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Cover version on a download album. Is it worth the hassle?

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Cover version on a download album. Is it worth the hassle?

Postby BigRedX » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:12 pm

A friend of mine from a previous band recently got in touch to see if it would be worth putting out our old recordings as a downloadable album on iTunes etc.

Having had a listen to the tracks in question, there's more than a few good songs in there, and apart form one track on a compilation album and a 4-track cassette EP we released ourselves none of other recording were ever made commercially available at the time, plus we had a small but enthusiastic following back in the day, so my feeling is that for the cost of the aggregator it's probably worth it.

However... One of the tracks is a cover version. IMO it's not particularly representative of the band sound, but it was a popular part of our live set, and caused a raised eyebrow or two when it was played to prospective record labels. Also the original version of the song (or an good sound-alike) has recently been used in a TV ad (which may well have prompted my friend to have a think about releasing these old recordings).

Putting the recordings up on iTunes etc. is pretty much a vanity project. If we sell more than 50 copies of the album I'd be very pleasantly surprised. However the style of music has been fashionable again lately, so you never know.

I've had a look at CD Baby's instruction for including cover versions on your digital album and they are fairly convoluted and seems aimed pretty much at bands in the US. How much of that is applicable to the UK. Of course with all the different parties involved and the open-ended nature of download sales it's all much more complicated than it was last time I did anything like this about 35 years ago when you simply filled in an MCPS form and paid a fee based on how many records you were pressing.

So has anyone here put a cover version on one of their downloadable albums, and if so how easy or hard was the process, and do you think it's worthwhile for an album that is most likely going to have minimal sales (although any fans from back in the 80s who do buy a copy might expect the song to be on it)?
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