Concord Records?

Last week we reported that Paul Simon has brought his solo catalogue back to Sony Records, with the company’s Legacy Recordings label planning to issue new remasters and, hopefully, some long-overdue DVDs (cough, Concert in the Park, cough).

Given that we’ve been expecting this news since the spring, it seems natural to expect Simon to release his new album, So Beautiful or So What on a Sony label as well. Yet we have a hunch that Simon has decided to go with Concord Records, an independent company that added Paul McCartney to its roster in April. We have two reasons to suspect that Simon might be signing up with one of Concord’s labels (which include Stax, Concord Jazz and, among others, Hear Music, the result of a joint venture with Starbucks that seems to be connected to Simon’s upcoming Christmas song, “Getting Ready for Christmas Day”):

First, a note on the website of Sterling Sound (Flash website – no direct link), reveals that the album was mastered by Greg Calbi in August at their New York studios. Clabi engineered Graceland, Hearts and Bones, The Rhythm of the Saints and the 2004 Warner remasters. According to the note, the album attached to So Beautiful is Concord.

Second, this morning Concord’s Twitter account retweeted Robert Hilburn’s tweet about So Beautiful. It would be odd for a record label to promote – even via Twitter – an artist it doesn’t represent. Most of the company’s tweets are about label members McCartney and Elvis Costello.

While it would be weird for Simon to have his catalogue with Sony and his new material with Concord, it’s not unheard of. Note that the Sony release didn’t mention anything about new material from Paul Simon. We wouldn’t be surprised to see So Beautiful on a Sony label, but we have a hunch Concord might provide the kind of grassroots, independent release Simon is looking for (as opposed to the kind of machine release he might want for his back catalogue).

Time will tell…

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