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Customer Review

70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Control Sony / REVISED, 9 Nov. 2013
This review is from: The Complete Album Collection Vol. One (Audio CD)
This box has some of the greatest albums ever made, and lots of others that are still incredibly influential. It's a fascinating journey through Bob Dylan's official albums, although personally I prefer the sense of exploration and discovery found in searching out albums yourself. This is convenient though, and cheap plus most of the albums are remastered. However, there are some reasons to be cautious:

1: At least one disc - Hard Rain - has skips on one track. This is the second deluxe box this year from Sony that comes with this fault. Will they replace the faulty disc (s) for you?

UPDATE: the answer is yes, Sony / Legacy in New York will replace Hard Rain if your copy is faulty, and they'll do it incredibly quickly too. This review has gone up 1 star because of this. I still find some of the artwork disappointing, but the quality of customer service from Sony / Legacy in NY is outstanding.

2: Some of these CDs may not be the best editions of certain albums. You may prefer the first 2 albums and John Wesley Harding - and possibly other pre 1968 albums - in mono (I do). As already mentioned, Hard Rain has a pressing fault. Street Legal is a new mix; you may prefer the 2003 remix (I do). Also, some albums that could have benefitted from a remaster or remix do not appear to have had one. John Wesley Harding is the same 2003 edition that was widely criticised as unnecessarily harsh, and Time Out Of Mind is the same 1997 CD that arguably would really benefit from the kind of remix given Love Sick in 2004.

3: The non album collection Side Tracks is a nice collection, but given it's purpose is to collect non album tracks from 'best of' collections, it omits key tracks from the Masterpieces album. It could also have included non album b sides - there's over 30 mins of free space on the 2 discs. There's also some inconsistency in the decision to make some double albums 2 discs and others 1.

4: The product description states the CDs contain all the original artwork; they don't. They are basic front and rear outer sleeve reproductions - some are quite poor quality and resemble photocopies - with some missing pictures and sleeve notes compiled in the book, but not all. There are no inner sleeves, and the discs slide in quite tightly with a risk of damage to discs and sleeves after a few times. The gatefold sleeves need to be folded back on themselves to pull the discs out, which can be quite tricky. There's certainly no attempt to produce high quality sleeves, as with the Mono Albums box.

Overall, it's a nice idea but could have been so much better with a little more care and consideration, and the repeated faulty pressings in these sets displays pretty shocking quality control I'm afraid.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Nov 2013 11:02:49 GMT
Last edited by the author on 11 Nov 2013 10:26:36 GMT
LPpsb says:
1. Not experienced that problem on my set. My own problem with "Hard Rain" is that the sound quality on the recording is awful, even though it has supposedly been remastered. The "Rolling Thunder" live cuts from the same period are infinitely better.

2. Totally agree re: Street Legal. On the other hand I think the 2003 John Wesley Harding is a good remaster and don't find it harsh at all. Maybe because JWH is not a particularly harsh album, sonically, anyway. Re: mono. I have the mono "sampler" CD and much prefer the stereo. I grew up with mono and vinyl and I am delighted to see the back of both of them.

3. Agreed. Lots more stuff could, and should, have been included.

4. Not so bothered about this. It's the music itself which I find the most important thing.

Posted on 10 Nov 2013 20:55:49 GMT
robojobo says:
I don't want to get into the Stereo/mono debate, but Hard Rain's Oh Sister has that skip on my copy. Which I've just returned because of damaged box in transit. And now I think I'm going to end up returning that disc anyway. Or the whole thing again. Really shoddy work on Sony's part (can't blame amazon obviously!).

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 09:08:18 GMT
We See says:
"At least one disc - Hard Rain - has skips on one track. This is the second deluxe box this year from Sony that comes with this fault. Will they replace the faulty disc (s) for you?"

What was the other set with such a defect?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Nov 2013 09:30:00 GMT
'Bootleg Series Vol.10 Another Self Portrait', the song 'Copper Kettle' had a big glitch.

