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Saturday Deluxe / 12 September 2020

1. INT. GENTLEMEN’S OUTFITTERS – DAY
A man breezes into a clothes shop purposefully and approaches a sales assistant who is busy arranging some product on the shop floor. The assistant stops what he’s doing, smiles, and turns his attention to the customer.

SALES ASSISTANT
Morning Sir. How can I be of assistance?

CUSTOMER
I’d like to enquire about the McKenzie jumper that I saw online.

SALES ASSISTANT
Ah, yes. Good choice, sir. It has been re-produced to mark the 50th anniversary of the first McKenzie sweater, originally worn by traditional fishermen in Scotland.

CUSTOMER
Indeed. It looks almost as good as the original – my Dad had one when I was…

SALES ASSISTANT 
Better!

CUSTOMER
I’m sorry?

SALES ASSISTANT 
It’s better than the original. They’ve used the same highland wool, but the ‘McKenzie 50’ has been knitted by hand, at half the speed, by artisan, er, knitters and look [digs out a piece of paper from a nearby drawer] it comes with this certificate which has what I’ve just told you written on it. Because it takes longer, it naturally costs more to produce, hence it’s priced at the premium end of the market. Also, the packaging is top-notch. The garment is folded in a special way to preserve its integrity and minimise creasing. It’s known in the industry as a ‘gate fold’.

CUSTOMER
Right. How does taking longer to knit it, make it better?

SALES ASSISTANT 
The stitching is more precise, and controlled. Such attention to detail creates a product that elevates the sweater wearing experience. It has a tremendous old-school warmth to it.

CUSTOMER
[small chuckle]
I should hope so – it is a jumper…

SALES ASSISTANT 
[unamused]
I was talking about the spirit of the item, rather than its physical qualities. Are you interested?

CUSTOMER
Yes, I’ll take a blue one please – large.

SALES ASSISTANT
I’m afraid I can’t offer you a blue one

CUSTOMER
Oh… none left in my size?

SALES ASSISTANT
It’s not that, it’s just that these are strictly supplied to customers in random colours: cream, blue or green. We can’t guarantee any specific hue.

CUSTOMER
So how do I know which colour I’m getting?

SALES ASSISTANT
You don’t

CUSTOMER
What do you mean? I’m not going to buy a jumper without knowing what colour it is!

SALES ASSISTANT
The cream ones are produced in far fewer numbers and are therefore rather sought after. Imagine getting one of those? You’d be one of only a select few to own it!

CUSTOMER
I don’t want a cream jumper…I want a blue one.

SALES ASSISTANT
[confidentially]
Listen. To be honest, you didn’t stand much a chance of getting a cream one anyway. I’m sure it will be fine… you’ll probably end up with one you’re after.

CUSTOMER
‘Probably’!? Why can’t I just pay for the colour I want?

SALES ASSISTANT
[looks down at the sales blurb and starts reading]
The producers of the McKenzie 50 sweater are keen to jump-start and redefine the shopping experience. They say this ‘surprise’ element puts the ‘ping’ back in shopping, by adding an excitement, if you will a frisson, to the purchasing process. If you do end up with the colour you want you will actually be happier than you would have been if you’d know what the colour was all along. It’s quite clever, if you think about it.

CUSTOMER
[weary]
And if I don’t get the colour I want?

SALES ASSISTANT
You could always buy more than one? Increase your chances. If you buy three you’re bound to get a blue one!

CUSTOMER
[sighs]
Go on then.

The transaction takes place and the buyer leaves the shop. The sales assistant pauses for a moment, approaches a full length mirror, licks a finger and presses a loose hair on his head back into position. Strolling over the the shop window, he is surprised to see the customer he just served, standing outside, with his back to him. He has his bag with the three jumpers in one hand, and his other hand is pressing a mobile phone to his ear. The sales assistant can just about hear him remonstrating with someone – probably a wife or girlfriend – and catches the words “…well, what else was I supposed to do?”.

SALES ASSISTANT
Sucker.


Parlophone release David Bowie‘s The Metrobolist on 6 November. Read more here.

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.

105 Comments

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J T

Why does anybody even buy sweaters anymore?

