Matt Monro - The George Martin Years CD (& appreciation thread) *

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by vzok, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Reviving a reasonably old thread.

    Richard - if you're still around these parts, is there any potential news of possible releases in the pipeline?

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
  2. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thank you for all your excellent work Mr Moore.

    I am interested in acquiring the best versions available of remastered tracks and to avoid unnecessary duplication in my collection.

    Any chance of a list pointing out the status of the tracks on the George Martin disc, i.e. which have been re-remastered since the Complete Singles or Singer's Singer sets, which one is newly in stereo etc?

    Also is there a definitive list of the Matt Monro tracks/albums you have remastered so far? I checked your www.mint-audio-restoration.co.uk and other sites but I could not find such a thing.
     
  3. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Over on the Matt Monro forum, Richard’s recent answer is no. There is no interest from Warners in Matt at all.

    I wonder if there would be any interest in crowdfunding any releases?
     
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  4. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I don't know if this information is available with 'The Singer's Singer - Special Reserve' (which I have ordered) but can anyone point me to a definitive list of released Matt Monro tracks produced by George Martin - especially if there is a reference to the best CD
    for each track?
     
  5. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    It is unbelievable that even now, record companies manage to make such a mess of protecting and championing artists' legacies.

    In Matt's case, there is an extremely approachable estate - Michele, in particular, is doing her utmost to see her father's work properly curated.

    There is a producer extremely willing to work with both the estate and fans to ensure top quality releases are issued and are available at sensible prices.

    And yet ... from the label such little involvement.

    And in the meantime any number of European unofficial labels are scooping up material out of copyright and issuing it in numerous different combinations. Yes, they don't pay the fees etc., that a 'proper' release would require but ... even these labels are not stupid enough to issue things into the market-place that aren't going to sell.

    So, there is a market and there is interest from fans.

    I would certainly get involved in crowd-funding a release.

    What's more, given Michele's imaginative approach to keeping her father's name and music 'out there', I bet there could be some really interesting 'extras' which fans would be willing to get behind and make a success of any such venture.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
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  6. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    I don't think that information is in that book. I think it has information on each track in relation to recording sessions. Any Matt CD after 2006 was probably remastered under Richard Moore's supervision, and therefore excellent. You could probably find most of the tracks on "The George Martin Years", "The Singer's Singer" or "The Complete Singles Collection".

    That makes two of us. But I'm not sure that there is enough interest in Matt here, or anywhere, to make this a likely prospect. When Matt was selling well for EMI Gold (right up until 2013) I think Richard had it in mind to remaster all of Matt's albums, either individually or as a complete box set. A real shame that will probably never happen now.
     
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  7. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    ...btw, which version of 'From Russia With Love' is on the George Martin Years, the soundtrack/single version or the album? Furthermore is there an easy way to tell the difference? I think the version on 'The Singer's Singer' is a remix with the vocals further forward so presumably that makes it another version.

    Loaded what I have into Audacity and it looks like the right hand channel of the album version (taken from the box set 'Produced by George Martin' differs quite a bit from 2016 and the 2011 remasters which are similar. So I must assume that the George Martin Years version is the same as the version on 'The Singer's Singer' albeit remastered.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2017
  8. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    In 2020 Matt would have been 90 and it is also 35 years since he passed away - a fantastic opportunity to do something suitable with his legacy and probably just about enough time to crowd-fund an appropriate release if the label isn't interested.

    It's worth remembering that Matt had a considerable audience beyond the UK. Yes, it's true that this audience won't always be there but it will be there for a while yet.

    However, there are many lesser artists, both in terms of quality and audience demographic, who have received career-spanning celebratory release programmes of one sort or another, for it to seem puzzling that Matt's label can't create and then promote and market (to their financial gain as well) some kind of effective release strategy.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
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  9. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Here are some of Richard Moore's comments on the current situation that he made recently over on the Matt Monro forum (I hope he doesn't mind me putting them here)

    In regard to Warners attitude to Matt, and sales of "The George Martin Years" -

    We hear nothing from Warners at all so we haven't got a clue how well it sold and wouldn't get the answer even if we asked. We (and therefore Matt) don't matter any more unfortunately

    When asked if anything new was in the pipeline -

    Not at the moment. The two Matt releases I have put out on Mint Audio have not sold particularly well - Nobody wants Matt's Live recordings it seems. I'm also not being distributed by anyone but myself (not for the want of trying!) so none of my releases are available "everywhere" so at the moment I have no plans for any more Matt releases from my constantly cash strapped label. We do have unreleased material that has recently come to light, but as both Warner, Universal and any label that may have once asked to issue material are not rushing to get new product I don't know when a suitable project will come our way.

