a short site about The Divine Comedy

French version

Regeneration – UK / Ireland

Regeneration

  • Formats
    • CD PM 538 (Parlophone, 12/03/2001): 7243 5 31761 2 9
    • MC (Parlophone, 12/03/2001): 7243 5 31761 4 3
    • Promo CD (Parlophone): DCDJ001
    • Acetate CD-R (Parlophone): DCDJ001
    • Advance CD-R (Parlophone)
    • Unmastered CD-R (Parlophone)
    • 5 tracks sampler (BMG)
    • Instrumentals (?)
  • Items
    • Postcard (Boomerang Media)
    • In-store ad. (Parlophone)
    • Promo pictures (Parlophone / EMI)
 
Image Released in UK on March 12th 2001 by Parlophone, Regeneration was available on CD and cassette. The CD version was also distributed in almost all Europe by other EMI’s labels. Hence the album was released on March 9th in Ireland, March 13th in France through Labels, and March 26th in Germany through Capitol… All these countries (except Ireland perhaps) had their own print, manufactured in Uden, Netherland, and not “made in UK”.
In UK the album came with a small black sticker advertising the album, which says “Features the Singles ‘Love What You Do’ and ‘Bad Ambassador’” and additionally features the catalogue number. That’d be interesting to have a confirmation of the first-day releases had such a sticker, since the official announcement for ‘Bad Ambassador’ as a single was one month later in April.
Also the disc came with a subscription card to the band’s newsletter.
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The cover is a 6 pages folded insert. On one side it shows the 2 pictures of the ‘running men’ sculptures by Claire Burbridge. On the other side, half shows a photo of the band, taken at the Royal Festival Hall in London, and the other contains all lyrics and credits.
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The back cover features one of two famous photos of The Divine Comedy posing as a ‘rock band’, here in black & white. Over it, are printed the tracklisting as well as publishing, production and copyright notes. At the bottom-left corner a small Parlophone logo. The top right corner features a frame with the bar code number, the bar code itself, and the UK catalogue number (note this is the bold part of the bar code number) as well as the French price number (PM 538), and finally a logo plus the mention: “place of manufacture as stated on label” which shows that the same template was used for both UK and European releases.
The other side of the inlay shows one other (different) photography of the sculptures.
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Image The CD itself is plain white, with white writing on it which is strange. All CDs from the Regeneration era use the same concept: a plain coloured disc with a sober writing in different colour, it is then a strange choice for the album to make it unnoticeable.
Near the centre we can read: DCDJ001 1:1:4 EMI UK and IFPI L041 which is the same as the promo CD (see below). This is actually the only thing specific to the made in UK releases, but it is possible that many Uden CDs were also distributed in UK at a later stage.

The cassette


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The cassette version of the album Regeneration was probably not much distributed as the CD version. The insert features on the side the band and album names, plus a Parlophone logo and serial number. On the ‘back’ side, in addition to the tracklisting there is the bar code frame with all catalogue numbers, and manufacturing information. It is interesting to note that the French price number is not filled (‘F: PM’ then blank).
The inlay can be unfolded as it is 9 pages long. Because the cover could be completed only to the right, to fill with the complete picture, they had to reverse it. Which explains why the front cover shows the statues ‘running’ to the left, and not on the right unlike the CD version. The other side features again the RFH band picture, alongside only credits, and no lyrics.
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The cassette itself is a transparent case, but on which a plain dark rectangular background has been printed. Over it information is printed in lighter grey. On the top it features the album/band’s logo; on the bottom, publishing and copyright notes; on the right a Parlophone logo, catalogue number and a Bel BIEM logo with a ‘LC 0299’ label code; and on the left a Dolby logo, and the side letter with the mention ‘see inlay for details’. However it remains unsure if the tape was properly mastered for Dolby: playing it without Dolby enabled doesn’t show particularly emphasized high frequencies, and enabling it seems to more cause damages to the signal in comparison of the quiet background hiss. It is very likely that in those days’ people the recording company were putting the logo without really knowing its technical meanings.
Tracks are split on the two sides between ‘Eye Of The Needle’ and ‘Love What You Do’ which is quite interesting: on ‘Eye Of The Needle’, a slightly longer outro to end the song seems to have been added. While ‘Love What You Do’ starts exactly like the album version.
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The Promotional copies


