Saturday Deluxe / 5 May 2018

Guns N’ Roses – SDE box set analysis

Let’s talk about Guns N’ Roses…. The reissue of Appetite For Destruction has been announced and the big talking point is the massive Locked N’ Loaded set that costs £850.

But before we get into that, I think the marketing of this reissue has been interesting. Once an announcement is ‘out there’ the record label loses control of the ‘message’ and there is all sorts of confusion.

So to be clear, only the massive set that comes in a wooden cabinet is called the Locked N’ Loaded edition. Despite how some retailers are labelling the various editions, there is only one Locked N’ Loaded set.

Also, while the audio content is undoubtedly impressive, some of the claims are a little misleading. The official site talks of the super deluxe edition and Locked N’ Loaded edition having 4CDs with 73 tracks, with “49 tracks previously unreleased”. That’s not actually true, there are 51 tracks on the four CDs and 27 of those audio tracks are unreleased.

How the official Guns N’ Roses site describes the contents

The ‘missing’ 22 tracks are on the blu-ray disc, so the claim is true over five discs, but not four. Or is it?

On the blu-ray, the 12 album tracks counted towards the ‘previously unreleased’ tally, because they’ve never been issued in 5.1 surround sound before. Same goes for the five bonus audio tracks on the same disc. It is not common to refer to the individual songs from a new 5.1 mix of an album as ‘previously unreleased’ tracks, but I guess, technically, they could argue the case.

The five videos are definitely stretching the definitions to breaking point, however. It’s So Easy is new, so that’s fine, but the four very well known promos (Welcome To The Jungle, Sweet Child O’ Mine, Paradise City and Patience) are also part of these “49 Tracks Previously Unreleased”. Really? The reason is because the video has a 5.1 mix soundtrack, which is new. However, they’ve already counted the 5.1 mixes of those four tracks as previously unreleased in the audio-only section of the blu-ray, so does putting a familiar video to the surround mix really create another previously unreleased track? Not really, I would argue. And anyway, since when has a video been called a ‘track’?

Nitpicking? I don’t think so. 27 unreleased tracks on a reissue of a 12-track album is superb, but massaging the figures to make this sound even more impressive is both confusing and unnecessary.

Locked N’ Loaded – tat-fest, or superb celebration?

Record companies seem to be convinced that when it comes to big, expensive box sets – and perhaps this is particularly true of ‘metal’ bands – that fans want all sorts of ‘stuff’ in them, such as posters, patches, replica flyers, guitar picks, ticket stubs, lithographs (posh posters), buttons, slipmats, rosettes, plastic bags… and so on. The question is DO WE? Despite the Pink Floyd marbles fiasco of 2011, this kind of content continues to pad out box sets, seemingly with no other task other than creating the perception of ‘value’. Perhaps they can get away with it for a £75 box set if the core content is good enough – how we laughed at the marbles, scarves and coasters in The Dark Side Of The Moon – but Appetite For Destruction ‘Locked N’ Loaded’ is $1000!

Okay, it looks like some effort has gone into the wooden cabinet and handmade cross, and the volume of content in Locked N’ Loaded is truly astonishing (the planning and manufacturing of such a set must have been a logistical nightmare), but for the money being asked once you put aside the vinyl and CDs we are still getting ‘faux’ this and ‘replica’ that. You are paying £850 and the band aren’t even signing it. How about some content of genuine quality? Something that will last. REAL leather-bound book packaging with debossed or embossed logo. A personalised and signed-by-the-band certificate or print for each purchaser. The entire contents of the four CDs of audio replicated on the blu-ray audio along with the 5.1 mixes and videos.

These are just suggestions, because we are seeing the prices of box sets rising, and with the odd exception, I’m not noting the quality of the product rising. And you could argue that labels have fallen into a pattern of just bunging in the same old tat that often wouldn’t be out of place on the shelves of a pound shop. I remember, there was a Rolling Stones Some Girls set a few years ago that included a lipstick USB stick. Nothing on it, but it was a lipstick USB stick! Really?

