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Title: Durin's Day
Format: Cassette tape in colour cover released as the debut release of a new but excellent label Honour & Darkness, cat ref H&D01. Similarities between this label's name and the blog you are reading are not coincidental...! The inlays are signed in black by both Hugin and Nazgul.
Edition: Limited to 5 hand-numbered and hand-signed copies
01. Durin's Day 11.35
Clearly you're not going to get an impartial and unbiased review of this wonderful release on a splendid new UK label. Clearly not, as your humble Nazgul has been given the opportunity by Hugin to release this previously unheard song by Uruk Hai onto the wider world.
Hugin popped up a post on his Facebook page about this tape after I'd added to the Discogs listing for Uruk Hai, and it led to a few comments being placed about the merits of it being such a limited edition and the motives therein. So let's deal with the background to this release, first and foremost.
The idea to put the tape out as a legitimate release was spawned in conversations between W.A.R. and Castle Nazgul well over a year ago, following the discovery in the fabled W.A.R. archives of the master CD for this song. Quite who it was who suggested it be released as a limited edition tape release is lost to history (or, would require a lot of digging around in old emails which I'm sure you can appreciate may not add a lot to the narrative) and so the idea was borne.
Now, you have to bear in mind a number of practical issues at work in all of this. Firstly, Castle Nazgul isn't geared up to mass duplication of tapes, and a small edition was obviously the way forward. The notion of only doing 5 copies I do seem to recall was mine, and was based on the following thought process: in all of the years that I've been collecting Hugin's work and supporting his art there have been one or two other die-hard fans in periodic contact with me who seemed obvious candidates to receive a little gift as an acknowledgement of their support for the maestro. Hugin clearly would want a personal copy of the release, as would I, so that was 4 tapes geared up to be distributed as gifts. So why not create a fifth copy (an edition of 5 seems somehow more rounded than 4, or 6 to my mind) and give the opportunity for one other crazy fan to join this elite club?
If that seems unfair on the wider audience, or somehow financially discriminating against lower income collectors, then I would offer up the following two mitigating factors:
(a) Hugin still retains full copyright over the song. If in the future he chooses to include it on another release, in another format or the same as this one, then that's his absolute right and prerogative. The same applies for any online use of the song in the future. We're not saying here that only 5 people in the world are ever going to get to hear it; what has happened is that an extreme collectible has been created and someone out there is going to own it. Which leads us to the issue of money...
(b) The cost and method of selling. This is the plan - the tape has been added to the Discogs database already, and some of you clearly have followed Hugin's Facebook page link and had a look as there are 3 "want's" registered at today's date. At a predetermined date nearer Christmas the fifth and final copy will have an price allocated to it, and can be bought (or bartered for via 'best offer') up until it's sold. Yes, the intention is to make this quite a pricey item but I have the very best of motives for that: all income from the sale is to go to Hugin's two children. Let's nip the arguments of profiteering in the bud, therefore, and make it absolutely clear that neither I nor Hugin will directly benefit from the money raised, and it all goes to a very worthy pair of lovely kids.
Now, I can't control future resale of the tape of course, and there is always the risk of someone paying for it with the intention of reselling it on eBay or somewhere although the market for making a huge profit is probably smaller than you'd imagine. I can to a point control unauthorised duplication of it, mind you, which is why every copy bears the hand signature of both Hugin and Nazgul inside it, and has been hand-numbered in my utterly appalling writing (which doubles as a superb anti-counterfeiting aide!)
So that's about it, really, and certainly all Nazgul is going to put forward on the matter for now otherwise it will all seem terribly defensive rather than terribly exciting!