16 November 2008

Cash mountain

While I'm here - and complaining - I have to mention something that would be amusing if it wasn't so fucking sad. I like vinyl. I like when bands get their old albums re-pressed on vinyl. Keeps the eBay hucksters and flippers disgruntled and prices low. Hooray to that, I say. But it chagrins me to a great degree to see idiocy like this carny trick.

Mastodon are a really good band. After an inauspicious start (their debut wasn't a patch on In the Eyes of God, the Today Is The Day album half the band played on before their 'Stodon days), they released two damn fine albums in Leviathan and Blood Mountain. So they have released three albums, the last even attaining the status of 'token metal album' on the magazines' year-end lists for 2006. How much would you pay for their collection to be pressed once more on vinyl?

I'll clarify matters. On top of the three albums, there is an odds-and-sods collection, Call of the Mastodon. Throw in a live set and how much would you pay? Relapse tends to release their LPs for about $16. So 16 x five is $80. Sounds fair, even if I don't really want odds, sods, or live sets.

How about $268 if you're in Europe. (Or $275 if you read the small print.)

Looks to me like someone saw the money Isis made from selling extortionate career box sets, and thought 'hey, they hadn't even been good for the second half of that decade!* Imagine how hard we're gonna coin it'. The really sad thing is it will sell out. Even sadder, 90% of purchasers will make a profit when they re-sell on eBay in six months or so. Cynical, moi?

There will be some really good music in that box set, but that price is ridiculous. You can't even pretend to be in it for the music when you charge amounts like that for a retrospective on a three-album band. And I do wish Relapse would stop with the goddamn splatter vinyl. That joke isn't funny any more. Solid colours please. Or just black vinyl. Some of us like to listen to our records.

At least this version of Blood Mountain seems to be on two discs. Shame they couldn't have done that from the start.


* Prove me wrong with yer next record, Isis. Prove me wrong. Or just do another Old Man Gloom album instead.

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