Monday, April 13, 2009

Finally: The Beatles' Remasters

Maura Johnston over at Idolator has a post today regarding the Beatles' reissues, something I've clamored for quite a bit and am pretty happy will be making it to the masses this September. I don't think that McCartney and company should be patting each other on the back, since it took them decades to do something that should have been at the top of their list from the beginning days of the CD format. But better late than never, I would say. I have faith that these albums are going to sound better than we've ever imagined, or at least better than they have on digital formats before (nothing beats my copy of Abbey Road on vinyl, "STEVE FISHNER" dymotape still intact). But Johnston isn't so sure that the project will perform very well:
[...]There was one question that was nagging at me every time I passed through another breathless announcement of the release. And that question is: Who, exactly, is going to buy these CDs?

Johnston makes the point that there aren't that many places to even buy CDs anymore, even if people wanted to, which more and more they don't. This is true, and Johnston is right about almost everything (especially "the way the music industry is hell-bent on shooting itself in the foot with dopey ideas like the ringle and Musicpass") save for one thing: people buy the Beatles' material no matter what. She claims that they've "fallen out of the habit," but I don't know that I'd go that far. This is anecdotal but I can pretty much guarantee that my dad, who I think is probably the target here, will pick up this remastered release. No, he doesn't buy CDs with the frequency he once did. In fact, he buys a lot more music via iTunes than he does from brick and mortar sources. But he bought The Beatles' 1, he bought Love, he bought Let It Be Naked, he bought the Capital Albums reissues, and if he bought all those superfluous releases, then he's probably going to buy the remastered catalog. Time will tell, but you should never underestimate the commercial power of the biggest band in the history of the world. As sometime Idolator Michaelangelo Matos points out in the comments to the post, the Beatles are recession-proof.

The Beatles' Remasters: Are They Really That Big A Deal in the Post-CD Era? [Idolator]
Earlier- Dropping the Ball: The Beatles [2DOS]

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