As alluded to back in February, perhaps labels have given up trying to persuade the discerning physical music buyer to spend a lot of money on box sets because those fans will spend a fortune on VIP tickets to gigs (an ‘experience’), but not physical music box sets (a tangible product). As a result, they are really going for it – and I don’t mean this unkindly – with deep-pocketed undiscerning fans who will buy anything at virtually any price. Of course this represents a TINY fraction of the fanbase of a given artist, but if the fanbase is big enough, you might just sell 10,000 copies of a thousand dollar box set which creates many millions of dollars worth of income for the reissue project.

It feels to me that we need fresh ideas and some new creativity when it comes to enhancing and adding value to expensive physical music box sets. There will always be a demand for signed items, coloured vinyl and truly limited packages, but please, let’s dump the checklist of posters, flyers, badges, marbles, coasters, scarves, postcards, patches etc. and think about a new generation of box sets that offer true quality, with a less-is-more mindset.

Nothing, I feel, has come close to Imogen Heap‘s Sparks box set. That was £200 and early pre-orderers got to go to a big party at Imogen’s house (!) and the box was unbelievable in terms of audio and video content and contained a book where Heap had handmade her own paper!

Appetite For Destruction will be reissued on 29 June 2018

Compare prices and pre-order

Guns N Roses

Appetite For Destruction - 4CD+blu-ray super deluxe


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Guns N' Roses

Appetite For Destruction - 2LP vinyl remaster


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Guns N' Roses

Appetite For Destruction - 2CD deluxe edition


Appetite For Destruction 4CD+blu-ray+book Super Deluxe Edition


Welcome To The Jungle
It’s So Easy
Out Ta Get Me
Mr. Brownstone
Paradise City
My Michelle
Think About You
Sweet Child O’ Mine
You’re Crazy
Anything Goes
Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink

Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero


Reckless Life
Nice Boys
Move To The City (Live)
Mama Kin
Shadow Of Your Love (Live)
You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version)
Used To Love Her
You’re Crazy
It’s So Easy (Live)
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live)
Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)


All Previously Unreleased

Welcome To The Jungle (1986 Sound City Session)
Nightrain (1986 Sound City Session)
Out Ta Get Me (1986 Sound City Session)
Paradise City (1986 Sound City Session)
My Michelle (1986 Sound City Session)
Think About You (1986 Sound City Session)
You’re Crazy (1986 Sound City Session)
Anything Goes (1986 Sound City Session)
Rocket Queen (1986 Sound City Session)
Shadow Of Your Love (1986 Sound City Session)
Heartbreak Hotel (1986 Sound City Session)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1986 Sound City Session)


All Previously Unreleased

Shadow Of Your Love
Move To The City (1986 Sound City Session)
Ain’t Goin’ Down No More (Instrumental Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
The Plague (1986 Sound City Session)
Nice Boys (1986 Sound City Session)
Back Off Bitch (1986 Sound City Session)
Reckless Life (1986 Sound City Session)
Mama Kin (1986 Sound City Session)
New Work Tune (1986 Sound City Session)
November Rain (Piano Version – 1986 Sound City Session))
Move To The City (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
November Rain (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
Jumpin’ Jack Flash (Acoustic Version – 1986 Sound City Session)
Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)


96kHz 24-bit 5.1 Surround Sound & Remastered Stereo
5.1 Surround Sound mixed by *Elliot Scheiner and **Frank Filipetti

All Previously Unreleased


Welcome To The Jungle
It’s So Easy
Out Ta Get Me
Mr. Brownstone
Paradise City
My Michelle
Think About You
Sweet Child O’ Mine
You’re Crazy
Anything Goes
Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink

Stereo mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero


Shadow Of Your Love**
Used To Love Her**
You’re Crazy**
Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)**

Welcome To The Jungle
Sweet Child O’Mine
Paradise City
It’s So Easy – BRAND NEW VIDEO FROM 1989

Appetite For Destruction / 2LP vinyl remastered

LP 1 – SIDE G:

Welcome To The Jungle
It’s So Easy
Out Ta Get Me

LP 1 – SIDE N:

Mr. Brownstone
Paradise City
My Michelle
Think About You

LP 2 – SIDE R:

Sweet Child O’ Mine
You’re Crazy
Anything Goes
Rocket Queen

LP 2 – LAST SIDE: Hologroove Hologram

Produced Mike Clink
Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero

Appetite for Destruction / 2CD deluxe edition


Welcome To The Jungle
It’s So Easy
Out Ta Get Me
Mr. Brownstone
Paradise City
My Michelle
Think About You
Sweet Child O’ Mine
You’re Crazy
Anything Goes
Rocket Queen
Produced by Mike Clink