Image Strangely, in UK it seems a few regular copies were sent as promo CD. Perhaps at a point when the record company didn’t had any promo CD in stocks, or maybe given by a third-party. We don’t know. On these copies, the back cover features a small sticker. The sticker is not exactly rectangular, and so is quite easy to spot. Additionally, second hand copies can even have such a mark of glue on the back, spot on!

The Promo CD


Several kinds of promo CD were also issued to promote Regeneration in the UK. These promo differs to the ones used in other countries.
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Image The first, and most common kind, is a ‘regular’ card sleeve promo CD. The front cover features the album name as well as the tracklisting, and a ‘For Promotional Use Only’ mention. And the back cover features only a blurred picture, and a small Parlophone logo in the bottom-left corner (note that no catalogue number is apparent). As for the promo singles, the inside of the cover is also printed. But not with drawings here, but a more complete view of the photo used for the back cover. We can clearly see 3 distinct sculptures, and the focus actually made on the one on the left.
The CD has no background colour this time, and features writings with the same font as the other CD releases / promo CDs from that era. The top has the band/album’s name logo; and the bottom has, next to a small Parlophone logo, the tracklisting and then publishing, production and copyright notes, a ‘Made in EU’ note and the catalogue number DCDJ001. Near the centre we can read: IFPI L041 and DCDJ001 . 1 EMI UK which shows that the CD is likely to have been made with the same plant as the album. After the 1 you may have also other figures such :1:2, these ones may differ as they are pressed instead of being printed, and probably depend of the pressing plant itself.
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The transparent promo CD/CD-R


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This ‘deluxe’ promo CD is quite a collector item! Coming in a transparent jewel case, it features only transparent inserts. First the inlay features a photo of 5 statues in perspective. Secondly, the front cover is actually 5 transparent cards, one for each of these statues, which allow the listener to play with them. Each card features an individual photography of a statue, and all together they almost recreate the view as pictured on several artworks (such as the postcard, see below).
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Some of these promos come with an AJPR sticker, as they were distributed by Alan James PR to radios, etc. It reads: “The Divine Comedy release Regeneration, their first album for Parlophone, on March 12th. Features the single ‘Love What You Do’ which has already received 15 plays on Radcliffe, Moyles and Lamacq. The All New Divine Comedy were unveiled live at two triumphant comeback shows in London last week to great acclaim. Recommended tracks: 2, 3, 5, 7, 11.” We note that the reference to the London shows helps dating those words from approx late January, early February 2001.
The disc itself, inside, can either be the same promo CD from above, or the promo CD-R from below. Whoever made those CDs seem to have used stocks of what was available… Therefore, it could be a possibility (not confirmed) that those deluxe CDs were actually issued by AJPR and not Parlophone directly.

The acetate CD-R


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Image The acetate CD-R seems quite ordinary, coming in a PVC sleeve with a white folded insert (note that one of my copies came within a jewel box, although apparent ring wear on the insert let assume that it has been repackaged). All in uppercase it features the band’s name, the album name between simple quotes, and the tracklisting. And then a Parlophone logo, this is where things get more complicated. It seems a few different versions exist: one with a plain black Parlophone title, and another one with a 3D effect, and one over a dithered background. It’s difficult to understand these printing issues, and perhaps pointless… After all, it’s possible that only the titles and tracklisting were printed over ‘standard’ Parlophone inserts, and different batches of them exist… Who knows…
The disc itself is a CD-R, with something on the centre starting with HS315x (stands for Hi Space?) with printed information on it. At the top it features the band / name logo but with a slightly different typeface than usual. At the bottom, it features the label’s logo and name, publishing, production and copyright notes, as well as the catalogue number ‘DCDJ001’.
Regarding the content itself, it is important to note that the mastering of this disc is not the same as the finished product: it has less compression, and therefore must be the version that any audiophile want to seek! The commercial release was a victim of the loudness war…
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The advance CD-R


