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Thread started 03/04/20 5:46pm

lintromania

Michael Howe - good Prince archivist?

Some fan wrote that they should fire Michael Howe, I am not too sure why. What does everyone think of his work so far? I think that what he is doing is extremely difficult and as you can't please everybody I think he is doing quite well.

I love t hear your thoughts on it. see https://www.ilikeyourolds...ince-vault

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Reply #1 posted 03/04/20 7:48pm

LittleProfesso
r

I'm annoyed that he calls himself an archivist. He was an A&R guy for ages, but that doesn't make you an archivist. It's a particular profession with specialized training.

Seems to me that he's responsible for monetizing whatever they find there. Or at least, suggesting what might be monetized. There are a lot of other people involved in what's being released or re-released, so pinning it on one person doesn't really make sense.

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Reply #2 posted 03/04/20 8:05pm

lintromania

LittleProfessor said:

I'm annoyed that he calls himself an archivist. He was an A&R guy for ages, but that doesn't make you an archivist. It's a particular profession with specialized training.



Seems to me that he's responsible for monetizing whatever they find there. Or at least, suggesting what might be monetized. There are a lot of other people involved in what's being released or re-released, so pinning it on one person doesn't really make sense.


Okay I see I suppose if he's the one going through the vault he is doing archival work but I get your point. At the end of the day what is released from the vault is decided by various people so if some fans aren't happy about it they can't do too much about it, firing Michael is not going to change much.
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Reply #3 posted 03/04/20 11:00pm

rdhull

avatar

Joined: July 3rd 2002
Level: Member
Posts: 2

"Climb in my fur."
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Reply #4 posted 03/04/20 11:50pm

Strive

Hi,

It's me. That poster you saw.

I have that in my signature because Michael Howe is a notorious bullshitter, like all A&R men, who only tells the truth when his back is pressed against the wall by the fanbase.

He would have never said word one about Extraloveable and Lust U Always if the fanbase didn't make such a ruckus. And all he could muster was some PC PR bullshit line instead of explaining the historical relevance of those two songs and going to bat for their release.

As to the releases, they are hit or miss. P&M 83 didn't have noise removal (good) but didn't fix the tape speed (bad). Originals was drown in reverb. 1999 Deluxe is missing 2 of the era's biggest songs because they couldn't think to include an essay explaining the songs or making them exclusive to the physical release like the DVD so they didn't end up on streaming services.

So, in conclusion, he should be fired and replaced with somebody that actually knows Prince's body of work.

Free the music, fire Michael Howe

"When you deny people the option to not pick a side, you may not like the side they'll pick."
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Reply #5 posted 03/05/20 12:15am

christobole

Strive said:

Hi,

It's me. That poster you saw.

I have that in my signature because Michael Howe is a notorious bullshitter, like all A&R men, who only tells the truth when his back is pressed against the wall by the fanbase.

He would have never said word one about Extraloveable and Lust U Always if the fanbase didn't make such a ruckus. And all he could muster was some PC PR bullshit line instead of explaining the historical relevance of those two songs and going to bat for their release.

As to the releases, they are hit or miss. P&M 83 didn't have noise removal (good) but didn't fix the tape speed (bad). Originals was drown in reverb. 1999 Deluxe is missing 2 of the era's biggest songs because they couldn't think to include an essay explaining the songs or making them exclusive to the physical release like the DVD so they didn't end up on streaming services.

So, in conclusion, he should be fired and replaced with somebody that actually knows Prince's body of work.

Hate to get into the omission discussion again (yes, sole reason for me not buying the boxset), but I'd wager, that as archivist (or whatever one likes to call him), he doesn't have final say as to what gets released and what not.

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Reply #6 posted 03/05/20 12:53am

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

Is he the guy responsible for hiring that Dr. Reverb spazz who feels it necessary to drench all the Vault tapes in copious amounts of Cathedral-like echo?

Also, isn't his philosophy with tape transfers to just leave them all off-speed "as-is"? I think some nonsense about "preserving original" blah blah, which uhh, applies to improper tape pitch but not drenching said tapes in mounds of reverb?

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Reply #7 posted 03/05/20 2:24am

darkroman

Under his watch there have been too many errors!