    I am however working on a project with another artists estate and the BBC to issue a CD set of unreleased material that IF successful may lead on to other projects (and hopefully wider distribution!). I have often spoken of a "Complete Matt Monro" Featuring all of Matt's studio recordings completely remastered (besides material never on CD There are a few things left in the Capitol vaults that haven't been heard plus with all sorts of other bit & bobs we have collected) but the cost of licensing and manufacture of such a large set would probably run into tens of thousands, even as a limited edition. Maybe someday.

    We are always open to ideas though. Should anyone have suggestions please let us know.

    When asked what happened after Warners' interest in releasing "The George Marin Years" -

    They were interested because of the George Martin angle and not even close to the interest Steve Woof took in Matt - Who up to the moment of the take over was EMI Gold's biggest seller. The gigantic rise of public domain releases, the reduction in the number of CD's being sold, the rise of downloads and streaming, music being uploaded wholesale to Youtube etc all are contributory factors. The Majors aren't issuing many archive sets on anyone these days other than the biggest acts - and many then charge extortionate amounts for smaller labels to license the recordings they aren't interested in, making the costs unrealistic.

    The record business is not what it was. They would rather things sat on shelves never to be issued or reissued again than make any available to others at a sensible cost. I made enquires about a set by an artist who's back catalogue was mainly in the public domain and they wanted £10,000. This was for a set that might not sell more than 1000 in total if sold at £7.99 a pop - Meaning a loss even before the manufacturing and songwriter royalties.

    When asked about crowdfunding -

    I am testing the waters soon with a BBC set I'm working on with a different artist's estate. The exact amount required is still a little in the air currently but for just a 2 CD set i'm looking at about £5-6,000 due to all the royalties that will have to be paid. But it is something I'm playing with. Of course there is also no point spending the many hundreds of hours that it would take to put a Matt box together (much as I adore Matt) if I do it all for nothing - I do have to eat you see!

    Never say never, but it's unlikely to be soon!


    So all in all it doesn't look like anything more will be released of Matt.

     
  10. bRETT

    bRETT Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Amazing how "My Kind of Girl" gets forgotten altogether since it was a top 20 hit in the US. I'd forgotten it myself before this thread appeared last year.
     
  11. adriatikfan

    adriatikfan Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting this - how disheartening this must be for Richard. I just hope he knows how much his work has been appreciated, at least by some of us.

    Best Wishes,
    David
     
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  12. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Yes, it's all in the sessionography i put together for special reserve
     
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  13. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Hi,

    All the releases from Singer's Singer onwards including the George Martin Years use the correct vocal in stereo (The previous stereo release - as heard on Produced by George Martin and a 1000 other discs) uses partly the wrong vocal. My remix uses the same compiled vocal as the Mono single (heard on Complete Singles)
     
  14. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    Something not gone un-noticed by me!
     
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  15. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    I should add that it's not just Warner we're talking about. Matt's Capitol recordings are now owned by Universal - this split the catalogue up - and they have done nothing at all since taking ownership. Warner say that without the Capitol material they are less interested in Matt.

    I might well try the crowdsourcing route, but i have to get another project out of the way (which is taking an age to cost as people aren't willing to put any work into something that may never happen!

    The loss of Steve Woof and EMI Gold is another major factor here. We had plans for several releases including "The New York Sessions" - The original undubbed versions of the tracks later overdubbed for release on the "Invitation to Broadway" which also includes a number of songs released in dubbed form on singles (and one on Rare Monro). This set would also have featured the two last unreleased Capitol recordings. It's a great shame as it's what Matt wanted to be released and was incensed when he discovered they had been dubbed without him knowing. (Although later, once Impossible Dream became a hit he came around to the idea a bit more.)

    Matt made a great many TV & Radio performances that are lost, although occasionally things do turn up, like the Reditune recordings featured on Matt Uncovered/The Rarities Collection. Things have continued to appear in drips and drops. I have also recently discovered and alternate mix (with alternate vocal) of a single which is better than the final release (thanks to an acetate - to which I've now traced the tape). The Complete box set is my favourite idea, and Warners may be up for it. Problem is likely to be Universal who charge through the nose for licensing when I last looked!

    I'm always open to ideas, so feel free to make suggestions (if clean!)
     
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  16. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Great news - thanks!
     
  17. rob68

    rob68 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan USA
    Slim chance, but I'd love to see the Capitol albums get remastered and released on mini-LP CDs.

