I think, for the most part, the bonus tracks do more harm than good. I do not stay away, but find myself scratching my head when I hear these "tag-on" tracks. Amending masterful artwork or books is not something we accept so why do we modify music?
Oh, I have to agree with you Tpreaves. As one example, I bought a remastered copy of Jethro Tull's Benefit last year, and not only are there a number of bonus tracks, but they are mixed in with the original order of the songs, which I think is akin to a moustache on the Mona Lisa. It's very distracting. If there must be bonus tracks, they should be at the end where they can be ignored if we choose.
'a carpenter doesn't keep his shavings'-werner herzog
I was having a similar thought recently when listening to The Byrds' "Sweetheart Of The Rodeo." The bonus tracks add very little to the listening experience.
While we're at it, since the advent of the cd most recordings are just too long. It was hard enough to put 40 minutes of quality music on an album, Filling 70+ minutes is nearly impossible. As I usually listen start to finish, I actually prefer cds that run 45 minutes or less.
Timrhu-Right on, brother.
I'd rather have the frequent flyer miles.
I always thought that the decision by the artist not to release demos and the like in the first place was probably the right one. I can not think of a single instance where it has helped a release and can think of several that it has harmed ... Bowie's Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust, Rosanne Cash's Seven Year Ache, CSNY's First Album, and the list goes on. Take a buck off the price and spare me the mediocre stuff.
You can always push 'stop'
Feel the same way about 'Bonus tracks' as I do about posthumous releases. There's a reason Hendrix and Miles decided NOT to release a lot of their recordings, they weren't up to standards. If the original artist didn't approve of the release, I won't buy it!
Another compelling reason for computer audio and playlists. I quite enjoy some of the outtakes - some great stuff for example on Clapton's '461 Ocean Boulevard' deluxe edition. Nice material to mix into a complilation playlist.
As a side, and perhaps deserving of its own thread, has anyone ever taken notice where a song was just finding it's groove on the fade out and you've remarked to yourself "damn, where were they going with that?". An example off the top of my head would be at the end of The James Gang's 'Walk Away'. It would be nice if they could add some of these unedited cuts that may have turned into some interesting extended jams.
Extra tracks on Pentangle CDs are great!!
Wouldn't have it any other way!!
I agree, sort of.
Example, I think bonus tracks are great!
HOWEVER, I HATE Greatest Hits! These are what makes me
very angry, I only have a few, and not by choice either.
I recently got the RUSH-Retrospect #3, which has the
CD/DVD 2 disc set. I already have these songs on CD and
I feel angry because I had to buy the 2 disc set to
get the DVD, WHICH IS WHAT I WANTED! I did not need the
same songs on cd again!
What ALSO makes me VERY ANGRY is the
1. Ozzy Osbourne-Diary Of A Madman
2. Ozzy Osbourne-Blizzard of Oz
Both NEW RELEASES have bonus tracks, HOWEVER, BOTH of
the cd`s are RE-RECORDED WITH ZAKK WILD AND
MIKE BORDEN, ON GUITAR AND DRUMS!
I DON`T want THIS version!
I want the OLD ORIGINAL VERSION!
The ONE that I`M used to hearing on the radio!
I personally love them.
I am an artist away from all this audiophile stuff so I can appreciate the progression of ideas. With the exception of the original gallery show (i.e. the album), you would never see the sketch books leading up to the final rendering or show.
Deluxe additions serve this function, by allowing access to the artistic minds. Often times, some of the strongest material never makes it to the final cut, as it might be out of step with the "concept", but can standalone as a powerful track (i.e. Bruce Springsteen's "Loose Ends", Bob Dylan's "Every Grain of Sand", Neil Young's "Winterlong"). It has spawned a whole industry of bootlegs. I appreciate the Beatles, Radiohead, Neil Young, REM, Bob Dylan and Springsteen for officially releasing out-take material alongside their best work, both from a current and legacy catalogue perspective.
Alternative bonus tracks/takes allow you access to the studio, at a specific point of time. I especially respect the Clash, who in 1980 released the entire studio session production of Sandinista, 3 albums for one price, so fans could reassemble the finished album to their tastes.
in general, "bonus tracks" are mainly an excuse for the label to recycle/resell its catalog. i've purchased a few reissued-with-bonus-tracks cds that were actually worthwhile (uncle tupelo and traffic's john barleycorn come to mind), but typically i'm disappointed--the bonus tracks are either addons which obviously didn't match the quality of the original release or pointless remixes or alternative versions. some of the reissued bowie and badfinger are particularly bad in this regard. i share the sensibilty that the artist's original vision shouldn't be trampled with.
The first "bonus" tracks I think of are Miles Davis 'Complete' Bitches Brew. (I own the 2 eye LP, the regular CD and the complete box set)
I am very pleased they released the complete sessions.
As for other Cds... Some do get boring when they add incomplete added takes of the same numbers, but others have additional tracks. The added tracks are usually very interesting.. and (as most audio crazies) I always have the original anyway...
The question is do you want it?, and if not then DO NOT BUY IT. Very simple.
As for remastering.. some are good, and some are bad.
What I want in reissued CDs are the original music videos WITH THE CD. I think that is an area the recording companies are missing out on. Sell the reissues with a bonus DVD with all (any) music videos in 5.1 etc..) For the early MTV generation of rock music this would really sell some more music we all already have.
There is plenty of music I do not care to own.. but if it had the cool original videos just tossed in.. I would buy it.
The remasters are of somewhat better quality if they pay attentuion. I like the audiophile samplers such as Burmester on occasion. What gets me though is the incedibly bad job some of the compilations do . It's as if they don't know that the speed of the first track is going much too fast compared with the second . However nothing is worse than using a piece of worn out mastering tape that's horrible sounding. Just exactly how tape a number of people missed the fact that it is dreadful and unlistenable makes you wonder if they hear what they create.
As for extra snippets, I agree Old garbage is still garbage no matter how old it is. This is true even if sadly, the artist is dead or becomes disabled or whatever. The reasoning for not using it is usually obvious and was cut out of the published music catalog for good reasons.
That said-I think of one song which was considered for snippetdom at first which turned out great. It is Ray Charles duet whith Van Morrison doing "Crazy Love ." As I understand it -it was going to be a previously unreleased filler piece. Of course you know a double albumn arose from that. I like Ray Charles' music a lot, but even so, some of that albumn should have been left safely tucked away out of earshot.
.........and to think The Temptations were going to throw "Pappa Was A Rollin Stone" on the back burner!
I like the bonus tracks, especially when they are live versions. Obviously they are added to many remastered/remixed cd's to get current owners to buy the new cd. What's the big deal, there isn't any rule that says they must be played. We all know where the original work ends and the bonus recordings begin. Like Chashmal said, just hit Stop!! Are you not going to buy a remastered cd that is probably sonically better just because it has bonus tracks??