Why are back catalog CD prices so high, years and even decades
after an album came out? This is a question many music fans have asked and still
the prices never come down. While it is true that some independent labels have trouble recouping their
investments, major record labels have amortized numerous recordings, specially rock,
jazz, blues, reggae and world music classics from the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Rather than reducing the prices of old albums, major labels keep coming up
with gimmicks that artificially keep the prices high. Albums are “remastered,” repackaged, or bonus tracks are added. Sales of CDs would probably skyrocket if fans
could purchase classics by Bob Marley, Osibissa, Tito Puente, Baaba Maal, Salif
Keita, Paco de Lucía, Celia Cruz, and many others.Instead of mid price CDs at $9 or $10, how about $5.00 or $6.00 a CD? There are no more recording and
marketing expenses to recoup. Adding manufacturing and royalties, major record
companies and retailers could still gain a nice profit. Wouldn’t that give a
boost to lagging CD sales?
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.