If we didn’t see the marketing forecast incubating with the debut of the CD format, the master plan has become abundantly clear in the years that followed. Sell the consumer something, then reformat it and sell it again, then repackage it and sell it a third time, then remaster it and sell it a fourth, then create a special edition and sell it a fifth, and so on. Granted, bonus tracks appear and sonic quality improves, and those who hesitated ever buying in continue to get more and more tempted to make the leap.
But the marketing wizards also know there are collectors and completists who must own every version and format, for they perceive a gaping hole if they do not. As someone who has been known to dabble in this obsessive behavior, I thought collectors learned their lesson with posthumous Elvis and Hendrix releases, or the life and death of colored vinyl, but I was wrong. (Example: I just got an email for a reissue of Get Yer Ya-Yas Out at the $50-60 mark, and while I’m a big fan of the Rolling Stones, I own the album and the CD and the DVDs of Gimme Shelter and Sympathy For The Devil. How much more do I need?)
But this is special – these are The Beatles, after all – and the sonic quality is supposed to be phenomenal. Boomers who might have purchased Beatles 1 to capsulize their albums and 45s could decide that now is the time, and we certainly see an entire generation of musicians and fans looking backwards for inspiration these days. So hell, if it really takes Rock Band and Guitar Hero to bring these generations together, so be it.
The world has enough sad stories and horrific events. So if 09/09/09 is Global Beatle Day, I’m okay with that. And just in case that’s not enough…on September 10th – a/k/a “one after nine-oh-nine” – this ships.