Trawling the Rumour Mill

gchqSproutology is, as ever, raking the skies at all frequencies so that you don’t have to, with a net so fine it misses nothing.

Today’s rather exciting rumour is that Sony have picked up “I Trawl the Megahertz” for a release in “All Formats” for October 2016. I’m particularly looking forward to the limited edition wax cylinder box set, but there will no doubt be minidisc, 8 track cartridges and cassettes available, and for those of us fancying a dip into the digital world, I’d be surprised if “streams” of the new-fangled “real audio” format were not slipped onto a torrent site somewhere (never the same stream twice, as Heraclitus famously complained).

Exciting times indeed.

This is all the more amusing, since in the Jason Cohen interview just posted, Paddy explains how he had had difficulty persuading Muff Winwood even to pitch it to Sony:

“What actually happened was I went in and said I wanted to make this record without me singing on it, like a large instrumental with a woman speaking this monologue I’d written and pieced together from radio fragments, almost like she was telling the story of my life. I absolutely love it, I’ve got this demo, and the beauty of it for me is I don’t have to listen to my voice but I can shape the whole artistic thing because I’ve written it.

“I thought it might appeal to people in the way that a certain novel catches on with people, or a certain film. It was a bit like an audio book or a soundtrack to a film and Sony said to me – well, let me not be impersonal – Muff Winwood, he said he could sell a Prefab Sprout record if I sing on it – when he says “sell,” he means get it through the company – and if I don’t sing on it it’s a tough proposition, and the length of it meant that it’s not really editable for singles it was about 22 minutes long this piece, and there were five other pieces that were instrumental and one song that I sang on for about a minute and a half, and it was quite jazzy and quite orchestral and very sophisticated sounding, that was the idea.

And he said look – there wasn’t even animosity – but he said if you sing on some stuff and it’s a bunch of songs I could so something with you and if you don’t do that I can’t let you do it. And because the contract had run out just prior to the tour – we didn’t realize – and Sony didn’t realize, they were putting records out after our contract had technically ended.”

So there may be just a hint of “nah nah nah naaar nah” about this deal with Sony. But very welcome anyway.

4 thoughts

    1. EMI Liberty is a vanity label. Artists pay for the recordings themselves and EMI help distribute the cds to the shops. If I recall correctly, they managed to record the whole thing for £25,000.

      ITTM is the first Paddy/Prefab Sprout recording to be owned by Paddy himself. So he owns the copyright and can licence it to whoever he wants. Given the slightly insane prices people are asking it for it online, there must be a market for it.

      1. Possibly the price, and the fact it can’t be found on streaming services as far as I know, is what sustains the price, in an oddly recursive way – the appeal is the obscurity of the object. It’s difficult to see much of a market for a re-issued CD, though I think a vinyl limited edition would go great guns if done nicely. I’d have preferred to have seen it issued through Bella Union or someone like Cherry Red personally, I think that could have been a nicer package taken as a whole, with a sympathetically pitched marketing campaign. I can’t quite see Sony hitting the same spots somehow.

        We’re still in the speculation phase anyway, as there’s no confirmation. Let’s hope something emerges.

        1. I think Sony (probably) did as good a job as the artist allowed on the Steve McQueen Legacy edition, so they may persuade Paddy to add something extra if this comes off. However, as you said, until confirmed, it’s all speculation.

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