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Those singles that never happened...
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AdrenaChris
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PostPost #1  Posted: Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:07 pm    Post subject: Those singles that never happened... Reply with quote Back to top

While watching this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpBLKzHSQa4&lc=z23bjtii2rurcfoa504t1aokgaio3ouw40amxye0pktxbk0h00410) fantastic recording of Roskilde 1998, in particular a lovely version of Suzanne, I'm wondering...

Just what on earth happened to stop those tracks being released? It looks like everything was right at the time. In this video the band looks great, sounds great, Our fearless leader! is on top form IMO, and at the time it must have been quite exciting again to be a Sisters fan. As if the mythical new album was only a matter of months, maybe a year away.

I read one theory about how Pearson didn't want them released. Our fearless leader! couldn't be arsed? Of course now it's too late and the material isn't fresh anymore. But I can't help but think that had an EP (say Crash and Burn/Suzanne/Summer/Will I Dream/Romeo Down) been released around the turn of the millennium, things might have gone very differently.

(this is not a whinging post for the record, I was at the Roundhouse last September and very much enjoyed myself :p but the questions remain..)
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PostPost #2  Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:39 am    Post subject: Re: Those singles that never happened... Reply with quote Back to top

AdrenaChris wrote:
I read one theory about how Pearson didn't want them released.

Yeah I don't buy that for a second. Why would it even be up to him?
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PostPost #3  Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I think Adam would have had some say as he wrote, or at least heavily contributed to, the music on the suggested track listing. I doubt he had veto rights though, more likely Von either couldn't be bothered or didn't fancy it without major backing. I guess he makes enough from sporadic festivals and an almost annual jaunt around northern Europe and the Islands to keep his cats in Whiskas.
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PostPost #4  Posted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I heard that it was Adam's nervousness at the level of scrutiny and criticism he'd get from fans by virtue being the songwriter of the first Sisters material to be committed to record in years.

Forget where I heard it, and while I can imagine it might be true, I wouldn't take it as gospel.
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PostPost #5  Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I understood Our fearless leader! learned the hard way that he can extricate the band from Elektra, while remaining bound to their worldwide Warner contract.

Here's a nice list of excuses over the years.

It's plausible that another label would have to buy them out of their Warner deal. But who knows.
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PostPost #6  Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:54 am    Post subject: Re: Those singles that never happened... Reply with quote Back to top

AdrenaChris wrote:
While watching this (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpBLKzHSQa4&lc=z23bjtii2rurcfoa504t1aokgaio3ouw40amxye0pktxbk0h00410) fantastic recording of Roskilde 1998, in particular a lovely version of Suzanne, I'm wondering...

Just what on earth happened to stop those tracks being released? It looks like everything was right at the time. In this video the band looks great, sounds great, Our fearless leader! is on top form IMO, and at the time it must have been quite exciting again to be a Sisters fan. As if the mythical new album was only a matter of months, maybe a year away.

I read one theory about how Pearson didn't want them released. Our fearless leader! couldn't be arsed? Of course now it's too late and the material isn't fresh anymore. But I can't help but think that had an EP (say Crash and Burn/Suzanne/Summer/Will I Dream/Romeo Down) been released around the turn of the millennium, things might have gone very differently.

(this is not a whinging post for the record, I was at the Roundhouse last September and very much enjoyed myself :p but the questions remain..)


By "on top form" you mean I can't hear a bloody word he is howling/singing. I thought Ribbons had a very long intro but it was half way through the song.
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copper
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PostPost #7  Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

From Adam's guitars on the official site.

Quote:
Lowden 032 acoustic

Mighty and fine. One of the loudest and sweetest-sounding acoustics I've heard. Which is of no interest to anyone else whatsoever, except that it'll be on a Sisters CD soon.

Could've been written by Our fearless leader! as well, but a curious remark.

Just like
Quote:
Anyway, you'd be the first to scream if the next thing you got was not a new studio album.

The lack of record company backing really seemed to put things off. Which is funny, because Our fearless leader! has since touted the narrative, "We don't have a record company, and we're better off for it."

That may be true in regards to Elektra, but it also seems to mean no new releases. The catch is, in around '98, the band appeared willing.
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AdrenaChris
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PostPost #8  Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Self-releasing albums is the norm these days. I've done/been involved with two myself. No there's not a lot of money in it, but I'm not The Sisters of Mercy, it's all relative. There's no reason why it wouldn't have been picked up by a capable indie label either. Von's right about the music industry "imploding", but what he failed to realise IMO was that the control he covets so much was now entirely in his hands.

