chapter
15 Pages

B

The major labels realized the sales potential of listeners, especially the affluent baby boomer generation, upgrading their vinyl collections by replacing them with CDs. There is also the appeal of adding bonus/rarity/alternative takes to the longer space available on the CD format as, for instance, with the 1996-7 reissue of The Byrds’ original 1960s albums. In some cases, the majors have licensed reissue rights, or created subsidiary labels for the purpose. The 1970s saw the first companies dedicated to reissues, producing ‘thoughtful, intelligent compilations of vintage rock and roll’ (Erlewine et al., 1995); Sire in the United States (along with its contemporary artists) and Charlie in the United Kingdom were joined in the 1980s by Ace, Demon/Edsel, and Rhino (US), the leading contemporary reissue company, with an

extensive catalogue. These companies exploited the market niche created by the major labels’ reluctance to release obscure, vintage material for small, specialized audiences.