Take A Chance On Me… On You… On All Of Us

Just noticed that there’s a new edition of Mike Oldfield’s “Music Of The Spheres” is out, with a live bonus CD. Not that I’m a big Oldfield fan but then again, it sets me thinking of today’s marketing strategies. Back in the much happier – music-wise – times, it was normal to make the first edition of a record special. Bonus items such as posters, EPs, stickers (ah, just remember the tactile and visual sensation of those “A Dark Side Of The Moon” or “Captain Fantastic” fabulous packages!) made aficionados and unitiated alike run to the nearest shop and grab an LP… and help it shoot up in the charts, sometimes with/like a bullet. Then, the wheels started turning and momentum was being gained, and the records sold nicely for all the interested parties’ benefit. Not anymore.

Now, why the heck should I hurry up and buy anything if some six months later I will have a opportunity to buy an enhanced package for the same price? Mind, the bonus stuff is targeted mainly at the fans – but they usually purchase a new record right after it’s out, which means if you’re a fan you have to buy something twice. At least twice if not more, what with the multiple ‘definitive’ editions of the VELVETS’ banana thingy. Or Elton John’s re-issues. Alright, with Elton the latest crop looks really definitive, and even all the aforementioned “Captain Fantastic” inserts have been reproduced now as miniature replicas. But that’s re-issues, and we’re talking new albums now.

What’s more… Let me quote myself: “Fuck off” instead of “Thank you”, Glenn Hughes seems to be saying to his European fans. If his first DVD, “Soulfully Live In The City Of Angels”, all the world found difficult to be watching due to the lighting and compression, there’s a new line with Hughes’ forthcoming “Live In Australia”. Not only the European release of this title is the single disc instead of DVD and CD package as in Oz, but also it doesn’t have the extras: the footage from the July 2007 Rome concert, a “Music For The Divine” documentary and three promo videos from this, Glenn’s latest album. This scribe does have Hughes’ acoustic programme from “The Basement”, which has been in circulation among the fans for some time, but, having supported Glenn for a long time, pre-ordered the official release. Now, money’s lost, and the next time the pirate P2P network will seem the best way to avoid getting ripped off by the artist and the label. Why stay faithful to the one who doesn’t care?”

The last thing done rightly that I remember was David Bowie’s “Live At The BBC” the initial edition of which had the third disc added to the two main ones. Yet find, then, any David Gilmour’s supporter who wasn’t disappointed with having to buy the second pressing of “On An Island” or Mike Oldfield’s fans? That’s what should be called piracy… yet the big heads will say it’s a revenge. Is there really a war going on? Are we taking chances or being taken chances on?

DME

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