Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Buyer's guide to John Lennon CD's

John Lennon
Yesterday was the day the John Lennon catalogue was released in remastered form in Europe, today's the day in the USA. One complaint we heard was that the "stripped down" version of Double Fantasy was not included in the signature boxed set. We were also disappointed by that, it has been shown as included in some web shops and left out in some, so we had to purchase the box (or look through it in the store) in order to find out. Another complaint was the absense of bonus tracks. A third complaint is that the new remasters reverts to the old seventies mixes of the songs. As you know, the 'old remasters' that were released in 1995-2005 were not only remastered, but also remixed, bringing the sounds on each track up to speed in a more modern way of painting the music into the sound field. This was expected, as the same team of Abbey Road engineers had the same conservative approach when remastering the Beatles albums for last years releases. So if you want the albums to sound as good as they can possibly sound, the 1995-2005 remasters are for you, if you want them to sound "just like on the old records", buy the 2010 versions. As for the "best of" compilation and the "Gimme Some Truth" box, I haven't got a clue who they are meant for. There are two bonus discs in the signature box which can't be had any other way than buying the box, this is EMI marketing for you. One of them is just a compilation of singles not found on the other discs in the box, but the other one has studio outtakes and home demos, which Lennon and Beatles collector's will be keen to have. The hard core collector's will have to shell out, the one's who aren't so fuzzy about having actual factory pressed official discs will get them by other means. Another major flaw with the signature box is that it still leaves us with an incomplete overview of Lennon's releases as it lacks the following albums: Two Virgins, Life With The Lions, Wedding Album, Live Peace In Toronto 1969, Menlove Avenue, Live In New York City, Acoustic and the Lennon Anthology.

1 comment:

Scott said...

Extremely frustrating. As usual, the packages are designed to rake in the most money with little regards to the true fans. Not only is the Signature Box incomplete, but the iTunes version comes with several videos no included in the physical box. Moreover, if you purchased the version of Power To The People on iTunes, you get an entire DVDs worth of videos that are not included in any of the physical CD packages. (The deluxe version of the physical Power To The People contains only a few videos.) Finally, some of the tracks in the Gimme Some Truth box (like "Yer Blues") are not included in the Signature Box.

This is a pattern we see over and over again in the record industry. If a fan is willing to pay money for a deluxe CD set like the Signature Box, they should at a minimum receive discounts on other products, such as the Stripped Down CD.