5 Most Annoying Collections We Bought for Just One Item

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Art Attack's day job is as a clerk in a sheet music store. Now, people come in and they want a song, and if the song is really popular, say Adele's "Rolling in the Deep," then getting just that song is no problem. However, there are hundreds of thousands of songs in print for commercial sale, and there is simply no way to make any money selling them all one at a time. So publishers publish collections of love songs, '80s songs, country songs, whatever, and the vast majority of songs in the world are only available in these collections.

This practice extends to all walks of life, and usually we don't mind having to purchase a larger work for just a single part, but sometimes the deal is a real gyp. Here are the five worst offenders we've come across in our time.

5. The Orange Box

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One of the brightest things we've seen a video game publisher do was when EA included a one-time download code for the original American McGee's Alice, originally released only on PC, with the PS3 version of the sequel, Alice: Madness Returns on PS3. This kind of thing seems so simple and brilliant that it's kind of embarrassing how often this opportunity is missed.

Case in point, PS3 players who want to experience the awesomeness of the original Portal after enjoying Portal 2 are out of luck. The only way you'll get that opportunity is by purchasing a $60 mix-tape of Half-Life episodes and Team Fortress 2 called The Orange Box. Half-Life we've always been sort of ambivalent about, and Team Fortress looks fun, but is there any particular reason we have to buy the collection?

Portal 2 was one of the surest bets of 2011. Its success was assured. By all rights Valve should've given PS3 players a freebie by downloading the original, or hell, selling a special edition that contained both. It might have helped add some play time on one of the shortest modern adventures in gaming.

4. Any Film That Had the Episode 1 Trailer Attached

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We'd just been fired from Cinemark when this sad bit of marketing happened, so we'll explain in detail. Fun fact, we've been fired from various jobs for insistence on wearing KISS make-up, dangling off a balcony several feet in the air for fun and calling our supervisor a roosterdick motherfucker. Just amusing little diversions on our road to being a respected journalist, kids.

It's hard to explain this concept in the age of YouTube, but we'll try. People got as excited about movie trailers in the olden days as they do now, but when Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace came out, most people were still reduced to going to the actual movies to see them.

Being that the Star Wars prequel was one of the most anticipated films ever, the studio knew that just the trailer alone would put butts in the seats. Now, rather than doing something sensible, and not at all unholy like creating a five-minute trailer, with some supplemental behind-the-scenes stuff and just charging people the price of a movie ticket to see that -- and believe us, people would totally have done it -- they decided to put the trailer on two films.

The first was Wing Commander, which wasn't as bad as having your pants turn suddenly into five honey badgers, but was still not a very good film experience. The other... Baby Geniuses. Seriously, Hollywood, you attached the first taste of something a large group of Americans was believing was the New New Testament to a poorly thought out space opera and a bunch of crappy CGI used to disguise poor writing? Why on Earth would you... Oh. Jesus, do you think they were trying to warn us?

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It's a general rule for iTunes, Amazon MP3 et al. to not offer songs over 10 minutes in length as stand-alone downloads (though I've noticed exceptions). So Arlo's probably not the culprit here. Besides, the whole album's a keeper. It used to be tradition for me to spin a cut from Side 2 on Sound Awake during Thanksgiving week to showcase the lesser-knowns. In fact, "Chilling of the Evening" was heard (admittedly by few) on the very first SA broadcast, Thanksgiving morning 1996.

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