Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Elvis Costello Retires From Recording; Plans On Simply Reissuing His Classic Albums Again and Again Every Three Months

No, Elvis Costello hasn't stopped creating new music. But his almost obsessive and certainly offensive reissuing of his back ctalog has become downright vile. How many different iterations of his classic albums does Costello expect us to buy? They've been put out on Rhino and Rydodisc and of course by his original label and now by Unviersal this May. Fans looking for that odd bonus track have been plagued with never-ending reissues, all just slightly different from each other. Some artists don't take enough care of their catalog. I certainly wish Springsteen would spruce up al his titles. A good rule of thumb is that every ten years you can take another pass at your masters and make major improvements. But Costello just keeps doing it again and again. There's certainly no compelling artistic or sonic reason for all of this; the sad conclusion is that he just keeps switching labels and doesn't mind or care that his fans are being soaked. Sure, no one has to buy them, but when you plonk down hundreds of dollars to buy definitive editions of his classic albums, it is dispiriting -- to say the least -- to see them displaced a year or so later but a newer, MORE definitive edition.

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