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The CD Reissue Wish List blog has been discontinued as of October 2015, as it had served its initial purpose.

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Friday, May 1, 2009

FAQ for this site

*** Last updated 11/28/2010 ***

1. What is it?

The CD Reissue Wish List is a website dedicated to progressive and underground rock albums that have never been reissued on CD legitimately.

2. Why is it called a "Wish List"?

It started as my personal wish list, and like these things tend to do, evolved into a mini-encyclopedia of obscure albums that haven't been reissued. Many of the albums are not a personal "wish list" as it were, but represent the genre as a whole. Since the website has a certain brand name recognition, I decided not to change the name of the site. The original CDRWL site was on www.thomashayes.com. For awhile, I had other concurrent websites there utilizing PHP and MySQL, but the wish list was strictly HTML. Once I shut the other sites down or they became inactive, the CDRWL was all that was still going. For that, Google's blogspot is a better utility - plus it's free, whereas my former site was hosted for a fee.

3. What is the musical scope?

In general, the list represents progressive rock albums from the LP era (approximately 1967-1989). Progressive rock has many overlays, and these include psychedelic, hard rock, electronic, avant garde, jazz, fusion, world/ethnic, metal and many other sub-genres. There are albums within the list that are clearly out of scope, but in general, I try to stay within the guidelines listed above. As well, I've included modern albums from the 1990-1999 era if they're representative of the 70s aesthetic, and they of course have never been issued on CD. I've decided not to include any "LP only" releases from 2000 and beyond, with the exception of archival recordings from the past (e.g. Noah - "Brain Suck"). As we are now in the 2010 decade, I may change my view here regarding the 2000-2009 era. We'll see.

4. Is the list comprehensive?

Far from it. I will only post albums that I've actually heard. Even within those confines, I constantly find albums in my collection that I've forgotten to add. And I continue to collect rare LPs myself. As well, I have a few benefactors of this site, who send me CD-R's on a regular basis and I will add as I finally hear them (most of these are not available anywhere - period).

5. Do you accept recommendations?

Absolutely. Please send me an e-mail (ashratemp @ yahoo.com). Generally I will do some research and determine whether or not to pursue the title in question. I won't add the album to the site until I've actually acquired a copy. So if you don't see it right away, it doesn't mean I'm ignoring you!

6. But I KNOW some of these albums have been reissued, yet they're still in here. Why is that?

95% of the inquiries I get around this topic can be answered simply: The reissue in question is a bootleg. The other 5% are albums that I didn't realize were reissued - and I always welcome that kind of news! Once in awhile, I'll include an album that has been out of print on CD for many years and needs a new reissue. But I don't make a consistent effort to track OOP albums. I also do not count pressed CD-R's as a properly reissued CD, even if they're legit.

7. How can you tell a CD is a bootleg?

There are no sure fire ways, but here are some general tips for modern reissues: 1) Does the label have a website? 2) Does the CD have a band history newly written with participation of the band? 3) Are there unseen photos? 4) Are there bonus tracks that have never been issued before? (watch out for this common trick from bootleggers - they'll include a rare 45 or compilation track taken from their vinyl collection - no different than copying the LP itself). 5) Did the label suddenly reissue dozens of very hard to find albums -- from all over the world -- all at once? This would be impossible to achieve if you are trying to obtain rights, pay royalties, track down band members, tape owners and/or labels, etc... While these are general tips, that doesn't mean that failing to meet all the above is an automatic bootleg. For example, the major labels don't typically do any of those things (except maybe have a website), yet they are entirely legit. Also, due to corporate laws in Japan and Korea, many of the impossible to find major label releases in Europe and the US (that is, those owned by Universal, Sony, etc...) can come out exclusively in Asia, and be totally legal. Also, there's a tendency to arrive at a knee jerk conclusion that everything coming out of Russia is a bootleg. While that's a persistent problem, there are many hardworking legit labels who do it the right way (e.g. MALS, Soyuz, etc...). As always, do your homework, gather the data, and make an honest assessment from there.

8. What's the big deal if I buy a bootleg anyway? The album is impossible to find and I can't afford to pay hundreds of dollars for an original LP. And it's not like the artists are getting paid anyway, right?

In the 1990s, I held this view myself. Then I realized that many of the great albums weren't being reissued BECAUSE there was a bootleg. Labels were discouraged that the potential buying public had been eliminated. And then, like many of my friends, we ended up buying the legit release anyway (after being suckered in by the bootleg) because of 1) better sound 2) quality bonus tracks 3) interesting histories, photos, insights etc... In those days, if you wanted to hear a really rare album, you had to trade cassettes with a closely guarded cabal or --- buy the bootleg. Today it is far easier to obtain a rare recording. Be creative with Google. Do what you have to, but by ALL MEANS, BUY THE LEGIT CD when it gets reissued (if you like the music of course). Don't be a cheapskate!!!!! I'm serious here. No legit label in this business makes much profit, and it's a labor of love at best. We MUST SUPPORT them (that is, using real money and buying their product) if you want more rarities to be reissued! If you buy bootlegs, all you end up doing is lining the pockets of some ambitious record collector. The artists get screwed and, at the end of the day, the music fan gets screwed too. Buying bootlegs is flat out stupid in this modern era.

9. Haven't you heard that CDs are going the way of the dodo? It's a download world, baby!

Hogwash, I reply! Just as the vinyl LP never went away (and has now made a significant comeback), neither will the CD. I'm also a vinyl collector, and treasure my original LP collection, but the fact remains the medium is too inconvenient for common use. CDs are the perfect compromise of collect-ability and convenience. But downloads are ridiculous. They're great if you want to sample music, but as the final product of your collection, they're a disaster: 1) They sound like crap (really - CRAP), and 2) They are absolutely, positively WORTHLESS. Seriously, they are worth ZERO DOLLARS as an asset. ZERO! LPs and CDs are assets. You can buy, sell and trade LPs and CDs. They are a physical asset that tend to appreciate in value (especially LPs). All you can do with downloads is buy, buy, buy. When you tire of that download you bought, you will receive nothing in return. There is no "used download" market to help you recoup your losses and to allow you to reinvest in new product. It's the biggest sucker game the music industry has created yet. And folks are just now starting to realize it. Don't fall for it. Use MP3's, etc for what they do best: As a sampling tool. Nothing more.

10. Dude - can you rip some of these albums for me?

No, sorry. I'm a very busy person and I squeeze every free minute into reviewing and researching albums (not just the rarities featured here, but also new CDs/LPs as well). And please don't offer me money. That's not the least bit tempting to me. Time is the currency that interests me most right now. So I apologize in advance to all of you and beg for your understanding.


Anonymous said...

Dear Tom,

since many years i am reading your
very interesting blog. The describing is very helpfully for me, because i am still collecting the original albums on vinyl ..
.. but maybe this time i can give you informations you may need ?
FIRST LIGHT from australia is the band formed by ALEPH drummer ron carpenter. He also plays with AC DC in 1974 and COLD CHISEL in 1978.
Release date must be 1979 i guess.
martin from germanz

Tom said...

Thanks Martin! I'll repeat your comment under the First Light entry, so others can see as well.

Thanks again - Tom