If you want a physical version of the "Play" EP, it's going to cost you.
During Hanson Day weekend, the band announced that the second half of the Loud EP, entitled Play, would be coming out late this year. Since the Loud disc wound up being one of the best mini-albums they've ever done, I was glad to hear that we wouldn't really be waiting that much longer to get the remainder of the project.
A sort of offhanded comment was made as they were winding up talk about the release of Play, where it was mentioned there would be a special vinyl edition that would come alongside Loud for the complete "LP" experience. This got my interest for a couple of reasons, as 1) I do still buy records on rare/special occasions, and 2) I was trying to estimate what they'd charge for it. Your average limited edition "Record Store Day" album often hovers around 30 to 40 dollars, so I figured they'd probably put a premium on this and charge around 60 dollars for it. That wasn't too bad, and I'd probably go for it since I thought Loud was great.
The Play EP was put up for sale shortly after, along with the vinyl option for the Loud + Play combo.
But by the time everyone returned from Hanson Day, something had changed. Play was now only listed as a "digital download," and the L+P vinyl was priced at $150.
Apparently the vinyl comes with some signed photo prints - mystery ones, at that. I'm not sure what photo prints have to do with buying music, but that's the package they offer. At least when they did their mega-priced album packages in the past, they offered different tiers for those not wanting to completely break the bank. That's not the case this time. You pay $150 (plus shipping), or you don't get an actual copy of the album.
I know everyone is united in asking that the band release a CD version of Play. It's nice to see everyone agreeing on something for once. But in 2016, posting on Twitter or a message board doesn't really do anything. It's a minor blip on the radar, and nothing more.
So, I'm reasonably positive I'll be standing alone here, but I'll make the only kind of statement that will actually matter:
I'm not buying Play. In any form.
This is about the most disheartening way this could have turned out, as having a complete line of Hanson discs right alongside the VERY few other bands I buy everything for is something of significant value to me. Now that line will be broken. They've already had people respond to this on the site, declaring there are no plans for a CD version of the EP.
This isn't like the Icon book or the Take The Walk EP where the music downloads you get are just kind of a bonus to what you're really buying. This is just the music, that's it. And for the vast majority of fans, it will only exist as some compressed mp3 file that'll be sitting on your desktop or phone, until it's not.
For a band that bases itself on its' roots and seems to have a pretty deep respect for tradition, this feels like a slap in the face. As far as me in this fandom, those discs ARE my roots. For the first few albums I got, the "fandom" wasn't there. It was just me. I didn't have a bunch of friends to go to shows with or people who randomly say hi to me because they saw me on a Hanson video once.
For no reason, that legacy has now been gutted at the age of 19.
A pretty fucking sad state of affairs today.