Sunday, April 03, 2016

on getting value from the devalued

hello again

a bit of a three pronged attack for you in this blog post, look you see. at the same time all of this will be a celebration at some boner bargains i scored, a lament for the devaluation of that which should not be losing its value and some more quasi ambassadorial work from me for and on behalf of the wonders to be found down in Pound Land.

Pound Land have, in the last week, unleashed their latest bonkers deal. The trade-in CDs which they sell are now sold not at a price of £1 each, but at a ratio of buy one for £1, get one more for 50p. Ostensibly this is "buy four for the price of three" stuff, which is precisely what i did.

yes, as you can see there quite clearly in the magic of Commodore 64 mode, some very smart titles. i shall discuss them at great length just now, but first the rant i suppose.

in this era of "download", it does sadden me that music - even if it is traded in or is second hand - has been devalued to the extent that, in practical terms, each of those albums above cost me 75p each. has the world really fallen out of love with the joy of holding, owning and playing music in a physical format? is it really the case that we are all content to allow great works of music to drop to such a low financial value? if so, there's a price to this, and that's that eventually quality will cease being produced all together.

yes, there is some hypocrisy in my words, since i did go ahead and buy these recordings so cheap. but what was i supposed to do, turn my back on four gems?

more consideration of this subject later, but for now a closer gander at the four recordings i got, if for some reason you are interested in my views.

REM are a band, i will admit, i did not get at the time. their music said precisely zero to me in the late 80s and the early to mid 90s, and i was quite happy to pour scorn on them and anyone who liked them. Denis Leary and Nicky Wire off of the Manic Street Preachers said pretty much anything on the subject of the band that i would say. as i've got older, though, and in particular as i have needed to seek new music in the old with so few new records of consequence being recorded in the 00s onwards, i've developed an appreciation for them.

on that note, Automatic For The People is considered one of the greatest albums of the 90s, and i have no reason to argue with that. this album has been on the stereo 5 or 6 times in the last three or so days, and will be on again. there's not a bad track on it, and, well, it's one to hear. to let this album be sold for 75p is insane, but greatly appreciated.

Temple Of Low Men by Crowded House is what i would consider to be the finest hour (or if you like 40 minutes) if Neil Finn outside of Split Enz, although the follow up, Woodface, was the one that got the most success. i can recall my Dad reviewing this album, some 27 years ago, as saying "it's perfect, every song is superb", and that very much remains the case to this day. if for some reason i was called on to select an album to wave at aspiring musicians today which would give a blueprint for a record that would live forever, this one would be on the list for contention, and would probably win it.

Blur by Blur is the one with that song on it. you know, Song 2. the whole "woooo hoooo" thing, the one that American sports broadcasters like to use now that their friends in America have suggested they no longer use Rock N Roll by Gary Glitter. it's also the one that has Beetlebum on it, a song that i would suggest as being one of the best they ever did which is not their masterpiece, Tender.

if i were to say something nice about Kill Bill, it would be that it was a better film than Death Proof was, and that it had a boss soundtrack. on that note, then, i am most happy to have the soundtrack.

what's a major downside to the price of these discs? well, i appreciate that a few will read this and say "but you could have just downloaded all of them records for free, and saved £3". sadly, if you are going to make outstanding records like this available for 75p a go, it fuels the thinking along the lines of "if it's that cheap then i might as well pay nothing and do a less than legal download".

what's the answer to all of this? no idea. i see, sadly, that the two albums which excited me a while ago, off of James and Primal Scream, have not excited people too far. the James album, Girl At The End Of The World, fell an alarming 17 places in the chart on its second week out. even more alarming is that the Primal Scream one, Chaosmosis, fell at least 29 places, as it is no longer in the Top 40.

would selling them for less than one penny south of £10 increase sales? maybe. i suspect that the continued tribute purchase to Bowie are down to the fact that the two singles collections in the chart are £5 each. why wouldn't you buy at that price. but then again, Adele, The King, Elvis Presley and Coldplay have been selling thousands of copies, week after week, at £9.99 each for about six months now.

unless you were assured of hitting the apparently winning formula of Adele or Coldplay, if we accept that no one but no one could emulate The King, Elvis Presley, why at this stage would anyone go ahead and make new music? it seems that Bobby Gillespie was correct, and that there's virtually no way to make money from recorded music any more. and making money is important, none of them do it for free, ever, and there's no nobility in being a poor but liked singer.

right, let me go and listen to these records some more. and, indeed, plan to give Pound Land further patronage throughout the week. if i found these in one go, who knows what i will find next?

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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