All You Need is Now

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Disc Kiosk - CD on Demand

Leather Jackets
The rarest of the Rocket Mans original studio albums on CD.

A few years ago, there was a CD on Demand service in the UK called The Disc Kiosk, run by Diablo Group plc, which reissued out of print and lesser-known titles in limited editions. The bulk of the titles were from the Universal conglomorate. It was a minimalist operation, yet done in hundreds, just printing the title, logo, solicitors notice, etc. on the disc and a brief description and song title on the back of the case, and the cover without elaborate liner notes, with the discs on pro-quality lightscribed CD-Rs. There were machines at the late MVC and Woolworths chains that customers could use. This may have been a way to keep them from being pirated (though most titles likely and a couple I have actually were on the black market anyway). Little info could be found, and the site and eBay store 404'ed. Normal CDs can barely make it anymore, let alone a printing and pressing station. They must have entered administration as it hardly caught on it seems. The titles were back in musical purgatory (a lot of titles I'm looking for are and I'll explain in future).
The few that I know were part of this programme were:

Elton John - Leather Jackets (pictured) - went for the original Japanese made US CD instead
Jim Diamond (1993) - found the original CD before he passed away and the price went up
10cc - The Greatest Hits of 10cc 1972-1978
10cc - Meanwhile - not on my list but three others are
Vangelis - Soil Festivities (click for more info; just gotta get him with Jon Anderson and Aphrodites Child for you-know-who)
Kiss - Asylum (all set with Messrs Stanley and Simmons!)
INXS - Shabooh Shoobah (already have this on EU-made US CD)
Rush - TBD (pre-1989 but I'm looking for most of the LPs now)
Moody Blues - Time Traveller (didn't expect a boxed set there)

The company faded into obscurity, so I'm just working with what I know and can find. I think if any surviving copies from DK are around and for sale, they might get a few bob, depending on the title, even though most of them flopped and were likely slated when released the old way. I wouldn't mind getting the DK edition of the Elton John album as I like imports as did he before he was big. I'm sure he couldn't care less about the budget reissue as he disowned the album, which only die-hard fans like anyhow. Some DK editions may pop up on amazon or eBay. Since they were authorised by UMC, it's a contrast to ex-Soviet state-made pirates or home-burned CDs, which cannot be resold for profit except by the copyright owner (though some wind up at the charity shop).
To wrap this up, I say this straddles the fence between boring CD-Rs and EU imports. Something similar was at some fye locations in the States for a bit but that was also a flash in the pan. Australia had coin-op CD copying machines, but that can be done at home if you have a computer. The Disc Kiosk could have been a saving grace in an already shakey music industry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would love to see the cd release of Kai Winding's "Soul Surfin" album it's an early 60's classic!