I wasn’t really surprised to see U2 revisit The Joshua Tree again as part of the 30th anniversary celebrations…
The band’s fifth studio album is unarguably a great record and when they reissued it the first time around in 2007, the market for music box sets / super deluxe editions was still developing. The 2CD+DVD set that was issued back then was good value (about £35) and well packaged. However, only three years later U2 were putting out the Super and Uber Deluxe Editions of Achtung Baby which were around £85 and £260 respectively. Fans were suddenly willing to dig deeper into their pockets for some quite lavish sets.
No doubt the record label have looked at the data from Achtung Baby and are confident that there is a market for the relatively expensive CD and vinyl box sets. The content of the new Joshua Tree package is interesting because it neither supersedes the old box (which has the DVD and one exclusive track on the B-sides disc) nor properly complements it, since two of the discs (album and B-sides) are more or less repeated (there are some slight variations on the latter).
By making the CD box set ‘large format’ they can create one 12-inch book and use it for both sets. That’s also a sly way of being able to charge more for the four-CD box set, since it’s a bigger, weightier and more impressive package with the book and prints etc.
In search of a Duran Duran single…
Whoever at Warners is in charge of marketing Duran Duran’s 2015 album Paper Gods, should hang their head in shame…
Once the initial excitement and intrigue of the various editions of the album had worn off, what were fans left with? Not much. The fact is, fans want regular opportunities to re-pledge their allegiance to the band. After they’ve bought the album, the way they do that is to perhaps go and see them play live and buy all the singles. But what singles?
Pressure Off was the ‘buzz’ track when the album was announced but it seems someone ‘forgot’ to release it as a single. No remixes, no seven-inch, no coloured vinyl 12-inch, no CD single, nothing. There weren’t even any remixes made available to buy as MP3s or to stream.
For a while, What Are The Chances? was talked about a some kind of single, but I really don’t know, was it a single? With no PHYSICAL evidence, it’s hard to be sure.
Now apparently, apropos of nothing, four remixes of Last Night In The City have turned up on Spotify. Head over to Duran Duran’s website and you’ll see a splash screen that reads “Paper Gods featuring the single Last Night In The City“. So it IS a single! I don’t know how long this has been up, but there is a video too. Although further ‘research’ shows that the video was published to YouTube on 10 September last year. Six months later some remixes turn up on Spotify. There has been no physical release, obviously.
Wikipedia doesn’t think Last Night In The City has been a single, it lists Pressure Off as the only single. No What Are The Chances?, either. It goes back to the earlier point, where is the evidence? We can look back at the 1970s and 1980s and see proof of single releases in books of pop charts, Top Of The Pops appearances, the physical existence of the singles on vinyl and the publication of sheet music.
Future generations and music historians who look back at Duran Duran’s releases of 2015/16 surely won’t have a clue. Does that matter? Maybe not, but despite how much social media and downloading/streaming music has changed the game (not as much as you think – 63% of sales of Ed Sheeran’s new album were CD and vinyl) it’s a surely a band’s JOB to release albums and singles. DD are doing the former but are now shockingly bad at the latter. It’s surprising, since Nick Rhodes always comes across as an intelligent musician who seems to have a very fan-centric attitude. Thoughts? Leave a comment.
Here’s a great little DEAL I spotted… Get this five-disc bundle which combines the truly superb three-disc Rory Gallagher Kickback City set with the 2CD reissue of Crowded House‘s Time On Earth – total cost £15!
Amazon are doing both releases are part of their 2-for-£15 deal so it’s stunning value and both are lovingly presented. They are also available for £7.99 each. You can view more images of Kickback City (and read about it) here. Links for both sets are below.