The First and Last

On March 28th 2007, after a bizarre month-long exchange of email, LP jacket information and two CDs - one from Japan and one a bootleg - Suzan from Universal Music assured me that, once the “metadata entry process” was completed and the “Digital Scheduling process” had “moved ahead”, she would give me a “targeted release date” for the first and last Trooper albums released on MCA/Universal. Counting the two months that have passed since then, it’s been three since I asked Trooper’s first record company to complete the seven-album MCA portion of Trooper’s iTunes catalogue. I emailed Suzan about this, again, today. I received an “out of the office” automated reply.

Back in February, Universal Canada quickly determined that the two albums in question were “not in the system”. They wrote and asked me if I had “finished CDs” of the albums that I could send to them. And the front and back cover artwork. And, uh … could you copy some information off your vinyl versions of the records and send us that too.

Fortunately, The last MCA album (the one that had no name - or any other information - on the cover) was re-released, in Japan only, on CD, and I had ordered one in the nineties. I sent it to Universal. The first “LP” - the orange one featuring the hideous seventies plexiglas construction - was never ‘officially’ released on CD. So I sent them a bootleg made by a fan.

Universal wasn’t hoarding these albums in a vault somewhere, refusing (or simply neglecting) to make them available. No one at the company knew they existed. It is brutally ironic, and fundamentally sad, that it is against the law to copy and share this collection of songs that cannot currently be purchased anywhere, from anyone.