I have this album three times now. I bought the original in 1990, then the first reissue in 1999, and finally this one.
The music,for me, is a perfectly crystalised half-hour of what makes Liverpool so special to me. Lee Mavers' maverick streak that has held sway for the last eighteen years or so is our loss, but he is to be admired. The modern (presumably digital) recording process left him cold and that a record was put out, regardless of his feelings, added further misery.
The packaging is fine, the new tracks are good, and give us a little understanding on what Lee Mavers was trying to achieve. It's a shame that nobody had the guts to let him have his way.
The songs are beautiful, with the well known, 'There She Goes' being as shimmering now as it was when I first heard it in my dad's car in 1988. 'Timeless Melody' is so powerful and is a brilliant example of the magic that the La's were gifted with. It's refreshing to hear a singer keep his accen and avoid crass Americanisations. As a long-standing Beatles fan, I wrestle with that a lot, but here, it is natural and authentic. It might annoy Lee, but I adore this album, and have played it countless times, but it's simply the best album I have heard outside of the Beatles. The songs come across so that you can hear the bones of the song, and we can only imagine what they 'should' have sounded like.
I think that this reissue is great, but could have had a lot more material included - where is the version of 'Feelin' that was included in the boxset of 'Feelin' that was issued in 1991?
Hopefully, this will attract more people to the band and they can learn how Mavers was such a pivotal influence on Noel Gallagher (whether that was a good thing or not, I don't know). There are other recordings that could be issued, such as the concert they played in 1991 at the Marquee that was broadcast on Radio 1.
I still prefer the standard version of the album, but Mike Hedges' album is a nice companion and is worth putting out.
whether The La's do anything else again in a recording studio is doubtful, though today's musicians don't have to rely on record companies to put their own music out in the manner that they feel is the best version.
Thank you, Lee.