Mixed by Steve Thompson and Michael Barbiero


Reckless Life
Nice Boys
Move To The City (Live)
Mama Kin
Shadow Of Your Love (Live)
Welcome To The Jungle (1986 Sound City Session)*
Nightrain (1986 Sound City Session)*
Out Ta Get Me (1986 Sound City Session)*
Paradise City (1986 Sound City Session)*
My Michelle (1986 Sound City Session)*
Shadow Of Your Love*
It’s So Easy (Live)
Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (Live)
Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)
You’re Crazy (Acoustic Version)
Used To Love Her
Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)*

* Previously Unreleased

Appetite For Destruction Locked N’ Loaded box set

Full Contents

  • Embossed Faux Leather and Wood Cabinet
  • Handmade 3D Cross
  • Super deluxe edition: 96 page handbound book with unreleased photos from Axl Rose’s personal archive
  • 4 CD’s in total with 73 total tracks featuring 49 unreleased tracks
  • 1 blu ray audio disc with new 5.1 surround sound mixes
  • Seven 12″ 180 Gram LPS
  • Original Album expanded into two LPs
  • First ever album remaster from analogue tapes
  • Limited Edition foil slipcase
  • 4th side hologroove hologram
  • 1 LP B-Sides  N’ EPs and Live Like a Suicide EP
  • 3LP Sound City Session and 25 unreleased songs from the 1986 session
  • 2 unreleased tracks from Mike Clink Sessions
  • 7 7″ singles on yellow vinyl
  • 12 New illustration lithos visualizing each song from Appetite for Destruction
  • Turntable Mat
  • 6 Replica Gig Flyers
  • Welcome to the Jungle Video Invite Flyer
  • Microfiber Cleaning Cloth
  • 6 Iron-On Stitched Logo Patches
  • 5 Metal Guitar Picks
  • 3 Replica Ticket Stubs
  • 5 metal Band Skull Lapel Pins
  • 2-Inch Collectable Coin
  • 5 buttons
  • 7″ adapter
  • 5 Metal Band Skull Rings
  • USB Stick
  • 5 Never-Before Seen Band Member Photo Lithos
  • 6 Temporary Band Member Tattoos
  • Robert Williams Painting Litho
  • Two Wall Posters
  • Custom bandana With Silver Metallica Ink
  • Replica 85’/86′ Concert Banner Featuring Numbered Certificate of Authenticity
  • 4 CDs
    • 73 Total Tracks – 49 Tracks Previously Unreleased
    • First Ever Album Remaster from Original Analog Tapes
    • 12 Tracks from B-sides N’ EPs Newly Remastered from Original Analog Tapes
    • 25 Unreleased Recordings from 1986 Sound City Session
    • 2 Unreleased Recordings from Mike Clink Sessions:
      • “Shadow Of Your Love” – from December 1986 Mike Clink tryout session
      • “Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)” – from GN’R LIES sessions
  • 1 Blu-ray Audio Disc
    • New 96kHz 24-bit 5.1 Surround Sound Mixes from Original Analog Multi-tracks
    • Original Album Mixed by Elliot Scheiner
    • 5 Bonus Tracks Mixed by Elliot Scheiner & Frank Filipetti
    • All songs feature brand new animations
    • 4 Original Music Videos in 5.1
    • Unreleased 1989 “It’s So Easy” Video in 5.1
  • Seven 180-gram Audiophile 12-inch LPs
    • All Vinyl Cut from 192kHz 24-bit Remastered High-Resolution Audio
    • Original Album Expanded to 2-LPs for Maximum Audiophile Playback
      • Limited Edition Foil Art Slipcase
      • Side 4 Extra Bonus: Hologroove Hologram of GN’R Logo
    • LIVE LIKE A SUICIDE EP (1-LP) with Extra Track “Shadow Of Your Love”
    • B-SIDES N’ EPS (1-LP)
  • 6 Replica 7-inch Singles + New 7-inch for “Shadow Of Your Love” on Yellow Vinyl
    • “It’s So Easy” b/w “Mr. Brownstone”
    • “Welcome To The Jungle” b/w “Whole Lotta Rosie (Live)”
    • “Sweet Child O’ Mine” b/w “Out Ta Get Me”
    • “Paradise City” b/w “Used To Love Her”
    • “Patience” b/w “Rocket Queen”
    • “Nightrain” b/w “Reckless Life”
    • “Shadow Of Your Love” b/w “Move To The City (1988 Acoustic Version)”
  • 32GB Metal Cross USB Stick with High-Resolution Audio Formats from All 4 CDs
    • 192kHz 24-bit AIFF Files
    • 96kHz 24-bit AIFF Files
    • 44.1kHz 16-bit AIFF Files



SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


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Just as with the Sgt Pepper set, the bluray is ONLY available in the box set at £170.
Just let me buy the CDs and bluray at a reasonable price without the other rubbish.
And they wonder why music piracy is still going strong!

wayne klein

This is silly. If the entire band had signed autographs as part of the set, maybe, but no this is an epic fail.


If anyone is interested the SDE is now cheapest so far on POPMARKET.COM @ $135 US with free shipping


I’d be surprised if GnR sold 10,000 copies of the Locked N’Loaded set!!

That Imogen Heap set/experience sounds great though!

Friso Pas

Well said, Paul. I agree.
I’m gonna sit this one out (the regular SDL, mind you), until it drops in price and you announce a deal alert or something. As a vinyl lover, I can buy the album seperately. Don’t need the extra content on vinyl. And then I still have everything for a hopefully decent price. (maybe around Black Friday?). Or Amazon does a 3 for 2 thing again in Germany or France or whatever.


The SDE is now down to $138.74 US on Amazon.com, but if you ask me still needs to drop at least another $50

Mathew Lauren

So, this price drop was not unexpected by many of us, who are aware that UMe keeps an eye on OUR collective responses (here at SDE) about content, price and presentation, however, you’re right, the 4cd/1br needs to drop another $50 or so (Street Date MSRP).

I, only, wish other record companies did same. Warner’s is STILL in the doghouse with me for releasing a LPCM recorded & mixed 5.1, after 15 years, as a DD5.1 (movie audio-codec – only) DVD-V disc, “hiding” this fact and NEVER adjusting the STREET DATE MSRP or offering a DVD-A 5.1 replacement disc – Shame. No doggie treats for you, Max Lousada!

Larry D

Yeah I know that “One In a Million” is offensive…but it’s part of the Guns history and is should be part of the box set. This is like censoring the bloody part of a horror scene.


I might just get the cd version. I like the way they’ve rounded up all the tracks from the LIES mini album for the bonus disc.

David Bond

Except for “One In A Million”!


When you say ’32GB Metal Cross’… How heavy is 32GB? Is that like a large bird of prey, or a small country?

Mathew Lauren

I needed a good laugh :)

“…large bird of prey or a small country.” Ha ha ha ha ha…

Thank you, Nigel.

Martin Kilroy

On reflection it seems that the box set at £850 exists purely so that we react with “phew £170 for 4 cds and a bluray seems good value”!

Larry Davis

Good point…but I ain’t falling for them using THAT illusion…badabing!!


Will this be sold through Amazon?


…but you have links leading to Amazon USA; UK; Canada; Germany & France…


Will you be doing an unboxing video for the Locked N’ Loaded edition?


when you think about those king crimson boxsets that are usually priced between maybe £90-£150 and contain up to around 27 discs including many, many, many unreleased tracks. This boxset looks terribly over priced and full of nonsense rather than music.

Larry Davis

Yeah… As expensive as they are…King Crimson seem to at least give you value for money and beyond that…if they see this GNR set they will either laugh or Roll their collective eyes…


Don’t understand how an album as popular as this doesn’t come with more live stuff. You’re right Paul. Ditch half the stupid stuff for more music, preferably more live shows. Much like Metallicas remaster sets. At least you get 10 cds for $175.

David B

Perhaps there is going to be a large collection of live material released separately.


I follow this blog regularly and enjoy the articles. But to complain about such a box set whilst suggesting they use REAL leather is pure ignorance.

Surely you’re educated to some degree and are aware of what this would entail… Hundreds, if not thousands of animals would have to be killed to manufacture a load of big boxes to hold your treasures. I suppose as long as you know that a REAL animal died for your consumerist pleasure would prop up the justification to purchase just that little bit more.

