Friday, 2 August 2013

Turning Rebellion Into Money?

It's been interesting for me these past few days, with the announcement of the In Utero boxset by Nirvana coming out on September 23rd. Interesting to compare prices and content (when the latter is announced) with The Clash's Sound System boxset. I've been following the comments on their official Facebook page to try and see what other fans think of the boxet. Truthfully, I think fans are being slightly too harsh on it, especially with the price for In Utero. Before I go any further; let's break the content down.

In Utero: Three CDs containing the original album remastered and various live material, unheard demos and the like No official track-listings have been announced yet but it's apparently set to contain over 70 tracks. There's also a DVD of their Live and Loud performance which is also going to be released standalone. The price on Amazon UK at time of writing is £108.

Sound System: 11 CDs comprising all studio albums remastered bar Cut The Crap. There's also B-sides, unreleased studio and live material and a bonus DVD. The price on Amazon at the time of writing is £94 and the price has dropped as low as £77 in the past.

As for extra merchandise type stuff, all In Utero seems to have is a poster and a thick glossy book (which does look lovely). Sound System comes with a poster, stickers, badges, a notebook, dog tags, three fanzines (one designed especially for the boxset). The CDs for In Utero seem to be packaged rather basically too, wheras Sound System has the albums in vinyl replica form (hence why five studio albums is spread over eight discs) in individual hardback books.

As for which is the more extravagant I think we can safely say that Sound System wins by a landslide. And right now it's the cheaper of the two. I love Nirvana and In Utero is an excellent album but my God, £108 for four discs is frankly ludicrous. Let's break it down another way:

Four discs at £108 comes to roughly £27. 25 a disc. And based on what's been announced, there's a two disc special edition coming and the DVD is also being released standalone. In reality, it seems so far that the boxset contains one exclusive disc. And remember the only other extras are a glossy book and a poster.

For Sound System £93 divided by 12 comes to £7.25. Not to mention that the packaging is far more extravagant, I mean it comes in a giant boombox for goodness sake!

I have to say that when you compare the two it becomes apparent that Sound System really isn't that dear. Yes, punk purists will be up in arms no doubt but as far as box-sets go it's actually pretty good value. Maybe I'm biased because I'm a young fan and as I've said before several times, things like Clash badges are a rarity in Belfast. It's also perfect for newer fans who don't have any of their albums on CD. I mean it's all The Clash most people will ever need unless you're a completist. In short - I don't think Sound System is too bad but In Utero is.

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