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"Who knows what these labels are thinking?" Gorrie wonders. "It's hard to underestimate the intelligence of most labels, anyway. Atlantic was great until the end, and Arista was a nightmare. Polydor flat dropped the ball on Aftershock. The album did great in Holland and Germany, but they didn't print enough of them or promote as they should've. We got the old 'black treatment'--you know, less money spent in promotion."
Gorrie is especially forthright about last year's Pickin' Up the Pieces, Rhino Records' "best of" collection of AWB music.
"It's terrible--a real half-ass job--as is most of the Rhino stuff," states Gorrie. "There are too many tracks , and they did a shoddy job of mastering. We were barely consulted--it was more like, 'Hey, we're doing this and what do you think?' When we strongly suggested some changes, they said, 'Well, you know, we really don't have to consult you, anyway. . . .'"
Gorrie sighs. "You know," he says, "there's one area where the labels have got our number. They are business people who know that, in the end, musicians will play. There's no buzz like being onstage; no drug is better--same for in the studio. They know that, so the bean counters will usually win. We've got to hope that there's a label who will let us do what we do. We can't compromise. If we can keep it in the funk and find that soulfulness in the lyric, we'll be all right."
And if things don't work out?
"Hey, lad," says Gorrie, "Scots aren't known for retreating.