It doesn't seem that the corporate music world feels confidant that an album can sell itself anymore. If it doesn't come with a free 7?, bonus disk, sticker, poster, or live DVD, it seems naked. A plain jewel case won't do, so bands like Modest Mouse and Arcade Fire have been pushing "deluxe" versions of their albums with such (irrelevant and more expensive) features as a real holographic "neon" bible or a thicker booklet. Now, I don't want to be misunderstood here. Extras and bonuses are great. Further, it seems that labels are doing their best to find ways to sell albums to a downloading market. It's just that from my observation, it's gotten excessive. An album purchase is starting to sound like a infomercial. Case in point: Saddle Creek's promotions for the new Bright Eyes' album, Cassagdaga. Pre-order to get the single 7?. Purchase the album and receive your choice of Cassadaga tote bag: two sizes; two colors. And what music purchase would be complete without a Cassadaga fortune cookie? The apocalyptic fortunes such as: "Best intentions are often crushed by the forces of the universe," are a nice touch.
Good for the Saddle Creek crew for coming up with an attention getting way to sell the album. It's fun for the fans and it's good for business. However, today I watched a kid consider buying the new Kings of Leon album. He picked it up, looked over the track listing and then asked: "Does it come with anything else?" Oh, come on.
LP / CD / MP3
LP / Deluxe LP / CD / Deluxe CD / MP3
LP / CD / MP3