Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here Come The Nice...Deluxe Editions

Just out in England, with a U.S. release date of 5/29, are four Small Faces "Deluxe Edition" remasters from UME/Hip-O.  Take a look HERE.

I have mixed feelings reporting this. My first thoughts are:

"Again? Really? These records are being reissued AGAIN?"

"No one cares. No one buys CDs anymore."

But then I quickly turnaround and think:

"The surviving band members are involved. All new remasters, not like the others, which used wrong masters, wrong this, wrong that. So many bonus tracks. Stereo & MONO mixes. New photos and liners. Priced just right. I'm a fan. I have to own these. Spotify, if they turn up, just won't do. Not for the Small Faces."

I pre-ordered these from Amazon UK the minute I was able to. They are currently en route to Queens, USA.

Where are we at this point? I will assume that most reading, spent good money on LPs and CDs, and did so not only for the sounds, but with a collector's mentality. Have those feelings been soured to the point of complete indifference by major label greed, file sharing, and streaming? Or, is there still a thrill in opening new product and placing it on a shelf?

There is nothing more offensive than having the same music foisted upon a fan, gussied up and disguised as "new," "deluxe," "first time ever," or with one or two "new tracks." Recently, Nonsuch released a 3 -CD boxed set, "Billy Bragg & Wilco-Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions." Retailing at $30, there is only one CD of new music, and it really isn't all that new, as some of the tracks have appeared elsewhere. Are people buying this now after already spending money for Volumes 1 & 2 separately? 

Personally, financial heartbreak has dictated all actions regardless of my wants and desires. But before The Great Depression 2.0, my buying habits were unruly. I wanted it all and often bought it all. Since then, I only purchase something I truly love. Gone are my days as a completist. I just didn't need to own Elvis Costello's "National Ransom" or his recent live release. At one point, I would have wanted every version from every country, just for the slight change in playlist.

I am a sucker for these "Deluxe Editions," especially when they are done right. There are but four Small Faces "deluxe editions"---see what I did there---and I need to see them on my shelf.

What are you feeling? Still buying? If so, what? If not, why?


soundsource said...

not buying downloading, especially if it's just more record company jive and a way for them to make more bucks usually at the expense of the band or artist.

The only ones I buy these days (and it's rare) are new artists on their own or small labels or the rare unavailable from any other source reissue which usually are released by a small label the cares.

I've spent too much over the years and been to fucked over by Rhino handmade (or whatever they call it), UMG blah blah not to mention The Who, The Stones, and just about every band with more than one reissue of the original.

Screw em all

Support live music and buy direct from the band if your gonna buy at all.

As much as I'd like these Small Faces reissues I'm sure they'll be on line in a few days if not weeks.

oh and the booklets with special photos and essays, well I can't see em anyway they're all so small.

soundsource said...

p.s how many times has all this small faces material been repackaged and rereleased or anthologized already?

Sal Nunziato said...


37. But these are nicer.

Albert said...

Buying vinyl...holding the jacket....dreaming....swooning.....reading like a book....yes....jewel cases.....print so small rivalling "pat. pend. off."...no....once I shifted away from compact discs much like shifting away from vinyl, there was, barring several exceptions, no going back...digital for me, see?.....

Sal Nunziato said...

I've a feeling most are going to feel the same way.

Les said...

I don't buy what I already have on CD. I can't think of anything I would buy "deluxe edition" of something I already have since that would mean I wouldn't have the money to add something new. If I bought digital first, I will buy the same on CD. But I'm 35 and building my collection at a frustratingly slow pace. I want there to be a physical music library in my home where my sons can go exploring. Files on a computer just are not the same.

Sal Nunziato said...


No exceptions? I mean, fave albums or albums of all time..with added material, different mixes.. b-sides...still no?

Les said...

Not at the moment. I use the money to round out my collection rather than complete it. Not to say I wouldn't in the future.

jeff k said...

I have three or four web sites whose reviewers I trust. I then give the album a listen on myspace or spotify or whereever I can find it, bandcamp (most of the stuff is indie). If I really like it, I buy the album, directly from the band if I can or on Amazon, Kool Kat or CD Baby.

Most of my new listening, however, is old listening. Stuff I'm picking off web sites I won't name publicly, great old r&b, live performances that are astonishing and should have been put on cd. I get frustrated with that stuff though too, as I do with downloads because I like my booklets and tracklists, and it's always work to assemble those. I shouldn't complain, however, as the music is that good.

There's also another site I won't name. the guy regularly puts up great tracks. the problem with them, however, is they usually spur more searching and more discoveries (Sunflower/Surf's Up, these days) and I'm getting older and there's less time to sit and listen. Thank goodness for the car, where I can pop a cd in and revel in great new music or great newly discovered music.

Jeff Matthews said...

