Lloyd Cole & the Commotions: Collected Recordings 1983-89 vinyl box set

Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989 vinyl box

2015 CD box set comes to vinyl in limited numbers

The Lloyd Cole and the Commotions Collected Recordings 1983-1989 box set is being released on vinyl at the end of this month.

Issued on CD in 2015, this new vinyl package contains the same audio content as the previous set, but not the postcards or the DVD with the videos. Specifically, you get the three Commotions albums (Rattlesnakes, Easy Pieces and Mainstream) and the bonus material resequenced from two CDs to three vinyl LPs. The extra material is now called B-Sides and Outtakes, Demo Recordings and Rarities, Remixes & Live.

The material has all been remastered for vinyl and this process was supervised by Lloyd Cole. The vinyl is 140g and there is no download code (“because Universal own the digital rights” says Cole).

The six vinyl records come with printed inner sleeves and reside in a box with a 20-page LP-sized booklet with an extensive essay by Pete Paphides.

This box is limited to 1000 units and is being issued by Tapete Records in Germany. At the moment Lloyd Cole’s own shop is shipping to US only, so that’s the option for those in America (with the bonus that he will sign/dedicate). For those in Europe (and beyond) Lloyd is recommending Tapete’s own online shop. They are actually the only two places you are supposed to be able to get this at the moment, but Rough Trade in the UK are listing it, albeit it’s more expensive and they are saying (incorrectly) that it’s limited to 500.

Collected Recordings 1983-1989 will be released on 31 July 2020. Read the SDE interview with Lloyd Cole conducted around the time of the original CD box set.


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Alain Brenez

Although not released until July 31st, I got my copy today from Tapete Records. Very pleased with this box set. I wish they would have pressed them on 180g but the sound quality is excellent, vocals are very clear, some background noise at the start of each side but forgotten once the music starts. Recommended.

Thomas Braun

140g is the better way for vinyl


As someone from North America, I’m pleased that Lloyd was able to bring this into the States and offer it for $150. That works out to be $25 a record, which is what a lot of new releases are working out to be on vinyl. Lloyd is offering to sign it and is only charging $8 for shipping via priority mail with tracking, which I believe he might be losing a bit of money on shipping. As of Friday, 3 July, there were less than 20 copies left in the States. As someone who’s gone down the road of considering a boutique release who would’ve had to license it from a major and realizing I’d likely lose money on the first run, I can’t imagine Tapete is making a huge profit on this set.

Electric Sydney

I asked Mr. Cole to write “I’m still not Scottish! Love, Lloyd Cole.


(Yet The Commotions were a key part of the Scottish music scene)…..

I can still recall the first time I heard forest fire. Gosh.


I’ve ordered from Tapete, worked out at £130. I’m content with that. It’s not cheap, but not overpriced either. You pays yer money…

Stuart Wright

Well we know what Mark E Smith would have thought…


Nice box set and fairly priced.

I won’t buy it because I already own the original albums on vinyl and the 5 CD/DVD box set.
I’d be more interested by a vinyl version of the second box set (New York) as I only own the first two Lloyd Cole
solo albums on vinyl.

Anyway, good work by Tapete Records. They usually make nice box sets. I bought the Monochrome Set box set two years ago and it’s superb with both the LPs and CDs, original artwork and a beautiful booklet. Tapete is truly an excellent indie label that cares about music.


Definitely agree on the Monochrome set box (hadn’t really registered the fact that it was from Tapete until I read your post).
The pressings are superb and the reproductions of the covers are almost perfect (I guess they couldn’t quite pay for the special silver ink required to reproduce the Strange Boutique original cover or the embossing – I still have my original but it’s a bit worn out now).

The booklet is great too – the first time I have seen all the lyrics and the artwork is stellar. A great piece of work all round which bodes well for the Commotions set.

russell finch

Will be interesting to see if they have the same screwup with the remixes on Rattlesnakes as on the disappointing CD version of this box set. Lloyd Cole insisted the original master tapes were used but 2 of the 3 remixed tracks are so obviously remixes (by Ric Ocasek for the US Geffen release in the 80s) that it beggared belief. The sound of the remaining tracks but pretty murky and lifeless too, as was Easy Pieces and the bonus disc. Only Mainstream sounded decent, and that was completely untouched from the original 1987 CD.



“There was one typo on the Commotions box set –

Somehow or other the US version of Rattlesnakes was used as a reference for sleeve notes. The US (original Geffen, not subsequent Capitol) version contained several Rik Ocasek re-mixes. And the box set sleeve notes have this credit.

