Stop!! This must stop!!!

Same old song, but with a different package
Mariah Carey’s The Emancipation of Mimi was brand-new on April 12. It got newer on Nov. 15.
Adopting the DVD formula of following an initial release with a coveted “director’s cut,” the music industry has taken to revamping hit CDs months after release to reboot sales. It’s gravy for artists and labels and a bargain for consumers who didn’t get the original.
But fans who already have the album can feel resentful and shortchanged. They’re either stuck with the minor version or forced to buy the same title again to get the extras.
Carey’s Mimi was closing in on 4 million copies when the enhanced “Ultra Platinum Edition,” with four new tracks, replaced it 32 weeks later to pad sales by 185,000 copies and bump it 11 notches to No. 4 in Billboard.
She’s not the first to repackage a big seller. A special edition of Usher’s Confessions, 2004’s top seller, came 6Œ© months after the slimmer original. The Killers’ Hot Fuss, released in mid-2004, returned Aug. 16 in limited-edition form with three added tracks. 50 Cent’s The Massacre, already on course as this year’s best seller, got a second wind in September as a reissue with videos for all 21 tracks. And Elton John’s Peachtree Road, released a year ago, is back as a collector’s edition with bonus tracks and a DVD.
Artists cite various creative impulses as reasons for the follow-ups. But the consensus, particularly in a year of declining CD sales, points to a profit boost achieved by prolonging an album’s life span.
“The record companies are trying to go to the same well again and again,” says George Varga, pop music critic for the San Diego Union-Tribune. “The obvious question in my mind is: If the newly added material is so great, why wasn’t it on the album in the first place? If the artist really had a surge of inspiration after the album came out, they have plenty of ways to make that music available, be it on their website or an EP.
“You don’t need to be a trial lawyer to be a little suspicious of the motives. Yet, whatever the record industry can do to motivate people to buy anything is in their best interest.”
Carey fanatic Alex Kaplan of Chino Hills, Calif., wants to add the Mimi upgrade to her collection, though she believes the altered disc benefits latecomers and punishes devotees who shop early.
“If I want the new songs, I have to buy an album I already have,” says Kaplan, 30. “I’d rather see the new stuff sold separately, like a mini-album with a different cover.
“I’ll probably end up buying it again, but I’m not too happy about it.”