Saddle Creek capitalizes on that enormous back catalog, and is ‘free CD with vinyl purchase’ the new model?

Category: Blog — Tags: , — @ 1:57 pm January 24, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

Bright Eyes bundleSaddle Creek Records announced today that it’s re-releasing six early Bright Eyes albums on vinyl. We’re talking A Collection of Songs…(2 LPs), Oh Holy Fools (Son Ambulance lives!), Letting Off the HappinessEvery Day and Every Night, Fevers and Mirrors (2 LPs), and There Is No Beginning to the Story.

The doubles are $23 (180-gram), the EPs are $13 and the LPs are $15 (180-gram). Or you can get the lot for $99. Each reissue contains a CD of the album packaged in the jacket. And you also get the digital download for free. That’s a lot of content, folks. Too bad they didn’t get this ready in time for Christmas.

Fevers is the golden one here. And if you’re wondering, the Saddle Creek online store already offers everything including and beyond Lifted on vinyl.

So this got me wondering what was available by the other members of the Creek triumverate. All of Cursive’s LPs from Domestica on are available on vinyl, as are all The Faint’s LP’s from Blank-Wave Arcade on. Saddle Creek always has done a good job with vinyl.

The biggest areas for future exploitation are The Good Life catalog — only Album of the Year and Help Wanted Nights are available on vinyl, which leaves Black Out and one of their best, Novena On a Nocturn, ripe for vinyl reissue. Also for consideration: the entire Now It’s Overhead catalog.

So will all future Saddle Creek vinyl releases come with a free CD and download? For example: You can preorder Cursive’s I Am Gemini for $11 on CD, or for just $4 more get the vinyl, CD and mp3 file. Hey, might as well just buy the vinyl, kids. So far, this free-CD-with-vinyl approach hasn’t become the industry model. Neither Sub Pop, Matador nor Merge are offering a similar deal, yet…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.


  • More than any of these…I’d like to see them issue Neva Dinova’s debut LP on vinyl, which it never was. I’m not sure there’s the demand out there to justify it, but I’d certainly buy a copy or two. And they do own the rights to it, by-the-way…not Crank!, etc. Do it, Saddle-Creek…or sell me those masters and I’ll put it out on vinyl myself!

    Comment by Karl — January 24, 2012 @ 2:13 pm

  • Do you really need to include a CD *and* a download at this point? Isn’t that a bit redundant? Not an attack, just a question of logic is all.

    Comment by Schlissel — January 24, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  • Schlissel – The download is only for pre-orders from Saddle Creek. You can pre-order the records now, and get the music immediately instead of waiting for the records to be shipped on 2/21, 3/20, and 4/17. If you just pick it up at a record store, or from another online retailer the included CD replaces the digital download.

    Comment by Jeff - Saddle Creek — January 24, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  • Wow, so they’re basically giving away the CD when you buy the vinyl. I wonder how much they could reduce the cost of the vinyl if they didn’t include the CD? Is CD production really that cheap?

    Comment by Boris — January 24, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

  • Boris – The CD included is just the disc itself in a plain white sleeve. It doesn’t cost much more than including a download card. Not enough to change the retail cost at least.

    Comment by Jeff - Saddle Creek — January 24, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  • I’ve always really liked the way Saddle Creek handles vinyl releases. Always 180g, usually not much more than the CD and usually includes the CD. I used to love this method because I would rip the CDs to FLAC to listen to on my MP3 player but now I just use Spotify for all of my mobile listening and listen to the vinyl at home. I also really appreciate the embrace of Spotify by Saddle Creek.

    Comment by Zach — January 27, 2012 @ 11:58 am

  • Where do you get CDs so cheaply Saddle Creek?

    Also is the sleeve more expensive than the CD

    Comment by Wow what a deal — January 29, 2012 @ 2:31 pm

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