Old Music, New Package: Will You Buy It — Again?

From the Beatles to the Beastie Boys, bands are courting fans with repackaged classics

Jeff Kravitz / Getty

Singer Eddie Vedder of 'Pearl Jam.'

How many times will you buy a record you love? The logical answer is once, since CDs and MP3s are all but indestructible, but logic has never had much to do with love or the record business. This year in particular, the industry is banking on the absence of logic. Scan a list of 2009's major releases and you'll discover almost as many reissues — repackaged classics with improved sound or added tracks — as originals. You may not be tempted by Lenny Kravitz's Let Love Rule 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition or Average White Band's re-pressed Cut the Cake — generally...

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