Boo. Hiss. Etc. I got all excitified when I read about the long-awaited release of David Gilmour’s Live In Gdansk set. I grew to love On An Island, you see – it was an album that did exactly what great albums should do. It initially underperformed and then, like a true gem, was chipped out little by little out of ugly stone to reveal its beauty. I can do nothing now but profess great love for it. It is a gentle, beautiful, fragile piece of music that has gone misunderstood by many a fan, and for that I feel sorry for them. They’ve missed something wonderful.
But back to what I was saying. Gdansk is special because Gilmour played with an orchestra on this occasion – his first in Poland, last show of the tour. The Pink Floyd song “A Great Day For Freedom” was performed here and only here on this tour, making it a bit special. Glimpses of this show on the Remember That Night DVD did indeed seem to indicate that it was something spectacular.
So when news broke that the set would be coming out this fall, I was excited. And then I was a little concerned . . . it would be coming out in the dreaded “multiple formats” option that is becoming the norm these days. Two CDs, two CDs and a DVD, two CDs and two DVDs, THREE CDs and two DVDS, or a vinyl set. You know which one I want – three CDs and two DVDs, please. I kept checking Amazon but only saw options up to two CDs and two DVDs. Uh oh – do I smell a Best Buy exclusive coming? Finally, today, I think I have my answer. I can buy 4 discs being $40 on Amazon. But that third CD bumps the price up an additional $30?! Best Buy and their exclusives have just changed the damned game.
Okay, I know the package is extra-nice and all, but I’m really having a hard time with this one. The interest here is in the extra live track on that third disc. I have no interest in the friggin’ mp3s that will be available on the other versions. If they were FLACs, I’d happily give up on the hard copy of the extra songs. But mp3s will not do.
This is looking very familiar to the Dylan debacle I mentioned last week, only not as ridiculously expensive. And, man, they’re really hurting me here – I love Gilmour’s guitar playing. He ranks up there as one of my absolute most favorite guitarists of all time. I want to support this. I want to buy this so bad, but that price is a turn off. I fear I will find a way to justify this because, I am sad to inform you, I am a slave to music I love. What will I do?
I have no doubt that Gilmour (and Dylan) were watching the success of Trent Reznor’s deluxe Ghosts packages and realizing they have a market that would buy expensive packages, but they forget that Reznor gave the music away first. I have no doubt that the good will he generated with that move resulted in many more sales of those sets than might have happened had he not offered the music for free. There are lessons to be learned here. Someone should be paying attention. I fear no one is.