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Madonna: Remasters and DVD-Audio


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#1 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted November 15 2001 - 01:41 PM

So . . . remasters of Madonna, Like A Virgin and True Blue (and other Madonna albums?) streeted back in May.

So who else is vexed in their purchasing decisions on these remasters by the possibility of DVD-Audio releases of Madonna's catalog? Why the heck wasn't/isn't there a Music DVD-A, dammit?

Not unlike the situation regarding Sony's recent release of Michael Jackson remasters, the existing SACD of Thriller and the lack (so far) of an SACD of Invincible, these Madonna remasters raise some questions regarding Warner's DVD-Audio stance.

It seems to me that these companies are milking the cash cow that is the catalog of some of their most successful artists by releasing standard CD remasters at this late stage, instead of re-issues on their respective hi res formats.

I'd like to hear some comparative sound quality comments regarding the Madonna remasters. Anyone?

I'd also like to hear ruminations of others about what to buy/do on this. For instance, how long do you think you'll wait for DVD-A and SACD releases of your fave albums when "Red Book" remasters are being released?

Finally, has anyone heard any rumblings about Madonna DVD-A releases?

Wondering if I'll eBay my DCC copy of Hotel California when the DVD-A streets,

-p

#2 of 40 Brad_W

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Posted November 15 2001 - 02:40 PM

are you saying there will be no madonna DVD-As or the like?

I would enjoy purchasing such items.

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#3 of 40 KeithH

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Posted November 15 2001 - 04:38 PM

Paul, I have heard absolutely nothing about Madonna titles being released on DVD-Audio. As for CDs, I have the remastered versions of Madonna, Like A Virgin, and True Blue and prefer them to the original CDs.

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#4 of 40 John Torrez

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Posted November 16 2001 - 04:19 AM

Does anyone know if there's plans to remaster other Madonna albums like "Like A Prayer", etc.?

#5 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted November 16 2001 - 03:35 PM

Brad, Keith and John:

Quote:
are you saying there will be no madonna DVD-As or the like?

Well, I think there will be eventually. The questions is: when, Warner, when?

Quote:
Paul, I have heard absolutely nothing about Madonna titles being released on DVD-Audio. As for CDs, I have the remastered versions of Madonna, Like A Virgin, and True Blue and prefer them to the original CDs.

Thanks for the reply, Keith. Are the liner notes improved on any/all of these? Maybe essays by a musicologist or pop culture critic or something? Anything?

Cheers,
Paul

#6 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted August 23 2004 - 11:28 AM

Bump.

Hard to believe, almost three years after I started this thread, still no word even (to my knowledge) of Madonna DVD-As.

Perhaps the recent settlement of the litigation between her and WMG (which saw the label buy out her stake in the company in exchange for satisfaction of monies the label claimed Madonna owed it) might make for some new developments.

-p

#7 of 40 Danny Tse

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Posted August 23 2004 - 11:50 AM

Most likely DualDisc releases if it happens....just think of all the videos she made for each of her albums.
SACD not listed at sa-cd.net (updated 8/26/2009)

#8 of 40 Albert_M

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Posted August 24 2004 - 06:57 AM

How many DVD-A fans are out there? .0000000001 of the music buying public probably. It's still a very very small niche. Now, many people might be interested in a a remaster on cd though, albeit still smallish, but relatively sizable compared to DVD or SACD....

I don't have anything (yet) on either of the new formats. I would lean towards DVDA since I have a DVD player, but I am not buying an additional player until there is a definitive format.

#9 of 40 Lee Scoggins

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Posted August 24 2004 - 07:13 AM

Quote:
I would lean towards DVDA since I have a DVD player


Albert, does your DVD player offer DVDA playback?

Quote:
Most likely DualDisc releases if it happens....just think of all the videos she made for each of her albums.


That would be my bet as well.
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#10 of 40 CraigL

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Posted August 24 2004 - 08:07 AM

She's only made about 4 for each album. She's VERY particular about which videos are released and I'd say a good half of her videos have never seen an official release. Don't bet on any of it. They stopped the remasters at True Blue and there's not even a rumor of them going back and doing the other albums.
The "boxed set" idea got nixed. They're not even releasing Blonde Ambition on DVD. I think there's very little hope at the moment. This year would have been the year to do it. It was her anniversary.

#11 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted August 24 2004 - 08:25 AM

Craig:

Do you have a sense, or preferably any information, as to what the rationale is for what you mention? I never heard of the box set idea you mention--any idea as to why it was "nixed"? I've always wondered why Blonde Ambition has not been released on DVD. Years ago I speculated that it was possibly due to an optical disc media rights squabble between Warner and Pioneer on this title and the I think one other in her discography that was also a Pioneer Artists title on LD and which has not made it to DVD (The Virgin Tour Live) . . . but it has seemingly been a long enough time for such rights issues to get resolved.

