Archiv has extended their licensing since this article.
Now include most of the Mercury Living Presence CD reissues that are currently out of print:
(note that some titles, for instance the Kubelik/Chicago mono reissues, are out of print as
individual CD's but are in print as a multi-CD set)
And also the CD reissues of Everest done in the 1990's, I believe remastered by David Baker:
(note that some Everest titles have now been remastered again, from the 35mm films, by Classic
Records, and issued as LPs and double-disc sets of CD audio and DVD-Audio)
Plus a bunch others from various Universal, EMI and Sony/BMG labels:
If enough of these sell, one would think the copyright owners would see the sense in "annuity"
arrangements like this. Basically, they license the right to sell clones of CD's they already long
ago amortized the cost of remastering. So every sale of an ArchivCD is pure profit to the copyright
owner, and even if it's only a few dollars a day it adds up at no cost to them. Now, the question
will be if this is profitable enough for Archiv. So far they say, yes.
There is a ready-made version of this business for jazz. There are hundreds of Universal (Verve,
Mercury, MGM, Argo/Chess, etc) jazz titles that are now out of print but were remastered for CD
either here or in Japan since the dawn of CD's. There are also dozens if not hundreds of
Sony/Columbia and RCA/BMG jazz titles that were in print on CD at one time and aren't now.
Also, there is a version of this business just covering classical, jazz and even rock/pop titles
that were out on CD in a non-US market and never made it to the US market.
I say, kudos to Archiv and everyone who values the fact that this material is back available in CD
format should support their efforts.
-- Tom Fine