-selling album of all time in Britain, standing alone as the first and only album to have sold over 6 million copies in the UK (6.1 million sales to date) with global sales in excess of 25 million. According to the Official Charts Company who earlier this year crowned it ‘Britain’s most popular album of the past 60 years’, one in four British households already own a copy of the album. Newly re-mastered as a gatefold-sleeve double vinyl album for the first time worldwide, these 17 tracks are now spread across four sides of 180 gram heavyweight vinyl, enriching the audio quality of a band rightly celebrated for their multi-tracked studio perfectionism. Deep, warm and luxuriant, this is exactly how Queen should sound.”

“Originally released shortly before Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, Greatest Hits II has sold over 19 million copies worldwide. It spans 1981 to 1991, the period which followed Queen having dropped their famous no synthesizers rule elevating them to new heights of creativity. Opening up their guitar-heavy sound to embrace funk, disco and electronics resulted in rich rewards, transforming these former Seventies glam rockers into a glossy, streamlined, emphatically contemporary super-group.”

According to the official press release, these compilations will be made available in Canada and the United States though Hollywood Records in the new year but the above linked imported versions are being made available to Canadians in a few days.

Fairness Rocks

So, have you guys heard of an independent film called “This Is Spinal Tap” ?

I guess you haven’t heard of this film because according to French media company StudioCanal it allegedly only made US$98 dollars in soundtrack and US$81 in general merchandise sales since it was released 34 years ago.

Yes, the Vivendi subsidiary allegedly stated the vinyl, cassette, compact disc, VHS, laserdisc, DVD and Blu-ray sales were that low. A rather interesting claim seeing that I managed to purchase Spinal Tap recordings and merchandise over the past few years, with little to no effort.

Seriously, this is a critically acclaimed film that has had a cult following since it premiered in theatres in March 1984. The quoted figures can’t be right so what happened ?

A lawsuit has just been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California by actor, writer and composer Harry Shearer alleging StudioCanal had “engaged in anti-competitive and unfair business practices, as well as fraudulent accounting, directly related to its management of the cult-classic film, This Is Spinal Tap.”

Harry Shearer co-created Spinal Tap with Christopher Guest and Michael McKean in 1978, co-wrote the film’s soundtrack and portrayed the cucumber packing bass player Derek Smalls in the film itself :

“Almost 40 years ago, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, Rob Reiner and I created the somewhat legendary band Spinal Tap,” said Shearer. “We thought there was something real and really funny about the characters, and between that inception and the theatrical release of This Is Spinal Tap in 1984, we poured ourselves into nurturing and perfecting the paean to rock loudness that has entertained so many people, even today. But despite the widespread success of the film and its music, we’ve fallen victim to the same sort of fuzzy and falsified entertainment industry accounting schemes that have bedevilled so many other creators. In this instance, the fraud and negligence were just too egregious to ignore. Also, this time, it was personal.” – Press Release 10/2016

As a fan I had hoped that the creators of Spinal Tap had been properly compensated, ensuring the possibility of more sequels. But it as pretty much become the norm in the entertainment industry for creators to get crumbs for their work, making fans like yours truly wonder where content will come from in the future.

Yes, people will continue to write screenplays and compose music but the channels that most fan use to access material are controlled by the major players. And it appears that to have one’s material distributed one must get naked in a desert and hope the vultures won’t come in for a snack.

So what’s a fan to do ?

I, for one, had previously decided to wait for a blu-ray release that included the “Break Like A Wind” music videos, being quite content with the special edition DVD I had purchased years back. And i’m hoping that this will all work out so I will have the opportunity to complete my collection. But for now i’ve decided to only link the official case website, instead of posting links encouraging the purchase of the Spinal Tap film and soundtracks.

I support fair compensation for content creators, whether it is for music or for film, and will actively discuss and promote campaigns for both. I encourage fans to do so as well through their social media accounts.

Phil Collins’ Best on Vinyl

A compilation of Phil Collins’ remastered singles have been released on a double CD box set, triple CD box set and four LP collection.

I had hoped a video compilation would also be released on DVD but there hasn’t been anything official on that from Rhino.

By the way, his official memoirs will also be out on the 25th of this month.

Gone Tomorrow…

Gone Tomorrow (feat. Michael Sadler) – David Barrett Trio
– Mastered For iTunes –