Below is an email sent out to all subscribers of the band’s mailing list in the winter of 2003 with various updates about the band.
Some nuggets of Ride news for you…
First up; available from today is a special 20th anniversary edition of Nowhere on CD. This is being released in North America through Rhino Records’ “Handmade” series of specially-crafted, online-only reissues. You should be able to order this from wherever you are in the world (even though the text on the order page says “Not available in all Countries”) and, of course, it comes heartily recommended:
It’s a 2-CD edition featuring the re-mastered versions of all the Nowhere tracks and Today Forever tracks on the first CD; this being the first time that these re-masters have been available outside of the UK (where they have featured as part of the catalogue reissues on Ignition Records since 2001). It’s a relief in many ways for these re-masters to finally get a release outside of the UK as we feel that they stand up here in the 21st century better than the original 1990 masters. Back then the vinyl version was the focus of the album mastering sessions with the CD format being a secondary concern.
Ironically, Nowhere is getting a release on vinyl in the USA for the first time ever! Here in the UK, vinyl was still (just) the dominant format in 1990 but the US had made the move away from vinyl a year or so earlier and so Nowhere got a release on CD and cassette only in North America (I never liked cassettes…). So it has taken 20 years for Nowhere to get its Stateside vinyl release but we’re very pleased to see it out there at last. It is available through all regular retail outlets in the US (unlike the “Handmade” CD special edition which is just available from the Rhino online store) but here’s the Rhino store link, anyway, for the vinyl as we know that they’ll have it in stock:
Whilst I’m talking about vinyl, we’ve noticed that there’s a dodgy bootleg version of Nowhere knocking about on unscrupulous websites around the world. It purports to be a Japanese vinyl bootleg and although the audio is of decent quality the artwork and packaging is decidedly dodgy. We’ve tried to get to the source of this and have got the lawyers on the case – someone in Chicago seems to be the culprit. But the message is that if you want a nice piece of good quality Ride vinyl then go and grab the Rhino reissue – it’s even got the “RIDE” logo embossed on the sleeve like the original UK release. Lovely.
And just like the proverbial buses, after 20 years of not being available on vinyl along comes a third LP version of Nowhere. About this time last year the band sat around and discussed what they could do to mark the upcoming 20th anniversary of Nowhere’s original release in the UK (15th October, in case you were wondering – the original US release being 18th December 1990). We decided to lovingly put together a vinyl Box Set featuring re-creations and re-mastered versions of each of the first three 12″ EPs (Ride, Play and Fall) alongside the Nowhere LP and a 24-page book all wrapped up in a space-demanding box. The plan was to relaunch the Ride website with a refreshed design and added functionality around the 20th anniversary of the Play EP (in April) and then offer the Box Set out on pre-sale through oxfordmusic.net. Once we had the orders in, we would press up the required copies and ship it out to everyone for October 15th.
Well things didn’t quite go to plan… The website re-design stalled and then the request from Rhino came in to put together the 2-CD reissue. [Don’t worry, I realise I haven’t finished telling you all about that yet. Just be patient…]. It took most of our collective resources to pull the audio and visual content together in time. The vinyl Box Set plans had to sit on the shelf for a bit.
But the plans are moving once again. We can’t get hold of the web designer that we were working with and so we’ve hit a bit of a snag there. If any of you out there are trained in the art of stunningly-original-yet-functional web design then please do get in touch. The current www.rideox4.net site is looking a bit 2001 and badly needs a total overhaul.
We’ve re-mastered all the vinyl contents of the planned Box Set (at Abbey Road, of course) and we’re now finally working on the artwork. So hopefully we’ll be able to let you know all about it in much more detail in a couple of months time. It won’t quite be the 20th anniversary box set – more like 20.5th – but it will be fantastic.
OK, back to the Rhino 2-CD set. So I told you about CD1 with its 15 re-mastered tracks, well CD2 is equally special. On the band’s first US tour in April/May 1991 they played two nights at the Roxy in LA. The tour was a co-headline with Lush and so each band was flip-flopping the headline slot throughout the series of dates. With there being two nights at the Roxy, each band got to play one headline set and one support set. Luckily for us, the Ride headline set was recorded for broadcast on a local radio show. The engineer mixed the audio live and it was this mix that was broadcast on air. Also some of these mixes were used on a radio promo edition of the Kaleidoscope single in the US later in 1991 (which some of you may have in your collection). Part of the deal for the radio broadcast was that we got to keep the master tapes. They’ve been sitting on a shelf for the best part of 20 years but we knew that the show was a bit special and that one day it would get its rightful airing. Once Rhino suggested the Nowhere reissue we dug out the tapes, baked them slowly in the oven for three days (it’s a technical thing…) and then transferred them onto a hard drive so that our old pal Alan Moulder could get to work on mixing them to their full glory. Alan oversaw a week of sessions wonderfully mixed by Catherine Marks and the results totally knocked us sideways. Not only was the performance quite amazing but the recording quality was better than we could have hoped for. Getting Alan involved with the mixing was just the icing on the cake – after all he’d worked on the mixing of the original studio recordings of pretty much all the tracks in the Roxy set and knew what they should sound like.
With the audio being of such a high quality we knew that the packaging had to live up to its contents. So we dug through the archives and pulled together a set of photos from 1990/1991 that haven’t been seen before. We tried to get away from a series of standard press shots and included a range of live shots alongside some more imaginative pics. This was all topped off by Rhino suggesting that we use a lenticular version of the Nowhere “wave” for the cover.
You can probably tell, we’re very pleased with it. And, so it seems, are others:
The release has triggered a wave (see what I did there…) of press requests and so the boys have been busy talking to print, web and radio journalists all over the globe. We’ll round them up for you as they get published but if you fancy listening to Loz live on radio from Perth, Australia tomorrow morning (Tuesday 8th February 10am UK time) then tune in here:
Aside from all this Nowhere news, the Creation Records documentary “Upside Down” has been completed and we were treated to a preview late last year. It is currently doing the rounds of various film festivals prior to a limited cinema release. You can read lots about it here: http://www.upsidedownthemovie.com/
Oh, and did we mention that a certain Mr Mark Gardener has written and recorded the soundtrack music for the film? For all up-to-date news on Mark’s wirting, recording, producing and mixing activities then keep a beady eye on www.MarkGardener.com. Talking of which, you may also want to bookmark this site too: www.beadyeyemusic.com – Andy is back on guitar, something that will bring joy to you all I’m sure!
OK, I think that’s probably enough for tonight. Or maybe I can quickly mention that all sizes of the Nowhere T-shirt design are back in stock (we ran out of some sizes just before Xmas): http://www.oxfordmusic.net/product.php?link=new&id=1280