Rubellan Remasters Hype/Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Erick Haight, May 11, 2022.

  1. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    I figured having my URL on the back of the jacket would be enough, and while it has directed some buyers to my website and mailing list, I'm guessing it's not been massive. I did get a huge burst of Boingo LP sales the other day, like they were brand new products. I suspected someone must have advertised these somewhere and it brought in some new buyers. One buyer contacted me and said they saw a posting in a Vinyl Reddit group and that's what directed them to my site, so that solved that mystery. I need more of that kind of surprise exposure bringing in the newbies.
  2. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident

    From your transparency here on the forum it is easy to discern that Rubellan is a labor of love for you. The margins that you have quoted just wouldn’t be enough for most people to put up with the frustration, otherwise. I know that you are hesitant to raise prices, but I really don’t think you would be out of line to do so. I purchased several of the recently released Cold Cave reissues direct from the band’s website and they were $30 each. With the exception of maybe the couple that were originally released on Matador, I imagine that there are little to no licensing fees associated with these reissues. I was in a record store a couple of weeks ago and they were selling these same releases for $39 each.

    Have you considered traditional print advertising? I realize that this is probably antiquated thinking but I’m old as hell and still buy rock mags every month. An ad in something like the Big Takeover would likely find a very captive audience for your catalog. Their distribution is something like 11 or 12 thousand readers. I know, a drop in the bucket compared to digital advertising but still likely to be more captive, IMO. I pour over every ad in the magazines that I buy and almost always see something that I didn’t know about that I wind up purchasing.
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  3. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident

    Btw, what is the story behind the name Rubellan? I assume it has something to do with the mineral, but I’m curious why you chose it. Apologies if I missed this in the thread somewhere.
  4. Markyp

    Markyp Forum Resident

    Or even better, see if any of the magazines wanted to interview you for an article. That would be free exposure.
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  5. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    It's not worth the frustration at any cost, but since I've put myself in this situation then I accepted that it's all just part of it. But if U remain absent through the rest of the year, I'm just going to take it as we're done doing business and the mystery band projects I've been working on will the final releases. I'm not one of those people who would leave the door open in case a clearance pops into my inbox in 2025, I'd rather be done with it if I can't keep it fairly steady. My assumption that sending in loads of new requests would equal some sort of increased released schedule didn't pan out. With only three U clearances this year, this will be the fewest since 2019.

    As far as print advertising, I tried once with Classic Pop magazine a few years ago. I made contact with someone and they asked that I send over my catalog at the time, which was something like 10 CD's. I sent them all and it was confirmed the designated person received them, but I didn't get any sort of thanks or response. I did get a brief outline of what the cost for an ad could be, and at the time I felt it might not have been worth it.

    I'm still not sure how some of these other third-party labels are managing to move so much stock without any real advertising. In 2021, a third party reissued the Suburban Lawns LP, licensed from Universal, on basic black vinyl, and at a surprisingly low price. According to Discogs, over 1200 have this reissue, which is astronomical because when you calculate how many actual sales that could be based on how my label's Discogs numbers compare to sales, I'm guessing they've moved around 4K-5K copies. I certainly didn't see any advertising for that reissue, it just appeared one day. There are other examples out there with a similar story, I just have no idea how they are profiting from the low price or how they've unloaded that many copies.
  6. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    I've done a couple of interviews here and there. An early one appeared in an Ultravox-related print magazine because of my Visage reissues. And last year, I did one for The Second Disc website, which they posted. But who needs to interview me when I purge most of the information, still with some discretion, right here. :laughup:
  7. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    From the final FAQ on my website:

    What does "Rubellan" mean?
    Oh, this one is always fun to answer. It basically comes down to an inside joke that dates from a party in the early 90's, but to try to explain it with any cohesion would take paragraphs and still likely cause confusion. But I will say this much, the alien in my label logo is a direct reference to that in-joke. It is called Ruby, it's from the planet Rubella, which makes it Rubellan. See, I told you it would be confusing. The theme is intentionally cheesy, and slightly creepy, retro-style sci-fi. I didn't want a bland monochrome text-based logo like other labels, it had to have some of my character.
  8. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident

    that record had sort of become much sought after by record collectors before it was reissued as original pressing were hard to come by and were going for big $$$. Even after the reissue the cheapest original pressing is $60+ on Discogs.

