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Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 20 Jul 2018, 22:12
by Bart
In 1982 Chris recorded an album for Magnet Records called "Smile". Despite it's joyful name the album was thought to be too emotional and dark to be released and consequently all tapes and most of the artwork were destroyed.
Or so we've been told.... Some years ago the original cover art for this alum resurfaced on an auction. And now also the master audio tape is found again! It contains ten songs.

Five of these songs were later rerecorded and put on various other releases. They give a good hint of what the rest of the album could be like. The tracklist is:

Side A:

Dream girl
Smile (re-recorded for "Love's strange ways" in 1983)
From love to love (re-recorded for "I can hear your heart beat" in 1983)
Midnight blue (re-recorded for "Water sign" in 1983)
I still feel the same

Side B:

I still dream of you
That's the way
Hand me down
Candles (re-recorded for "Water sign" in 1983)
Texas (re-recorded for "Water sign" in 1983)

Of course it is great news that these recordings haven been found again. Who knows they will finally be released, more than 35 years after their intended release ;-)

Image

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 07:51
by ann268
That is suprising, but would it really come out? And has Chris a saying in this?
I've seen the artwork before, somewhere on FB I guess.

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 09:02
by Bart
ann268 wrote:
21 Jul 2018, 07:51
That is suprising, but would it really come out?
Who knows ;-)
ann268 wrote:
21 Jul 2018, 07:51
And has Chris a saying in this?
Yes

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 09:11
by ann268
You keep the suspense high, I'll follow this subject closely.
I hope they will bring it out. But if Chris has a vote in this...
Thanks for the news Bart!

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 11:43
by andrew fischer
Hi again Bart and Anneke,

I am just trying to think logically who could have possibly stored these records from 1982. To my mind, it is either a record label authority (Michael Levy the founder and ex-owner or Max Hole, the head of Warners in 80-90s or his successor) or someone who worked on CR records those dates (Dave Richards the produces is long gone, regrettably, but it might be Jon Kelly who produced 1981/82 self-titled album or a sound engineer like Justin Shirley-Smith from Montreux studios or Stuart Epps from Sol Mill studios (UPDATE - NOT HIM, GOT HIS NEGATIVE ANSWER ON ANY UNRELEASED MATERIAL)

All these thoughts I have passed to the younger Russian CR fan, Ivan (Vanya) Reynov, who is active on social networks and he started to try to get into contact with everyone who could possibly know anything on this Smile record, on my advise. He was even going to try asking CR himself before the latest gig here in St. Petersburg, but did not have a chance to meet CR anywhere but on stage (where he jumped right at the gig to take photo with CR!) so he tried CR teammates like Neil. Thus, I suspect he might have something to do with this master tape finding, having triggered someone to recall and search for it.

And of course, I hope talking on Smile release may trigger other old rare stuff releases. Keep the fingers crossed.

Hope to hear from Chris soon.

best wishes
Andrey

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 20:44
by tobi777
Hi all,

this is really amazing! Where did you get these great news from?
Maybe after all this time there's something going to happen in terms of re-releases, rarities etc.

Best wishes
Tobi

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 21 Jul 2018, 23:25
by Bart
tobi777 wrote:
21 Jul 2018, 20:44
Maybe after all this time there's something going to happen in terms of re-releases, rarities etc.
Let's hope the re-release of "The Road..." will be just the beginning!

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 22 Jul 2018, 10:10
by tobi777
I hope so, but in the past the record companies haven't been too interested in Chris' back catalogue - to put it politely.

There were many Best-Ofs - but no Box etc. which puzzles me because many lesser known artists released something like that.

So, why should they release an album that never really existed in the first place - and noone (except us die-hard fans) even knows of?
The songs that have emerged over the years don't really have the potential of becoming radio hits and the whole album won't be in the same league as commercially successful ones like RTH or Auberge.

As much as I wish the work to be published, I have my doubts.

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 22 Jul 2018, 17:40
by ann268
I think we can only hope these tapes becomes available one way or the other.
I would like more "Live" performances on DVD and Blu Ray. The man is the one who decides on that I'm afraid.
But he made an album, old style, so we shouldn't be to negative and keep our hopes up!
I ave the feeling he might suprise us.

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 22 Jul 2018, 23:04
by ace of hearts
This is brilliant, and I'm sure there are more tapes elsewhere (or from the same source) as Chris himself has said many times he records far more songs than make it to an actual album released. Perhaps the archives will be opened up and a box set of lost recordings can be released. How about ideas for a working title for fun? I'd say 'Songs from the Attic'.

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 23 Jul 2018, 00:29
by Bart
"New Light through long forgotten Windows" ;-)

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 23 Jul 2018, 10:34
by andrew fischer
tobi777 wrote:
22 Jul 2018, 10:10
I hope so, but in the past the record companies haven't been too interested in Chris' back catalogue - to put it politely. There were many Best-Ofs - but no Box etc. which puzzles me because many lesser known artists released something like that. So, why should they release an album that never really existed in the first place - and no one (except us die-hard fans) even knows of? The songs that have emerged over the years don't really have the potential of becoming radio hits and the whole album won't be in the same league as commercially successful ones like RTH or Auberge. As much as I wish the work to be published, I have my doubts.
Hello Tobias,

