The Re-Edition Compulsive Theory
As I was reading some artists’ Facebook page or Twitter feed, I noticed trend: they all seem to be nostalgic of the past as the anniversary vinyl editions and the anniversary tours are becoming a compulsory passage for every artist. Pitchfork has just picked The Verve’s “Urban Hymns” as the best new reissue for its 20th anniversary and rated it 8.6. Is it a sign for a lack of activity, visibility, creativity or a need for advertisement and money? It’s not a kind of FOMO syndrom (Fear Of Missing Out), I feel it’s more the Fear Of Being Empty disease!
Over the past 10 years, many artists and their major companies have surrendered to the temptation : In 2012, The Rolling Stones celebrated the 50th anniversary of the band on stage with a concert tour called “50 & Counting”, Paul Simon commemorated the same year the 25th anniversary of his groundbreaking album “Graceland” by publishing a remastered version of the original album including a documentary and live performances, Patti Smith celebrated the emerald anniversary of “Horses” (released 40 years ago), Blur’s 1991 debut album “Leisure” has been reissued on vinyl and pressed on colored discs for its 25th anniversary on August, 2016, the Doors’ self-titled debut album, which was released 50 years ago, marked its golden anniversary with a 3-disc deluxe edition early this year, whereas Peter Hook keeps revisiting tirelessly Joy Division’ classics on stage (particularky “Unknown Pleasures” and “Closer”).
Taking advantage of that vein, U2 launched last May in Vancouver a world tour to celebrate “The Joshua Tree”, the fifth studio album of the band released in March 1987. According to Billboard, U2’s world tour commemorating the 30th anniversary of “The Joshua Tree” earned $62 million from 10 shows at the first 8 stadiums on the opening North American leg and drew more than half a million fans. Only in France, the band filled up twice the biggest stadium of the country in July, and pleased an audience of 120.000 persons.
In another way, ahead of the release of their “Definitely Maybe” reissue, Oasis started in 2014 an exhibition of rare photographs, artefacts and memorabilia from the past two decades. Entitled “Chasing the Sun : Oasis 1993-1997” and taking place in London (in Shoreditch district), this has been the first exhibition dedicated entirely to the band from Manchester. Oasis had also reissued their 1997 LP “Be Here Now” last year, marking the third installment of their “Chasing the Sun” reissue campaign. In Oasis’ case like the others, it is not because you have nothing new to sell that you have to shut up!
As far as I am concerned, I got very interested when Interpol announced the special 10th anniversary release of “Our Love To Admire” on August 18, 2017. The New York City band’s third album followed their 2002 debut “Turn On The Bright Lights” and 2004 acclaimed “Antics”, and featured the singles “The Heinrich Maneuver”, “Mammoth” or “Rest My Chemistry”. This third album is still to this day Interpol’s high-charting album in both the UK and the US. To commemorate this landmark which was released on July, 2007, the album has been remastered and specially reissued on double vinyl and CD, including an unreleased DVD recording of the band’s 2007 show at London Astoria. Let’s just say I couldn’t wait to buy that special vinyl edition at my local music store!
But in 2017, the members of Interpol, currently at work on their upcoming sixth album planned for 2018 according to NME, seem to be nostalgic because the reissue of “Our Love To Admire” marks the second anniversary that Interpol will celebrate this year.
As they published five years ago a reissue of their first record for the 10th anniversary, Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler and Sam Fogarino have chosen this year to commemorate the 15th anniversary of “Turn one the Bright Lights” with a US, UK and European tour. From New York to Los Angeles, from Prague to Madrid, from Milan to Manchester, including Luxembourg City, Paris and Saint-Malo (within the festival La Route du Rock in Brittany), the fans will have the opportunity to dive back into the eleven dark and tense pieces of this record because the band is gonna play the entire album on stage. Obviously I bought my tickets for one of these gigs a long time ago.
All these reissues and anniversary tours smell like a money grabbing opportunity but it’s impossible not to be excited when you’re a fan!