When Chris and I got together in 2009 one of his top priorities was a re-release of two albums from the mid-1980s – Napalm Beach’s self titled album, which eventually became known as Teen Dream, recorded in 1985, and Moving To And Fro, recorded in 1986. Teen Dream was originally released on cassette in 1985 and then on vinyl in 1986. Moving To And Fro was released on cassette as a Chris Newman solo album, then it was released in Germany on vinyl in 1988. Chris had been homeless between 1998 and 2005 – but even before that, his recordings and archival materials began to go missing. He very much wanted to save and re-release these albums. To this end Chris located vinyl copies of these albums, had the tracks transferred to CD, and distributed the tracks that way. While it was good for the time, it was a less than ideal solution.
Eventually, Chris located the master tapes to Teen Dream with Doug Reed in Los Angeles and with his help, we were able to digitize the tracks. I’m working on plans for a re-release. Ideally this would include collaboration with a label supportive of seminal and/or underrepresented artists.
I now have the not-to-be-missed opportunity to purchase the master tapes for Moving To And Fro, transfer them to digital, and do a digital or even, if the opportunity arises, a vinyl release of this important album.
In reality, it could be said that neither Teen Dream nor Moving To And Fro saw a proper vinyl release in their time. Chris, for whatever reason, wasn’t involved enough in the vinyl release processes, so there were oddities in each release. Both releases, for example, featured photos of bassists who didn’t play on the albums. Teen Dream was recorded in one day and mixed in another day, and Chris was never entirely happy with the mix while the vinyl release of Moving To And Fro saw Chris’ original song order rearranged, with three Snow Bud cuts added in – and the album was never released on vinyl at all in the U.S.
This is one reason some people (including myself) think some of Chris’ best recordings were the titles he self-released on cassette.
If I act now, for $2,500 I can purchase the Moving To And Fro masters, digitize them, and if necessary remix or remaster. While this is extremely reasonable price, at this time it is still more than I can afford. To that end, I’m arranging a crowdfunding effort which I’m planning to launch on Kickstarter October 3. I’ve decided to run a Kickstarter campaign first because they are time-limited and offer a built in opportunity for rewards, giving me the opportunity to dig into the archives and come up promotional materials. The Kickstarter project will run for one month and funding is contingent on reaching the goal.
With enough money and interest, a vinyl release may be considered. A lot of this depends on my ability to distribute, being as Chris is gone and no longer playing shows which is where he could sell merchandise, so it’s harder to move the product. To this end I’m looking for label support.