Features

Saturday Deluxe / 5 Sep 2015

After a short summer break Saturday Deluxe returns, picking up the on talking points in the past five days, in the world of box sets and deluxe reissues. This week a look at retail exclusives and why fans have not taken to the new Phil Collins reissues!

dd_target

‘Exclusives’ – exciting or a rip-off?

Duran Duran excitedly announced yesterday on Facebook that their forthcoming album, Paper Gods, will be available from US retailer Target with “TWO bonus tracks not found any where else!” The two tracks in question are On Evil Beach and Cinderella Ride. Aside from the fact that this statement is inaccurate (On Evil Beach is on the Japanese edition) it was fairly predictable that there would be an US retail edition, since the band had delivered a similar exclusive of their last album All You Need Is Now via another US retailer, Best Buy.

You don’t need to be a superfan to have a desire to collect all the bonus tracks available when a new album is released, it’s just the same as the ‘old days’ and wanting to buy a single for a new B-side, but record labels aren’t making it very easy.

The first thing to point out is that the internet has created a global economy where there are plenty of channels to buy product from around the world. People are well aware of what is going on in different ‘territories’. However labels, bands and their management appear to have their head in the sand, pretending that that isn’t the case. Duran Duran appear to think that people won’t know about the Japanese edition of Paper Gods, so they can ‘get away’ with claiming that both tracks are exclusive, when they are not. Also, the Facebook post went out to all their fans around the globe not just those in the US. What’s so great about pointing out to everyone outside America that they are excluded from this special edition with the two bonus tracks?

These kind of exclusives aren’t new of course, and the trainspotter in me quite likes seeking out the various editions with unique bonus tracks, but it’s an expensive business buying imports from overseas. Such is the power of the big American retailers like Walmart and Target that they can demand exclusives and the labels feel obliged to cooperate. The quid pro quo is that they benefit from extra promotion and prime position in-store. There probably isn’t much of a ‘downside’ for the record labels which is why this practise continues. In  global terms, there is no reason for a them to be upset about fans buying the same album from different countries in order to ‘collect’ the various bonus tracks.

The irony is that the material is often sub-B-side standard, as anyone who has heard Too Close To The Sun and Early Summer Nerves from Duran Duran’s Best Buy version of All You Need Is Now will attest. Can you imagine a band in the studio working on a really great track and saying “let’s save that one for the Walmart exclusive”. Me neither.

What do you think of this practise of exclusives – either regional or specific to certain retailers? Leave a comment!

Read more about Duran Duran’s Paper Gods.

Phil Collins / Face Value reissue

Fans react to Phil Collins reissues

A massive response this week (189 comments and counting) to the track listings of the Phil Collins reissues that will be out in October.

Phil has clearly been hands on with these, but fans are less than happy with what appears to be a casual approach to the inclusion of commercially released material. The three demos that appeared on the back of the If Leaving Me is Easy are missing from Face Value (along with the single version of In The Air Tonight) even though previously unreleased demos are included. Both Sides is missing quite a few tracks from the singles including B-sides and edits, which is a little surprising.

It’s the live stuff that Phil wants to showcase ““to examine how his songs have evolved over time”. He might think that that is interesting but for the most part fans do not agree.

Furthermore, the lack of a 5.1 surround mix was a common complaint. Phil is apparently on record as saying that these mixes were created at some point in the past. If this is the case why not include them with a deluxe edition? All of the above, coupled with a lack of any video or visual documentary material has underwhelmed fans.

The one area that has come in for praise are the covers. Collins has updated Face Value and Both Sides with his face as it is now but with all other design elements as they were at the time of release. A brave and creative decision, although for me I would have used these images to complement the main cover rather than replace it.

Read more about the Phil Collins reissues here.

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40 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 5 Sep 2015

  1. AnonyMousE says:

    Nick Kamen thread had a massive response, too !

  2. AnonyMousE says:

    About Exclusives, ask to Alanis Morissette and her Havoc album: that was crazy ! :( :( :(

  3. Charles Hodgson says:

    Let’s say an artist is of sufficient “stature” that they have their own fans-input message board, that the label announce to them plans for a future Deluxe Edition, and actually LISTEN to the comments provided (on what should be included). The biggest fans, in addition to being the core market, are also the most knowledgeable (and a crucial resource).

    Opinions will always vary – even amongst hardcore fans – but it would help avoid omissions and oversights like those plaguing the – otherwise superb looking – Velvet Underground “Loaded” Super Deluxe – before they actually go into final production, and it’s too late to rectify.