He has to go!

cool

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Reply #8 posted 03/05/20 5:03am

PURPLEIZED3121

I swear If P came back from the dead & took control of the vault & organised his own deluxe editions many on here would moan to fuck & back!!

As with anything you can't please everyone. 1999 Deluxe was exceptional.

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Reply #9 posted 03/05/20 8:48am

Strive

christobole said:

Hate to get into the omission discussion again (yes, sole reason for me not buying the boxset), but I'd wager, that as archivist (or whatever one likes to call him), he doesn't have final say as to what gets released and what not.


The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter lol


When the Nothing Compares 2 U single release happened, it was because he just found the master and had to release it.

When P&M83 came out, he told an elaborate story about how he heard about that tape through the grapevine, tracked it down to 10 possible tapes before he found it and pitched it to the estate. How it had to be the next release and how it was a release that would come full circle with what Prince was doing before his death.

.

Originals, he compiled the possible song list and selected the tracklist besides Love...Thy Will Be Done which was requested by Jay-Z.

When 1999 Deluxe came out, suddenly he was just an employee of the Estate, pulling material requested by labels with no input on what was getting released. Can't blame Michael Howe, he has nothing to do with the selection process. Except all the times in the interviews where he directly makes the claim.

lol

[Edited 3/5/20 8:51am]

Free the music, fire Michael Howe

"When you deny people the option to not pick a side, you may not like the side they'll pick."
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Reply #10 posted 03/05/20 9:35am

rdhull

avatar

Strive said:

christobole said:

Hate to get into the omission discussion again (yes, sole reason for me not buying the boxset), but I'd wager, that as archivist (or whatever one likes to call him), he doesn't have final say as to what gets released and what not.


The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter lol


When the Nothing Compares 2 U single release happened, it was because he just found the master and had to release it.

When P&M83 came out, he told an elaborate story about how he heard about that tape through the grapevine, tracked it down to 10 possible tapes before he found it and pitched it to the estate. How it had to be the next release and how it was a release that would come full circle with what Prince was doing before his death.

.

Originals, he compiled the possible song list and selected the tracklist besides Love...Thy Will Be Done which was requested by Jay-Z.

When 1999 Deluxe came out, suddenly he was just an employee of the Estate, pulling material requested by labels with no input on what was getting released. Can't blame Michael Howe, he has nothing to do with the selection process. Except all the times in the interviews where he directly makes the claim.

lol

[Edited 3/5/20 8:51am]

hmmm...interesting. I like how you put this in a succint manner, now it's understandble instead og 600 posts of rants.

"Climb in my fur."
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Reply #11 posted 03/05/20 10:17am

Bighead

Strive said:


The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter

So was Prince.

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Reply #12 posted 03/05/20 10:48am

rdhull

avatar

Bighead said:

Strive said:


The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter

So was Prince.

lol bighead

"Climb in my fur."
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Reply #13 posted 03/05/20 3:00pm

jfenster

they shoulve asked US to pick an orger who would KNOW his extensive catalogue of boots and HE would pick the releases...then we couldnt complain

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Reply #14 posted 03/05/20 3:56pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

PURPLEIZED3121 said:

I swear If P came back from the dead & took control of the vault & organised his own deluxe editions many on here would moan to fuck & back!!

As with anything you can't please everyone. 1999 Deluxe was exceptional.

It would honestly be significantly worse based on Crystal Ball.

But that's not any deep insight there--Prince's expertise was moving forward, not backwards. I couldn't think of anyone worse to dig through old tapes.... and certainly you look at say a George Lucas, Robert Smith recording vocals 35+ years after the fact for archive releases. The urge--and some might say valid justification--to alter and "fix" creations by the creator is too enticing a reality... but it's at complete odds what the fans usually want.

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Reply #15 posted 03/05/20 4:00pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

And 1999 Deluxe was solid, but missing significant material, I don't care about why or why you reading this post may not care about why. "Exceptional" would encompass everything... I'll give it a solid rating, it was solid.