Image Another, earlier, promo CD-R was also issued. It contains the same content as the regular promo CD-R; and the disc only differs by its design. This time the band/album’s names are not designed as the logo (probably not established at that time). The bottom features the label’s logo and name, publishing and production credits, but no copyright strangely.
Which is more confusing is that the disc was sent within a PVC sleeve, but with a different insert, actually an insert of the unmastered album (see below). It is likely the inserts was re-used when those promo discs came on, because at that stage, as the CD tells, the album was named, unlike what the insert tells.

The unmastered CD-R


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Image As hinted above, an early copy of the album exists. Dated from 3 October 2000, the disc come with the mentions ‘album’ and ‘unmastered’, and the tracklisting is supposed to be not final, but at least the track order is strictly the same as the regular album. What changes though are the song titles, which here are the original titles as given to the publishing company: ‘Time Stretching’, ‘Perfect Love Song’, ‘You’ve Got To Love What You Do’, and ‘Master Mind’.
The CD itself is a proper HHB CD-R , and comes in a jewel box, still with the original HHB inserts.
The versions of the songs on it are roughly different. It’s even almost a different mix to the finished album. The most notable differences are the fact that the song do not overlap into each others, and a totally different mix of ‘Love What You Do’ notably on the chorus.
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It is also interesting to note that a copy on those inserts has the handwritten note ‘alb. title?’ near ‘Eye Of The Needle’. Perhaps once considered as an eponymous candidate, that name was refused because it could be misunderstood as a drug reference, who knows…

The BMG sampler


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Image The publishing company, BMG, also made a 5 track promo CD for the press. It features the three singles plus ‘Timestretched’ and Mastermind’. The CD-R has information printed on it such as a BMG logo, the title, and the mentions ‘album sampler’, ‘promo only’.
It comes with a printed insert with the BMG logo, tracklisting, the note ‘For press only please’ and contact information.
It’s not sure how it was packaged, mines come within a slim box, but such a box didn’t exist at the time, and the insert has staple marks.

Instrumentals


We actually don’t know much about the Regeneration instrumentals. Only 4 tracks have leaked on the Internet a few years ago as part of an ‘Instrumental Collection’, which makes very likely that a 4 tracks instrumental CD was issued at some point. The songs are the three singles: ‘Love What You Do’, ‘Bad Ambassador’, ‘Perfect Lovesong’ and then ‘Lost Property’.

Postcard


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A postcard was issued by Boomerang Media to promote the album. The front features the photography of the 5 statues, even though the first one is cropped. On the other side it features the album release details, as well as a reference to a Rio 600 Mp3 player competition that was held by The Divine Comedy’s website at the time (February 2001) by subscribing to their newsletter. History never told us if the player came with a copy of the album into it or not…
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One notable copy of those postcards was sent by the fan-club in late 2001 signed by the 7 members, in return of winning a crossword competition…

Additionally, it seems that a promo-only postcard advertising the album with a ‘Not For Sale’ mention may also exist.


In-store ad


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Image With a company such as Parlophone, many posters / in-store ads were printed to promote Regeneration. First of all, like for the singles, a 12”x12” in store advert exist.
Also, a rectangular poster with the album’s release date does exist.



The promo sheets


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A few promo sheets were issued for the album. First, a 2 pages folded sheet featuring inside a biography, tracklisting, and other information, its front cover features the same picture as the postcard.

Magazine


Almost one month before the release of the album, Regeneration was featured on the cover of EMI’s esounds newsletter. The little magazine advertises the major forthcoming release by EMI, probably for shops or distributors to pre-order them. The Divine Comedy feature is just a small press release inside. The album formats are listed for 12.03.01, and the UK tour dates as well.
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Promo pictures


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Adverts


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An advert published in MusicWeek featured details on the marketing campaign.