There's a brilliant thread around here somewhere about wether or not the Sisters had "blown their cool" in around 2003, filled with many enlightening remarks from people who've been in this far longer than I. Like many of them, I'm forced to conclude that Our fearless leader! just doesn't have the swagger and arrogant self-belief he used to and is/was afraid of newly released material being critically panned.
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PostPost #9  Posted: Sat Jun 09, 2018 3:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

copper wrote:
I understood Our fearless leader! learned the hard way that he can extricate the band from Elektra, while remaining bound to their worldwide Warner contract.

Here's a nice list of excuses over the years.

It's plausible that another label would have to buy them out of their Warner deal. But who knows.


This sounds plausible to me.
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PostPost #10  Posted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

sultan2075 wrote:
copper wrote:
I understood Our fearless leader! learned the hard way that he can extricate the band from Elektra, while remaining bound to their worldwide Warner contract.

Here's a nice list of excuses over the years.

It's plausible that another label would have to buy them out of their Warner deal. But who knows.


This sounds plausible to me.
I've thought about this too. A lot. And... my only conclusion is there was and still is a "if it ain't broke don't fix it" mentality going on. Let's face it the band seem "happy" in their current state. The line up has been stable for quite a while and the regular(ish) tours are very well attended - some/most even selling out. Now (correct me if I'm wrong) the band are also pretty much self managed so this keeps costs down and earns the members (leader in particular!) a healthy payday - and fair enough to them.

Now to the actual process of releasing new material in 2018 as, we're all aware, its very easy and doable. Especially self-releasing for artists as established as the Sisters members. iTunes, Bandcamp. own website, social media or just plain old youtube - it the "desire" was truly there they'd find a way!

But it isn't. There is no need to release anything new. One of the main reasons I'm a Sisters fan is I find all their work to my liking. There is not one track or song anything I consider a train wreck or so bad I reach for the FF button. No other artists has achieved that with me. None. Now I'm sure AE is very proud of his back catalogue (hell why shouldn't he be?) and any release is bound to be measured against this huge yard stick he's created. So if the venues are selling out and the merch stall busy what's the point of upsetting the good old status quo??? In a word none. So the years roll by, the decades roll by and we'll never have new recorded output. Cos there simply (us fans begging aside) any need.
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PostPost #11  Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Maybe we shoot stop visiting their shows and stop buying rereleases. That will mess up Andy's cash flow.
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PostPost #12  Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

AdrenaChris wrote:
I. Like many of them, I'm forced to conclude that Our fearless leader! just doesn't have the swagger and arrogant self-belief he used to and is/was afraid of newly released material being critically panned.


This.

And not just critically panned, more him knowing deep down it just wasn't as good. whether it's the songs or his voice.
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PostPost #13  Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

ruffers wrote:
AdrenaChris wrote:
I. Like many of them, I'm forced to conclude that Our fearless leader! just doesn't have the swagger and arrogant self-belief he used to and is/was afraid of newly released material being critically panned.


This.

And not just critically panned, more him knowing deep down it just wasn't as good. whether it's the songs or his voice.


The voice question is an interesting one. He was never a "technically" brilliant singer but to me that doesn't matter. He sings from the gut and knows how to hit exactly where it hurts. I've seen enough recent tour footage (and the two gigs I've seen myself) to know that he can still belt out a good wail when called to, even if it is a dodgy one.

Saying that, a great deal of the vocal melodies even in classic Sisters tracks are quite "flat" and obviously stick to what's dictated by Our fearless leader! 's somewhat limited range.I do wonder sometimes if all the mumbling live isn't just a natural result of trying to duplicate that on stage. This is even apparent on bootlegs from the early 90s onwards. We all know Floodland was never written to be played live originally.
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PostPost #14  Posted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Quiff Boy wrote:
I heard that it was Adam's nervousness at the level of scrutiny and criticism he'd get from fans by virtue being the songwriter of the first Sisters material to be committed to record in years.

