Trolling the internet as my seven year old sings along to “Mirror in the Bathroom” and I start to wonder about the sweet ska sounds of The (“English” In North America, “British” in Australia) Beat emanating from my speakers. So a quick google later and BANG!
The Beat is using Pledge Music to raise funds for a new record with plenty of exclusive items being given in exchange for your participation. Some of the items included are t-shirt ($25), autographed CD ($34), vinyl ($40) a phone call with vocalist songwriter Dave Wakeling ($103), and a bundle that includes the CD, vinyl, t-shirt, stickers, poster and a recent tour pass laminate. Not only will you be helping the band get a new record into your hands but also 10% of all proceeds will be given to Doctors Without Borders.
If you’re interested you had better act quick, items are selling fast (seriously, the autographed vinyl is already gone) and many items are down to their last few.
Check it out at http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/theenglishbeat
The problem I always run into when dealing with classic albums and their vinyl re-issues is the sheer amount of arguing that goes on between audiophiles on which version is definitive and blah blah blah. I mean honestly, there were twenty-nine different vinyl versions of Combat Rock covering (almost) every continent on the planet during its initial release. I don’t have the time or inclination to read a music-geek argument about the South Korean release being superior to the Brazilian edition which may or may not have better quality vinyl than the Yugoslavian wax. I find myself yelling at the poor monitor “I just want to know if the re-master sounds good.”
So here is what I found out…
Throughout 2012 Mick Jones was working on re-mastering the entire Clash catalogue for a 2013 release. Three editions of Combat Rock hit the streets along with other vinyl re-masters covering the entire Clash catalogue.
The first version was put out by Columbia Records for the European market on 180 gram black vinyl. The second was released by Music On Vinyl in the Netherlands which also has a pretty big online and mail-order presence and the third was put out (on 180 gram vinyl again) by Sony (Epic) for North American distribution.
All 2013 vinyl was released using the newly re-mastered Mick Jones analog source tapes. Actually, there is a really good Rolling Stone interview that has Mick Jones describing the process. It’s pretty cool.
If you are looking to get a copy of any of The Clash records on vinyl, the 2013 versions are widely available through record retailers both locally and abroad. Oh yeah – the re-master sounds good… real good!