I don’t recall many remasters having new instrumentation and arrangements, but clearly some of the piracy and overall dissatisfaction with the record business is a result of the way companies handle their archival releases.
[li]Some artists have had their catalog remastered three or more times. Engineers had figured out how to do a good analog-to-digital transfer by 1995. Anything remastered a second time after that is a ripoff. Artists who have only appeared on CD do not need their work remastered.[/li][li]The previous CD was already recorded from the master tapes. You did not “remaster” this disc, you remixed the instruments to boost some frequencies so that it would sound different and louder. But not necessarily better.[/li][li]Special tracks on remasters. The original record was released ten years ago. There’s zero chance that you just “found” this bonus track, or any of the myriad other bonuses that suddenly appear in the rest of the catalog. It was left off because it wasn’t good enough. Take it, and the others, and put them on a separate disc and sell it to those-who-must-own everything. I already have the album, I don’t want to buy it again, and your bonus just added three dollars to the cost.[/li][li]Those bonus tracks that were on the last disc? They were removed on the latest remaster and different bonus tracks were added. Songs that didn’t make the cut when you last evaluated adding extra tracks. Now I need two copies of the same CD to have all of the songs. And by the way, both sets of bonuses and the original album would all fit on the same disc.[/li][li]Speaking of extra discs, this four CD set would fit on three. Maybe even two. At least price it as though it had one less disc.[/li][li]You changed the album cover?[/li][li]You changed the title of the greatest hits disc you released four years ago to “The Essential” in order to fool me into thinking this was a new and improved version?[/li][li]Didn’t you release a greatest hits set last year? And the year before, but with different songs? Do you have any idea what you’re doing? The artist released three albums. You’ve released eight compilations from those three albums.[/li][li]In that same vein. Robert Johnson recorded 29 songs, 42 with alternate takes. To date, there have been more than 95 albums featuring some combination of those songs. All you needed was two.[/li][li]You want me to pay $200 for this big Beatles box set. And another $200 for this other one that includes the same thing but in mono. You do realize that both stereo and mono mixes would have fit on the same CDs, right?[/li]Remember when CDs first came out? How you told me that they were so much cheaper to manufacture and would soon sell for a quarter of the cost of an LP? What happened to that? How they would never wear out, so they wouldn’t have to be replaced? Is that why they had to be “remastered”?[/ul]