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Reply #16 posted 03/05/20 4:09pm

SquirrelMeat

avatar

jfenster said:

they shoulve asked US to pick an orger who would KNOW his extensive catalogue of boots and HE would pick the releases..then we couldnt complain



falloff

.
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Reply #17 posted 03/05/20 9:47pm

LoveGalore

Strive said:



christobole said:



Hate to get into the omission discussion again (yes, sole reason for me not buying the boxset), but I'd wager, that as archivist (or whatever one likes to call him), he doesn't have final say as to what gets released and what not.




The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter lol


When the Nothing Compares 2 U single release happened, it was because he just found the master and had to release it.

When P&M83 came out, he told an elaborate story about how he heard about that tape through the grapevine, tracked it down to 10 possible tapes before he found it and pitched it to the estate. How it had to be the next release and how it was a release that would come full circle with what Prince was doing before his death.


.


Originals, he compiled the possible song list and selected the tracklist besides Love...Thy Will Be Done which was requested by Jay-Z.

When 1999 Deluxe came out, suddenly he was just an employee of the Estate, pulling material requested by labels with no input on what was getting released. Can't blame Michael Howe, he has nothing to do with the selection process. Except all the times in the interviews where he directly makes the claim.



lol




[Edited 3/5/20 8:51am]



That last bit about 1999 Deluxe makes no sense. Where are you getting that idea from exactly? The stated reasons for the exclusions on the set don't imply he was acting on the sole behest of the estate. He specifically refers to the rape lyrics as regrettably insensitive candor.
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Reply #18 posted 03/06/20 3:45am

PURPLEIZED3121

Bighead said:

Strive said:


The answer changes with the day. Because Micheal Howe is a bullshitter

So was Prince.

best comeback of the day!

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Reply #19 posted 03/06/20 8:35am

PeggyO

PURPLEIZED3121 said:

Bighead said:

So was Prince.

best comeback of the day!

Agree!

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Reply #20 posted 03/06/20 9:19am

Strive

LoveGalore said:

That last bit about 1999 Deluxe makes no sense. Where are you getting that idea from exactly? The stated reasons for the exclusions on the set don't imply he was acting on the sole behest of the estate. He specifically refers to the rape lyrics as regrettably insensitive candor.


From Mr. Bullshitter himself

So what message would Howe most like to convey to those who have questioned the posthumous release choices to date?

“I would like to convey that the people making these decisions take this very seriously. It’s very much a deliberate and involved process, it’s not like I walk into The Vault and pluck a tape off the shelf and decide that it’s something that I think should emerge and then it ends up on the marketplace. It’s a very forensic, very involved, very thoughtful, very high-integrity process and to do it right takes time, a lot of thought and conversation. It literally keeps me up at night; I want to do right by Prince, I want to do right by the fans and I certainly want to do right by the family.

https://www.ilikeyouroldstuff.com/news/interview-prince-archivist-michael-howe-on-prince-vault

Which is completely at ends with everything he said in inteviews before this one.



Plus


“Prince touched so many different people from all walks of life, so we try to take those things into consideration as much as we can when making these decisions and contemplating these things.”

And you know how much Prince cared about offending people rolleyes

Good job doing right by Prince by hiding one of his best songs and drowning Originals in reverb.

[Edited 3/6/20 9:27am]

Free the music, fire Michael Howe

"When you deny people the option to not pick a side, you may not like the side they'll pick."
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Reply #21 posted 03/06/20 9:34am

LoveGalore

Strive said:



LoveGalore said:


That last bit about 1999 Deluxe makes no sense. Where are you getting that idea from exactly? The stated reasons for the exclusions on the set don't imply he was acting on the sole behest of the estate. He specifically refers to the rape lyrics as regrettably insensitive candor.


From Mr. Bullshitter himself



So what message would Howe most like to convey to those who have questioned the posthumous release choices to date?




“I would like to convey that the people making these decisions take this very seriously. It’s very much a deliberate and involved process, it’s not like I walk into The Vault and pluck a tape off the shelf and decide that it’s something that I think should emerge and then it ends up on the marketplace. It’s a very forensic, very involved, very thoughtful, very high-integrity process and to do it right takes time, a lot of thought and conversation. It literally keeps me up at night; I want to do right by Prince, I want to do right by the fans and I certainly want to do right by the family.



https://www.ilikeyouroldstuff.com/news/interview-prince-archivist-michael-howe-on-prince-vault

Which is completely at ends with everything he said in inteviews before this one.





