16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Collection - Studio Albums / B Sides / Live (Audio CD)
When The Girls Aloud Collection was announced, I was really excited to get my hands on it expecting a boxset that I would truly treasure especially since it's got a price tag of over £30. But in reality, it is nothing special. The majority of the 'exclusive' images within the box I have already seen, the albums are the standard ones you could already buy and the majority of the B-Sides were already quite easily available - and for them to call 'Something New' and 'Something Kinda Oooh' B-Sides then whoever designed this collection is out of their mind. The so-called 'boxset' is not that at all either. Imagine having a miniature hardback book with an album lyric book glued in the front followed by several card sleeves that hold the discs with a number of old images 'dolled-up' to look as though they are completely new. On the other hand, it is nice to have a copy of the Tangled Up Tour on CD but in general The Collection is totally overrated by the sellers. The only thing that it is really good for is that is an easy way to get all of the girls' albums without having to hunt around for them on the internet. But having said that, the price of buying these CDs individually would in no way total £10 let alone £33. To be honest, it's not worth the money, if you want the girls' albums just buy them individually. The B-Side and Live CDs and the supposedly 'exclusive' images are not really anything to shout about.
Tracked by 2 customers
Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 30 May 2013 17:59:05 BDT
Last edited by the author on 30 May 2013 17:59:22 BDT
Really?? I find this thing to be bang for your buck!! You get remastered versions of the 5 albums, the B-sides disc "not really anything to shout about"??!!?? What?? Are you mad?? Their Xenomania B-sides together as an album in itself are as great as any of the "official" 5 albums, with many faves like "Crazy Fool", "Hoxton Heroes" and "Memory Of You" among others...but that disc really should have been called "B-sides/etc" or "missing tracks" because they tacked on 3 Xenomania non-album A-sides at the end..."Something Kinda Ooooh", their cover of "I Think We're Alone Now" and their final big record, the banging "Something New"...wonder why the other 3 new cuts from "Ten" were not included??...not Xenomania productions?? The last disc is cool to have as an audio document as well, of the Tangled Up Tour, from the DVD, but no room for 2 covers..."Push It" and "With Every Heartbeat", no biggie...but I love the packaging and how it condenses the catalogue into a compact box that takes of the room equivalent of only 3 jewelcases...jewelcases are not environmentally sound either...there are missing odds & ends, like the "Christmastree" EP, "You Freak Me Out", "Money", etc, so I took those tracks and made an 8th disc and put it in a sleeve inside the book in the box...works brilliantly...
But this box is testament of the brilliant creative catchy pop the girls made consistently over a 10 year period...I feel lucky as a Yank to have heard them in the first place when I wasn't supposed to...no US record deal and zero US exposure...maybe it was meant to be...Girls Aloud, possibly the greatest girlgroup of all time, and all from a reality TV show?? Yes really...and Xenomania's possibly one of the greatest bands in the guise of a production house...weird but awesome!!
In reply to an earlier post on 30 May 2013 19:13:38 BDT
Elliot Cousins says:
It is undeniable that Girls Aloud were one of the best British girl groups of all time. I didn't base my review upon their music but rather the item itself. Alongside Xenomania the girls pumped out hit after hit and it goes without saying that they really have left their mark not only in the UK but across the globe and I think that this box set should have been designed to a better standard to reflect the 10 years of amazing music that Girls Aloud had provided us with.
In response to your comments:
1. The B-Side tracks you mentioned "Crazy Fool", "Hoxton Heroes" and "Memory Of You" were all already included on the deluxe version of the girls' Ten album. "Something Kinda Ooooh", "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Something New" were all singles and "Je Ne Parle Pas Francais" I know for a fact can still be purchased on the iTunes store in the UK. So, in theory, out of the 18 tracks on the B-Sides disc, rougly 6 tracks were virtually pointless, and if the singles were added just to complete The Collection, why had another disc featuring such tracks not been included? Furthermore, "Every Now and Then", which was included on Ten, and was a Xenomania track, was not included. Why had some of the B-Sides which already happened to be on the deluxe version of Ten included yet one of the new Xenomania tracks on the deluxe version of Ten wasn't? The fact that you also had to make an 8th disc shows that the B-Sides disc could have been a lot better and is generally incomplete. Why hadn't other B-Sides been included instead of the tracks mentioned above?
2. It is nice to have the Tangled Up Tour on CD, but like you say, it is missing a couple of the songs that they performed - Not something you would expect for something which costs so much.
3. I understand that jewel cases are not environmentally-friendly but surely you would expect something a little better than just cardboard sleeves - the same kind that you normally get free with a magazine/newspaper etc. It seems tacky and cheaply-made.
4. I can see how compacting the discs into a small box set would have its appeal for some, but surely the price should reflect is packaging not be that high for something so small! Take Madonna's album collection box set for instance. It includes 11 discs presented in a similar way to the Girls Aloud Collection (using cardboard sleeves) and yet only has a price tag of £18.97 here on Amazon. And to buy all of the Girls Aloud albums separately, new on Amazon Marketplace, roughly totals a mere £10. Surely one cannot justify that the B-Sides disc and Live disc are worth over £20 especially considering some tracks are missing, three are not B-Sides but rather singles and some were already on the recent deluxe version of Ten!
