Why So Many Box Sets?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Vaughan, Sep 15, 2021 at 3:45 AM.

  1. JohnJ

    JohnJ Forum Resident

    the next stage is when they all die. There will be a whole load of reissues/ new boxsets when there’s no one left from The Who, Pink Floyd, The Stones etc.
  2. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
  3. Theristocrat

    Theristocrat Well-Known Member

    Lake Vostov
    Yes, I'd like Pink Floyd's "Nothing" Parts 1-13, please.
    realmdemagic likes this.
  4. OneMoreCupOfCoffee

    OneMoreCupOfCoffee Pamplemousse of Love

    Howden, UK
    Fair enough. Iron Maiden is a band I associate heavily with picture discs to be fair.
  5. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    I think the box set question has been pretty well covered already. No one wants to make single CDs that no stores will carry, but if you know your fanbase and can easily sell X amount via pre-order, go for it.
  6. sharedon

    sharedon Forum Zonophone

    They're luxury items, I guess. When I can afford them, I get them, but then again I drive an ancient car, cut way back on drinking, and quit therapy, so maybe there are worse vices!
    RSteven and Jimmy Agates like this.
  7. Neonbeam

    Neonbeam All Art Was Once Contemporary

    Planet Earth
    Why so many boxsets?

    I keep asking myself the same question looking at my shelves. :biglaugh:
    Tjazz and Uncle Miles like this.
  8. Uncle Miles

    Uncle Miles Wafting in and out of Forum

    Phoenix, AZ USA
    It’s partly my own fault, I have bought several of them
    Tjazz and RSteven like this.
  9. FredCamp

    FredCamp Forum Resident


    Tjazz, Uncle Miles, RSteven and 2 others like this.
  10. jmxw

    jmxw Fab Forum Fan

    If an artist falls within my top few favorites, then I want to grab up everything in their canon. Outtakes, remixes, etc...

    But there are some, although I like the artist a lot, I don't feel compelled to buy up everything. The Who kind of ruined themselves for me with their 80s CD remixes and multiple versions of the same album over and over. [How many different versions of Tommy are out there??] I like the Who very much, but... I'm on the fence about their Deluxe boxes. And because they are pricey, if I can live without them I probably will.. maybe I'll regret it later, but ... :shrug:
  11. Amnion

    Amnion Forum Resident

    True, but having to buy vinyl and/or cds for big $$ when ALL you want is the surround mix. Sigh, I repeat myself. having whined in multiple threads about this. :sigh:
    Anthrax likes this.
  12. Marc Perman

    Marc Perman Forum Resident

    I have a handful of smaller rock CD boxes (e.g. Beatles mono, Stones mono, Hawkwind, Robyn Hitchcock, Hood, Robert Wyatt), but for me it’s classical boxes which have the most appeal. Karajan 1960s, Szell’s complete Columbias, Toscanini’a complete RCAs, the giant Heifetz and Rubinstein boxes, and so on are all amazing sets that I couldn’t have imagined being put together 20 years ago.
    Tjazz and coffeetime like this.
  13. laether

    laether Forum Resident

    Men (maybe women too) in their 40s, 50s, 60s etc... want desperately live their youth again so there's a strong market for re-releasing the music of their youth. These fellas have serious funds to spend too.
  14. TheSeldomSeenKid

    TheSeldomSeenKid Forum Resident

    The Final Leftovers(the name I have already used for ‘The Final Cut’, as a follow up to ‘The Wall’, but would also fit for one last Box Set):agree:.
    Guy E likes this.
  15. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    New Mexico USA
    It’s impressive how much of this discussion is generally negative, ultra cynical, focused on corrupt/last-ditch motives on the part of recording companies and compulsive/last-gasp behavior on the part of doddering box-set buyers with one foot in the grave and all eyes on empty nostalgic re-purchasing. As if the box set marketplace is a wholly decadent, somewhat pathological and unhealthy hoarding proposition in a streaming world that’s passed physical media by as CDs and vinyl slowly stagger toward the boneyard of oblivion. What an ugly picture.

