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Buying the CD collection AGAIN

Jerry Lucky Commentary December 2008

Copyright Jerry Lucky © 2008 All Rights Reserved

 

Iíve gone on record a few times over the years complaining about how the record companies have craftily devised ways to get

us to buy our record collection over and over again. First we had to convert our vinyl to CDs which by the way were usually pressed

from poor quality masters. Then we had the official re-issues which were remastered and perhaps even converted to digital. Then we got

the totally digital version with bonus tracks, and so on and so on. It all just seemed a bit mercenary on the part of the record companies. But having

just completed the purchase of the new Genesis 2-disc reissues I have to say just how pleased I am to have spent the money on these new versions.

 

Now if perchance youíve been living under a rock or on an island (wait a second, I live on an island?) or if you have no connectivity to the internet, let me bring you up to speed. Genesis fans have for years been clamouring for truly definitive reissues of the bandís music and so the band with their management set about rectifying the situation. Itís taken a full two years but it was certainly worth the wait. They chose to reissue the groups catalogue in three stages, first all the mid-period albums from 1976 Ė 1982, next came the latest releases from 1983 Ė 1998 and now, just released the eagerly anticipated early material from 1970 Ė 1975. Each album came as two discs, one being the remastered new stereo mix of the album and second being the DVD which featured a 5.1 mix of the whole album, new interviews pertaining to each album plus concert videos, rehearsal footage, music videos etc. Then on top of that if you bought the Box-Sets you got a two disc set of bonus tracks, bonus videos and more. Truth is, I purchased the individual CDs of the later material, but I had to buy the box set of the material from 1970 Ė 1975. Itíll be interesting to see which of the sets sells the most.

 

But in any case, I have to say it has been such a pleasure to be listening to Genesisís material in 5.1 and to view the bonus DVD material. I particularly enjoy watching the interviews. Each participating member of the band has the opportunity to talk about the period the album was recorded, what was going on within the group and how each of the songs came together, even casting a look back reflecting on the pieces through their eyes today. These interviews are worth every penny. On the newer releases they last anywhere from 10-15 minutes however on the older material where all five members contribute these run anywhere from 30-40 minutes providing a wonderful window into the past. But you also get to hear and see each memberís current thoughts on musical works they created 30 years previously. Itís quite insightful.

 

Of course one of the things many fans were hoping for was to see the official release of the various film and video projects of Genesis live from the early seventies and here the three sets are more than accommodating. The early material which, Iíve just received and just going through now is especially good, featuring performances from Belgium (72), Shepperton Studios Italian TV special (73), Bataclan France (73), French TV (74), VH1 Special, Midnight Special tracks and lots more. Many of these pieces have been floating around as bad-copies of copies and thereís probably other dodgy material that wasnít included but when you purchase this set you get a really good selection of the bandís live performance that many will never have seen.

 

So how do I feel about buying my Genesis CD collection over again? Well, this is one of those times where I couldnít wait to spend the money! I even pre-ordered the newest Box-Set. There are lots of times, where Iíve held off buying a certain prog re-issue disc just to get a few new bonus tracks, because letís face it, how many times am I going to actually listen to that CD where having the digital mix is going to make a difference. Truth is not many so Iíll still avoid many of the reissues.

 

In this case, all those involved made a very wise choice to make these 2-disc versions with the bonus DVD 5.1 mixes and videos. This is one of those times where spending the money to replace a disc actually gives you the replaced disc and so much more. Kudos to all those involved in the preparation and release of the three box-sets. Now if youíll excuse me I have to go and eat a little crow. At least thatís what I think.

 

Jerry Lucky

(12/1/08)

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