News of the World [Vinyl]
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News Of The World
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An explosion of styles, News Of The World, reinforced Queen's multiplatinum successes of A Night At The Opera and A Day At The Races while also branching out into new genres, including the punk-metal of Sheer Heart Attack . It is a tremendous Rock Album. Includes the massive, world-wide hits We Will Rock You , We Are The Champions and It's Late. This edition reproduces the U.S. original vinyl release, including the gatefold sleeve. A multi-platinum smash in its original and CD releases, now restored to glorious analog 180 gram jetblack vinyl lp.Yes it's Phase II of Queen on Vinyl Collector's Edition re-issue program - every Queen studio album is to be released on vinyl lps over the next two years. The original albums are being re-issued correct in every detail to the original releases, including inne sleeves, packaging and bonuses.
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This release is special in terms of giving us die hard fans access to the archives. But as a SUPER DELUXE compilation, it's a bit of a mess.
Since the last remaster was approximately 5 years ago created for the box set re-release of their entire studio catalog, I don't think there was much need to revisit the sonic landscapes of the proper album. Disc two is really, truly, where most of the value in this box set lies. So I will spend the most time here.
The We Will Rock You Alternate take begins with some studio banter, which is always fun. The vocal differences are not extreme and the guitar outro is more or less Brian noodling about. It's fun, but not a highlight.
We Are the Champions features an entirely new vocal from Freddie. It's not nearly as polished as the final take, but it's still a great treat. It also features a triple repeat on the chorus outro, followed by a brief interlude, and one more partial chorus. The decision to edit it down was invaluable. As brilliant as the song is, this extended version languishes far too long. Don't get me wrong, I love that I have heard it. It's just not nearly as good as the original.
The Shear Heart Attack rough mix is a head scratcher. I'll circle back to this one on my comments regarding disc three.
Getting to hear Freddie's somber take of All Dead All Dead is phenomenal! It's so understated. Truly a gem.
Spread Your Wings is a completely different take on the song. And it is beyond splendid. Another absolute gem.
Fight From the Inside features Roger scatting part of the vocals as he figures out how to approach the final delivery. It's not really that great of a song to begin with, but this alternate version is great to hear.
Get Down Make Love. Another complete gem!!! The band is talking about Brian's dissonant note on the intro of the song and is really in full force. Without the space age middle part segued in yet, this is much more raw Complete Heaven.
Sleeping on the Sidewalk will wait for disc three.
Who Needs You. It's hard to pick a highlight of this release. But this just might be it. It begins with Freddie telling John to keep the acoustic guitar run at the beginning of the track all the way through. You can tell Freddie adored this song. Hes humming the melody to the as yet completed lyrics. Pure bliss.
It's Late - Mostly the core track with some different vocals from Freddie, particularly on the bridge. Nothing revolutionary. But a fun inclusion for sure.
My Melancholy Blues is the same as above. Another fun alternate take that doesn't diverge extremely from the finished product.
Overall - for the most part - disc two doesn't disappoint in lifting the hood on the Queen archives and giving us a working copy of the album. It's by no means perfect, but it is overall a great job..
Now... On to Disc three - UGH! What a mess. It begins with Feeling Feelings (Take 10) The same version we got on the bonus EP from the box set five years ago. I mean, couldn't you give us take 9? Also, isn't there any other unreleased material form this time frame we could include here?
The next five songs come from the BBC box set that was just released last year. I guess it's not a travesty that it is included here. But considering what's missing, this is a really frustrating use of space.
The next five songs are pretty much the only thing of value on disc three. They are the backing tracks to five of the first seven songs on the album. And they are TRULY SPLENDID. Removing Freddie's vocals from the tracks reveals just how tight, smart and talented the musicianship of this band was/is. But since the Sheer Heart Attack version that we skipped discussing before was pretty much just like these non-vocal versions, why is it on disc two instead of disc three?
