In my teenage years, my favorite musical artist was Frank Zappa. I was obsessed with his music and I listened to it constantly. There was always so much going on in it that nearly everything else seemed like it was hopelessly stagnant.
In retrospect, Zappa was quite possibly the most important, intelligent, influential musician of the twentieth Century. He was always misunderstood by the majority and all these years later it is still ahead of its time.
As I stumbled into adulthood, my tastes changed. I had listened to too much of Frank's work. I never gave up on it completely, but I moved on.
Lately I've been coming back to it. I had every one of his albums back in the day, but I lost them in my turbulent young life. I'm collecting it on vinyl again.
But the real shame of it has been that Zappa's work has been, for the most part, unavailable to purchase. You could get used RykoDisc CDs at various prices. Most of them pretty high.
Last week it was announced that the entire Frank Zappa catalog would soon become available for purchase. This is great news for fans old and new. Right?
The first batch is due a the end of July and I checked Amazon to see if they are listed. They are. I was disappointed to see that the cost per CD will be sold for $17.61 each. Am I the only one who thinks that is a little high?
It's not like the recording of the albums needs to be paid for. It was done decades ago. Frank remastered them all before his untimely death. Why nearly eighteen bucks a pop?
Hasn't anyone learned the lessons of hugely successful merchants like WalMart and Amazon.com? Sell items for low prices and you move more units. A lot more units. It's idiotically simple.
In this day and age, consumers can and will download the music for themselves, or those who buy it will rip the albums and set up all their friends with them. I DO NOT CONDONE THIS BEHAVIOR. Especially all the people who think they have the right to torrent every movie or music release they want. It fucks up the whole system.
Anti-piracy coding can be put on CDs, but it has an effect upon honest customers a lot of the time. It's like that Warner Archive crap where you can't play the DVDs on PC computers. I got burned on it before and I'll never buy another one from them.
Wouldn't twelve dollars a CD be a lot more reasonable? Wouldn't fans and potential fans be more likely to buy the releases if they 25% cheaper? It's not like compact discs are expensive to manufacture.
They say that the CD is a dying medium for music distribution. Gee, I wonder why, when these people are asking so much per unit.
Plus, $17.61 seems to be the preorder price. Will they be more expensive later?
Maybe the prices will change. I hope so. It saddens me. I'd like to see more music fans buying the Frank Zappa albums. There thing is, like it or not there are alternatives today to buying music honestly. And people will use them if they are unhappy with the legitimate releases.