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Author Topic: Blackhawk and Mosaic: a comparison
Joseph Randall
Master Film Handler

Posts: 437
From: Wyckoff, NJ, USA
Registered: Jun 2015


 - posted November 16, 2015 05:46 PM      Profile for Joseph Randall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Being a collector of classic jazz, I own several CD sets from the thankfully still-in-business Mosaic records.

Mosaic Records

It recently occurred to me how similar they are to Blackhawk Films.

- Blackhawk re-issued classic films, and usually licensed superior pre-print material from the copyright owners, usually surpassing rivals companies'(sometimes bootlegged) releases.
- Mosaic re-issues classic jazz recordings, licensing superior materials from the copyright owners, usually surpassing rivals companies' (sometimes bootlegged) releases.

- Blackhawk had its famous white-on-black lettering for introductory film titles.
- Mosaic boxes have white-on-black lettering.

- Blackhawk, mostly on their silent releases, provided historical perspective on the film about to be viewed.
- Mosaic boxes included exhaustively researched booklets that provide, among other things, historical perspective on the music.

- Blackhawk released movies in several formats -- 8mm, Super 8, 16mm, and video tape.
- Mosaic releases music in several formats -- CDs, and LPs (although what's available on LP is a lot less than it used to be.)

Unlike Blackhawk, however, most Mosaic releases are limited editions -- they are licensed for a limited time and limited number of copies -- whichever comes first.

If you even have a mild interest in classic jazz, do yourself a favor and try a box set. They aren't cheap, and are priced $16+ a CD, with a box set usually containing at least 4 CDs. (One box, with the Nat King Cole Trio's music, had about 18!) Technically compilations, they are not "best of" sets, but usually contain the complete music withing given parameters, such as an artist's entire output for a specific label, or sometimes within a specific period.

While I only have 4 Mosaic sets, I have a large jazz collection (LPs, CDs, mp3s) and enjoy collecting it as much as I do collecting movies (film, video tape, DVDs.)

Once they go out-of-print, Mosaic box sets usually increase in value. Mosaic sticks to their vow that they will never again release something once it goes out-of-print. The copyright owners, however, are free to re-issue the music, but they usually do not do it as comprehensively as Mosaic, plus they do their own re-mastering, which may or may not be as good as Mosaic's.

Buyer alert: believe or not, some sellers on eBay sell these sets above list price before they go out of print!

[ November 16, 2015, 07:30 PM: Message edited by: Joseph Randall ]

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