In summary, the box set (IF it wasn't so expensive!) would be a good idea for those that have never really been a fan of Girls Aloud. But this is in no way, as one reviewer wrote, 'A must have for fans' - the 'real' fans of Girls Aloud would already have the songs featured on this collection. The Collection is a poor way to celebrate the 10 years of music from Girls Aloud and the price tag does not reflect the quality of the product in any way, shape or form.
In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2013 00:01:15 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2013 01:29:10 BDT
With all due respect to your response, I HIGHLY disagree, and I'll tell you why...
OK, we do agree that GA were the greatest girlgroup the UK has ever had, but worldwide (of the past 30-40 years at least, if not ever)...not just the singles but all album tracks, B-sides, etc...all consistently brilliant...every track could have been a single...BUT the box is beautiful...on the eyes, and the glossy feel, plus the book has great liner notes, overall and per album, by Pete Robinson, who also did the honours on GA's metal singles boxset/flightcase...THAT thing might be more to your liking, aesthetically...but this thing is compact and awesomely done, a fine standard in my opinion. Onward...
1-- Yes the B-sides disc is fantastic...every track...now, in 2009, I assembled a CD of all non-LP studio B-sides, which was 18 cuts...this disc is just the Xenomania B-sides, which 14 of them contribute, the French version of "Can't Speak French" is what I call an alternate version, not a B-side per se of an unreleased cut...their first 6 B-sides are not Xenomania productions, so I can understand why they were not included (for continuity of style & production), and it's a collection of odds & ends really, so yes, "Something Kinda Ooooh", "I Think We're Alone Now" and "Something New" belong here...they just should have titled the disc differently, like "The Xenomania B-sides & more", not just "B-sides", because that gives the wrong impression that "this is all the B-sides", which it is not. The disc is 66 minutes and change, so really, they could have included the other 3 cuts from "Ten" on the end and would have all fit...but this was probably a way to get you to buy "Ten", which I will anyway...I need it still, and would like that boxset version with the 2 "Passions" DVDs...it went too quickly and they didn't press up enough of them...I may settle for the 2CD deluxe, just to get the other 3 new tracks for completion's sake.
2-- Yes it's awesome to have the "Tangled Up Tour at the O2" on an audio document, like there is one of the "Out Of Control" tour in the fanclub DVD, but both are missing a track or two, for lack of space...the OOC disc is missing the encore medley, and this TU disc is missing those 2 covers, only because the disc is 79 minutes and change, no room...so what to omit?? Two covers, no biggie, and many live albums don't have every track from the show they are from usually, something is always missing...I have the DVDs of both shows anyway...curious if they will ever release a DVD of the 2007 "Greatest Hits" tour?? The one DVD that says it's "Greatest Hits Live" is the Chemistry Tour. There is one coming of the "Ten: Greatest Hits" tour...maybe an audio CD will be included??
3-- Actually, it's not cardboard sleeves, but POCKETS...big difference, and they are not tight & open at the top so they don't fall out...the pockets are glossy as well...and actually, this is the best kind of packaging...why do I say that?? The Miles Davis award-winning designed multidisc boxsets that came out 10 years ago?? They were designed the EXACT SAME WAY...hardcover bound book in a slipcase, with an essay at the front, the 7 pockets at the end...perfect. And the pics are nice...album photos, memorabilia, bright colours, very attractive design...yes I've seen them before too, and had the original CDs...this is better, with the photos in proper context. No you don't get this type of packaging in magazines or newspapers at all...I know packaging and this is a classy shiny job, with much thought that went into it...not tacky whatsoever.
4-- What appeals to me is the compactness of the box, and how everything is together nice and neat...with essays, photos and remastered sound...I prefer smaller spaces...and yes, the price is reasonable, for 7 discs of brilliance, liner note writing and packaging to match...sometimes big is NOT always better...even the 23CD GA singles flightcase is small but well-done. The complete Madonna box is cheap-looking and costs $64 in the US...my problem with that set and all other sets in the same series (Green Day, Chicago, Joni Mitchell, now ZZ Top) is that there are no booklets with liner notes, no information, just the discs (not even remastered) in reproduced cardboard slipcases slapped together and sold in a cheap box...Sony did a MUCH better job with their complete albums series...all the albums with related artwork, commonly designed white borders on the CD sleeves, and pictures, the discs don't fall out, and there is a booklet with info on all albums included, some include unreleased material and concerts...the Cheap Trick one is amazingly done, the ELO one is great, the Blue Oyster Cult, Leonard Cohen & Billy Joel ones are well-done, and there is a Harry Nilsson one coming that has people foaming at the mouth because not only are out-of-print albums included (many first time on CD), but there are 3 discs of unreleased material!! The Madonna box is a joke, and the 20 dollar one with 5 discs is even worse. Back to Girls Aloud's great box here...the pockets are attached to the book's binding, not removable, BTW...yes you could have the albums individually...I did...but this box is much classier & everything is together as a body of work...I sold all my earlier CD versions because of this box...I hate duplication in my collection...will not have multiple versions of the same discs, waste of space...the B-sides disc is worth it because it has proper context and order...I wish there was more detail by Brian Higgins on each track, but his essay is fine, and yes, the title of that disc should have been different, I'm happy "Something New" is on there regardless...the live disc is filled to capacity so they made do with the space they had...as for "Ten", it doesn't have all 14 Xenomania B-sides (just some fan faves), nor does it have "I Think We're Alone Now", the single version either...the only way to get that otherwise is the singles flightcase boxset...or download, but I'm an old-school collector.
