On 01/10/2013, Tom Fine wrote:

> Yeah, but you guys just raised a key issue. My bet is that Rhett's
> Duane Eddy compilation may have come from overseas. It's a gray-market
> product from the get-go. Using liberal copyright rules in other
> countries, producers of cheap compilations get someone to make a
> quicky transfer of an LP or 45 because they can't license the master
> tapes. If they did this in the U.S., Australia and a few other places
> with strict copyrights, they'd be prosecuted as pirates. Naxos is the
> king of this, operating out of Hong Kong and selling cheapo discs made
> from garage sale LP dubs. Pure junk, but they exist because the labels
> sit on their vaults and won't invent a viable business plan to unleash
> all of the contents of their vaults.

I don't have any of the Naxos historicals made from vinyl, but I am
surprised that they would be so much worse than the ones made from
shellac, which are almost all excellent. 

Nor are Naxos CDs particularly cheap nowadays.

One label that has a long list of jazz material derived from vinyl is
Avid, a family business. While transfers from the studio master tapes
would be better, Dave Bennett does a pretty good job with these 1950s
LPs. He obviously cares about the sound quality.
> Even more insidious than cheapo junk reissues of LP and 45 dubs from
> gray-market operators overseas is taking a high-quality reissue like a
> Mosaic box, ripping the CDs and then repackaging them into original
> album sequences with usually blurry scans of the cover art. There are
> several jazz reissue "labels" based in Europe that specialize in this
> practice. It's worse than LP dubs because they are stealing Mosaic's
> investment in quality remastering and Mosaic buyers are thus
> subsidizing these gray-market goods. Again, if the record labels would
> do this themselves, after Mosaic sells out its licensed number of
> sets, then at least legitimate copyright owners would be profiting and
> it's more likely that artists would eventually get whatever royalties
> they are due.

Not many artists who were popular in the 1950s are still alive.
> There's a whole hornet's nest of issues here but it boils down to two
> big trends. First, consumers want to pay prices that do not tend to
> allow for a profit margin that can build in quality work on the
> transfer and mastering end. Second, big record companies tend to make
> slow, dumb decisions about materials in their vaults because they are
> set up to chase quarterly hits. These two factors open the door to the
> gray-market leeches, which further erodes the margins and markets for
> legitimate reissues.
EMI-Capitol did issue a large range of 1950s material, two LPs on each
CD. Peggy Lee was particularly featured. So there is no need for pirates
of these (until they go out of print again, as many have).

It is hard to tell whether these were transferred from original tapes or
from vinyl. They are illustrated with scans of the LP sleeves.

Don Cox
[log in to unmask]