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115. The queerest of the queer
on 2 October 2015
1995: I remember grabbing the CD of this on the spot, as soon as the pink feathers and the word "garbage" on the cover caught my eye at a local record store in the UK, and could not believe my ears as I realized I had just discovered my new favourite super-band! Few months later they were all over the place, and by next year they had hit it really big. 2015: Digital copy preordered. Maybe not quite as desirable as the physical release, but loyalty to the music nonetheless. Frustrated that the super deluxe edition of this is only available as a download, I would rather have all tracks in digital copies, than not at all. Ironic that I should pay for music in a format that is slowly killing off CDs and vinyl. Plus, how weird to obtain music that, as a music collector, cannot actually "collect", since it is stored on a hard drive instead of a shelf.
At 62 tracks, the running time would make this a 4-disc set, which would have made an excellent deluxe CD set, but one that may have been a little pricier than all but the most die-hard fans would like to pay. I suspect Garbage would not sell thousands of 4-disc packages at this point, so keeping it digital-only for the fans makes some sense. With 6 options to choose from (see below), one would have thought that at least one of these would include both physical and digital material in one package, but no. Annoying as this already was, it actually became even more for buyers of the digital super deluxe edition. Available originally at only £7.99 from most EU retailers (well, e-tailers in this case), just 2 days before release amazon e-mailed customers, apologizing for not being able to deliver the pre-ordered MP3 album.
The result was them cancelling preorders or redirecting to a link, which took you to a copy of the standard 21-track digital download, and for double the price. Customer service can issue a refund, as it turns out, so the price for the 62-track bundle is actually £7.99 and not the inflated £15.98, but why all this hassle? Even the physical copy of this anniversary edition is causing frustration. With regard to the 2LP vinyl, it is still not clear at present whether the pink-coloured vinyl is limited or exclusive to one region. In my country (Greece), we get the standard black vinyl (I checked with 3 different retailers). I would love to get my hands on those pinkies, they look fantastic on the promo photos! Please, feel free to post any info as to where one can get this set.
Listening to the digital version of the album that made me a fan 20 years ago, makes me realize how dramatically things have changed since Garbage introduced themselves with this flashy self-titled debut. What remains the same, though, is the impact of this genre-defying set, which feels just as instrumental for post-grunge, as it does for trip-hop music. Younger audiences are probably unaware of this band's contribution to alternative rock, but it was this very record that bridged different worlds, and drew different audiences together under Garbage's unique banner. Calling them the forbears of alternative rock is only fitting. All it takes is a random listen to any of the songs on this, from the opening "Supervixen" to the closing "Milk". As for the G-Sides, they are only indicative of the band's legacy. Garbage rule!
List of 20th anniversary releases (all remastered):
- deluxe CD edition (CD 1: original 12 tracks / CD 2: 9 G-Sides)
- standard vinyl edition [2LP: original 12 tracks (pink-coloured vinyl not confirmed for all regions)]
* includes download card
- deluxe vinyl edition bos xet [3LP: original 12 tracks / G-Sides / fan zine (3LP 180gram vinyl)]
* includes download card and autographed photo of band
- standard edition (original 12 tracks)
- deluxe edition (original 12 tracks + 9 G-Sides)
- super deluxe edition (original 12 tracks + 9 G-Sides + 29 remixes + 12 alternate versions)