How many exclusive bonus tracks is enough? Dolly Parton’s latest album, “Backwoods Barbie” For Dolly’s first “mainstream” country album in well over a decade, she’s back with a vengence, and she’s after her fans wallets in ways only topped by Garth Brooks who’s so ego driven to outsell the Beatles and Elvis Presley that he releases all albums with mutiple discs, multiple covers, and several other tactics to get his diehard fans to purchase several copies of the same album or box set. Apparently he can’t do it on talent, so he has to employ clever marketing tricks, too bad Prince beat him to the idea of selling a CD as part of a concert ticket package, and that methodology has been ruled out not to count ever again for album sales.
Anyway, back to Dolly, what’s a loyal fan to do? There’s the iTunes exclusive version which includes as extras a live recording of “I Will Always Love You” and the video for “Better Get To Livin'”. Best Buy also got an exclusive live track, “Baby, I’m Burnin'”. Wal-Mart was able to offer “9 to 5” in a live version as it’s exclusive track, and Target not to be outdone, had two exclusive live tracks, “Jolene” and “Two Doors Down.” And that’s not even counting Amazon’s exclusive which was the disc pressed on gold instead of aluminum, and Newbury Comics offering a limited number of autographed booklets as their exclusive bonus. Makes you wonder if the people who bought anywhere else felt totally screwed over. And I’d sure hate to be an overseas fan because you can’t buy outside the US these copies of the albums directly from these retailers. You have to hope someone puts them up on eBay to get them.
I’m all for exclusive bonus items, but does it have to be so excessive? It wouldn’t be so bad if some of them you could get with a proof of purchase of the album as say maybe a download, but each additional bonus you buy also requires you to buy another copy of the basic album. Yes, it’s a good album, do I really need 4 copies (as I ended up with the iTunes, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart editions. I didn’t care about the gold album and I already have an autographed CD booklet for Dolly’s “Halo & Horns” album.)
Maybe as a result I’ll skip Dolly’s tour because lord knows I spent enough on the multiple copies of her album.