Plus



“Prince touched so many different people from all walks of life, so we try to take those things into consideration as much as we can when making these decisions and contemplating these things.”



And you know how much Prince cared about offending people rolleyes

Good job doing right by Prince by hiding one of his best songs and drowning Originals in reverb.

[Edited 3/6/20 9:27am]



As it relates to 1999 SDE, I do not think those statements imply anything different than anything he's ever said. Does he have ideas and find cool things? Yes. But he is not the only decision maker and he has been transparent about that. I think Casey clarified that the decision makers are him, Troy, and like two other people (at least one being female). Given how most females on the org find the rape lyrics distasteful, you can see how this would not be much of an argument between stakeholders.
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Reply #22 posted 03/06/20 10:13am

Strive

That's not an argument to keep him on board.

.

He's in way over his head and he needs to be replaced with someone who isn't as much of a know-nothing, ass licking toady.

.

edit: And did you miss the part where I said that what he said in that interview, when the heat was on him, was completely the opposite of how he talked in every other interview before that? We didn't imagine this stuff up. We were just going off of the word of a bullshitter. Who can't help himself. He's a LA A&R guy through and through. He'll spin to whatever position he needs to.

When times are good, it's I I I. When times get bad, it's we we we. lol

[Edited 3/6/20 10:24am]

Free the music, fire Michael Howe

"When you deny people the option to not pick a side, you may not like the side they'll pick."
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Reply #23 posted 03/06/20 11:57am

databank

avatar

Strive said:

Hi,

It's me. That poster you saw.

I have that in my signature because Michael Howe is a notorious bullshitter, like all A&R men, who only tells the truth when his back is pressed against the wall by the fanbase.

He would have never said word one about Extraloveable and Lust U Always if the fanbase didn't make such a ruckus. And all he could muster was some PC PR bullshit line instead of explaining the historical relevance of those two songs and going to bat for their release.

As to the releases, they are hit or miss. P&M 83 didn't have noise removal (good) but didn't fix the tape speed (bad). Originals was drown in reverb. 1999 Deluxe is missing 2 of the era's biggest songs because they couldn't think to include an essay explaining the songs or making them exclusive to the physical release like the DVD so they didn't end up on streaming services.

So, in conclusion, he should be fired and replaced with somebody that actually knows Prince's body of work.

I respect the decision to omit 2 songs from 1999 Deluxe because of the hysterical climate of the day. Including them would, anyway, have meant to exlude 2 other tracks, and it doesn't matter to me whether we get this or that as long as we get stuff, and I'm pretty sure it'll be safe to release them in a decade or so, once the moral crusade is over.

However, there have been too many problems with other releases for me to be happy.

.

The aformentioned issues with not properly restoring P&AM83, to which I would add that while it may not have been possible to improve on the video quality of the 1999 concert video, I suspect it could have been possible to treat the audio quality of it with the same care the audio concert received.

.

While I was very pleased to see the b-sides and versions CD of 1999 Deluxe being way more comprehensive than the one from PR Deluxe (that omitted too many things), I was sad to see that it still omitted the maxi-single edit of 1999. Now I realize this would have meant not everything would fit on one CD, and I realize how this probably led to the decision to omit it.

.

The glitch on erotic City on PR Deluxe was unacceptable. Whether they should have included cassette mixes or waited until they'd be able to access the multitracks is debatable (I tend to favor cassette mixes as they are faithful to what the work was at the time, but I understand why audiophiles think otherwise) and may or may not be the reason for the glitch on Computer Blue.

.

Another problem is that we have serious reasons to believe that the crossfade between OD and RG was fake, and that's unacceptable in my book.

.

