Sunday, May 29, 2011

The over-500 mark

Last week Everybody’s Dummy passed 500 posts. We didn’t feel like counting how many actual albums were covered, but we know it’s more than 500. Thanks to those who’ve read any of them.
While we’ve “finished off” the catalogs of various artists covered here, rest assured that there’s plenty others on the way, some of which we’ll be tackling for the first time. Some can even be considered contemporary, if that’s at all possible or believeable.
We do still occasionally go back into the archives to check grammar and to see if any jokes have been used already; if anything, we don’t want to become redundant. Some posts deserved to be called out, as they have been expanded to reflect recent re-releases: the controversial upgrade of Exile On Main St. from the Stones, Tom Petty’s Damn The Torpedoes, David Bowie’s Station To Station, John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy and Paul McCartney’s Band On The Run.
The fact that these titles have been reissued (in some cases, for the third or fourth time) gives us reason to discuss a wearying trend in what’s left of the record industry. It’s annoying enough when a fan feels compelled to re-buy an album any number of times whenever “new” tracks are included, but it’s made even worse when the consumer is presented by what the labels insultingly consider a choice.
When the Zappa Family Trust puts out two versions of a massive documentary of the Freak Out! album, perhaps they can be excused for including a track exclusive to the two-disc edition, that’s not on the four-disc edition, since all the money’s going to them. (Apparently they’ve learned their lesson from the backlash, as subsequent archival digs have been simpler.)
But lately vinyl has had a resurgence, so labels have been reissuing so-called classic albums as high-quality LPs for the same list price as a full-length CD. In some cases, such as with Station To Station and last year’s Live At Leeds re-re-reissue from the Who, a “Super Deluxe” version of an album includes a vinyl pressing alongside extra CDs and/or DVDs, usually going for about $100.
The aftermath of the 2009 Beatle remasters (and iTunes availability) has opened the doors for the solo albums to be reconsidered. The latest versions of the Lennon catalog use the original mixes, but none of the extras included on the remixed CDs Yoko approved ten years ago. Any extras this time were only available in the “complete” box set. Similarly, when various Apple artists like Badfinger and Mary Hopkin were reissued last year, the bonus tracks were different from the early-‘90s CDs, with other rare tracks only available via digital download.
And now Paul McCartney’s muddying the waters as well. People who’d had previous versions of Band On The Run could be content with the CDs and DVD in the new Deluxe Edition for about $30 if they didn’t want to shell out for the Super Deluxe Edition, packaged as a hardcover book. But for the upcoming rejigs of McCartney and McCartney II, the pricey Deluxe Editions are the only place to get the DVDs; even worse, there’s a whole extra CD in the Deluxe McCartney II. With gasoline at $4 a gallon, just who do the labels think will be able to shell out for these $60 (or more) products?
On that happy note, we do hope you’ll keep coming back here to read about music you like, love, hate or have yet to hear. You’ll also notice that we’ve started a Twitter feed, which will not only alert you to new blog posts, but also have the occasional music-related link of interest. We live, after all, to give.

6 comments:

  1. Just want to say a big thank you for keeping this going. Although I don't often comment, I read pretty much everything you post, and have trawled all of your archives for lots or artists.

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  2. I'm with you 100%. These bonus tracks have been in storage for thirty years or more. release them all!

    I agree that it's frustrating that each new remaster has a different track list than the version that preceded it. Most of these bonus tracks are crap anyway but once released they should continue to be available.

    The record companies have been gaming us for years. There's a new greatest hits album from The Who every year. I think we know by now which are the hits and which are worthless tracks designed to draw collectors in.

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  3. 500 posts! wow!! and i've read every single one of them.
    as i will the next 500.

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  4. Thank You and Congrats on 500 Wardo!

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  5. It's like this. There are about 10,000 people who still actually pay for music (give or take). About 9,000 of those people are over the age of 40 and have become mentally incapable of appreciating any new music whatsoever. So the music industry has to find ways to re-sell the same 1,000 or so "classic albums" that this demographic will still consider buying (or re-buying).

    What this means is finding new ways to fuck up the sound, sequence and/or artwork of albums like Imagine, ostensibly correcting the multiple ways in which they fucked things up when they reissued it 10 years ago, but still screwing it up enough to make another reissue/remaster campaign viable in another 10 years.

    Okay, I exaggerate, but only a little.

    Congrats on your 500th post Wardo!

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