28 November, 2020

Black Friday Bam-a-lam!


Dear bands, singers, musicians, and other assorted recording artistes as appropriate:

If you must go in for this Black Friday nonsense – and I get that market forces probably mean you have to – do you know what I would really like to order from your online store?


Not a hoodie.
Not a denim jacket with a patch bearing your name sewn on the sleeve.
Not an infant’s onesie.

Not your latest album spread across ten 7” picture discs.
Not monogrammed cigarette papers.
Not a download with extra tracks. If I’m going to pay for a download, it had better be at least 48kHz, 24-bit lossless or GTFO!
Not a pair of socks.
Not Christmas tree decorations.
Not a 250g LP in 4-colour spattered vinyl because that’s the only physical medium you chose to release the album in. Hey, I love vinyl but I’m not a fetishist.
Not a scarf.
Not a pillow case.
Not a water bottle.
Not a mug.
Not a teapot.
Not a cassette. I like retro technology but cassettes sucked even when they were the best option available.
Not a dartboard.
Not a jigsaw puzzle.
Not a hip flask.
Not a pint glass/shot glass/bar set.
Not a tote bag.
Not a tea towel.
Not a lithograph of a concert poster which was never used for the original tour anyway.
Not a CD which has been bundled with a vinyl record, T-shirt/jacket/hoodie, and art print.

Just a plain old CD.

Actually, it doesn’t have to be plain.

I love beautiful packaging, so long as your idea of beautiful packaging isn’t a massive hardcover book bound in virgin ostrich leather which will take up 25% of my shelf and cost somewhere in the vicinity of a flight to Thailand.

And it doesn’t have to be old.

I’d prefer some new music to your most popular album remastered by technicians at Space-X under the supervision of the original tape-op because somehow the four previous remasters still didn’t get it right. And that slight remix to strip the original album of the production values which didn’t remain fashionable? Not really necessary. I know they didn’t have Pro Tools in 1970. That might be why the original records were so good. If you took all the gated reverb off the snares in those 80s albums, would we even recognise the songs? And in situations where the principle artist is no longer around to approve (or disapprove), it’s getting dangerously close to musical fan-fic.

Just one further request:

Could you put ALL the music on the CD please? Don’t hit me up in another 6 months to buy the version with all the tracks you forgot to include the first time around. And if you want to do a coffee-table book edition – so called because it’s roughly the size of an actual coffee table – that’s fine for those who like that kind of thing, but please don’t expect me to invest in this massive slab of furniture just to get the bonus live disc. That really isn’t fair. DVDs are cool too. Include them by all means but the same rule applies: don’t make the DVD with all the bonus features only available to those willing to shell out for the version that comes in a ¼ size replica pyramid with certified used guitar strings and a lock of the singer’s hair.

I am more than willing to pay a price which, averaged out across the print run, will compensate you for the time and resources spent writing, recording, mixing, manufacturing and distributing the product, with a reasonable profit margin.

Is that too much to ask?


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