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Posted by S. Holmes on February 01, 99 at 23:51:57:

Clay/Paul wrote:

"What a lot of people fail to realize is that if you're not a multiplatimnum artist, and you don't keep producing new
material, your old material is dropped. Continuing to record keeps your back catalog in print. If the band did not continue, you couldn't go into a record store and buy something with Criss Oliva. This is why it was the "right thing" to do-- it preserves his legacy."

Being that Sirens and Dungeons were reissued, but not by the label the band is currently on, I question the necessity of a band to exist under a certain name, on a certain label, for all infinity in order to keep it's back catalog available. Obviously, it is possible for material to be reissued on different labels if those other labels can get the rights to the recordings. Let's say that the band had not been continued under the name Savatage after Criss died. This then leads to the question "Can albums by bands that no longer exist get reissed if they are no longer available?" I decided to ask more knowledgeable third parties, who are not extremely biased for or against any particular line-up of Savatage, about these issues. These are the responses I've received (names have been remove to protect my sources from hate mail or any other form of dragging them into any further arguments):

From a contributing writer to a metal 'zine:

"> Here's a question I was wondering about. When it comes to reissuing
> old albums that are no longer available, does it matter if the band
> is still together? Do albums get reissued by bands that are no
> longer around? If so, can anyone give me some examples?

No, it doesn't matter. A former member can authorize the reissues, long after the band is dead. Often they write liner notes, etc. A few examples of very recent reissues of cds where bands are now defunt:

Assassin - 80s German thrash/speed band - recently had both
albums reissued on cd
Baron Rojo - 80s Spanish metal - recently had
several albums reissued on cd
Bodine - Dutch 80s metal - recently had several
albums reissued on cd
Glory Bells Band - Swedish 80s metal - recently
had one of their albums reissued on cd
H-Bomb - 80s French power metal
- recently had their albums reissued on cd
Heavy Load - 80s Swedish power metal - recently had two of their
albums reissued on cd
Jaguar - NWOBHM power metal - recently had one
of their albums reissued on cd
Juggernaut - US 80s power metal - just
had one of their albums reissued on cd
Liege Lord - US 80s power metal - recently had their albums reissued on cd
Overdrive - 80s Swedish power metal - recently had their albums
reissued on cd
The Rods - 80s US power metal -recently had all their
albums reissued on cd
Sortiledge - 80s Frenchmetal -recently had all
their albums reissued on cd
Tygers Of Pan Tang - 80s NWOBHM -
recently had four of their albums reissued on cd
Uriah Heep - 70s/early 80s early metal - recently had all (five
million) of their albums reissued on cd
Witchfinder General - 80s NWOBHM - recently had both of their albums reissued on cd

There are more examples, but those are just some happening to be
sitting on my shelf in front of me!"

---------------------------------------
As you can see, most of these aren't exactly "multiplatinum" artists.
---------------------------------------

Again from the contributing writer to a metal 'zine:

"> Would the former member have to get the rights to do it from their
> previous record label? When a band ceases to exist and, thus, no
> longer has a record deal, do the rights to their old recordings
> usually go to them?

Based on interviews I've read, the record label does indeed have to give permission if they still own the rights. Sometimes they own the rights for a pre-specified length of time, then the rights revert back to the band. When a band ceases to exist, the record label will still own the rights if it's within that time frame. Sometimes it gets very complicated to figure out who owns the rights....When record labels fold or are acquired by other labels, it gets very murky trying to follow who is now the owner of the rights. Often when this happens, which if I remember was in [---]'s case, the band can buy back the rights to their earlier stuff."

--------------------------------
"> Thanks again, [---]. In case you are wondering why I'm asking, it has
> to do with Savatage. In response to questions about how the band
> continuing after Criss died keeps his music alive, their fanzine writer,
> writing on behalf of Paul O'Neill,
> posted this to the savatage.com message board:
>
> "What a lot of people fail to realize is that if
> you're not a multiplatimnum artist, and you don't keep producing new
> material, your old material is dropped. Continuing to record keeps
> your back catalog in print. If the band did not continue, you
> couldn't go into a record store and buy something with Criss Oliva.
> This is why it was the "right thing" to do-- it preserves his
> legacy."
>
> Anyone have any comments on this?"
---------------------------------

From a lawyer:

"Just my guess on what Paul's trying to say, not that I have any
particular experience, but I think it's pretty clear there's nothing legal that he's talking about, i.e., no reason why a company couldn't keep a back catalog in production when a band stops recording. (Not like you can't buy Elvis or Beatle CD's, eh?). To me, he seems to be talking about much less popular bands like Savatage, and the fact that the record companies probably have more reason to put out older CD's if they also have new CD's to sell, just to stimulate interest and keep the band in the eyes of the public. Whether that has any reality or not, I don't know, obviously, they re-release bands that are no
longer recording (Liege Lord, Attacker, Cirith Ungol! (YAY! ONE FOOT IN HELL COMING OUT SOON! I can't wait!), but I guess according to Paul it makes it much easier for the record companies to find it profitable. I don't know about this, I have to say, it certainly sounds kind of a sleazy way to put it, justifying putting out their new stuff as a tribute to Criss. Unlike you, I like the new stuff, but I wouldn't say they're doing it for Criss..."

-------------------------------
From the founder of a record label and mail order business:

"From my understanding, the re-issues depend on who owns the rights to all the different parts of the releases, ie the songs, the artwork, etc. The post about a defunct band's back catalogue
disappearing is certainly quite plausible, but I don't think that's the case with a band like Savatage. They're big enough and their labels are big enough to keep pressing the CDs whether the band is active or not. Given their popularity, it would be quite idiotic to let the old albums go out of print, so I'd be skeptical about believing that the band is staying together only to keep their old albums in circulation."

---------------------------------
Again from the contributing writer to a metal 'zine:

"> "What a lot of people fail to realize is that if
> you're not a multiplatimnum artist, and you don't keep producing
> new material, your old material is dropped. Continuing to record
> keeps your back catalog in print. If the band did not continue, you
> couldn't go into a record store and buy something with Criss Oliva.
> This is why it was the "right thing" to do-- it preserves his
> legacy."
>
> Anyone have any comments on this?

I'm not involved in the record industry and can't be 100% certain, but from all I've heard in my 16 years as a metal fan, I'm 99.99 % sure the above is complete crap - in fact, I would say absolutely ridiculous and idiotic!"

"> pressing the CDs whether the band is active or not. Given their
> popularity, it would be quite idiotic to let the old albums go out
> of print, so I'd be skeptical about believing that the band is
> staying together only to keep their old albums in circulation.

Maybe the poster was trying to say it was "very hard" to keep the old stuff in print perhaps, and that I could agree with if the band is a nobody, no-one could care to re-release. But if someone did care, it can be done, as in all the bands' cases that I cited. I took what he said as he actaully said it, that it was somehow impossible from a legal point of view to release old stuff after Criss' death if Savatage broke up, and this is sheer lunacy, disproved by countless counterexamples!"



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