It may not be as big a news item as Paul McCartney shifting his solo catalog from sinking ship major EMI to rising indie Concord, but Paul Simon has told Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman of his plans to move his entire output from Warner Music Group to Sony/Columbia. Or more accurately, back to Sony/Columbia. Simon recorded his very first solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook, for Columbia’s U.K. arm in 1965, and of course, the entire Simon and Garfunkel catalog has long resided there. When Simon and Garfunkel launched solo careers post-1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, both stayed with the label that had supported them through their joint success, and Simon is now promising to bring his entire catalog – both with Art and without – under the same umbrella. Read more of Paul’s recording history and current plans after the jump!
From Simon’s self-titled 1972 release to 1977’s Greatest Hits, Etc., the familiar Columbia logo appeared on all of his recordings. But with 1980’s One Trick Pony, Simon decamped for Warner Bros. Records, where he has remained ever since. He took his masters with him to Warner in 1988, celebrating the occasion with an updated hits compilation for the CD age entitled Negotiations and Love Songs: 1971-1986. (The Columbia CD of Greatest Hits, Etc. remains a treasured find, in that it was never reissued by Warner Bros. on CD.) In 2004, Warner Bros./Rhino released a massive box set, The Studio Recordings 1972-2000 (Rhino 78909), containing the entire Simon catalog through 2000’s You’re the One. Much like his contemporary Bob Dylan (with whom he has toured, and may be approaching for a duet on his next, Phil Ramone-helmed album), Simon reportedly put the kibosh on liner notes for his reissues. Otherwise, though, these are typically-fine Rhino remasters. All contained numerous bonus tracks, making the box or the individual releases of the albums therein an enticing purchase for any Simon fan.
Seeing as there hasn’t been an official announcement from Sony’s Legacy division, it’s unclear whether Simon’s catalog will receive another upgrade/overhaul/remaster as part of the new deal. Other options would include simply moving the existing Rhino CDs to the Sony label or reissuing all albums in their original format only, as Elvis Costello did when he dropped all bonus tracks and liner notes from his umpteenth round of reissues courtesy UMe. (Elvis, of course, then proceeded to reissue a couple of those early albums with a completely new second disc of bonus tracks!) There’s always the possibility of a new career-spanning anthology as well, which could replace Warner Bros.’ Paul Simon 1964-1993 box (Warner 45394).
Whatever path Paul Simon and the honchos at Legacy decide – and knowing Simon, it won’t be the expected one! – The Second Disc will be among the first to let you know.