a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Come Home Billy Bird – UK / Ireland

Come Home Billy Bird

  • Formats
    CD Single PM 537 (Parlophone, 22/03/2004):
    7243 5 48286 2 1 (CDR 6630)
    Maxi CD PM 514 (Parlophone, 22/03/2004):
    7243 5 48021 0 2 (CDRS 6630)
    7" PM 215 (Parlophone, 22/03/2004):
    7243 5 48021 7 1 (R 6630)
    Promo CD (Parlophone):
    CDRDJ 6630
    Acetate CD-R (Parlophone / AJPR ?)
    Betacam SP S (Parlophone / Ascent Media, 19/02/2004):
    Letterbox: PAL
    Betacam SP S (EMI / Ascent Media, 24/02/2004):
    Letterbox: PAL
  • Items
    In-store ad. (Parlophone)
  • Lossy digital download (MP3 / WMA/ M4A)
    Everywhere (Promo & CD1 only) (Parlophone, 2005 / 2006 ?)
  • Lossless digital download (WAV / FLAC)
    Qobuz / Starzik (Promo & CD1 only) (Parlophone, 2005 / 2006 ?)
The two Come Home Billy Bird CDs come as different format. One is a CD single in a thin case, and the other is a maxi single in a regular jewel box. While such a difference was also present in the past for Love Who You Do, at the time both were regular singles with 2 B-sides. 3 years later, only the maxi would have 2 B-sides, and the single would come with only one additional track.

CD single


Image This item is packaged as a single box. On the front cover, the band and single titles are each using one line in the middle of the cover. The picture used is an extended (left and right) version of the photo used for the 7” or the promo CD (see below). So, this CD can be considered as main release of the single despite it includes only one bonus track: ‘Idaho’.
The inside shows the tracklisting, credits, copyright notes, serial numbers, catalogue reference, and the French price code (PM 537). And finally, the band’s website address and a Parlophone logo.
The spine shows the titles and serial number, and the little part of the inlay on the back shows again the tracklisting, the bar-code, manufacturing information, serial and catalogue numbers (but strangely minus the French price code which can’t be visible when the disc is sealed), and a Parlophone logo.
Unlike the album Absent Friends which is designed as a blue plaque, the associated releases from that era come with sober disc design. The Billy Bird CD single has a white background with black writings. At the top we have the titles, and at the bottom a copyright note. There we have a reference to Bel Biem, and the label code LC 0299. Then, serial and catalogue numbers and a Parlophone logo.
On the other side, near the centre we can read: EMI UDEN 5482862 @ 1 and IFPI L046

Maxi CD

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It’s rather strange that for a 3 tracks ‘maxi’, Parlophone decided to release it in a standard jewel box. Perhaps the policy at the time was to create confusion with the album and hoping it’d boost sales? Only joking… Actually, the case comes with a small sticker saying “3 track maxi CD” and listing the content (plus the serial/catalogue numbers which are also printed): the concept of such a maxi is to offer 3 versions of the title track: the regular version, an alternative version (here a demo), and the video as a CD-ROM track. And another song is also offered with ‘Girl Least Likely’.
The front cover shows an alternate photo, this time Neil looking to the other way. There is no booklet, just a simple insert. The other side has credits and instruction on how to play the video with a computer. Then copyright notes, and once again serial/catalogue numbers. And finally, we’ve got the band’s website address and a Parlophone logo.
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Image The back inlay features a bar code (in a slightly whiter frame) at the top, the tracklisting in the middle. At the bottom: copyright notes, followed by serial numbers, catalogue reference, and the French price code (PM 514), and finally Parlophone and Enhanced CD logos. The spine shows the titles and serial number. The other side of the inlay (it’s a transparent jewel case) is plain white.
As CD single the disc has a white background with black writings. At the top we have the titles, and at the bottom a copyright note. There we have a reference to Bel Biem, and the label code LC 0299. Then, serial and catalogue numbers and Parlophone + Enhanced CD logos.
On the other side, near the centre we can read: EMI UDEN 5480210 @ 1 and IFPI L047


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Both singles from Absent Friends were also released as 7” records, despite the album wasn’t released as a LP by Parlophone.
The cover of the record uses the same front design as the CD single. The picture is just cropped to fit on a square. The back cover is white with a bar code at the top, tracklisting in the middle, and credits plus copyright note at the bottom. It ends with the serial and catalogue numbers, the French price code (PM 215), and finally the band’s website and a Parlophone logo.
The record’s labels are white and feature the title’s design, and the face letter with track name. Both side also have copyright notes (note the absence to any reference to Bel Biem), followed by label code, serial number and catalogue reference either followed by the letter A or B. And it ends with a Parlophone logo.
Near the label are engraved R 6630 A-1 on the A side, and R 6630 B-1 on the B side.
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Promo CD

As being the first single from the Absent Friends album, the promo CD of Billy Bird has been extensively sent to media in UK and Europe. Even though it’s quite easy to find a brand new copy without any kind of sticker, some of them came either with a Parlophone sticker with contact info, or with an AJPR sticker, depending on who distributed the discs. Other EMI branch also put their own sticker, like in Norway.
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The front cover of the disc features the same picture as the CD single or the 7”, but slightly more cropped. But, unlike them the band’s name is quite bigger and fits in two lines. A similar design change can also be noted with the album promo vs ordinary release. Since the CD had a massive distribution it seems that two different prints exist. One with a bluer shade, and another slightly more pink.
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Image The back is white with the song title and at the bottom credits and copyright notes. It expresses some concern regarding copying this promo CDs, especially burning or uploading to the Internet, a worry for EMI at the time who went to use a Copy Controlled system for the album promo. Then, it features the catalogue number CDRDJ 6630. Some copies seem to have a bolder writting than others. But it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the colouring of the front cover.
The disc also features a white design, and the bigger title at the top. The bottom features a similar copyright note, this time with a reference to Bel Biem and the label code.
On the other side, near the centre it reads: IFPI L045 EMI UDEN CDRDJ 6630 @ 1

Acetate CD-R

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Image It is unsure if the CD-R was made by Parlophone / EMI or actually AJPR for promotion before they received the official promo CD. Although, it’s design is very similar to the Perfect Lovesong CD-R. The disc is plain white with the title printed over it. The insert is quite simple, a double white insert, with the sober titles printed in big, and a little tracklisting just to fill the space…
It comes within a PVC sleeve that has AJPR stickers. The words from them to promote the single are: “The Divine Comedy release their new single ‘Come Home Billy Bird’ through Parlophone records on March 22nd. This is the first new material from Divine Comedy mainman Neil Hannon since 2001’s Regeneration album and features Lauren Laverne on backing vocals. The single will be followed a week later (on March 29th) by Divine Comedy’s seventh studio album entitled Absent Friends which was produced by Neil himself and mixed by Nigel Godrich.”


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The promo video of the single was distributed as promo betacams to various media. Actually it seems that at least a couple of different versions exist. The only difference is that one was distributed by Parlophone (for UK market), and the other by EMI (for international marker as Ukraine).
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Both copies were duplicated by Ascent Media in February 2004, and the video on them is the same. It was edited by Red post-production, and there is a start screen with credits.
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In-store ad.


A 12”x12” in store advert was printed to promote the release of the single.