View From A Record Store #9
'Cause we just can't get enough of the ******* Beatles
Well thats what were told anyway. So here we are again, once every 18 months or so, EMI finds another way of milking the catalogue that just keeps on giving. Mojo, Q, Record Collector willingly give up there covers to the EMI PR department, the BBC hands over all editorial control for a few days and we get treated to another high density Beatles fest.
Magical Mystery Tour this time. Apparently BBC local radio have all joined hands; they are apparently asking locals about there recollection of the tour.
Allow me to quote the BBC website; this is what they say about the film
"It was not a hit, confusing the audience, and was savaged by critics in reviews that branded it "rubbish" ….."
So this is definitely worth doing again then. Maybe next week we could have one of Pauls turds filmed for an hour and broadcast... its got to be worth it, as it's the Beatles.
Although the segment of 'I Am A Walrus' is pretty wacky.
Later on this year we have the spectacle of EMI issuing all the albums AGAIN, this time on LP. 180 gram no less... So for £550 you can own every single one in a box with a lovely book. This book is absolutely amazing, and almost certainly has picture of John, Paul, George and Ringo consorting directly with God. I have not seen it myself, but feel this is the only reasonable reason it is costing close to £100...
You can buy each album from the box set separately for £28. Which is very reasonable (if you're a dick). There are 16 albums available, so I did some shit called maths. Here I took the price of each album and multiplied it by 16, and I got a number that resembled £448, which seemed significantly less than the £550 for the same LPs with a book. At this point I thought, wow these '[ahem - Ed]' are once again taking the piss or the book is incredible.
As you can probably tell, this whole thing slightly irks me.
I have 2nd press copies of all the Beatles albums, multiple times over. I sell them for £10. So do not misunderstand me, I sell the music. The last 5 albums are bloody great. They have been overplayed by me now, and so do sometimes grate, but if I give it 2 years between each listen I really enjoy them.
The 2nd Press Parlaphone records are stunning. They play so well. Bomb proof vinyl from presses not concerned with excess material use. These were all pre oil crisis, when vinyl was thick, when EMI had the worlds best pressing plant. It is hard to think of anyway you could better these copies.
I sell 70's and 80's re-presses of the albums for £7, when they are immaculate. You can go to any carboot in the country and pick up a beatles record in varying condition for less than a quid. Right now on eBay, if you search for Beatles LPs you get over 2000 listings back
Of which only about 1/3rd will sell. While this is far better than the eBay average of about 10% of the circa 1 million records for sale on there at any one time. It's still pretty shit.
“So what?” you may say. Well all I'm saying is, they sold a few records. And while I am one for making sure the value of a piece of music is maintained, I do not think that gouging the market is helping there cause. I know there is a new generation of people discovering this music, and this is great. But these guys are not going to spend 30 odd quid on an LP. So who's the audience? Well its the die hard Beatles fans. And there are quite a few. These guys are the ones who will spend £200 on mint copies of 1st press records. These guys are to be commended. We all obsess about something, and Beatles fans are no different.
But taking the piss out of them is just unfair. EMI know they will buy these overpriced box sets, their inputs costs will be relatively low, so they will make a killing taking the piss out of fans who have stuck by them for often 40 odd years. Then EMI will wonder why no one is buying music. This is why... you reap what you sow, if you take the piss out of people enough then they will stop coming back.
Well done EMI. They seem desperate to cause the inward collapse of their own industry.
Acid Jazz just brought our the Frays one and only album from 1965. It has never been out before, having been pulled from release. This is being done in a lovely sleeve for £12. I've sold loads.
In future EMI, why not take a leaf out of this book. Print up the albums on vinyl, and get them out for £12 retail. Ironically you'll probably make more, as you will certainly sell loads more. As I know literally hundreds who would buy one at this price. And you'll get lots of new fans who want to listen to this music they way it was intended.