Monday, 8 March 2004

I broke down

I broke down on Saturday and bought the Cure b-sides/rarities boxset. Why, after having enjoyed the 192kps MP3s I downloaded over a month ago, would I shell out £25 for the CDs?

Quite simply, the whole experience. It's not complete with just MP3s. First thing I did when I bought the boxset was to pour over the packaging like a child at Christmas. There's pages and pages of background material of each song, a truncated history of the Cure itself and probably one of the better quotes-as-arguments for the single:

"The first thing I always did when I bought a new single was flip it over and play the other side. I always hoped the B-side would give me another version of the artist, something as good as the A-side but somehow different. I expected great B-sides from the artists I loved..." -- Robert Smith

How true, but sadly in the this day of disposability and digital finery, the B-side may be relegated to the annals of history along with the vinyl masters it was originally spawned from - the 12" and 7" singles.

Call me a saddo, but music - especially boxsets - is generally as much about the packaging as it is the music. If a band puts a lot of time and effort into the whole experience, I feel compelled to oblige by purchasing.

There's a lot the record industry gets wrong, but compiling boxsets that are so obviously for the fans is one diamond shining through their sea of mud.

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