There is no denying that OPM rock band the Eraserheads are one of the biggest and most influential artist groups ever to enliven the Philippine music industry. It was no wonder that fans of the originators of “Ang Huling El Bimbo” and other hits looked forward to the release of a re-mastered version of their 1993 breakout album “Ultraelectromagneticpop!” announced last year. Aside from the digital release of the re-master on Spotify and other platforms, there was also a planned limited-edition vinyl record pressing, the better to celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary. But technical problems stalled this part of the release, at least until now.
According to CNN Philippines, the long-awaited but somewhat-delayed limited-edition vinyl copies of the Eraserheads’ “Ultraelecromagneticpop!” is finally revealed to come out later next month, with preordering to be opened two Sundays from now. This is welcome news for fans of the music of the so-called “90s Beatles of the Philippines” and would like to hear their songs in a nostalgic retro format. But why exactly this this limited-edition pressing take so long in coming compared to the digital re-master? According to Eraserheads front-man Ely Buendia, what happened was like a mystery novel that needed solving.
Buendia tells CNN Philippines on “The Source” that the vinyl pressing did not happen quickly because the band members misplaced the master tapes for all their songs on “Ultraelectromagneticpop!” “You need the original master tapes to create at least a good reproduction of the album, so we had a long time looking for the tapes,” relates Ely, who finishes the story with how the band discovered the masters locked away in a vault somewhere in Laguna. The second obstacle they needed to overcome was the vinyl record facilities, as the Philippines no longer has any of these plants in operation.
So the Eraserheads members went with the masters to Los Angeles in the US. There, sound engineer and Grammy awardee Bernie Grundman gave the album the same quality treatment he has done for music of American artists such as Prince and Michael Jackson. One last challenge along the way was the possibility that next to nobody in the country listens to vinyl on record players anymore other than dedicated hobbyists. Ely Buendia cites the changing musical tastes of Filipinos and expressed concern that nostalgia for their iconic album can only go so far. But the records are pressed and will soon be ready to go.
That said, Eraserheads fans who still have turntables can preorder their limited-edition “Ultraelectromagneticpop!” album record starting midnight of October 20. The vinyl will launch at Eastwood Central Plaza, Q.C. this November 24. Each record is P2,999 and there will only be 2,500 copies in all.
Image courtesy of Esquire PH