On September 9, 2009 Apple, EMI, and Capitol Records reissued the entire Beatles catalogue. All the albums had been remastered and restored for the first time since 1987, when the Beatles albums were first released on CD. Both critics and fans loved the new reissues and though the sound on the CDs was brilliant. It was worth every penny, for many fans. However this year sees the release of more Beatles related products, all of which are pricy. This leaves the fan to ask themselves: should I buy what I already own? With the Beatles issues, it was a no brainer: of course you were going to shell out some two hundred bucks for a box set of albums by the greatest rock band of all time. However with these other reissues, what does a fan do? This will cover all the prices for the Apple/EMI/Capitol reissues released this year and will determine whether to buy it or not.
Note: All prices are based on Amazon.com
The Beatles Red and Blue albums
These two double compilations were the original greatest hits albums of the Beatles. There’s a great selection of songs and it’s good for anyone who’s new to the band.
Red Album price: $19.88
Blue Album price: $13.99
Last time released: 1993
Should I get it?: If you’re a collector or completist, then yes. If you already have the remasters box set, then no. There’s nothing new on here…at least I don’t think so.
John Lennon reissues
Early in October, Yoko Ono reissued the entire Lennon catalogue to commemorate what would’ve been Lennon’s 70th birthday on October 9. The albums feature John’s original mixes and new liner notes. Among the reissues is Double Fantasy Stripped Down. The album includes the original 1980 album along with a stripped down version of the album (remember Let It Be…Naked? This is like that).
Box set price: $149.99 (this set doesn’t come with the stripped Double Fantasy)
Single disc price: $12.99 or less
Double disc price: $19.99 for Sometime in New York City (which finally re-adds the bonus live disc not included in the 2004-2005 reissue)
Last time released: 2000 to 2005
Should I get it?: If you don’t own any of John’s music, go ahead. If you already own the ones from last decade, stick with those. I just bought what I didn’t have already and I also got the new Double Fantasy as my copy was pretty old. Plus, I wanted to hear the stripped version!
At the end of October, Apple Records reissued some 14 selected titles from their catalogue. Artists include Badfinger, James Taylor, Mary Hopkin, Jackie Lomax, Billy Preston, and others. Of those artists, I like Badfinger the most. I own all their albums, even the one album they did as the Iveys (which wasn’t picked to be reissued).
Box set price: $303.49…screw that! I think the reason why it’s so expensive is because it’s a limited edition.
Single album price: $12.99 more or less
Last time released: For Badfinger- 1992 or earlier. The others…no clue
Should I get it?: Only if you’re a fan of any of those artists which I doubt (who reads this blog anyway?). I’m torn between getting and not getting the Badfinger titles, which there are four of. I’ve said before that I’d gladly repurchase Ass, since my version has poor sound quality. But I’m afraid if I get that, then I’ll have to get the three others. According to one Badfinger web site creator, they aren’t a must have unless you’re a diehard fan of Badfinger and want those bonus tracks (which have changed from the earlier versions, which I find weird). There is one title that’s a “best of” Apple records. You may want to check that out.
Paul McCartney reissues
McCartney’s albums by himself and with Wings will be reissued. This month, they started with Band on the Run. More titles and release dates will be announced soon. Below are the prices for the different versions of Band on the Run.
Single disc: $10.46
Double disc and one DVD: $14.99
Triple disc and one DVD: $74.99 (this also comes with a 120 page hardcover book with rare pictures taken by Linda McCartney and Clive Arrowsmith. The third disc is the same as the second disc from the 25th Anniversary edition from 1999. That disc is a audio documentary on the making of the album)
Vinyl record (2 records): $33.23 (with an MP3 download of 18 tracks)
Last time released: 1993 and 1999
Should I get it?: I recently pre-order the two disc version. I’m excited to see the long lost documentary One Hand Clapping from 1974, which is on the DVD. If you don’t have the album, then get the single disc. I already own Band on the Run on CD and vinyl. The play count for the album on my iTunes is ridiculously big. However, it’s not my favorite by Paul. When it comes to his albums with Wings, this is my favorite. When it comes to Paul’s solo work, I’ll stick with Ram. If any other titles comes out, I really have to think about getting them. If they got any extra goodies, I just might get them. Of all the Beatles solo material, I own more of Paul’s stuff.
Also if you don’t have the Beatles reissues themselves, what are you waiting for? Get them now! The stereo box set is priced at $188. There’s no problem with getting them one at a time either. Though if you are a diehard fan, you should already have them. It’s kind of like a crime to not have those reissues by now.