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Music For Stowaways ruined!
on 22 October 2011
Right, I have just received this box set and admit I only really purchased it to get my hands on a remastered version of the seminal Music For Stowaways. Well I never would have guessed it... What do I discover upon playing the CD back? Only that Decline Of The West one of the best tracks from Music For Stowaways has been cut! Extraordinarily badly cut I might add, and quite unnecessarily in my view. Why has this been done? Well I can only assume it was for reasons of space, so that an extra track could be tagged on to the end. But to spoil an album like this so that you can include a seven minute demo taster for the next B.E.F. release - Music Of Quality and Distinction Vol 3 is really ham fisted and cheap. You either value the material you are releasing or you don't. If you don't then why, as in this case, bother re-issuing it at all?
When you consider the time and effort put in to the earlier excellent Penthouse and Pavement Heaven 17 release, to discover this sloppy lazy editing is really annoying. I can't believe Martyn Ware sanctioned this?! It's not even as if this version has been done with any thought or care - the music just starts half way through with absolutely no regard for the original dynamics of the track.
I know that the full version of Decline Of The West is available on the reissue of Penthouse and Pavement and I'm assuming that was why it was considered okay to cut it here, but really this is surely not the point. An album like Music For Stowaways should be respected as the pioneering electronic work it so surely is, not ruined to make room for a demo!!! This is not good enough I'm afraid and completely at odds with the quality one used to expect from a B.E.F.release.
I'm sure there are other fans out there who, like me, have been waiting for Music For Stowaways on CD for a long time. Now when it finally gets an official release we are given this tossed off version seemingly with the approval of one of its originators. A begrudging two stars but only because I now have Glenn Gregory's rendition of Wichita Lineman on CD for the first time.