Green Day fans are anxiously awaiting the brand new album, 21st Century Breakdown, due out on May 15th. For vinyl junkies, it will be released a month later as a 3-record set, each one being a 10″ record and featuring each “act” of the album. The record are stored in a booklet featuring a 60-page book, the content of which is exclusive to this vinyl pressing. Only 3000 copies of this limited edition set will be made, and you can pre-order your copy right now by heading to GreenDayMusic.com. The cost of one of these limited edition sets? $89.99 before shipping and handling. Those who do order it will be able to download the album on the day of the album’s release, to hold them down until their records come in.
Some are wondering if three records that make up one single album, encased in a nice booklet, is really worth $90. One of my favorite bands, Melvins, created a special 4LP deluxe box set for their album, (a) Senile Animal and released it in 2008.
This was made in a limited edition of 1000, with each of the four-records (@ 45rpm) being one-sided, with the other side having an etching, along with a lot of extras. Cost of this box was a few cents under $50. Green Day probably have more money than Melvins, but if you’re a diehard fan of either band, you are most likely going to pay for it regardless.
A few things come to mind. Does Green Day’s box really need to be that high? A normal copy of an album by Little Brother or Foreign Exchange can go for under $20 at UndergroundHipHop.com, while a new 2LP set from Clara Hill may be priced at $25 at Dusty Groove. A 90 dollar box set is going to scare off potential vinyl junkies and be bought up by those who can afford it, and that’s not right for a fan who simply wants a good album on the format of their choice. So far there is no word on if 21st Century Breakdown will be released as a standard 12 inch 2LP set.
Also, as vinyl surpasses the sales of compact discs, will more artists opt to release vinyl in limited edition form? While I support vinyl in all of its sizes, shapes, and forms, I just want to be able to have good music on vinyl, without the extra surprises. I am a collector and not that I don’t like the deluxe treatments, but new records should not have to be $30 each. If you put care into the format, fans will want it and keep coming back.
Nonetheless, if Green Day is your favorite band, best save up and buy a copy before they go up in value once they become out of print.