Forget where I heard it, and while I can imagine it might be true, I wouldn't take it as gospel.

the music for Suzanne was written by Mike Varjak; for War On Drugs it was Eldritch; Still was written by Chris or Ben or both -after mr whammy left anyway; likewise Arms; unsure about Crash and Burn and Slept but of all the "new" songs Summer is the most Sisters-esque and anyway the songs were all well road-tested before the faithful. the Adam-veto theory just doesn't hold water with me.
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PostPost #15  Posted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

<neo_nazi/facist_walks_in>

will I dream? (Music by Adam Pearson and Mike Varjak)

summer (Music by Adam Pearson)
romeo down (Music by Adam Pearson).

<neo_nazi/facist_walks_out>
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PostPost #16  Posted: Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Bartek wrote:
<neo_nazi/facist_walks_in>

will I dream? (Music by Adam Pearson and Mike Varjak)

summer (Music by Adam Pearson)
romeo down (Music by Adam Pearson).

<neo_nazi/facist_walks_out>
oh i'm sorry - i assumed the fact that those 3 songs were co-written by adam was obvious; however i recognise -and therefore (genuinely) apologise for- the confusingly slangy and colloquial way i write (sometimes, especially informally) but thats the way i speak.
hence :
what eastmidswhizzkid, for the sake of clarity, should have written, not wrote:
Quiff Boy wrote:
I heard that it was Adam's nervousness at the level of scrutiny and criticism he'd get from fans by virtue being the songwriter of the first Sisters material to be committed to record in years.

Forget where I heard it, and while I can imagine it might be true, I wouldn't take it as gospel.

the music for "Suzanne" was written by Mike Varjak; "War On Drugs" was Eldritch; the music for "Still" was written by Chris or Ben or both -after mr whammy/Adam left anyway- and likewise "Arms"; i'm unsure about the music for "Crash and Burn" and "Slept"..... however it was "Summer" -which we know Adam co-wrote along with "will i dream" and "romeo down"- that was meant to be recorded/released first; and of all the "new" songs "Summer" is far and away the most brilliantly "Sisters-esque" (IMHO)..... and anyway, all the "new" songs (then written) had been well road-tested before The Faithful. so on those grounds, while i can also imagine it might be true, as a basis for the Adam-veto theory it just doesn't hold water with me.

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PostPost #17  Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

eastmidswhizzkid wrote:
Still was written by Chris or Ben or both

Chris, with Our fearless leader!

eastmidswhizzkid wrote:
unsure about Crash and Burn and Slept

Both Whammy & Our fearless leader! (I recall Whammy mentioned this in some website profile, etc)
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PostPost #18  Posted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

copper wrote:
eastmidswhizzkid wrote:
Still was written by Chris or Ben or both

Chris, with Our fearless leader!

eastmidswhizzkid wrote:
unsure about Crash and Burn and Slept

Both Whammy & Our fearless leader! (I recall Whammy mentioned this in some website profile, etc)

thanks. We are not worthy!
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PostPost #19  Posted: Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Unless memory fails, people got Chris to specify in the online q&a he used to do that he wrote the verse riff for Still, Von the music for the chorus (and the words).
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PostPost #20  Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I don't see why Von's voice deteriorating would be a problem. Leonard Cohen, his hero, had a voice which degenerated from slightly nasal to a barely audible grumble over his career, and that was all part of his charm.
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PostPost #21  Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yeah, the deteriorating voice thing is a red herring - that's a reason not to tour, rather than not to record.

All sorts of fun and games can happen in a recording booth. Plenty of notably s**t singers manage to put out convincing recorded music - just look at Bernard Sumner of New Order. God bless him, he's a completely tuneless singer, but on record sounds quite good. Live is an entirely other matter - I've seen New Order be entirely shambolic on stage, and Sumner totally out of tune.

So if it's concern about the voice, Mr Eldritch has the worst of both worlds in that he's trying to reproduce 30 or 40 year old vocals live. That's a challenge for any singer, no matter how good they are or once were.

He could easily sound epic in a studio, for the simple reason that his voice is so distinctive that he could sing in a whisper and have the volume thunder out of the speakers in the booth.
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Arrrgh!
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PostPost #22  Posted: Thu Mar 07, 2019 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

PS I'm listening to that Roskilde boot on youtube this morning, and its f**king epic. Yes, you can hear the vocals properly, but also the attitude and swagger is epic. It sounds fresh and aggressive. Just amazing.

