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Frustrated by the difference between Domestic and Imported CD's

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Frustrated by the difference between Domestic and Imported CD's

Old 10-17-01, 04:59 PM
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Frustrated by the difference between Domestic and Imported CD's

As an American, I'm entirely frustrated by the way we seem to get "screwed" by CD releases. Not only do many foreign countries have earlier release dates, they also tend to have more material on the discs. 90% of my CD collection is domestic, and 90% of those have an "imported" counter-part that contains more material.

Why is it that these other countries (England, Japan, Germany, and Austrailia in particular) have more goodness?

If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about, go to CDNOW.com or where-ever and check out a comparison of some domestic vs. imported disc, you'll see that many contain extra material.

In addition to full length albums, CD singles SUCK in our country, while the imported ones tend to have more material and b-sides, as well as videos and CD-ROM content.

I just don't get it.
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Old 10-17-01, 05:26 PM
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Because for the most part, Americans tend to be incredibly ignorant of other countries but their own. And from my experience, most U.S. music buyers tend to be casual listeners and not the die hard music fanatics such as in the U.K. where music is practically a religion. Plus Americans rarely have any incentive nor desire to buy imported music because of the virtual lockout of foreign bands, UK or otherwise on U.S. radio for the better part of ten years now. How or whyare you gonna buy an import if you've never heard the band in the 1st place??

Most of my CD purchases are imports as 99% of the bands I listen to either get a U.S. release up to a year after the rest of the world has had the CD available (Travis, Supergrass etc.) or else it's never released in the U.S. at all.

And yes, the import singles and CD's are always chock full of goodies, most notably CD-ROM content such as videos and web links and photos.

I don't see the situation changing as the U.S. record industry counts on our ignorance here to maximize their profits. Why put any extras on a CD if no one is complaining?? Who's gonna complain if they have no idea that CD-ROM content is common in the rest of the world?


for those who's musical tastes are east of the Atlantic
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Old 10-17-01, 05:28 PM
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I agree about the singles. We(Americans) often get the shaft when it comes to finding B-sides by our favorite artists.

But I have seen things go both ways with album releases. Case in point, techno-ambient artist BT. I believe his first album 'ima' was released in England as a one disc CD, then when it came to America we got a bonus 4-track CD featuring 'Blue Skies' a song with Tori Amos. But on the other hand, his latest(?) album, Movement in Still Life, was (based on reviews I've read) butchered in it's American release. Most songs were edited down to be about 3-5 min. long as opposed to the 6-9 min. mixes on the U.K. release.

Also the new Orbital Cd, The Altogether, features an extra CD of remixes and B-sides not available on the U.K. version. My guess is this is the artists way of making it easier for the American fans to get some of the stuff that everyone elsewhere can find on the CD singles.

As for Japan, I'm pretty sure the addition of 1 or 2 B-sides to an album is a way for them to fight the bootlegging that goes on over there. The bootleggers get ahold of the american release and make copies, then the record company in Japan add a song or two so (hopefully) more people there will buy the real CD rather than a bootleg.
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Old 10-17-01, 07:05 PM
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The most credible reason I've heard for import versions of us albums having bonus tracks is this:

It makes it more likely that the people in the import market (I mean, where the album isn't an import -- e.g., Japan, Australia, England, etc.) will buy that version of the album. CD prices in markets other than the US are significantly more expense than in the US. The labels and their local distributors are rightly concerned that people in these markets would simply mail order from the US, saving themselves a few bucks and possibly picking up the album early. Contrary to what's posted above, I think that most releases on US labels come out in the US before they come out everywhere else.

most U.S. music buyers tend to be casual listeners and not the die hard music fanatics such as in the U.K. where music is practically a religion.
I won't suggest that the typical US buyer is anything other than casual, but I believe that there are enough serious music fans in the US to shed some doubt on whomod's theory.

As far as singles go, I think that labels release them where they think they can sell them. If there's a major market for them, it isn't in the label's best interest to "force" their customers to find them as exports. If there's isn't a significant market (and opportunity to make $), the labels won't want to put out the $ to set up distribution and promotional channels. Lines can be drawn somewhat around genre boundaries (electronica is relatively small in the states), but there are other factors as well. There are tons of bands who sell huge numbers in England, Japan, Australia, Canada, etc., that aren't known well enough in the US to justify selling their stuff here.
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Old 10-17-01, 07:22 PM
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interesting points....

