Musicians and artists have been re-packaging already released albums, adding a handful of “B-Side” records at the end, slapping “deluxe” on it and calling it a day for as long as I can remember. To compare this sort of behaviour, it would be like Apple Inc. releasing the same phone with subtle changes and calling it something new… wait, that IS what Apple do…
Regardless, Apple still generates sales, and every year we eagerly await the next instalment to the line. Although technology and music are closer in this day and age than it has ever been before, they are still very different industries. So albeit I may be tolerant of the shenanigans of technological giants Apple. That doesn’t mean I share the same sentiment towards music and artists.
As a consumer, I will naturally want more of that which I consume. The concept is the same across all industries. My demand for more is usually at the expense of the artist. I disregard the fact that they are also human beings and should be allowed to live their lives like everyone else. The grace period between the release of a new project and my desire for another one is somewhat quick.
Clearly, there isn’t much I can do in making an artist release music and, when you are forced to wait, all you can do is wait. However, when deluxe editions are released, it always comes across as lazy to me. I see them as a filler, a strategy an artist uses to buy themselves more time. Similar to how you’d distract a dog with some meat or a bone so you can get back to what you were doing without having them on your case.
In some cases, the deluxe is released simultaneously with the standard edition. A practice that has been popular since the ’00s, the most notable example of this for me is Drake‘s NWTS (Nothing Was The Same)
It has always made me wonder why the “extra content” was separate, why does it have to be “extra”. When the bodies of work are realised on the same day, it makes it all the more confusing. I was less inclined to question such methods before the era of streaming, deluxe editions are sold for more than it’s standard edition counterparts.
However, now that the average listener streams instead of buying, I don’t see any point in doing it. It’s like a cashier giving you half of your groceries at checkout and saying another cashier will give you the other half. It’s unnecessary and inconvenient.
Give me my groceries together, please
It has led me to believe that deluxe editions are purely strategic, a plan of action implemented to boost sales and exposure, alongside what I mentioned earlier regarding buying more time. I admit I’m guilty of eating my cake and wanting to have it. I’m stuck between two minds, I demand new content, but I don’t want it in the shape of a deluxe. I’ve already ingested the story, vibe and composition the artist presented to me in the album. I want something new, something original. I mean, how would you feel about being offered the same meal again after already eating it.
This was my quarrel with Blxst (ha, he doesn’t know I exist) and his decision to divide his project “No Love Lost” in two when the standard edition was only 8 tracks long. He could’ve easily created a single body of work with the songs from the standard and deluxe edition combined. But I guess he had a close-up he was so desperate to share with the world and needed a reason to do so (I’m being facetious)
I’m not sure whether my annoyance with this concept is significant or not. Do I have a valid point, or am I being a Moody Margaret? Nevertheless, I vote for the abolishment of deluxe editions.
What do you think?
The song for today is: EPMD – Nas