The thought process, in 4 easy steps:
Step 1: Excitement. Out of nowhere, you suddenly see an unexpected headline like, for example: The Replacements Return!, and you think “wow, I loved The Replacements back in the day, they were practically my most favoritest band ever!! Man, I hope that it’s not just one of those Pixies things where it’s just touring and not a new album.”
Step 2: Disillusionment. So you click on that link to learn more. And yes, it is The Replacements, but it’s only two new songs, and it’s really more like just Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson — Chris Mars just sang backing vocals and Bob Stinson remains dead. Oh, and it’s for a career-spanning best-of, not a whole new album. Which means that they are there as an enticement for people like you, people who have been waiting for 15 years for new Replacements songs and 20 years for new Replacements songs that moved you in the same way as those old Replacements songs that moved you back when you were young enough for songs to save your life. But you know that they won’t, will they?
Step 3: Reflection. So you think: “On one hand, they’ve never done a career-spanning best-of, so that’s kind of cool, and look at that track list — these are some of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll songs I’ve ever heard. I’ve loved some of ’em for two decades now, and one of them is the song that I’ve always said was my favorite song ever by anyone, back when I still said things like that. On the other hand, I’ve also bought some of these songs over and over again — on vinyl and cassette and CD (including a previous best-of that contains 40% of these songs) — and there are still CDs out there of the original Reprise albums that sound like total crap, so why don’t they so something about that?? I’m interested, but I don’t want to buy a whole CD just for two new songs. I’m sure I’ll be able to find them somewhere.”
Step 4: Downloading. Because you don’t want to spend $20 for two new songs on a CD that will pretty much remain unplayed after you rip the two new songs for the music mixes that now fill your life, you’ll just download them. Maybe they’ll show up on eMusic or iTunes. Maybe not. There are no guarantees on this stuff, so you also know that you’ll keep an eye out on your favorite file-sharing hangouts as well. And if you see ’em, you’ll grab ’em. Because you’ll always love The Replacements.