One of the most exciting things about a new music release is the actual buying experience. I’m not sure what it is, but the act of going out and picking up your favorite artist’s new album can be a really fun experience. It’s even better if you like collecting things like myself.
The music industry is beginning to cater more and more to fans like me, that is, collectors. A lot of bands now offer extra little things with their albums, whether it be bonus material or a piece of exclusive merchandise. I like the idea of having collectibles that a lot of people don’t. Strange Music has been pretty awesome with their exclusives, and with All 6’s And 7’s, they brought the thrill of the hunt to a whole new level.
When All 6’s And 7’s was first announced, Strange Music offered an exclusive pre-order package that included an exclusive All 6’s And 7’s t-shirt, an autographed copy of the album, and the download for “F.A.N.S.” in advance. I was really happy with what the pre-order came with. I really like the idea of exclusive shirts because they are never available after the pre-order is done. Fans have a chance at a rare collectible. The Mp3 download is pretty nice too because you get a taste of the album months in advance. Then of course, there’s the autographed album which really cool to just have. I personally like to display my autographed albums, and this one is no different. When my pre-order arrived just before the official release date, I was really excited to wear my brand new Tech N9ne shirt and listen to the album on my way out to collect more exclusives.
All 6’s And 7’s came in several different exclusive editions, including one offered at Best Buy. This one was actually my personal favorite. Not only was Best Buy offering you the album with 3 exclusive downloads not available anywhere else, but they were giving you a real Strange Music medallion for free! The same medallion that sells for $50 on the Strange Music webstore was being given away for free with the album. That’s unbelievable. I knew I had to get it immediately because I was hearing that it was selling out everywhere. When I finally picked it up, it only cost me $15.00, I couldn’t get over it. The 3 tracks it came with were incredible. These weren’t just throwaway tracks, these were quality, album worthy tracks. “Face Paint”, “Give It Up”, and “Rock And Roll Ni**a” were all great tracks that could have easily ended up on All 6’s And 7’s. As a collector of everything Strange Music, this exclusive deal was just the thing I was looking for.
The three other exclusives I purchased had their own bonus materials for fans. I went to F.Y.E. for my next purchase, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. They offered fans an exclusive CD/DVD package available only at F.Y.E., along with a really cool Tech poster. The DVD itself was worth the purchase alone. It featured Tech going through the process of All 6’s And 7’s, and discussing various tracks. The poster was a nice touch, plus I have yet to see it anywhere else.
The Deluxe iTunes Edition of All 6’s And 7’s was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made from iTunes. For $14.99, they sold the album along with 3 bonus tracks (different from the Best Buy tracks), and a great video of Tech in the studio for All 6’s And 7’s. While I was skeptical at first, the video turned out to be a great watch and completely different from the F.Y.E. video. The bonus tracks they included were “Eenie Meanie Miny Ho”, “Ya Killin Me”, and “This Is Hip Hop”. “Eenie Meanie Miny Ho” was the best of the three. I was really surprised at how many little things I was able to get from the different versions. I was nervous about missing out on any part of the album experience, but so far, everything was worth it.
I have to admit that my collector’s syndrome took over a bit because I even went to Wal-Mart to grab a copy of All 6’s And 7’s. The actual disc wasn’t much different except for the product code, which a lot of collector’s actually care about. A lot of different retailers will often ask for their own SKU codes, or Stock Keeping Unit. In simple terms, it’s just a code that helps keep track of units for each retailer. Since Tech’s album had a few versions, there were different SKUs for each one. Not usually important to casual listeners, but it sometimes can be to collectors. Every version has a different code, and that makes it unique. In some cases though, it can be a nightmare for collectors. Just ask any Lady Gaga fan. Her last album was said to have around 14 different SKUs! No wonder she had the #1 album in the country. That would be a nightmare for most collectors. The Wal-Mart version was cool though because they included $10 in Strange Bucks, which was basically a $10 gift card for the shop at the Strange Music store. I actually used mine on a poster, so not a total waste.
I will say, that buying every single version of All 6’s And 7’s may not be feasible for everyone, but it’s definitely an awesome deal on all ends. As a collector, I can sit back and enjoy all of the copies I got with unique extras that made this release just that much more special for me. Strange Music has given us reason to go and actually enjoy buying an album. It’s nice to have that in the download age.
-Frank Peters, Strange Music Blogs Contributor
Click here to purchase All 6’s And 7’s Deluxe iTunes Edition.