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Everything OLD is SOLD Again - Reissues SAVE the Music Industry
MUSIC is not a GENRE - Season 3 Episode #2



FEATURED MUSIC: NICK – Listen You People (1998)


Last week we talked about audio formats, and touched on how there have been more than 50. Every time a new format is introduced and actually takes hold, the old formats start a slow process of diminishment to be strictly for collectors, fetishists, and/or nostalgia freaks. They never quite go away, but they eventually become too inconvenient to be mass consumed.


Thing is, while the old formats drift into obsolescence, the music itself doesn’t. Sure, trends come and go, but old music maintains a massive fan base. Which means if there’s an album or artist you love but have stopped listening to vinyl or cassettes or CDs or your collection of mp3s, you have to UPGRADE. You have to make a firm decision to reacquire all your favorite music on whatever new format you’re now into.


On one level, this sucks. If you’re a collector of ANYTHING, the thought of having to re-collect what you already have is a major money, time & energy drain. On another level, it’s awesome. You get to rediscover music you might not have listened to in a long time, and you can now share it much more easily. But there’s a THIRD level, the one that really counts in the world. And it’s that without these reissues, the music industry would have been bankrupted a long time ago.


Just like how every new video format, from as far back as the 1830s stroboscopic animation, has been funded and floated in large part by pornography (look it up – it’s true), the music industry continues to thrive largely because they know they have a built-in audience for reissues of all kinds. If it sold once, there’s a 100% chance it will sell again. You can’t count on buyers to follow your lead to new territory every time the standard shifts, but you can absolutely lead them down that road with the tried & true.


I’ve done this hundreds – probably thousands – of times, with every new format, and happily so. At least when funds have permitted. In our current case – CDs, I eventually collected whole band catalogs, among many other upgrades.


The very FIRST upgrade I ever bought was this week’s album. It’s not strictly a one-to-one reissue. There was no previous Compact Jazz – The Sampler on vinyl. What this was is a compilation of excellent jazz songs – some well-known & some deep cuts – kind of a primer for people who don’t know jazz well but might want to, or who just want all these songs in one place. Like a mini playlist. It’s all stuff that only existed on vinyl or cassette.


I played this CD a ton. Some of these artists I knew and loved. Others I was very happy to discover, even get more into. It’s a damn fine and well curated CD. And it was so incredible to hear all that stuff in such excellent condition. I recommend listening to every single cut.


My own personal artist transition from cassettes to CDs happened a good decade after this was released, when CD replication became way more affordable. All my releases had been on cassette, up until this album below. It was a revelation to hear my music at such a high quality, and other than messing with sound on purpose, I’ve never gone back to the old ways. This album even includes some jazz influenced songs, particularly Tracks 8 & 9.


NICK – Listen You People (1998) -


What’s your experience with upgrading your collection? Do you mostly enjoy it, mostly hate it, or never really do it? Are you into any of the music on this week’s album? Are you into any of the music on my first ever CD album? Discuss dammit!

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