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X5


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep love renewed
I can completely understand why a few people are having problems with this reissue.

I admit I hadn't intended to buy it. I was at the gig on Friday, having a few ecstatic tearful moments, and even then I didn't think I'd be getting hold of this. Then I read a couple of reviews that mentioned the audio quality ...

Well, even though I am definitely a...
Published on 29 Feb 2012 by S. D. Nunn

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reissues,Remixes and Remastered Extras.
It's a bit of a misnomer to call this 6 disc set X5. Let me explain. For the first time since their initial release way back in 1981,"Sons And Fascination" & "Sister Feelings Call" appear in this set as two separate discs,mainly to add the bonus tracks to each album.The first digital release of "Sons..(CDV 2207)",was augmented with only five of the seven tracks from...
Published on 12 April 2012 by DJ Control


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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep love renewed, 29 Feb 2012
By 
S. D. Nunn (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
I can completely understand why a few people are having problems with this reissue.

I admit I hadn't intended to buy it. I was at the gig on Friday, having a few ecstatic tearful moments, and even then I didn't think I'd be getting hold of this. Then I read a couple of reviews that mentioned the audio quality ...

Well, even though I am definitely a fan, I haven't bothered to replace my Simple Minds CD collection for years. Truth is, I've never felt it was worth doing given that no genuine attempt at remastering has taken place.

And I'm pretty certain this release might not wholly address potential sound quality issues, but it is infinitely better than the old discs. Maybe it's just because what amounts to the current bog standard equipment is so much better than it was a few years back. Or maybe someone has actually had a go at sorting out the sound ... anyway, these discs are so much punchier, wider, brighter (but not at all brittle at the top end), much more and much tighter bass and some seriously big drums ... they sound absolutely freekin' fantastic!

At worst I figured I could justify this purchase with the usual 'it'll be handy for the car' or the classic 'it costs less than a round' ... but no, I don't need those lame justifications.

Sure, it would have been interesting to get to wade through a few demo tracks and/or obscurities, but at this price I'm not bothered, and let's face it, there are bound to be future releases that undertake exactly that.

As for the lack of a decent booklet - or any booklet at all - that does seem pretty odd. But hardly critical, given that anyone who really wants to do some nominal research will only take 30 seconds to arm themselves with online resources.

All in all this turns out to be one of the best reissue packages I've seen.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost ...but not quite, 20 Feb 2012
By 
Martin (Sunny Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
Ah, the Simple Minds of old before America beckoned and they became a different animal entirely.
So we have confirmation , I assume with Jim and Charlie's agreement, that the 5 first albums are the ones that matter most, show a marked moving on from album to album and form a cohesive body together.

Most buyers will probably already own these albums on CD already and it's a nice package that's not too expensive. Designed to appeal to people of a certain age who can remember how new some of these albums sounded in their day, particularly Empires and Dance,and who still buy cds (me).

BUT it is unforgivable that there is no leaflet let alone booklet included giving full track information particularly as the lettering on several of the replica sleeves if far too tiny to read and there is no explanation of where the bonus tracks are culled from,(I know, but do most people?)