To be clear – there are no re-mixes on the re-mastered Rattlesnakes. The original 1/2″ tape from Genetic Studios were used. Transferred flat to digital and the CD was mastered from this. There was no extra mastering compression or EQ, which is why the album sounds bigger and roomier. The mastering done in 1984 made the tracks tighter, and smaller. This is more noticeable on Four Flights Up and Patience. I consulted the band, we all prefer it this way.”

russell finch

He may have said that, but he’s wrong. The disc I got in my Commotions box set definitely includes the remixes, there is no doubt about it at all. Someone on the Steve Hoffman forums kindly sent me the remixed tracks in question ripped from the US Geffen vinyl. They are obviously the same versions as the tracks on the box set. To be honest I can’t believe that anyone could confuse them with the originals. Perfect Skin isn’t massively different (but listen to the snare drum), Four Flights Up and Patience sound very different. Focus on the snare again, on the original mixes the snare drum sounds like a pony trotting down a country lane, on the box set and geffen vinyl it sounds like a rhino in jackboots stampeding around a cave. The remaining 7 tracks are clearly the original mixes, just sounding a bit flat and murky.
I have owned this album on cassette, the original UK 14 track CD, the 2004 remaster CD, the 2015 boxset, the US Capitol CD and I have those Geffen vinyl rips. The boxset includes the remixes. Not just me, a few others cam to the same conclusion:-

Russell Finch

Paul. You just have to listen and it’s really obvious that the wrong versions ended up in the disc. You can say what you like about the people in the steve Hoffman forums (and a lot of it drives me nuts too) but they do really listen and care what music sounds like. If you message me I will send you rips of the tracks in question and you can hear it for yourself.

Samir Hussain

For years I had Rattlesnakes and Mainstream on vinyl but couldn’t find Easy Pieces and it never seemed to be available on CD. A couple of years ago I saw the original vinyl in a local new record shop for a fiver. Bargain. Would have liked to get the CD boxset a few years ago but happy with my three LPs.

How many other groups produced three perfect albums within a three or four year span and then bowed out? A fantastic body of work. Many bands should take their lead from them and call it a day before the quality drops.

John McCann'

Japan, quiet life ,gentlemen take polaroids ,and tin drum and let’s just forget the first two albums they made!

CJ Feeney

The Police and Simon and Garfunkel each made five albums and bowed out after the best one.

Of course “best” is a matter of opinion for The Police, but I don’t think anyone would argue the toss on “Bridge over Troubled Water”.

Stuart Ansell


There’s always one!


I love this first two albums actually – although admittedly they mostly sound like a totally different group.
But as Japan and XTC are my favourite groups I can’t argue with the run that is Quiet Life, Gentlemen Take Polaroids and Tin Drum (their masterpiece).

‘Synchronicity’ The Police’s best album? – not in my opinion.

John McCann'.

r.i.p Mick karn!


“How many other groups produced three perfect albums within a three or four year span and then bowed out? ”

I’d say a lot of bands did that. Some even produced 5 albums in just 5 years like The Doors (1966-1971), the Clash (1977-1982) (i don’t count “Cut the crap” because it’s no longer the original Clash),
If you only want 3 or 4 years then Stooges (1969-1973), Buzzcocks (1977-1979), the Smiths (1984-1987) and many more. All these bands produced at least 3 masterpieces between the release year of their first album and the release year of their last album.

About Lloyd Cole & the Commotions, I certainly wouldn’t call Easy Pieces and Mainstream perfect albums. If I were to rate all 3 albums :
– Rattlesnakes : A+
– Easy Pieces : B+
– Mainstream : C-

John McCann'.

I suppose the Beatles also had a good run!

Wayne C

I remember years ago when LPs were quite inexpensive I got Rattlesnakes as one of my free LPs when signing up to Britannia Music (think it was 4 LPs free) anyone remember them?. Was a great way of getting music!. Funny how Lloyd Cole brought that memory back. I’ve got all these albums already thankfully and still got that free Rattlesnakes album. Doubt we will see the like of four free vinyls on first purchase again.

John McCann'.

Yes mate and one unsolicited one a month at a extortionate price for the rest of your life,! Been their

John Lloyd

Aah Britannia Music. I did do well out of them once as a lad when I got a ‘bonus price’ or ‘membership extra discount’ or whatever it was called on a fat Jarre box set. Oh, and years later when a box of utter crud turned up on the doorstep – a few months later they said I owed them for it, and I informed them that as I’d never asked for any of it (seriously, one of the six was fine the rest were loathsome) the consumer laws as they stood meant they had to pay for recovering the unsolicited junk. And I never heard from them again. They were basically as dodgy as a triangular coin.


This vinyl frenzy around The Commotions reminds me of the day I jumped from vinyl to CD to get the 4 bonus tracks on “Rattlesnakes”.

CJ Feeney

Paul, did it affect the sound quality at all?

