Some of us will remember buying records from our local record shop, or from the record department of Woolworths, WHSmiths or even, Boots. But these days it is getting increasingly difficult to find a shop on the high street that sells CDs. You can buy one at your local supermarket, but as your choice there is usually limited to chart and budget ‘best-of’ CDs, probably not the one that you want.
In recent years due to declining CD sales, the availability of cheaper CDs online and digital music-piracy, we have lost the likes of Virgin, Tower and Our Price, and even the last big survivor HMV announced earlier this year that it is closing 10% of its stores in 2011. This may lead you to believe that CDs are virtually obsolete, but that is certainly not the case. According to the BPI, CDs still accounted for five-sixths of all album sales in the UK in 2010. What is changing is where we buy our CDs.
Soon you may be adding your local newsagent to that list of high street CD merchants. The recent release of Alice Cooper’s new album Welcome 2 My Nightmare as part of a limited edition ‘fan pack’ available to buy on news stands in the UK ahead of it full traditional release on 16th October, is an example of a new release strategy, which should it sell well, will certainly become more common.
The fan pack has been pioneered by Future Publishing who have published Welcome 2 My Nightmare as a special issue of Classic Rock magazine. Along with the audio CD album it includes such ‘must-have’ goodies as: two bonus tracks that won’t be on the record shop release, a 132 page deluxe magazine, a giant poster, fake blood, face paints, and an Alice Cooper mask.
Alternatively – or if you are a super-fan – additionally, there is a digital edition of the fan pack in the form of an iPad app. As well as the audio content, the app includes track-by-track commentary, interviews with Alice and producer Bob Ezrin, videos, rare photographs and expert reviews of 25 classic Alice Cooper albums. It is said that more content will be added as time goes on, but it is also pointed out that the album’s audio tracks remain inside the app, and cannot be transferred to your iTunes library, which is disappointing – especially if you’ve paid £12.99 for it.
Welcome 2 My Nightmare is the sequel to Alice Cooper’s excellent – unless you are my wife who would not describe it so generously – 1975 debut solo album based on the nightmare of a boy called Steven. The sequel like the original is produced by long-time Cooper-collaborator Bob Ezrin, and features guitarists Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter who both played on the 1975 album, as well as, guest appearances from surviving members of the Alice Cooper Band.
Its fan pack release is not the first of its type – Blondie’s last LP Panic of Girls was also pre-released this way earlier this year through Future – but it looks likely that other, especially long-established bands who have a wealth of ‘stuff’ to fill their fan packs, may follow suit.
Future Publishing see the UK’s news stands as having “ten times the footprint of the traditional music retail space”. If they are right, in the future you may well be seeing more newly released CDs nestled among the newspapers and magazines at your local newsagent. But beware, if you thought the ipad app edition was expensive, the fan packs are even dearer, retailing at the premium price of £14.99.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 20th, 2011 at 09:10. It is filed under Blog, News and tagged with alice cooper, merch, metadata, music, record. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.