Earlier this month, Sony Records launched Custommixcd.com, a service that allows fans to legally set their own tracklist for original compilations. Right now, Sony's made available songs from thirty-five Bob Dylan albums, as well as a number of rare and live tracks, and fifty Train songs, including covers, rarities, and live and studio versions. For $15 (plus shipping and handling), fans can select any twelve tracks or seventy-eight minutes of music.
"The consumer can configure any track listing they want with songs not available on any records," said Mark Ghuniem, a Senior Vice President at Columbia Records. "Imagine putting together a whole album of live Dylan material that is totally unique."
Before dragging and dropping tracks onto the finished disc, buyers can listen to thirty-second preview samples. Several different choices of cover art are also available, and the completed disc is typically mailed out within one to two weeks.
Among the Dylan rarities now available include soundtrack songs from Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Touched by an Angel, as well as a live version of "Roving Gambler" from Things Have Changed -- Live and Unreleased. Between one and three tracks from thirty-five Dylan albums are also available, ranging from his 1962 self-titled debut to 2001's "Love and Theft".
The Train material includes rarities such as the three non-album tracks from the 2001's Drops of Jupiter: "It's Love," "Sharks" and "This is Not Your Life." Other rarities are a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Ramble On" from the A Knight's Tale soundtrack and four live tracks ("Eggplant," "I Am," "If You Leave" and "Train") recorded at Fantasy Studios in Berkley, California in 1998, but never commercially released in the U.S. Also available are acoustic versions of the band's most popular songs and the both of their studio albums in their entirety.
"We'll experiment with different configurations and offer consumers more rare and unavailable material," said a Sony spokesperson. "If people like it, we'll roll more artists' material out." For now, however, Sony is concentrating on fattening up the offerings from Dylan and Train.