Elvis Costello recently got a lot of press for Blogging on his site, "Steal This Record." He was referring to his new deluxe package The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook. It looks like a rather nice package, with three CDs, a thick booklet, and even a 10" vinyl record.
Costello's argument that the package price of $263 is too high is understandable. And his reaction to this price gaffe is not out of character for a guy who, late at night in a bar Columbus, Ohio, 1979, called James Brown and Ray Charles by the N word and got bitch-slapped by Bonnie Bramlett for his remarks. She was sober. He, most likely was not. To say that Costello has a long history of occasionally expressing himself before thinking things through is an understatement. He may well be the John Galliano of rock... far more talented though...
Of course cynics assume it's all marketing hype — if an artist defames the product it will sell better. It worked for Abbie Hoffman, or did it? But as a fan I'd LOVE to hear this live show from 2011. But at its current price it doesn't matter what anyone does, I'm not about to buy it. I'll wait, years if need be, till a less ambitious, more consumer-friendly version becomes available.
Speaking of sales, according to Digital Music News sales of vinyl for the year are up only 2.98% for the year. But in the same article Digital Music News mentions that Best Buy is selling some vinyl as part of holiday sales, which may boost end-of-year sales figures.
So, if you are a vinyl fan and an Elvis Costello fan, go out and buy his new, boxed set at Best Buy or Amazon so the sales numbers can go in the right columns. Or you could follow Costello's advice and NOT buy his new box set. Instead buy a boxed set of Ray Charles, James Brown, or Bonnie Bramlett...