I have the MoV of Mingus-Ah-Um with the extended tracks, and it sounds great.


Paul – perhaps as a Canadian I have an inferiority complex, but… you are incorrect when you state “At the moment Lloyd Cole’s own shop is shipping to US only, so that’s the option for those in America (with the bonus that he will sign/dedicate).” In fact, Lloyd’s website declares “Please note – Due to the size and weight of this product, we will only be selling to N.American customers. The rest of the world can order directly from Tapete Records.” And not only that, but, today (Wednesday, July 1) Is Canada Day!


Being in the US, I love Canada more and more every day.

Robert Laversuch

Mexico is also North America. Happy Canada Day!

John McCann'.

There bass player Lawrence donegan has wrote some cracking books in the past,!I thoroughly recommend them especially California dreaming!

Jorje Chica

I’m curious but also happy to see the discs are 140 gram and not 180 gram. It seems the default 180 gram these days is unnecessary, and with the shortage of lacquers due to the fire at Apollo Masters not too far from where I am writing, it is probably a good idea to scale down the weight.

Mike the Fish

I think you’re a bit confused: the lacquers don’t have anything to do with the mass of the vinyl.

Jorje Chica

Whether I’m confused about the role of lacquers or not, I think reasonable people can agree that the fetish for 180 gram is ridiculous. Lighter weight, whether 140 grams or less, is more than enough.


Flat, hole dead centre and clean is all you need. Weight doesn’t add sound quality, decent manufacturing and packaging does.

In fact, make the record too thick and it could affect the stylus alignment.


Hopefully we won’t go as thin as during the oil crisis in the 70s


I thought that as well, I hate 180g vinyl and would love to see the back of it. ALL of my best sounding vinyl is on 140g or less. There’s no need for 180g (or even heavier!) whatsoever.

CJ Feeney

My local record shop will also be getting this, so it’s a bit more widely available than suggested.

Chris Squires

I am not sure why you bother Paul. 6 comments and 5 moaning about the cost – “Ridiculously overpriced”, “Frankly ridiculous”. It is what it is. It’s too easy to reach for the “Rip-off” tag, particularly when the facts don’t match the diatribe. I have bought quite a bit from Tapete and they are excellent. Superb covers, excellent pressings and obvious care and attention to detail. Postage is what it is, Amazon skews the delivery market on purpose for it’s own ends, and anyone who moans at “Normal” postage rates is doing Bezos’s work for him. Mercedes, Volvo, BMW are all “Rip-offs” if you only want a car and a second hand Suzuki will do. Also you can’t just “Shove a DVD in there” if you don’t own the rights to the digital videos.
This is an excellent set, replicating what has been one of my favourite CD SDEs of the last 5 years. If their catalogue is anything to go by it will be excellently made and well packed by Tapete and anything Pete Paphides writes is well worth a read (as is his Mrs.)

Plus it will have been properly remastered for Vinyl, that’s worth a fair bit of investment.
Can’t wait. As long as it arrives on a Tuesday.


Missus out of the house on a Tuesday, I assume? I thought you’d jacked in buying box sets of box sets you already own since selling a large chunk of your collection?

Chris Squires

Our mouths have all made promises our turntables / CD Players can’t keep.
This though is a serious want, having just cancelled my ABBA coloured Vinyl set on a “don’t really need another set of ABBA albums” basis I have the justification of the self-righteous….although Tuesday would be a good day for it to come, don’t need to open that can of marital worms do I.

Paul E.

@Chris Squires – I agree with the majority of your comment and find myself disenfranchised also with the constant bemoaning surrounding (“missing”) content, (“not my preferred”) format, and (“greedy”) sticker prices. However, the bit about postage is very near and dear to my heart as a US based buyer who routinely places orders by way of Amazon UK [Amazon fulfilled orders]. For illustration, I have two orders pending from June 12th/14th (still not posted as of July 1st / items show plenty of stock currently)- but my beef is that these are single jewel cased CDs: one with postage at 10.85 GBP and the other noting postage at 10.15 GBP. In both cases, shipping exceeds the price of the item (the CDs are unobtainable elsewhere).

I’m trying to be patient + understanding in consideration of COVID-19 but feel the costs and delays involved are extraordinary. 250% plus inflation on shipping coupled with 2-3 week fulfillment stall is nearly intolerable. The days of acquiring autographed UK exclusives, import only titles, etc. seem to be long gone. I’m very aware of other buying channels but will reserve my response to only Amazon UK here.

Chris Squires

I think Postage is something Paul has dealt with in a number of posts.

