Posted by: coomercove | October 4, 2007

Southern Gospel Box Sets

Wes at Burke’s Brainworks brought up the topic of boxed CD sets in southern gospel music.  Wes used a Beach Boys set as his example.  The example included several discs and the selling point of previously unreleased tracks.  Wes asked why don’t southern gospel artists release sets like this and if they have unreleased tracks to add in as a bonus. 

 I think there would be a market for a product like this, especially if it was available for a decent price.  I don’t mean cheap, but don’t make it out of this world expensive.  I’m thinking no more than $100 for a five discs set and that may be a little high.  (Didn’t the Greenes have a box set for sale a few years ago that included EVERY project they had recorded?  How much was that?) 

The problem would be having the unreleased material to add to it.  With finances like they are in SGM, I don’t foresee anyone other than Bill Gaither having the budget to pay the musicians, the engineers, producers, and studio to record tracks they know they are not going to use.  In fact, I think I read in an interview with Gaither that on one project, they recorded 15 or 16 songs and picked the best 12 to release.  It may have been the “Everything Good” recording.  Didn’t the Wal-Mart release of that have several bonus cuts?  Or was it “I Do Believe”?  

An example of even a major SG label having budget issues on recordings is Daywind.  Libbi Perry mentioned a couple years ago that Daywind was making all their artists limit themselves to 10 or 11 tracks per project due to costs.  (Speaking of the Perrys, what ever happened to that Christmas recording they were supposed to be recording a few years ago?)

I still see a market for a southern gospel box set.  Look at how often groups release greatest hits projects.  I don’t think they would keep coming out with them if people didn’t buy them.  I just don’t think that artists have the “previously unreleased” tracks to add in.  What I fear would happen is that artists would go in and record a few new tracks just to put in the set.  I already don’t like it when an artist records one or two new songs to include on a greatest hits project.  I mean, I’ve already paid for 14 of the 15 songs on other cds.  Why should I have to pay $15 for one song?  (I-Tunes and Emusic are great work arounds for this.)  I definitely wouldn’t like it if it was done on a $100 box set. 

Imagine a 5 disc set with 20 songs per cd for $100.  That would average $1 per song.  That’s a good deal, especially if you package it nicely (a group history and discography, studio musicians, song writers, etc.).  It isn’t quite such a good deal if there happens to be 10 new cuts in the set and you already have the other 90.  Your average per song is upped to $10.  It would be worth it if to a lot of fans if the 10 tracks were recorded by a group lineup that no longer exists.  It would not be worth it if the new tracks were by the same lineup that will be releasing a new CD in a few months for $15. 

The question is would SG artists do this to their fans family just to make a profit.  I don’t know, but I would like to think not.  However, I’ve never been to the NQC, so I can’t say  firsthand, but I’ve seen a lot of comments that some artists’ booths are a lot like flea markets, selling anything and everything.  Why not a $100 box set with 5 new songs by the current lineup? 



  1. Brandon,

    I think $100 is a little steep. The retail price for my BB set was somewhere around $70. I got it on Amazon for a whole lot less than that, but I think the average at Best Buy or such places is anywhere from $50-$75.

  2. Wes,

    I think $100 is steep as well (and gets steeper the more I think about it). I think a SG set would be more expensive because it wouldn’t be selling anywhere near the volume a secular artist would. I see a higher price to offset that lower sales number. The BB set can make up for the lower price by selling a high number of sets.

  3. […] Posted by burkesbrainwork under Southern Gospel   Brandon at coomercove has a nice post continuing my thoughts about SG box sets.  If he is right in his thinking about the lack of […]

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