MUCH MORE IMPORTANTLY!! Where are the other five instrumental backing tracks? I'm at a total loss why they would release half the album as instrumentals, and not include the rest. COME. ON. GUYS. This is completely insane from a QC perspective.
The last song from disc two not addressed was the live version of Sleeping on the Sidewalk, taken from a random venue during the 1977 tour. Um... again.... What are the compilers thinking? Since the last half of disc three is random live takes of the album tracks, why wouldn't THIS be the place for Sleeping? Apparently the boys were most happy with one of the first takes of Sleeping for the album. That's great. But why isn't one of the alternate studio takes included in disc two????
Also - about those live takes.... Nearly all of them have been previously released. This is majorly insulting and irritating.
I have an idea.... Why not include the complete soundboard show from the Houston Summit gig? You know, the one that you've included as a poster insert? The one that you've included a gorgeous live track from and also video bits on the DVD?
Sorry for the sarcasm, but this is just outrageously insulting stuff here. If King Crimson can make a 25CD/3 Blu ray set for the same price they are charging for this, surely they could have afforded to include the extra 2 CDs from that show as well a blu-ray. Alas.... I guess we'll be waiting for another chance for the boys to fund their grandkids stock accounts when the "Special Edition" Houston Summit gig is released 5 years from now.
About that DVD. It's approximately 55 minutes long and it contains some wonderful footage. But it seems to mostly be a cut and paste job without a lot of cohesive editing.
And finally - on to the booklet. Lots of great pictures. But literally, not a single liner note from the boys about the album's recording. The tracks etc...It's well made. But doesn't contain any of extra value concerning the contents of the box set.
Overall - I'm a Queen nerd. So I had to have this. While I have gone for quite some time complaining about what's missing, it's not to ridicule and deride. It's to try to point out what's missing again, and what's frustrating again, in the hopes of the guys getting one of these release right next time.
- there is a second paper label half-glued on the top of the first one on side one
- the hole in the record is too small and not round, could not even put it on the spindle to listen
- the side two has craters in it left by by bad pressing or bad matrix.
Queen producers/members just ought to take the manufacturer in court for this...
Update 04/18/2019: got a replacement - both sides have micro-craters and even micro-bumps, high surface noise;
got another replacement (thank you, Amazon! ) - same, sent it back.
"Collector's edition"?! Only if one collects unplayable records...
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Dig a little deeper and you will find that the music and video content make the it an extremely poor value proposition at the full RRP.
The package comes with a book, press pack and replica stage pass which are all printed on high quality materials.
Putting the clip on the stage pass seems a bit unnecessary as it is stored in a separate bag and the metal could potentially damage other items in the box during transit.
The press pack is interesting but will probably be read once then put back in the box.
The book (which houses the CD's and DVD) contains the album credits, tour dates and reprints of fan-club messages from the band. The bulk of the book contains photos from the associated tour, but is sadly missing a detailed essay about the making of the album.
I cannot comment on the quality of the "all analogue" LP as I haven’t played it yet, but it is pressed on heavy weight vinyl and I can't see any no-fill.
The original album CD uses the 2011 remaster, which is OK.
The raw sessions CD is the main reason for purchasing the set. It is interesting and stands up to repeat playing but is ultimately a disc of demo's & rough takes so is not a replacement for the released album.
The third CD is where the box set really starts to fall apart. Most of the additional tracks have been released already, either on the bonus EP from the 2011 remaster, the on-air box set or various live albums. Many of the live tracks are not from the associated tour and since they are using non-period material, the remixes from the Hollywood remasters could have been included (even though they are not great).
The DVD is the real let-down of this package.
The first omission is the missing promotional videos for the singles – a big oversight.
The hour-long documentary is interesting, with studio and live tour footage, however it is not that informative and is too short to cover all the topics in detail.
At just under 60 pounds that I paid for it, this package is expensive. The eye-watering RRP of over 100 pounds is completely unjustified. The recent price-drop suggests sales are not that great.
Apart from the raw sessions disc, the type of Queen fan this is aimed at will probably have most of the other content and to justify the high RRP of this package, the following should have been considered.
