Vice published an interesting article this week entitled, Why Your Favorite Alt-Rock Legends Are Remixing Their Old Albums. It explains the logic behind recent reissues by R.E.M., Pearl Jam and the Replacements.
I haven’t heard the Replacements remix yet and honestly I wasn’t a huge fan of the Pearl Jam Ten remix, but these albums are popping up in more than just the Alt-Rock genre as positioned by Vice and I’m curious how music fans are going to receive them.
Personally, I loved the R.E.M. Monster remix but I also loved that it came within the same price point for the reissue of the original LP. I didn’t have to buy the reissue AND the remix LP separately. That lets the remix sit alongside the original as a companion piece which I think is a great way to handle these projects.
That being said, I’ve also purchased other remix projects including The Beatles White Album and just recently The Band’s 50th anniversary of their self titled LP. In both cases I found the mixes to beef up the sound, especially for the White Album, and both have been enjoyable to listen to.
What makes sense to record collectors…paying a lot of money for the original first pressing of an album or paying $100+ for remixed box sets of those same albums 50+ years later? Which actually sounds better? In many cases the LPs we own aren’t always pulled from the best original source or the condition isn’t pristine, leaving us with a great vintage item that perhaps doesn’t sound as well as the new reissues do. That’s what often draws me to purchasing these remixed LPs.
It will be interesting to see how many bands continue to do this with their reissue projects. For now, I’m a fan.