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The Issues with Reissues
By MuzikMan
(more articles from this author)
2002-07-23
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How do feel about labels' reissue programs? Every one has a different take on the subject. Being a reviewer, I particularly enjoy them as I am able to write about a lot of the music I love and grew up on. As a fan and purchaser of CDs, I feel different. There is nothing more irritating than picking up one of those long lost vinyl LPs that you have wanted to replace for years on CD and then shortly thereafter, a new version comes out with a remastered sound and bonus tracks! Ugh! That happened to me with some Aerosmith albums several years ago, but I went ahead and got the new issues anyway, plus the boxed set. For collectors, it can be an expensive way to go. Obsessively buying every single reissued CD, no matter what the cost, just so you can have all the songs that you never heard before, or for the simple reason of being able to say, "Yeah, I have that one too," doesnít seem to justify doing all of this, does it? But doesn't it go beyond all those equations? It does for me. Now Iím getting into my forties and the music I listened to when I was teen becomes more precious and important to me with each passing day. If you are in your 20's or 30's it doesn't bear that much importance, but just wait, it will.

I have found so much enjoyment and sheer pleasure in taking in the glut of reissues that have hit the market over the last few years. I have also discovered and rediscovered groups I never would have if it wasn't for the reemergence of the music via this medium. Another format for audiophiles is the DAD/DVD CDs, which is an advanced form of remastering for superior sound. Classic Records carries several titles for your consumption. I know first hand, I reviewed a bunch of them. Soon the standard format will be DVD for all music CDs. Itís not far around the corner, you know. Look at how many artists have been releasing live performances on DVD. It only makes sense that their studio recordings will follow suit. So we have come a long way regarding the means and forms of distributing media content.

The Internet has been a major contributor to those changes, giving mega corporations the jitters and labels a run for their money. I have to admit it though, even though I have been a staunch supporter of Indie Music, itís the major labels that have provided all of those wonderful reissues that I love so much. So for me, itís the best of both worlds as a reviewer. Itís an ideal situation, and one I have always wanted to be in. Okay, so I sold out to the major labels to relive my past. I still cover my share of Indie music, so itís not like I forgot from whence I came. Hey, why the hell do I need to defend my love for music anyway? Well, I just know there is somebody out there with an axe to grind who is probably saying or thinking all of that. Too bad. I am having the time of my life with this music.

So regardless of frustrations that you may experience, and the fact that labels have a cycle that is continuous with an artists' catalog, a reissue does provide a deeper and wider range of music from a favorite bandís career perspective, now doesn't it? Even if it does burn a hole in your pocket, damn, itís worth it for hour upon hour of enjoyment, now isn't it? Believe it or not, I still buy music; I don't get everything to review. My wife looks at me and says, "That's just what you need, one more CD to add the 3,000 or so you already have, right?" What can I say? I am a hopeless music addict who still gets stuck in the 70's on occasion. And when a reissue or boxed set is released, I begin to salivate and have to have it! Can you relate?

When it comes right down to it, you could look at the reissues as the vehicle that is keeping the music alive and giving credence and validation to all the artists that continue to make the music now. So what are you waiting for? When is the last time you snagged up a remastered reissue with really rare and cool bonus tracks?


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