yes, you are quite logical and reasonable in your assumptions, but the funny thing is that such lost tapes have much greater chances to be released now than the B-sides and other official non-album stuff to be reissued. Unlike all other records, these tapes were never officially released, so there is no problem with buying copyrights or sharing royalties. Since there was an official artwork/sleeve with Magnet copyright on it and (presumably) a test pressing of vinyl release, with Smile album there might be some issues with Magnet copyright holders, but (presumably) far lesser than with official stuff actually released by Magnet/Warner, so Chris may easily release it on his Jazzee Blue label with some support from a major label, e.g. BMG, like it was with the latest album.
ann268 wrote:
22 Jul 2018, 17:40
I think we can only hope these tapes becomes available one way or the other. I would like more "Live" performances on DVD and Blu Ray. The man is the one who decides on that I'm afraid. But he made an album, old style, so we shouldn't be to negative and keep our hopes up! I have the feeling he might suprise us.
The same with professional live recordings to be released as retrospective althology box-sets (BBC sessions, Montreux and other festivals) - the copyrights have just to be bought from a broadcasting company, not a label, which is far easier in my opinion, since there was no official release (at least of a whole record), only a broadcast by agreement with CR label and management.
ace of hearts wrote:
22 Jul 2018, 23:04
This is brilliant, and I'm sure there are more tapes elsewhere (or from the same source) as Chris himself has said many times he records far more songs than make it to an actual album released. Perhaps the archives will be opened up and a box set of lost recordings can be released. How about ideas for a working title for fun? I'd say 'Songs from the Attic'.
There is at least one more similar unreleased full album record, so called Lost Tape from 1980/81 studio sessions, part of which was released on latter singles (Que Sera, Soft Top) and several songs were re-recorded for Chris Rea 1981/82 album and 1982/83 singles, and also - quite unexpectedly - for Blue Guitars CD3 Louisisana & New Orleans (after this tape was passed onto John Knowles the manager). Unlike Smile, a copy of its master tapes has been circulating among the die-hard fans but still very little known on this record, though its master tapes are most likely available since they were used for B-sides in 80-90s. There must be unreleased demo versions stored somewhere, but very little known on CR songs demos apart from what he says in the interviews. Very early demos from mid 70s are available, but their source and story are beyond me, regrettably.

The copyrights issue is the main reason why I have been long withholding my collaborations collection project (see it here: http://chrisrea.nl/community/viewtopic. ... 189#p13179) from official release offer. But now Phil Collins's collaborations compilation to be released by Warner Bros. this fall: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07F92R41B/ It is pretty much the same kind of project I have been working out for years with Chris Rea records. So I now seek ways for an official release offer since now there is Collins's release of the same kind and it is evident that Warners found it worthwhile to deal with the other artists' copyrights holders, so it seems to me just about time to try to make this project come to life with certain profit for all sides involved - if only somebody who can make it work finds it reasonable to get through. And if this can be done, then my bigger project of expanded reissues can also easily be launched, since within it they do not have to deal with dozens of copyright holders as with duets but just a few.

So keep the fingers crossed at least for they keep us posted on this.

best wishes
Andrey

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 23 Jul 2018, 18:06
by elangelo
Hi Andrey,

could you give a track listing for that Lost Tape? I wonder which song on BG CD3 is that old!

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 24 Jul 2018, 00:14
by ace of hearts
Love your suggestion Bart :-)
Some really interesting knowledge there Andrew, it's fascinating knowing there are potentially a river of songs by Chris we are yet to hear !

Re: Master tapes for 1982 album "Smile" found again

Posted: 24 Jul 2018, 10:53
by andrew fischer
elangelo wrote:
23 Jul 2018, 18:06
Hi Andrey, could you give a track listing for that Lost Tape? I wonder which song on BG CD3 is that old!
Hello Elangelo, nice to see you back here!

Here you are:

Tape dated 12/1/81

Side A
1/ Do You Still Dream? 4:01 (re-recorded for 1981/82 Chris Rea album; original mix unreleased)
2/ Fascination 3:24 (unreleased)
3/ Loving You 4:03 (re-recorded for 1981/82 Chris Rea album and released as 7'' single on 5/2/82 + promo-clip; original mix unreleased)
4/ One Fine Day 4:13 (released in original mix on 16/11/92 as B-side for Soft Top, Hard Shoulder YZ710CD)
5/ One Sweet Tender Touch 4:41 (re-recorded for 1981/82 Chris Rea album and released as B-side for Loving You Japanese 7'' single 07SP 589; released in original mix first on 1/2/88 as B-side for Que Sera CD-single CDMAG 318 and then on 16/11/92 as B-side for Soft Top, Hard Shoulder CD-single YZ710CD)

Side B
6/ If I Ever Break Free 3:02 (unreleased)
7/ Sierra, Sierra 4:14 (re-recorded as dance mix in early 1983 for Let It Losse 12" single 12MAG233; released in original mix on 16/11/92 as B-side for Soft Top, Hard Shoulder YZ710CD)
8/ Members Only 3:02 (unreleased)
9/ Let Me Be the One 3:29 (re-recorded as B-side for Loving You 7'' singles; original mix unreleased)
10/ One Night with You 4:28 (re-recorded for Blue Guitars CD3 in 2005, also released on Blue Guitars - A Collection Of Songs; original mix unreleased)

So you can see this case is very similar to Smile album, but vice versa, here the phonogram is available but not the artwork or even the album's name. My guess is after self-produced and poorly sold Tennis album Magnet said this way it does not work (since this Lost Tape indeed sounds very similar to Tennis, production/arrangement-wise), scrapped the ready-to-release tape and hired Jon Kelly to produce the album the way they wanted, close to Gus Dudgeon's way (and I must say they were right, to be honest, and Jon Kelly proved it much later - but still that album did not sell well, most likely due to short funding and/or Chris's lack of enthusiasm for promoting it).
ace of hearts wrote:
24 Jul 2018, 00:14
Some really interesting knowledge there Andrew, it's fascinating knowing there are potentially a river of songs by Chris we are yet to hear!
Hope this helps understanding what we can expect from an expanded reissues project.

Best wishes
Andrey