Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

The new goldrush: box sets & deluxe editions

They are the last refuge of the record label scoundrels, When all else fails, when you can’t sell enough albums or downloads by new acts to pay the bills, stick out a luxury deluxe edition or box set and listen …

Fri, Oct 7, 2011, 10:00

   

They are the last refuge of the record label scoundrels, When all else fails, when you can’t sell enough albums or downloads by new acts to pay the bills, stick out a luxury deluxe edition or box set and listen to those cash registers go “kerching”. Given the number of music fans keen to snap up these lavish productions, it’s no surprise that there’s ample supply to meet demand.

For the fans, the attraction is that they get a closer look at a release by their favourite act. Look at the spectacular job U2 have done for the forthcoming 20th anniversary reissue of “Achtung Baby”.

Five different physical formats will go on release, which will contain (depending on how much you pay) videos, remixes, B-sides and documentary footage. It’s all you need to recreate the band’s Hansa Studio experience. Indeed for $420.49, Amazon.com will currently sell you the “uber deluxe” edition, which contains all of the above plus a pair of Bono’s sunglasses.

We’ve seen similar instances of deluxe-mania of late (albeit without the sunglasses) for Nirvana’s “Nevermind”, Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” and The Smiths’ “Complete Super Deluxe Set”.

For the record labels, it’s a no-brainer. The material is already recorded and they own the rights to it, so employ a decent archivist, throw in everything a dedicated fan would want and get the package onto release schedules before Christmas.

It’s also easier to market because there’s an established audience for the act in question. Why bother investing time and money in finding and developing new talent when you can milk the cash-cow one more time? Music sales may be down in general, but the labels have discovered that a heritage band’s diehard fanbase are the exception to that rule.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email for the activation code.

We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 10 days from the date of publication.