    I don’t buy many box sets or deluxe editions, but I absolutely love the ones I own and I actively listen to all of them. Like great hi-fi gear, they last and provide deep rewards for years and decades of exploration. Their archival qualities are no substitute for the dynamism and excitement of new music, but when I look around at the couple of dozen box sets in my collection, I see an absolute good and a lot of noble pleasure, not some kind of sickness. If you buy box sets you don’t listen to, you’re doing it wrong.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2021 at 11:26 AM
  16. Ray29

    Ray29 Forum Resident

    Brooklyn, NY
    You bought the right ones. The King Crimson boxes are all about the live shows that are included. Starless and Road to Red are brilliant box sets. Check out the included live shows. It’s not about the Red or Starless & Bible Black single 40 minute original albums. I own 5 of the Crimson boxes. The original 4 disc overview of their output through the 80’s, and the 4 disc live set from the 73-74 lineup which can now be easily had in two 2 disc reissue. As for the Big Boxes I own Larks, Starless and Red. Larks is the weakest as the quality of most shows are bootleg type. So my point is KC does it right. It’s not 8 different demos of the same studio track. It’s about the high level of improvisation on a nightly basis. Same goes for the Grateful Dead. So basically I’m in for the live aspect. But at this point I may never have enough time to truly get through all that I have. So if if a box set is done right it’s a good thing, most of the time it’s simply just material you may never revisit. Basically some of the Stones, Sabbath and other useless boxes are simply a money grab.
  17. dmcnelly

    dmcnelly Grammy Award Loser

    100% with you there. I'm fine with a box set that can keep it normal jewel case sized or has jewel cases inside it, but my CD storage is designed to hold CDs, not a 1:24th scale model of the Hindenberg.
    Who'sTommy, Anthrax and Vaughan like this.
  18. dkmonroe

    dkmonroe A completely self-taught idiot

    Last chance to get us old codgers to buy music we already own in a pretty package.
    Tjazz and Marc Perman like this.
  19. Michael S

    Michael S Forum Resident

    Haven't read the whole thread but think most people have touched on key reasons:

    1. Old folks with disposable income
    2. Milking as much as possible from past catalogs

    But also, box sets have evolved. Initially (early 90s) box sets were usually 3 or so discs designed as an expanded "greatest hits" type package. Later, another format, the comprehensive, career-spanning sets were developed.

    These were organic developments and were largely targeted at core fans but were also great deals. There was a while there you could get entire careers (or lengthy key portions of careers) in a single box set for $30-$40.

    Later, "expanded" editions were developed in hopes of giving fans a reason to buy a disc instead of relying on streaming. At first these usually were a few songs added at the end of the disc (turning a 40 minute album into a 60 minute disc, for example). Then they started adding a second full disc. These were usually good deals for consumer because the discs were usually priced $20 or under for single discs.

    THen came expanded packaging, again designed to provide value over streaming. Only recently (last five years but especially last 2-3 years) have we seen the "super deluxe edition" where a single album is somehow turned into 4 CDs and a DVD and maybe 6 LPs or some combination.

    This is record companies simply seeing what the market can bear. They don't produce a lot of them but when you're converting Operation Mindcrime into a $60 purchase the record companies are just printing money. And thus we're where we are.

    Very hard to envision them going back to releasing comprehensive, career-spanning 12-disc sets for $60 when they sell what used to be a single disc for $40 to $200.

    And they'll keep doing it as long as morons like me keep paying.
    Tjazz and Jimmy Agates like this.
  20. Psychedelic Good Trip

    Psychedelic Good Trip Senior Member

    New York
    Why So Many Box Sets?

    The human need for the physical experience of touching & interacting.
    RSteven, notesofachord and sharedon like this.
  21. steveharris

    steveharris Forum Resident

    They never make the box sets I really want!:whistle:
    eric777 likes this.
  22. Clark V Kauffman

    Clark V Kauffman Forum Resident

    Des Moines, Iowa
    Boxed sets succeed not in spite of the decline of physical media but because of it. Boxed sets embrace the concept of “value added” product. So instead of a traditional 1-disc album, we get a remixed version or a remastered version, plus outtakes and alternate takes, plus a mono mix, plus posters and books and video content, plus a vinyl component. It’s all about creating a new kind of physical product that can’t be duplicated by downloads and streaming.
    Glad Man and notesofachord like this.
  23. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Dedicated Follower of Hi-Fi

    New Mexico USA
    The idea that people under 50 or under 30 are also buying box sets seems entirely missing in all these “last chance to milk codgers” posts.
    Sanctuary and notesofachord like this.
  24. long gone john

    long gone john Forum Resident

    Whitley Bay, UK
    I'm in the opposite camp. I'm fed up of paying for CD sets that come with mandatory surround sound discs that I don't have the kit to play. I suppose one day I may have the money and inclination to invest in the equipment (so I'm effectively future-proofed) but at the moment I feel like they're an unnecessary extra that are used to justify overpriced sets.
    Anthrax likes this.
  25. Amnion

    Amnion Forum Resident

    LOL. we're both being abused. I guess the answer is to find someone with similar musical taste,
    and split up the sets. I recently bought the Goat's Head Soup 5.1 disc here on the forum.
    Anthrax and long gone john like this.

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