Known Johnson

September 16, 2007

Ripping weekend

Filed under: Music — Tom @ 10:01 pm

I’ve spent much of the weekend in front of the computer loading disc after disc into my drive to rip into Itunes. I’ve gotten way behind in that task, having resorted a few weeks back to simply carrying discs with me. The summer seems to have set me back in this respect, so I tried to make up for it this weekend. Why I’ve been so lazy, I don’t know, but now there’s finally a bunch of stuff that I’ve been lugging around that is ready to be dropped into my Ipod. The good news is that I now have a big stack of disc that had been to my left at this computer now sitting next to me on the floor as ripped discs. The bad news is that, now that I have this big stack of ripped discs sitting next to me on the floor, they now need to be filed in the collection. Sigh.

Not to mention that I still have a number of discs left to rip . . .

I don’t know if anyone else caught the special on VH-1 Classic this weekend for the impending release of David Gilmour’s live DVD, Remember That Night, but after seeing this I’m both very excited for this two-DVD set that I had originally been a bit apprehensive about, I am also, unfortunately a bit upset to see that the set only contains one track (“This Heaven”) from the AOL Sessions – all of which were included in the second special edition of On an Island. I’d hoped (and read somewhere now long forgotten) that the second disc would be filled in with tracks like that, since I and presumably many others passed up that reissue. So, guess what? I’m buying that damned thing, too – the full AOL Sessions appears to be a fantastic set. Dammit. Yeah, I’m a sucker, and Columbia Records was hoping that exactly this would happen. On an Island may not be my favorite album, but it’s grown on me much more than my initial misgivings about that far-too-mannered album had indicated. I’ll be talking more about this DVD set in The Breakdown in a couple days, so be sure and tune back in for that.

I’m a little annoyed reading the “reviews” for last week’s My Aim Is True deluxe edition. Sure, there have been multiple versions of this thing now, but this one is pretty significant with that whole live disc and all. Does everyone need it? No, absolutely not – like any deluxe edition, it’s aimed a very small market and the price reflects that. But people on Amazon are taking this way too personally – giving this excellent set low ratings simply because they don’t like the concept of another version of it. It’s not fair to buyers who don’t read reviews and simply see a 1 or 2 star overall review and think that rating pertains to the music, not the concept of a deluxe edition. There’s simply no need for this kind of reaction – the market will bear what the market will bear. If people truly don’t want it, it will sell badly and the message will get across. Unfortunately, with useless “reviews” like many of which are on Amazon, the market can’t truly reflect what the people are thinking. Even more unfortunately, those of us who enjoy getting sets like this will likely not get another chance at further additions to Costello’s “deluxe” catalog. And I’ll happily pay for a disc and a half of “new” material again – the additional version of My Aim Is True is the bonus for me, not the live set and the previously unreleased studio tracks. As many have said before me, if you don’t want it, don’t buy it – but don’t bitch at everyone who does want it and call those who want it stupid for doing so. We want because we want, that is all. You don’t have to buy it if you don’t want to – no one is holding a proverbial gun to your head.

I do, however, wonder just how much involvement Costello had in this set. Given the opportunity, Elvis waxes on and on in the previous versions of his albums, but in this deluxe set, there are absolutely no anecdotes whatsoever – just credits and lyrics, plus some pictures. I’m a little let down that Hip-O didn’t even bother to find someone, anyone else to write a little something about the album’s importance. This might not be the only deluxe to lack extensive notes, but it’s the only one of this kind in my collection.

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