I was digging around and I found the original SSV announcement posted to Dominion (the (in)famous Sisters Of Mercy Mailing list).
What is SSV? Just read the letter—it explains everything. More info can be found here, here, or here, or here.
Here is the email, reproduced with headers for posterity:
Received: from maekong.ohm.york.ac.uk by rewind.indigita.com (NTMail Server 2.11.25 - email@example.com) id David Mon, 27 Oct 97 10:50:32 +0000 (PST) Received: by maekong.ohm.york.ac.uk id m0xPtmn-00009TC (/\oo/\ Smail188.8.131.52 #29.7); Mon, 27 Oct 97 18:21 GMT Sender: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Received: from emout29.mail.aol.com ([ 184.108.40.206]) by maekong.ohm.york.ac.uk with smtp id m0xPtmf-00009PC (/\oo/\ Smail220.127.116.11 #29.7); Mon, 27 Oct 97 18:21 GMT Received: (from root@localhost) by emout29.mail.aol.com (8.7.6/8.7.3/AOL-2.0.0) id NAA28825 for email@example.com; Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:20:53 -0500 (EST) Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:20:53 -0500 (EST) From: Baxville@aol.com Message-ID: <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: SSV - Go Figure Comments: Sisters Of Mercy mailing list Sender: firstname.lastname@example.org X-Info: indigita mail server Mime-Version: 1.0 SSV "Go Figure" After years of stalemate, Mr Andrew Eldritch has managed to get East West to accept (in lieu of two remaining Sisters albums) a record bearing no resemblance whatsoever to The Sisters Of Mercy. This album will be released - if at all - under a completely different name, which is just as well, as it's got practically nothing to do with the Sisters. Furthermore, East West agreed not to hear the album in advance.... so it bears no resemblance to *any* quality product, let alone the Sisters. ....in return for which, Mr Eldritch agrees to let East West keep 75000 pounds which they owe him, and which they were refusing to pay in any event. Unsurprisingly in the circumstances, Mr Eldritch made sure that East West got the record they deserve, but made sure that they then paid a lot more for it than he deserves.... ....especially for one afternoon recording the occasional mumble on the reject material of some amateur acquaintances from Hamburg. Go figure. It is rumoured, indeed, that the whole album only took two days from start to finish (somewhat less than the usual nine months), and that the "rather bad sub-techno" music was under-average and boring even before the drums were mysteriously removed. The "lyrics" dwell almost exclusively on the glorification of shooting people and selling drugs to schoolchildren. It is rumoured that the full name of the band (SSV-NSMABAAOTWMODAACOTIATW) stands for "Screw shareholder value - not so much a band as another opportunity to waste money on drugs and ammunition courtesy of the idiots at Time Warner". Go figure. How desperate must the corporation be? Desperate enough to try and force an artist to record with threats of massive litigation after a seven-year impasse, expecting him to make a good record while witholding a fortune in back-royalties, and then desperate enough to pay "a very large amount" for a record which the artist neither wrote, nor composed, nor arranged, nor produced, whose content is merely a puerile attempt to be as offensive as possible? Go figure. Finally, rumour has it that the record company are planning to release it, which would, you might think, be a conscious insult to the general public if East West were smart enough to know a pile of crap when they hear it. Either way, go figure. Anyway, Mr Eldritch is now free to resume his recording career with The Sisters Of Mercy, who have been waiting very patiently for him at a chemist's round the corner, and very sensibly having nothing to do with the SSV album - because they didn't have to. The Sisters will be celebrating the liberation with a small tour of Europe and America in January/February, and the release of a stonking new (Sisters) single on the day after Mr Eldritch's contract officially expires, which will be a couple of months later. Work has started on the next (Sisters) album. Normal service has been resumed. Oh, and in case you haven't got the picture, we do NOT recommend the purchase of an SSV album, should East West actually try to sell one to you. We recommend that you wait for the magic of the Net to mysteriously provide you with a free one - just this once. BaxCorp