It's been 3 years since the last official Hacienda compilation, Acid House Mixes from 2009 mixed by Peter Hook. Whilst enjoyable, it only captured a certain side of the club's legacy. Hacienda 30 I feel does a much better job of portraying the various styles of music played in the club through its later more successful period of the late 80s to late 90s. It has 3 disks like the original Hacienda Classics CD, each one mixed by a different DJ; Graeme Park, Mike Pickering and Peter Hook [though the latter I believe did not DJ at the club]. People looking for a compilation for the early years of the club will probably be better off with the 2006 Hacienda Classics compilation, but those wanting some good old-skool dance music from the era the club had its peak could do far worse than this release.
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If you thought the last couple of efforts from the Haç were blatant 'classics-cash-ins', then you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that Haçienda 30 is the definitive retrospect of Manchester's famous night club. Just about every track on this release has been hand picked to reflect the hedonistic period of the late 1980's and early 1990's, in which DJ's Graeme Park, Mike Pickering and Peter Hook became ambassadors for Chicago and Acid House.
Truth be told, this release capitalises on the experience of these particular DJ's and the modern technologies at their disposal - the mixing is clean, and the track-listing has few fillers. Among the harder to find gems are the MK Dub Mix of 'I Can't Get No Sleep' and the Woodtick Remix of Moby's 'Go', although I think it's fair to say that the majority of tracks on here favour fan significance, such as 'If You Really Love Someone' and the anthemic 'I Like It'. Too many compilation albums today focus on the same old songs that are 'safe' among the wider audience, so this is a really refreshing focus as many of these tracks have for a long time been lost in the realms of 12".
This 3xCD set differs from the download as it is mixed by the three aforementioned DJ's, whereas the the latter includes the same track-list but unmixed. The trade-off with this CD collection is that the mixing makes track shorter, but it creates a nicer atmosphere. So why only 4 stars then? CD1 in particular has been recorded at too high a volume, and there are several instances throughout the mix where the music is just constantly peaking. This adds some distortion to the bass, and when comparing the recording to the same tracks that are available on their own, the clarity is like night and day. It's a pity these fellas couldn't keep their eye on the master volume, but it will only annoy those who are finicky about sound quality.
Another difference is that the remix of 'I Can't Get No Sleep' is different to that which is included in the singular release; the latter being the MK Dub Mix. The version included on this CD has always been the most popular, so I'm guessing the reason it's not available on its own is due to licensing.
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I bought the MP3 version of this CD and love it! It really took me back to the old days and the old tapes i used to have of Graeme Park and Mike Pickering. this CD has stuck to its real roots and not tried to go too much down the commercial general crowd pleaser tunes. The first 2 mix CDS are best listened to as the mix I feel. Otherwise some excellent tunes to pick out for your own mixes - so glad to get hold of some of these I didnt even know what they were called. The Greame park tour is well worth going to too if you were into this music. Got to say the last Peter Hook CD isnt my favourite nut may include some tunes that are popular. Well worth the buy
Forget 5 out of 5 this is way beyond that there is just to much to mention it is just pure quality all the way through but if i was forced to pick anything out of this it would be CD 1 The sound Factory - Cuban Gigolo mixed into Landlord - I Like It ,. Blew me away been such along time since i've heard a majority of these tracks totally outstanding the best Hacienda CD to date , don't think they could top this !!