Thursday, September 14, 2006

Cash Cow

Okay, I’m a big fan of outtakes and expanded reissues and all that record collector stuff but I think the expanded reissue thing has gotten out of hand. It is great when they are in the context of historical retrospective such as the upcoming Pavement reissue of Wowie Zowie, the Cure reissues, and the Pogues catalog, but when an album is less than a year old, and often only a few months old, it shouldn’t be reissued with bonus tracks and a DVD. It‘s a total rip off. For instance I just read today on Pitchfork about the aforementioned Pavement reissue and also about the expanded edition of At War With The Mystics by the Flaming Lips.

What the cock is that?

At War With The Mystics came out April 4 of this year. Wowie Zowie came out in 1995. One is a historical document, the other is a crass cash-in. And as much as I love the Lips, they did this with the last album too. Ryan Adams did it with Love is Hell. And Bruce Springsteen has done it with his latest album, and everyone seems to be doing it. The big problem is that these expanded editions target the exact same people who purchased the album the day or the week it was originally issued. So, in essence, we are being punished for being enthusiastic, loyal and timely. If only true fans would wait six months to purchase a band’s new release, they would be rewarded with a deluxe expanded edition.

Some bands, of course, do it right, releasing a limited edition first pressing to reward fans. The last Spoon album came with a bonus disc, Pig Lib by Stephen Malkmus came with a bonus disc, Robert Pollard’s next album, Normal Happiness, comes with a free live disc, and the Cure reissues were only "deluxe" for a limited time, then they eliminated the second disc and simply sold a single, remastered disc. This is how it should be done. But instead, I have to go out and re-buy a disc that I just purchased because I am a big fan of the Flaming Lips and have to have everything, and I am a sucker.

So, I guess I will see you in line on October 24.

In the mean time, I console myself with the last ten songs from my iPod:

1. "Babe, I Got You Bad" by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
2. "Ride the Darker Wave" by Sebadoh
3. "Halah" by Mazzy Star
4. "Viet Nam" by the Minutemen
5. "It Could Be Sweet" by Portishead
6. "The Everlasting Gaze" by Smashing Pumpkins
7. "I Am The Walrus" by the Beatles
8. "Death Letter" by the White Stripes
9. "A Collection of Accounts" by Superchunk
10. "Expectations" by Belle & Sebastian


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