2012 in Music: Deluxe Edition Mania

I've never seen so many "Deluxe Edition", "Special Edition" and "Anniversary Edition" albums out in one year. In the late 90s, when CDs were still selling strong, special editions were released only by major bands who had a fanbase loyal enough to spend a small fortune on a deluxe package. "Box of Fire" and "Bonfire" are two such examples from Aerosmith and AC/DC.

Aerosmith - Box of Fire (1994)
Box of Fire is a box set album with all 12 single-disc albums released by Aerosmith under their first contract with Columbia Records. Additionally, the set includes a 20 minute bonus disc of previously unreleased recordings, collectors booklet and inserts inside a specially designed box.

AC/DC - Bonfire (1997)
5-CD box set featuring over three hours of rare and previously unreleased live and studio AC/DC material, the album "Back In Black", a deluxe colour book featuring many rare and never-before-seen photos, a 2-sided poster, sticker, temporary tattoo, keychain/bottle opener and guitar pick.

Such items were a real collector's treat. Priced well over $100, these box sets offered fans a view into the intimate life of their favorite band. I remember being 18 and buying Aerosmith's "Box of Fire" and "Pandora's Box" box sets, while my friend, huge AC/DC fan, got the "Bonfire" box. Those were the days.

In 2012, Aerosmith released their highly anticipated studio album "Music From Another Dimension". The album was released in a single CD edition, along with a deluxe version. There's also a Wal-mart edition (containing one extra track) and a Japanese special edition (with 2 new tracks). The deluxe version also has 3 different bonus tracks (plus a DVD of live music). In order to have all 20 new songs, you'd need to get the Japanese Deluxe edition at $60 plus shipping costs. I thought to myself, only larger-than-life bands like Aerosmith can pull something like this off nowadays. Oh, was I wrong!

So I went to Amazon looking for deluxe editions of music albums released in 2012. I thought there may be nine or ten tops, because I already knew about the new releases from Aerosmith, Madonna, Garbage, Alanis Morissette and Michael Jackson's "Bad" (25th Anniversary Edition). The search results really blew my mind. Here's an incomplete list of deluxe editions released in 2012:

New releases:

Rihanna - Unapologetic
Robbie Williams - Take The Crown
Pink - The Truth About Love
Aerosmith - Music From Another Dimension
Rush - 2112
Mike Oldfield - QE2
Justin Bieber - Believe
Toby Keith - Hope On The Rocks
Mumford & Sons - Babel
Il Divo - Greatest Hits
Keyshia Cole - Woman To Woman
Laura Pausini - Inedito
Cecilia Bartoli - Mission
Soundgarden - King Animal
Christina Aguilera - Lotus
Mana - Exiliados En La Bahia (Lo Mejor De Mana)
Swedish House Mafia - Until Now
Dave Matthews Band - Away From The World
Diana Krall - Glad Rag Doll
Michael Buble - Christmas
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
Ke$ha - Warrior
Nas - Life Is Good
Pitbull - Global Warming
Ne-Yo - R.E.D.
Joe Walsh - Analog Man
Dethklok - Dethalbum III
R. Kelly - Write Me Back
Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, The Re-Up
Brandy - Two Eleven
Kendrick Lamar - Good Kid: M.A.A.D City
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball
Chris Brown - Fortune (Deluxe Version)
Esperanza Spalding - Radio Music Society
Dierks Bentley - Home
Phillip Phillips - The World From The Side Of The Moon
Usher - Looking 4 Myself
Mika - Origin Of Love
No Doubt - Push And Shove
Wiz Khalifa - O.N.I.F.C.
Lovony - Licht der Nacht
Lionel Richie - Tuskegee
Kip Moore - Up All Night
Madonna - MDNA
Nelly Furtado - The Spirit Indestructible
Il Volo - We Are Love
Slash, Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators - Apocalyptic Love
TobyMac - Eye On It
MGK - Lace Up
Lynyrd Skynyrd - Last of a Dyin' Breed
Fresh Beat Band - Vol. 2.0: More Music From The Hit TV Show
The Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten
Papa Roach - The Connection
Hoobastank - Fight Or Flight
Lang Lang - The Chopin Album
Kasey Chambers and Shane Nicholson - Wreck & Ruin
Halestorm - The Strange Case Of...
Rick Ross - God Forgives, I Don't
Ian Anderson - Thick As A Brick 2
Francesca Battistelli - Christmas
Chickenfoot - Chickenfoot
Norah Jones - Little Broken Hearts
Garbage - Not Your Kind Of People
Grace Potter & the Nocturnals - The Lion The Beast The Beat
Green Day - Uno
Green Day - Dos
Adam Lambert - Trespassing
Melissa Etheridge - 4th Street Feeling
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die (Paradise Edition)
Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour
Haley Reinhart - Listen Up!
Bloc Party - Four
MercyMe - The Hurt & The Healer
Slipknot - Antennas to Hell
Victor Manuelle - Busco Un Pueblo
Passion - White Flag
Ingrid Michaelson - Human Again
The Wanted - The Wanted
Testament - Dark Roots of Earth
Demon Hunter - True Defiance
Talisman - I'll Be Waiting
Rebelution - Peace of Mind
Joe Cocker - Fire It Up

Live albums:

Led Zeppelin - Celebration Day
Florence + The Machine - MTV Unplugged
Incubus - HQ Live
Barry Manilow - Live in London
Dave Matthews Band - Away From the World
Hillsong - Cornerstone Live
Coldplay - Live 2012
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions, Vol. 2
Gloria Trevi - Gloria En Vivo
Juanes - MTV Unplugged
Kylie Minogue - The Abbey Road Sessions
3BallMTY - Intentalo
Motorhead - World Is Ours (Vol. 2)


