"New" Albums Composed of Old Music: Good or Bad?

Categories: Music Bidness

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On the other hand, you have someone like Omar Rodriguez-Lopez from The Mars Volta. His solo career consists of almost nothing but vaulted albums.

This January 1 and 2 of this year (or last Tuesday and Wednesday), Rodriguez-Lopez dropped three albums online at once. All three were sub-par assortments of random recordings from 2007-10. When will we hear what he's actually doing right now? Who knows? Is it fair to us as listeners to continually have albums of half-cooked tossed-off recordings from years ago given to us to spend our hard-earned money on?

Furthermore, it seems like more and more bands are taking the Beatles/"Free as a Bird" approach to recording new music. Rather than writing good new songs, older and recently reunited bands are trying to sell us old music in the guise of new music.

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Photo by Groovehouse
Van Halen
See Van Halen's latest record, A Different Kind of Truth, made up of new recordings of old demos from before the band's first album. While sitting through the album, I could not help thinking that there was probably a reason the Van Halen of 1978 decided to scrap these songs. Megadeth pulled the same trick on their latest record, Thirteen, which featured three new recordings of previously released demo tracks. The demos were honestly better.

Pulp just decided to go this route too, with a new song called "After You," actually a new recording of a demo that has been around since the '90s. Wouldn't we all be happier with some Pulp tracks that are actually new? LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy produced the new recording, but even that doesn't entice me. Give me something new.

How do you as readers feel about this? Are you satisfied with the current mindset of the music industry, which seems to be based on any word with the prefix of "re-?"

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