One of the biggest unasked or unanswered questions about The Second Disc is: why catalogue stuff? Is the site meant to conjure up memories of musical generations past? Is it trying to remind labels that their back catalogues should be treated with the utmost care in conjunction with their burgeoning new acts? Is there something else about it? The answers are maybe, yes and yes.
At heart, though, The Second Disc has more to do with journalism than anything. Journalism, they say, is the first draft of history. And while that industry is generally doing no better than the music industry, the application of journalistic skills is something that must not be devalued. Telling various stories from various perspectives – be it reissues, compilations or box sets – can be wildly beneficial to the public’s understanding or enjoyment of certain artists.
That’s why it always seems weird when certain “no-brainers” of the catalogue world just don’t happen. For instance, it would be a no-brainer to reissue Cold Spring Harbor, Billy Joel’s first LP, including both the original mix (albeit speed-corrected) from 1971 and the (admittedly sterile) 1983 remix that graces CD today. Same goes for mono issues of The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s first two LPs.
The list goes on and on, of course, and that’s where you come in. In your mind, what is the most obvious reissue, expansion or compilation that just hasn’t happened yet?