Out This Week / on 3 August 2018

Ben Folds Five / Brick: The Songs of Ben Folds 1994-2012 CD, Box Set

Signed sets are long gone, but this 13CD box is still an impressive collection, featuring all four Ben Folds Five albums (including 2012’s comeback album, The Sound of the Life of the Mind), all of Folds’ solo albums (up until 2012) as well as live recordings, b-sides and lots of other bonus material. Presented in a unique brick box set.

ELO / Secret Messages Vinyl

Secret Messages, the Electric Light Orchestra‘s (ELO) 1983 album, is reissued as a double vinyl set, reinstating a number of ‘missing’ tracks 35 years after Jeff Lynne was forced to omit them in order in order to deliver a single album to the record label.

The Alan Parsons Project / Eye in the Sky blu-ray audio Blu-ray

This blu-ray audio – first featured in last year’s box set – contains the new 35th anniversary 5.1 surround sound remix and a stereo hi-res (or ‘HD’) version of the original 1982 mix. Speaking about both last year, Alan Parsons said “audiophiles will be pleased to know that there is a brand new 5.1 Surround Sound mix, which I am extremely pleased with incidentally, and also a Hi Def stereo version taken from the original analog stereo master tape which was recorded simultaneously alongside the digital mix”.

James / Living In Extraordinary Times CD, Vinyl

Living In Extraordinary Times is James‘ 15th studio long-player and the first since 2016’s Girl at the End of the World. It will be available on CD, double black vinyl and a deluxe casebound book CD edition which offers four bonus tracks. The official store offers various bundles and there’s an HMV exclusive, too.

The Doors / Hello, I Love You (7″ single)

This anniversary seven-inch single of The Doors‘ Hello, I Love You and Love Street features the rare mono radio mixes of the songs, a recreation of the unique black & white promo label and is housed in its original Elektra records paper sleeve. It’s released ahead of the Waiting For The Sun reissue (due next month). Read more

Jeff Buckley / Mystery White Boy (vinyl LP)

This Jeff Buckley live album – originally issued in 2000 – was compiled by his mother  Mary Guibert from DAT recordings made while Jeff was touring the Grace album. This is a 140g pressing on black vinyl and includes a download code.

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Buckley, Jeff

Mystery White Boy [VINYL]


Chris Difford / Pants (CD)

Fancy Pants was a ‘musical narrative’ co-authored by Squeeze‘s Chris Difford (with Boo Hewerdine) back in 2016. It was produced as a radio play and was issued as a two-CD set a while back. This single disc edition is effectively a ‘best of’ Fancy Pants.

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Chris Difford



Genesis vinyl reissues

Fourteen albums Genesis albums — all except of their 1969 debut — are reissued on 180 gram vinyl this week. There seems to be no suggestion that these have been remastered in any way… just put out on vinyl, again.

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Invisible Touch [VINYL]


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Duke [VINYL]


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Nursery Cryme [VINYL]


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Genesis [VINYL]


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Mark Yon

Hi Paul.
Just thought I’d say thank you for passing on the word: my first piece of vinyl deliberately bought for over 30 years has arrived – the ELO Secret Messages – and my BluRay 5.1 copy of Eye in the Sky. Both of which I wouldn’t have known about had you not said something.

The ELO was so important to me that I had to buy a turntable to play it on! But it sounds glorious (even though I have had the CD and the unreleased tracks in various sets for years). What I didn’t realise, though perhaps I should have, is that the vinyl comes with a digital download copy.

Eye in the Sky is as immersive as I had hoped.

Now off to play them again.

Thanks again.


Amazon currently have the signed edition of the Ben Fold Brick available – https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CPXKYYG – presumably a few cancelled orders have made copies available again. It’s a few quid more than the unsigned version though.

Disney Mike

I was briefly excited to see a new release from Chris Difford, until I saw that it was just an abridged version of Fancy Pants, which I already have. Oh, well.


First Genesis album has difference licensing and has been thrown around various small labels.


