With the recent announcement that Universal/Island will be re-issuing the Queen+ Paul Rodgers releases "The Cosmos Rocks" and "Return of the Champions" (and I'm sure "Live in Ukraine" will come later this year) but unlike the Queen re-issues last year, these items will not offer any new/bonus content to entice fans to buy them again. Facts are facts, the general public did not buy them in droves originally and the record label (and Queen) must have known that only their fans (and Rodgers' fans) would have any interest in purchasing them again but have dropped the ball (big surprise eh?) so I have to wonder where their business sense is? They wouldn't have to take the time or money to create new content, they already have it ready to go.
With "The Cosmos Rocks" a deluxe 2 disc edition could have featured the rocking "Runaway" (which was never given an official US release) and other than being a B-side on a vinyl single, was only available via digital download. For my money, "Runaway" was more entertaining than at least 50% of the album itself but that's only one song, what else could they have included?
Well Queen have not been afraid to include live tracks as bonus material and they certainly have plenty from the two Q+PR tours. Live versions of "Surf's Up School's Out," "Voodoo," "Cosmos Rockin," etc could have been included. Also let's not forget that while they played South America they performed a lovely rendition of "Las Palabras de Amor" that I'm sure most fans would love to own.
Then of course there's the issue of "Take Love." We all know they attempted this in the studio but for whatever reason it wasn't working but I'm sure there's a demo of this in the vaults and would make a nice addition on a bonus disc.
"Return of the Champions." Ok, not a whole lot to add bonus-wise other than including "Under Pressure" which they performed that night but excluded from the CD/DVD release. Put that back into the tracklisting and that would be enough EXCEPT for the fact that the show was shot in HD and yet there's NO Blu-Ray release to take advantage of it. Why in the world would they film it in HD and NOT release it in HD? It makes no sense either commercially or artistically.
"Live in Ukraine." Granted this has not been officially announced yet but we all know it's coming and we can safely assume it will follow the lead of the two listed above with the product being exactly the same as the previous release. Much like "Return of the Champions," "Ukraine" was shot in HD, IT NEEDS A BLU-RAY release. Also, "Radio Ga Ga" and "A Kind of Magic" were cut from the CD/DVD releases (I believe they were only made available via digital downloads as exclusives through amazon.com, etc) Restore those two tracks to the release for the complete show.
Finally "Super Live In Japan." Frankly it needs a title that makes more sense but whatever. I'm not sure what the issue is with Queen and Japan. Apparently they seem to think that anything recorded in Japan is only of interest to the Japanese because just like the Queen shows from 1982 and 1985, it's only being released in Japan and nowhere else (minus the "highlights" DVD released to help promote "TCR" a few years back.) Release the entire show (again, shot in HD but NO Blu-Ray? WTF guys?????) either on it's own OR as a bonus disc for "ROTC" or perhaps "Ukraine."
This isn't asking for the moon and I'm fairly sure if they had decided to go this route with the Q+PR re-issues, fans would be interested/excited and happily buy them. As it stands, the current thinking behind the re-issues will only see them collecting dust on store shelves and warehouses.