Philly Soul/R&B Reissues from Dutton Vocalion?

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John Svensson

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I'm just guessing that they have to focus on material that they can obtain release rights to relatively cheaply in order to make a profit worth the effort. So, I doubt if we'll be seeing any "big names" from DV, and that is O.K. I'm sure that Dave is working with them to explore all the realistic options. That said...... :) , has the Philly Soul Sound been examined? I don't keep up with everything released, but you don't see MF of AP issuing O'Jays, Spinners, etc. other than the teasers on the AF Collection. With no knowledge of ownership rights or costs, those are some I'd like to see come out. Wishful thinking perhaps.....
 
I'm just guessing that they have to focus on material that they can obtain release rights to relatively cheaply in order to make a profit worth the effort. So, I doubt if we'll be seeing any "big names" from DV, and that is O.K. I'm sure that Dave is working with them to explore all the realistic options. That said...... :) , has the Philly Soul Sound been examined? I don't keep up with everything released, but you don't see MF of AP issuing O'Jays, Spinners, etc. other than the teasers on the AF Collection. With no knowledge of ownership rights or costs, those are some I'd like to see come out. Wishful thinking perhaps.....

Yeah, true. but for me, a big hitter would be Johnny Mathis....I hope they do it.
 
I'm just guessing that they have to focus on material that they can obtain release rights to relatively cheaply in order to make a profit worth the effort. So, I doubt if we'll be seeing any "big names" from DV, and that is O.K. I'm sure that Dave is working with them to explore all the realistic options. That said...... :) , has the Philly Soul Sound been examined? I don't keep up with everything released, but you don't see MF of AP issuing O'Jays, Spinners, etc. other than the teasers on the AF Collection. With no knowledge of ownership rights or costs, those are some I'd like to see come out. Wishful thinking perhaps.....

I'm not privy to all the legal, financial or contractual goings on by any means, but there are a lot more factors in play than just if the rights to an album can be obtained cheaply. The one that 'quadblocks' the majority of things right out of the gate is if other UK labels already have a title under license - the major labels that reissue companies like D-V license from make no distinction between CD and SACD as far as licensing goes, so if one of D-V's competitors (and there are a lot of them, including BGO, Cherry Red, Edsel/Demon, etc.) has stereo CD of something out, D-V can't pursue it for quad/stereo SACD release until the other company's license period has expired. If you have a look at BGO's website for example, you'll see how many quad titles are being blocked because of equivalent stereo CD releases. The good news, however, is that license periods are constantly expiring so things that were out of reach become availalble again on a rolling basis. D-V have nearly 20 years experience in the reissue business so they're more au fait with this than any of us. I've certainly tried to contribute my bit with lists of various quad holdings and information and research about what is and isn't available.

Beyond that, putting out reissues like the ones we want involves a number of moving targets all being hit at once - if licensing a reissue is like shooting an arrow at a target, imagine all the conditions that need to be met as moving rings that your arrow needs to pass through on the way to hitting the target. If you miss any of the rings whether or not you hit the target is irrelevant because the project is a no-go. Assuming the license is available, these "moving rings" can include artist approval, licensing fees, availability of both stereo and quad master tapes, legal & contractual issues, mastering/artwork/production costs, and probably lots more that I don't even know about. Knowing what little I do know of this whole process and the hurdles that need to be jumped, I've come to regard each of of these releases (and the ones from AF as well) as minor miracles. As Tom Hanks said in A League Of Their Own, "if it were easy, everyone would do it." In the last 20 years I think only 3 independent labels have tried to reissue quad, Brad Miller's HDS, Audio Fidelity, and now Dutton Vocalion - in an industry that's full to overflowing with reissue labels and reissues, that should show you how challenging it is to make this stuff happen.

I think it's somewhat of a misconception that D-V is only pursuing cheap or easily licensable titles. If you put everything released in quad on a scale, on one end you're going to have easily licensable titles that no one wants to buy (anyone wanna try and sell thousands of copies of Lee Michaels 'A Nice Day For Something'?) and on the other end you have the stuff everyone wants but either costs a fortune or the artist has full control of their catalog (Aerosmith, Eagles, Barbra Streisand, etc.). The good news is that (for D-V at least) I think a lot of the quad stuff that exists between those two extremes is in that middle ground where the costs and sales potential both make sense. I also think that even if D-V aren't able to license some of those "marquee titles", the work they're doing (and what AF did before them) increases the chances of the major labels putting some of this stuff out themselves. Things like the Chicago Quadio box don't happen in a vaccuum - especially in these risk-averse times, labels are more apt to take a chance on something if they can see there's an established business model and demand for something. Personally, I couldn't be happier with the direction D-V are taking, because they've managed to unearth all kinds of quad obscurities across a number of genres that the major labels they've licensed them from probably didn't even know existed let alone wanting to release them. I never dreamed we'd get any soul. funk, R&B or jazz on quad SACD but less than 18 months after D-V put out its first quad SACDs (and lets remember they were Mancini, Montenegro and Floyd Cramer, just to show how much their scope has widened in such a short period) that's exactly what's happened along with other things like Ray Davies and Michel Legrand that are being heard widely in surround for the first time ever thanks to D-V.