I would buy more of these "imports" but 2 songs at most cannot justify double the retail of a domestic release. It's really too bad.

Sure I get all of the bonus tracks online of morpheus or whatever, but it's nice to have them included on the disc itself.
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Old 10-17-01, 11:30 PM
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As an Aussie who buys a lot of CDs and DVDs let me tell you that I feel the same way, but in reverse. I can name several recent releases that have certainly had a US release before here...and especially in the DVD market. Then there is choice of range in the US which is staggering in proportion....the States and Europe have a way better choice.

Yes we get releases with extra tracks here on some releases but it isn't always so. And I know that in the US some of the best stuff rarely sees the light of day...I read a lot of music bulletin boards and I see the fans of many of the artists I like get worse treatment than us here in Australia...Erasure, ABC, Chris Rea etc all leap to mind immediately - often not released at all.

Don't forget though that your choice of live touring shows shits all over ours here especially where I am on the west coast of Australia....most acts never bother cause it's so expensive to come here even though Perth is a city of over a million people. i would die to see Jimmy Buffett, or Melissa Etheridge or about 1000 others but it so unlikely

Also local prices here ARE more expensive than your local prices. There is no perfect solution.


Perth, Australia
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Old 10-18-01, 01:53 AM
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I buy a lot of imports and of course any big music fan knows they have some cool stuff on them.

The Japanese ones are usually the best but are the hardest to find and the most expensive.

I always order from Amazon.com/UK because it's very affordable in my opinion.

A lot of their top albums are 9.99 (EBP) which is only about 15 bucks give or take.

Shipping has been like 4 bucks for a couple cd's.

Considering CDNOW charges me more than that from right around the corner and this other is coming from London or wherever.

The singles are 2.99, 3.99 or rarely 4.99 (EBP) so they are not the 10 or 11 bucks you will pay for them here.

The service is fairly quick for international and nothing has ever been damaged.

say i want to buy Starsailor, The Strokes, or whatever those I know are/were released well before America and were 9.99.

The only knock is a lot of singles in Europe are CD1 and CD2 but at the price and the fact that you'll end up with 4 or 5 b-sides/live tracks/remixes........not a bad deal.
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Old 10-18-01, 03:59 AM
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"The other man's grass is always greener" - how true. I normally buy my CD's from play247 which uses US and Canadian supplieres so that I can get them very cheap. I do always check the track listing against the UK version but I've only found the Bridget Jones soundtrack to be very lacking. The same is true with DVD's on the US version there may be a DTS soundtrack on the UK there rarely is and you always get your movies out first. Having said all that I don't actually get annoyed about it, it just is.

As a UK national I'm not sure whether I sould be complimented or insulted about being "fanatical about music"

Last edited by Precious; 10-18-01 at 04:03 AM.
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Old 10-18-01, 08:31 PM
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As a UK national I'm not sure whether I sould be complimented or insulted about being "fanatical about music"
Take it as a compliment. Maybe I was generalizing broadly but in my experience, i've found that 99% of the UK music fans I've chatted with tend to have more varied musical tastes (IE: might like U.S. rap acts as well as punk rock and jazz), have knowledge of other era's music other than the 48 month period in which they happened to attend high school in (which is usually the case when I chat with people of all ages on the internet), and generally follow the music press which is considerably larger and diverse than the music press stateside.

I understand that there are people in the states that do follow music passionately. I just see a larger percentage of British and Japaneese people who tend to follow it to a larger degree. That shouldn't be taken as an insult or a fact, just take is as an opinion and observation that you are free to agree or disagree with.
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Old 10-19-01, 03:12 AM
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Whomod - you're right I do have a very wide taste in music and sometimes I find it very difficult to respond in posts about my favorite artist or favorite albums. I have so many and it really depends on the mood I'm in, plus my music collection goes back twenty years so some artists have come and gone but I still enjoy listening to thier work. All that said I'll take your comment as a compliment.
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