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Christmas & the Beads of Sweat still NOT remastered
on 25 July 2010
In principle, the package as a whole is worth about four stars:
You get four classic albums and a decent one at a reasonable price (though not as cheaply as some of the other titles in the series).
I'm sure I'm not the only one who would have preferred Nyro's first five albums rather than albums 2 - 6, but as "More than a New Discovery" was originally on a different label, I guess the present selection makes sort of sense too.
The covers are reproduced nicely (and the first four are among my favorite covers ever, simple and beautiful). But absolutely no extras: no booklet or any other inserts, and if you go to the website indicated on the box, you won't find any info there either!
As customary with this series, there is at least one typing error on the box.
So why only two stars?
Because nobody at Sony made any effort whatsoever to find a decent sounding version of what I consider Laura's absolute masterpiece, Christmas and the Beads of Sweat. I find the old version they used practically unlistenable, with muffled vocals and generally muddy sound. This is unforgivable, because the Japanese remaster from a couple of years ago sounds fine (I finally had to get that version AFTER shelling out for this box set, which I bought under the impression that ALL five albums would be remastered). If you know the Japanese remaster (or the original vinyl, or the songs featured on the Stoned Soul Picnic compilation), you know that Laura's incredible vocal presence is essential to Christmas and the Beads of Sweat, and without it, the album loses a lot of its intensity and power.