    The reissue had quite a bit of hype surrounding it including a glowing Sunday review on which no doubt drove a lot of people who probably had never heard of the band to purchase (probably from Rough Trade which seems to be pf’s preferred retail partner). Its reputation as a collectible likely drove record buyers to it, as well. I remember after the review was published the initial run of reissues were hard to find for a while. The repress seems to be plentiful now, though.

    not really sure I get all the recent hype, though. They were on IRS and my love for the label led me to them many years ago, but they never really did much for me. Plenty of other artists on that label that I prefer.
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  9. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    Well, I'm sure that bit of publicity didn't hurt sales. Since I've never hired a publicist, I rely on word of mouth and social media. It's been pretty good in some cases, and I still have to remind myself that after moving about 4500 of the first Missing Persons CD, 3000 of each of the 2 Berlin CD's, 3000 of Boingo's Dead Man's Party on CD, and just about up to 4000 Only A Lad on LP, it will be a win some-lose some situation. And yesterday, I made some posts about working with stores to sell wholesale directly to them. I've already done this for a few places that have contacted me in recent years, and make decent sized orders, especially since they can't get certain titles or variants currently in or not in distribution. I did contact a couple of bigger stores that I know carry my titles and got an enthusiastic response from Amoeba that they'd love to work with me direct because they have such a hard time getting ahold of some of my stuff. I'm more than happy to fill their needs directly.
  10. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    Well, here's a little Friday treat, and I guess it's as good a time as any to share, that being the identity of the mystery artist I've been mentioning for months now. While some may have guessed from the hints I provided, it is in fact Vivabeat.

    For those who don't know, Vivabeat were definitely leaders in the electronic movement with their underground dance hit Man From China being released in 1979. The band were the first US artist to sign with the Charisma record label out of the UK, aided by encouragement from Peter Gabriel. It's also known that the whistling portion of Gabriel's song Games Without Frontiers was influenced by the whistling in Man From China. Check out the music video here. It's not the best quality but it's the only one out there. The band didn't even have a copy, I sent them one on VHS about 15-20 years ago:

    Though Man From China would be the only single released by the band on Charisma, they did release their LP Party In The War Zone in 1980. The album is a collection of varied styles, from the throbbing synth beat of Man From China, to the energetic post punk (or power pop?) of Pop Girl and Jet Set, to the moody experimental I Know Your Room and Enemy Fire. While the album was originally intended for an earlier release, upon review in late 1979, it was agreed that two lesser songs would be dropped with two then-new songs replacing them, which would turn out to be a couple of their most appreciated tracks, Working For William and From The Bop.

    Party In The War Zone is going to be presented in full on CD for the first time ever, and from the original master tape the remaining band members have in their tape archive. A few of the tracks appeared on an earlier compilation CD titled The Good Life, along with previously unreleased material by Vivabeat and a later band called See Jane Run. The CD reissue is being doubled to include 10 bonus tracks, including B sides, some of the earlier archive material from the previous compilation, other previously unreleased tracks, and two songs recently rescued from long-dormant multitrack tapes, these being a couple of the See Jane Run songs but earlier recordings with Vivabeat and including their original vocalist, Terrence Robay.

