As has been widely reported, the iTunes Store is offering a Great Albums sale. Click the link and you’re taken to a page at The Store where you can choose from 101 classic albums from the 50s through the 00s priced at just $7.99 each.
We’re not talking second-rate material here. Among the albums you find Miles’ Kind of Blue, The Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds, the Stones’ Beggars Banquet and Sticky Fingers, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, Janis Joplin’s Pearl, The Who’s Who’s Next, Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Prince’s 1999 and Purple Rain, U2’s War and The Joshua Tree, The Beastie Boys’ Licensed to Ill, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Smashing Pumpkins’ Siamese Dream, Oasis’ Definitely Maybe, and Eminem’s The Marshall Mathers LP.
All very exciting given that not only are these exactly the kinds of albums you’d want to be shipwrecked with, but some of them — particularly those that were originally double-albums — cost less now than they did when they were originally issued ( insert “adjusted for inflation” weasel here ).
So, little picture, good. Now let’s talk big picture.
It’s pretty clear that the folks behind the iTunes Store have an abiding love for the Really Great Record Store. I’m not talking about the faceless big box music/book/movies stores like the now-belly-up Tower Records or today’s bland CD shop at the mall. I’m referring to the gutted Victorian where the jazz section inhabits the former dining room, classical is upstairs in the back bedroom, and rock, pop, and soul have taken up residence in the front parlor. The ones with the bootlegs and paraphernalia behind the counter and cut-out bins lining the back wall.
Granted, the iTunes Store doesn’t offer the likely-stoned-but-completely-informed music geek behind that counter (though more work spent on The Store’s Just For You feature might result in something close) but it does show signs of the right sensibilities — this Great Album sale being one of them.
And by this I mean that the Store’s employees understand that while the $.99-per-track model offers a great convenience (and helps ensure that you purchase just the music you want) there are some albums that should be enjoyed in their entirety. The staff has done the work necessary to highlight a small portion of the albums that everyone should own.
That’s one meeting I would have loved to attend. Imagine having the assignment to come up with 10 albums you’d recommend to be part of the final 101. While I think each of the 101 recommendations is spot on, there’s easily room for another 100 albums. Stones but no Kinks? Carol King but no Joni Mitchell? Def Leppard but no AC/DC? John Mellencamp but no Springsteen? Sly & The Family Stone but no James Brown? Nirvana but no Pearl Jam? Echo and the Bunnyman but no Peter Gabriel? T. Rex but no David Bowie?
So many possibilities and so few spots to fill.
Good on The Store for making this great music available at an affordable price. Here’s hoping that the Great Albums sale will be an ongoing feature — offering different collections of albums every month or so. I’m already working on a list of albums I’d like to see included (and yes, some of them are classical selections). If you had the power to recommend 10 classic albums not currently among The Store’s Great Albums selections, which would you suggest? Feel free to use the Comments link below to offer your ideas.
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