I also remember when I first got in to quad about 20 years ago, all I wanted was the Chicago quad mixes. Being a child of the CD generation, I was used to being able to just walk in to a store and buy what I wanted so I found it incredibly frustrating at first not being able to get what I wanted. EBay was in its infancy back then and online shopping wasn't nearly what it is now, and we were still 5 years away from the birth of this site. So I spent ages trawling the web, finally picking up a few of the SQ LP's (which cost a fortune) but a funny thing happened - on the way to that, I started picking up other things in the meantime, because they were cheap or just available, and as a result my musical repertoire expanded enormously. If it wasn't for quad I never would have discovered groups like The Eleventh House, Rufus & Chaka Khan, Chase, and so many others - there's a list of quad titles a mile long that are obscure or lesser known but feature either great music, a great quad mix or both. I know that not everyone has the same appetite to expand their musical horizons as I did (and there's nothing wrong with that) but I'm hopeful that with this quad reissue program that D-V has embarked on that a few people who haven't heard these albums before will take the plunge and have the same kind of 'quad awakening' I did when I first got in to the hobby. It's definitely something that motivates me when I'm researching and writing for these releases, the "holy crap!" feeling I used to get (and still often do) when something awesome happens in a quad mix.

As far as the Philly soul quads go, suffice it to say there's no one that wants them more than me, aside from maybe fredblue, and I say this as someone who owns an 8 foot tall O'Jays 'Survival' promo poster (pictured below). My interest in that music is so high that I actually reached out to one of the main engineers who worked on all the quad mixes done at Sigma Sound (all the PIR stuff, Spinners, Stylistics, William DeVaughan, etc.) and we've had an ongoing dialogue for a little while now. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all the information he's given me thusfar, but I'm sure I'll share it here in one form or another. Suffice it to say that D-V are well aware of all of these quad mixes, and are probably tired of me advocating for them at this point! The reissue market for this kind of material in the UK is particularly fierce though, so D-V have to go up against labels like Big Break Records, Expansion and Funkytowngrooves who specialise in reissuing these kinds of albums.

ojays_survival_NYC_subway_poster2_resize.jpg
 
Steelydave, that was a awesome update you gave, appreciate your information and what you are doing from your side to help in getting stuff out.

peter
 
Has the Philly Soul Sound been examined? I don't keep up with everything released, but you don't see MF of AP issuing O'Jays, Spinners, etc. other than the teasers on the AF Collection. With no knowledge of ownership rights or costs, those are some I'd like to see come out. Wishful thinking perhaps.....

The challenge there is the sales of Soul/R&B reissues tend to be very low.
Difficult to make the licensing guarantee payments, production & marketing costs back and turn a profit with those albums.
 
The challenge there is the sales of Soul/R&B reissues tend to be very low.
Difficult to make the licensing guarantee payments, production & marketing costs back and turn a profit with those albums.

do UK labels like Big Break Records/Cherry Red and BGO have some secret formula then?
since they can make the numbers stack up with reissues of Soul and R&B and so on?

in the last few years between them those labels have successfully released many many titles on CD in Stereo only that have Quad mixes, including..
Harold Melvin - Black & Blue, Billy Paul - War Of The Gods, Earth Wind & Fire - Spirit, Johnny & Edgar Winter (numerous), New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Mountain, Mahavishnu Orchestra Live, Maynard Ferguson - Conquistador, Isley Brothers - Live It Up, Harvest For The World, Go For Your Guns, Redbone - Beaded Dreams, Jose Feliciano (many), Charley Pride (ditto), Andy Williams (almost all of his Quads)...

