Younger generations are free to celebrate the landmark anniversary of whatever album blew their mind in their youth, say Beck‘s Odelay (an anniversary party for which even I would attend) or that big Outkast album everyone made a fuss over and probably hasn’t listened to since 3 months after initially purchasing. That’s cool; that’s their music. My generation, however, has officially reached the point of scraping the bottom of the barrel on celebrating “classic” albums by classic artists. I first noticed it late last year, I believe it was, when a special anniversary edition of the final full-length album by The Jam, The Gift, was released. Don’t even diehard Jam fans feel that album is pointless beyond 3 songs? That was a memorial ceremony, not an anniversary celebration.
Recently, things went from bad to weird with the box set special anniversary edition release of Bob Dylan‘s critically lambasted Self Portrait. The new special anniversary edition, packaged as Another Self Portrait, includes digitally remastered alternate takes of the original turd as well as outtakes from the equally dismissed—I’m sorry, “under-appreciated” is the revised critical term—New Morning. If that’s not enough to get you to cough up an anniversary gift, the package throws in some outtakes from The Basement Tapes and Dylan’s personal collection of tasteful nude Polaroid shots of Edie Sedgwick. I think I’ll wait for the special anniversary edition of Infidels.
Where do you draw the line on buying a special anniversary edition release from one of your favorite artists?