You’re probably also aware that animal farming is a key contributor to the global warming crisis. So kudos to you for wanting to do your think for the rape of the planet. As long as you know it’s REAL leather.

Personally, I applaud Guns N’ Roses for choosing to use faux leather. It doesn’t cause the death of animals for vanity or indulgence, it’s better for the environment and it’s cheaper to manufacture, so less money is wasted. 3/3 ain’t bad and, let’s be honest, it looks and feels so close to the real thing, who on earth would find cause for concern.

Well done, Guns N’ Roses. Thank you for leading by example. This box set is a success in many ways whatever people say.




Whether it was or it wasn’t, it doesn’t promote death for ‘content of genuine quality’, as it was put. If they have indirectly promoted animal welfare, then this is score one for them. If others would rather score an own-goal twice in a row ’cause they’re hell-bent for leather, that would be an issue they should seek help for.


I am a vegetarian, and if I was a fan of this release then a real leather covering would be a deal breaker for me tbh, however as Paul said I highly doubt that R’nR excess kings GNR of all bands would give a toss about this issue! Who wears more leather as the default costume of choice than metal bands? Nobody I can think of.

Paul E.

Faux Corinthian leather would have worked well AND complimented my 1975 Chrysler Cordoba’s interior.


Duff McKagan and his wife are prominent animal welfare activists, so it may certainly be a factor in choosing faux leather.

David B

I doubt if the band had much to do with the choice of faux leather. It was more likely a decision made by the record company and based more on cost than welfare. But I’m sure we’d all rather that animals didn’t die needlessly for the sake of someone’s record collection.


I’m not a die hard fan. I love some of their songs. So I won’t be buying this & for sure no £850 box for me. I don’t think this £850 box will sell well. And to cash in Record Label will probably come with cheaper/stripped 2 discs or single disc version & separated blu-ray audio only disc.

I just hope Record Label won’t be wasting time & energy on the packing & all the extra non music content related stuff. They’d better taking the time to acquire mastertapes, baking, getting the best from tapes to digital copies of period 12”/dub/rare 7” etc, spending time to find/verify different mixes (so no mislabelled mixes again), putting energy in good mastering (no loudness, no brickwalled compression) and checking for flaws on the preproduction copies. All these to minimizing disasters for us fans. Once the standard of physical product (or the trust for the physical product) is restored we will be buying more. It’s not like it used to be. Nowadays we cannot just buy any CD thinking there’s no flaws. We fans have to check/verify the finished product for mistakes & hoping Record Labels won’t be ignoring those and will rectify/repress/swap CD’s for us (most of the times we’re stuck with faulty CD’s)! There’s no guarantee anymore for a good quality product.

Larry Davis

Yeah… As per that Dead Or Alive disaster, which was thankfully fixed, but only after a lot of money was needlessly wasted cuz Edsel did not have a second set of eyes & ears…


Great analysis thank you!
I’m not a GNR fan but if I imagine I was I’d be pissed as hell about this release. Ignoring the tat fest mega box what I’d want is the music and the standard SDE is totally out of my price range and although it may appear on Spotify I enjoy having a physical product I can play when and where I want and not rely on being connected.
Everyone has different views on what would be included but I think we all agree the money should be spent on the music.
So my SDE wish list …
1. Original album
2. Non album singles, b-sides, 12″ singles and period remixes
3. Live concert from tour to promote album
4. Demos and unreleased tracks
5. Promo videos, interviews, tv appearances etc
6. Book, if well written with albums history, recording details etc ( I like reading all the background stuff)
7. Err… that’s it

Format? Well for cost reasons it would have to be CD and Blu-ray, I like vinyl but can’t afford modern stuff ( bought 10 lps 70’s80’s yesterday very reasonably at a village fair).
5.1 mix? Again can’t afford equipment but maybe one day, so would be great to have it on Blu-ray.
Dynamic remixing please, imagine spending all that cash to find the whole lot brickwalled to bloody death!


