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Elvis Costello Sticks It to the Man

Tuesday, November 29, 2011, 13:27 EDT Leave a comment Go to comments

Elvis Costello "The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook"When is the last time you heard a performer tell fans not to buy his albums? I believe the answer is “never,” until now:

[Singer Elvis Costello] says $225 is just too much to pay for “Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook,” even if it does come with three CDs, a vinyl record, a concert DVD and a 40-page coffee table book…

“Unfortunately, we at http://www.elviscostello.com find ourselves unable to recommend this lovely item to you as the price appears to be either a misprint or a satire,” Costello wrote on his website.

Costello tried to get the record company to knock the price down, but was unsuccessful. So he is recommending buying the work of another legendary artist.

“If you should really want to buy something special for your loved one at this time of seasonal giving, we can whole-heartedly recommend, ‘Ambassador of Jazz’ … containing TEN re-mastered albums by one of the most beautiful and loving revolutionaries who ever lived – Louis Armstrong,” Costello wrote. “The box should be available for under one hundred and fifty American dollars and includes a number of other tricks and treats. Frankly, the music is vastly superior.”

The cynical commenters seem to think this is Costello’s elaborate plan to get more publicity for his box set. One goes so far as to suggest that instead of telling people not to buy it, Costello should give people a rebate for the difference between what they paid and what he thinks they should have paid. But it’s a stupid idea that only rewards the record company, which is the entity that makes the most money on sales of the product.

I enjoy Elvis Costello’s music, although I have never bought any of his recordings. This announcement doesn’t make me more likely to buy them. But it does raise his image a bit in my eyes.

(Hat tip: Drudge.)

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