Back in 1987 I wanted a Japanese import CD by the band Berlin, but couldn’t get it. Two decades+ later, I still couldn’t get it because even though it occasionally appeared on ebay (once a year or so), it was always at least $40 or $50. Now I have it. For free. And I don’t feel guilty about it, because really, if it was so difficult to obtain that in twenty years it was never easily available, then the seller (David Geffen Company, I think) wasn’t really trying. Even the official Berlin site says it is a-ok, they don’t care if people are getting stuff that is years and years out of print.
So I guess I have some standards when it comes to free music. It has to be something so damn obscure that legitimate searching will not find it for sale. Rare Liz Phair tracks. Rare Berlin. Still searching for the unreleased Adam Ant “Persuasion” album. Eventually, all the gaps of music I wanted in the 1980s and 1990s (but could not get) will be filled. And then I will be like “eh, it wasn’t so important anyway, was it?”.
Meanwhile I am buying new music like crazy, so no one can say I am not keeping the music business going full-bore.
UPDATE: Did you know that Men at Work had an extended remix of “Down Under”? Did you know it sucked? I do, now. Did you know that Bryan Ferry had some singles from the Boys and Girls album? Did you know that they also sucked? I know that now too. I think I’ve quickly learned, via an 1980s themed blog and YouTube, that a lot of the singles that I didn’t get in the 80s weren’t that good to begin with, and haven’t improved with age anyway. Perhaps that is why these obscure tracks have not been released on cd or compiled into any best-of cds. Strangest discovery of last night is that the soundtrack for Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome on cd is a collector’s item going for $20 to $40 ($40 for the EMI CD, $20 for the reissued CD from Varese Sarabande). And it too had some vinyl singles with remixes, which sucked and were justly never released on cd. Ever wonder what the songs from the Jim Henson film Labyrinth sounded like when turned into extended dance remixes? You really shouldn’t. Time to empty the recycle bin.