Two of pop culture’s reigning blonde music-makers are out this month with reissues of their big hit albums: Taylor Swift’s repackaging of Fearless is available today, with six new songs and a bunch of behind-the-scenes videos; Lady Gaga will send her Fame Monster to stores on the hella-crowded Nov. 23 — it’s got eight new songs and will be available in a $114.98 superdeluxe format that includes an “artbook” with photos, posters, paper dolls, and a lock of the Lady’s hair that doubles as a bookmark. Seriously.
But with artists having such a difficult time finding ways to monetize their new content (if not their hair) in today’s hyper-internetted music industry, are fully-packaged re-releases of relatively recent material really a worthwhile enterprise? Or (as long suspected) are they a crassly commercial, increasingly futile attempt to wring more cash out of loyal fans? The existence of iTunes changes the game here somewhat — you could skip all the extras on Fearless 2, for example, and download only the new songs that interest you for $1.29 a pop. But since both of these women are veritable founts of creativity, why not just rhyme up a few more diary entries (in the case of Swift) or have a couple more fever dreams (in the case of Gaga) and put out a whole new album? Why insist on making those of us who still value physical product rebuy the stuff we’ve already purchased in order to get to the fresh morsels? You tell me, Mixers. Who’s buying?
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Photo Credit: Swift: Jill Bednar/PR Photos; Gaga: Robin Wong/PR Photos