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M. B. Wilson "crushtrash" (Bristol)
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The Luxury Gap [2CD+DVD]
The Luxury Gap [2CD+DVD]
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £15.70

4.0 out of 5 stars Great album and music - but not proper 12" mix of We Live So Fast, 9 Dec. 2013
The 2006 remaster of the album really beefed up the sound, as was also true for "P&P" and "HMA", with some new liner notes and a few bonuses. Unfortunately one of the bonus mixes was incorrectly named (not the rare US only Dub, but the standard 12"), but other than that it was a tasty enough item. Following on from the great box-set of "P&P" what do we get with this 3rd CD issue of "Luxury Gap" that makes it worth a re-release?

- really nice packaging with cards of the single sleeves and a poster.
- the 12" versions (more on that later) all sitting on one disc, so fans of the album proper can listen as and when they want
- instrumental of Let Me Go, which I've not located on CD before
- bonus Dvd of the promos relating to the album, plus some unseen live versions
- great sound quality throughout (and not too loud), the album is from the 2006 remaster, some 12" are later remasters

However a few minor issues do slightly mar the experience, and these relate mainly to the Remixes disc.

- Temptation appears to have lost the choral gasp that certainly opened it on "Endless", and I recall also on my old 12" vinyl (maybe it didn't appear on the mini-CD). Whilst this was a shock to the system it would have been nice to have kept the mix in tact, as the fade-in note here does seem to indicate they may have cut this intro off!
- We Live So Fast is yet again taken straight from "Endless", so we get the slower Sanny-X Megamix outro beats speeding up and overlaying the proper of the original 12" version. This was the case on So80's H17 collection, and it may be the original 12" is not available in suitable quality, but it did appear in true form on the mini-CD single of the original 12", so no real excuses for such a blatant tampering with the original!! Very disappointing.
- golden opportunity missed to correct the error on the 2006 issue, and actually add the US Dub of Who'll Stop The Rain (which is around 6:50). Again maybe problems locating original tapes, but this is the rare 12" mix that many have not heard.
- No Lets All Make A Bomb/Song With No Name re-recordings (where else could they go?) from CLWMe 12". Bit of a shame.
- no demos (not even Temptation) or alternative takes/instrumentals
- rather brief and bland liner notes from Martyn

So a great album, and good remaster, but whilst CD2 is really nice to have, it could have been so much better put together. If you've not got the 2006 release then I would definitely recommend you get this box set, but if you have the earlier remaster then this is really only for completists (who don't mind a few gaps still present in their collection of 12" mixes).


Greatest Hits Of New Romantic
Greatest Hits Of New Romantic

3.0 out of 5 stars A lot of album versions rather than the hit singles!, 23 Nov. 2013
Whilst this box-set does include some braver tracks/artists than several in this compilation genre it is a shame that the versions are not listed (although you can deduce from the MP download version). Whilst its nice to have "Sensoria" 12" here, the album versions of "Crushed By The Wheels" and at least 1 Simple Minds/Spandau Ballet track don't have the same energy as the "original hit" version. "Neon Lights" is also the long album version, though, as per "Sensoria", I'm really happy to see it on a mainstream market CD set.

Also the compiler has accidentally put the instrumental/dub "Love & Dancing" mix of Human League's "Love Action" on here, instead of the vocal version...hmmmm.

As with v/a compilations relative volumes are not levelled properly during compilation, although this was particularly only evident on a few tracks here (a very quiet "Karma Chameleon" opens proceedings, and a very loud "Wild Boys" on CD3 as examples).

Insert booklet is very simple, just track-listing/credits and some advert cover-shots of other EMI Best Ofs.

It is a pretty good set, mixing the usual suspects with a few more unusual, even if it omits anything by Depeche or Eurythmics!
However at full price there are plenty of other, and arguably better thought-out, 80's compilations, and even some stronger budget ones. Oddly the digital download version excludes all 3 Kraftwerk tracks (as well as re-ordering some of the others).


Rhapsody
Rhapsody
Price: £14.00

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting less-treated arrangements of varied tracks, 7 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Rhapsody (Audio CD)
This version of The Maths is the live line-up, with Hannah on Violin and guitarists augmenting a still majorly electronic group. Having seen them focus on Johns' harder material supporting OMD recently, which was a bit too intense after 45 minutes, this set is far more eclectic, and hence more enjoyable. The added guitars, although occasional, do lift the dynamics a bit.

There are still a few staples here, with John's vocals rawer and added real instruments, so something to please most of his fans.

Unfortunately the label forgot to credit the contributors in the actual artwork, so there is a sticker on the pvc sleeve, but I couldn't peel this off so once you've unwrapped the item their contribution is 'lost' forever!


Organisation/Omd/Architecture & Morality
Organisation/Omd/Architecture & Morality
Offered by HURRICANE RECORDS BERLIN_1
Price: £35.53

4.0 out of 5 stars Nice box packaging - standard 3 original CDs, 7 Nov. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is quite a nice item for OMD completists, but whilst these un-remastered original CDs sound 'ok' for "OMD" and "Architecture & Morality", "Organisation" seems quite boomy and hence murky if played at lower levels. The CDs are made in Austria for this release, and are special picture discs, whilst the artwork used is the original standard release (made in UK).

Worth having if you prefer quiter mastering on your CDs, although I would also recommend considering the more recent remasters, as they do sound crisper.


