With the commentary surrounding the upcoming Elton John 40th Anniversary reissue of Goodbye Yellow Brick Road leaning toward “too much” or “double-dipping”, (and other such sets including the rash of Super Deluxe entries), I decided to discuss it and see just where we draw the line.  If we do.  Maybe, in the discussion, we can find out just what we really want, if we really want it, and how much of it we want.

The Elton John Anniversary set isn’t really too much a problem.  It’s a smaller set without the added heft of a hard-bound book, etc slipped into a shelf space-sucking monstrosity.  However, in times passed there have been such big ticket items.  The Slider by T. Rex was revisited in such a manner, as were The Rolling Stones (Grrr!, Some Girls, Exile On Main Street), U2 (Achtung Baby, The Unforgettable Fire), even The Jam scooted in close with their hefty (and pricey) reissue of The Gift.

U2AchtungBabySDE

Although much of the Super Deluxe Edition has largely been experimental, they have become one thing or another to the masses who were/are fans of the work being represented.

I’ll give you my take:  I have always been of the idea that if I don’t want such a pricey remembrance, I certainly don’t have to buy it.  But that is often easier said than done.  Perhaps it gets especially noisome when a particular album is revisited every ten years with promises of newly unearthed music from the album’s original sessions.  But I know, too, that often new technologies can revitalize a beloved album sonically.

Rush2112SDEThen there are the books, the film, the posters and other swag, and other little enticements, usually all collected in a super solid box case that can be prominently displayed.  Sometimes there are even LPs included in the collection.  All of this adds up to an aptly named Super Deluxe Edition of whatever title is being marketed.  The definitive edition of the classic album.

Personally, I like them.  And if they trip my trigger, I get them.

FleetwoodMacRumoursSDE

Getting back to you, though.  I recognize, judging by the commentaries, emails, twitter replies, and FB messages (you know who you are, and your favored method of contacting me), that more than a few of you do NOT like such treatment.  Some of you  feel as if it bastardizes the music with so much extras not originally intended.  Still others aren’t so much bothered by the presentation as you are by the sometimes exorbitant costs.  Every one has a reason why they do or do not buy such things.

My biggest problem is that some of my favorites will never see such attendant lavish trick-outs.  Faces, Wishbone Ash, and a few others of my favorites will never, EVER be given this treatment.  The argument is that anything from those mentioned bands were not huge sellers.  Then I point to The Slider.  Criteria?

TRex Slider SuperDeluxeEdition

Nevertheless, the HUGE Super Deluxe Editions have their fans, but get just as many middle fingers thrust at them.

What’s your take?  And if you’re favorable, which album  from the past would you shell out $80-$100 (or more) for the Super Deluxe Edition?  Or should such things be issued at all? Are they excess, or God-sends?

By MARowe

12 thoughts on “Reissues, Reissues, and Then, The Super Deluxe Edition”
  1. I’m guilty of picking up a few of these SUPER! DELUXE! MEGA! IMMERSION! editions. I’m just as guilty of rolling my eyes at the release news and going “does the world need ANOTHER reissue of…”

    A nice package or book is appreciated, but too often the extras are useless trinkets (I’m looking in your direction Pink Floyd sets) and how often do you ever take them out again after the initial rush of getting the set?

    For me, it’s pretty simple: If I don’t think it’s worth my time, I just won’t buy it or will get the less DELUXE! version (2112 comes to mind). If I’m mildly curious or don’t think the bonus material is special enough (the 10,000th live version of “Cocaine” on Slowhand for example), I’ll dip my toe in the internet waters and download whatever the bonus tracks are. If it’s an album I love and I don’t feel like I’ve bought it too many times before (like So or Darkness on the Edge of Town), I’ll pick it up if the price is right… Or add it to my Christmas wish list.

    I don’t know what other albums I’d like to get the box treatment. Most of my absolute favourites have and I haven’t always bothered. I would be curious to hear any outtakes from the Long Run sessions, even though it’s far from my favourite Eagles album. (It was planned as a double album, until they changed their minds mid way through the recording.) I’d spring for a fancy edition of Steely Dan’s Aja (or any Dan album, really), but I doubt they have much rare or outtake material they’d be willing to release, perfectionists that they are, and there have been enough “definitive” audiophile releases that I don’t think the market needs another one.

  2. My problem with the super deluxe editions is, for me at least, they are often the only way to get higher resolution versions (think SACD, DVD audio, or Blu-ray) of the music. I don’t like the idea of having to purchase a lavish set that contains a book, vinyl, picture discs, note cards, etc., just to get my hands on the high resolution audio that should be the default standard for physical media anyway.

