Why Has Decca Records Dropped the Ball with the Royal Wedding Album?


My favorite aspect of the Royal Wedding was the music, which includes 22 tracks (22 is Pomp and Circumstance March No. 5), once it is officially released. I heard that it could be downloaded from iTunes almost instantaneously, once the ceremony is finished.

This never happened! It’s 2 PM already (Friday, April 29, 2011), but no cigar. The producer of the Decca Royal Wedding recording, Anna Barry, must have required some additional tweaking.

Chape lRoyal Choir
The Chapel Royal Choir
royal wedding trumpeteers
Trumpeteers from the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

In the back of my mind, I remember another time that Decca dropped the ball. In January of 1962 Decca auditioned a little pop combo and failed to find any promise in this gruff bunch of mop-toppers. British Decca executive Dick Rowe made the comment to The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein: “We don’t like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out.”

Okay, so EMI gets the contract, I can let it go, but what was the problem today? Did they have some sound problems? Were there some performance fopauxs perhaps? I didn’t notice any, but the incessant ringing of those bells at Westminster made it nearly impossible to hear any proper sounds. Victoria Arbiter couldn’t hear anything!

Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton looks lovely! This is my own album cover for the record that didn’t happen. Maybe too PUNK for stodgy royalty!

Didn’t they need to mix the songs and sequence the songs? That can take up a lot of time. How could the record be ready for instant listening, with all this audio work still at hand? I’ll stop griping, but the Abbey Bells need to SHUT UP! What a world of merriment their melody foretells! How they tinkle, tinkle, tinkle, In the icy air of night! While the stars that oversprinkle, all the heavens seem to twinkle.

There were some marvelous moments, in terms of music. For me, Jerusalem (by Hubert Parry) was the highlight. The audience participation was inspirational! Then, I was fond of Crown Imperial by William Walton. This swept the cathedral upon the departure of the royal bride and bridegroom. A resounding flurry of trumpets, courtesy of the Central Band of the Royal Air Force.

Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun. If the sun don’t come you get a tan from standing in the English rain. I am the eggman, they are the eggmen. I am the walrus, goo goo g’goob g’ goo goo g’joob. I noticed lots of breaks in the digital videotape when I play back CBS’ telecast. Maybe similar glitches occurred with the audio recording cable?

Decca records has done it again. A Beatles’ fan can still hear much of this historic demo session from January of 1962. The Fab Four performed a tight set that New Years Day, with six string electric guitars no less. Apparently, electric axes were slated for the musical graveyard (oh so wrong Decca!).

But where’s the promised instant download of the Royal Wedding soundtrack? I can’t wait until May 4th, I want it now. Things don’t always go as planned, I understand that. But why hasn’t Decca issued a press release stating the reason for the delay? Billions are waiting to relive their dreams vicariously, but no cigar. Oh, I forgot, The Rolling Stones (English as English can get) ditched Decca too (1970).