How interested are you in how “limited” a release is?

Love this post and concur!

I’d be curious if there is also a 4th group who consume music mostly digitally and buy a few records every now and then

And obviously the CD collectors as a 6th group too - and sometimes those deluxe edition CDs with books are really lush (we sold out of The Anchoress ones really quickly but it was too expensive to do a second run as you have to do a minimum run so if you don’t sell them all it can be a costly mistake)

Really starting to think the music industry needs to stop clogging up pressing plants and causing environmental damage doing multiple colours of vinyl (loads of acts do a colour especially for Amazon and a different one for indie shops and some acts trying to game the charts will do several different versions)

Especially given the environmental impact which was covered in this great essay

At the time not even slightly apart from one very specific situation.

Madlib - Sound Ancestors last year had special rappcatt editions that weren’t coming to the UK at all, fair enough so pre ordered the normal one and then a week before release TEXT released a gorgeous half speed version for the UK at a Cheaper price to the original version. That annoyed me.

I don’t particularly like buying limited version although at the time I do definitely have buyers remorse with a couple. Daft Punk Random Access Memories boxset is my example I don’t like being a person to profit on records but have you seen the price of it now?

Definitely

I’m sure part of the vinyl revival was older people who’d got rid of records realising they didn’t have that emotional connection to CDs so bought the records of their youth.

Also it kind of makes a lot of sense just to have your favourite albums and digital for stuff that is maybe more fleeting. I actually try to keep my records to the essentials, I like the idea of a curated collection.

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I’m not too concerned about ‘limited’ from a collectable point of view but I used to like it when you’d get limited edition CDs with bonus discs/DVDs - those days are long gone.

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Only time I would care is if a small artist I really like is only doing a limited run for cost reasons, in which case it might make me more likely to preorder so as not to miss getting one entirely

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As with everyone else above, couldn’t give less of a shit.

The only exception to this is some really super limited Trouble Books and Talons’ Lps that i got from MIE records many years ago (Henry, who ran the label, used to sometimes post on old dis).

Those records were very limited and they were gorgeous things to get- sometimes you’d get handwritten notes from the band and Polaroids and all that sort of thing. Felt like a small secret club with just you and the band and a tiny handful of other people who were members.

This is a world away from unwrapping the cellophane on a mass produced records that just happens to be a different colour. Yawn. Don’t care.

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It’s kind of nice to have something ‘limited’ if you bought it for a normal price when it came out. Like a free bonus disc that comes with the first x amount of copies or something.

The idea of paying over the odds to get my hands on a rare limited thing though is of no interest to me

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Especially if it’s just the same album but it’s a different colour / the same Malibu Stacey but with a new hat.

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Wait, if nobody on here cares about it then who does?

All those sinful emotions, eh?

The thing is, it is effective in getting me to buy stuff so as not to miss out. Whereas if it wasn’t advertised as limited and I was confident I’d be able to get one at a later date, then I’d just leave it a lot of the time (and in all likelihood never get round to buying it in quite a few cases).

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The facile answer is that DIS is not the whole world.

The more considered one is that the music industry seems to have decided that the way to milk the ‘vinyl revival’ for maximum profit is not to build production capacity and sell more and more records to more and more music fans, but instead to sell fewer records for higher prices as ‘collectibles’. The market is partly obsessive, mostly younger, fans who are used to regular ‘drops’ of artificially limited and massively over-priced merchandise (because that’s how people like Supreme have become rich), and partly the kind of older (mostly male, I would guess) consumer who has disposable income that they might have previously spent on collecting stamps or something else. In neither case is an interest in music a big part of the driver.

Time will tell if this is a good strategy. My guess it is not and that independent record shops will come to regret being part of fuelling it through RSD.

In no way interested. Exclusivity is the worst.

I think this is the key.

There’s a huge difference between something that’s limited by circumstance, rather than by design.

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Try the Steve Hoffman Forum.

from a consumer point of view: i rarely buy anything physical these days anyway, unless it’s a £2-5 ebay replacement for an album I’ve lost or whatever, or if it’s a mates band (which I suppose will naturally be ‘limited edition’). will 99% of the time just buy the download - am not really into streaming much personally.

from a bands point of view: I can sort of see why some do it, but fuck me it’s such a dismal thing to do. I gave up even trying to press satan albums on vinyl a long time ago due to pressing plant clogs, money, logistics and things like that, and try to keep physical pressings (CDs/ tapes) low just for the sake of cost, and not having 10,000 boxes under my bed.

-oh, I tell a lie btw, I bought myself the 2013 re-press of Geogaddi on triple vinyl from Bleep for under £20, which is bonkers considering. thought i’d treat myself, despite not having a turntable.

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as someone who’s only just “got into” vinyl, have to admit I’m a sucker for a fun coloured version, or a package with a few extra nice treats. But that’s usually also because those are likely to come in physically better packaging - gatefold, thicker card etc. So it feels like it’s more than just the exclusivity factor at play (and I’m often very unaware of just how many of an edition were made, so it can’t matter that much to me)

I think I would like having one of only 100 of a certain tiny-run album, but I wouldn’t suddenly get sad after the fact if it got repressed - that’s dickhead behaviour. I just mean that while it was limited I’d be glad I’d managed to get a copy

more generally on the limited factor and people saying artificial scarcity is shitty - yes but also no

Navy Blue, one of my favourite recent discoveries, seems to do very small physical runs of his stuff and only sells it direct from his own site. Just the basic CD was $20, basic vinyl was $55, with deluxe editions running $90+. Seems to have sold out to most of them, so I can see how that must appeal to an artist; don’t go chasing any sort of big success, just market yourself to a small group of physical media fans who can afford the price for the sake of exclusivity, and suddenly you’ve actually manage to “make” $40k from sales of one record

Great minds mate…

I made this meme for the Bright Eyes reissues Dead Oceans are doing
(Dead Oceans being the current worst for variants and limited versions imo)

image
image

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RAP Ferreira took this approach with Purple Moonlight Pages a couple years back (I guess Bob’s Son too but I don’t have that one). I streamed it, decided I wanted it on vinyl, price seemed high on Discogs and was surprised to see it on the label site for the same price. Turns out since it was going to be limited, it was kind of a “fuck you” to would-be flippers, dissuading them from buying it due to price, and charging the same price to those who actually want it, but the money going to the artist instead of the flipper. Worked on me, paid $80 for the 2LP for it but felt good about where the money was going.

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