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[ARSCLIST] Back-catalog (was Columbia Studio/Warehouse Fire)

Hi Al:

I have enjoyed your work for years. Nice to know you are a member of this list.

You have a unique perspective, perhaps with a greater factual basis than most of us. So I have a couple of questions.

Do you think that we'll see a large amount of the more obscure (obscure = not economically viable as a CD reissue) back-catalog material showing up exclusively at places like iTunes? And, do you think there will be a big enough market to justify two tiers of quality for downloaded music -- the mass-market lossy-compressed AAC and perhaps a slightly pricier "hifi" version in full CD quality (in some as yet un-named copy-protected but full resolution format)?

Very interested in the thoughts of someone in closer contact with the industry than some of us, myself included.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "Al Quaglieri" <al@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 10:15 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Columbia Studio/Warehouse Fire

Chas. et al:

I'm a freelance reissue producer who does a lot of work with Sony pop
material, and am pretty familiar with their tape archives.

AFAIK, there has been no loss of master tapes - pop or classical -
from the 1970s in their holdings.

In general, with all companies, the reason you don't see particular
titles reissued is simple profit/loss, i.e. potential sales cannot
justify the expense of production, manufacture and distribution. It
has little to do with the historic or musical worthiness of the material.

The problem is exacerbated by the diminishing market for compact
discs, as well as the shrinking rack space for specific genres and
titles within that market.

Back when there was more classical material being remastered, I used
to watch the mastering engineers reconstruct albums using dozens of
original reels and marked-up scores, replicating hundreds of edits.
It was a meticulous, time-consuming, and costly process; in this
world of tight budgets, I can foresee that skill set teetering on extinction.

As always, this is my own opinion, and in no way do I speak on behalf
of any company.

Al Q.

So, I am now given to understand that there was no "big Columbia fire" in
the late 70s or early 80s that would be responsible for some 70s material
now being unavailable for re-release?  My prior info. came from people who
knew people who should have been in a position to know about this but who
are now deceased.

Some of the material I am thinking about includes some E. Power Biggs +
Columbia Brass Ensemble recordings, premiere recordings of Hovhaness
works, Moog synthesizer discs, etc. etc.  Some of the stuff which was
stored privately seems to be available, but there's a big hole right in
the historical region I am examining.  There must be some other reason (if
not a warehouse fire/flood) that is keeping this content off the streets.
I know that there is still a market for Hovhaness, for example...

Anyway, any further information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, again.



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