Friday, October 22, 2010

Selling Bob Dylan in glorious mono

It wasn't that long ago that a case was made to upgrade your old Bob Dylan CDs with digitally remastered SACDs but now Sony has a bold new plan to re-sell the same back catalogue to the same Dylan fans – The Original Mono Recordings. That's right, the first eight Bob Dylan albums have been reissued using the first-generation mono mixes with the vinyl box set due on December 21, just in time for Christmas.
Sure, Sony's "back to mono" campaign might seem like a crazy scheme, particularly after touting the advantage of wider frequency and dynamic range which comes with the high-resolution Super Audio technology that Sony helped develop. And then there's the unfortunate fact that, unlike Beatles releases of the era where sometimes mono and stereo versions can vary significantly, alternate takes weren't used for Bob Dylan's mono versions.
But even though The Original Mono Recordings may appear to be a product nobody needs, that hasn't stopped Sony from selling eight Our Lady Peace albums along with two "best of" collections. Also, there's nothing quite like the promise of huge holiday gift-giving season profits to inspire real marketing creativity. Sony Legacy's clever retro-style promotional clip may not shift many units but it's at least entertaining.

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