Sunday, 18 October 2009

Reissue issue

I received an email today from The Prodigy's official website informing me that a Special Edition of their most recent album Invaders Must Die is to be released mid November. The new edition is to include an additional CD of remixes and new versions of many of the album's tracks as well as a DVD with several of the album's music videos. Being a big Prodigy fan, this would in most circumstances be something I would be very happy to hear and eagerly anticipate. But this time, not so much. The reason for my lacklustre reaction is that the original version of the album was only released at the end of February this year.

Now, as a Prodigy fan of many years, I will almost certainly be picking up the new version of the album soon after its release, selling on my current copy or possibly just keeping hold of it. Despite begrudging paying for a new copy less than nine months after its original release, I'll still fork over my hard-earned spondulix to own an album I already own, one disc of remixes that I don't, and one disc of music videos that I'll probably only ever watch a handful of times (but still want to own). And I feel that it's people like me that the album is being released for. The Prodigy and/or their record label (most probably the latter) know that there are fans out there who'll buy the new version despite already owning the album. In short, I think they're a bunch of money-grabbing bastards (again, the record label mostly, although the band a bit too).

I don't mind reissues and "special editions" per se. For example, the Beastie Boys have recently been rereleasing several of their albums remastered and with a bonus CD of B-sides, remixes and unreleased material. The most recent of these I purchased was Hello Nasty. Now, I did own a copy of this album before buying the remastered version, but the situation differs in that Hello Nasty was first released in 1998. Eleven years is slightly different to nine months, I'm sure you'll agree. So, as I said, it's not the reissue that I disagree with. If anything I'm a big fan of new versions of albums with lots of extra things included. But to release a new version significantly less than a year after the original release, to my mind, is motivated by profit more than anything else.

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