In the not very distant future
When everything will be free
There won't be any cute secrets
Let alone any novelty
We all get annoyed by different things-- I certainly was at my peak of disenchantment back in like 2007 when EC was talking about never making records again and all that talk really got under my skin, for some reason. A waste of energy on my part, in hindsight, given that he was about to put out 3 big albums in a row.
Even during the relatively "quiet" years of this decade, we still got a lot of great concerts and recording projects. But I feel it more now, the idea that a new Costello record hits me harder as an event to be celebrated. (It always has been, for me, but in these past few years, it has hit me harder how quickly things can go from the excitement of a new Bowie album to, that very same weekend, the sadness of it immediately becoming Bowie's last album.)
I don't need this new box. But it's a fun thing, and I'm excited about it. And I'm lucky enough at the moment to be able to afford an indulgence like this and not feel TOO big of a pinch relative to how much pleasure it will bring me to own it.
At the same time, if this had happened a few years earlier, at a different moment, I might be unable to buy it and would be hoping to at least hear the 4 new songs, which would either happen via legitimate means or, if that wasn't an option, via the generosity of another EC fan making me copies (either via cassette in the 90s or via file transfer more recently.)
I don't think it's greed. I think it's a deluxe edition designed for fans who are into this sorta thing, in a marketplace where most people don't buy music in a physical format anymore but some still do, and those people tend to be really into it. It's designed for roughty a thousand of us, and 50 more who are SUPER into it (for the test pressings).