Wednesday, July 13, 2011
The Best Ultimate Definitive Greatest Essentials
I see that yesterday's post fired up a few people. I thought I'd take it a bit further.
Reader SOUNDSOURCE commented, "Don't get me started on Rhino Handmade."
For those unfamiliar with Rhino Handmade and the Universal Music Group's equivalent Hip-O Select, they are boutique sections of the labels, that released limited edition versions of lost albums in limited quantities for a premium.
You had the opportunity to purchase say...The Complete Aretha Franklin Live At The Fillmore with King Curtis. This 4 CD, $79.99 version had everything, including the complete King Curtis sets. You had to act fast, though. Rhino threatened its extinction as early as the pre-order e-mail blasts. So the collectors and the fans, did just that. And sure enough, it sold out. You can get a used copy for $125, if you want it. But the real issue is that soon after this "limited edition" was gone from inventory, Rhino Handmade released two separate CDs, an expanded and remastered version of both Aretha and King Curtis' set for $15 a piece. So for less than half the price of the 4 CD set, you could have had all the music, less a few alternate takes, which I imagine were intentionally left off the 2 CD sets just so Rhino could save face.
Hip-O Select practiced the same odious policy, only they stuck it to the fans deeper by offering iTunes downloads. Hardly limited or exclusive for the premium.
My favorite reissue fan "fuck you" is UMG's continuing series of anthologies. Almost every artist on the label has a "Best Of," a "Greatest Hits" and "Anthology" and "Ultimate" and a "Defintive" collection on CD, each peppered with either a different b-side, remix, or new track, just so the fans won't kill themselves.
"The Best Of Eddie Money" on Sony, a 16 track collection that I also helped compile. A few years later "The Essential Eddie Money" was released on Sony, which contained 15 tracks. I still laugh when I think that Eddie's "best" is one song longer than what Sony thought was "essential."
I will share SOUNDSOURCE'S sentiment by adding, "Don't even get me started on The Who reissues," which brings me to my question.
What umpteenth reissue was the one where the majors finally went overboard and made you say, "I've had it?"