Beyoncé ‘Platinum Edition’ Adds New Songs and Remixes
BEN SISARIO NYTimes.com 11/23/14
Last December, Beyoncé surprised her fans with a new, self-titled album, which after only three weeks sold 1.3 million copies, making it one of the top sellers of the year.
This week, Beyoncé and her label, Columbia, will sell the album all over again.
An expanded “Platinum Edition” goes on sale Monday. In addition to the original album’s two discs, it will have a CD with two new songs and four remixes, as well as a live DVD and a 2015 Beyoncé calendar. The price: about $28.
“Platinum Edition” is only the latest example of the music industry’s long tradition of repackaging hit albums with some extra content to keep sales going. Many such releases come out this week to capitalize on holiday shopping. Iggy Azalea’s recent album “The New Classic” will get a new iteration, “Reclassified”; the band Paramore will put out a deluxe version of its self-titled album from last year.
Also this week, Eminem’s label, Shady, will release “Shady XV,” with one disc of new material and another of hits over the last 15 years; and Coldplay will release a live CD-DVD version of its newest record, “Ghost Stories.”
Beyoncé’s “Platinum Edition” goes on sale on Monday.
“It’s always been going on,” said Chris Brown of Bull Moose, a chain of 11 record stores in New England. “What may be new is that it’s a lot more noticeable when Beyoncé does it than however many times Slipknot did it in the ’90s.”
In a year of depressed music sales, stocking-stuffer rereleases can give an album a second wind of sales. Billboard magazine and the tracking service Nielsen SoundScan will count sales of Beyoncé’s “Platinum Edition” as part of the original album’s total, which currently stands at 2.1 million and is the fourth-biggest seller of 2014 so far.
Repackagings, when done well, can prove popular with fans, and lately record companies have been putting a lot of effort into overstuffed “super-deluxe” reissues. This month Columbia/Legacy released a six-disc version of Bob Dylan’s “Basement Tapes,” and in June the first three volumes of Warner Music’s complete Led Zeppelin reissues all opened in the Top 10.
“I’d buy an extra copy of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ if it had one outtake on it,” Mr. Brown said.
But are the extras on Beyoncé’s album enough to make fans buy it all over again? Time will tell, said Ish Cuebas, the vice president for music merchandising at Trans World Entertainment, whose more than 300 stores includes the F.Y.E. chain.
“Is it worth the money for somebody to buy this just to get a calendar and those additional tracks?” he asked. Demand so far was light, he said. But he added, “I’m not going to bet against Beyoncé.”