Right now, somewhere in North America, the Canadian band Sum 41 is preparing a tour to celebrate the tenth anniversary of its 2002 release, “Does This Look Infected?” Don’t worry if you don’t know it. The album was a minor entry in the 2000s pop-punk canon, with songs that Entertainment Weekly described as “antiseptic” (if catchy). In fact, the band is probably known more for its singer having once been married to Avril Lavigne than for its music.
Why, then, are we marking the tenth anniversary of “Does This Look Infected?”
Because that’s what we do now. Anniversaries are a big business in pop music, where celebrating nice round numbers means the possibility of cashing checks full of them. From mediocre pop-punk to legendary rock ’n’ roll, seemingly no anniversary goes unremarked — or unmarketed — anymore.
For one thing, anniversaries are excellent opportunities to sell you new versions of albums you already own. This year marks the 45th anniversary of “The Velvet Underground and Nico,” the 35th anniversary of “Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols,” the 25th anniversaries of Paul Simon’s “Graceland” and R.E.M.’s “Document,” and the tenth anniversary of Interpol’s “Turn on the Bright Lights” — and you can buy new expanded editions of all of them, if the lure of bonus tracks and demos is seductive enough for you to open your wallet.
Never mind that Universal issued a “deluxe edition” of “The Velvet Underground and Nico” in 2002 (the 35th anniversary, if you’re counting), or that Virgin and Warner Bros. put out new versions of “Never Mind the Bollocks” in 1996 and 2007. Even “Document” has been remastered twice and released as a DualDisc CD/DVD combo.
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