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I think there have really only been two digital passes on the Rolling Stones Decca-era material. An initial one of CDs and vinyl in the 1980s, which was extensive but not comprehensive, and the dual-layer CD-SACDs that they did in 2002. This was pretty comprehensive, and some vinyl was pressed as well, derived from the DSD work that had been done. "Metamorphosis" was included. The 2002 SACDs, IMHO, are wonderful, especially "Let It Bleed" and "Beggars Banquet." None of the Rolling Stones had any input on this, as they don't own these masters, but I heard that they were generally quite pleased with the results.

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 10:32 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights

Rolling Stones do not own their Decca-era masters (through "Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out").  They started their own record label, first distributed by Atlantic, in 1970. There was a fight with Decca over a last album owed. "Metamorphosis" resulted, which contained out-takes and incomplete tracks. I forget the exact history, but I think the Stones did not authorize its release, but what they delivered to Decca was un-releasable.

Allen Klein (Abkco) ended up owning the Decca-era Rolling Stones material, and his son has reissued it in several digital formats over the years.

The Kinks' early Pye-era material is also not owned by them. They do seem to own or at least control release of their early concept albums and Arista-era material. That, too, has been reissued in several digital formats over the years.

I'm not sure which material the Who and Pink Floyd actually own, but they seem to have a lot of say over reissues, or there's a productive cooperative relationship between labels and artists. Both groups have overseen what I consider very good remaster/reissue programs in the 90's and early 2000's. Led Zeppelin also oversaw much better CD reissues of their material in the late 90's. Paul McCartney and Yoko Ono also seem to hold some sway over how EMI handles Beatles reissues.

The Abkco-era Rolling Stones, the Kinks masters under the group's control and Paul McCartney's solo catalog, now partially controlled by the artist, have recently been reissued as high-resolution digital downloads sold by Chesky's HDTracks website. It's probably too much to hope, but it would be great to see all of the classic 60's and 70's rock albums reissued that way.

-- Tom Fine


----- Original Message -----
From: "Barton, Matthew" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 9:18 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights


Artist ownership of masters has become relatively common in recent years, but from what I've seen, that's been driven by the indie labels and artists. A lot of major artists, often those at the superstar level, do own their masters. As Bob points out, they often get ownership when they re-up with a label, but does that apply to ALL of their recording for the label, or just their work from that point on? Buck Owens owned all of his Capitol masters, but that was a deal he negotiated when had the clout and the money to do so. Many artists own SOME of their masters, but not the most valuable ones. I believe the Beach Boys own their masters from 1969 on--some valuable material is included, but their earlier material is worth far more. I think the Kinks and Rolling Stones also own their later masters, but not the 60s hits. It doesn't surprise me to learn that Stevie Wonder owns his masters--he's a superstar. But do Motown artists like Mary Wells or the Contours own their masters? Certainly, Cameo-Parkway artists such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell and others had no control over their recordings. That catalog was out of print and unavailable on CD until only a  few years ago, when Abkco reissued it. From what I can see, most authorized, legitimate reissues are produced by or licensed from the labels, or from the current owner of a label's catalog.

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From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 1:20 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights

In the jazz world bassist  Charles Mingus owned many of his masters and in the Latin world bassist Bobby Valentin did the same thing. Many artists self-financed as they did not want to owe the company store and they often struck better deals in the process. If I am.not mistaken Tom Waits also did this at a certain point with his latest label Epitaph. But perhaps the most remarkable example was Frank Zappa who owned every album he ever made.

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-----Original message-----
From: Bob Olhsson <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Wed, Aug 17, 2011 03:37:46 GMT+00:00
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Morning reading: One take on patents, somewhat related to discussions we've had on copyrights, plus a take on copyrights

-----Original Message-----
From Michael Biel: "  You often tell us you worked for Motown.  What Motown performer owns their masters?"

Motown was launched by Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson buying back the lease of their master "Shop Around" from Chess as it climbed the charts! I know for a fact that Stevie Wonder owns all of his masters and I'm sure a number of the others do also. It's a pretty common part of any popular artist's second record deal with the same label. When I started asking around a few years ago I was shocked by how common master leases have actually been.

Bob Olhsson Audio Mastery, Nashville TN
Mastering, Audio for Picture, Mix Evaluation and Quality Control Over 40 years making people sound better than they ever imagined!
615.562.4346 http://www.bobolhsson.com http://audiomastery.com