Michael Jackson - Bad (25th Anniversary Edition)
Peter Gabriel - So (25th Anniversary Edition)
Eric Clapton - Slowhand (35th Anniversary Edition)
Rage Against the Machine - XX (20th Anniversary Edition)
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Emerson and Lake and Palmer
Emerson, Lake and Palmer - Tarkus
Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness
Paul McCartney - RAM
Neil Diamond - Hot August Night (40th Anniversary Edition)
Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, Edgar Meyer and Chr Thile - Goat Rodeo Sessions
Smashing Pumpkins - Pisces Iscariot
R.E.M. - Document (25th Anniversary Edition)
Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground & Nico (45th Anniversary)
The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land (Expanded Edition)
Marvin Gaye - Trouble Man (40th anniversary Expanded Edition)
Paul Simon - Graceland (25th Anniversary Edition)
Sugar - Copper Blue / Beaster
Alanis Morissette - Havoc and Bright Lights
Human League - Dare
Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power
Judas Priest - Screaming For Vengeance (30th Anniversary Edition)
King Crimson - Larks' Tongues in Aspic (40th Anniversary Edition)
Everything But the Girl - Idlewild
Rexanthony - Platinum Collection (20th Anniversary)
Bobby Womack - Across 110th Street (40th Anniversary Edition)
Jethro Tull - Thick As A Brick (40th Anniversary Edition)
Katy Perry - Teenage Dream (The Complete Confection)
The Doors - L.A. Woman (40th Anniversary Edition)
Supremes - I Hear a Symphony (Expanded Edition)
Maroon 5 - Songs About Jane (10th Anniversary Edition)
Diana Ross - Diana Ross 1976
Monkees - Pool It!


WOW Hits 2013
Halo 4 OST
Star Trek: First Contact OST
50 I Love Dance Tunes, Vol. 1
Club 86 Miami 2012


Wagner - Der Ring des Nibelungen
Elvis Presley - Prince From Another Planet
The Beach Boys - 50
George Strait - George Strait Collection
E-40 - History
Vissi Anna - Access All Areas

Everyone and their dog has a deluxe version of their album out. Is this the only way to have people buy the physical product? Have piracy and iTunes killed the CD? Having a deluxe edition of "WOW Hits 2013" or Haley Reinhart's debut album is just plain wrong. It diminishes the importance of special editions, which used to stand for something.

A deluxe edition of a music album or a special edition box set used to be landmarks, milestones in the life of a band. Not anymore. Now they add a couple of b-sides and a DVD to each album they release just to sell anything outside iTunes.

7 comentarii

  1. 22 Dec 2012 la 16:26

    You don't necessarily need the Walmart edition in order to get all 20 songs. You just need the deluxe plus the Japanese edition. What the Walmart has over the deluxe is Shakey Ground (which is absofuckinlutely worth having, it's just pure fun from start to finish), but Shakey Ground can be found on the Japanese Edition as well, so why bother with eBay?

    I'm not as shocked or outraged as you are. I've seen a Hell lot of deluxe/ special editions until this year as well. Japan has always had "extra goodies". And I love getting video stuff. And with MFAD it got more exciting than with Just Push Play or Devil's Got a New Disguise, because it's not music videos, it's live videos (although one of them heavily edited, which I think is such a crime, because it would have been perfect otherwise) + interviews.

    Also, I tend to take this light. My budget for music has a limit which isn't set very high. And that means I have to set some priorities (and this is one of the reasons I'm avoiding eBay - if I'm going to spend a sum that's not insignificant to me because I like a certain band, then I want to know that the money are going in a direction that's connected to the band and not to some opportunistic jerk). Live stuff from bands I like comes first - on the list you've posted, that would be The World Is Ours Vol 2 DVD. And there are two more 2012 live DVDs I'm interested in (from Saxon and HammerFall). Plus studio stuff from bands I'm mad about and, in this case, I'll be going for those editions that come with extra goodies. And there usually aren't any money left for anything else. Can't afford, don't buy, there's YouTube...

  2. 22 Dec 2012 la 16:35

    Yes, you're right, you can get the Japanese deluxe version of "Music From Another Dimension" and have all 20 tracks. I will edit the article, thanks for pointing that out.

    I'm with you when it comes to money going to the band, not people profiting on eBay, but sometimes that's the only way to get your hands on "promo only" and "not for sale" stuff.

    For instance, I want to get all the singles from "Music From Another Dimension", but none of them have been made available commercially. Only radio promos and stuff like that, so eBay and similar websites are the only way to get those.

  3. 23 Dec 2012 la 08:24

    Lucky Japanese people...

    I usually don't have the money to even start thinking about the singles. I guess it must be cool to get your hands on them if you're a collector or if you're looking for certain versions of songs (first example that comes to mind now is the Street Jesus radio edit, which I must admit I haven't heard yet and I'm pretty curious about).

  4. 23 Dec 2012 la 13:21

    Hehe, mersi :)

  5. 23 Dec 2012 la 17:37

    Might amuse you: after all these years of singing the friggin' song (he probably can do it in his sleep by now), it looks like Steven himself needs somebody to show him how to walk the dog - you don't carry it in your pocket, Steven!

    Ahem, photo.

    I know, I know, not exactly a pocket, more like a bag and that dog is the size of a rat anyway... but still...

  6. 24 Dec 2012 la 07:53


    e o rasa aparte care se cheama 'pocket dog' ;))

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