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113. 30 Years of Hunting (2015 4CD+DVD anniversary edition)
on 19 September 2015
Anyone who bought the 2010 reissue of this, and might think that buying this 5-disc anniversary set is either too much or not worth it, I recommend ordering without a second thought. Visually, sonically, everything here is top notch. The package is presented in a glossy hardback book that comes with the 5 discs placed in pockets on cardboard pages. The layout of the book looks simple, but takes a look at the fine details to realize how lovingly assembled this item is altogether. All the tracks that appear on here are from the original tapes, including the demos (never knew until now there were so many!) and sound amazing, the sound is so crisp it's unbelievable. Best of all, are the original Tony Mansfield-produced tracks on disc 4 - some of these versions are better than those on the released album! As for the album itself, most of you reading this already know that it is one of the finest debuts, and most intelligent synth-pop LPs of the '80s, one that stood the taste of time a lot better than others of that era.
There's plenty of info on the story behind the album and group coming together, lyrics, and many, many photos of that era (full hair and tight pants galore!). For the audiophiles who may be wondering what happened with the 192kHz/24bit and 96kHz/24bit files, they'll be pleased to know that they are available ...but elsewhere! Check HDtracks for them, and feel free to be annoyed that these are not included on here as was originally intended (a missed opportunity, especially when there is so much space left on the 5th disc which only features 6 videos). Still, this package is a hit, both the content and packaging do justice to the "30th anniversary super deluxe edition" title. Which only makes the anticipation for the next 2 a-ha reissues grow stronger. With so many pristine repackages (ie. recent Belinda Carlisle, and Bananarama singles box sets), it's refreshing to finally see record labels putting this amount of effort into producing such well-presented sets. Physical media is not dead. And a-ha are not either!