I'm Done Buying Every Bob Dylan Album Over and Over (Probably)
I hate to do this, but two clarifications seem important at the outset: I adore Bob Dylan and, as a lover of physical media, I'm one of the few people (20-somethings especially) still collecting CDs. With that said, I have to say this, too: There's no fucking way I'm plucking down $280 for the recently announced box set of Bob Dylan's collected discography.
BGSU University Library
The problems of repackaging the same albums over and over and over again aren't unique to Dylan, of course: The Onion famously nailed it with "Man Who Bought the 34th Anniversary Reissue of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours Feeling Like a Real Idiot After Passing Display for 35th Anniversary Edition."
But Dylan (or Columbia Records, to be more exact) is as guilty as anyone.
Read More: Sorry, Bob Dylan's Self Portrait Is Still A Bad Album.
It was only 10 years ago that the "Limited Edition Catalog Box Set" SACD versions were released, touted as the "ultimate listening experience." That one came with 15 of Dylan's best, instead of this all-inclusive one, with a few more SACDs trickling out in the following years. One must feel at least some small level of pity for the completists who sold all their regular plastic jewel-cased Dylan CDs to pick up that collection, only to now be faced with the same problem once again.
Admittedly, all these newly released versions would look awful snazzy on your shelf -- from the looks of it, Columbia spared no expense in making the discs look nice. Part of the problem, though, is that only a portion of those albums are going to be worthwhile.
Unlike, say, The Beatles, who re-released (on CD anyway) their discography in 2009, there are huge chunks of Dylan's oeuvre that are barely worth your time. Yes, it's going to be great to have that pristine copy of Blood on the Tracks, but does anyone really give a shit if they have a super-sweet version of Knocked Out Loaded?