    I still think The Late, Late Show is Matt's masterpiece. Just a stunning album.
     
  18. RMoore

    RMoore Forum Resident

    I'm not sure about Masterpiece as I'd put the Hoagy Carmichael album up there as well, but it's probably the best Capitol LP. It's been treated badly on CD in the past too. The 2 for 1 has had all the life sucked out of it by (completely unnecessary noise reduction. The master has hardly any tape hiss so i have no idea why they though that was necessary. If you listen to the tracks on the 2011 remaster of Singer's Singer compared to the 2 for 1 the difference is staggering. Recorded at Olympic studios in February 1968 - with items chosen from a list by the public in a Cadbury's Drinking Chocolate competition - very few session tapes survive from that album and some of those have had vocals replaced with Spanish - Maria for instance. The session tape also showed how much regard musicians had for Matt. He recorded his vocal live with the orchestra in the same room (Hence the vocal bleed on the Spanish version and the reason it wasn't released in the 70's) and at the end of the song, just before it cuts you can hear a snatch of the usually unflappable, heard everything session players burst into applause. This was not something that happened a lot. I just wish they'd kept the tape running a bit longer!

    The master tape is in great condition and is in the former EMI archive in Hayes, now owned by Universal, but who store all the Warner owned EMI tapes too. It's all pretty messy and I often curse the venture capitalist group who bought EMI at far to higher price and eventually were forced to sell to Universal etc.
     
  19. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    The Rarities releases, The Rarities Collection, Rare Monro and Matt Monro - Uncovered seem to be only available via download or possibly second hand. I downloaded a lossless Rarities Collection yesterday from Qobuz. However even with that download you are deprived of the booklet information. Is there a list of the recording dates for these?
     
  20. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    Rare Monro and Matt Uncovered CDs were deleted when EMI was sold. Rarities Collection was a replacement for those two (minus the Capitol recordings). I hadn't heard that that one was deleted, but I wouldn't be surprised.
     
  21. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
    I have always liked some of Matt's recordings but have never ventured outside of the Hits and have got a couple of Best Of CDs . I thought I’d like to venture further. Do Rare Monro and Matt Uncovered have more tracks than the Rarities Collection then. The latter seems to have a lot of tracks as a 3 CD Set. Also how good is the the CD Set The Singers Singer. Is there any overlap between that and a The Gekrge Martin Years. Any help and advice appreciated. .
     
  22. MEMPHISSUN

    MEMPHISSUN Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    Thanks for your posts Richard.

    The BBC had a tribute to Roy Orbison on BBC FOUR the other week,and they used Roys son"s to talk about there father etc and it shows what a BIG diffrence when you own rights to the music of there father ... then compare to what Richard has wrote about what ideas were talked about on projects for Matt etc then pulled.

    I was at one time very happy with what has been done and issued on Matt ... but when you sit down and look what other stuff ie STUDIO/LIVE (that other posters have wrote about) that can be giving a NEW LIFE at Richards hand then its heartbreaking.

    Good thing is Matt has a daughter that comes over as someone who wants her Dad"s catalouge heard by many and heard in the best sound (Richard),they have done supreb and i feel there will be more from Matt and his back catalouge.


    Just a view.
     
  23. vzok

    vzok Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    UK
    If you get Rare and Uncovered you will end up with more tracks in total than getting Rarities. Rarities was a replacement for those two when they were deleted. Yet now it seems that Rarities is very hard to see for sale. I can only guess it has now been deleted. Looks like it is cheaper to buy Rare and Uncovered currently.

    Objectively I'd say if you were only buying 1 Matt Monro item, it should be the Singers Singer. It's 4 CDs, and as a compilation it has the well known songs plus album tracks, and a lot of rare tracks that still cannot be found anywhere else. Personally I rate the Complete Singles Collection 5CD set higher, but that's just me.

    I think I count 16 tracks out of 27 on George Martin Years that are not on the Singers Singer.
     
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  24. Norman Day

    Norman Day Forum Resident

    Location:
    UK
    I have received the Special Reserve and the Sessionography is excellent!

    However, well over a hundred 'rare' tracks have been released since then and it is a matter of detective work trying to fit them in a timeline without recording dates. It is a shame the tracks, which were only available as a download, were not tagged with their year of creation rather their date of publication.

    Nevertheless, thank you for your great attention to detail.
     
  25. Great Music Lover

    Great Music Lover Member

    Location:
    UK
    New to this thread - I love recording session details - what is "Special Reserve" and "Sessionography". Are they books available to buy?
     
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