Exactly like Metallicas sets! They do them well.

elliott buckingham

ive gone for the vinyl and dbl cd the cd boxset is massively overpriced compared to recent marillion and inxs boxset which include bluray 5.1

Flemming Larsen

Where Can I order the big box ? Flemming


Metal fans have always loved logos, patches and badges, but this box seems to have drifted between 2 ships – nostalgia and price.
It looks to me that the thought behind the GNR box was heavily influenced by a desire to bow to nostalgia, but they haven’t quite cracked it.
The designers have thrown all their chips at what they hope are grand-parents with a bit of cash and a hankering to be reminded of petuli oil and clouds of hairspray, but
those who can afford this would probably be happier with a design and content befitting their current age – a box with a bit more dignity, something current with content that reflects and appreciates an era rather than a facsimile that ends up in Spinal Tap territory, almost taking the mick out of itself.
Punk compilations make the same mistake, but they tend to be a lot chepaer.


Buuuut why yellow vinyl?


Because they’re taking the piss out of it?


I want my box sets to include music, original, remastered, unreleased, 5.1 and live. B-sides and remixes are also good. A bluray is also fine with the same. I’m happy if they give a choice of cd or vinyl but I’ll happily take both. Bands have so much footage and recordings from the sound desk they could do like Pearl Jam and release a live audio recording of each show. I’m also happy if they include a book like in the Bowie boxsets. A usb can include all audio in high res and promo vids and live footage. …. and that’s all. Oh and signed would be nice.


Hi Paul,

Great blog! I cannot agree with you more about this topic. For me at my age (49) it’s all about the musical content and quality of the remastering. All the superfluous content does nothing for me, but take up space.

After reading your article I pondered “why” do record companies add all this memorabilia to these massive box sets and it I thought of my childhood. When I was in the 5th grade I became a huge KISS fan. I eventually grew out of KISS, but I still dig the band if not for the awesome concerts and great memories. Maybe these record companies are trying to rekindle that spirit or adoration of the band. I would have killed for something like this back in the day. KISS the Originals triple LP set comes to mind. All the posters and such that came with the albums. It was awesome. Anyways it was just a thought, but then again what kid or teenager could ever afford such a set.

On a side note… US iTunes offers the Super Deluxe minus the video for $29.99 on their website (51 tracks). I realize it is not the same as physically having the CDs in hand, but for me and my situation this will suit me just fine.

Take care know your work is much appreciated.


Chris Aud

The only musical item I really care about here is the 5.1 mix. A shame it’s tied to everything else for $133 U.S. No thanks.


Keep in mind, when SDE lists pricing under USA, it’s still showing you pounds as the currency. So that $133 is closer to $200. Just to let you know.

John Manning

Great analysis, many thanks.

Best box sets I’ve come across in every respect are the Jethro Tull sets – music, beautifully mixed and mastered with terrific books. No gimmicks, just beautiful presentation and great pricing. They’re even released at sensible intervals to make it easy on the pocket. A style emulated more recently by Marillion.

I hope we get a Beach Boys re-release programme along similar lines, one day.


Sorry, that box is ridiculous – lithos, turntable mat, replica flyers, logo patches, guitar picks, pins, coins, buttons, adapter, skull rings, photos, bandana, posters, replica concert banner, temporary tattoos …. What for? I am not a child!


Does it contsin the kitchen sink as it got everything else.


Great article. I love me a good box set, I like having things, but being treated as an idiot is not one of them. I hope they won’t sell their crap.

Michel Banen

The Def Leppard – Hysteria box set is a fantastic example of an affordable multi disc box that appeals to a wider audience. I’m not a Def Leppard fan but I loved the Hysteria album enough to buy the deluxe box which is 100% value for money with all the CD’s, DVD, booklet and tour book replica. No additional stuff to just make it more expensive.


Of all the unnecessary extra items, I do value a book with new interviews/history essay of the band & recording process/unseen photos etc. But replicas of ticket stubs??!! If you’re a mega fan of a band and you’ve had the chance to see them in concert, chances are you’ve kept your stubs as a momento of that magical night. But why on earth would you be interested in keeping three replica tickets of shows you never had the pleasure of attending?? I just don’t get it!

Paul Kent

Just having the idea of creating such an opulent haberdasher’s crap drawer is stultifyingly crass. To green-light it is insanity. Quite frankly, if you’re of a mind to buy the L&L variant, well, I doubt very much you could care less about music. As for the SDE? When Marillion and Tull can issue 5 disc sets of audio/video content with surround mixes at a fraction of £170, how can there be any justification for and defence of such cynical disrespect for fans and the very music they are selling us. This just makes me worry about the future of physical product. Thank you, Ben Folds, for being around this week to take the edge off. Locked & Loaded? More like Mocked & Goaded!


