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Super Deluxe edition just not worth the money
on 17 April 2013
Okay, many of us love the album and not much needs to be said about it here if you're looking at the box set. The content in this set is disappointing and there is much duplication:
We get the main album twice: CD and vinyl. The massive book in the box states that In Your Eyes was moved to the beginning of side 2 originally as it would not cut satisfactorily at the end of a vinyl side, yet here it is cut at the end of a vinyl side in the box. The LP, by the way, was cut half speed and sounds excellent. It is very bassy, and some may prefer the bass lighter, more open sound of the 80s cut. The CD also sounds good, is not compressed to the eyeballs and is not overbright.
We get Live In Athens twice: spread across two CDs and on one DVD. The stereo mix is not great, the 5.1 mix is near pointless as it seems to be mainly ambience sent to the rears and what information is sent is very quiet. Also it appears that there has been some vocal overdubbing on In Your Eyes as the lip sync isn't great, and a note gets held even after PG has closed his mouth at one point.
The So DNA CD: this is of historical interest, but of limited listening pleasure. Each track (possibly aside from This Is The Picture) is a medley of different versions of the same track showing the changes from inception to nearly completion. What is interesting is just how much change there was in many of the tracks, and how much PG seemed to struggle to get the lyrics straight. While this is at times fascinating, I would probably have preferred complete alternative mixes from later on in the recording with parts that didn't make the final mix. We Do What We're Told contains a modern guess by PG at what was an early version, and then goes into a mix from the sessions.
Classic Albums DVD
Double A side 12" with two unreleased tracks (one containing part of what would become In Your Eyes) and a great alternate mix of Don't Give Up with backing vocals and more piano. Kate Bush is still present and it's the highlight of the whole set for me. My vinyl copy appears to be a bit clicky, but aside from that the tone is fantastic. This track should have been on the original 12" of Don't Give Up - it could have been a classic despite a really clunky edit near the beginning.
Hardback book 12" by 12" about half an inch thick - some insights into the making of the album, some contradictions to info in the Classic Albums DVD - and NO LYRICS!!! How can you make this large book, in a deluxe box set and not include the lyrics?!
The download is not for the whole set. Not even close. It is the album plus the tracks on the 12". Registering for the download gives a three month membership to a hi-res music club, and within this PART of the 1987 live in Athens set can be downloaded. The DNA stuff is omitted completely.
Listening to the set there is a palpable sense that better bonuses are missing: the 12" mixes, US mix(es) and the b-sides and other alternate mixes from the vaults.
This box set has the most repetition of material that I've obtained so far. It costs so much and is missing so much, particularly other material released but now out of print. It was so obvious, yet missed off for whatever reasons seemed to make sense to PG et al at the time. It was a bad call Peter.
Check out The Smile Sessions or the Achtung Baby deluxe sets to see how it should be done.