So yes, the box is amazing for the reasons you erred on, and more...it's the right price, and Amazon has sellers selling it even cheaper...it's great for newbies as well as hardcore fans who really consider what it is they are getting...I did and forked over the cash...saves space and puts it all in proper perspective and context and a nice glossy portable package of remastered sound, not broken jewelcases...it's nice to put on display as well...it's not poor at all...it's a Ron Burgundy-like package...stay classy!! It is a quality product of genius brilliant, UNproductlike pop music!!
PS-- Yes I made an 8th disc, and will definitely make a 9th...see, I did my research of what's included and what wasn't...there are assorted odds and ends that had to be compiled in order to sell the earlier CDs, to make the box a more complete picture. It has "You Freak Me Out!!" from "Freaky Friday" & the deleted single version of "Some Kind Of Miracle" (both from the reissued white-cover version of "Sound Of The Underground"...their Duran Duran cover of "Girls On Film" was a B-side, not a Xenomania production, and in the singles box), the 8-track "Christmastree" EP, the 5 exclusive cuts from the pink deluxe of "The Sound Of Girls Aloud" ("Money", the early "I Think We're Alone Now", Nerves cover of "Hanging On The Telephone"...Blondie's version is a cover too, "Singapore" & Bee Gees cover of "Sacred Trust"), all the St Trinian's tracks ("theme", "On My Way To Satisfaction", the 3 Xenomania-produced Sarah solo cuts, and their live cover of the Kaiser Chiefs' "I Predict A Riot"), and one of the 4 non-Ten missing singles in their Aerosmith (and later Run DMC) cover of "Walk This Way"...22 cuts total. Disc 9 will have the half-hour "Out Of Control" interview from that album's deluxe edition bonus disc, the other 3 non-"Ten" A-sides ("See The Day", the single version of "Life Got Cold" and "Long Hot Summer"), the 6 non-Xenomania B-sides ("Stay Another Day", "On A Round", "Girls On Film", "Lights, Music, Camera, Action" & cover of the Bee Gees'/Frankie Valli's "Grease" (Beatmasters Version), as well as the 5 non-album comp tracks/covers (Grease/Olivia Newton-John's "Hopelessly Devoted To You", Asford & Simpson's (they wrote it, covered by Chaka Khan & Whitney) "I'm Every Woman", the studio cover version of fellow Long Island band (from my next town over Northport) Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag", and David Bowie's "Sound & Vision" with Franz Ferdinand...also live covers of Amy Winehouse's "Rehab", Robyn's "With Every Heartbeat" and OneRepublic's "Apologize"...wanna see if there are studio covers of "Womanizer", "Push It", "Broken Strings", "I Predict A Riot", as well as other unreleased songs and covers like "Wicked Game", "Flashdance What A Feeling", "Bored Stupid", etc...hopefully, there will be future releases of unreleased rarities!!
So with all due respect...check this stuff out...
Posted on 31 May 2013 08:38:39 BDT
If a b-side is defined as an original studio song or songs to back the single a-side, it would exclude alternate versions, covers, remixes, movie soundtrack songs, live songs, unreleased songs.
And it would also exclude exclusive tracks from compilation albums because they're not b-sides from singles. This means 'Something Kinda Ooooh', 'Money', 'Singapore', 'Something New', 'Every Now And Then' should not be included.
'On The Metro' and 'Beautiful 'Cause You Love Me' are not produced by Xenomania. Neither are 'Lights, Music, Camera Action' and 'On A Round'.
So in that sense the Xenomania b-sides disc seems to me to be complete, with the 'error' of including 'Je Ne Parle Pas Francais' which is more an alternate version, and the last three tracks which are Xenomania singles not on the albums thrown in as extras.
Did I miss anything?
In reply to an earlier post on 31 May 2013 20:54:45 BDT
Last edited by the author on 31 May 2013 20:55:03 BDT
No you haven't...if you read the Higgins essay in the box, these 14 "B-sides" were not treated as afterthoughts, instead as part of a complete body of work, the songs as important as the A-sides that were picked and album tracks...in the end, these 14 cuts were not used but couldn't just be thrown away, so they were included as "B-sides"...like you, the French version of "Can't Speak French" is not a "B-side" per se, but an alternate version, just like the "PA Version" of "No Good Advice" or the acoustic version of "Whole Lotta History"...some covers were used as "B-sides", like "Grease" & "Girls On Film" though...and yes, the first 6 B-sides are not Xenomania productions...and we agree, the "B-sides" disc should have been titled "The Complete Xenomania B-sides and more", but we are in agreeance here...
‹ Previous 1 Next ›