  3. My issue with most “Deluxe” versions is that they include material generally not worth it in the first place. Having heard a great deal of Beatles outtake material, I wouldn’t want most of it anyway. My two exceptions for which I would pay much more:
    1. A nearly complete Beatles BBC sessions. Yes, there would be repetition, but if I could get great sounding live versions of songs I think it would be worth it.
    2. A complete Woodstock set. There was serious talk of this in 2009, but it is obvious that some groups have no interest in it happening (The Who, Neil Young, to mention two people who don’t think of Woodstock fondly).
    As for other albums, I don’t see much need.

  4. “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” is one of my favorite albums of all time. So I don’t mind an anniversary edition (depending what it will contain). Instead of coming with this massive overpriced box sets which more than likely anyone will look at just once (“Wings Over America”) and then file it, find the albums that have it to be remastered like Fleetwood Mac’s “Mirage” and “Tango In The Night.” Did another “Rumours” need to be released? You reading this Rhino!! Elton has a long list of B-side singles that have yet to be put on disc. Go in that direction.

  5. I’ve picked up the Pink Floyd Immersion sets, the Smashing Pumpkins Deluxe sets and all of the Paul McCartney Deluxe sets. I will splurge if it is groups that I think highly of, but I usually skip the sets that include vinyl. I would rather just have the CDs or the CD / DVD-Audio combos, like the King Crimson remasters.

  6. My goal is always to get better audio, so depending on the set, I will spend or not spend. I think I have been lucky that just about all of the remasters I have wanted have been available in “poor man” versions. I say let them release them as long as they are fair to those of us who either don’t want all the extras or can’t justify the cost. Rumours was not re-remastered, so I passed. And I agree with Rock_dawg – most of the extra music was not included originally because it didn’t cut it the first time. And when I do get extra tracks, in most cases I listen to them once as historical interest, but nearly never again.

  7. I have more than my share of deluxe sets even though they I often feel like a schmuck for re-buying them as they seem to get more definitive with each iteration. I just am getting much more selective as I get older. That’s my only advice, be very selective.
    As for what should be included- for me only audio and video discs matter. All the other crap I would gladly trade for more music or a better price. With that said, I ask you all, when you get some of these deluxe sets how often do you really listen to all those alternate/live/demo takes when you are in the mood to hear that album?
    There are lots of albums I could list that I’d love to have deluxe versions but chances are there isn’t that much worthy stuff to make a deluxe version. I’d love to get ELO’s Out Of The Blue in 5.1 surround and if that was part of the deluxe set I’d have a hard time passing it up (even if I had to buy vinyl that I’d never listen to).
    I think what we all envision with these deluxe set is the ultimate dream of a whole “lost” album as good as the original album itself. That rarely happens. Usually there is reason those songs didn’t make the album – they were subpar or in some cases just plain sucked.

  8. As long as other cheaper versions are offered that contain multiple expense ranges, I think super deluxe editions are a good thing. As a consumer of some of these, I like the idea of having sometimes 3 or 4 different options on what do buy depending on how much I want to spend.

  9. Generally I think that they are excesses meant for the hardcore collector. I for one would appreciate that they make available as a separate – more affordable – release the tracks that are only available in the super deluxe package. Case in point is the upcoming Allman Brothers Band 40th anniversary Brothers and Sisters super deluxe.

  10. I’ve bought many remastered and expanded versions of favorite albums. I’m always happy to have b-sides and select live tracks on seperate discs and if there are pertinent videos or documentary footage on a DVD that’s great too but it can sometimes be too much.

    For example I bought each U2 remasters as they came out and I even ponied up for the Joshua Tree and Unforgettable Fire Super Deluxe sets but I had to draw a line at the Achtung Baby Uber Deluxe set. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have had it just for the DVDs of archival video and promos but I could not justify paying that price. The giant box and swag inside just wasn’t worth the money.

    I feel the same about the Pink Floyd Immersion sets. It’s all just an exploitation of older fans who still “buy” and “collect”.

  11. I’m with Michael on this one. I am still very, very annoyed that the only way to pick up the recent Jethro Tull Aqualung 5.1 discs is to buy the Super Deluxe (or whatever they are calling it) edition for well over $100. I like JT a lot, but not enough to spend that kind of money to get only the one 5.1 disc I want (and I still have no interest in vinyl).

    If the powers-that-be are listening, please make the 5.1 mixes for any of these sets available for separate purchase! I’d happily pay a reasonable price for these (in a heartbeat)…

  12. For me, packaging size matters. The larger the packaging and the more shelf space it takes up the less I’m interested. I usually skip the Super Deluxe sets for that reason alone. All I really care about is the music — not the swag.

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