...I could go on but what would be the point, its depressing and some folk long ago made their minds up about this lack of sales codswallop which has now become some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.. this is the kind of negative conversation I've been having online about surround music releases for years now and do you know what I'm fed up of it! lets look to a positive future and be upbeat about where labels like Dutton Vocalion can go with this Quadraphonic revival rather than go on about surround not selling, it does sell, there is a market there, just not in big enough numbers for many labels to be able to make it work for them, there will always be exceptions to the rule and so far DV seem to be bucking the trend, more power to them in this endeavour say I..!

phew! rant over.
 
do UK labels like Big Break Records/Cherry Red and BGO have some secret formula then?
since they can make the numbers stack up with reissues of Soul and R&B and so on?

in the last few years between them those labels have successfully released many many titles on CD in Stereo only that have Quad mixes, including..
Harold Melvin - Black & Blue, Billy Paul - War Of The Gods, Earth Wind & Fire - Spirit, Johnny & Edgar Winter (numerous), New Riders Of The Purple Sage, Mountain, Mahavishnu Orchestra Live, Maynard Ferguson - Conquistador, Isley Brothers - Live It Up, Harvest For The World, Go For Your Guns, Redbone - Beaded Dreams, Jose Feliciano (many), Charley Pride (ditto), Andy Williams (almost all of his Quads)...

...I could go on but what would be the point, its depressing and some folk long ago made their minds up about this lack of sales codswallop which has now become some sort of self-fulfilling prophecy.. this is the kind of negative conversation I've been having online about surround music releases for years now and do you know what I'm fed up of it! lets look to a positive future and be upbeat about where labels like Dutton Vocalion can go with this Quadraphonic revival rather than go on about surround not selling, it does sell, there is a market there, just not in big enough numbers for many labels to be able to make it work for them, there will always be exceptions to the rule and so far DV seem to be bucking the trend, more power to them in this endeavour say I..!

phew! rant over.

I always feel your pain, Adam. The time to release ALL these QUAD goodies would've been SONY's SACD launch in 1999~2005/6 when they could've rallied all the artists to OK QUAD releases to 'celebrate' the new format. For instance, SONY gave us a Johnny Mathis mch Xmas album and Bab Streisand's OK but IMO lackluster Movie Album, etc. and that seemed to be the trend.

Steelydave, like bmoura before him, have outlined the nightmarish scenario in tip toeing around ALL the UK and US Reissue companies which are licensing the STEREO only masters and unfortunately, SACDs do count as a RBCD since they're hybrid....so what's left? Slim pickings' that's what.

I'm still astounded that D~V can offer TWO~FER QUAD SACDs for £10.99 when SONY could've cleaned out their QUAD vaults [during their launch] and just as easily have put two QUAD titles per disc for relative peanuts. No foresight, whatsoever, on SONY's part.

Adam, we continue to cry over spilt milk but thankfully, D~V IS doing a great service to our niche QUAD community. Maybe one day you, steelydave, myself and a bunch of other Philadelphia International [PI] zealots will finally have what we desire. As always, Fingers Crossed!:)
 
Reissue labels have not only lost money when they've put out Soul/R&B reissues. In some cases, it's a major loss of money.
That explains why Soul/R&B albums don't show up from the reissue labels.

Is the UK market and Dutton/Vocalion's model different?
We will see if they choose to give some of these albums a try in their reissue series.
 
I always feel your pain, Adam. The time to release ALL these QUAD goodies would've been SONY's SACD launch in 1999~2005/6 when they could've rallied all the artists to OK QUAD releases. For instance, SONY gave us a Johnny Mathis mch Xmas album and Bab Streisand's OK but IMO lackluster Movie Album, etc. and that seemed to be the trend.

Steelydave, like bmoura before him, have outlined the nightmarish scenario in tip toeing around ALL the UK and US Reissue companies which are licensing the STEREO only masters and unfortunately, SACDs do count as a RBCD since they're hybrid....so what's left? Slim pickings' that's what.

I'm still astounded that D~V can offer TWO~FER QUAD SACDs for £10.99 when SONY could've easily cleaned out their QUAD vaults [during their launch] and just as easily have put two QUAD titles per disc for relative peanuts. No foresight, whatsoever, on SONY's part.

Adam, we continue to cry over spilt milk but thankfully, D~V IS doing a great service to our niche QUAD community. Maybe one day you, steelydave, myself and a bunch of other Philadelphia International [PI] zealots will finally have what we desire. As always, Fingers Crossed!:)

Hey! What about me? Us mid-westerners want it just as bad. It's not all corn and soybeans....

OK, maybe it is.

[emoji51]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Hey! What about me? Us mid-westerners want it just as bad. It's not all corn and soybeans....

OK, maybe it is.

[emoji51]


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Gene, you WERE included in my tagline 'and a bunch of other PI Zealots.'