The current live sound basically hasn't changed in a decade. I think it's too polished - this older boot sounds much fresher because the guitarists are really on their A game. I think Ben and Chris are great guys and play really well, but they need to freshen up the sound I think.

I'll see them again this year, but I'm expecting it to sound pretty much identical to every show I've seen in the last decade.
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PostPost #23  Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I re-read that Virgin.net interview, and seems to me Our fearless leader! pretty much spells it out.

Von in '97 wrote:
My contract with East West prevents me from being a featured artist in any other arena, and East West are prepared to spend a lot of money in court to uphold their belief that the contract is still in force. Even if I had a pathological need to openly perform on records, I would need an awful lot of money to assert my freedom.


Von on the Mute deal wrote:
We had to get away from Elektra, but we weren't allowed to move outside the Warner family. -src


Care to guess if the Far Parade lyrics address this?

And I'm ungood if I can't shout
Without the vowels or the label out


He gets the blame because he can't perform as a recording artist outside the Warner contract?

Von in '97 wrote:
Record companies can invest huge amounts of money in the marketing of records (except ours), but very little in the making of records... The artist is now required to produce 70 minutes of music per album (instead of 40 in the days of vinyl) and the music has to be of better sonic quality than it did in the days of vinyl, so more of the artist's time and money is expended on the recording... but the artist's royalty rate has not increased, although CDs are now cheaper to manufacture than vinyl ever was.

It would be nice for record companies to get screwed by the Net, but that won't benefit the artist until there is a mature royalty collection system which encourages the artist to invest in the quality of the music.


The old hat. Takes a lot of money with the WEA contract, yields too little income.
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PostPost #24  Posted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That could be seen as very rational explanation, and if it's a truth behind silence, then it's understandable. But there's one why (may by two) why: 1. Why he never said it aloud for press and why he's selling, the very same press, we're writing and recording story (to answer to myself: because they still buy this story and because it can be true on a level of fact even it nothing from this will ever see daylight - words mean what they say and nothing more).
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PostPost #25  Posted: Sun May 05, 2019 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

We have to take into account numerous variables, which still leave us guessing at the end of the today. Our fearless leader! made it clear that by the late 90's, the band still had to turn in two studio albums to fulfill their contractual obligations. He also maintained the SSV "album" was accepted, and the way he phrased it, that thing along with their years-long "strike" freed them from EastWest. Maybe, one more album remaining in the Warner deal.

(I distinctly recall an EW quote from a defunct(?) TSOM website, maybe 1969 and all that, They debunked Our fearless leader!'s big-words separation announcement by saying "We're glad he hasn't lost his sense of humor". Can't find it now, so can't vouch for that.)

In '98-'02, Our fearless leader! made various overtures to other big labels, hoping to secure a new deal for the Pearson/Varjak album. He made a point about being dropped by EastWest in lieu of the SSV album, quite possibly to signal other labels the band would be up for grabs. Just that, let's assume, the interested parties found the band still tied up with Warner.

Backtracking in public would've made Our fearless leader! look like an oaf. Pride aside, it could've put him on a backfoot in his effort to secure a separate label. Surely, anyone interested would've learned of some legal miasma eventually, but foreknowledge could've discouraged them from even having meetings. Maybe that's part of the speculated price-tag of the fourth album; recording expenses and Warner pay-off.

Therefore, the fourth album may have never arrived because some folks at Warner grew weary of him, and any other label would have to pay a high price to release it. The money may have never been there even in the late 90's, because Warner demands a big piece of the pie and any alternative would have to treat the Sisters as a "major-label act" in terms of investment. They'd be on the red in the books for a long time, unless the album would sell insane. And this could've been the predicament even before Napster became an industry-wide topic.

Since 2005-6, the band have toured more extensively, muchly thanks to the efforts of Chris to make their gear more transportable. Our fearless leader! has switched his tune to "we don't have a label, don't need one - fans hear new songs in shows anyway."

That implies, with this train of thought, that Our fearless leader! has made his peace with the overall situation, taking control of the band's destiny again by getting them on the road in regular intervals, writing new songs in his leisure and putting them in a drawer. There could also be legal ramifications from Warner should he spell out certain things out too clearly.

The current situation seemingly allows him a lifestyle he likes, maintained by sporadically touring his golden oldies and staying mum about certain things. A checkmate he never hoped to have - at the price of never releasing another song again.

Maybe.
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