1. A full surround-sound mix of the album
2. The full Houston 77 show on CD (audio) and if the footage exists Blu-ray or DVD (video).
3. A "classic albums" type documentary on the making of the album. There is enough space on the DVD to include this.
4. An essay of the making of the album in the book
5. If ever issued, a replica tour program
Alternatively, a cheaper double CD with the album, raw sessions and other out-takes could have been released
There are a number of ways this set could have been improved, most boil down to pumping up the content or reducing the price. I would have wanted to see a full concert included, preferably Houston '77 to go with the DVD content. Hi-res or surround sound versions of the album on the DVD was expected. A 12" version of We will Rock You/We are the Champions would have been good. Fresh copies of the original 7" singles. Even a half-speed mastered, 45RPM double-LP instead of the included LP.
I see this set is currently running £81.53, which is better than the original full price. Still a lot of cash for what feels like an under-delivery.
DVD: è in SD NTSC, per fortuna sono presenti sottotitoli in italiano. Un bel documentario: backstage e spezzoni di interviste, Queen in studio, in rehearsal, etc. Formato 4:3, audio ottimo si sente che è stato curato bene. Nessuna canzone completa ma vari pezzi di concerto. Veramente buono e interessante, anche sul profilo qualità video.
CD1: la rimasterizzazione di Bob Ludwig del 2011 dell'album ufficiale, che ormai è considerata quella classica. Nulla di più.
CD3: Bonus Tracks. Allora, qui oltre a "Feelings Feelings" che faceva parte del Bonus EP delle remaster 2011, abbiamo le 5 canzoni delle "BBC Session 6" (ottime) MA con la voce del DJ (quindi la versione del cofanetto "On Air" 6 CD non quella del 2 CD). Poi una manciata di tracce live tratte da "Live Killers", "Live Montreal", "At The Bowl" e un paio già edite come B-Sides o extra.
Nulla di nuovo, quindi, a parte It's Late in versione Edit USA (mai precedentemente uscita su CD) , e 5 tracce strumentali/backing tra le quali spicca "Spread Your Wings" la cui durata differente fa pensare ad un take diverso (molto bella tra l'altro la sezione con chitarra acustica). Quindi un CD Bonus un po' ruffiano ma comunque "comodo" perché riunisce insieme tutto quanto.
CD2: RAW Sessions. Qui la vera "chicca" del package. Anzitutto è stata un'OTTIMA idea avere un'intera, ma DIVERSA, versione dell'album! E vi assicuro che è MOLTO diversa.... è in pratica un nuovo album dei Queen!
I vocal takes sono tutti differenti, così come gli strumenti, i passaggi, etc.... in quasi ogni canzone abbiamo prima o dopo dei carini "studio banter" che non si sovrappongono alle canzoni.
Mi dispiace per chi non ha apprezzato, ma c'è veramente molto da dire: WWRY magari è "basic", ma WATC intanto è nella sua versione completa (con assoli della Red Special da brivido), SHA è quasi tutta strumentale ma con intro e outro bellissime, ADAD con Freddie alla voce (che canta anche le "parti mancanti" presenti sul testo del disco...) è tutta un'altra cosa, SYW ha un piano di Freddie con intro da brividi, la versione è superiore a quella dell'album anche a "causa" di Brian che ci mette del suo, FFTI forse la più debole ma è bello sentire Roger con vocalizzazioni improvvisate, GDML è una chicca con in mezzo una jam METAL che SPAZZA VIA letteralmente la versione noiosissima dell'album, SOTS live una gemma rara (e non è vero che dal vivo non funzionava, la chitarra di Brian in grande spolvero), WNY in versione acustica ci fa anche sentire John che parla prima in studio, IL è molto "grezza" e comunque superiore alla sua controparte su album, MMB è un take diverso ma forse la più simile alla versione classica.
Solo per poter sentire tutto questo personalmente avrei pagato 50-100 Euro, mi auguro che facciano un Raw Sessions CD anche per A Kind Of Magic o Innuendo, per dire.
