I was shocked and surprised to find a comment on my blog today from Mr Simon Raymonde himself (ex-Cocteau Twins/founder of Bella Union), suggesting that i was unfair in my criticisms of Bella Union and himself… I am writing this post in the hope that he might read it (as i have no way of contacting him directly…), and as a sort of retraction of my comments! His post can be read below:
‘hello, i noticed your comments about my poor job promoting the Autumns and have to say i found that rather ignorant and ill-considered. i have said many times in the press that the Autumns album is one of the best we have ever released and its lack of coverage in the european press has been a massive disappointment to me, but i am afraid i dont write or edit the magazines and our press department pushed the album in exactly the same way we do all our bands. why one band is revered and another ignored is not something i have any influence over…it is to the journalists and radio producers who you should be aiming your ire…i signed them cos i love them and believe in them and have spent many thousands of pounds to back up my belief and i will continue to push the music towards people as long as i am able to…
simon raymonde march 08’
To be honest, i had actually forgotten that i had been quite so harsh on him, and feel slightly disappointed that he now has the view that i was overly critical! Here is what i posted on November 23rd 2007:
i’m just hoping that Bella Union decides to do some actual work in promoting the album and new single (’Killer In Drag’ is supposed to be out early next year), as the amount of coverage and support The Autumns have received from their record label is pretty awful – the band deserve so much better, as the new album has had barely any press!!! If i was in The Autumns, i would be knocking on Simon Raymonde’s door demanding an explanation, but i’m not, so that won’t be happening!!!
Reading it back, i understand how it would appear…i am perhaps too harsh on Bella Union, but that is only borne out of my frustrations at the Autumns being ignored by the media and public – i understand that Bella Union will put the same efforts in promoting every band at the same level! However, in my opinion, The Autumns are probably the finest band around at the moment, which leads me to question why they are not one of the biggest acts, not only on the Bella Union label, but in the world(!)…
Of course, there were some issues that i had with Bella Union that i did not write about in the post, but will do so here to validate my original comments:
1) One of the press samplers (see picture below) that was sent out by Bella Union, listed 5 tracks – but not the correct 5 tracks – there was a printing mistake, and the tracks were completely mis-titled! However, i understand that there is a very good chance that this was not Bella Union (and certainly not Mr Raymonde’s) fault – but i was slightly disappointed by this!
2) The poster (see below) that was used to promote the band’s support slot with The Kissaway Trail, announced that ‘Fake Noise From A Box Of Toys’ was the band’s debut album, which was clearly not the case, as the band have released one other album with Bella Union, and have recorded another two (different label)!!! Again, this was probably just a small mistake, but i was disappointed as, if people saw this, then they might not look into The Autumns’ amazing back-catalogue!!!
Now, i read a post that Simon had written on another review a few months ago, and it reassured me that he still felt the same way about the band as he always did, and so, i would like to apologise for writing so harshly about Bella Union – i know that the music press is a messed-up business at the best of times, and that they dictate what albums are pushed for public consumption! It is not Bella Union’s fault that the album is not selling millions, because they would obviously love it if it did (e.g. the profits…), and my comments were written in 5 minutes without much thought…
…Just as a final little comment – i bought around 10 albums from the Bella Union catalogue last year, and i still believe that they are the best independent label around – i am glad that The Autumns have such a strong supporter in Simon Raymonde, and i have the utmost respect for him (the Autumns’ album, ‘In The Russet Gold of this Vain Hour’, was produced by him and it is just amazing…he did a wonderful job!)…
…but i hope, that if he should read this post, then he might understand where my frustrations with Bella Union came from, as i want nothing more than the biggest success for The Autumns – a sentiment which i am sure we both share!!!
(By the way…Simon, if you do read this, i wish you had posted your comment on the actual post in question, not on my ‘About The Author’ section – it shall forever fill me with guilt when i look at that page…but it might make me think before i write i suppose!)
(Also, hope there is no bad feeling between us – not that you would be bothered – but i would hate to think that your view of me should be skewed my previous comments…thanks…)
(Final comment – if you do read this Simon, then bring The Autumns back here soon please…we need more bands like them around…)