The Singles 1986 – 2014
Box Set, Import
|Price:||£147.05 FREE delivery.|
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|Audio CD, Box set, Import, 21 Aug 2015||
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Belinda Carlisle is responsible for some of the best pop singles ever, from global number 1 hit “Heaven Is A Place On Earth” to “Live Your Life Be Free”, via “Circle In The Sand”, “Leave A Light On” and “(We Want) The Same Thing”. On 29 CD singles in individual card sleeves, this beautiful box set gathers up the various b-sides and additional mixes that were issued across the different formats of the singles released in the US and UK. The bonus disc (CD 29) includes two extra mixes, two promo edits and the film soundtrack song “In My Wildest Dreams”. Also included is a 24 page booklet.
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I'm a long time fan from the go-go's era and her solo career...
In my country cd singles and maxi-singles don't exist... it's my opportunity to have all singles in my collection...
Good sound quality though & I bought it when it was £40.00 as I will not pay full price for something that has some mistakes on it.
Then, a glimmer of hope in early 2013 as Carlisle released her first new single in what felt like decades, "Sun". This great track opened her brisk but excellent entry in the Icon compilation series. The floodgates officially opened mere weeks later as UK reissue label Edsel via Demon Music Group acquired the rights to her Virgin Records UK discography (later expanded to include her entire oeuvre) which led to a massive 2-year reissue campaign of lovingly assembled, deluxe editions of her albums. Belinda was back in print, better than ever.
Which brings us to the 2015 release of Belinda Carlisle - CD Singles 1986-2014.
Cross-label, transatlantic compilations are a very difficult to assemble due to tricky rights and royalties issues. Most labels refuse to bother and either release incomplete collections or don't attempt them at all. Impressively, the 28 singles included here span each and every label Carlisle has recorded for over the past 30 years including IRS, MCA, Virgin, Offside, Chrysalis, Ark 21, Ryco and of course Edsel/Demon Music Group.
This set also included a bonus 29th disc. Back that up... 29 CD's?! This is probably my favourite way to experience the work of a pop artist. A stack of singles... 130 songs broken down into their own little colourful worlds stuffed with fun alternate versions and a smattering of b-sides. What more could a girl want? While a lot of the material here overlaps with the extensive 2 CD+DVD editions of each respective album, in many cases the tracks have been mastered differently, given more 'head space' and are less compressed. A great decision by the mastering engineers of this set.
Musically speaking, of particular interest to collectors will be some of the classic remixes that appear on CD for the first time ever. Namely, US 12" maxi-single versions "Mad About You (Instrumental)" remixed by William Orbit and "I Get Weak (7" Version)" and "(Instrumental)", both superbly remixed by the incomparable Shep Pettibone. His 7" reworking showcases his ability to enhance an already great recording with a tasteful mix utilizing its original elements. It is my preferred mix of "I Get Weak" and I'm thrilled to finally have it on CD.
Some promo-only goodies making their commercial debut here are a long edit of Justin Strauss' house version of "Summer Rain", a rare radio cut of "I Still Love Him" and the remixed radio edit of "Sun" (previously available through select digital music outlets, but never made available on CD until now). The bonus disc also collects an amazing pair of previously unreleased Macmillan mixes of "Live Your Life Be Free" and "Do You Feel Like I Feel" that seem to predate the released LP mixes in 1991. "Live Your Life Be Free" is the full recording of the "Original Intro Edit" version (also included in this set). "Do You Feel Like I Feel" is a revelation, continuing long after the album version has faded to reveal an additional, funkier section of the song that is very different to the rest of the track. I'm not sure I can go back to the faded LP version having heard this!
It's disappointing that the single remix of "I Feel The Magic" is missing (the album version appears instead), but for detail oriented folk like myself, it's nice to see that efforts to be accurate are evident nearly everywhere else you look. Included here is the full 45 fade of "Mad About You (Single Mix)" which concludes a few seconds later than the album version. The "(Extended Mix)" of the same song is also the version released on 12" singles in 1986 which faded at the end (recent album reissues have this mix with a an alternate 'cold' ending). This set marks the Edsel debut of the single fade for "Half The World" and you they've presented the correct sequencing of the live tracks included across two different "California" singles back in 1997 (which had been inexplicably shuffled around on last years reissue of A Woman And A Man.)
And how do the sleeves look? Phenomenal. As a collector I've become accustomed to blurry scans and poorly placed text marring reissues of this nature, even by major labels. These are durable and faithful to the original releases while accommodating all of the extra tracks. I was so pleasantly surprised by the quality of the sleeves that I had to pull out some of the original vinyl releases... they are virtually indistinguishable. The clarity, colour grading and overall clean-up job done for the singles in this set is highly commendable!
While CD Singles 1986-2014 is clearly a release that will be enjoyed most by Belinda Carlisle's biggest fans, pop enthusiasts would be hard pressed to resist its charms. Don't miss the forest for the trees. A few years ago, a release like this would have been unimaginable and while it may feel like the market is currently saturated with her catalogue titles, nothing lasts forever and the amount of work and effort that Edsel has gone to in getting her back there can't be taken for granted.