It’s rare when musicians do any amount of press on reissues, usually because they’ve got bigger things to worry about or are deceased. So the notion that some of the people behind three major catalogue campaigns have all had something notable to say in the past few days is certainly worth the attention of any catalogue fan:
- Johnny Marr gave an extensive interview with The Onion‘s AV Club about his memories of The Smiths as filtered through the assemblage and release of Rhino’s The Smiths Complete box. While he expressed regret that “monitor mixes and instrumental versions and slightly different versions of songs” weren’t included on the box (owing to “some kind of legal issue there that I never want to talk about”), he said working on the box bought back a lot of memories – all of them good. “I can only speak for myself, and say that I don’t have any negative thoughts about the times back then or the times now, or the people in it,” he said.
- A rare interview with Kevin Shields of My Bloody Valentine for Pitchfork sheds some light on one of the strangest catalogue stories of the last few years. It turns out the saga of the MBV remasters was even lengthier than Slicing Up Eyeballs’ vigil, stretching for more than a decade. The problems, Shields says, stemmed with not only negotiating a deal with Sony U.K. to his liking (in which he maintains control of the master recordings), but the tapes themselves went missing. And Shields thinks Sony might have hidden them on purpose. “Only after I started threatening to get Scotland Yard involved did they magically, suddenly reappear,” he said. “The true story is as yet to be determined, but we’ll fight that one out in the near future.” But fear not – relations are seemingly good enough for Shields to promise vinyl remasters “probably in a few months.”)
- Doing press for the release of Martin Scorsese’s Living in the Material World, a new documentary on George Harrison (and companion outtakes disc, released today), the former Beatle’s widow Olivia promises more material will emerge from the vaults someday. “There is some music that possibly will come out, some more early tapes, demos, nice things, nice performances of George,” she said, also suggesting a “nice idea” of allowing other notable musicians the opportunity to finish some of his unused song sketches.