Maybe you're thinking it's about time that hip hop's seminal album got an expanded edition? Maybe you'd love those classic early party jams on one disc? Maybe that this legendary classic album is at last treated with the respect it is long overdue? And you'd be right. But this CD ain't it!
First of all, the artwork has a strange purple hue to it and the layout has been altered from the original. Why? Secondly, the liner notes by Dean Rudland (who really should know his subject better) are littered with spelling and grammatical errors. It doesn't seem as if even a cursory proof read was ever done! Although the history of the group is accurate (after all, this is easy enough to discover), the biggest mistake is reserved for the track "The Adventures of Grandmaster Himself". The notes describe the track as being the intended follow-up to "The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels of Steel" and as only appearing "20 years later on a compilation". Now, if you're waiting with baited breath to hear a long lost GMFF5 obscure rarity, you will be massively dissapointed! This number is actually the un-faded track "The New Adventures Of Grandmaster" that originally closed the album 'Grandmaster Melle Mel and the Furious Five' (aka 'Work Party'), being composed by Melvin Glover (Melle Mel) and the Furious Five. As such it had no involvement from Grandmaster Flash at all and was actually released in 1984! How such a huge error can be made is beyond me and shows the author's complete lack of knowledge regarding his supposed subject. To compound this, more mistakes regarding the bonus track titles and credits have been made on the rear artwork. These are :- "Message II (Survival)" was originally credited to Melle Mel and Duke Bootee - prior to Mel's appropriation of the title 'Grandmaster' and "New York New York" did not originally feature a comma. Minor? Maybe. Sloppy? Certainly.
The only saving grace for this entire project is the instrumental version of 'The Message' which makes its first appearance on CD. For a decent 'Expanded Edition', the bonus tracks should have included (in addition to "New York New York") - "The Birthday Party", the 12" version of "It's Nasty", "Freedom", "Flash To The Beat" or even "Super Rappin'" or the mega rare "We Rap More Mellow". "Message II (Survival)" and "The New Adventures Of Grandmaster", not being actual GMFF5 tracks, shouldn't even be here.
To sum up, a wasted opportunity ruined even further by some truly shocking errors. The co-released "Kings Of The Streets" compilation is even worse. But that's another story...