So 5 stars for the music but one star off for this major shortcoming ( I couldn't bring myself to dock off 2 stars).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Music, 19 Mar 2012
This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
Simple Minds were my favourite band when I was a teenager. The interesting thing is I reached their early recordings from
the much more mainstream "Once Upon a time" and "In the City of Light" era. I was really fortunate, as I found there everything: punk, new wave, glam rock, after punk, kraut-rock, avant-garde...all mixed up with an enormous amount of inspiration and talent. They prepared my ears for other great stuff. Even when I found some too bizarre-to-my-ear things, I knew there was something really good in those albums. Some years later I listen to them again and I find them as fresh and powerful as ever, or even better, as they sound great. Also, I learn a little bit about the departure of drummer Brian McGee and bassist Derek Forbes, which in fact meant a new and different band was born. From my point of view, the chemistry of those 5 guys was so great that no other record from Kerr & Burchill would be near as good, though i really love "Sparkle in the Rain", it is just another band. The incredible thing is they made all this fantastic pop music in less than 5 years! Now, I think Virgin has made a fair good job with this box: the sound is great and no another awful over remastering job has been made. The sleeves are very careful printed, and although some kind of credits or information is missed, a booklet or something, the pretty low price of the box makes it very enjoyable. I really think you will find here truly fantastic pop music which somehow has been underrated because of the much less inspired stuff Kerr and Burchill wrote after these albums. It's a great thing that's been rediscovered. There are not many bands which reach this level of inventive and energy and we have to give that credit to them.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great to have the old Simple Minds, 22 Feb 2012
By 
G. Trotter (Hertfordshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
Great to have these albums back in my collection, I had them all as records however they've not aged particularly well unlike the music. Whilst the price was good the packaging is well below par. In truth however the CD's will probably sit on the shelf once transferred to my ipod. Great music from a great band just before they jumped on the stadium band wagon. The extras are a nice touch - not least of which as I hadn't heard all of them before. Like previous reviewers have said most may have already had these albums at some point in their lives but just great to play them again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a difference a bass player makes, 27 Nov 2012
By 
Jeffrey M. Black "jblack437" (Stockport) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
You can pretty much mark where Simple Minds went from finger on the rhythmic pulse to drums down the stairs stadium rock with the departure of Derek Forbes. All the best stuff here is held together by his playing. 'Life In A Day' is of its time a needn't detain you much, but after that the band really up their game. Like Joy Division, they took the motorik sound of Germany, Kraftwerk and Bowie and came out with four art school classics. The production is great too. Even now I'm trying to analyse it and wondering how they got that huge twang sound on '30 Frames a Second' or the massive bass riff on 'Changeling'. So if you've dismissed Simple Minds because of their shameless chasing of the Yankee dollar later in their career, give this collection a listen and you might be very surprised.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reissues,Remixes and Remastered Extras., 12 April 2012
By 
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
It's a bit of a misnomer to call this 6 disc set X5. Let me explain. For the first time since their initial release way back in 1981,"Sons And Fascination" & "Sister Feelings Call" appear in this set as two separate discs,mainly to add the bonus tracks to each album.The first digital release of "Sons..(CDV 2207)",was augmented with only five of the seven tracks from "Sisters.." due to time restrictions on early cd releases.When the entire Simple Minds Virgin catalogue was remastered ten years ago,these two albums,with tech advances in disc writing and increased storage capacity,were released,with all tracks present as a single combined album,"Sons and Fascination/Sister Feelings Call(SIMCDX4)".They are now considered as one title,in the Simple Minds discography even though originally released as two separate records hence the X5 title for this box.These remasters from 2002 were excellent and have also been used for this box set for the most part.Only the bonus tracks were remastered in 2012.
When I was tossing up whether to purchase this box set or not,I investigated that download store whose name starts with iT and did the sums.It worked out being cheaper to buy this physical release,even though I own the bulk of the tracks included in this six disc set,than to buy the 19 bonus tracks individually so it's a no brainer really.Even if,like me you already own these early albums from the 2002 remaster series.It's worth it for the extra content.
The packaging,as other reviewers have written,is a bit of a let down.There's no inserts or additional info apart from what was printed on the original vinyl sleeves.A booklet/content sheet would've been nice but would've added to the cost.It's probably why this set has been released at such an inexpensive price.
