A popular music industry trend of the past few years has been the Super Deluxe Edition reissue, where your favorite album is re-released on some anniversary and put in a ridiculously large box with vinyl, DVDs, Edison cylinders, all sorts of useless tchotchkes…and slapped with an equally-ridiculous high price tag.
One such set was Peter Gabriel’s So: 25th Anniversary Deluxe Box Set, which failed to excite a large swath of his fans, and was taken to task by the excellent (and excellently-named) Super Deluxe Edition blog for all its shortcomings – one of which was including a DVD of the concert Live in Athens 1987 instead of a higher-resolution Blu-ray, which would’ve provided better sound as well. Surely a sonic crusader such as Peter Gabriel would’ve seen the merit in doing that for fans shelling out such a pretty penny.
At the time, the bulldog-like SDE blog surmised that they’d likely not included a Blu-ray so that one could be released separately in the future, further bilking the fans who’d already bought the set. Peter Gabriel HIMSELF even responded directly to SDE saying he “got this wrong” and that there were “no plans, at present, for a stand-alone version” of the Athens set.
The key words, apparently, were “at present”.
On September 16th, Eagle Rock will indeed be releasing Live in Athens 1987 on Blu-ray. They will be adding some content not on the DVD…but that content is the previously-released 2004 video collection Play, which fans likely already own.
The SDE blog is already campaigning for Gabriel to offer fans a free copy of this Blu-ray with proof-of-purchase of the So box. Details are in that link if you’d like to join them.
At the very least, I hope this will get the artists and the industry to think a little harder about what goes into a boxed set with an MSRP equaling the price of a round-trip to Vegas.