Hung Up On The Reissues?

Salt-Huing-Up-ReissueKenny Dope has one. JJ Whitfield passed up on a whole box of them on a digging trip in the 90’s. Shadow and Cut Chemist did a routine with one. I’m sure there are a handful of collectors who had the record at one time, then sold it at a huge profit. The record we speak of is the original 45 of the band Salt on the Choctaw label (Choctaw 101). It has gone for ridiculous loot in the past. Why? It’s history is a bit of a mystery for one, and two, the record is as scarce as Mardi Gras w/out the bells. Simple supply and demand people, and at this moment, everyone would love to have the original in their box. Here’s where the reissue issue (pun intended) comes in. In the past, we have seen this record as a one off release aka bootleg with a custom cover go for over $200. It was also reissued as a B-Side with “Hey Joyce” on the Milk label around the time the Brainfreeze craze was going off. Recently though, a two sided reissue was released with the original on one side and a re-edit aka extra drums on the flip. This reissue has sold for over $120. That’s right, the reissue. It did have a limited run of 500 records, but we found it strange that this reissue would go for that amount of money. We’ve seen others, namely The Ambassadors “Ain’t Got The Love Of One Girl (On My Mind)” reissue go upwards of $100 as well. Ok, Pete Rock sample, original in short supply now. We were really surprised it wasn’t included in the Arctic box set that had the 45s (digital version yes, but they opted for “Doctor Love” for The Ambassadors 45 in the set). If that were the case you might as well drop the $60 for that and get 4 other 45s plus the whole discography on CD. But again, a hundo for the reissue? This got us thinking, why are people paying big money for reissues?

Now, we don’t mind reissues here in our record box. While it’s always nice to come up on a great original, if you don’t have access, a reissue is not going to tarnish your image IMHO. Maybe in some purist circles, but the way the record game is going these days, you take what you can get. For us here, it’s about the music. If I’m playing this Salt 45 out, I have no shame saying it’s a reissue. I’m not shelling $4K for the original, sorry. I have mouths to feed and for the price of a used car, well, you can have it. Save it for Mr. Deep Pockets has to put it on the wall and never play it. A lot of reputable record companies have done well with legitimate reissues of tunes. Jazzman always comes correct with his 7 inch gems. Kay Dee has put out some bangers for the buck. Stones Throw and Now Again have always done us right. There are more, but you get the idea. The thing is, we have never paid more than ten bucks for a 45 (which is kind of high, really) that was a reissue. This includes the aforementioned Salt joint with the re-edit. What we can only surmise here with this high reissue prices, is that generational attitude of ‘want it now’ has trickled over. Want a record? Go to ebay, buy it now. Want a hard to get, limited run re-issue? Go to ebay and pay sick money for it, maybe ten times its worth (and still available at the original retail price) because you have to have it now. When Flea Market Funk started, we vowed to buy, play, and review records at flea market/ yard sale prices. That holds true for a reissue. There is no way we would ever shell out that kind of coin for something you can get for a regular price if you had just did some digging around. We want to know, what are your thoughts on this reissue issue? Thanks for weighing in.

Keep Diggin’?

3 responses to “Hung Up On The Reissues?

  1. First of all, thank you for doing what you do. I wholeheartedly appreciate your site and the philosophy behind it.

    The whole reissue vs. OG thing has always been an interesting debate. And a common conundrum for the hardcore collector who also considers themselves a music lover. I’m personally not into reissues, but I also don’t have the survival of small children resting on my financial responsibility. So I really can’t judge what format people enjoy music on (people with good taste are rare enough). I’d like to believe that I love music more than I love collecting, but I can’t front. The internet has made it easy to procure some of my most wanted pieces, and it’s only fuelled my passion for the obscure. In many ways, it’s only made me more of a collector, and less of a pure ‘music lover’. Pure music lovers don’t care about format. They care about music. Period. I would love to sit here and tell you that I’m a pure music lover. But sadly, I’m no longer one of those people.

    Reissues are great, but by and large, they’re much easier to come by (records like Salt and the Ambassadors being the exception). And I think part of the appeal for many of us who identify as collectors is the difficulty involved in acquiring a piece. In today’s day and age, difficulty can mean the sheer obscurity of a piece, or the financial investment required to purchase it. Both are barriers to getting the piece of music you want. “Mr Deep Pockets” can also be a person who worked 2 jobs and saved up to get the piece he/she really wants, or someone who will sell numerous pieces to get one really special one. It’s not always some corporate dude with a salary for three that decides he wants to blow all his disposable income on some display pieces. I play my records, but if I had a piece that was worth $5000, I’d think twice about bringing it out of my house or cutting the shit out of it. It becomes more than music, it becomes an investment. I’ll play it, but I’m not lending it to some dude about to enter a DJ battle.

    My music has always been valuable to me. I grew up in the era where ‘hip-hop’ belonged to us. It belonged to us because we went out and found it. Part of the music’s appeal was the work you had to do to get it. You had to know the right radio stations. The right record stores. The right circle of friends. You had to be ACTIVE. Call me an elitist, but that made it special to me. I like having to work for music.

    For me personally, I feel that seeking out OG copies of records is still an active pursuit.

    While settling for a reissue, other than the Salt example used here, is a more passive pursuit.

    Do I think there’s any shame in buying a reissue? No. In fact, there are some amazing box sets and deluxe editions which are totally worth getting.

    But I also don’t think there’s any shame in balling out on a incredibly rare piece you worked really hard to acquire.

    And as a collector more than a pure music lover, I’m drawn more to the latter.

  2. I think it’s nuts, personally. I don’t see a problem spending a few bucks on a re-ish if the OG is stratospheric (like Frank Wilson ‘Do I Love You’) but a hundred plus is loony.

  3. I have dug for 15 years and never seen a salt hung up original. Yet, when the reissues came out quite a few people including myself had no idea it was a one off ltd. To 500 copies. When I found out I bought four copies as fast as possible. 2 of them I sold for around 150$. 2 I kept. Everything about the mysterious Choctaw label and the numbers pressed being so low, then Brainfreeze heads are coming out of the wood work 15 years later.(with money to spend cause there not kids anymore) I DJ these so I know that I can have that record playing and not worry, (will it get damaged, stolen, or ruined in any way). The original could get damaged playing out. I buy to play! I think that realization of wanting the closest thing to the original, paying fraction of the price (factoring in the likely hood of diggin’ one up ) is totally acceptable. These reissues being a ltd to 500, are disappearing so fast. The only question I keep asking myself is the price gonna go higher than 120$? Will it become a 2,3,400$ record?

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