National Album Day, but more reissues than actual new music - Kevin Buckle

Babybird's Ugly Beautiful album is out on vinyl againBabybird's Ugly Beautiful album is out on vinyl again
Babybird's Ugly Beautiful album is out on vinyl again
Today is National Album Day and this time the 90s are being celebrated. While there are some good albums among the releases on vinyl for the first time in a long time there is also a lot of coloured vinyl clearly aimed at getting those who own an album to buy it again.

When new releases arrive it is not unusual these days for there to be more reissues than actual new music. Taylor Swift of course has taken things to a whole new level by re-recording her albums but generally the albums are anniversary editions rather than simply making an album available that has not been on vinyl for some time.

Surely it can only be a matter of time before there is a 20th anniversary edition of an album alongside a 10th anniversary edition of the 10th anniversary edition! Things are compounded when artists then add something extra to try to divert sales to their own website or shops come up with an “exclusive” by adding something often quite tenuous.

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I’m a big Babybird fan so it is nice to see his album Ugly Beautiful, pictured, on vinyl again. Containing four top 40 singles at a time when that mattered it includes the much misunderstood You’re Gorgeous. Interesting to see it classified as an anti-Britpop album. Idlewild fans will be pleased to see the six track mini-album Captain released on vinyl even if it is at a full album price. Other big names with releases include Blur, Bob Dylan, Jeff Buckley, Marc Almond, James, R.E.M., Paul Weller and Teenage Fanclub so plenty to keep fans happy.

These are very different times and while young people have always been influenced by what they have read, which made the NME so important in its time, it is now not unusual to have a young person buy Metallica and The Smiths or even Aphex Twin, Elliott Smith and King Crimson simply because these artists’ albums regularly appear on “must have” lists online. None of the albums released for National Album Day are on the kids wants list so I fully expect those buying the albums will actually remember the 90s.

Of course music is not the only area that likes to bring back old favourites with Big Brother starting a new series this week and Survivor also soon set to return. I was a big Big Brother fan so I’ve decided to invest some time in watching the new series and while this year’s batch of contestants are a case of box ticking taken to a whole new level the mix does seem to be working.

There won’t be the same levels of hysteria for National Album Day as there is for Record Store Day as the albums can be pre-ordered and are more widely available but there should still be a flurry of excitement this weekend. Next month of course is Black Friday and there will be another batch of reissues as record companies mine deeper and deeper into their catalogue.

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With Pink Floyd having released a live version of Dark Side Of The Moon this year I do fear the worst in that if reissues ever do dry up record companies will instead ask fans to buy live versions of all the albums they own already.

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