The deluxe side of the moon is record industry's answer to downloading

 

You've already got the album on vinyl, cassette and CD.

It is downloaded on to your iPod. You may even have seen it performed live.

So how does the record industry go about persuading the avid music fan to part with hundreds of pounds for a classic LP they may already have owned for up to 40 years?

The answer it seems can be found this autumn in a slew of some of rock's most celebrated recordings set to be re-released as "super-deluxe" and even "uber-deluxe" box sets sporting price tags as big as the bands themselves.

Despite the decline in CD sales, collectors are already being urged to pre-order their favourite artists.

Yet while the long-awaited six-disc audio-visual Immersion box sets of Pink Floyd's classic 1970s albums, Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall – which have sold more than 100 million copies between them – will cost a relatively meagre £88, other collections are more expensive.

A forthcoming 20th anniversary set of U2's era-defining 1991 album Achtung Baby is currently for sale on some US websites for $589.99 (£369). Dedicated fans of the album famously described by Bono as the sound of "four men chopping down The Joshua Tree" will receive a limited, numbered edition in a magnetic puzzle-tiled box, six CDs, DVDs and a 92-page book.

The Complete Smiths: Collector's Edition is currently on pre-order sale for £221 on Amazon. It includes all the band's studio albums and their only live recording, remastered by Johnny Marr in three different formats. Other imminent releases include a super-deluxe anniversary box set of Nirvana's landmark grunge overture Nevermind, and a Quadrophenia super-deluxe box set by The Who.

Deluxe box sets and remastered classics have been around since the 1990s when record companies first began digitising their back catalogues and unearthed vast quantities of potentially marketable background material. The latest crop of re-releases, however, comes against an increasingly bleak sales outlook.

Last year music revenues slumped by £189m. Sales of CDs have continued their remorseless decline, plunging a further 7.9 per cent in the wake of the challenge from free streaming web sites such as Spotify. Meanwhile, the hoped-for boost from legal digital sales has failed to materialise on the scale executives once dreamed of.

Even more worryingly, the number of new artists breaking through fell to an all-time low last year and even revenue from stadium concerts, which has helped supplement the fall in physical sales – fell back. But Adam Liversage, director of communications for BPI, which represents the music industry, said the previous success of the super-deluxe format proved fans liked them. "It gives a really good insight into how the record was made," he said.

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason told Rolling Stone: "We've tried to give everyone all the various alternatives. So now, even if we all just download, they will at least be there as a document of how it used to work."

The repackaged classics making a comeback

Pink Floyd

Immersion, £88

The release of the band's remastered back catalogue kicks off this month with Dark Side of the Moon, which includes six discs, bonus tracks and unreleased footage. Wish You Were Here and The Wall will follow before Christmas.

U2

Achtung Baby, £75

The 20th anniversary edition of the album which rekindled the career of the Irish rockers is available in "Uber" and "Super deluxe". It includes a numbered presentation box and 92-page hardback book.

The Smiths

Complete Super Deluxe Box Set, £221

Lovingly remastered by Johnny Marr, this comprehensive anthology includes all the studio, live and compilation albums crafted by Manchester's finest miserablists.

Nirvana

Nevermind, £75

A celebration of the record that brought the sound of grunge to the world two decades ago. Formats range from a four-CD/DVD Super Deluxe Edition to a standard digital/CD remaster of the original album.

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test