Now that the surprise has worn off about the recent news that Elton John would be once again reissuing his most popular album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road just a mere ten years after the Deluxe Edition SACD reissue back in 2003, I thought it would be interesting to see how you feel about things like this.  (To be fair, The 2003 Deluxe SACD Edition is no longer available.  It’s unlikely you may EVER find a copy on the market, and if you do, it will be exorbitantly priced.)

EJGYBRSACD30thFor the record, the upcoming (although not officially announced) 40th Anniversary of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is figured to be defining with new remastering, an expansive booklet containing all thing GYBR, and “…film…” hinting at the inclusion of a DVD.  Its release date is likely to be near the October timeline that the original album issued in 1973.


Long after the multiple periods of Rock and Roll have passed, labels continue to exploit the most popular albums with anniversary editions.  Personally, I have no problem with any of them.  They could release them year after year, and it wouldn’t bother me.  In reality, I have the sole power over my wallet.  The label takes the risk that I might not want to open it.  In fact, I don’t think they reissue enough.

With updated technologies making better sound possible, I’m always interested in a more definitive edition of any of my favorites, especially if more tracks from the sessions have been discovered.  I have a long list of reissues that I would love to see remastered and expanded in any way.

But that’s me.  Some of you feel exactly the opposite.  Some of you are likely even disgusted by the money-grab that labels seem to be involved in.  This makes me wonder as to what is the proper time frame to reissue old classics, and what makes them compelling purchases.

As I stated earlier, the labels can reissue all they want.  If it’s what I want, I’ll buy it even if it is the 10th copy that I own.  Let’s open up a discussion about this.  Let’s get a consensus of what the parameters should really be.


By MARowe

14 thoughts on “Can Album Reissues Overstay Their Welcome?”
  1. I, too, always look out for the best, most technically advanced, etc, etc, version of any album. Thats why I have 2 versions of this title already, 2 Elvis Costello catalogs and 2 Rolling Stones catalogs. I’ll buy this. I think I might have a problem.


  2. I like the model used by the folks in control of the Beatles catalog, don’t reissue the most popular disks over and over, do the whole catalog after there has been a larger, substantive change in technology. That is to say don’t jump at every *format* that comes down the line, but, wait until the actual tools to do the remastering have been vetted, and then hit the entire library. Because if it’s release as SACD or whatever the format of the month is, it won’t sound any different unless the tools used to do the remastering have been improved on….

  3. Since I kind of opened this can of worms and came to the same conclusion “there is nothing that forces me to buy a re-issue so why should it bother me”? It shouldn’t but it does. It bothered me when Ozzy released Black Rain and then 3 months later released it again with 4 more songs.

    I find it hard to believe that the record company or Elton found these extra songs. They were there before and they weren’t “lost and found in a box in someone’s attic”, I’d bet on it.

    Why does it bother me? It’s not just the money factor. What bothers me more is that from a certain point of view they penalize their biggest fans. I’ll also mention that it’s only the additional music that bothers me. Let’s say that the only difference between this upcoming version and the sacd deluxe package was fancy books, liner notes, swag, etc. but no new music. That would not be insulting to me because I would not feel compelled to buy it to satisfy the completest tendency in me.
    Oh well, I have already started passing up a lot of these reissues so to anyone that wants to buy them, I understand and more power to you. My advice to people is that they become very selective with the reissues they are willing to buy.

  4. The thing that bothers me the most is the remastering itself. They crank up the volume and limit the peaks every time. I have bought so many remasters that ended up sounding just terrible (most of them). I really appreciate a company like Audio Fidelity and MoFi. They run the tape straight to the disc, basically, with only minor “clean-up” as necessary.

    I too am a completest. It sucks. I NEED those two extra songs that weren’t good enough to go on the album in the first place. I NEED that remix that I will listen to exactly ONCE. I need it so bad, I shell out hundreds of dollars every year to be disappointed in the same way every time.

    I’m getting better though… not really.

    I do agree with Grumpy Man for sure. Warner Archives was doing it right. Like they did with Van Halen and Madonna and Eric Clapton. The Beatles were done right also. And oh boy did Virgin do it right with the Rolling Stones remasters in 1994!!!! The best for sure. And then Universal turned around and made the very worst sounding Stones CDs that could ever have been. It’s a shame.

    I have tried to determine when everything went to hell. I am saying the loudness war began about 1995. I think that is when the reissues started rolling in also.

    Please feel free to reply to anything I have said! Thanks Matt! Love to hear what other junkies have to say about this. Great topic!

  5. I am always looking for the best sound of any release I already own. The other swag, as Bill puts it, doesn’t interest me most of the time. In order for me to buy GYBR, I would have to read a review about the audio, and that is actually rare. Oh, there are company superlatives which always come out with a release like this, words like “definitive and superlative”, but I want to find out is it worth the money to really improve what I already own. A recent example of this was the Fleetwood Mac reissue of Rumours. At least they did say in several articles that the remaster they used was the same – instant savings for me. If Steven Wilson or some select others have done the remastering, then I will take the chance. By the way, I am finding, and maybe others have too, that remastering is not enough for me. I am more satisfied with a remix/remaster which truly brings out the best of the recording, like what Wilson has been doing with Tull, ELP, King Crimson and a host of other classics.

  6. I think Mr. Stadium has a good point – a lot of “remasters”, especially recently, have been nothing more than volume changes. I would like to give a nod to Esoteric, a company that has an ever-growing catalog of remasters that are done with a lot of integrity and purity.

  7. This album is still available on SACD (Island) at reasonable prices but the DVD-A might be hard to find. There were a number of reviews stating the sound wasn’t up to par compared to other Elton John SACD’s. There were also two versions in 2003, one included a film as well. This album belongs on the list of double LP’s that could have been better as a single.

  8. My only question is – Why the same album all the time? I personally like Don”t Shoot Me twenty time better than this one. Some of his other albums should be addressed before doing yet another remaster on this good but, I think, tired classic.

    1. Dean, the answer to that is sheer volume of units sold. With this album having sold over 7m units, it’s a no-brainer to reissue.

      1. Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only The Piano Player sold over 3 million itself and as a double album, 7 million only equates to 3.5 million for GYBR according to Billboard. MoFi could do a great job with a vinyl reissue of DSMIOTPP.

  9. As long as they are giving me something for my money… I want real QUALITY bonus material, as well as state of the art mastering (non-brickwalled, of course). The recent UK Black Sabbath amp; Dio remasters, while giving us lots of bonus materials…some of it didn’t rise above bootleg quality. I think Deep Purple did a great job over-all; remaster, remixes as well as b-sides.

  10. The improved sound quality reissues are nice, but I’ve already bought the ones I need. If I’m to buy more in the future I need a compelling reason. I passed on KISS ‘Destroyer Resurrected’ last year because of the lack of extras and the song clips I heard sounded too much like the ‘Destroyer’ reissue I already had. However, I bought ‘Screaming For Vengeance – 30th Anniversary’ by Judas Priest last fall, in part, because of the included classic concert DVD! With the edition I already have, I’ll need a compelling reason to buy a remastered ‘GYBR’.

  11. I’m picky about the re-issues that I’ll buy, not having quite as much free money for CD buying as I used to. There has to be an extensive booklet and a fair amount of unreleased material. If it’s just a few extra songs that weren’t necessarily deemed good enough for release on the original and not much else, I’ll buy them online. The sound quality might not be as good, but then again, my hearing isn’t quite as good, either.

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