A disturbing trend has developed in the music business over the last decade. No, we’re not talking about the whole beef-as-marketing-plan thing that 50 Cent mastered. We’re talking about the album re-release.
These days it’s become all too common for fans to go out and support their favorite artist’s new album on the week of release just to turn around and be slapped in the face a few months later with the expanded, super deluxe, ultra-awesome, special edition that features 5 new songs, 3 “remixes” (aka the album versions with a verse tacked on by the hot new up-and-coming rapper of the moment), a bonus DVD, special packaging, extra photos in the booklet, blah blah blah…
It’s rather frustrating to the consumer who fell into the record company’s trap by supporting an artist during their first week just so they can get those decreasingly important first week sales numbers and that high debut on the Billboard Top 200 chart.
In my not-so-humble opinion, these re-releases fail to accomplish the goals of record labels who wish to “extend the life” of an album project because all they do is frustrate the hardcore fans, encourage illegal downloading, and add gruesome detail to an already ugly portrait of a greedy and dying industry struggling with obsolescence.
Brand new head of Priority Records, and aging gangsta rapper Snoop Dogg is the latest culprit. Snoop has plans to re-release his Malice In Wonderland album in March. The re-release, More Malice, will feature five songs from the original version of the album as well as five brand new songs, two remixes, and a DVD containing a 40 minute short film starring Snoop, Jamie Foxx, Xzibit, and Nipsey Hussle. The first “single” from this release is the remix of “I Wanna Rock” featuring Jay-Z.
By the time March rolls around, will you still want to be hearing “I Wanna Rock?” Especially with everybody and their mama rapping over it and throwing it up on the internet.
A less despicable option would have been for Snoop to just release the new material as specially priced EP, and use the short film as a promotional tool online or even negotiate with a television channel to exclusively air the program in advance of the EP’s release.
But instead, they would much rather you shell out another $12.99 of your hard earned money in this poor economic climate for 5 new songs, two remixes that will probably end up as free downloads on blogs, 5 songs they’ve already paid for, and what probably amounts to a low-budget, poorly written and acted film starring one real actor and three dudes who should probably never do anything more than lip sync or answer interview questions in front of a video camera.
Practices like this are why the music industry continues to struggle. Instead of listening to consumers and giving them what they want, they keep trying to shove their agenda down our throats.
*Looks for a free download link of More Malice*
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