The key to it is this “The Pendulum or the Ratchet”. Something that I learned as a kid from Yes, Prime Minister. It’s just like politics (please excuse the dirty word), we are going through extraordinary times that I hope will end sooner rather than later and just as we all get used to new laws or decrees we are getting used to new postal charges. Once this is all over we will have to wait and see whether things swing back (“pendulum”) to how they were or whether companies get a taste for higher charges and use that as a claw back for lost revenue so Amazon keeps a percentage of increased postal charges that do not swing back (“Ratchet”). What was £2.18 becomes £10.85 and goes back to £7.58 or whatever. Holding on to that nice little bonus fiver.
I am sure it is mostly down to reduced cargo routes pushing prices up. Whether they come down once things get back to normal remains to be seen. After all Bezos must have another wife to pay off soon surely? (Cynic? Moi?).

Paul Taylor

Are we not allowed an opinion on price, Chris? The most expensive listing for this is £180, which is expensive for 6 slabs of vinyl in MY opinion. If there’s are cheaper options then fair enough, but I didn’t see you wade in defending the costs of any of the Flaming Pie packages.
We’re allowed to say our piece and it’s not your prerogative to shout anyone down for doing so. I’m not forcing my opinion on anyone else and don’t criticise anyone else’s that doesn’t match mine.

Chris Squires

As The Editor said, you are allowed an opinion Paul T., crikey I’ve had my opinions challenged often enough. I didn’t post on the Paul McCartney thread because, although I do have an opinion, I have no intention of buying the Flaming Pie set, in any guise, so didn’t see the point of joining the debate, which was going along (200+ posts) very nicely without my oar. Ditto 1999, ditto Sign of the Times. Flaming Pie SDE vs. 1983 to 1989 Vinyl Box Set = Chalk and Cheese on every level.
You seemed to be angry that I challenged your opinion that this was “Total greed and unjustified” when you had quoted a price which was on one website that will probably change because they still don’t have the listing right yet, although that might have changed I haven’t checked. And even then much cheaper options are easily available to most. *If* your opinion had been provably right and it was £180 across the board then, yes, it would have been an expensive purchase, but knowing Tapete as I do, It would have probably been an expensive product to get to market with licensing on top of proper Vinyl remastering on top of production on top of presentation and with a limited run of only 1,000 pieces. But £120 delivered (or thereabouts) for a pretty much niche, small run, licensed, well made and presented set of 6 Vinyl LPs isn’t too bad and I don’t imagine cocktails on the deck, floating in the Caribbean for Tapete staff. Particularly when the companies involved do pay taxes.
It was not meant as a personal attack, I wasn’t rude to you (Paul T.) and I didn’t call anyone any rude names, it was a general point that sometimes it’s too easy for people to just call “Rip-off” or “Unjustifiable Greed” when they haven’t got a single clue about what it took to get a particular (rather than a general) product to market.
Correct, it’s not my prerogative to shout people down, The Editor has ultimate say-so, all I did was challenge. I thought I did it quite politely.

When opinions (incorrect or correct) are quoted as fact and have to go unchallenged by decree then where are we? I’ll leave it there.


I don’t want to be that “moaner”, Chris. To give you some idea of pricing for us living Down Under, it equates to about $245 Australian after shipping or $41 per record. I love Lloyd Cole and I appreciate your comment about the quality of the supplier, but IMHO, the price is prohibitive. By way of comparison, Prince’s “1999” (Super Deluxe 10LP/DVD) cost me $360. Yes, I have a choice to purchase or not and I’ve chosen (begrudgingly) not to buy this set.


I’m pretty sure I didn’t write “scandalous, GREED, RIP-OFF or writing to my MP to complain”, Paul. 130 pounds might be reasonable in UK terms, but AU$245 is most definitely on the steep side in this part of the world. What’s funny is Lloyd Cole himself also stated that he thought that it was expensive (his exact words: “It’s bloody expensive”) so I’m not sure why people are getting antsy about normal folks saying the same thing.

Liam Bastick

I like the fact I have to pay VAT TWICE on it at Tapete if I ship it to Australia. I shouldn’t even be paying it once.

John Orr

Yeah, nice set, but I think I’ll stick with the original albums.


Ordered on Taupete and paid via PayPal a total of circa £120
Can’t wait!

David Whiting

I have the CD set and the cost is a bit too high however it is an attractive set. Wonder whether the albums will be available separately.

Paul Taylor

£30 per disc is, frankly, ridiculous. Total greed and unjustified, especially compared to other recent releases.

Regan Judson

All good points Paul. Some folks just don’t get how much effort goes into things like this.


it’s actually about £19 a disc. 130 euros is about £117, so about average really.

David Harold

It’s 130 euros before shipping and they can’t shove the DVD in there? No thanks. Will stick with the CDs.


Nice looking set and I’d be a certainty to buying it but it’s ridiculously overpriced. I won’t even attempt to justify it to my better half! ;-)