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FIRST PICTURES: David Bowie / The Next Day Extra / limited box set

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The Next Day in three dimensions

David Bowie‘s The Next Day was released this week as The Next Day Extra.

This new limited edition box set edition features the standard 14-track album on one CD and comes with a bonus CD containing two remixes and four previously unreleased tracks. This second disc also includes the four bonus tracks issued around the world as part of the original release. A DVD with the videos for Where Are We Now?, The Stars (Are Out Tonight), The Next Day and Valentine’s Day complete the set.

The package is a lift-off lid box with the three discs (dubbed ‘Tracks’, ‘Extra’ and ‘Light’) packaged in card sleeves. You also get three booklets.

After ten years of not releasing any material we’re not going to complain too much about Bowie putting out more new songs (even if you do have to buy the album again), but this package does have some presentational flaws. For a start, whatever your views on the white-box-on-top-of-old-album-cover original design concept, it did work (just about). But with the three dimensions on offer here, the designers have altered/extended the original concept. So the Heroes sleeve moves to the edges of the box, turning the front cover completely into the white box with ‘The Next Day’. It just looks boring.

Also, we like arty. Arty is good. But it’s taking things to extremes when you print the lyrics in the booklet and deliberately make them difficult to read. It looks like the paper slipped in the printers with lots of words ‘chopped off’ at the edges of the pages (see image below).

Finally one of the booklets is blank, with the word ‘You’ written on the back. Not quite sure what we’re supposed to do here… we’re probably being invited to contribute. The listener and the artist cross paths on white recycled stock. Anyway, an interview with Bowie reflecting on the reaction to his first album for ten years would have been nicer and more informative than literally, nothing.

We’re being a bit hard on The Next Day Extra. It’s still an essential purchase for Bowie fans. We should reflect that in an era of creative artists spewing out every thought via social media, here is a man who seems genuinely happy to give nothing away.

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The Next Day Extra comes with two CDs and a DVD (click to enlarge)
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Three disc with their ‘names’ on them (click to enlarge)
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Three booklets (count ’em)
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Booklet 1, ‘Frame’ is stills and images from the videos (click to enlarge)
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Booklet 2, “Language”, puts form WAY before function (click to enlarge)
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Booklet 3, ‘You’ is, er, blank white pages with a rather dirty cover (click to enlarge)
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Track listing is a paper sheet stuck to the back with that ‘bogey’ glue (click to enlarge)
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Track listing sheet removed reveals the word ‘Extra’ (click to enlarge)

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[…] of the album comes in a lift-off lid box (very similar, if not identical to the one used for the The Next Day Extra deluxe edition) and the design utilises the same spot varnished black type on black as used on the […]

[…] It’s outstanding value, since you get 24 tracks of 2013 Bowie (including five brand new tracks), plus all those expensive looking videos on a bonus DVD. The packaging is also excellent (and arty) with the discs in a lift-off lid box and three booklets. You can check-out some photos here. […]

[…] Steve Reich Mix by James Murphy for the DFA” version of Love Is Lost from David Bowie‘s The Next Day Extra. Pressed on white […]

Mike Bushell

I think it’s a cracking deal. Then again I never bought the original in standard or deluxe editions and I paid £13.99 at Sainsbury’s and got Nectar points.

This of course leads to the question, should we buy anything on release becuase of fear of a super deluxe edtion coming along later

Gino

I didnt pick this up the first time around. I had a feeling they were going to do this. Same thing with Macca but I got suckered into the USA Target bonus DVD—that I bet won’t be on the forthcoming deluxe deluxe edition.

Will

Why are the videos provided in such an old format? They were shot in at least 1080p, and should be delivered to the customer in that same high resolution. Giving them a DVD, with the videos reduced in size down to 480i, is as good as giving them nothing at all. At the very least provide a download code for those who aren’t stuck in the 1990s.

Chris

I’m aware that you can download a digital version of the 7 extra tracks, but so far can only find on Amazon (MP3) or iTunes (AAC) – i.e lossy formats. Anyone know of anywhere to get (legitimately) in a lossless format without having to buy the whole box ?

Also note that the videos are on DVD and so are standard definition – you can get them for free in 1080 high definition (and download fairly easily) on YouTube for free…….

James

If you don’t want to spend the money for this box set and you still want the extra tracks you can buy them separately on iTunes and Amazon at a fair price. Seems fair to me.

Ron

I really like this release. Looks very good, smells even good. If you think that this front cover is boring then what do you think of The Beatles’ white album cover?

Reeve Wilkie

I’m getting tired of these “deluxe” editions that come out just a few months after the initial release. Like Eric said, we already HAD a deluxe edition. Now we have a super deluxe edition. Only die-hard fans are going to fall for this, right? Not fair!!!

Hedley

Totally with Eric on this one – having bought the original Semi-Detached version with the “extra tracks” now I am being presented with a couple of remixes, a dvd and some scuffy packaging.
Enough already.

Eric

It surely can’t be worth £16.99 to anyone who bought the original deluxe (and are we going to have to start referring to “original” deluxes, and “deluxe deluxes” now?!). A handful of new/extra songs, a few videos, and some blank paper for all that money. Guess the joke’s on us fans.

Don

The blank booklet is very David Bowie-esque, but then again, Sigur Ros did this very same thing more than a decade ago with their “()” album.

Raj

My copy has a very chemical/Inky smell. does anyone else notice this? Agree that is it is an interesting art project. it is strange that the photo book does not have any photos from where are we now video.

trash

While I agree with the sentiments (and I still don’t like the execution of the Next Day cover) I do like the fact that ‘the team’ have gone the extra mile and come up with something that extends the original concept for this boxed set. Think how often companies just reprint the album artwork (often poorly) on the deluxe/expanded editions.
As a piece of ‘Art’ I think it works (despite the, in my view, less-than-spectacular original).