Excellent article and responses.
The common thread is us fans caring about great music want to hear said music in the best presentation possible, preferably getting what the musicians might have heard in the mixdown.
I’d be more than happy to pay for HI-RES discs at high prices rather than have a clutter of exorbitantly priced, interesting, but ultimately useless crap with storage considerations.
PS – I’ve nothing against the vinyl revival but gave up that hassle decades ago…..one more useless storage issue.

Paul Wren

I’d like to see the band members wading through 10,000 signatures each on the all singing and dancing box set!


Give me a 5 disc set at Tull / Marillion prices and I’ll be in. Either that or wait a few months for it to go all “Roxy Music Box” on us……

Kevin Galliford

I think the best special issue I’ve ever bought was the Nick Cave compilation from a few years back. Great audio & visual content with that superb book which showed the “Love” put into the whole project AND for a price which did’nt break the bank! Very rarely would I spend over £50-£60 for a boxset & the only time I did that was the U2 “Achtung Baby” box set which was really good. Anything over a hundred quid is taking the piss for me.

Bob McCartney

I just want content and decent pricing. I don’t need all the bells and whistles.
World Party – Arkeology comes to mind.


Nice analysis. For me gnr sucks as hell. I wont buy even single CD. Cheers


The last Crimson boxes are à good exemple of interesting stuff (studio album out-takes studio sessions plenty of live material ) for 150/170 euros and it comes with à book black and white photos blue ray and DVD…even if sometimes the quality of the audio live matériel is poor (fan tape …) but We like it


The best description of Guns n Roses I ever read came from the great Julian Cope: “A bunch of homophobes in puff gear”


Interesting, considering Axl likes Being Boring by the Pet Shop Boys.


The whole album in fact.

From a NIN interview:

“It was kind of funny,” Trent told *Rage* magazine back then. “Axl phoned me while I was listening to the new Pet Shop Boys album and I was trying to turn it down so he wouldn’t hear. And he said, ‘Hey, was that the Pet Shop Boys? I just got that! Man, I like that, but I’m too embarassed to tell anyone.’ I said, ‘Me, too’.”


Pete Muscutt

I think there’s a certain amount of this debate that rests on how much you love a band. Some who are casual fans of GnR might scoff at the £850 set, but if there was a similar item for your all-time favourite band, that might be enough to tempt some. I agree though that putting it in perspective makes the set seem ridiculous (a month’s mortgage payment for the Locked ‘n’ Loaded set??!).

It’d be great if the extraneous bits and bobs were omitted and more effort was put into the music, which at the end of the day is what these boxed sets are produced to sell (the Prince ‘Purple Rain’ set is quite rightly held up as an example of how to do it – decent price point, interesting content – both musical and visual).

Is there perhaps an argument sometimes that the ‘archive’ stuff for revered albums just isn’t that great and the tut that is packaged in with the box is included as a sweetener? For the most part, I find most demo versions of songs on deluxe albums are interesting to see how they progressed in the studio, but are not necessarily tracks I would listen to avidly again and again…


True i m ready to pay the same amount for à Joe Jackson Steven Wilson or Porcupine Tree mega box set


I’ve given it some thought, and there is literally no physical representation of any single album for which I would pay £850. None. Not Ziggy Stardust. Not Sogn O The Times. Not Led Zeppelin IV. Not Pet Sounds. Not Abbey Road. Not Dark Side Of The Moon.

You can get entire discographies for less. How much was that Queen all-albums-in-color-vinyl box set, half as much? How much was that multi-year Pink Floyd box, also about half as much?

Speaking of The Beatles and Beach Boys – Sgt Peppers and Pet Sounds were both a 4CD + surround Blu-ray box for quite a bit cheaper than this one. It’s hard to argue that any Appetite For Destruction 4CD + surround Blu-Ray is worth that much more than either of those albums.



I was lucky enough to get the Queen set for £249 when it first came out. Still the best box set I own, closely followed by Black Sabbaths ‘Ten Year War’. The quality of the outer box, and the provided resealable covers are what nudges Queen to the top for me. Small, details, but they matter when you’re splashing out, what to me, is a lot of money.

