Out This Week / on 10 November 2017

R.E.M. Automatic For The People 25th anniversary reissue - 4-disc super deluxe edition

R.E.M. / Automatic For The People (reissue)

R.E.M.‘s best album is their best reissue to date. The super deluxe edition comes as a 60-page hardcover book and features four discs of content including demos, live material and a brand new Dolby Atmos surround sound mix. Read more

Metallica / Master of Puppets (super deluxe edition)

Massive 15-disc super deluxe edition box set of Metallica‘s third album, Master of Puppets. Over 150 audio tracks in total, notwithstanding the two DVDs included.  Read more

Tears For Fears / Rule The World - The Greatest Hits

Tears For Fears / Rule The World: The Greatest Hits 

A single CD Tears For Fears greatest hits (a 2LP vinyl is out in January) that includes tracks from every album. Naturally, their hit singles from the first three dominate proceedings, but Rule The World also features two new tracks, including the rather good I Love You But I’m Lost.  Read more

Elton John / Diamonds (various formats)

New Elton John greatest hits. The comes as a 2LP vinyl, two CD and a three-disc box set that includes a bonus disc personally curated by Elton. Read more

Neil Finn / Out of Silence (vinyl LP)

Neil Finn‘s latest studio album, Out of Silence, which was recorded live on the internet, has already been released on CD. As is common these days the vinyl comes later and is finally released this week.

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Neil Finn

Out Of Silence vinyl


Sting / Live at the Olympia Paris (blu-ray or DVD)

New concert film that captures on Sting on his current 57th & 9th tour. This was filmed in April this year and includes tracks from the new album and of course plenty of classic hits from The Police and Sting’s solo career.. Read more

Seal / Stanards

Seal releases an album of jazz standards and swing classics, featuring such tracks as Luck Be A LadyI Put A Spell On You and It Was A Very Good Year. Read more

King Crimson / Sailors’ Tales (27-disc box set)

Delayed from last week. Typically exhaustive King Crimson box set that offers the ‘complete’ 1970-72 era across 27 discs, including 21 CDs, four blu-ray discs and a pair of audio-only DVDs.  Read more

Pearl Jam / Ten (vinyl reissue)

Pearl Jam‘s 1991 debut album is reissued on black vinyl, along with some of their other long-players.

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Pearl Jam

Ten - vinyl LP


Kitchens of Distinction / Strange Free World (vinyl)

The Kitchens of Distinction‘s 1991 album (along with 1989’s Love is Hell and 1992’s The Death of Cool) is reissued on vinyl by Caroline International.

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Kitchens Of Distinction

Strange Free World - vinyl LP


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Andrew M

Well, I’ve lived with the Automatic box for a few days now and I have to say this has to be the most overpriced, disappointing, lazy-ass release I’ve seen for a long time.

It’s great to have the live gig officially. And it sounds great,
The remastering is ok, but nothing stunning.
The vinyl is bare bones to say the least. No effort seems to have gone into it.
The videos look great (seem to have been remastered same as the OOT videos) but the 5.1 mix on them is terrible.
And as for 5.1 – my God the new 5.1 mix is HIDEOUS. the DVD-A 5.1 mix pees all over it.
The book is pretty thin. One (very short) essay and the lyrics. Some nice photos – but no insight. Very disappointing and will probably never get looked at again.
Let’s hope News of the World this Friday is better!


The Blu-Ray disc defaults to a 5.1 mix if your gear won’t decode the Dolby Atmos mix. I think the Atmos mix is stunningly great. I have a previous version of this great recording in a 5.1 mix and thought that was sensational, but the Atmos mix in this new box set makes any previous versions sound like a transistor radio. I highly recommend this set, almost solely for that reason. The CD’s are good, not spectacular.

Paul W

Partly due to being skint, but I have finally reached a point where I don’t automatically go out and buy new versions of albums I have bought several times previously, and I’m quite pleased about it, because the fleecing of loyal punters is beginning to take on ridiculous new depths. Do we really need 20th, 25th and 30th anniversary editions of the same album? And do albums need remastering every couple of years? And if I’m honest with myself, very rarely are bonus tracks worth it these days.

Single B-sides, from bands who care about B-sides, are great. So are studio quality unreleased tracks. And full live shows can be good, if they are well recorded. But odd live tracks, most remixes (unless they are from bands for whom remixes are an important part of their catalogue), most alternative versions, most demos and certainly most instrumental versions are lucky if they get one listen. So, Pet Shop Boys aside, I’m through with being a completist, because it is costing too much money to be one, and with very little additional material that’s worth it. I’ve started being much more choosy about which reissues to buy and I’m much happier for it!


“I’ve started being much more choosy about which reissues to buy and I’m much happier for it!”

Same here. Live tracks are of no real interest to me, demos are rarely better than the finished article, remastering is overrated and most unreleased tracks were previously unreleased for a reason (i.e. they’re not very good). There are some exceptions (Luke Haines, Purple Rain and the superb deluxe edition of Volume 12 from the Bootleg Series a couple of years ago) but I either check out stuff on Spotify or just don’t buy deluxe editions because I always return to the original album, rarely the previously unreleased stuff. Although the money spent was never really an issue, I’ve saved a small fortune in the process too!

Gis Bun

Another EJ compilation. And 3 CD releases. Seriously? To buy the sing CD release for a guy with almost 50 years of music is ridiculous.


Why is Automatic for the People so much more expensive than Out of Time? OOT was reasonably priced,

Andrew M

Different format with the large book.

Guess the consumer is also paying for the atmos remix – even though the consumer probably doesn’t have atmos.


