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Yet another slightly sloppy compilation (with one new 'gem')
on 2 July 2013
OK, this is a budget release and is quite openly cashing in on any interest their latest offering may be generating. However the official description looked interesting enough for me to go for it anyway - unreleased photos and 2 BBC Sessions for starters, yippee!
As usual with Visage compilations things are never quite what they should be, which is a pity as this material deserves so much more, independent of the price tag. I already have all the official compilations, plus a couple in the grey area, as I'm sure most die-hard fans do, so why should this have been released?
There are only 3 photos I've not seen before (2 are on the outer inlays), but they do manage to get a written and pictorial advert for the new album in there! Details about the photos, including specific photographers, are omitted, as are any production/mix notes for any of the songs....everything seems a bit anonymous. Ofcourse the benefit to the label is they can't then be accused of listing the wrong version, so maybe that's a good thing!
- the disc is not at an ear-piercing volume, and levels across all tracks are comparable (no extra mastering, but sounds good).
- the BBC Session of "Can You Hear Me?" is definitely an early version, though I recall Steve actually brought in early mix-downs to play during an interview (there are no BBC Production Credits mentioned anywhere in this release). This is the 'gem'.
- "In The Year 2525" is not taken from the Dance Mix album, so fades out properly
- includes some unusual choices such as "Malpaso Man" and "Wild Life", and focuses on the earlier material
Not so good points:
- no versions listed (though Amazon had details) or any production credits
- "Tar" and "Night Train" are both the album versions (again)
- "Malpaso Man" and "Moon Over Moscow" don't fade out before the segue/beats of the next track. This is lazy compiling!
- "Frequency 7" is the dance instrumental, ofcourse, even though the band did get the original 7" remastered recently
- "The Anvil" BBC Session appears suspiciously like the album version. Not sure this is really from a BBC session/early take, as its all a bit too polished, although the female vocals seem lower in the mix at times. A far cry from "Can You Hear Me?".
- "Beat Boy" has an abrupt cut-in, and is then the album mix, losing all the development of the original intro. Ofcourse it would have been really good if they'd used the 7" edit instead, if they had to use an edit. Maybe next time....
I'm quite frustrated by this release, although it is still a good intro for anyone who may have not bothered buying 2010's glossier "The Face" (also with track errors). It is marred by some bad fade-outs, and yet again using album versions of 2 singles. Still love the band, the imagery and most of the music on here, but can only stretch this to 3 stars - sorry!