Posted on 14 Nov 2013 18:31:23 GMT
W. K. Jones says:
If they'd included Mixed-up Confusion (Biograph version) and Million Dollar Bash on Side Tracks I could have stored the chunky Biograph box in the loft. It wasn't as if they were pushed for space -unlike my CD shelves! But why am I not surprised?

Quality-wise, I think the SACDs issued a few years back are preferable, with the exception of Blonde on Blonde: the gold disc gets the cigar.

Posted on 15 Nov 2013 07:47:26 GMT
Last edited by the author on 15 Nov 2013 07:47:51 GMT
C. Lawrie says:
Did you get a replacement, Martin? I did, it still has the error on Hard Rain grrr!

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2013 17:02:44 GMT
Bobcat says:
Contact, by email, Jim.Lane@sonymusic.com. Give him your name, address and Amazon order number. He will send you a glitch-free "Hard Rain" CD in plain sleeve from New York via FedEx. I received mine in less than two days. You will need to provide a signature for the delivery.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Nov 2013 17:48:51 GMT
Bobcat says:
Reply to W.K. Jones:-

You can put Biograph in the loft if you must. Million Dollar Bash from Biograph is on The Basement Tapes (Disc 19). Mixed-Up Confusion on Side Tracks is the one on Biograph. It is not the vinyl single version.

In reply to an earlier post on 19 Nov 2013 08:40:39 GMT
W. K. Jones says:
Thanks Bobcat, because I have the unofficial Tapes on bootleg I always assumed the 2 tracks on Biograph were missing from the double album (God knows, it's a miserly selection!).

Now when it comes to Mixed Up Confusion, I think you should listen to Biograph and Side Tracks versions again. The arrangements are slightly different -check out the piano - and the third verse is completely different.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 Nov 2013 20:34:57 GMT
Bobcat says:
Perhaps we are both correct on Mixed Up Confusion, because it has a very convoluted history, as you may know....

The original vinyl single was released in 1962. This is the only release which contains this particular version in it's MONO incarnation. It is "Take 14" at the recording session. (Its B-side version of "Corrina, Corrina" is also unique to this release.)

The original 3xCD Biograph (released in 1985 in a 12" box) contains an different take to the original vinyl single. There is no harmonica solo after the first stanza, for example and there are some different lyrics. This version is also contained on the most recent release of Biograph in 2011, presented in an "Ecobook". This is also the version contained on Side Tracks. All are in stereo. This is an overdubbed and slightly slowed down "Take 10". A MONO version, with an extended fade-out, of this overdubbed take can be found on "Masterpieces".

(The Side Tracks track may have had a minor remix and has likely been remastered or at least been made "louder", which seems to be the trend these days.)

There is a STEREO version of the original vinyl single (complete with the harmonica solo after the first stanza) on a "fatbox" re-issue of Biograph released in August 1997. This release also had three other tracks which differed in mix or length or, in one case, location of live performance, to the equivalent tracks on the original issue of Biograph. It was withdrawn from sale very quickly. Two months later it was re-issued, with the same catalog number with corrections made to the three other tracks, but with the Stereo single (Take 14) version of Mixed Up Confusion still intact! It remained this way on Biograph until the Ecobook release in 2011 when it reverted to the "Take 10" version featured on the original Biograph release in 1985 (and now on Side Tracks).

6 more takes (3,5,6,7,9 and 11) of this song surfaced on the very rare, but official, 4xCD-R set "50th Aniversary Collection" released at the tail end of 2012. This set also included the original unedited Take 10 used on the original Biograph release and now on Side Tracks.

So, in the end, it depends what version of Biograph you have. Either way, I hope you don't feel compelled to consign it to the loft. I've found room for all 3 of my Biographs in one relatively small cupboard...!

For further reading:- http://www.searchingforagem.com/1960s/1962MixedUp.htm
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