Mathew Lauren

Maybe Axl’s trying to “milk us” a bit to offset the extra $ HE HAD to spend finishing “Chinese Democracy.”


Not that I’d be buying it anyway but I’d never buy a release with any real leather packaging as I’m a vegan. I think at least one band member is too so maybe that’s why they’ve gone with faux leather? Or maybe it’s just cheaper to manufacture.


I keep giggling at the idea that a member of “the world’s most dangerous rock ‘n’roll band” should be a vegan.

Freek Claassen

Prince’s Purple Rain box was 3 cd’s & 1 dvd, I paid 22 euro for it, new, not second hand. That’s the kind of box set I love

fred Holmes

£6.99 in HMV now.It’s


yeah, but the main album remastering for purple rain was shockingly bad. the other discs had some issues too but it was still generally good value for money, but the main album brick-walling was god awful. i suppose it could have been triple the price with the same brickwalled master, but with a swankier package and i’d have been a lot more perturbed – so … small blessings, and all that.


If this came signed by all 5 original members then I don’t think there would be as much complaing about it.


What I want to know is where is ‘One In A Million’ from the Lies EP? There’s two versions of ‘You’re Crazy’ on the B Sides CD, one acoustic and one not. The version of this track on Lies is the acoustic version so is the 2nd addition on the CD actually a misprint and is in fact ‘One In A Million’?


Probably because of the lyrical content. I believe Rose said it would never be on any reissue as he didn’t want to deal with the hassle.


The first version is from a b-side, the second one is different and is taken from Lies.

One in a Million is omitted.

Derek Parkinson

Stupid pricing for the uber box, that said if Abba were ever to do some uber box set from the vaults I’d probably be will to spend a lot to own it


Honestly, when I decide to buy a box set it’s almost always because there’s a 5.1 DSD lossless mix of the album or combined albums that provides more dimension, hence a refreshed and more detailed listening experience. Demos and unreleased live tracks are fine, and I listen to them — oh, I don’t know…maybe once because I feel obligated to do this since I bought the the mother lode. What I do continue to play and re-play is the surround sound mix, and nothing else. Yeah, I quickly flip through the book or booklet, mostly just looking at the photos and hand-written lyrics and notes, but I have never read one of these inserted publications from cover to cover, as it starts to feel like TMI… and hey, I want to direct more of my attention to the music I’m hearing on the sound system. I absolutely disregard unnecessary novelty items that are inserted in the package; like marbles, scarves, glass coasters, etc. I wouldn’t be surprised to one day find an oven mitt or a roll of toilet paper with the bands logo printed all over it included in a super deluxe box set (wow, what a collector’s item that would be)! This whole bloated box set thing is starting to become absurd both in concept and pricing. Please, please, please just give me the music in the best sound quality possible, and I’ll be a happy camper :-)


Not a big fan of GnR but for £8.50, it’s worth a punt..


I’ll be in for this when the 4CD is £50-£60.

Alan B

Excellent article and comments as usual Paul. At the end of the day it is the musical content that is important. Without that no one would be buying anything. What we all want is unreleased tracks, unreleased live concerts, all versions of singles (various 12 inch remixes etc) – all gathered together in a nice box with some nice packaging (liner notes/lyric books etc) – autographed if possible. All the rest (badges, replica tickets etc) is just superfluous nonsense used to hike the price up resulting in bigger boxes which take up too much space at home.

Even new releases are catching the silliness bug. Pre orders with T-shirts, patches, turntable mats etc. I don’t want any of this – just the new album – preferably signed and/or with some exclusive (for initial orders) musical content (demo versions, B sides etc)

Darren Howard

I couldn’t care less about all the crap. Just give me all the extra tracks you can, some video if possible and a nice box. I’ll stump up a little extra for it signed. And whilest I’m here, I can do without vinyl copies but I realise people will disagree.

Rob Puricelli

Yet again, a 5.1 mix buried within a prohibitively expensive box set (be it the Locked ‘n’ Loaded or the SDE CD+BluRay).


Anyone who pays that type of money for a box set has more money than sense.
All it has are a few bits and bobs that standard deluxe edition doesn’t have.