There seems to be much enthusiasm from early Minds fans about the quality mastering of the music in this box set.I'm guessing that some of them have still not forgiven the band for "Once Upon A Time" or that song from the film "The Breakfast Club",which I believe the band dislike(even though they still regularly play it).This might explain why many fans were unaware of the 2002 remaster series and are only now enjoying what the devoted have been listening to for ten years!I have never stopped listening to Simple Minds and am a very proud longtime fan.Australia was one of the first places,outside of Europe where Jim,Charlie and the boys first enjoyed chart success.The album New Gold Dream and it's singles were a massive hit here.I've never understood why fans abandon bands because they become popular.If a group is not popular(selling concert tickets/albums/merch etc.),they break up.Besides no-one could ever accuse Simple Minds of not giving back,they're still recording and regularly tour Oz.
There's actually a fantastic catalogue of music,released after Once Upon A Time from a band that Britain should be proud of,still going strong after more than 30 years."Graffiti Soul (Deluxe Edition)" is one their more recent albums that's worth a listen.I'm hoping this set is the start of a full catalogue reissue and am anticipating the bonus tracks on "Sparkle in the Rain" and "Good News from the Next World".
This set sort of sits between value for money and aimed at the budget conscience.If you didn't buy the albums in 2002,it's a five star set.I already own most what's here so it's three stars for me.
"I Promised You A Miracle,Belief Is A Beauty Thing".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Global superstardom, 22 Mar 2012
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
Some phenomenal, cutting edge tunes here, right from the earliest tracks. In fact, listening to this box set just begs one question - where did it all go wrong?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All the Simple Minds anyone needs, no more, no less, 8 Mar 2012
This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
I can't quite fathom this current obsession with adding new material to reissues. The reason such material was left off in the first place was that it wasn't quite up to scratch. Here they've done the right thing. Taken the five albums that are worth listening to, polished them up a bit and put them out for the price of a Bargain Bucket. I don't want band photos, out-takes, alternative versions, undiscovered "gems" Great songs, BRILLIANT rhythm section and about a million times better than U2. Such a shame they ended up leaking out stuff like Belfast Child. Oh well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting document of the evolution of the band, 14 Jan 2013
By 
Martin Fielding (Findon, West Sussex United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
There are few bands that show the degree of change over their first five albums as demonstrated here. Listening to some of this stuff for the first time in 20 years, the overriding impression that this set gives is of a band really at the cutting edge of new wave on the brilliant Life In a Day and Real to Real Cacophony (rivalling bands like Joy Division and Magazine for innovation at that time) but then losing their way somewhat on Empires and Dance and the double album Sons/Sister before turning into a pop band (albeit a great pop band) from New Gold Dream onwards. Having dismissed albums 3 and 4 above, I should say that the bonus tracks for these two albums include the excellent extended editions of I Travel and The American and a terrific instrumental version of This Earth That You Walk Upon. The set only loses a star for me because of the lack of a booklet or similar to explain the context of the albums and in particular the bonus items, which seems particularly odd when you look at the care taken with the boxing and the mini-album covers which have been beautifully (and legibly) reprinted to mirror the original artwork but with the bonus tracks listed as well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sonically excellent., 6 Nov 2012
By 
Christos Theofilogiannakos (Tripoli, Greece) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: X5 (Audio CD)
For those who grew up with Jim Kerr and co, this release sums up the essence of what was one of the most innovative and pioneering, yet accessible pop music of the early '80s. From a collector's point of view the box doesn't offer much, as other than the excellent reproduction of the original album covers, no leaflet is included, despite the fact that photographic material from that era is abundant and very interesting. Perhaps it was omitted for cost reasons? What is most important, the sound is excellent. There must have been extensive remastering, as even the cluttered recordings of Life In A Day sound crystal clear. At a price of 14 GBP, the investment is highly rewarding just for the sound quality, even if you already own the respective CDs (my LPs were framed and hung on the wall years ago). There are three relatively obscure gems here, namely "Garden Of Hate", "New Warm Skin" and "Special View", which are for the first time presented in such great sound quality and are a delight for us dedicated fans. I would have also included "Sparkle In The Rain" in the box, as it is definitely one of the band's great albums before Dollar Envy took over.
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