I'm either buying vinyl or downloading. I rarely buy CDs anymore unless there is something extraordinary in the supplemental material or liner notes. I'll go for oddball collections such as from Arhoolie, items of archival interest such as the SMiLE sessions etc., or an interesting retrospective (e.g. the recent World Party). I almost never buy a CD reissue of something I already own on CD or vinyl just because it's been remastered.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Records are great. They were great to get lost in. I mostly play files these days, but I have no plans to get rid of my cd's and vinyl. I haven't bought any music since Sal closed the store. Even then all I did was look through the used section. My collection is half promo copies. These days I download. Mostly stuff that's obscure and/or out of print. I have all the classic Beatles, Bowie, Roxy Music, Bob Dylan, King Crimson, etc cd's I need. Currently no new music is getting airplay in my house.
I know virtually nothing of the Small Faces. Back in the vinyl dark ages, I'd read something about "Ogden's Nut Gone Flake" being some kind of great lost album. Years later I bought a used cd at Smash on St Mark's. I never got over my disappointment. I don't know what I expected, but it wasn't that.
I couldn't get past "Mad John".

Sal Nunziato said...


I love Ogden's, but I totally get where you're coming from if that was your intro. You should go in again. The organ-based, Brit R&B being screamed by Marriott is one of the greatest sounds known to man.

YankeeBoy said...

Being unemployed has cut my CD buying down to less than half of what it used to be. The Small Faces material has been reissued so many times that even in the best of times I don't know if I would have bought them. But when I went to the Amazon link they also mentioned the Kinks and Hollies BBC sets and if my financial condition were better, I would have definitely ordered those.

Derek D said...

I've been tending to only buy vinyl again these days, just because aesthetically I enjoy it more, listening and also coming home with a large heavy bag under my arm, especially hitting $1 bins and "finding things" again and stuff I would not normally buy, like Bob James "Touchdown" (actually I did want that one and used to have it before my first vinyl purge in the 90's). But some reissues might not be on vinyl, such as the Small Faces (although need to check into it) I think Odgen's might be.

It's easy to be cynical about re-buying things over and over and somewhat justified, but when you read they are using original masters for the first time and how "you've never heard them like this before" (the new Shindig! has a great piece on them) it's a little hard to resist.

That being said, I am not always thrilled with the "Deluxe Editions" series. Although I can appreciate them it's often more than I need - I don't think I've listened to any of the Tommy deluxe edition demos except by accident. When they have a live show from the day, it might be a nice addition, or b-sides, or "expanded live shows" it's great. But in general I'd be fine with a stereo and mono mix of the original albums with the new sound. Small Faces though I might take the plunge...

ASH On The Beat said...

Great Post Sal!

As Sal will testify, I am extremely computer savvy and come into contact loads with collectors, musicians and get a lot of stuff.

I also rarely switch the hi fi on these days, but I buy the physical product where I can and rip it for ipod, computer etc.

Why? Because I'm sad and just want to look at the thing and marvel at the fact that I've got it.

William Repsher said...

No longer buying. Already have it, and have been burned enough times with the "reissue" conundrum, the endless recycling of product. 12-bit. 24-bit. SACD. There's always something they come up with to make you think you need to buy it again. Most artists worth buying reissued product for, I've already bought reissued product for, in most cases at least two times over.

I was never really a collector to begin with -- it's always been about the music for me, not so much the product or how it's presented. I took to the digital age like a fish to water, and love it. I will wade through these Deluxe editions on Emusic and knock off the occasional hard-to-ignore bonus track, but I can't see throwing down good money for the whole shebang anymore.

I have to wonder how much this will happen in the future, even with good bands out now. I can only guess how poorly that Mermaid Avenue collection sold. While I love Wilco, I just don't get that same legendary/must buy reissue vibe with them ... or any band since the 80s.

Anonymous said...

Duncanmusic says...I'm 61 and have been collecting since I bought my first 78s and 45s in the 50s. I have owned over 250,000 physical recordings and did one HUGE purge in 1993. Now I have about 35,000 pieces (78s, 45s, 33s, cassettes & CDs) and 4 TB of digital. Ask me how easy it was to move 5 times in 8 years PRIOR to my big purge in '93. I STILL buy physical, but tend to download more and burn that to listen and share and use for my band reference. I have to move for 4th time in 10 years again. Ask me how easy it will be this time, even withg 35,000 physical inventory. Ask me if i owe anything to the rip-off record companies. I wortked in stores for 30 years, too and DID get a lot of promos it's true...STILL, I used to spend $250/wk as a DJ back 1975-1985. Ask me if I'm still crazy...duncanmusic@frontiernet.net

Guillermo soler said...

Small Faces are great. I love specially their first Immediate album, even more than "Odgen's". I don't think I'll buy the deluxe editions, as I already have (suposedly) everything they recorded on two anthologies (one for Decca, the other for Immediate). But I've bought music I already had because I like the edition better, or there's interesting extra tracks. Last time, last week with the Wilco-Bragg thing.

A walk in the woods said...

Dang, I missed out on this convo but will post something anyway. I am an unusual music buyer in that a) I still buy hardcopies, the real physical thing, from real record stores, all the time... and b) I also download a heckload of boots from the web -

So I am getting older, but my interest in music isn't decreasing like it has for many people I know, it's increasing exponentially. My buddy Mark says I'm becoming a musical omnivore, just shoveling it in every day, all day, and he's right.

So that's my position on buying and downloading - yes, and yes (at least to bootleg stuff - if it's legally available, I buy it instead of d/l'ing, unless I already have the vinyl). As for "Special Editions," yeah I'm a fool for them too when done right.

I am not a Small Faces fan - I don't really "get it" - but have bought Special Editions of many fave bands. In fact, I wish more artists would put them out - Dylan and Van Morrison would be prime candidates.