The only good thing about vinyl is the art work. I for one was glad when it was phased out and replaced with CD’s and i’ve lost count on how many times when i bought 12 inches and got home only to find that they jumped either that or some numpty sat on it on the bus. Imagine having to get up and change over a CD after 5 songs i think not.

O(+> Peter B

I was excited about this forthcoming release until I saw it was out of my price range – a career spanning vinyl and CD box set by Eric B & Rakim: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/eric-b–rakims-the-complete-collection-8-lp–2-cd-deluxe-box-set-arrives-july-13-on-urban-legends–ume-300680604.html

Paul Wren

Many old master tapes are being transferred to high bit rate digital sources as they are degrading badly and won’t last forever. No system will extract absolutely the very best from either digital or analogue sources unless it is a high end system, ie say £10,000 and above for vinyl. But vinyl will always sound different to CD at any level system purely due to the way it extracts the sound initially, ie via a stylus. Many people describe it as having a warmer sound and this is what is often preferred over digital. You pays your money and takes your choice……………


I love the artwork for Pants.

Bryan Krempa

I’m a huge audiophile who always seeks the best possible format for the albums I purchase. I ignored the resurgence of vinyl for years before spotting a nicer turntable on sale on a Black Friday 2 years ago and went ahead and bought it.

I agree that in most cases, there is no real advantage to vinyl – if you took the best CD version of an album and played it next to a 180 gram vinyl pressing of that same album, the results would be nearly identical (all audio equipment being equal).

However, I will say that there are a few select artists who have chosen vinyl as the format in which the best possible recordings of their work exist. For example, Peter Gabriel’s back catalogue was released in 1/2 speed remasters a few years back and when you listen to the album ‘So’ on 1/2 speed vinyl, I feel the sound is far richer and even includes certain sounds that you simply don’t get on CD. Phish is also a band that has chosen vinyl over CD to reissue their original albums. Although with the Phish reissues, the differences are far slighter than with PG.

You really just need to do your homework when choosing titles to buy on vinyl to see if the pressing is at all superior to the current CD version. There are some, but not many.

Michael Chapman

How huge?


Re Genesis albums. Got the box sets a few years ago so assuming these are the same masters. SEBTP had been remixed – different vocals by Gabriel on acouple of tracks.


The Genesis LP’s are the 2007/2008 remasters. Most were only available in the LP boxsets and now are available without having to purchase those expensive boxsets.

Phil Morris

Remasters and remixed. In fact, the last of those 3 box sets (1983-1998 [sic]) was available fairly recently and quite commonly for around £50 – just about half its initial price.


Can a vinyl aficionado help me here? The recordings that make up “Mystery White Boy” were captured on DAT, a format whose highest sampling rate (48/16) is only fractionally higher than CD.

When there is no sonic advantage in purchasing a vinyl pressing from that era (and it’s moot whether there’s ever any real gain at all), in fact, when there’s every possibility it will be worse, why bother? What is it that you’re paying over the odds for? I have “MWB”, and from what I remember, there isn’t even anything in the way of annotation or photography that alone would even warrant a larger format.

I only ask because I’m curious. My interest, first and foremost, is in the music. I want it to be optimally mastered, remixed where remixing can demonstrably improve the listening experience (e.g., Sgt Pepper), and diligently curated. Beyond that, I couldn’t really care what format it comes on.


The vinyl hype lately has been more of a marketing ploy. A way to sell something that cannot be easily replicated at home, similarly, the products sell on the implied merits of the format. How many of these records get played more than once, if at all is anyone’s guess. Unless recorded mixed and mastered in the analogue domain, there really is no benefit to vynyl besides the aesthetics and vibe one may get from playing them. For most modern recordings a high definition audio properly matered with a high dynamic range would be the optimal format, but that my friends is for a few years down the road, you see if you sold these items in the best possible format at the highest resolution possible, there would be no need to re sell or remaster these albums ever again, now how much sense would that make?


Where to start with such a poorly-informed statement.


People have various reasons for preferring vinyl, though it makes most ‘sense’ when the source is fully analogue.