Sunday, 8 February 2009

Remastered CDs (or, Am I a sucker?)

Music is a really important part of my life. I listen to music as often as I can. I buy a lot of new music, and I also try and discover a lot of old music. What I don't really do is buy the same music twice. That would be silly.

But I must be getting old, because now, some of my favourite albums are being re-mastered and re-issued. This puts me in a quandry - Do I re-buy albums I already own? Of course, it's never quite as simple as a re-issue. There's always the tease of some bonus material. The first re-issue I bought was Peter Hooks's first band Revenge's album. One True Passion came out originally in 1990 as Peter Hook's response to Bernard Sumner taking a break from New Order to record with Bernard Sumner as Electronic. The re-issue came out on LTM in 2004 with a completely different tracklist and virtually a whole cd of unreleased material, so in my mind, this was worth buying. Last Year, I re-bought 808 State's Ex-El. The original CD is very quiet and sounds quite soft at times, so I was prepared to buy a re-mastered version of this too, especially since the second cd comes with a whole load of extra tracks and hard-to-find remixes. Soon, Saint Etienne are going to re-release their Heavenly albums. I love Saint Etienne, but can I justify re-buying their albums? I'll buy Foxbase Alpha, but that's because my copy has a scratch on the last track. I probably already own the extra material though, whatever it turns out to be. New Order have also re-issued all of their albums - I could see that I owned the bonus material, and there were stories about the discs having obvious sound faults, so I haven't even considered buying them. And just now I've read that Beth Orton's going to re-release Trailer Park, which I absolutely played to death at the time. But does it need a re-master? Perhaps Galaxy of Emptiness could do with a little shining up, but everything else? Probably not?

Anyway, I've rambled for a bit without coming to any particular point. I guess my point is that I'm not going to rush out and buy a remastered album, unless I'm in the shop, and my will is weak, and...

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