The Best Of Propaganda
The Best Of Propaganda
Offered by Fulfillment Express
Price: £7.03

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 2-cd selection - do not miss it (and new pressings are corrected!), 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Best Of Propaganda (Audio CD)
Whilst there is nothing unreleased here, it does seem justified to have a 2-cd compilation. This is quite a good companion release to Noise & Girls (which included some unreleased versions) despite a few overlaps, and also brings together versions of all tracks on Secret Wish and most of Wishful Thinking! These are from the remastered ZTT/Salvo releases so the sound is great throughout, and the alternative track-listing makes this a worthwhile addition to any fan's collection. Initial pressings were mispressed so CD2 played the same 14 tracks as CD1, although the label and matrix were different - but the copy I have recently purchased on Amazon is fine, as the Record Company did a re-press early October.

The dubs/instrumentals and extended versions are often quite challenging, so CD1 is closer to a traditional best of, but CD2 is just as worthwhile. You get some new liner notes (Thein unfortunately passed away earlier this year) and a small foldout poster of the cover too! I would recommend this rather low-key budget release to anyone who had a passing interest in the band, purely based on the radio-played singles of the time, as well as ardent fans. Unusually for a compilation that itself compiles from recently released compilations/expanded versions, this 'Best Of' is arguably better than its recent predecessors - a rare quality!


Exhibition-Best of
Exhibition-Best of
Offered by MUSIC-4-THE-MASSES
Price: £34.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Definitive eraly compilation, and in nice phat box too!, 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Exhibition-Best of (Audio CD)
I originally had this on double LP, which didn't have as many tracks and although the artwork was great, the pressing quality wasn't (quite a lot of surface noise in quiet tracks - and it was brand new). Due to the track order not being chronological I have only just plumped for the CD version, having found one here at a reasonable price.

Features quite a lot of the punkier early material, as well as all the singles you'd expect and some key album tracks/b-sides. The running order still seems a little odd, but at least on CD you can program the tracks if you wish. Comes with nice inserts.


Hearts & Knives [VINYL]
Hearts & Knives [VINYL]
Price: £19.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the album, but the white vinyl looks better than it sounds, 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Hearts & Knives [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Great comeback album from Steve (x2) and new line-up, a few new style poppy tracks alongside some material that could've easily sat on The Anvil. Careful mix of old synth sounds and newer production, with exceptional guitar and bass work by Rob and Steve, which give it just the right vibe. Lauren's backing vocals are generally a nice touch, though maybe on some tracks Steve could've carried it on his own (though on the closer "Breathe Life" he struggles).

Picture sleeve and inner photos all wonderful in 12" format, but my vinyl had a couple of murky brownish smudges (at manufacture) which do add some unpleasant surface noise briefly in intro of "And On We Go", which is a shame as its one of the highlights for me. However its really good to see this being made available in vinyl, but maybe a black vinyl as well would've been a nice touch?


Sound Of The Crowd
Sound Of The Crowd
Price: £12.31

5.0 out of 5 stars Many 12" mixes and good sound transfer, 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Sound Of The Crowd (Audio CD)
Whilst a couple of tracks, like Yello's "I Love You", are not the sought after original 12" versions (they have included the New Mix In One Go version, which is still quite a lot longer than the 7"/LP mixes), most are, and as a result this is a strong selection. At times a bit eclectic, this includes some more new wave/underground classics as well as the pop staples you'd expect. Some would definitely have been from vinyl, but overall the sound quality is excellent and this is one of the better single-disc 80s 12" selections I've come across, despite the slightly iffy front cover artwork!


Cars: Collection [VINYL]
Cars: Collection [VINYL]

4.0 out of 5 stars Mixed eras but nice item for Numan completists, 26 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Cars: Collection [VINYL] (Vinyl)
Available either in Red vinyl (300) or rarer Blue (200) this Cleopatra Records US only compilation takes several tracks from Sacrifice, one from Exile ("Dark"), a couple of newer alternative recordings of old classics and 3 live tracks. The live material is clearly from a much earlier era, as are the artwork and bonus items (you get a patch and small badge with Red), which makes this a rather quirky career sampler! However the coloured vinyl pressing was excellent, and all tracks are mastered at similar volume levels. Nothing here is exclusive to this vinyl-only compilation, but it's still interesting.

On thing to note is that it does not come in full card sleeve, but a one-sided thick card insert (as per the picture), with handwritten number, and everything is housed in a clear plastic sleeve. Would've preferred a full card pic sleeve personally, but guess it kept production costs down a bit!


Should Be Higher [12" VINYL]
Should Be Higher [12" VINYL]
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: £7.87

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hardly any Depeche - for dub mix lovers only, 18 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
For the excellent "Should Be Higher" track the label have released a 12" of 5 dubs, and one speeded up vocal remix. For all 3 singles from Delta Machine Sony have tended to put the more difficult mixes, or dubs/instrumentals, on the vinyl release. None of these "SBH" versions appear on the far more commercial Cd singles, and aside from aforementioned vocal that is probably just as well. These sparse and often dated sounding dubs need to be heard in isolation of any version that even vaguely resembles the actual song!

If you don't like remixes that do not keep to the original vibe, then avoid this 12" at all costs. I have given it 3 stars as I liked the sparse treatment of track A3, with just enough vocal and intro-key samples to remind you what it is a remix of, and the increased BPM slightly clubby off-kilter remix B2. I'm not listing remixers as they are all pretty much unknowns, so name-dropping isn't necessary!

The pressing quality on my copy is excellent however, but these mixes often only include small samples of the original vocal in a totally unrelated track, so suspect I won't play this release very often. Its a brave release, and will appeal to some dub fans, but will probably send most Depeche fans back to the Returns counter!
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 27, 2013 11:29 PM GMT


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