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Good for completists or newcomers, otherwise a bit of a lost opportunity
on 8 October 2013
If you're new to The Orb or a "completist", then I guess this box set is for you. CD 1 contains all the singles from 1990 to 2001, CD 2 contains rare/unreleased mixes, CD 3 contains unreleased live songs and the DVD contains promo/live videos. Unfortunately it's a bit of a mixed bag...
CD 1 has the singles, of which 6/10 of them appear in exactly the same format as 1998's UFOff: The Best Of The Orb. I guess they are the singles, though it does have an element of "cash-in" about it, which was pointed out by Thrash/Kris Weston.
CD 2 is remixes. Fortunately, according to my own collection, there are more unreleased than rare. I'm a bit of a sucker for remixes, so the newer (to me) the better!
CD 3 may trumpet previously unreleased live tracks, but the hard truth is that 5/6 of them come from Copenhagen in 1993 and as such bear a rather strong resemblance to the same tracks from the Live 93 album. That is quite disappointing as I'm sure there must be more varied live stuff about. Personally I'd love to have Towers Of Dub from Wolverhampton in 1994 (though I don't think my neighbours would agree).
The DVD provides a very welcome collection of videos, especially if you've only got the VHS version of The Orb's Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld: Patterns and Textures for your Orbish viewing. Of particular highlight must be the TOTP Blue Room appearence, where Alex and Thrash play what could be chess (I'll show my age now and say that I remember watching it on TV way back in 1992!).
I guess I must be a "completist" as I pre-ordered this as soon as it was announced and have virtually all their albums and the odd single. Given the amount of their work I already have, then I guess it's only natural that I would already have some of the content. Though overall I do feel that it is a slight bit of a lost opportunity to present what at the moment is the first half of The Orb's life.