Now that digital music has eliminated the need for a physical product, we’ve ironically entered an era of album packaging decadence. For artists with a rabid fanbase, selling a limited edition piece of bling can not only offset losses due to album leaks and pirating, but it’s become the best way to pay the rent (or Ferrari payments, as it were). The merch table is now the merch showroom.
First, Trent Reznor took Radiohead’s “pay-what-you-want for the mp3 album or pay a sh*tload for limited vinyl” scheme and made it better. Nine Inch Nails immediately sold out of the 2500 limited signed copies at $300 a pop (that’s $750k) and sold an undisclosed number of the $75 Blu-ray/DVD/CD upholstered set. You’d think the tacky box set packaging of the 1990s would go the way of the slap bracelet, but instead it’s gotten worse: It’s become furniture.
Who knew Dave Navarro and Perry Farrell had such an eye for arts and crafts? It feels like they should be standing behind their 3-fold album display at a science fair.
This “mouth watering and collectable” iPod is limited to 950 lucky (read: loaded) fans and includes a 40-minute documentary about Prince’s 21-night stand in London in 2007.
Only Kevin Smith’s canned Prince documentary could justify the price, but instead the movie includes mouth-drying interviews with Elton John and Diddy. I paid $210 to see Prince at SF’s Orpheum Theatre in 2007, so his new Opus makes me happy that I paid 10 times less for what is arguably a better deal.