The marketing of compact discs

I purchased two CDs today, and both have left me scratching my head.


The first is Daft Punk’s Discovery. I opened it up to find
a hinged middle bit as if it held two CDs, but it only contained one.
I didn’t expect it to be a two-CD set, but if they were going to give
me a hingy thing, I wanted the second CD! Then I noticed a plastic
card behind the hingy bit, stuck to the back. It looks like a credit
card, with embossed numbers but no magnetic stripe. It has the
url ‘www.daftcard.com’ on it, and is apparently a membership card of
sorts for the Daft Punk fanclub.


Ok, thought I, that’s good marketing, because now I’ll go and look at
the website, where I wouldn’t otherwise. Or at least I would have if
the card didn’t have an expiry date of a year ago! The domain seems
to have been bought by a squatter, too. Almost a good idea, guys, but…


The other CD is Bill Evans playing live at Montreux. I’m a big Bill
Evans fan, and I have this one on vinyl, but wanted it on CD. The
CD case had a big ’2 CD’ sticker, which struck me as odd, because
it fits on one LP, but it was reasonably priced for a jazz import,
so I picked it up. One CD.


These people really aren’t very good at what they do.


In related news, I’m currently reading Peter Pettinger’s
biography of Evans, How My Heart Sings. It’s an excellent
example of jazz biography, giving enough personal background to
make it interesting but concentrating mostly on development of
style and relationships with other musicians, and supplying context
to well known and obscure recordings, and so forth. On the other hand,
I recently finished Charles Mingus’s autobiography, which confirmed
a rule I’d formulated a while ago (while reading Miles’s autobiography)
about jazz biography — biographies of jazz musicians document their
musical foundations and legacy, and autobiographies by jazz musicians
document who they slept with and what they were on at the time. I’m
not sure I want to explore the implications of that.

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