Hurple Hoopla

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Deluxe Edition

So, what’s with the recent trend with such horrible quality archival releases on CD recently?

Let me explain the question. Over the past few weeks I’ve gotten the following archival “Deluxe Edition” CDs, with a short explanation of what’s “bad” about them.

Paul McCartney & Wings – Band on the Run – While the bonus tracks are nice, there’s only 9, 5 of which have been previously released (and the other 4 have Linda mixed loud enough to hear her off-key warbling, so that’s not good either). But it’s being released as a 2 CD set, and a “Deluxe” set at that, even though all 18 songs will fit on one disc and still leave over 5 minutes of room. I mean, if you have the space… USE it! Or don’t. Just don’t waste a second disc when everything fits on one. Oh, and they really frakked the edit between “No Words” and “Picasso’s Last Words.” I mean, wow, what was a nice seamless edit is suddenly horribly… off. Do they not have quality control anymore? Did nobody listen to the album before marking it “fini?”

Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Damn The Torpedos – Same problem as the McCartney set. Good bonus material, but only a few items we’ve not heard before, and definitely not enough to use up a second disc. I’ve not listened to this one yet, but I bet it suffers from loudness issues (the McCartney did too) just from knowing what Petty thinks about the issue from interviews with him over the past few years. The CD will be mixed too loud, but the Blu-Ray version will be mixed “Audiophile.” OK, I’ve lestened to some of it now. It is mixed loud… and it also has some bad edits between tracks. What the…? Are they not getting people to check the tracking on these things before marking the project complete? What’s happening is that the mark between tracks is off, so that the previous song is not completely faded out before the player jumps to the next track..

The Monkees – Head – This is a Rhino Handmade, which means very limited edition, and expensive. This is the one that probably ticks me off the most. 3 discs, $60. One of the discs wasted on a 1968 radio interview with Davy Jones. That’s fine for a freebie bonus disc, but making me pay $20 for it as part of the set? Pah! Then there’s the fact that it’s Davy… the least interesting of the 4 guys. Ha! But, there’s also an issue with the extra cuts. We get the original album in stereo, and mono, then an “alternate version” of the album in stereo, and an “alternate mix” of the album in mono. That’s pretty much it. The only other extra is the “concert” that was filmed for the “Circle Sky” performance in the movie. That’s just 3 songs and the filmmakers getting specific reaction shots. Do we need 15 minutes of, audio only, a guy saying, “now let’s have everybody scream!” or, “Now, just this section, scream!”

Richard & Linda Thompson – Shoot Out The Lights – Another Rhino Handmade, this one just 2-disc and $40. Here’s my complaints about it. Disc 1 contains the original album, and nothing more. The original album is only 38 minutes long. And, every previous CD release of the album has had a bonus cut, “Living In Luxury,” that is not on the “Deluxe Edition,” at all, even on the 2nd disc. The 2nd disc is a 1982 live concert from Richard & Linda Thompson, one of the last they ever did together, before their divorce. So that’s nice to have and all, but where’s the missing song? ARGH!

Which reminds me, I have similar complaints with the recent Badfinger reissues. It’s nice to have them sounding better, and the new bonus tracks are great… But, they are completely different bonus tracks from the original CD releases of the albums, and those old bonus cuts are nowhere to be found in the new slate of reissues.

Okay. I am done whining now.


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