Sunday, February 1, 2015

A look back: Hear No Evil, Volume One


Today marks the 15th anniversary of the release of Hear No Evil, Volume One on CD.

Hear No Evil, Volume One (HNE1) was the first recording released on Bailey Records (formed in September 1999). HNE1 featured new recordings by Bailey Records recording artists, Quick Fiction and Seventh Seal. The CD also featured two previously released songs by Bailey Records recording artists, Perfekt Gentlemen and two previously released songs by 5SS (a band that would later become Zuzu Bailey). In addition to our artists, HNE1 included a lot of incredible talent from Central Pennsylvania where Bailey Records was currently located. Stand out artists included The Less Miserables (who I managed for a short time), Last Tuesday (who became nationally known around the time of this release), and Caligo.

Tracks:
  1. Quick Fiction: BLINDED
  2. The Less Miserables: SOMETHING TO SAY
  3. 5SS: MAP OF THE WORLD
  4. Last Tuesday: BELIEF
  5. Perfekt Gentlemen: DOGS ARE NOT LIKE FISH
  6. Seventh Seal: THOU WILT
  7. Pterodactyl: WHERE TERROR LIES (radio edit)
  8. 5SS: I AM JUDAS
  9. Caligo: FOR RENEE
  10. Seventh Seal: DO YOU LOVE ME?
  11. About A Day: SKIES
  12. TinderBox: DOOR (1999 mix)
  13. Quick Fiction: BEFORE
  14. Surge Against All: LOOK AT ME (radio edit)
  15. Short Fuse: BEST OF TIMES
  16. Perfekt Gentlemen: STAR WARS EXTRA
Hear No Evil, Volume One, a solid album that sold very well at concerts, was plagued from the start. First there were manufacturing delays due to the holidays. A look on the CD tray card will show that it's copyright 1999 although it wasn't released until 2000. Due to this delay, numerous possible early sales - including friends & family at Christmas - were lost. The second, and most long-lasting plague, came from an attempt in online distribution.

Online distribution was a new frontier in 2000, but it was something I was striving for with this new release on my fledgling record label. Under advice from a trusted friend I pursued distribution with The Orchard. They accepted the album as part of their catalog but never properly promoted it. They put it in the wrong search categories and didn't pay me royalties owed. They did get it on Amazon, which was huge, but as I said, they didn't pay me royalties owed. It took years of phone calls, emails, and legal threats before the royalty issues were resolved and in the end it was at my loss. Needless to say, I won't ever be dealing with The Orchard again and don't recommend them to anyone else.

The third plague Hear No Evil, Volume One faced was limited band support. Due to the fickle nature of the independent music scene and the often-young ages of the artists involved, bands changed names, line-ups, and/or broke up. Since the CD was released late, several bands that were part of the compilation were no longer around to promote it. Regardless, the album sold well.

In a day and age where I had to order a minimum of 1000 copies up front, filling a closet in my house with CDs, it only took a short time to recoup lost expenses and actually make money. Despite the obstacles, Hear No Evil, Volume One was a successful first release for Bailey Records and in some ways still holds up as a decent album. It has been long-since sold out so good luck finding one but if you do... give it a spin and rock on!