-p

#12 of 40 CraigL

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Posted August 24 2004 - 09:21 AM

The boxed set was rumored for this year. It was to coincide with the announcement that she was going on a "greatest hits" tour and to be honest, i can't remember if they even had a name for it or what was supposed to be on it. I know the rumors were another "greatest hits album" but I think they were supposed to be new remixes of classic songs. I remember hearing that work was even done on a lot of the songs and then scrapped altogether. Also, there was supposed to be a compilation DVD (YUK!) that had different live performances and videos mixed together or something. I think the final tally was supposed to be 2 or 3 cd's and 1 dvd. They ended up releasing the Remixed and Remastered EP and scrapped the whole idea.

To be honest, I thought it was tragic from the get-go because we don't need another damn "greatest hits" boxed set. The remix idea is cute and very "madonna" but...I dunno. Just didn't seem right. It was also supposed to be part of a big celebration promoting her 20 years in the music industry. Again, didn't happen.

As far as why Blonde Ambition hasn't been released, well...not too sure about that. There's another thread where I go into GREAT detail about what hasn't been released on DVD and I'll have to find the link for you but there's a ton of it. As to why she's so picky about what gets released and what doesn't, who knows. A lot of her career has been spent getting really annoyed with various looks and incarnations and maybe she just doesn't want to be associated with some of them. Some of the videos for movies have been creeping out on the DVD's for their inspiration but that's a recent development. I don't think it's a rights issue because Pioneer could release their own DVD if they wanted to. Plus, they only have the rights to the France performance and there were two others filmed (not counting the one that Alek filmed for TOD) so there's really no excuse. I know someone asked her manager Caresse if it was a possibility and she said they were looking into it.

Fyi...The Virgin Tour has always been cut...on every incarnation...and the full show has never been seen broadcast.

#13 of 40 CraigL

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Posted September 01 2004 - 01:12 AM

OK...

here we go again...

This is JUST A RUMOR from the "drownedmadonna" website. Be warned that we've heard this before...but...here we go anyway.

"A Box Set with 6 DISCS DVD is planned but only re-Invention, and Blond Ambition Tours should be on the set if things won't change again! The other 4 DISCS will feature unreleased videos, interviews, as well as performances and other unreleased material. WEA is now working on the 4 DISCS which are not finished yet. The re-Invention should be released alone as well!

#14 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted September 01 2004 - 05:27 AM

Ugh. This reminds me of a Rush fan site editor insisting years ago that their catalog titles' DVD releases were imminent. I was ruthlessly skeptical in the absence of any press release from Universal, even with band management supposedly saying it was "go flight." It never happened.

Quote:
I don't think it's a rights issue because Pioneer could release their own [Blonde Ambition or The Virgin Tour Live] DVD if they wanted to.
Well, not if Warner blocked them from doing so for rights reasons.

-p

#15 of 40 CraigL

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Posted September 01 2004 - 07:28 AM

Quote:
Well, not if Warner blocked them from doing so for rights reasons.


Depends on if they have any rights to the material. Remember, Pioneer sponsored the tour in exchange for the rights to the material on the laserdisc. So they may still have the complete rights to it. True, it's been 14 years at this point but...who knows what the original contract said.

#16 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted September 01 2004 - 09:42 AM

Craig, we can of course speculate ad nauseum but history shows that the current phenomenom of longform music programming (concert films and video compilations) being produced, financed and/or distributed by (an) entity/entities other than the record label to which the artist is signed (e.g., Rush In Rio, Tina Turner's Live In Amsterdam) is not the way these kinds of titles were produced and distributed in the past.

Yes, Image Entertainment used to be many studios' licensee for release of LD movie titles, but on the music side of the business, that's not typically the way it worked. It has been the rising strength of "independent" tour promotion companies like Clear Channel and the rise of corporate sponsorship of tours (an area in which Madonna was a, um, pioneer) that has facilitated a change in this regard.

Be all that as it may, regardless of how feasible it may seem now, it is highly unlikely that, back then at the time of the Blond Ambition Tour, Warner would relinquish all rights to the video release of a major tour by one of the label's biggest artists.

Back when I had a bigger jones to figure out why so many Pioneer Artists music LDs had yet to show up on DVD, I sent Pio a letter (which I'll dig out of my chron file and revise the post with the names of some titles when I get home). I finally got a Pioneer contract administration staffer on the phone after vigorously following up on the letter. Pio's position was not that they just had LD rights, but rather all optical media disc rights. I'd bet you all the sand in the Mojave that that was not Warner's position. Just because Pio sponsored Madonna's tour does not mean that they would own the video rights in all media, any more than Image being licensed to release feature films on LD by the studios does not mean that Image owns the rights to the film proper.

