It never dawned on me that albums ever went out of print until all my CD's were stolen from my dorm room during my freshmen year of college. Between Best Buy and BMG, I didn't have much problem replenishing my stock until I got to a particular infamous album, which played a part in Rawkus Record's demise. And it was going for well over a resonable asking price on Amazon.
Now, an industry powerhouse is looking to do something about that.
Universal Music Group has partnered with CreateSpace, an Amazon.com company, to release classic out-of-print CDs using their disc on demand service. Titles featured will be recordings by artists such as B.B. King, Loretta Lynn, Patti LaBelle, Judy Garland, the Mamas & the Papas, Louis Armstrong, and Chuck Berry.
Now, all four major labels are using CreateSpace to make their catalogs available. This allows them to bring their content to market with little risk.
Initial releases from UMG will include titles such as:
Louis Armstrong, "Back Through the Years: Centennial Celebration"
B.B. King, "Take it Home"
Mamas & Papas, "California Dreamin'"
Loretta Lynn, "Greatest Hits"
Conway Twitty, "The #1 Hits Collection."[Hypebot]
I bit the bullet and bought a copy of that aforementioned album for $25, so I definitely see the possible advantages this new gimmick can hold whenever the labels decide to make Hip-Hop albums available. Since that aforementioned list of titles is a bit light on the rap side of things, here are six albums this service was unintentionally created for.
Pharoahe Monch -- Internal Affairs
Released -- 1999
Amazon Price -- From $24.90 to $66.00
Godzilla destroyed an entire country, so it was only fitting he wiped out a key piece to the underground's commercial rise in Pharoahe Monch's debut album. Although it is no longer with us in the physical, "Simon Says" remains one of Hip-Hop's greatest commandments.
Blu & Exile -- Below The Heavens
Released -- 2007
Amazon Price -- Unavailable in physical format
A couple of years ago, it wasn't out of the realm of possibility to see a copy of this album going for $80 or higher. Now this much revered album is as elusive to find as Blu himself.
EPMD -- Business Never Personal
Released -- 1992
Amazon Price -- From $19.95 to $66.20
It is puzzling that the duo's most successful album, which also holds their highest charting song, is out of the printing business. Perhaps Def Jam wasn't happy with them breaking up when they were finally starting to see a return on their investment.
Poor Righteous Teachers -- Holy Intellect
Released -- 1990
Amazon Price -- From $15.95 to $103.25
Debut album from the Jersey trio who drew their inspirations from the Nations of Gods and Earths. Not too many people are rocking this funky joint nowadays.
Above The Law -- Uncle Sam's Curse
Released -- 1994
Amazon Price -- From $21.43 to $200
Big Hutch and the rest of Above The Law were living like hustlers back in '94, when Uncle Sam's Curse produced G-Funk classics like "Kalifornia" and "Black Superman." The reign was recognizably supreme.
MF Doom -- Mm... Food
Released -- 2004
Amazon Price -- From $3.80 to $99.98
Saturday morning cartoon and food metaphors were abound on Doom's second album. I wish I had scooped this up before the mom and pop shop closed up.