Earache Head Honcho Breaks Down Album Re-Issues
- Posted on November 17, 2010
If you don't check out Earache Records head honco Digby Pearson's blog, Ask Earache, you're missing out on some candid knowledge. Just recently, he answered a question regarding a rather controversial subject, album re-issues. Many critics would call such a practice "double dipping" to try to get diehard fans to pay for the same album twice, but Dig has evidence to the contrary. He frankly says that they do very well, and while they aren't sure exactly why he believes that fans today hold out for special package reissues with bonus DVDs and all that additional flare. He brings up interesting points on how a re-issue can help a current band looking for a good tour, as well as why they re-issue some of their older catalogue:
Actually there are 2 distinct types of re-issues on Earache, and the motivation to do them is different in each case. 1) Numerous old 'classic' bands from Earache's early period have reformed recently – Sleep, Brutal Truth, Godflesh, Carcass, At The Gates etc – mostly they have reactivated themselves as headliners to take advantage of the lucrative modern-day touring circuit which rewards bands now much more than when the bands split up.Consequently their back catalog deserves an audio spring clean and EQ boost to suit the tastes of the modern metal audiences for whom every extreme metal band nowadays must boast a crushingly loud production to be taken seriously and 2) upcoming bands – say Evile, Municipal Waste- who simply need a boost of sales to give their career a shot in the arm.
In the case of newer bands, most of the music business still ranks and rates bands on the number of CDs sold via ye olde recorde shoppes, known in the USA as Soundscan. A cleverly-timed re-issue (say round a highly visible tour supporting a major act) can give a newbie band a much needed spike in Soundscan numbers. The aim is to persuade fans to make a purchase, this will make agents, promotors and festival organisers take notice of a new act.
These are some very valid points. I can certainly attest to remasters sounding way bigger (and in most cases better) than original releases put out 25 years ago. So maybe it isn't a waste after all! Obviously, if this wasn't a money maker, the labels would stop doing it, and they do make an effort to include some bonus content most of the time to make it worth it for a consumer.
Do you buy re-issues or do you just get albums when they come out and that's that?