Pete Howard

Best-selling boxed sets

Why are record companies putting out boxed sets at such a furious rate? The Eric Clapton Crossroads set is a prime example. It cost PolyGram about $150,000 to produce and market the first 50,000 copies of the box in 1988, and Crossroads began to make a profit after 20,000 copies sold. Here’s how the Clapton set compares with the best-selling music boxes from the pop world:

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Bootleg record epidemic

This summer, a new category of record release has been created: the official bootleg. That’s because major artists like Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, and Frank Zappa have decided to fight back against record piracy, the illegal sale of LPs and CDs of live concerts and unreleased studio material. These three pop giants have released albums specifically intended to steal sales away from under-the-counter boots. Zappa, in particular, has a personal, visceral dislike of the rip-offs: ”They make me sick when I hear them,” he says.

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