During the month of July, 4AD US unleashed a batch of releases, some reissues, some things that were deleted for a while and some brand new stuff as well. The following is a critique of these specific releases and how they were handled in a reissue context. The music itself is amazing of course... Sound quality on all is good.
BAUHAUS : In The Flat Field
No cat. number aside from bar (5263700132) and matrix (4AD13). Reissued at the the perfect time to cash in on the Bauhaus tour, This is a perfect album to see genuine domestic availability finally. One extra track was added to the existing bonus trackks featured on the original UK compact disc version (CAD13CD). This track is "Terror Couple Kill Colonel 2", the one recorded at Beck Studios in Wellingborough and up until now only to be found on the B-side of the "Terror Couple Kill Colonel" 7" (AD7). This is a nice additional track but sadly, the graphics were not updated with this 18th track info and the running time listed in consequently wrong. Seeing "Bela Lagosi's Dead" on this reissue would have been nice but "Crackle" from Beggars Banquest took care of that. Inside notes also not updated for added unlisted track. Available in the UK and Canada as GAD13CD.
THIS MORTAL COIL : It'll End In Tears
No cat. number aside from bar (5263704112) and matrix (4AD411). A good reprint of the cover art is only hurt by the ommision of the TMC logo from the front cover! Actual disc silkscreen is reproduced well but like all discs from this manufacturer, they smell horrible.
THIS MORTAL COIL : Filigree & Shadow
No cat. number aside from bar (5263706092) and matrix (4AD609). Good art reproduction with minor color changes in the red tinted areas but overall a good looking reissue.
VARIOUS : Lonely Is An Eyesore
No cat. number aside from bar (5263707032) and matrix (4AD703). The worst of the bunch. Avoid this version of "Eyesore" at all costs and buy the UK version (GAD703CD). In what is a cost saving measure, the original CD booklet has been reduced to simply front and back covers only. This still with the rear cover of the CD mentioning "sleeves AND BOOKLET designed by 23 Envelope". Just plain old LAME execution!
M|A|R|R|S : Pump Up The Volume EP
No cat. number aside from bar (5263707072) and matrix (4AD707). A fine choice for an American reissue since the 4th & Broadway/Island version has been gone for a long while. The resulting product suffers from the fate of the Bauhaus disc, only worse. Using the graphics from the 1993 UK digipack reissue in a jewel case setting, the art had to be rejigged to fit but looks fine. Three tracks are listed, as per the UK BADM707CD while two additional "Pump" mixes are added but NOT listed. This is really badly executed. The credits only list info for the three listed tracks as well. The graphics really should have been redone if more tracks were to be added.
THIS MORTAL COIL : Blood
No cat. number aside from bar (5263710052) and matrix (4AD1005). I don't mind is a reissue has a slightly different color tint to the artwork but the inside front cover and back cover of the booklet are changed from the proper gold shading to an ugly light green tint. It just cheapens the whole experience (to me).
DEAD CAN DANCE : A Passage In Time
No cat. number aside from bar (5263710102) and matrix (4AD1010). Possibly the best reissue of the bunch for preserving the original integrity of the artwork. Inner notes list old DCD albums with UK catalog numbers. Is old DCD still in print from Warner in the US??
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY : Hits
No cat. number aside from bar (5263720162) and matrix (4AD2016). The Warner version of this album from 1992 (45087-2) had only 19 tracks compared to the UK (DAD2016CD) having twenty. The track "6 Inch Gold Blade" was dropped from the Warner version because of limitations at WEA Manufacturing. This new reissue restores that 20th track but neglects to update the graphics to relect this. So, track 10 on the new US reissue is listed as "Hamlet" but is REALLY "6 Inch Gold Blade" and track 11 is listed as "Dead Joe" but is really "Hamlet" on the CD itself, etc, etc... The inner booklet info is also not updated and the front cover is missing some art, making for an overall cheapened experience. Stick with the UK version which is far superior.
HIS NAME IS ALIVE : Stars On ESP
No cat. number aside from bar (5263760102) and matrix (4AD6010). Includes the entire "Nice Day" EP (JAD7009CD) tacked on to the end. Cover art IS updated to reflect this addition. Booklet displays the CAD6010CD number as part of the artwork beside song titles but isn't the technical real number since it is not listed. In the booklet itself, the old Warner number is kept making me wonder if the booklets are simply taken directly from old Warner version of the CD. Generally a good reissue and the added and listed tracks are a nice bonus.
LISA GERMANO : Slide
CAD78014CD number is listed; bar (5263780142), matrix (CAD8014) Out in the US since July 21st, this won't be issued in the UK until October 20th with PolyGram Canada issuing it on September 22nd. The art direction from Paul McMenamin is truly beautiful. In a year of odd catalog numbers, the CAD78014CD with the added "7" seems like it could be a mistake. Why put a number on just one release and not the others??
JEFF KEIBEL TORONTO, ONTARIO CANADA