The very first track from the David Bowie Is It Any Wonder? EP, The Male Who Sold The World, was launched on Wednesday to mark what would have been the singer’s 73rd birthday, with a brand-new song released each week digitally.
The ChangesNowBowie live session, tape-recorded in 1996 throughout wedding rehearsals for Bowie’s 50th birthday concert at Madison Square Garden, comes later in the year and was formerly broadcast on Radio 1 by Mary Anne Hobbs.
Tracklistings are not available for either recording, although Parlophone Records said the Is It Any Wonder? EP will feature unreleased variations of tunes from Bowie’s back catalogue which were recorded by him in the 1990s.
Both the EPs, titled David Bowie Is It Any Marvel?, and ChangesNowBowie, are launched by Parlophone Records and become part of a profitable posthumous profession for the vocalist. Soon after Bowie’s death in 2016 sales of his albums in the United States increased by more than 5,000%, according to Nielsen Music, with 682,000 units offered in the week he passed away. Spotify stated that streaming levels of his music increased 2,700% in the hours after his death.
According to the people behind some of the most highly regarded reissues, posthumous albums have evolved from being fast money-spinners for record labels to painstaking “labours of love” that bring forgotten musicians, consisting of those Bowie appreciated, to a new audience.
Audika Records was set up by the former Tommy Young boy record executive Steve Knutson, who used his own money to create a label that would put out music by the cult musician Arthur Russell, who Bowie was a fan of. “I did it for selfish reasons,” said Knutson, who was invited to look through Russell’s vast archive. “I required to hear this music and the only way it was going to happen was if I put it out myself.”
In cooperation with Russell’s partner, Tom Lee– who was provided the rights to Russell’s music– Knutson began to construct the legacy of Russell, who was unfamiliar beyond the New york city underground scene until Audika began releasing albums, starting in 2004 with Calling Out Of Context. The 15th Russell release on Audika, Iowa Dreams, was released in November 2019.
Josh Cheon, the founder of the music label Dark Entries Records in San Francisco, had a comparable experience with the disco manufacturer Patrick Cowley, who is best known for his track You Make Me Feel Mighty Real with Sylvester, and who died in 1982. When a previous service partner of Cowley’s invited him to come and select records from his collection, Cheon and his DJing partners chose to take whatever Cowley related, including numerous hours of unreleased music, on reel-to-reel tapes.
Cheon would eventually hunt down two porn soundtracks, which Cowley had actually made and launched them on Dark Entries, along with comprehensive liner notes. The most recent release, Mechanical Fantasy Box, is a collection of early works from 1973 to 1980. “We are the guardians and the custodians of these individuals’s music. We’re in charge of what the world gets to hear,” said Cheon.
There is little data on posthumous releases and no authorities statistics have been compiled to determine their increase, but, considering that the 1960s, albums released after an artist’s death have shown to be extremely popular amongst customers. After Redding’s Dock Of The Bay ended up being the first album to end up being a posthumous No 1, artists from Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon, Janis Joplin and the Notorious BIG all went to No 1s after their deaths.
That appeal has actually resulted in a financially rewarding posthumous industry with estate management, rights conflicts and hologram tours becoming the standard. But the handling of an artist’s tradition can be highly contentious. Prince’s estate has actually battled planned releases of the artist’s unreleased recordings since his death in 2016, and when Whitney Houston passed away in February 2012, Sony Music briefly raised the cost of her biggest hits on iTunes UK from ₤ 4.99 to ₤ 7.99 prior to lowering it after criticism.
Any hint of negative profiteering is anathema to the indy labels. Matt Sullivan, who runs Light in the Attic Records, and Matt Werth, who founded the label RVNG Intl, say posthumous releases for unidentified artists are a labour of love. “It’s really not a case of just turning up and getting somebody to sign on the dotted line,” stated Sullivan. “We have actually been working on one release for more than a years now”.
David Bowie’s releases are most uncomplicated, with the singer’s estate owning the rights to his music, which are then certified to Parlophone. No even more releases have actually been announced for 2020, though there has actually been a Bowie boxset released every autumn for the last 4 years. Since his death there have been 6 live albums releases, including Major Moonlight (Live 83), Reside In Berlin (1978) and the 2018 Glastonbury 2000 that taped his headlining performance at the Somerset celebration.
This content was originally published here.