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.
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.
Then 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.
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?
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?