And they wonder why sales are down…

So. Depeche Mode. As my friends can attest, they have been a favorite band of mine since high school. I’ve seen them in concert six different times in six different venues in three different states (including, on the Exciter tour, seeing them in Denver and San Francisco two weeks apart). I have an entire CD spinner that holds more than 100 CDs devoted only to singles. I have vinyl, CDs, tapes, t-shirts, books, posters, and various other sundry items. I have spent mucho dinero on this band. But they are starting to piss me off.

I’m on the Bong email mailing list for DM, and occasionally in the past few years, it has been brought up that they’re kind of sticking it to their fans. I have sometimes kind of agreed, sometimes not. And, as has been said, you don’t have to buy things, if you feel they’re rehashing things for the sake of a few more bucks. But sometimes it gets very frustrating. Case in point: The Complete Depeche Mode. This is an iTunes only collection, budget priced at, oh let’s check, $169.99. And you don’t even get tangible object that you can hold in your hands. Much of this collection consists of things that any DM fan of any worth already owns – all of their albums, the singles box sets, etc. Some of the items are exclusive to the set – digital only remixes, rehearsal recordings and rarities, live tracks – and there are some that are harder to come by – limited edition, songs that were previously only released on vinyl, etc. My problem is, that in order to access some of these songs, you have to buy the entire set.

When this first started being mentioned on the Bong list in the week before Christmas, there were problems on the iTunes site (i.e. song titles listed didn’t match the actual song you got), and people were being advised not to purchase until the bugs were worked out. I couldn’t even find it on iTunes when I initially looked, so clearly they took it down for a few days while repairing everything. The morning I was going to go home for Christmas, I looked, and it was finally back up. It had everything broken down under album, and I saw that I could buy the digital only mixes as a set by themselves, the rarities as a set, the live stuff as a set, etc. I even wrote down the prices of the individual sets. So I didn’t have to buy the complete collection to get all the songs in the, say, “Rare Early Live Performances” list. While some songs were “Album Only,” it appeared that, for example, the RELP was an “album” that you could purchase separately. However, I didn’t have time to download that amount of music before I left, plus I wanted to check some of the mixes listed for the currently digital only singles boxes 7 & 8, as I suspected that some were vinyl only, and I’d like to get them on CD (or at least burn them to such CD). So I waited. I’ve been busy this week, so hadn’t gotten around to doing it yet. I get on this morning, made a list and compared it to my collection to see exactly what I needed, and prepared for downloading. Except now, you can’t download things by individual albums. You can buy individual songs, but some songs are “Album Only,” including all of the “PreviouslyUnreleased Rehearsal Recordings and Rare Acoustic Performances,” about a third of the RELP, and 34 out of the 41 “Rare, Deleted & Promo Only Remixes”. Who is going to be interested in these items other than the major fans? And who is already going to own, well, everything else in this collection? Yup, the fans. So they’re basically asking fans to repurchase a bulk of their collection in crappy compressed digital sound for $170 in order to access rare material. Wow, thanks. That’s real swell of you guys. However, I can certainly say that, in my case, you have now managed to lose money. Good job! Because rather than plunking down money for the individual “albums” of material that I don’t own or (in the case of the rare, deleted & promo only mixes) own only a portion of or only on vinyl, I’m not buying a damn thing. Not even the tracks that I can download individual for $.99. Not one single thing. In fact, I’m irritated to the point that maybe I’ll stop buying their tangible singles (god knows that they haven’t managed to get a good remix of one of their tracks in years) and other various pointless CDs (hello, just released “Best Of” which only featured one new song, but which I unfortunately already spent money on). You know, some bands actually give stuff back to the fans rather than asking them to bend over and take it up the ass without even having the courtesy to lube up first.



1 Comment

  1. *sniff* I am so proud… awesome, righteous display of rage. You even mentioned “anal violation”. That’s always bonus points in my book. 🙂

    All kidding aside, I am sorry that your favorite band has turned into a group of pricks. I wonder how long it will take another pissed fan who had already bought the set to break it down and upload everything to newsgroups? Wait, it has probably already happened. Now thousands of people are listening to it for free. And DM doesn’t get a dime. Now who needs some anal lubage? 🙂

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