Just buy the MP3-er’s new clothes!

Wear them virtually, any time you want.

You can imagine them to be any color you like, because there’s no plebeian physical manifestation to tell you otherwise!

Scott Carrick

Excellent and very funny! But I’m still raging that they cancelled the 40th Anniversary Picture Disc Releases just before Ashes To Ashes :-(! What were they thinking? Are they Mad? Well, probably, yes I think! What a wasted opportunity they would have sold by the Shed Load!

Ed Jones

Perhaps some form of group could be set up so those people unhappy with their Bowie vinyl colour can trade it with someone else for the colour they actually wanted. Then try and meet up in person to avoid additional postage costs (and then perhaps make a new friend based on a mutual preference for Bowie, or not if it’s based on ones favoured shade of vinyl!).

Re. the comment about the New Order 12″ in the feed – does it cost the same to master and press a 12″ single as it does a single LP these days? If so, perhaps that would explain the general hike in 12″ single prices these days, or am I giving the recorded music industry the benefit of too much doubt?

Brad B.

Great topic and great idea on a great music blog, what’s not to love? I think once a trading site is established all billable materials & postage to ship items amongst the members should be invoiced to Parlaphone. Paul thanks as always for the lively discussions here, have you thought of making an official ‘SDE’ jumper for sale?

Elizabeth Hirst

It’ll be out as a tank-top in 6 months time – don’t waste your money.

The Misnomers

Hahahahahahahahahahaha! Now I’m going to go cry a little because it’s so true.

Adolfo Franco

hey, at least with the scottish jumper you only get fleeced (get it!) for ONE textile

if it were made out of swedish wool you’d get one sweater, made out of four textiles, and refabricated and reissued every 3-4 years……

not to mention the version hecho en mexico!

Chris Squires

I guess that would be the one knitted from Alpaca fleece For the South American market, labelled “Oro” and supposedly coloured Gold, whilst everyone with functioning eyes swears it’s a muddy yellow. Somehow everyone has three of these things without ever remembering buying one…… I’ve got four.

Ken A.!

Looking forward to the unthreading video!

Erik

Standing ovation over here, spot on.

Was trying to think of some clever addendum to add but, nope, you covered it perfectly.

Now I want to put this on stage with my sketch comedy group.

madman

That ‘s hysterical Paul! Love it!

Paul Wren

Simply buy one off Ebay in due course when the shrink wrap will have been opened to reveal exactly what colour vinyl is inside.

gwynogue

Ugh, it’s only in ‘standard’ wool! Why can’t they use ‘Ultra-HD-4K-Blu-ray’ wool?

I’ll only buy it if there’s 5.1 stitching – I want to feel like I’m ‘inside’ the sweater!

JIM WOOD

About encapsulates it all Paul. Well done.

Harry Williams

Brilliant Paul. This fleecing / rehashing of the Bowie catalog has been the plan from the very early days when Tony Defries first conceptualised it. The Bowie Estate just took learnings from his business model and are continuing to perpetuate it… Just listen to episodes 5, 6, 7 of the fantastic ‘Mainman’ blog (mainmanlabel.com) where he is interviewed… great to have the spotlight turned onto the business side of the Bowie relationship… Turns out the man masterminded the Bowie Bonds deal and remained involved with David right up to 2016… very informative and revealing.

AndyB

“There’s a sucker born every minute.”

– attributed to P. T. Barnum

Aubrey

Funny (and beautifully written)

Deano

This industry fad of random coloured vinyl is the grown up equivalent of LOL dolls for my two young girls.

David

Good analogy Paul….

There is a way around this you know.

If the retailer took it upon himself to publicly say he was going to open everyone every single copy he gets in stock by slicing the shrink on the opening and checking and then to warn in advance that he would be putting a £20 premium on any Gold versions he may happen to uncover …..not for greed sake but for honesty sake as any golds will be worth a lot more that on the aftermarket.

You could then serve the market with A known X amounts of Black and Blue’s and maybe one Gold.

You’d have far limited “returns” for spurious reasons and the public would get what they want?

Mark Fernandes

What a great answer to the „Metrobolist“ Desaster.