    In 1982, Vivabeat were working on new music with Earle Mankey. While the sessions were incomplete, some new material came out of it. Their second video was for the song The House Is Burning (But There's No One Home). By this time, the band included former Japan guitarist Rob Dean. Though there was no single release, the song and video were given exposure in the 1984 Brian DePalma film Body Double. Here's the music video:

    There's also a compilation vinyl LP in the works, which is titled The House Is Burning - The Best of Vivabeat, that will include 12 tracks compiled from a few songs from Party In The War Zone, some of the bonus tracks from the CD, and some additional archive material exclusive to the LP. The plan is to have the CD at 500 copies and the LP at 300 copies. All of this has and is being worked on directly with the surviving band members, Marina and Mick, who are very excited about the projects. Still a fair amount of work to do but the CD track listing is finalized and there's only one more track to be mixed for the LP. In June, the image below was posted on the official Vivabeat Facebook page, after a recording session with Clem Burke from Blondie, who provided a new drum track for one of the recently mixed archive songs, the mixing sessions reuniting them with Earle Mankey. That's Marina and Mick on the right. I really hope this often-overlooked band find some new followers after the release of these projects.

    Last edited: Aug 18, 2023
  11. Bob C

    Bob C Forum Resident

    So Cal
    While I hoped the mystery band was The Humans, I'll buy. I still have the WLP copy of Party In The War Zone I bought back in the day.
  12. lpfreak1170

    lpfreak1170 Senior Member

    Marion, AR
    I am all in for this!
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  13. stoneage romeo

    stoneage romeo Forum Resident

    When you dropped the Earl Mankey hint I was pretty sure it was Vivabeat. I have a copy of Party… and will be thrilled to pick up the Rubellan comp when it is released.
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  14. reapers

    reapers Forum Resident

    I discovered The Good Life compilation a few years back. Vivabeat is great and for those not familiar, take the time to check them out. An instant buy for me.
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  15. Juggsnelson

    Juggsnelson Senior Member

    Long Island
    Exciting news all around!!! I'm in for the CD and LP!
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  16. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    I don't know Vivabeat but that won't stop me from taking a chance on it upon release as I have done for several Rubellan releases.
  17. reapers

    reapers Forum Resident

    This is the hype sticker from The Good Life compilation CD:

    Discovered in Los Angeles by Peter Gabriel, Vivabeat became the first U.S. signing to Charisma records. Marrying 70’s British avant-artrock to the kind of lush, techno-odd-pop characterized by Bowie, Roxy Music, Ultravox and Sparks, Vivabeat quickly found themselves on Billboard’s dance charts with their club hit “Man From China”. This anthology features the hypnotic guitar work of former Japan member Rob Dean and the studio wizardry of Earl Mankey on many of the tracks.

    From the compilation, this track caught my ear:

  18. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    Very cool, now I'm really fired up for this one!
  19. Blair G.

    Blair G. Senior Member

    Delta, BC, Canada
    Never heard of this band until today.
    But listening to samples now is enough to know I will buy this for sure .
  20. jimhb

    jimhb Forum Resident

    Denver, CO, USA
    This is great! I’m excited to hear more! Gonna be an instant purchase.
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  21. murphmanz

    murphmanz Forum Resident

    Have never heard of Vivabeat but will certainly be up for the CD when it's released. Thanks for this Scott
  22. Scott Davies

    Scott Davies Forum Resident

    Good to see some enthusiasm for this. And since I'm licensing directly from the band, I'm not bound by the major label unit guarantees, hence the smaller pressing amounts. That offers some relief if this remains a super-niche project, but I, of course, hope it does well. I will be sharing similar info about these projects with the mailing list likely late next week since I'm expecting the Boingo EP then as well.
  23. RevUp64

    RevUp64 Forum Resident

    Atlanta, GA, US
    Completely new to me as well, but I’m in!
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  24. moomoomoomoo

    moomoomoomoo WhoNeedsRealityWhenThere'sMoreSleepToLookForwardTo

    I'd still love to see the Maurice & The Cliches album on cd. Right up your alley, & never released in any digital format.
  25. Bob C

    Bob C Forum Resident

    So Cal
    For any interested... in 2019 Marina's pre-Vivabeat band, Backstage Pass, issued a mostly-live archival ('77-ish) cassette-only release (in an edition of 125) that still appears to be available on Bandcamp. Marina played keyboards and wrote one song: "Be Tonight". Holly Beth Vincent was also in that band for a while and wrote/played on a few of the songs as well. Worth the few bucks if you ask me...

    Backstage Pass 77, by Backstage Pass

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