But as far as I'm concerned the worst issue is, by far, the fact that we also have solid reasons to believe several mixes on Originals are fake as well, "hybrid" mixes posthumously created to make the songs more "casual listener friendly". BTW I actually really wanted to investigate the topic as I had promised back then, and I must apologize for never getting around doing so by trying and emailing various people to get to the bottom of this. This didn't happen because of the conjuction of a few things, the main one being that my life has been really complicated this last year, another one being that the vast majority of orgers seemed at the time to say that they didn't care as long as the songs "sounded good" (so why should I bother?). All I can say is that the one person I got around asking, before my life went real crazy, said they didn't wish to express themselves on the subject (which, by itself, seemed to corroborate the fact that there was something fishy). Originals is also terribly sequenced IMHO, but this of course is a matter of personal opinion.

.

Now I'm not the kind of person to ask for anyone's head, so it's not my place to say whether Mr. Howe should or should not keep the job (not that it matters what we think anyway, Comerica don't read the Org), so all I'll say is that if things keep improving, as they have with 1999 Deluxe, I'll be more than happy to forgive past mistakes.

A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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Reply #24 posted 03/07/20 7:29pm

WhisperingDand
elions

avatar

databank said:

(so why should I bother?)

Those Frankenstein mixes on Originals suck. I wanted the OG "untouched" demos as well... whatever he played to the proteges before they created the final versions. Keep up the good fight, databank, it is appreciated.

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Reply #25 posted 03/07/20 9:26pm

embmmusic

avatar

databank said:

Strive said:

Hi,

It's me. That poster you saw.

I have that in my signature because Michael Howe is a notorious bullshitter, like all A&R men, who only tells the truth when his back is pressed against the wall by the fanbase.

He would have never said word one about Extraloveable and Lust U Always if the fanbase didn't make such a ruckus. And all he could muster was some PC PR bullshit line instead of explaining the historical relevance of those two songs and going to bat for their release.

As to the releases, they are hit or miss. P&M 83 didn't have noise removal (good) but didn't fix the tape speed (bad). Originals was drown in reverb. 1999 Deluxe is missing 2 of the era's biggest songs because they couldn't think to include an essay explaining the songs or making them exclusive to the physical release like the DVD so they didn't end up on streaming services.

So, in conclusion, he should be fired and replaced with somebody that actually knows Prince's body of work.

While I was very pleased to see the b-sides and versions CD of 1999 Deluxe being way more comprehensive than the one from PR Deluxe (that omitted too many things), I was sad to see that it still omitted the maxi-single edit of 1999. Now I realize this would have meant not everything would fit on one CD, and I realize how this probably led to the decision to omit it.

Which edit was this? All three commercially released versions listed on PV are included. I know it's not the be-all-and-end-all of sources but I was under the impression that the Delirious mono version was the only commercially released track not included.

Check out The Collector's Guide to Prince on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/p...4ldzxwlEuy
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Reply #26 posted 03/07/20 10:05pm

udo

avatar

Good archivist?

Why you have to ask?

Forgot how to think logically?

Do we see a consistent set of releases?

Do we see a strategy being played out?

Do we see a progression in these releases?

Do we se profit maximization and customer satisfaction go hand in hand?

What do you think?

Pills and thrills and daffodils will kill... If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry.
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Reply #27 posted 03/07/20 10:20pm

andrewm7

SquirrelMeat said:

jfenster said:

they shoulve asked US to pick an orger who would KNOW his extensive catalogue of boots and HE would pick the releases..then we couldnt complain



falloff

falloff

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Reply #28 posted 03/08/20 8:34am

love2thenines2
003

udo said:

Good archivist?

Why you have to ask?

Forgot how to think logically?

Do we see a consistent set of releases?

Do we see a strategy being played out?

Do we see a progression in these releases?

Do we se profit maximization and customer satisfaction go hand in hand?

What do you think?

What's the matter.....anymore it's not up to Howe to release something or planify a strategy!

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Reply #29 posted 03/08/20 9:39am

databank

avatar

WhisperingDandelions said:



databank said:


(so why should I bother?)

Those Frankenstein mixes on Originals suck. I wanted the OG "untouched" demos as well... whatever he played to the proteges before they created the final versions. Keep up the good fight, databank, it is appreciated.


hug Maybe I'll resume the investigation when I have a little more time.
[Edited 3/8/20 9:39am]
A COMPREHENSIVE PRINCE DISCOGRAPHY (work in progress ^^): https://sites.google.com/...iscog/home
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