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    • CommentAuthoruri says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 18th 2018 edited)
    Just wanted to say how delighted I am with the new special editions.
    Beautifully packaged as small hardback books with the album front and back covers. Interesting supporting text by Graham Duff and Jon Savage and lots of terrific photos. Lots of additional material too although I'm not sure much of it hasn't been on things such as 'Behind the Curtain' before, probably some of the alternative takes of the album songs.
    The reproductions of the old vinyl covers have suitably yellowed with age, I guess they were copied from the actual covers rather than using original artwork unless that too has yellowed.

    Admittedly, I've now got 4 copies of these albums (original vinyl, first CD releases, CD collection from about 12 years ago and now these), but this release really pays homage to them and literally turns them into the icons they are.
    All the studio demos on "Behind The Curtain" are included within the three special editions. On "Pink Flag" - 12 demos and all 5 alternate mixes are previously unreleased (basically the track "Pink Flag" is the only demo that has appeared before from here) - from "Chairs Missing" the Advision Version of "Underwater Experiences" and 12 demos are unreleased - and from "154" 6 demos are unreleased. Well that's how I calculate it anyway :-)
    Hi all,

    My copies haven't arrived yet, but have been dispatched from Spin CDs. I posted this link before in another thread, but think it's worth putting here again; a decent price, £65 for all 3 box sets :

    The price did mysterious jump up to £80, but is back to £65, which is by far the cheapest deal I've seen for all 3 :) I'm not connected to them in any way or anything btw.
    Yep they're top quality and very good attention to detail with the design. l Visited a few record shops today and they were prominently on display and looked cool - hats off for not putting the track listing on the back of 154 in line with the original design - and there's no record company sticker on to say what it is so it looks a particularly mysterious object. The photos are great and intriguing that the photo archive had been languishing in a lockup in Manchester. I particularly like the hall-of-mirrors pics and colour snaps of the 'People in a Room' gigs in the 154 Book.

    Of course now we're going to want a 7" book version of the 80s albums..

    I know all the extra tracks are remastered but does anyone know if the actual album remasters are the same as the ones from 2006?
    Hi R Swimmer,

    No they are not the same as the last set of re-releases. Denis who does all our mastering thought he could make them sound "a bit more contemporary" - I have no idea what that means but I trust Denis :) - so he did....
    • CommentAuthorjw says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 20th 2018 edited)
    All CDs were remastered by Denis Blackham from the original EMI tapes.

    The connection with 2006 is the hi-res scans of the cover artwork inherited from the EMI archive. These were imperfect and needed work; in particular, they were all cropped to size and had no bleed edges, which presents a particular dilemma with regard to '154' and the adaptation of the old 'square format' of the original LPs to the three contemporary formats of SE/LP/CD.

    The restoration work done on all of this, Annette's photo archive, the covers for the Nine Sevens box, has been pretty intense. It's taken about 6 months, the intense work by HQ to get the archive up to scratch part of a longer process. Mike Thorne contributed some archive stuff. A few items were 'rebuilt', such as the programme card for the Jeanetta Cochrane concerts for the '154' SE. The decision was made not to make everything look perfect - insomuch as Photoshop allows - and indeed some of the early artwork was pretty low-fi anyway (the 7 inch sleeve for "Mannequin", for example). Corrections were not made to mistakes such as the back cover of "IATF" which has "Practice Make Perfect", as noted in another thread. Of course we did have to remove the Harvest logo information from all of the covers!...

    The other aspect that was quite a challenge was the typography. In the late 70s, phototypesetting was quite different from the digital process we have now; however, the cuts and weights that were used back in the day are subtly different and sometimes impossible to replicate.

    So in effect, the project revolved around the notion of authenticity and the desire to stay true to the originals, and the balance between the impossibility of this and the potential to make them "better" in terms of quality. The original artwork for PF and CM is wonky, if you look at it through a digital lens, this is part of its charm and power.

    The LP versions and CD digipaks that will come out at the end of June, early July, have all been treated distinctly. The inner covers of the LPs have all been rebuilt.

    Not talking about the artwork, a lot of effort has been put in to updating the lyric/text documentation of all of the songs, this is part of the same process...

    It's a bid to get over the re-issue/EMI product process of 2006, to do the best possible to make the work shine and to see it in a new light. There are mistakes included!
    Thanks to all involved for what are stupendous releases. The research both visual and textual is immense - it now looks as if some of the info on "Behind The Curtain" proved to be incorrect - especially as "Finistaire" on that album was the "Marooned" demo - now it's revealed that was the original title for "Mercy". The Rough Trade East interview was informative and heartwarming. You've made a Wire nerd very very happy!
    Was the Rough Trade interview recorded?
    According to a post on Facebook, it was.
    • CommentAuthorjw says...
    • (CommentTimeMay 21st 2018 edited)
    Yes, it was video'ed. Sound isn't all it could be because I didn't have external mic.
    I just want to add that they are lovely objects - the highlight being the archive photos for me.

    Nice to see a review in the Sunday Times as a must have re-issue too.

    One thing I do ponder - will sales of Pink Flag in the 4 weeks this year exceed the first 4 weeks sales of the 1977 release?
    A nice review of the set on Record Collector:
    "Once Is Enough is like holding your nerve in a wind tunnel while bottles, cans and mirror shards hurtle past."

    The current midweek chart placing for the Special Editions are as follows (clears throat).

    Chairs Missing: 80.
    154: 83
    Pink Flag: 97.

    I don't know how many actual sales these chart positions amount to, but it isn't too shabby for items that cost £25 a pop to make it into the Top 100. And I assume the sales from Greedbag won't register for the national chart.

    Also, I (mistakenly) assumed Pink Flag would be the biggest immediate seller of the three albums since it's the one that gets the most publicity. Perhaps it's because it only has two CDs rather than the three on CM and 154.
    On another tack - I see it's astonishing and quite wonderful that Half Man Half Biscuit's new album is straight in at Number 17!
    Totally agree! Brilliant to see HMHB in there. And another fine record it is, too, from the four lads who shook the Wirral.
    They seem to have vanished now, sadly (unless I'm looking in the wrong place). Would have been nice for PF to have broken the top 100, to join the others, which did so back in the 70s.
    They are still there - I believe the full change takes place tomorrow night - is that right?
    Aha. I was apparently looking at the wrong chart. Entertainingly, they are, to my mind, in the correct order, too. (Chairs Missing being the best of the first three albums, obviously!)
    Just spotted that if you look on Discogs, now that someone has listed the new reissue and added to the previous LPs, CDs, tapes and an 8-Track Cartridge(?!) means there are now 40 Versions of 154.