I completely agree.

Thanks Paul for the great blog in general.

AlexKx

You all know that if you get enough of the right ones you can put them together to form one giant sweater. For, like, a cow. Right?

Craig

Now if they finally release the 24/196 original flat transfer of the Stonewashed Levi 501’s that fit just like the ones I had back in ‘89 I would be a happy man.

gwynogue

The sweater companies are going to…

make only 2000 sweaters,
in a ‘niche’ fabric that a lot of people don’t wear anymore,
available only one day a year (three days this year),
at ridiculous prices,
in clothing stores that are nowhere near the people who want to buy them,
that get flipped on eBay/Sweaterogs for even MORE ridiculous prices.

…then wonder why they’re losing money.

Quante

I pictured Rowan Atkinson as the sales assistant in Love Actually selling the SDE jumper.

The last word ‘sucker’ is the most apt description, and some humans are very good at trying to seduce their prey to part with their hard earned money by dangling a carrot that appears tempting to the consumer, but where the odds of obtaining the desired prize are minimal. What are the odds of getting a gold David Bowie record?

Sound judgement needs to be used to figure what is a poor deal for the consumer, and it is a good thing to point the finger back to the record company that believes it is okay to abuse customers, as Paul has done. If not, worse behaviour will follow – just imagine paying for music that doesn’t end up being owned by the consumer.

Amongst some very good archival releases, like Joni Mitchell and Prince, that bring something new and exciting to the party, there is so much over priced dross being rehashed that is utterly pointless. Consumers will eventually tire of the latest fad like coloured vinyl and give up altogether.

The biggest record company joke, from what I’ve been reading here recently, is the news that the David Bowie 7″ picture disc series has ended mid way through. Can I get my money back?

Steve W

OUCH!

You’re not wrong of course.

WILLIAM ENGLAND

Oh, that’s it!
I OFFICIALLY hate record collecting – I give up.
Now, how do you do this free streaming thing?

Hedley

McKenzie50 alert

Amazon.nl has it for €8 as a preorder but don’t actually ship anywhere, so is there anyone in the Netherlands who could order one for me and ship to Detroit

Paul can this be worn as a sweatshirt in the United States ? Is it an all region jumper ?

SimonP

You missed the bit out about the jumper being warmer because it’s made out of 180g of wool instead of 140.

Stuart Ansell

I was considering ordering a bunch of sweater sets from Amazon, then deciding that I couldn’t afford them all and cancelling a bunch of them, then potentially reordering each of them as SDE (SweaterDeluxeEdition, obviously) alerts me to a dramatic fall in the preorder price, before finally picking up the rest on black Friday and telling the missus that they were £20.

I don’t NEED any more sweaters. I’m plenty warm in the ones I have. However NEED and WANT are mutually exclusive.

DonS

Wait . . . did you open the package to see which colour it is?
OMG! Totally worthless now!!!

(also see: comics, cards, Pokemon, mystery boxes, etc)

Justin Cole

The true super deluxe jumper is baked in a banana cake. There are so few copies because only Mrs. Doyle produces these and she’s just one person. At least it also comes with a cup of tea (whether or not you want one).

Ian Davis

Some many messages posted . Feel like I need to start a new ‘Thread’…..

Myndforest

Is there going to be a limited edition t-shirt of the Super Deluxe Sweater? and maybe a set of buttons, some coasters a scarf, marbles? – I lost mine.

Adey

Paul, I’m actually surprised that nobody has made a super deluxe edition box set in a custom sweater, pure genius!!! Its a lot less harmful to the rest of peoples music collections than a sandpaper sleeve!

Adey

If they want mugs, sorry i meant customers, to buy multiple vinyl albums, why don’t they add different exclusive, unreleased tracks on different versions, instead of different coloured vinyls? (And all of the tracks on one cd for people who don’t want to turn the joy of music into another form of “stamp collecting”)
That way (almost) everyone is happy…

Branny

Woolly bully

Adey

I wanted the new bowie anniversary sweater, thinking it would be amazing, but after purchasing it i have realised its identical to the 7 i already have. I thought it would be different as i was told it was taken apart and re-stitched on the inside. I feel a mug now…

Howie

So back in the day Led Zep released In Through The Out Door with 6 different covers under a brown paper sleeve. This was before the start of my vinyl buying days (only just) but my question is, did anyone at the time give a shit? Is this a modern phenomenon?

johneffay

I can’t speak for everyone, but I do remember the people I knew who bought it all doing the magic painting on the inner sleeve, which I’m sure would destroy the collectible value.

