Thursday, June 7, 2012

Looking for Jack

I believe I've learned a valuable lesson: When planning to attend a concert where there may be a possibility of purchasing the performing artist's audio CDs, do yourself a favor and research pricing and availability of the ones you don't have in advance.

As you may recall, I saw Colin Hay in concert recently. At the merchandise table, I had my pick of just about any CD he'd ever produced. One of which, as I recall, was Looking For Jack, his first post-Men at Work endeavor. $15 for the CD, like all the others. I picked up Mercury Rising and Going Somewhere instead, figuring I'd get around to Looking for Jack eventually.

An gift card arrived for me in the mail a few days ago, and I had my mind set on expanding my music library with more Colin Hay, plus more James Taylor and Talking Heads as well. To stretch my $25 certificate as far as it would go, I went searching for the cheapest options that weren't yet in my library: a little under $10 for Sweet Baby James; a little over $10 for Remain in Light; $116.97 for Looking for Jack.


One hundred sixteen dollars. For a CD.

And ninety-seven cents.

Apparently, the album was released on CD in 1987 and never saw a re-release in any format that I can find. I didn't even realize we had CDs in 1987--I distinctly remember cassette tapes and small mountains of installation disks for the likes of Space Quest V well into the '90s.

Do you know how long it's been since the '90s? I can't even do the math anymore.

Like I can't do the math to come up with $116.97 for a CD that should at least be available for digital download by now. Meanwhile, I'm looking at 33 different versions of Paul Anka's "(You're) Having My Baby" on Amazon for a buck twenty-nine or less. I think I feel ill.

The moral of this story remains the same, whether or not there actually was a copy of Looking for Jack on that merchandise table: Hire Paul Anka to write your songs, and they'll never go out of print.

Wait, that's not it at all...I mean, $17.86 for Transcendental Highway is much more reasonable.

But I could've gotten it for $15.

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