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The Original Lo-Fi [Box set, Original recording remastered]

Baby Bird Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Nov 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 6
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Castle
  • ASIN: B00006LEOA
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Way underrated musical pieces. 7 July 2003
Format:Audio CD
Long before 'You're Gorgeous' catapulted Babybird into pop notoriety, he was recording around 400 songs in his house on a 4-track, using a cheap keyboard, a questionable guitar and his own very eccentric voice.
This may not sound like a great purchase, but the lo-fi music is considered by many to be Stephen Jones' best work. After listening to this collection, it's easy to see why. The music pushes the primitive recording equipment to the limit, and as a lyricist, Stephen Jones has a wonderfully cynical view.
The highlight album is 'Fatherhood', with it's 20 brooding tales of love won, love lost, and all the tat inbetween, but all of the first three albums are definitely potential classics. 'Dying Happy' is an interesting experiment - comprised mostly of instrumentals, but significantly darker than its predecessors. Great listen, though. 'Petrol Cigarette' is amazing.
'The Black Album' is a wonderful finish to the first phase of Jones' lo-fi career, and this box set is, quite frankly, a bargain. If you can get it, do, and enjoy the sound of one of the most original artists in years. Try to ignore the impact of 'You're Gorgeous'. One thing you learn from the personal comments Jones adds to this collection, is that he tries to ignore it almost every day.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 29 July 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is the only music product I can actually be bothered to write a review of - and that's not to say there isn't other good stuff out there. I usually listen to electronic music (Aphex Twin, Brian Eno etc.) but was attracted to Babybird by the strength of the songs on Ugly Beautiful. I persisted through the following two albums, which contained (to my taste) a mixture of good and bad, before coming upon this box set. All Babybird and Stephen Jones work has an x-factor (his instrumental stuff, 1985-2001, I think, contains the only piece of music I've ever seen move some people to tears). This is an absolute peach and my most treasured collection of music. It's like picking through rock pools when you're a kid, and coming across amazing and surprising things. I've owned the set for a couple of years and always come back to it, still finding new tracks that stand out for me that didn't previously. The atmospheres that are created on some songs are just brilliant. In short, if I ever get stranded on a desert island - if I've got some John Steinbeck books, this, and some bananas - things will be just fine.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpieces. 17 Aug 2013
By zsasz
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
From start to end, the career of babybird has been filled with musical excellence; whether it be dark, disturbing or simply heart-wrenching, the material has rarely faltered. This collection is vast, meaning there is something for eveyone. While the production isn't quite the same as the full band material of course, this is a must - buy for anyone who enjoys what they have already heard from Stephen Jones/ babybird.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The greatest lo-fi songwriter 28 Jan 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
The scene: A flat in Sheffield in 1985. An unemployed overweight middle-aged man
fights off boredom by writing songs. With no musical training, he does his
best to record them using a four track tape deck, a guitar, and a cheap synth
and drum machine.
A few years later, he has around 400 songs on cassette, mostly untitled,
kept in a plastic bag. Major record labels are completely uninterested.
Friends persuade him to release some of the songs on a CD, as is. A music
publishing deal pays for a run of 1000 discs, and "I Was Born A Man" is
released.
The album sells out by word of mouth. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive.
Three more albums are put out, with postcards for listeners to vote on
their favorite tracks. The limited releases sell out and become highly
valuable collectors' items. Suddenly every record company is calling.
So Baby Bird the solo artist went on to become Babybird the band and have some
UK hit singles. Sure, they were pretty good, but somehow something important
had been lost in the chaos of suddenly selling half a million singles and
playing packed gigs in London.
These are the original four track recordings. They might be musically crude in
places, but they have an honesty and soul that the slick commercial Babybird
albums lack. The songwriting is eccentric, poetic, down-to-earth, witty,
wistful, brilliant. One man pouring his soul into his music.
"Wouldn't let me see you, like an angel swimming in hell, now I know the reason
why, wish I'd pushed the doorbell."
If I could make just one album as good as Baby Bird's, I could die happy.
This boxed set has six of them. They're all good. It's a crying shame this
man hasn't achieved recognition in the USA.
The original quintet of albums has been remastered by Stephen Jones (Baby
Bird), with high end studio equipment used to extract as much as possible from
the master cassettes. The songs are noticably clearer than on the original
releases, while keeping their lo-fi charm. So yes, the box set is worth buying
even if you have all the original CDs.
The mysterious sixth "black album" contains 18 previously unreleased tracks
from the bag of tapes. Though not quite up to the standard of the previous
five, there are some great songs here. In style, it's perhaps closest to
"Dying Happy".
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