Saturday, November 19, 2011

Box Sets, Anthologys and Other Compilations

As many may be aware, Pink Floyd has released a 16 disc remastered box set containing pretty much their entire catalog. Just in time for the holidays... So is this like the forth or fifth box set they've released? At a $180 price tag, I think I'll pass this up. I already have all of the Pink Floyd albums spread across my collection on vinyl, cassette or CD. So, why should I go out and get something I already have? It's pointless! Because it's better sounding than what I have? Vinyl suits me just fine. I'll eventually get the CD's for my car in due time, but not by spending $180 bucks for repackaged materiel. I don't need it. If Pink Floyd really wants to capture my wallet's attention, maybe a Roger Waters era concert would do the trick.

Which brings me up to the purpose of this blog post....

Box sets are nice....Believe me, I've been wanting to get my hands on some of them for some time. Tom Petty's Live Anthology, Jimi Hendrix's Winterland, Stevie Ray Vaughan's SRV, Grateful Dead's So Many Roads and so many others to mention are some of them that interest me. The box sets contain live shows, outtakes and other material I simply do not have my collection. If it wasn't for the hefty price tag, I'd have them by now. However, some box sets from Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith and Pink Floyd I have zero interest in. I don't need to spend a hundred buck a complete remastered, repackaged studio efforts that I already have. Why are they on the market anyway? For the die hards? I honestly believe they are quite satisfied with the present copies they have. As for the casual fan, I don't think they'll spend that much on something that they are unsure of.

Which brings me to the anthology albums. These often two or three disc compilations I like. The number of studio albums from older and sometimes forgotten bands like Free, Sweet, Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth, James Gang, Jethro Tull and others on the market are dwindling, going out of print...Some them I have never seen a copy of. For about twenty bucks, many of these anthology albums can give a casual fan an honest overview of an artist's storied career. The ones I really like dig deep into the catalogs and pull out a few of the finer deep cuts from an obscure album. I find myself listening to Bad Company's The 'Original' Bad Company Anthology. Blue Oyster Cult's Workshop of the Telescopes, Jethro Tull's Best of Jethro Tull-The Anniversary Collection and Grand Funk's Thirty Years of Funk 1969-1999 quite a bit. The only downfall in these compilations are one can argue what tracks that should be used.

Single discs compilations, however, I feel are a waste of time. For one, there are too many of them! How many from Lynyrd Skynyrd, KISS, Aerosmith, the Beach Boys , the Beatles or the Stones we really need? How many different compilations does "Walk This Way", "Freebird", "Good Vibrations", "Light My Fire" or "Satisfaction" need to appear on? Yeah, the hits are being cashed in to assure sales, but this is overkill....especially when there is The Door's Greatest Hits, The Best of the Doors, The Very Best of the Doors and on and on....

Another thing, the constant throwing in of a couple of newly recorded tunes in to push sales. As a collector, I don't go out of my way to buy any single compilations. By the time they come around I have whatever that is from them on the studio albums, therefore the couple of new tunes are just an annoyance to me. Sure I want the new songs to complete my collection, but I'm not going to shell out fifteen bucks for Aerosmith's The Big Ones just to get "Walk on Water" and "Blind Man". I'll tape them off of the radio or download them instead. (Unless someone gives me a copy) Just wish they save them for a new album..

Then there are the Gold, Icon and the Millennium Series. WHY? The kind of stuff that that the clueless fan would buy. The shit you buy at WalMart. They aren't even authentic releases approved by the artists themselves. Betcha they won't even see a dollar off of any copies sold. Just another reason to part with your hard earned dollar

So what kind of compilation you like? What do you recommend?

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