Tuesday, January 03, 2012

The making of ... the reissues

Cover of the (Dutch) Toppers van Toen reissue Hit of the week ( Hans Koert collection)
Last summer the Hit of the Week-Durium project was crowned with the release of the last 2cd album of the
Complete Hit of the Week Recordings by Archeophone. Such a huge and important project was only possible thanks to the development of the Hit of the Week-Durium discographies. Thanks to these discographies the conditions to reissue these old 78rpm records were provided. This blog, The making of ... the reeissues is part of a series of blogs about the making of ...... You can find all links at the side menu of this blog.

A Dutch promo for Durium ( durium GE-9) (summer 1932) (Hans Koert collection)
What is the importance of a discography - why do we need one? Well, you can call it a catalogue if you like, a list of all records made by an artist or a record label, like the Hit of the Week. It informs you about the personnel, the recording date and the matrices and take numbers. The latter has to do with the recordings process. It informs what recording was used for a release.
Like a stamp collector you can use a discography as a catalogue of records that were released and, if the discography lists so, the reissues of the 78rpm records at contemporary releases. If you don't have the access to a discography, your collection is not more then a bunch of records - without any arrangement. When the Hit of the Week discography became available, a lot of Hit of the Week records in collections got its existence.

Part of the track list of the Toppers van toen reissue ( Hans Koert collection)
I remember Harry Belle, a Dutch radio producer and host of the AVRO-network radio program, entitled Toppers Van Toen, who told me, after he had received the disco, about the box of Hit of the Week records in the radio archives, he would play now in his program. He even decided to make a cd re-issue of some of it, in his series Toppers van Toen, entitled Hit of the week ( subtitled Hit-of-the-Week Hooren is Hit-of-the-Week Koopen, which was a Dutch promo slogan in the 1930s). The album contained more then two dozen tracks, including the only Dutch promo record When The Circus Comes To Town played by an anonymous (British) dance band band ( durium GE-10) ( summer 1932).
Cover of a Japanese reissue album: Paper Hits volume 2 (Audio Park APCD-6007) ( Hans Koert collection)
The Japanese Audio Park label also contacted me and thanks to the Hit of the Week discography they could release three reissue albums, entitled Paper Hits ( volume 1 up to 3 ) ( APCD-6003)(APCD-6007)(APCD-6015). These three reissues were well documented and the audio restoration by Hajime Terada was at a high quality level. The booklet must have been very informative too, for people who can read the Japanese symbols ......, but I'm sure the info was correct, as the source was the Hit of the Week Discography of course!

Part of the track list of Paper Hits volume 3 ( Audio Park APCD 6015) ( Hans Koert collection)

Several reissues ( like the Broadway, Ristic and Sunbeam LPs) were released before the publication of my Hit of the Week Discography, but other were published after the disco was published, but without using the book as a reference. Some of these albums contain wrong information and/or the transfers were very bad ....... one of those reissues even had some needle drops clearly audible and when I complained about its transfers, the producer told me that the listeners wanted to hear how these old records sounded after 80 years ..... Well, in my opinion, the listeners want to hear how they sounded in the early 1930s.

Deze bijdrage wordt ook in het Nederlands gepubliceerd in de Keep (it) Swinging blog als The making of ... de heruitgaven.
Hans Koert
Hit of the Week-Durium discography
hitoftheweek@live.nl