Salvo - The
Home of Great Music
Music's catalogue includes artists as diverse as
Slade, Claudia Brucken, The Frames, Bay City
Rollers, Madness, Procol Harum, Art of Noise,
Propaganda, 808 State, The Move, The Undertones,
Belle Stars, Nazareth, Wreckless Eric, Tracey
Ullman, Liza Minnelli, Frankie Goes To Hollywood,
Buggles, Peter Green, J.D. Souther, Bob James, Bob
James & Earl Klugh, John Williams, Shades of
Rhythm, Cleo Laine & John Dankworth, STIFF, ZTT.
Digger talks to Chas Chandler, Salvo label manager,
about their label, their ethos and their artists.
also see our interview with Les McKeown of The Bay
City Rollers and Jimmy Lea of Slade in our Star
Can you please tell
us about the background to Salvo Music?
Chas: Salvo began life in the summer of 2006. It is part of
Union Square Music, one of the leading independent catalogue
marketing companies in the UK. Salvo was inaugurated to bring
bespoke reissues of collectable albums to the market. And
fortunately our deal with Slade enabled us to get off to an
auspicious start. Since then we’ve since signed a number of
similar deals and built a great catalogue.
Digger: That's quite an eclectic mix of artists. I suppose what
binds most of them together is the retro connection?
Chas: Yes, the Salvo catalogue is largely from the 60s, 70s
and 80s, although much of it would also fall under the
“classic rock” label. If it is quality music and we think
there’s sufficient demand for it then we’ll do our best to
reissue it in the manner that it deserves. Sometimes we work
with catalogues that have been reissued more than once
already, so we have to approach it in such a way that the
existing fans will find a good reason to invest again.
Digger: What sort of feedback
and comments do you get from your customers?
Chas: The majority of them fall into two camps. There are
those that are pleased with what Salvo is doing and just want
to tell us that, which is always nice to hear, and often they
also have burning questions to ask, such as “will you also
be reissuing such and such album?” Then there is contact
with what you might call the “uber fans”. They provide
useful information and constructive criticism and often also
offer their own services, lending me parts of their own
collection for instance. I’ve made a few friends among them
over the last few years.
Digger: Why are retro and nostalgia so popular at all times, but
especially in these times?
Chas: I don’t know that nostalgia in is any more popular at
the moment. It’s just that there is more opportunity than
ever before to discover things from the past; the internet is
very useful in that regard. We don’t have to dig as deeply
as we used to in order to access information. We can trawl the
planet to some extent now without leaving home.
People always enjoy looking back, it is human nature to dwell
on the past and of course there are always lots of things that
we missed when they were current. It is often only by looking
back that we can see something in context, grasp its true
significance and place in the scheme of things - and although
culture obviously has to gather a certain amount of dust
before it can return as retro chic, that process does appear
to be accelerating.
Digger: How important is the Internet to your label?
Chas: It is very important. With traditional retailers
struggling – and in some cases going out of business – it
is increasingly the way that people find the music that they
want. We work very closely with online retailers. They are the
first port of call for a large numbers of music fans and
Digger: What are the best things about working with Salvo and Union
Square's roster of artists?
It’s always nice to work directly with the artists and each
of the catalogues we work with presents a different challenge
in terms of their audience and its expectations. Our aim is
always to take the raw materials that the artists help to
provide – masters, memorabilia, memories for instance –
and turn them into a product that both they and their fans are
happy with. We’re aiming to exceed the expectations of each
camp and hopefully achieve good sales.
I’d be lying if I said sales performance isn’t a source of
gratification – alongside the execution of a successful
marketing initiative or two. It can be difficult to quantify
what, for example, our press/PR work has contributed to a
campaign, but you can usually tell when something has hit the
spot and made a difference.
Digger: How are you planning to develop the Salvo Music label, the
product and the portfolio of artists in the future?
Salvo has made a few waves in the collector’s market now,
and we’ll always strive to maintain the standards we’ve
set. What we do in future is to some extent dictated by the
signings we make, but our high standards and the kind of
attentive service we offer artists and repertoire owners will
hopefully continue to attract them. We’re constantly looking
for good music to work with and there are always deals to be
done, although they can take some time to come to fruition.
In a few short years we’ve come to be one of the most
respected and successful reissue labels around and the future
looks bright – provided we don’t rest on our laurels.
Salvo - The Home of Great