It seems like, recently, more and more artists have been doing re-records of their older material. Some claim that it’s just to update the songs. Some claim it’s because they weren’t satisfied with the originals. Some claim it’s because fans want it. But, just like the situation with “Comeback Tours”, we should all know what it’s really for…TO MAKE MONEY! Actually, that’s only part of it. Most of the time, the re-records don’t make much, if any, money at all. The real reason that artists re-record their older material is because their old record labels own the rights to the original recordings, which means, in many cases, the artists either don’t get paid much, or just don’t get paid at all. So, legally, they can re-record the songs, and keep all the money from the re-records. This means, they will, in a way, be in control of their older material again. The only problem is that most people want to hear the original recordings of the songs, and, quite frankly, some of these re-records aren’t worth the time it takes to listen to them, let alone $10 or $15 for the CD. So, do the artists really gain anything from this? Well, they do have a way to make money off of their older material, but there’s a very small chance that anybody who wants to use their music in a commercial, TV show, movie, or other format, will want the brand new version. They’ll want to go with the version that everyone already knows. That being said, I’m not telling you to ignore these releases. Sometimes, they’re really good! For instance, FireHouse did one a couple of years ago, and I love it! John Prine did it for his Souvenirs album, and that’s also great! The problem is not with re-recording the songs. The problem is that you can’t guarantee it’ll do well for you. While some artists, like Bon Jovi, might do it someday, just as a cash grab, most do it just to try to retain the rights to their older material.
Here’s John Prine’s re-record of Souvenirs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_W-_hvOUPQ
Here’s Firehouse’s re-record of All She Wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2sTfXSjS3c