The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Paul Simon to Embrace His Legacy

with 6 comments

It may not be as big a news item as Paul McCartney shifting his solo catalog from sinking ship major EMI to rising indie Concord, but Paul Simon has told Showbiz411’s Roger Friedman of his plans to move his entire output from Warner Music Group to Sony/Columbia. Or more accurately, back to Sony/Columbia. Simon recorded his very first solo album, The Paul Simon Songbook, for Columbia’s U.K. arm in 1965, and of course, the entire Simon and Garfunkel catalog has long resided there. When Simon and Garfunkel launched solo careers post-1970’s Bridge Over Troubled Water, both stayed with the label that had supported them through their joint success, and Simon is now promising to bring his entire catalog – both with Art and without – under the same umbrella. Read more of Paul’s recording history and current plans after the jump!

From Simon’s self-titled 1972 release to 1977’s Greatest Hits, Etc., the familiar Columbia logo appeared on all of his recordings. But with 1980’s One Trick Pony, Simon decamped for Warner Bros. Records, where he has remained ever since. He took his masters with him to Warner in 1988, celebrating the occasion with an updated hits compilation for the CD age entitled Negotiations and Love Songs: 1971-1986. (The Columbia CD of Greatest Hits, Etc. remains a treasured find, in that it was never reissued by Warner Bros. on CD.) In 2004, Warner Bros./Rhino released a massive box set, The Studio Recordings 1972-2000 (Rhino 78909), containing the entire Simon catalog through 2000’s You’re the One. Much like his contemporary Bob Dylan (with whom he has toured, and may be approaching for a duet on his next, Phil Ramone-helmed album), Simon reportedly put the kibosh on liner notes for his reissues. Otherwise, though, these are typically-fine Rhino remasters. All contained numerous bonus tracks, making the box or the individual releases of the albums therein an enticing purchase for any Simon fan.

Seeing as there hasn’t been an official announcement from Sony’s Legacy division, it’s unclear whether Simon’s catalog will receive another upgrade/overhaul/remaster as part of the new deal. Other options would include simply moving the existing Rhino CDs to the Sony label or reissuing all albums in their original format only, as Elvis Costello did when he dropped all bonus tracks and liner notes from his umpteenth round of reissues courtesy UMe. (Elvis, of course, then proceeded to reissue a couple of those early albums with a completely new second disc of bonus tracks!) There’s always the possibility of a new career-spanning anthology as well, which could replace Warner Bros.’ Paul Simon 1964-1993 box (Warner 45394).

Whatever path Paul Simon and the honchos at Legacy decide – and knowing Simon, it won’t be the expected one! – The Second Disc will be among the first to let you know.

Written by Joe Marchese

June 3, 2010 at 00:24

Posted in News, Paul Simon, Reissues

6 Responses

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  1. But, the Sony reissues may only be for people who have never owned the albums before. I’m quite satisfied with the Warner Bros. expanded remasters. As for the future Sony reissues, if they have no bonus tracks, or merely the same bonus tracks as the Warner discs, there will be no reason to buy the albums again.
    Today, with the music biz in bad shape, getting people who already have the albums to buy them again, is crucial, and, undoubtedly, the record companies who pay big money to get a license to reissue an artist’s entire back catalogue are insisting on some new content as part of the deal. No doubt this was the case when Concord got the Paul McCartney catalogue, when Universal got the non-U.S.A. rights to the Queen catalogue, when Sony got the Hendrix catalogue and when Universal got The Rolling Stones post-1970 catalogue. Initially, unenhanced reissues are a way to rapidly get the albums back into stores, but on a long-term basis, it won’t sell many discs.(As Universal discovered with verbatim Rolling Stones reissues).
    As for Paul Simon, even if he wants to cooperate with deluxe reissues with new content, he was never very prolific in the outtakes department. But there is another possible explanation of why Simon would want to take his solo catalogue back to Columbia: to get more restrictive over what Columbia can do with Simon & Garfunkel outtakes, over which Simon & Garfunkel have previously had little or no veto power.
    A month after Simon & Garfunkel’s summer 1970 disbandment, the duo were back in Columbia Studios cutting traditional folk songs to fulfill a contractual committment. Simon must have cringed when Sony actually issued a few of these one-take live in the studio performances(one of which contains an audible mistake) as bonus tracks on “Sounds of Silence”.

    Phil Cohen

    June 3, 2010 at 01:51

  2. I just want remastered versions of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Concert in Central Park” and “The Graduate” soundtrack.


    June 3, 2010 at 19:38

  3. I guess the move is now under-way. Many Paul Simon albums have disappeared from MP3 download stores in the UK and, too.


    June 21, 2010 at 01:17

  4. Well, my wife calls me a ‘completist’. If I hone into anything or anyone then I have to have or know everything about the person.etc.
    If Pauls catalog is moved to CBS/Sony/Columbia then I will probably (don’t tell the wife; certainly) purchase the reissues. Why?? Well I will be looking out for any deviation from the ‘original’ issue, or if the track is longer/shorter ar re-modified in any way. It’s a sad life EH!
    AND it will be on a different label!
    What more could one want.

    Mike Toase

    September 1, 2010 at 17:10

  5. […] the first CD release of Simon’s catalogue back at its original home, Columbia, since Simon turned over the license from Warner Music Group. It’s very likely, though, that this is a merely a straight reissue with […]

  6. […] own Joe Marchese reported in June that Simon had planned to move his back catalogue from Warner Bros. back to Columbia, the home of […]

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