Hey, I like corn too....but NOT so much soybeans. Yuk!:(
 
Reissue labels have not only lost money when they've put out Soul/R&B reissues. In some cases, it's a major loss of money.
That explains why Soul/R&B albums don't show up from the reissue labels.

Is the UK market and Dutton/Vocalion's model different?
We will see if they choose to give some of these albums a try in their reissue series.

The UK always had a BIG market for reissues of Soul-Funk albums on CD since the early days; at present time BBR and others are redoing again what Ace Records UK started in the mid eighties for CD. No wonder early Funkadelic, Fatback Band etc on CD were all on Ace-related labels.
Mining the Philly Int. catalog will be problematic because some titles has been already done several times...
 
Mining the Philly Int. catalog will be problematic because some titles has been already done several times...

Dutton/Vocalion would need to look at which albums have been reissued recently.
And which ones are still under license to other reissue companies.

So it does put some boundaries around what may - and may not - be eligible or logical for reissue.

In any event, always interested in more from D/V.
And that certainly includes the potential for Philly Soul/R&B. :)
 
Dutton/Vocalion would need to look at which albums have been reissued recently.
And which ones are still under license to other reissue companies.

So it does put some boundaries around what may - and may not - be eligible or logical for reissue.

In any event, always interested in more from D/V.
And that certainly includes the potential for Philly Soul/R&B. :)

i'm pretty sure they have top men looking into it :)
 
Well, if many of the PIR's just had a run of reissues in stereo, the licenses may have expired and its time to snatch up the rights for a 4.0 release! Strike while the iron is hot as they say/ So if DV can eek out a small profit on Ray Coniff, I think they can make a slightly bigger profit on some R&B releases. Yes, I know its not their typical niche, but..... Its all good as the whippersnappers say. I started seriously buying quad vinyl back in the early 90's and picked up a lot this stuff (PIR soul/R&B) for relatively cheap, but then again I lived in Philly! There used to be a ton of used record stores in the city then....ennui setting in.
No problem with corn GOS, my eldest daughter is a research analyst for Pioneer Seed, bringing you the best in GMO corn. :popcorn
 
Anyone have a full list of the Philadelphia International Records quads? I can't believe how good these are!

As far as I can tell we've now had or got these released on SACD...

Billy Paul - 360 Degrees
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - Black & Blue
The O'Jays - Ship Ahoy
Billy Paul - War Of The Gods
Billy Paul - Live In Europe
The O'Jays - Survival
The O'Jays - Family Reunion
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - Wake Up Everybody
MFSB - Philadelphia Freedom

and hoping for.... ?

The O'Jays - Message Is The Music
MFSB - Love Is The Message

I'm sure I've missed some? Currently enjoying some O'Jays with a nice Australian red wine, some cashew nuts and a Terry's chocolate orange... Happy Days. :cool:
 
Anyone have a full list of the Philadelphia International Records quads? I can't believe how good these are!

As far as I can tell we've now had or got these released on SACD...

Billy Paul - 360 Degrees
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - Black & Blue
The O'Jays - Ship Ahoy
Billy Paul - War Of The Gods
Billy Paul - Live In Europe
The O'Jays - Survival
The O'Jays - Family Reunion
Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes - Wake Up Everybody
MFSB - Philadelphia Freedom

and hoping for.... ?

The O'Jays - Message Is The Music
MFSB - Love Is The Message

I'm sure I've missed some? Currently enjoying some O'Jays with a nice Australian red wine, some cashew nuts and a Terry's chocolate orange... Happy Days. :cool:

The only ones D-V haven't tackled yet are those two and the O'Jays Live in London album, which was culled from the same December 1973 PIR tour of the UK and continental Europe that produced Billy Paul's Live in Europe album.

There aren't any beyond that, and I don't think there are any unreleased quad mixes either as far as I can discern. A couple of years ago I spoked to Arthur Stoppe, who did the quad mixes of four of the PIR quads (and assisted on all their quad mixing dating back to The Spinners self-titled LP) and questioned him about the subject, because Lou Rawls Unmistakably Lou is on the unreleased quad mixes list. He said that that title was definitely not mixed for quad at Sigma Sound, and in a more general sense he said it was unlikely that labels would go to the expense of mixing things for quad there and then shelving them because of the expense involved. Both the engineers and room itself were billed on an hourly basis, and Sigma was a busy, in-demand studio - when their quad equipped room ("Studio B") wasn't being used for quad mixing, it was being used for stereo mixing, so they couldn't give away quad freebies since they'd be losing money for hours they could be devoting to paid stereo work.
 
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