Rebooted Music – Buy, Buy and Buy Again?

Many CDs

Many CDs

Sometime in the early 2000s I bought an REM album, in a record store, and on the sticker on the case I saw the words “DELUXE EDITION” and made the mistake of not inspecting it closely. It turned out that the rest of the (much smaller) words on the sticker said “also available as a”. Hmm.

Since then I generally check if an album has a deluxe version at release but generally I don’t tend to buy albums until they’ve been out for a while, which is helpful these days.

The reason being the trend of artists (or perhaps the labels more accurately) releasing a deluxe version six months or more after the first release and expecting fans to buy the whole album again. Some bands do it right, releasing an EP after the main album and reissuing the original packaged with the extra tracks for those who are catching up but more often than not they don’t.

One noteable current example that is being commented on regularly on the radio station I listen to is Ed Sheeran’s “X” which I bought when it first came out, it’s now also available as a deluxe version and a deluxe-deluxe (Wembley) version too, with different extra tracks.  The same was true with both Ellie Goulding albums I have, there are many others I’m sure.

Our modern methods of listening to and buying music kind of makes this a moot point these days, you could just buy the extra tracks from Amazon, Google Play or iTunes, often for less than the deluxe CD but if you want to have the actual album in your hands it can get a bit pricey.

Once you’ve enjoyed an album it’s nice to be able to get just a little bit more but doing it that way, while benefiting the labels, is just going to be bad for the artists as even if the reissue isn’t their choice it’s them who often get tagged as being cynical money-grabbers.

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2 thoughts on “Rebooted Music – Buy, Buy and Buy Again?

  1. This happened to me not too long ago with Arcade Fire’s “Reflektor.” After the album had been out for a while a deluxe edition was released with 5 more tracks, which turned out to be not up to par quality wise with the rest of the album, but that’s besides the point and an opinion. As a consumer it can be frustrating when a product is bettered or improved so shortly after the original is released and I purchase it, especially if it is a hard copy as you mentioned. In this day and age labels should be thrilled that people are still willing to buy music in the first place and should offer bonus tracks for free or at least at discounted prices to those who already own the album. It is unfortunate that the artists get blamed for being greedy in these types of situations, as usually like you said it is the labels who control how the product is released. I just hope they start considering the consumer more, especially if they want to keep selling music.

    • Very true, as you say the labels will have to realise eventually that people won’t keep putting up with it forever. It’s a good point you make too that it’s other products too beyond music, phones and tablets come to mind!

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