The music industry discusses the ethics of re-launching popular albums.

IN A FRONT page story American trade magazine Billboard debated the ethics of re-launching hit albums to maximise sales. In the article which, as well as re-launches of albums by Usher and Nora Jones, singled out the re-launch of Christian rock band Switchfoot's last album 'The Beautiful Letdown'. One owner of a record shop chain suggested "the people bought an album first are being screwed," while another distribution executive suggested "this is greed at its worst." In February 2003 'The Beautiful Letdown' was released in the States with a $12.98 list price. It went on to sell one million units with distribution through RED backed heavily by touring and grassroots support particularly in the Christian marketplace. In June 2004 Columbia took over the album and issued it through Sony Music Distribution, re-launching it with new sleeve art, a new single and a bonus DVD. The album was re-priced at $18.98 and has since sold another 500,000 units. CR

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