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Bootlegs And Their New Market

(Dream Collector #1, August 1992)


Obviously, there has been a change on the bootleg market: Bootleggers dispense with vinyl products and prefer the compact disc as a new kind of sound carrier. Nearly every rock band has had bootlegs out on CD, but for a very long time, none had appeared by Tangerine Dream. But now, they are coming out faster than many collectors can afford. And, there are some tendencies on the bootleg market that are going to annoy not only the record companies but also the collectors.

CDs may offer a better sound quality if the music source is excellent -- but this is not what a bootlegger is looking for. What he wants is easy money. An easy way to make a bootleg CD is to take the mastertape of an old bootleg LP or the vinyl LP itself and to transfer it on CD. Then, all he needs to do is find a new name for the CD version. Thus, he can earn some extra money because it is nearly impossible for the buyer to find out whether the CD contains new material or wellknown music without listening to it before. Acoustic LSD and Soundtrack For Fantasy are available in two different versions each, one of them not indicating on the cover that these CDs are re-releases of The Emerald Beyond and Undulation.

Some other kinds of experiences are being offered by bootleg dealers: They sell an old record, no matter if CD or LP, wrapped in a new coat. This may happen if a professional dealer has got a remainder of bootlegs which sell bad, or if a collector feels an impulse to offer something very "special". With a little bit of fantasy, a new cover or booklet arises -- for example as happened with Timeless Space. It has been sold named Alien Rock and The Nameless Is The Origin. Of both "reworked" LPs, only one (!) copy exists, even if the producer pretended there were a limited edition of 50 copies -- only to disguise that the "bootleg" is a fake. These methods have already touched the CD bootleg market: Collectors who want to spend extra money for Danger Live may look for A Trip To Heaven.

The near future may bring about a strange way of bootlegging: Tape versions of bootlegs have always been sold, but now, with the help of the recordable compact disc (CD-R) and the forthcoming mini disc (MD) system, nearly everyone has the chance to become a "bootleg" producer (or, better: re-producer): looking out for a fine concert tape in his collection, recording it on CD-R or MD on very few discs and swapping or selling them at high values.

If such a kind of "bootleg" business grows up, it will end in a great hodge-podge of bootlegging which is not more than swapping or selling old concert tapes on new expensive sound carriers. Thus, the market will collapse and collecting records will be a grotesque way of spending money.

With new sound carriers on the market, for collecting bootlegs you will need not only money -- but also brains.


© 1992 by Christian Horn, Siegfried Lindhorst, Rolf Sonnemann and Peter Stöferle
Copyright/Disclaimer   © 2001-2021 by Michael Berling. Last Update: 2021-09-19 21:31