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Beware - many tracks sourced from mp3s!
on 17 February 2015
I absolutely love Gentle Giant, but this set was a letdown. Many tracks were previously available only as mp3s on a data disc in the "Scraping The Barrel" box set, and are touted here as being available on audio CD for the first time. So, better sound quality, right? Wrong. These tracks have inexplicably been mastered from those mp3s rather than from the source recordings. (The mp3 sourced tracks, according to auCDtect, are CD1 tracks 1-2, 4-5, 9, 11-15; all of CD2; CD3 tracks 1-3, 5-6; CD4 tracks 12-16; CD5 tracks 1-9.) Almost all of the rest can be found on prior commercial or "official bootleg" releases. The best-sounding thing here is the 1978 BBC Sight and Sound concert which has been officially released once on DVD and twice on CD. The 1977 Cleveland performance (previously "The Missing Face") is a pretty decent sounding audience recording. Most of the other live audience recordings here sound mediocre or worse. I got this set at a deep discount - £5.90 including shipping to the U.S. - and I feel like I got my money's worth. If you've just discovered this band and don't already have most of this music, then depending on the price this might be a good purchase for you. I'd have given it 3 stars but for the deplorable decision to master so many tracks from mp3s instead of the source recordings.