A - Z of buying music.

ZZ Top are not a band I think about particularly often. If I should win Pop-Master, and be presented with ZZ Top as a three-in-ten to win the digital radio, the digital radio is safe (“Erm… Legs … Gimme all your lovin’… erm erm “), but they are a good marker for ‘alphabetically last’. “From ABBA to ZAPPA” the World Records mail-order brochure proclaimed, but we all knew that ZZTop were last in there (Sharp Dressed Man, 12” picture disc. £11), not Zappa. Thinking about it though - stylistically ABBA to Zappa is a very long jump, so maybe that was the point they were making.

Anyway, ZZ Top have a Greatest Hits album … costing £6.47 on Amazon, and the same set of songs is available on DVD for the Greatest (video) Hits, costing £6.99. So, an extra 52p to have the videos as well. Is that the ‘value’ the videos add, retrospectively? (about 5p per song – which is seems fair enough given the videos are only glorified averts – like a DVD of a film that comes with a ‘trailer’ as the only ‘extra’).

Back at the other end of the alphabet, ABBA ‘Gold’ is sitting similarly priced at £6.79 on DVD or £4.99 for the CD version. The £1.80 difference meaning each video adds about 10p per song – but hang on… what’s this? The CD version at £4.99 is actually the CD+DVD version. Which includes the DVD too. So in this case the audio only version is actually devaluing the videos! That’s a damning testimonial of your artistic output … it devalues the work of the director who produced a 3 minute promotional advert for it!

Amazon also sell mp3 versions of these albums. Care to take a punt at the cost? …Ok, pens down, times up! ABBA Gold costs £6.49 and ZZTop Greatest hits will set you back £7.49. In both cases the mp3 versions are more expensive that the CD versions. It seems having a sleeve with your name and/or photo on it makes your CD worth about a pound less than just the music is on its own. Perhaps the pound should be seen as the cost of convenience in having it pre-ripped for your portable mp3 player.

Ebay shows the second hand resale value of these CDs (should you choose to sell them when you realise you can’t tolerate the sleeve at all) is about £2 for the ZZ Top, and about £4 for the Abba. I can’t find a second hand price listed for the mp3 versions. Just saying.

Both DVD titles are available to rent from Lovefilm. Perhaps that’s your better bet.

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