Tuesday, December 08, 2009

More on Dylan box sets: collectables, investments?

Thanks to Barnaby Attwell:

“Just read your piece on Dylan box sets.

I recently bought the 3CD Tell Tale Signs for £35 from the HMV website (and it was £39 the last time I went to Fopp) – having just noticed it's gone back up to £117.99 (!)

I'm not sure if it's collectable or an investment (time will tell) but the 3CD package is a beautiful thing indeed – and if it was priced at £35 when it came out, I'm sure it would have sold a lot more (and there would have been less of an uproar!)

The book of singles covers is lovely – and fascinating – to flick through; the booklet containing the CDs is more expansive and has larger photos; the CDs themselves are nicely packaged in mock-old LP covers; and of course there's the third CD (which I already had through less legit channels – but it's nice to have it 'officially').

All in all, it's lovely as an artefact – but one I would never have paid over £100 for!

(Now if only they took such care for, say, re-issuing the complete Basement Tapes... as much as I love Tell Tale Signs, the 3CD packaging – and original cost – almost seems OTT for a relatively 'minor' (in my opinion) collection of songs.)

Nevertheless, a source of joy, aurally, physically and visually!

By the way, I took your advice and visited the National Portrait Gallery for the Dylan exhibition. Great photos – and a terrific poster for £5 too.

Many thanks for your always interesting site.


Dylan box sets: collectables, investments?

Columbia Legacy’s recent releases of deluxe Dylan boxes – notably 2003’s Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series, and 2008’s Tell Tale Signs: Rare And Unreleased 1989-2006 (The Bootleg Series vol 8) 3CD – contain great music and are well executed artefacts.

But are they collectables? Or investments?

To be very collectable, they’d need to be scarce by now. But they are generally available for sale, new, on the web.

To qualify as investments, they’d need to be appreciating in value. But both seem to be available at well below launch price: I recently came across Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series at £124. And Tell Tale Signs: Rare And Unreleased 1989-2006 at £52.

What’s your experience of buying luxury packages? Worth having for the joy they bring? A source of disappointment?

Dylan Daily would welcome your thoughts on the matter.

Gerry Smith