Marillionm remixes
May 6, 2003 10:08 AM   Subscribe

Fancy yourself as a mixmaster? Marillion are offering you the chance to remix their last album, Anoraknophobia. Tracks cost £10 per song for the masters, or £60 for the whole album. Whatever you think of the band (like/hate/never heard) this is certainly an unusual opportunity. Feel creative? There's a prize of £500 per song for the best mix.
posted by salmacis (16 comments total)
I pay them to do a remix for them?

No thanks.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:30 AM on May 6, 2003

... because, of course, if you're not getting paid, making music just ain't worth it.

This sounds like a great way to get to play around with the masters of one of my favorite bands. Thanks salmacis.
posted by GeekAnimator at 10:38 AM on May 6, 2003

Artifice Eternity: I understand your cynicism, but the question of the cost is answered in the link:

Now, you may ask "Why are you charging £10 for only one song?" Well, it turns out that the fewer CDs you make, the more expensive they are. On top of that, we will have to make the masters on demand for each person, which takes up a lot of time; and we also have to ship them out to you! And finally, we will be using the extra 'profit' from the sales to fund the prize money - we thought it was necessary to offer a significant cash prize for a contest/project like this, and by using the profits from the masters, the entire project is 'self-contained' financially.

It may well be that they release an album of the best remixes. However, I don't think this was designed as a money-spinner, when you take the costs into account. If you buy the masters, there's nothing to make you submit your work back to them. And there's one track available free, if all you want to do is play around.
posted by salmacis at 10:56 AM on May 6, 2003

I'm interested! Not the contest, but just hearing unmixed masters for learning purposes. But I left all my pence in my other pants; any way to pay in $?
posted by jfuller at 11:36 AM on May 6, 2003

But I left all my pence in my other pants; any way to pay in $?

I can't speak for all credit cards, but the last time I tried to buy something on the internet from overseas, the credit card had no problems with something being charged to it in another currency. It did the conversion automatically. of course, maybe you don't have/want a credit card, in which case I'll just shut my big mouth

I, too, will be buying at least a track or two, if just for the learning experience.
posted by GeekAnimator at 12:02 PM on May 6, 2003

Yes indeed. Around $100 to hear how a professionally-recorded album is put together from its component tracks? That's a pretty cheap educational experience for any aspiring musician or recording engineer.

This is really brilliant too as a way to promote the band and even as a money-maker. It's unique enough that the word will spread like wildfire (the second band to do this will not get anything like this kind of exposure) and I expect they will sell a substantial number of copies to fans as well as to the aforementioned aspirants -- probably a lot more than they expect, if they're planning to burn all the CDs themselves!

This is also of course perfect for sampling wihch will further drive their exposure.
posted by kindall at 12:23 PM on May 6, 2003

no, this is truly fly, and $15 for full masters to a song is a great freaking deal (uh, if this band is any good, because in my little hole i haven't heard of them). thanks for the post.
posted by fishfucker at 12:23 PM on May 6, 2003

Marillion had a modest hit in the US back in the '80s with the song "Kayleigh." After an attempt at a second hit with "Incommunicado" they kind of slid off America's radar, but I judge they've continued to have somewhat of a following in England.

If the average American knows anything about Marillion, it's that they sound kind of like Genesis, which was largely true back then but is less true now, especially after they got a new lead singer a few years back. They have their roots in progressive rock but, like Genesis, leaned more and more toward an accessible sound as time went on.

If you want to sample their work, start with Brave, a fairly harrowing concept album loosely based on a true story of a runaway girl who was found on a bridge in a state of such shock that she couldn't even tell police her name. I'm also partial to Radiation -- although the production on that is pretty lousy, the songs are good enough to shine through.
posted by kindall at 1:00 PM on May 6, 2003

Very cool indeed, especially when the free track becomes available (in June). Although many contests like this have come and gone, I haven't heard of anyone offering the full master tapes as source material. Usually it's just the vocal track on one track and the rest on another.

Marillion is one of my all-time favorite bands, but I have slightly mixed feelings for charging £10 for a homeburned CD-R (that's what they are if they make them one at a time as they say). Maybe the real reason for setting the price a bit high is that they don't want to drown in terrible quality joke submissions.

One caveat though. If you decide to participate, note this among the fine print:

3. Ownership:
By entering your Remix in the Contest, you acknowledge and agree that (a) Marillion will maintain ownership of the Masters, and will own all Remixes entered by you in the Contest (the Master, and the Remixes being herein referred to as the "Materials"), and (b) the publisher of the Songs (2001 Bug Music) will own all publishing rights in and to the Materials.

It's really the norm in contests like this, but if they really want to act dirty, they can release your remix and possibly earn massive amounts of money, while you're not going to see any of it besides that £500. Surely they would get a lot of bad press if this actually happened, but it says that they can.
posted by ikalliom at 1:18 PM on May 6, 2003

Man, I loved, loved, loved Marillion in the 80's...up to the point where Fish stopped being the lead singer and the primary lyric writer. They were seriously political...once he left, they just became another pop band.

Fugazi may be one of my fave albums of all time.
posted by dejah420 at 2:17 PM on May 6, 2003

It's really the norm in contests like this, but if they really want to act dirty, they can release your remix and possibly earn massive amounts of money, while you're not going to see any of it besides that £500.

Well, actually, if they really wanted to act dirty, they could release your remix and make money off of it even if you weren't the one to win the £500.
posted by Wingy at 2:24 PM on May 6, 2003

AcidPlanet has lots of remix contests. Also, here's a Daniel Magg remix contest.
posted by modofo at 2:55 PM on May 6, 2003

Another interesting step in the career of Marillion...they were profiled extensively in the book "Next: The Future Just Happened," which chronicled the band's near-demise and subsequent resurrection by utilizing the Web, e-mail, and true "fanpower." As I said, it is interesting.

And although I don't know any songs of theirs except one, that one ("Kayleigh") is pretty cool. If you don't remember it, trust me -- if you were between, say, 13-20 years of age in the early-mid 80s, you'll remember it once you hear it.
posted by davidmsc at 7:03 PM on May 6, 2003

I should point out that Marillion are able to do this because they, not a record company, own the copyright to the music. Three years ago, they pre-sold 13,000 copies which gave them the working capital to actually record it. Result: they retain the copyright and get the full sum for each copy sold, as against a royalty of about 15p per CD sold. They were one of the first bands to truly "get" the internet. I'm surprised more bands haven't followed this business model.

Oh yes, and they don't sound anything like "Kayleigh" these days. And with the exception of a song recorded before their first album, they have never sounded much like Genesis either.
posted by salmacis at 11:14 PM on May 6, 2003

The Shamen gave away the component tracks for 'Progeny' for the benefit of the home-remixing market, back in 1991. Given the 17 official remixes already existed, I don't suppose they feared their magnanimity would flood the market!
posted by asok at 2:32 AM on May 7, 2003

My friend and I were talking recently about how, with music storage technology getting better, bands could release an album with all the tracks (usually 24-64 less in Indie recordings) a program that plays the music how they think it should be mixed, then an open source agreement that allows you to use any of the original tracks in your own songs (or remix the original) providing you give credit.

I don't imagine it will happen any time soon though.
posted by drezdn at 11:21 AM on May 7, 2003

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