Non-Buyer’s Remorse: They Might Be Giants’ Then: The Earlier Years

I recently stumbled over a live version of a song by They Might Be Giants I hadn’t yet heard, entitled “She’s An Angel”. I was stunned by how great it was; their songs are a bit of a hit-and-miss affair with me, but this was definitely a solid hit. I was curious if it perhaps was to be found on their Then: The Earlier Years, a double CD compilation compiling their two earliest albums as well as some rarities which I’ve had on my wishlist for a few years now. I’ve wanted to buy it, but I’ve never seen it for under full retail price, and I rarely buy anything at full retail price.

My research revealed that, indeed, the song could be found on said compilation. Another good argument for buying it, or at least emphasising it when presenting friends and relatives with my wishlist next this Jul. But research also revealed that it was now out of production, and cheeky sellers on were charging over 80 USD for it. This ruined my mood for the evening, and I was left feeling moderately depressed until I went to bed.

It’s selling for the slightly more reasonable price of 28 USD through the band’s official website though, but that’s still a lot to pay, even if it’s a double album, and the retail price has been around 25 USD. It seems that it’s generally more expensive buying products directly from the artists (with a few exceptions), both through their websites and through their merchandising tables at their shows, which I’ve always found frustrating and ironic. Aren’t they cutting out at least one middle man when selling their own albums themselves? Possibly two, depending on what deal artists have with their record companies; usually they’ll let you have a certain amount of copies of your album for free, and will be charging you only the production costs for additional copies.

In any case, it’s rather annoying, and another case of non-buyer’s remorse. I could always buy it through the band’s website though, before they run out there as well, but then with the shipping of 6 USD, it’s a total of 34 USD for one album. That’s a lot of money. But maybe it’s worth it.

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