Cat Power – New iTunes Exclusive, Plus The Latest On The Greatest

Dear Friends,

On September 12, Matador is re-releasing the most recent Cat Power album, ‘The Greatest’. The reissued version of the album, which you might’ve already learned via our print advertisements, feature 3 different slipcase covers. The album also carries a reduced list price of $9.98.

We’d like to stress the following points :

a) there are no additional songs on this version of the album
b) though we will not try to stop you from purchasing the new slipcase edition if you already own ‘The Greatest’, this endeavor is really directed at persons who’ve not checked out the album yet.
c) said scheme and accompanying fancy art were prepared with the full cooperation of Chan Marshall.

If you’re of the opinion that dropping the list price on ‘The Greatest’ is a curious way to reward the serious Cat Power fans that bought the album the day it came out, well, you’re right. Except we did acknowledge that portion of the audience with a bonus track on release. And they got to hear this terrific album for months and months, which isn’t a bad deal, either.

Anyhow, we know this is a sensitive subject. We’re not intent on gouging Cat Power fans, but we are trying to be creative and competitive in a marketplace where it is becoming increasing hard to maintain the shelf life of a title for more than a couple of months. We really believe in Chan and are of the opinion that ‘The Greatest’ is one of those life affirming records that we have to get into the hands and heads of as many people as possible.

For those of you already down with the program, thank you. Seriously. We hope you’ll be as excited as we are by the contents of the new Cat Power Live Session, an iTunes Music Store exclusive, available today.

track listing :

1. Love and Communication (Acoustic Version)
2. House Of The Rising Sun
3. Wild Is The Wind
4. Who Knows Where The Time Goes

13 thoughts on “Cat Power – New iTunes Exclusive, Plus The Latest On The Greatest”

  1. seems odd to replace pretty interesting and maybe even funny artwork with something as ugly as these to “extend” shelf life…not to say that chan is ugly, just that these new covers look like something off of a chris isaak record….and i would think that a label in your position and with your resources could do something much better with a record this good.

    how bout this: open call for artwork submissions (kinda like you did with the interpol videos a while back)….

  2. Bobby,

    we’ve not actually replaced the artwork — the original sleeve still exists underneath the slipcase.

    Sorry you consider the slipcases to be ugly. At the risk of sounding totally crass, one of our early fears about the original art was that persons shopping in chain-land who weren’t necessarily familiar with the artist, the story behind the album, etc. , might overlook it or not realize the person they’ve seen on television, in magazines, etc. was the personality behind it.

    It would be terribly simplistic for us to claim that merely by changing the album’s wrapper, we expect to sell a zillion more copies. We are hopeful, however, that changing the wrapper, plus lowering the price, plus all the other stuff Chan’s involved in at the moment (emusic’s current spots, the Memphis Rhythm Band dates this fall, Austin City Limits taping, hopefully more TV appearances to follow) and an unusually flashy/expensive print advertising campaign) would provide a tad more impetus a retailer to restock the album in greater quantaties. Whether or not that will work, remains to be seen. But we owe it to the artist to give it a shot.

  3. I guess have better faith in the buying public, but at the end of the day it’s your label and it’s her record. Image sells and I guess right now you’ve gotta go with that. However, I am a huge fan of the artist as an actual artist…if the public catches on, great.

    I just think her artwork has always been quite nice, and this is a somewhat unfortunate situation of market vs. artist, with market winning.

    Btw, the Brightblack Morning Light packaging is fantastic. Do more like that!

  4. Bobby,

    I have infinite faith in the buying public. YOU bought the record ,as is, right?

    This has more to do with reaching out to a wider audience….and the folks who control access to that audience. I mean nothing disrespectul to our colleagues at retail when I say they are SWAMPED with titles, new and old, have limited buying budgets…and really need a serious excuse to restock a title that’s as old as ‘The Greatest’. We’re trying to give them more excuses than they can possibly ignore. Goofy though it may be, that’s our job description.

    I’m glad you like the Brightblack Morning Light package. Though much of the credit goes to them, of course. We assist as best we can (and our art director, Mark Ohe, is a visionary figure in many ways). But Nathan and Rachel have some awesome ideas of their own, too.


  5. Bobby, I think you might find the covers more attractive in person than in the images on the site, which can’t reproduce the gold foil or anything. Basically this takes off from the poster design we’ve been using since last year.

    The main problem any record company has is that there are so many releases out there… just as Gerard says. Getting any attention for a record 9 months old that we feel many people missed the boat on (for any number of reasons – because the original tour was canceled, because they thought it was a Greatest Hits, whatever) is really tough and in this market (more titles coming out per week than at any point in history) we’re forced to use any means necessary to bring the record to the attention of record shoppers. Emphasizing that Cat Power is a person, that the record is her new album, that it got press raves, and putting the price down, are all ways to accomplish this. Naturally we don’t want to turn the record into something tacky, but we (with Chan) sought to find a way to communicate all this – FAST – to the impatient browser (rather than the main fanbase and committed music buyer, who already owns this record), without destroying the “it-ness” of the album itself. We think we hit the middle ground… the original art is right there underneath the slipcase, and the slipcase, as I said, it a lot more attractive when you see it than can be communicated in a JPEG. I hope we’ve done that, though so often when you try to walk the tightrope you end up satisfying nobody! Thanks for your input.

  6. Excuse-me, but how can I buy the Live Session ? Oh I have to install itunes, download badly ripped DRMed (?) tracks and listen to all that on the ipod I don’t have. Thank you very much. What’s next ? Copy protection, root kit on Matador CDs ?

    Seriously, put the tracks on Emusic or somewhere else, I mean clean.
    Greatly appreciated.

  7. iTunes is a free install, the Apple tracks are AAC which while not CD quality is superior to MP3, and you can convert them to MP3 on iTunes or anything else and listen to them on anything.

    iTunes funded the session and this is an exclusive – one of the only ways to get attention on the storefront of the service that supplies 90% of all online music sales.


  8. Hi! I am a little confused…in the new issue of Rolling Stone it states there is a emusic exclusive ep for Cat Power. I am a subscriber to emusic, and am wondering when the ep will be available for download.



    Some songs escaped the DRM prison. Thanks.

    Childish thoughts:

    – itunes is not available on Linux.
    – itunes forces you to install Quicktime on Windows.
    – AAC is superior to 90’s mp3s, recent tests show that the latest versions of Lame are not less capable than AAC.
    – Itunes music store doesn’t just sell AAC files, they give you faire play for free.
    – The quality of the itunes music store encoding is not that good.
    – Since when it’s okay to compress already compressed music ?

    Don’t get me wrong. Matador is a great label with amazing artists.

  10. Wah! In order to use iTunes, I have to download and install two free programs on my computer! And it doesn’t work on Linux! Wah!

    While we’re on the subject, I recently purchased The Greatest on vinyl, but when I tried to insert it into my cassette player, it didn’t fit. Don’t get me wrong. Matador is a great label with great artists, but oversights such as these are, to say the least, troubling.

    Please stop releasing Cat Power’s music in formats that can only be played on devices that cost money. In fact, while you’re at it, please stop charging me to listen to Cat Power’s music, you fascist capitalist pigs.

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