Home > Uncategorized > Who Else Hates Bonus Tracks?

Who Else Hates Bonus Tracks?

Bonus tracks, bonus tracks (x 37)

Maybe “hate” is too strong, but I’ve been finding myself more annoyed lately by bonus tracks.

I’ve been picking up a lot of Pavement lately. I was always aware and appreciated them to an extent, but just recently I started spinning them more due to a friend’s suggestion.

The only annoying thing is that the copies of “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” and “Slanted and Enchanted” I picked up are the 2004 re-issues, which are packed full of bonus tracks.

37 of them.

The original LP only had 12 tracks, and those are the only 12 I listen to.

I’m sure that there’s some real gems in there, and I wouldn’t be surprised if my friend Eric (who also recently turned me on the the woefully underrated “Brighten the Corners”) will point them out. For me, though, I feel a great disconnect with the material. I like my albums to have a certain continuity to them, and I always feel – perhaps unfairly – that bonus tracks are just unnecessary material shoe-horned in for the completist who needs any and all tracks produced.

I’m not one of those. I also can’t help but feel that if the band had initially wanted these tracks on the album…well, they would’ve been on the album.

To me, it’s sort of like putting extra chapters into a great novel. Wholly unnecessary, bloated, and distracts from the real meaty stuff that made the original so great.

Boy I’m a crank, huh?

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Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Dre
    January 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    No, I agree wholeheartedly. I can appreciate the fact that they’re re-releasng the anniversary editions with all the B-sides, but I don’t particularly like the fact that the original album is packaged in with all of these other songs. The first disc of the Slanted and Enchanted re-release had 24 tracks. 24. Tracks. They should put the rest on another CD or just not bother releasing superfluous tracks. I don’t need to hear four mixes of the same song or a track of Steve Malkmus brushing his teeth. I love bonus tracks, but not at the price of compromising the original album’s integrity.

    • January 24, 2011 at 1:56 pm

      “The first disc of the Slanted and Enchanted re-release had 24 tracks. 24. Tracks.”

      Hahaha, I know, isn’t that freaking ridiculous?

  2. Chris
    January 24, 2011 at 1:19 pm

    You’re not wrong. One or two bonus tracks are okay IF they came from the same session and weren’t just thrown on a re-issue for no good reason. That’s sort of like many classic albums that had different track listings/running orders between UK and US editions. Now, if there’s enough material slapped on a re-issue, they could just make it a multiple-disc set, which makes sense. For example, the Omnibus editions from Beggars Banquet throw on all sorts of extra goodies, but they’re all on separate discs.

    • January 24, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      Another band that does it right with re-issues is The Who. When they did the re-issues in the mid-90s, they only put a handful of bonus tracks (clearly marked) as addendums, and most of the time they were live cuts of previously unreleased songs. “Tommy” and “Quadrophenia” were completely untouched, as it should be.

      The only exception was for “The Who Sell Out.” They doubled the size of that album, but in the case of that album, in its original form it wasn’t their best effort.

  3. Eric
    January 24, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I don’t actually have the bonus editions, having spent money on the original albums and not willing to part with much more (it’s for folks like me that these editions exist). I think there’s some stuff on there that eventually found its way onto Wowee Zowee though.

    I do have some albums with bonus tracks that I enjoy though. Early Elvis Costello has some gems. “Radio Sweetheart” in particular should have made the final cut of My Aim is True, and there are early demos for two really good songs from the follow-up, This Year’s Model — “No Action,” and “Living in Paradise.” If I still bought CDs, I’d probably have bought the Weezer/Blue deluxe edition just to have every worthwhile Weezer song on two CDs.

  4. Eric
    January 24, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    One more thing: The Beach Boys have huge boxsets for Pet Sounds and Smile sessions that allow for people to mix their own versions. In the case of Smile, it leads to amateurs and semi-pros being able to create a version accurate to Brian Wilson’s vision and using the actual Beach Boys’ voices and instrumentation (as opposed to Wilson’s 2008 remake).

    • January 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm

      See, that I can appreciate the desire for, i.e. if you’re apt to do that sort of thing and/or are an audophile.

  5. Eric
    January 24, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Ah, but then there’s a trickle down benefit. I didn’t mix my own version of Smile, but I regularly listen to the version by “purplechick,” which has come to be the definitive version for me.

  6. Eric
    January 24, 2011 at 2:00 pm
  7. Eric
    January 24, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    You will be pleased to know that the version I link to above has…bonus tracks.

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