Unauthorised item in the bagging area

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Box Set Go

The box set has got a bit more out of control this year (and somewhere there is a pedant waiting to point out it's boxed set). Box sets are nice, expensive, official product, beautifully put together, and designed to appeal to the obsessive collector. People like me I suppose.

David Bowie's Station To Station, released this year in a deluxe edition with five cds (full album, full live show, different mixes, versions etc), a lovely booklet, and with all kinds of memorabilia (facsimile back stage passes, tickets, badges and whatnot). Does anyone need five cds of Station To Station? Will anyone ever play the whole thing?

Neu! released a box this year with all three studio albums, some stuff they did in the 80s, a lovely booklet, and a Neu! stencil. For stencilling the Neu! logo wherever you might want to.

Screamadelica, soon to be released, with five cds (full album, all the remixes, live show, Dixie narco e.p., dvd of The Making Of..., T-shirt, and Screamadelica slipmat. For a penny under one hundred quid. Initial quantities signed by the band. Actually I quite fancy a Screamadelica slipmat. And the dvd will have interviews with Weatherall, with moving pictures and everything. But every remix has been released before, there's no new ones, and no new material. (While I'm here, I have a memory of being in a nightclub and hearing Moving On Up played but with Denise Johnson singing not Bobby. Does this version exist or was it my slightly addled 3am brain?)

Orange Juice's Coals To Newcastle- contains pretty much everything they did across five cds and dvd of tv shows. Lovely.

I'm sure there's loads of others I haven't mentioned. I'm sure they're all lovely too. I love the attention to detail. I like nice booklets and photos and interviews. I like the gimmicks- the slipmat, the stencil. I'm looking forward to the Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds action figures and New Order playmobil set. I like the having-everything-in-one-place feeling. But we are being suckered here. They know we want it. They know some people (middle aged men mainly) will part with increasing sums of money for this stuff, despite already owning most or all of the material, and having 'upgraded' before, lp to cd, single cd to 'legacy' edition. Are we being catered for or exploited? I suppose it depends how much you want the slipmat, the t-shirt, the booklet, the photos, the remastered album (and why wasn't the original album mastered very well then?).

This is Fuer Immer off Neu!2, the opening track, ten minutes of aural bliss that doesn't change very much but leaves you feeling better than when it started. I'm off to covet box sets on the internet.

Fuer Immer (forever).mp3


drew said...

I have pre-ordered and then cancelled Screamadelica 4 times in the last fortnight. I have the vinyl album, I have all the 12" singles I wish I still had the t-shirt but had to bin it after a mate used it to wipe himself down after bedding my cousin! Yes I would like the slipmat and the box looks lovely but a hundred quid for stuff I've got I really can't justify that when I could get a couple of rare northern singles for that money.

We are being conned just like we were duped into buying the cd version, definately not an upgrade but that was how it was sold to us. Thank fuck I kept most of the vinyl.

However the Fall boxset for TWAFWOTF is well worth it. 14 quid for 4 cds, okay only two contain previously unreleased material but at the price and the beautiful packaging you would think that you couldn't moan, but the pricks on the Fall forum were moaning that there were too many sleeves, the artwork was cropped too much and the box didn't fit on the shelf next to all the other cds, get a fucking life.

swiss adam said...

Quite right Drew. And I like the way you slipped in the story of the t-shirt, the mate and the cousin.

drew said...

After all these years I still look at them with utter contempt sometimes when I see them, not together i hasten to add. Mind not a cat in hell's chance that it would still fit though.

swiss adam said...

Be a bit crusty too.