As diminished as Pio's stature has become in the DVD world compared to their prominence in the LD market back in the day, if they had clear chain of title to a title as big as Blond Ambition, they would have released it by now. Speculative to be sure, but I surmise that there was a rights battle here that perhaps saw Warner threatening legal action if Pio released a Blond Ambition DVD. Stranger things have happened in this business for Warner to then turn around and not release the title themselves for whatever fakakta reason.

I think it has to do with the changes in the broader music business and the perception that longform music programming, what with its generally very short shelf life, is just not as viable now as far as the labels are concerned. From Rush to Vince Gill, there are so many artists I had LDs for that have not seen the light of DVD.

-p

#17 of 40 Colin Jacobson

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Posted September 01 2004 - 03:07 PM

Quote:
the rise of corporate sponsorship of tours (an area in which Madonna was a, um, pioneer)


Corporate sponsorship had been around quite a while before 1990. I think the first example was the Stones in 1981 with... Jovan? Not 100% sure that was the first time someone used corporate sponsors for a tour, but it was an early - and very significant - example. They weren't old-hat by 1990, but Maddy definitely didn't "pioneer" the concept...
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#18 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted September 02 2004 - 07:50 AM

For any who care to (continue to) indulge my brief flight of discographic fancy:

Interesting (to me at least) and a little depressing (in terms of what has and has not hit DVD) to review my letters and notes on this from '98-'99. Of the 10 Pio Artists LDs I was interested in seeing get DVD'd, the three titles from the two biggest artists are the ones that have not been released. Lee Ritenour/D. Grusin/GRP All-Stars From the Record Plant Live and Live From the Record Plant (released on DVD by Image; Garrett Lee mentioned to me that this was the result of Image having "cherry-picked" the best titles in a rights sale); Duran Duran’s Decade (largely supplanted I suppose by their Greatest); ‘donna’s Live: The Virgin Tour and B.A. (MIA); Rush’s ESL and TtCE (MIA); Streisand’s One Voice (WTF? I even think Babs owns the rights via her Streisand Foundation); Tina’s Simply the Best (DVD’d by her record label); and Mercedes Benz: 100 Years 1886-1986 (anyone wanna buy my import LD??).

The Pio manager of contracts I spoke with said the reason Ciao Italia (also Pio Artists on LD) made it to DVD via Warner is because their (Pio's) rights had expired.

Welcome to the thread, Colin. Any insight you may have re Madonna WRT hi rez, rights issues and titles MIA on DVD are appreciated.

The literal quoting of "pioneer" intimates my broader point may have been missed. Using a play on the word that’s also of course the name of the company in question, my broader point is not that Pio’s sponsoring the B.A. tour was an industry first (although it was an early example of conspicuous tour co-branding and cross promotion: I remember the radio spots for the tour ending, not with a Madonna song, but with "tour sponsored by Pioneer"; first time I'd heard this--of course I'd seen "Sponsored by Budweiser" or whatever on a ticket before, but had not heard/seen sponsorship so touted before).

Rather, I’m saying the "This Note’s For You" phenom Neil Young calls out is much more widespread (and in some circles subject to criticism) now. I don’t think there was an equivalent of The Last DJ at the time of that Stones tour.

-p

#19 of 40 CraigL

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Posted September 02 2004 - 08:52 AM

Quote:
The Pio manager of contracts I spoke with said the reason Ciao Italia (also Pio Artists on LD) made it to DVD via Warner is because their (Pio's) rights had expired.


I don't understand.

It's not like Pioneer had sole rights to this. They didn't put out the VHS for Ciao Italia nor The Virgin Tour.

By the way, BA never made it to VHS in america. Japan got the Japanese version of the tour though on VHS and laserdisc through WHV.

#20 of 40 Paul.S

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Posted September 02 2004 - 12:00 PM

Quote:
I don't understand.

It's not like Pioneer had sole rights to this. They didn't put out the VHS for Ciao Italia nor The Virgin Tour.
I don't entirely understand it either, Craig--prolly only rights clearance/catalog lawyers for Pio and the label do (and even they perhaps disagree). Why is there a Ciao Italia DVD but not Virgin or B.A.? WTF exactly are Pio's rights and is Pio to blame for these titles' DVD absence or Warner? Just based upon what we've discussed, I'd surmise that there is a mixture of rights issues and label stupidity involved.

I think it's important to bear in mind that Pio was of course a major LD player manufacturer and a patent holder in LD technology. Their interest in LD software was as an engine to help drive their player sales. Pio would've had little or no interest in VHS rights.

From Pio's perspective, I know from one rep that--per what I mention in the fourth paragraph of my post #16 above--it was Pio's position that they had all laser optical media format rights (no VHS). If they had them for LD on Ciao but they expired and that cleared the way for a fairly early (DVD Empire says release date was 3/9/99) Warner DVD, we could speculate that perhaps chain of title wasn't as clear/the licensee's (read: Pio's) rights term was longer on BA and/or Virgin.

-p


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