I am a sucker for great sound quality, eye-catching packaging and tawdry gimmickry when it comes to the albums and cds I buy. The record companies love me, because they can reissue “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” 50 times and I’ll buy each different copy because it might have one extra track I haven’t heard before. This got me thinking; how many times have I purchased some of the classic albums in my library and in how many different forms?
Just this past weekend, I received in the mail my copy of the Peter Gabriel classic “So” in a new, deluxe edition, with a huge box encapsulating cd versions of the album, live discs, dvds and an oversized, hardcover book of photos I have never seen. I think I’ve now bought this album roughly four times. I bought the 45 single of “Sledgehammer” first in 1986. I liked it so much that I bought the vinyl album. Only a few years later, I bought the cassette so I could take it with me in the car, then, when cds emerged, I bought it on cd. Years later, the newly remastered cd came out, with “improved sound quality and limited edition packaging” (!) so, naturally, I had to have it. Finally, the record company forced me to pry my wallet open again last week for the latest edition. That’s four times I’ve spent money to hear the same 9 songs!
I’ve done this with Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” (need to have that surround sound version!), the Who’s “Tommy,” Bowie’s “Hunky Dory,” and I may or may not be on my third version of Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung.” You can bet that when that 24karat gold-plated version of “Hotel California” comes out, I’ll jump on that one too.
Hi, I’m Rick…and I have a problem.