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Archive for April 14th, 2010

Reissue Theory: Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Blood Sugar Sex Magik”

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The fearful question reissue enthusiasts have to ask – particularly those who might have a hand in putting them out for public consumption – is: when is the reissue wave going to crash?

I don’t pose the question in terms of when people will stop paying money for physical media, because I don’t think that’s a particularly relevant problem right now. As long as fans keep buying enough reissued CDs now and future generations take a moment to ponder the merits of sound quality, this isn’t an issue. I’m not talking in terms of no more material to release or repackage. Seriously, for every catalogue release that surprises you with its depth, there are another ten or so on your wish list.

Instead, the question is meant in terms of when the music stops being worth a reissue. That’s not to say that all music after such-and-such a date is crap. Instead, it is a very sad probability that attention-challenged newer listeners who barely have time to consume music past a few singles here and there won’t be able to successfully process an album once, let alone twice. The best and/or most successful records of the past 10 to 15 years – Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head, No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom, even Britney Spears’ …Baby One More Time (hey, cut out that laughing) – will have a hard time finding an audience past the super-hardcore fans, and even then there will be those not interested enough in buying a new set.

The good thing is there are still some acts with long careers – even stretching into the 1990s – that haven’t taken full advantage of reissuing their greats with the usual flair. Case in point the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have a large, devoted fanbase from a multifaceted 25-year career but who have only seen four of their nine albums reissued on CD (that would be their EMI-owned material from 1984 to 1989). Their Warner-era material – beginning of course with 1991’s excellent crossover smash Blood Sugar Sex Magik – still remains un-reissued.

But hey – 2011 is the 20th anniversary of the disc, so an expansion may be feasible someday. And there’s always Reissue Theory! Give it away after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Mike Duquette

April 14, 2010 at 01:34