  4. CJ Feeney says:

    The Waterboys’ “Modern Blues” had bonus tracks (in Japan) and a different bonus (a demo) on the UK vinyl edition, they then released some extra songs as a RSD ep. I didn’t go for the ep or Japan edition, but the extra track on the vinyl took up all of side four and was fantastic. No doubt they will release a double disc of the whole shebang at some point.

  5. Paul Edwards says:

    The biggest pain re the DD target release is that they won’t sell to the UK so getting hold of it is a complete pain!
    I’ve wheels in motion to get both the Japanese and target versions but it’s a complete pain.
    I’m only buying these for the music- yet again the cover is dreadful

    • Charles says:

      I agree on the cover but sometimes a bad cover gets better to me depending on how good the album turns out to be. I wasn’t really into the cover of the new Blur album cover but I somehow like it now because, in my opinion, the album is brilliant. But the new DD will need to be a masterpiece because I hate their new cover way more than I did Blur’s.

  6. Darren Briscoe says:

    I live in the US and occasionally browse through the Target exclusives and the only one I have ever bought is the recent Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers deluxe which gave free vinyl! I realise most so called exclusive tracks are probably substandard anyway.

  7. Cedric says:

    Mark Knopfler’s Get Lucky was quite a nut-breaking case:
    Standard Edition: 11 titles
    Super Deluxe Edition (which cost an arm and leg!): + 3 titles

    So, basically, you had to spend a lot of money to get the 3 bonus titles…

    BUT… Amazon had an 11+1 titles (bonus NOT included in the super deluxe). And iTunes had another 11+1 titles (bonus different from amazon and NOT included in the super deluxe).

    See my point? A total rip off. That is the case where I started not to buy CDs anymore. Or, for some favorite artists, wait a few months to see if a re-release was planned (another thing that can be debated…). And, in the meantime, just download the album anyplace on the internet.

    Well done, music companies. You’ve just lost a good customer :-(

    • Billy Dojcak says:

      Buying a few extra singles to get all of the b-sides is one thing, but buying multiple copies of an entire album to get a few extra tracks is ludicrous.

  8. Michael says:

    Nothing spells trouble like an artist being hands-on with their reissues and content selection. But I do like what Collins did with the covers

  9. mintoncard says:

    I would be more apt to purchase an “exclusive” of this Duran Duran album if it had a different cover.

  10. Alvin says:

    I always go with the “format” that seems to be the most interesting to me (in most cases the one with the most extra material on it). I don’t bother anymore in trying to be complete. This is also probably the best way to show the music industry that this strategy should not be kept alive. As a music enthusiast you always have a choice to buy or not to buy. Sure, I might miss one or two interesting things this way, but then again, there are more important things in life. This is coming from a serious collector. I just don’t feel the need anymore to be forced in the role of a mindless consumer.

  11. Daran says:

    Exclusively to a country is tough for fans. Exclusively to a store is tough for retailers. Exclusively to a store that is only in one country sucks for almost everyone, and bad feelings grow from that. Why would any sane band / record co do it? Oh yes, £££££.

  12. Orig80'saddict says:

    Tje Duran Duran Target Exclusive is a different color…Right? Just glad the U.S. is getting some love.

  13. Kauwgompie says:

    Yeah the Duran cover is dreadful. The music is very good though so I will be buying it. Will probably get the Target exclusive as I live in the USA. Love the aongs they released so far.

  14. AnonyMousE says:

    I’d like to add Madonna Rebel Heart album… MediaMrkt esclusive editions for different countries ! Remixes for all but Germany !

  15. john says:

    In the past I would probably have sought out exclusive tracks at some expense. Now. however, I am more than happy to listen to what I can through streaming sites and save my money due to bonus tracks generally being once or twice listened to novelties.

  16. Paolo Magnani says:

    :) i ve enjoyed very much your DD “exclusives” argument, especially when you say: “The irony is that the material is often sub-B-side standard, as anyone who has heard Too Close To The Sun and Early Summer Nerves from Duran Duran’s Best Buy version of All You Need Is Now will attest. Can you imagine a band in the studio working on a really great track and saying “let’s save that one for the Walmart exclusive”. Me neither.” Usually, let s say 99,9% those “extra tracks” are very bad quality.. It really takes a hardcore fan to buy an album he have yet just to have that :)

  17. Darryl Nelson says:

    Amen! I think the worst easter egg hunt in terms of extra tracks I have been on was in 1998 when Ace of Base released Flowers. Or was that Cruel Summer? I mean, not only were many of the tracks different between the UK and US versions, many B-sides and remixes were exclusive to different markets. Collecting them all was a mammoth task. In this case, however the B-sides were well worth the hunt – Into The Night Of Blue and Love For Sale were amazing tracks. The latter should have been on the album.

