The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162177   Message #3964809
Posted By: GUEST,Anonymous
04-Dec-18 - 09:39 PM
Thread Name: Bright Phoebus reissued
Subject: RE: Bright Phoebus reissued
I may be wrong.... but after reading about this for years and taking it all in, I find the fact that no one has ever approached Celtic Music or for that matter Dave Bulmer or his successors for an interview in relation to their side of the story nothing other than... amazing.

There is surely more to this story than meets the eye, and, there also seems to be an amazing amount of hatred and disdain towards the Celtic/Bulmer camp with little fact to base anything on. We have all heard the effects of fake news, misinformation, and propaganda in the media in recent years and the effects it can have on major events like elections.

I am not for one second suggesting that some of the issues raised with the Celtic/Bulmer camp have no substance whatsoever but I am of the mindset that, due to the public have nothing but the posts containing the hatred and disdain to base their opinion on the whole thing has a high probability of turning into a giant melting pot of hatred and disdain.

The more I look at it like this the more it makes me question if such low public regard for the Celtic/Bulmer camp has actually affected their ability to release albums effectively. For instance... I have seen in recent days that a key player in a major magazine publication has publically refused to feature any Celtic Music release in the magazine and this seems to have incited others to follow suit. I have also seen others launching public boycotts on any future release by the Celtic/Bulmer camp. How can the Celtic/Bulmer camp even attempt to produce commercially viable releases if they are being treated like this both by industry professionals and the paying public???

It also leads me to believe that they are being pushed into a no-win situation, ie. The public chastises them for not releasing material and, at the same time, they actively boycott them while being supported and incited to do so by other industry professionals.

I have actually managed to track down a copy of the recent Celtic Music press release and I have to say that the images of it that are flying around the web do not contain the full content, the last page is missing. The last page contains contact details for Celtic Music and some comments to the editor. Whilst this is not massively important I find it interesting that whoever first released the images of it online, and to the public, failed to include these details. Could they have done so deliberately? to add to the already boiling over melting pot by making Celtic Music seem uncontactable. To be fair though if this was the intention it probably has had little effect as the Celtic Music website holding page seems to have a contact telephone number and email address on there.

Now this brings me to my final point in this post....... The fallout from the recent court case between Celtic Music and Domino.

I find it concerning, to say the least, that the public still seems to hail Domino and the Waterson family, and the other players involved as heroes, for their part in the 2017 Domino release of Bright Phoebus. Let alone people still claiming the Domino release to be Official/legitimate and the 2000 Celtic Music authorized release to be, dodgy/a bootleg.

From the information disseminated in the Celtic Music Press Release, it seems that the IPEC Division of the High Court in the UK has ruled in Celtic Music's favor and found Domino to be liable for copyright infringement (seemingly on more than one type of copyright). It also states that "the matter was summarily
decided in Celtic’s favour" which initially confused me but.... after some research I now basically understand it to mean that the court assessed the paperwork Celtic Music produced and found it to be so solid that there was no chance of Domino defending the case at a trial no matter what the evidence they produced. This surely puts to bed all the public opinion and posts regarding lack of contracts. I have no reason to disbelieve this information and I am sure that there is a way of corroborating this information with the courts if someone wished to do so, besides which if the information issued by Celtic Music had been false then surely a label such as Domino would have been fast to respond by publically attacking the story and presumably instructing their legal team.

Taking this into account how can the 2017 Domino release of Bright Phoebus still be seen to be Official/legitimate and the Celtic version a dodgy/Unofficial bootleg? Surely the Domino 2017 release is now the illegal illegitimate one and the Celtic release a legal and official copy. This leads on to the issues raised with sound quality on the Celtic release...