The first Devo album came out in the UK in several colours of vinyl. Whilst we were all keen to have a coloured one, nobody was that bothered which colour they got, & nobody I knew tried to get all the colours.

Jeff Brace

What about the “special picture edition” available only on National Sweater Day? Can’t wait to see how much they’ll go for on eBay…..

Jasper Sebastian Stürup

Paul, you made me laugh, it’s spot on!

Tyrone

Parlophone must have obtained a gambling licence. Then.
To counter this ‘new’ business model employed by Parlophone – I have cunjured up my own money making racket…

I will be paying Parlophone for the goods in one of three ways

1: Monopoly money
2: Buttons (blue)
3: Legal tender.

Paul alfred

Hi Paul – you have a point obviously – I hate this random coloured vinyl stuff as much as you do – but.. if you don’t like it, just don’t buy it, right? … or I am missing something?

Dr Volume

There’s also a special Tony Visconti Low 2017 edition Sweater which is really thin but loose and saggy at the bottom end.

NoNightsOff

Regular SDE site visitor, first-time commenter. The excellence of your sweater post compels me to leave the sidelines and get into the game. Bravo!

You had me fooled at the end. I expected another customer to rush into the shop and start complaining about how much they hate the 40th anniversary sweaters from the Canadian sweater company, even though no one had been talking about those sweaters.

Stuart Ansell

You should have heard the furore when some shops offered customers a set which contained sweaters AND cardigans. Oh, the humanity!!!! The “NO MIXED WOLLENS” brigade combusted. Comments sections were full of angry, angry people OUTRAGED that such a thing could happen in their lifetimes – “I can’t believe once again I’m FORCED to have useless sweaters in my wardrobe just to get my limited edition cardigan”, “I stopped buying sweaters in 1986 and replaced them with cardigans – NO WAY do I go back”, “overpriced cash grab – I’m out” and so forth, ad infinitum.

Paul E.

The first 50 McKenzie pre-orders include a 128 kbps MP3 download of Weezer’s 2020 Remix for “Undone – The Sweater Song”

Standard issue M50 sweater vest also available (colors not yet announced)

McKenzie mittens to follow Winter 2020

Paul Taylor

Love the article and the brilliant responses. I don’t have the wit to compete with them, just reading and enjoying!

Mr P

i “heard” this as if being said by the “suits you sir” characters from the Fast Show: “BLUE sir? Really Sir? OOH!”

Stuart 2.

No Ultra Deluxe option that includes a sheep? Missed opportunity, pass.

Adey

Would prefer a modern blow up one, at least they last more than a handful of plays, unlike the old woolly ones! Some people just live in the past…

adam shaw

Brilliant !

GentleRabbit

Haha I was wondering why you were so sonspicuously absent from the Bowie vinyl colupour discussion…

Mark D

I was waiting for the McCartney jumper box set.
You get:
The original jumper reknitted
A new jumper which uses the original wool but is unpicked and then knitted back together in a slightly different pattern
Another jumper but with 12″ and 7# sleeves
A DVD which includes a full movie of showing the jumper being knitted plus original home movies showing Paul trying to knit the original jumper
Plus an exclusive wool brush and glossy print of the jumper
Plus a download code for your knitting machine to make matching gloves and scarf
All housed in a special sheep case.
Limited numbers worldwide.
A bargain at £750.

Adey

I think you have to download the left sleeve separately and stitch it on yourself, its not even included in the set, which it should be at that rip off price!

Stuart

Very good Paul. I’m learning how we are being played.

New Order new single from Mute (5000 in grey) is £15 with £4.99 postage. Thats £20 for one 12″ single. 4 tracks, 3 of which are remixes of the new single, including an instramental. No, i’m done.