  18. Gareth Pugh says:

    Funnily enough, Blancmange’s ‘Semi Detached’ album this year carried 2 bonus songs on the 2-Disc deluxe version – plus a handful of Extended Mixes and a Chic cover – and the two new compositions were every bit the equal of anything on the really strong main album. So just occasionally bonus tracks can be a very pleasant surprise…

  19. Eric says:

    If many more acts take the “opportunity” to turn expanded reissues of their classic work into vanity exercises in rewriting history (Kate Bush, OMD, Phil Collins…), we will have to create a new genre…SDR.

    Super Deluxe Revisionism.

  20. Dennis says:

    To me exclusive these days always seems like: hey, it won’t sell that many copies anyway, so let’s make at least he fan buy it 3 times, so sales don’t look that bad.
    At least a few years back bonus tracks were quite often later b-sides. As singles werern’t released in all territories, so you at least had the chance to get the track a bit later for an acceptable price on a cd-single or a 7″.

    Was already a pain with Duran’s last album + is again a pain now.
    Totally hate that practice + will definetely not fork out money for 2 or 3 simes almost the same content but a little additional bonus. That is surely not worth another 15 or 20$ not to mention the postage…
    This was, is and always will be a total rip-off and I haven’t even started on territory exclusives for ‘better fans’ that live in the ‘right countries’.

    If they really have to do that to sell stuff, limit it to remixes but not to exclusive songs.

  21. Robert Atkin says:

    The issue of exclusives is annoying. Especially when having to pay import prices or the item is very difficult to get hold of.

    The practise is done in Japan as local issues are more expensive than imports and to induce purchase of the local product instead of buying an import version.

  22. Marko says:

    There is no need for Duran Duran extra tracks for this album. So far, regular tracks are pretty awful (except ‘What Are The Chances’) and I’m afraid that bonus tracks are even worse. ‘Last Nigt In the City’ is probably the worst song DD ever released.

  23. chris says:

    Yes, it’s a pain in the butt when bands decide to do exclusive tracks for certain merchants, but for the casual listener this isn’t really an issue. It’s a issue for the collectors / fans of the band. With the release of Duran Duran’s new album, you have – as Paul previously mentioned – the Japanese pressing which will have pretty much all – save for one track – the “bonus” tracks. The only track it won’t have will be the one on the Target edition (Cinderella Ride). Oh, and let’s not forget to mention that Duran Duran are once again teaming up with the Vinyl Factory, so who knows what will be on that.

  24. Neil says:

    No wonder people download illegally when they treat their customers like this with bonus tracks spread all over the place on at least 3 different releases.

  25. Neil says:

    I have no idea what this album will be like but the few reviews i have read so far aren’t encouraging and i won’t be buying it as i don’t want that ghastly album cover in my house.

  26. Steve F says:

    I sought out the Target US only release of Elton John’s “The Diving Board” specifically for the 2 Exclusive Bonus Tracks on it (“Fifth Avenue” and “Gaugan Gone Hollywood”) and these 2 songs are, I think, better than a couple of the songs on the album! So, it’s not always the case that these hard to find exclusive tracks are sub standard. I bought the Target version via E-Bay and gave my UK Deluxe Edition to a friend.

    Like an earlier Poster, I too was frustrated with Alanis Morrisette’s “Havoc and Bright Lights” as there were so many exclusive tracks available via so many different channels that I just didn’t know where to start as to which version to buy – as a result, I haven’t bothered to buy the album at all (sorry Alanis).

  27. Paul Edwards says:

    The vinyl edition set of the DD album apparently has a new track, plus 2 mixes of pressure off

  28. Gordon says:

    Oooooh, don’t get me started about bonus/extra/exclusive tracks Paul! :)

    (sit tight, this is going to be a LOOOOONG rant!)

    I’m a completist so this is a real irritant to me. It’s just so much extra time and effort! In the olden days, (pre-internet, pre-online-shopping), the only edition I would be aware of was the one in my local record shop. The only decision I had to make was cassette, CD or vinyl? Buying a new album or single was a simple 5-minute process. But nowadays…..sheesh!