I understand that public opinion is that Celtic copied the 2000 release from a vinyl record due to them not having an original master tape for the release an that Domino had access to an original tape or tapes as photographed in the 2017 Domino release sleeve notes and used in the Domino publicity material. It does seem to me however that Domino only had access to copy masters so this raises two questions in my mind. Does the public actually have anything to base their opinion regarding Celtic copying off a vinyl record? I am not sure this matters at this point in my assessment though as the public seem to be of the opinion that the audio quality of the 2000 Celtic release is inferior to the 2017 Domino release despite its original source. I am however intrigued by my second question as to how Domino got hold of what appears (from the Domino images) to be Leader Sound copy masters?
I know that in the BBC Radio 4 Lost Album Series Radio Program (which I believe was first broadcast in 2007, later repeated, and uploded to youtube) on Bright Phoebus (incidentally presented by Peter Paphides who is credited as writing the 2017 Domino release sleeve notes) Mike Waterson is interviewed and states that Celtic have no tapes, and he alludes to that fact that he knows this because he knows where the tapes are. This may answer my first question but in light of the fact that the tapes which have come to light are seemingly copy masters, also may not. There is also the fact that in this program Dave Bulmer is actually interviewed and states he does have master tapes so you can mke of this what you will. Many people on here would say not to trust Bulmer and, they may be right but on the other hand the BBC and Peter Paphides must have felt it fit to broadcast, so Bulmer must have at the very leaset given them some re-assurance he was trustworthy and held the rights to the album as stated in the broadcast.

I am trying to give a balanced and fair analysis of the situation and am trying my best to see things from all sides, but again taking the data in front of me and analyzing it more questions seem to arise. If Mike Waterson was not happy with his belief that Celtic apparently took the audio from a vinyl record and knew where the tapes were all along, why did he with hold the location of the tapes from the Celtic/Bulmer camp? Is it a possibility that the Waterson camp deliberately withheld the fact that they knew where the tapes were from Celtic, as they bore some sort of grudge against them? Did this, and therefore the Waterson camp, actually fuel the 'Lost Album' claim by making it impossible for Celtic to do the album justice in a release? After all the album has apparently been available on CD since its release in 2000, whether this is true is another question but I certinly ordered my copy of the 2000 release (I am sure it is a pressed CD) after a quick google search following hearing the program on the radio. My point is that if I was able to order a copy it can't have been a 'Lost Album' and I have always found this an odd claim to make ever since. The answers to many of these questions are mostlikely something we will never know, but, it certainly raises some questions in my mind as to who first claimed the album was 'Lost' and why?.

I feel I must also bring to light that the advancements in technology between 2000 and 2017 must have been vast in terms of audio restoration, not that I am in any way an expert. If this is the case it would be only be fair to say that even if the 2000 release and the 2017 release had been re-mastered from the same source tape then surely the 2017 Domino release would be enhanced in some way compared to the 2000 Celtic release due to the technology available. This is however only an observation and really an aside except to say that... is every record company that releases an album expected to remaster it periodically to make it "better" following advancements in technology? Surely this could have an entire thread dedicated to it though.

In conclusion (for now)..... It appears to me that there may be no truly innocent party in this story. The Celtic/Bulmer camp could probably have stood up for themselves more in the public eye, although they may have tried and been effectively censored by the industry press. An explanation as to their side of the story and is probably needed and would certainly be of interest. Domino (and I suppose all those involved and connected to the 2017 Release) are certainly not innocent as stated by the Courts. It also seems to me that The Waterson camp may not be telling the full story either and that they may have used the fact that they knew the location of, or possessed, master tapes to Bright Phoebus to their advantage over the years to fuel the bad public opinion of the 2000 Celtic release and its legitimacy.

The legal facts regarding the album and presumably the Leader/Trailer Labels now seem to be clear and Domino (and presumably those involved and connected to the 2017 Release including the Waterson camp) have been found to have committed acts of copyright infringement which, again from my research, I understand to be seen as criminal acts in certain circumstances. It seems wrong that they are still being hailed as heroes in this situation when in effect they are at the very least lawbreakers and have possibly committed criminal acts.

But what does all this mean??? I certainly don't know but I feel that there is certainly more to this than meets the eye and that there is a possibility that the Celtic/Bulmer camp may not be the people they have been made out to be in the public eye. I could, of course, be wrong.

Now I feel that due to my honest and balanced view of the facts to hand and the information digested I would be a fool to post this in any other way than as an anonymous post. I certainly do not want to receive calls from any legal teams of the parties involved or be slated on this forum and tracked down on companies house or facebook etc.. (as it seems is common practice in this forum) and given grief for my analysis of the situation. I am merely stating that things are not always as they seem and that the public are quick to attack and slow to forget even if they do not know why or who they are attacking.