I really love the “Out This Week” column, but I’m often very happy when I don’t see anything that makes me wanna buy it immediately! ;-))


I agree about cover art these days. Tbat Tears For Fears cover is dreadful, looking like something Supertramp may have passed on.

Rik Skyline

I still can’t stand the R.E.M. track Shiny Happy People. It’s hard to tell if they really were aiming for the charts or just having a laugh. Either way, it’s the worst thing they ever did. New Adventures In Hi-Fi. Now that’s a truly great album.


Rik: Shiny Happy People is not on this album


They had a period where every record contained a throwaway pop tune. See The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonite and Stand.


It’s funny to me how many American R.E.M. fans (including myself) rate the early I.R.S. studio albums far above the band’s best-selling major label albums. I like Automatic, but it can’t hold a candle to Murmur or Lifes Rich Pageant, among other from the ‘80s. Whereas the European fans I’ve met always like Out of Time or Automatic the best. To each his own (or her own), of course. I guess your first exposure to a band goes a long way in determining what you’ll like the best.

I might get the 2-disc Automatic for the live tracks, since I never collected the singles discs back in the ‘90s. The super deluxe is well beyond my interest level in the album for the price.


“but it can’t hold a candle to Murmur”

Agreed. A couple of tracks aside, I think Automatic is one long dirge with Nightswimming being the main offender. Like you also say, each to their own.


Makes sense on some levels. I, like many long time US fans, discovered them via college radio in the early 80’s. Most fans outside the US didn’t really discover them until Document which was the beginning of their shift towards a more commercial sound. I’m sure many went back but if they were weaned on OOT or Automatic it may have seemed like a different band largely. To me nothing tops Life’s Rich Pageant but rarely do I here anyone outside the US praise it as highly as later works. There’s even a division in theUS, my wife is younger than me by a few years and really has no connection to pre OOT albums, REM definitely has two eras in a sense.

Andrew M

Automatic is a very very good album, perhaps their most coherent. Is it their best? Well, that’s always debatable but I rate Pageant, Hi-Fi and Up alongside it for quality. Document though? That is a fantastic album.


Yeah, I don’t understand the suggestion that _Automatic For the People_ is R.E.M.’s best album. To me, there are several R.E.M. albums that are far, far better than that album.


A friend of mine who grew up in the UK said Automatic became a ‘coffee table’ album as he put it like Paul Weller’s Stanley Road. In other words, a lot of people bought it without having been fans previously and didn’t continue on with them afterwards. I know they have a huge fan base in the UK but some albums reach beyond the core fan base at times and this one did from what he said.


I very much want Automatic for the People, but it’s so not in my budget right now. I’m going to stop in at the local music store this weekend, because they often have decent discounts, and I’m hoping I can maybe save $20 or so on it. I have some trade-ins I can put toward it too. It’s the album I have most anticipated the reissue of, and I hate that I may be having to wait on it until money is better. The REM reissues don’t tend to improve price-wise over time, so I know I’ll be having to pay the price at some point I just can’t do it right now. :(

john gwinnell

I have all the other R.E.M. deluxe editions, but this one is way overpriced. The out of time packaging was fine. I would rather not have to pay £50 more for the book and a big box.


I’m surprised by the £25 price tag for the 2CD version of of ‘Automatic.’ It seems like a big jump up in price from the previous REM reissues.

I’m on a very tight budget and I might have to give this a miss.


Probably means more in the US, but the long awaited Husker Du 3-disc box of their formative years called “Savage Young Du” is released Friday from Numero Group. Here’s hoping sales lead to leverage that makes the SST and Warner years more likely!

DJ Salinger

Hear hear. Husker Du catalogue long overdue for revisiting.

R.E.M: I remember being disappointed when AFTP came out, and felt it was an indication that they were past their peak (erm, 18 million+ copies sold says I might possibly have been wrong on one level at least…). But it’s grown on me over the years, and it still stands way above some of their output on that final knackered journey towards disbanding.

PS. I can’t recommend the Neil Finn album highly enough: a short, simple and affecting set of songs that ditches the experimental flourishes of recent years and just lets Neil do what he really does best – deliver a masterclass in songwriting. Less is more, and all that.


SST highly unlikely as Greg Ginn still refuses to relinquish the rights to the master tapes hence why the new boxset is focused on the pre-SST material. Its a maginificent release though.

Andrew Mogford

Still very disappointed with the Automatic reissue but like a mug I’m still getting it.

Steve W

Also to say The Corrs new album Jupiter Calling is also out this week


Sting in particular has some bad album art. As a casual fan I missed out on a few of his albums because I assumed, based on the cover art, they were bootlegs or at least albums not officially sanctioned by sting.

Mike the Fish

What is it with new sleeve artwork these days? Functional place markers for streaming?


Sadly good sleeve art is dying out. Mind you those Neil Finn and EJ albums above, although both look like they took five minutes on photoshop 2003 to make, are better than some I have seen.

Rob Deighton

you would have thought that with the vinyl revival that we would see some more interesting covers by now.

Carol Rekkie

The Elton one was done by a CG artist who rendered the diamonds to look dimensional – then I believe it has a spot varnish to give a reflective quality. There was a whole interview on EJ’s site with the designers. I think it’s a bit artificial feeling as a cover, but to dismiss everything as “done in five minutes in Photoshop” is a little condescending to designers. I’ve seen plenty of bootleg covers done by amateurs that are beyond hideous.


The recent George Michael one was the worst. Wasn’t even a photo from the right century!

Gis Bun

Ditto for the recent Doors singles compilation.