    I just can’t afford to buy multiple editions (no matter how much I love the artist), so now I take DAYS mulling over music purchases! I check SDE and Discogs (and even Wikipedia) to see what formats/editions are available, check/compare the tracklistings, then decide my best option. And after all that I still have to trawl through a multitude of on-line retailers to check/compare prices and shipping costs.

    But I must admit, my ‘completist’ ways are starting to wane. I think it’s due to the rise (dare I say monopoly?) of iTunes and digital downloads – I just can’t be bothered with all that malarkey so I’ve had to accept that there are plenty of bonus tracks, remixes, videos, etc. that I will never have. Especially as different countries’ iTunes/digital stores often have their own exclusives that ‘outsiders’ can’t access.

    (I start to drift here…..)

    And it’s not just albums! It always annoyed me how CD singles became a 2 (sometimes even 3!) disc set. Especially when the extra tracks on disc 2 were just previously released singles! Thankfully it wasn’t as widespread here in Oz like it was in the UK. The only worthy example is the 2-disc Australian version of Madonna’s ‘Music’ single – each disc was 45-50 minutes each (just remixes, but I LOVE remixes) with only ONE ‘double-up’. But all the other 2/3 disc sets were just rip-offs. I suppose it wasn’t really that expensive, but it did mean extra CDs taking up space!

    ‘Enhanced content’ is also a bugbear of mine. It seems paying for the CD isn’t enough anymore – to get the extra tracks, you have to put the CD into your computer, open a weblink, sign up to some mailing list/database (that you’ll never hear from!), create a password (that you’ll never remember!), log-in to your e-mail account to receive a unique access code, just to download ONE low-res MP3 of a track that could have easily fit on the disc! And that also means you have to buy the CD as soon as it’s released, because if you wait too long the weblink is dead and you miss out.

  29. Tim says:

    This has been going on for some years. I gave up collecting Yes when over 10 years ago now, there were no less than 3 exclusive versions of Magnification” (Walmart, Target & Best Buy, I think), each with an exclusive 20-minute live track, none of which as far as I know have been reissued. These were different to the “bonus” CDs that came out in Europe and the UK!

    Realistically, why should we be expected to buy 5 copies of the same album?

  30. Tom says:

    All the (understandable) moans about record companies not giving fans want they really want is a bit like turkeys hoping Christmas won’t come.
    Most people who buy deluxe editions are very, very big fans of the artist and will buy the set regardless of the fact that some obscure track is missing. It’s win- win for the record company as they always have something to add to future releases and continue to milk the fans.
    The best way to stop it is to go cold turkey, don’t buy them or at the very least get them second hand. I realise that is not an option for most contributors to this site who class themselves as collectors but in that case you just have to accept it.

  31. Just need for wait uploading extra tracks on you tube

  32. Jason says:

    Deluxe edition bonus tracks are not always bad, and some are actually better than some album songs (new FFS and Morrissey albums as examples). However, the FFS album is available with ALL retailers, online and physical, in the deluxe format. I own an independent store and had to whore myself out to Best Buy just to get the deluxe Morrissey. It makes me sick that retailers pull crap like this, second only to being the only store who can carry or sell the item, and I wasn’t even aware of the Duran Target exclusive on the last album until last week! A shady practice if there ever was one for record companies to squeeze dollars out of fans who will pony up for every edition offered. Even Lana Del Rey has offered special different covers of her last and upcoming albums at Urban Outfitters that is different than everyone else’s. How is this fair? Not an even playing field and all it does is create bad vibes with the fans who then come to resent the band. Just because everybody does it doesn’t make it right.

  33. alan hansen says:

    no matter how you slice it, if you want DD physical product with this release, you’ve got to purchase 2 pieces. will i do it?… yes. will i hate myself in the morning?… absolutely!

  34. darren says:

    Give it 5/10 years and Cherry Red or Edsel will re-release it with all the trimmings no doubt!!

  35. Don says:

    The thing I like about retail exclusives is that they place an emphasis on the PHYSICAL PRODUCT. Yes, it’s a pain to track them down sometimes. But it also generates excitement for going out and buying an actual CD rather than just tapping your phone and downloading files.

  36. Julian H says:

    Quid pro quo, lol. Reminds me of the Status Quo “Aquostic” release disaster which lead me to having to wait months for my CD and even then missing out on two tracks that were on other editions (Rollin’ Home and Claudie – Strings Mix). Put it simply, exclusives are just a pain in the fan’s ass.

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