GADGETS: tutti inseriti in un contenitore nero (a parte il pass). Abbiamo i due poster del robottone più uno pubblicitario, 3 adesivi sempre col robottone, almeno 6 foto in B/N di alta qualità lucide, 4 dei componenti singoli e 2-3 insieme. 4-5 riproduzioni della cartella stampa e 1 giornalino di 4 pagine, sempre tutto in B/N. Materiale simpatico ma alla fine ridondante, comunque vabbé, ci sta... confermo che il pass plastificato ha il fermaglio metallico e che questo purtroppo ha un po' rovinato il contenitore dei gadgets, in quanto inserito per ultimo e se il cofanetto è posato "sottosopra" (come avviene con i nostri cari spedizionieri) il peso del resto fa il danno, che comunque è MINIMO. Meglio così che sulla copertina del libro, comunque, eh...
LIBRO: poco testo e molte foto, non spiega quasi nulla sulla genesi dell'album, le foto sono belle, interessanti e di qualità. Forse si poteva fare di più... ci sono i testi delle canzoni alla fine (tranne "Feelings feelings") e un po' di note di produzione. Comunque non mi ha deluso.
VINILE: un "analogue cut" a sua volta incellofanato che quindi potrebbe anche diventare oggetto di collezione, nulla da dire.
Ora veniamo alla fatidica domanda: li vale questi 100 Euro? Se siete fan, sì, indubbiamente. Certo, potevo scaricarmi (più o meno legalmente) il CD2 e amen, ma ho voluto comunque premiare lo sforzo. Forse 60-70 Euro era un prezzo più giusto, ma alla fine sono soddisfatto. Mi rendo conto però che non costa pochissimo, spero comunque di essere stato utile con questa mia rece. Alla prox! ;-)
Then, a year or so later, I found myself eyeing it up when I had the money. I took a chance and bought it. And now I see why it was released.
For a start, if nothing else it provides hardcore Queen fans and avid collectors the chance to get more stuff. And you can still buy the seminal album in other, more affordable, formats.
The box set (as I will refer to it) comes in a very well-made, strong fascimile box, whose top slides off very easily. The front of it is plain, glossy black, with the iconic logo and title (with Frank) upon that. It looks sleek and that's all it needs. The back of the box features a piece of large paper stuck on to the back, meaning it's secure in place (this might not sound important but other large, 'deluxe' reissues of albums have had such a track listing sheet barely hanging on - I'm looking at you, Fleetwood Mac). On this is some information as to the reason of the deluxe edition, and what it contains - track by track.
Inside the box, we see our first piece of memorabillia. A very nicely made reproduction of an 'Access All Areas' press pass for Queen's 1977 U.S. winter tour of this album. It's only a little thing, but still a nice bonus, and doesn't feel like it'll break.
Beneath this we have an open, file-like case, inside of which are three very large posters, three sticker versions of these, and a whole press pack. The stickers I have been using on my laptop for months now - they're very cool, large stickers. The posters are an awesome size, too, and were on the wall of my uni room for my entire first year. They depict the iconic inside and external covers of the album (featuring Frank the massive robot), as well as a promotional poster of one of the stops on their tour.
The press pack contains press images of each band member, and several letters and newspaper reproductions from fan clubs and such. These are truly for hardcore fans, but they are a very nice touch, and overall really cool.
Beneath this, in the main box, we have the newly cut (from the original analogue tapes) 180g black vinyl of the album. It feels very thick, sounds awesome, and features the same gatefold sleeve. The record sleeve is even a reproduction of the box the master tapes first would have appeared in. Little details like this show the band (and record companies, most likely) put a lot of time and effort into such a reissue.
Finally, we have a sixty page, hardcover book, packed with information, liner notes, letters to and from fans, and hundreds of images collated into a beautiful collage of Queen. A lot of these images haven't even been previously released, which is a testament to how exclusive this thing really is. The book is amazing, and such a hearty read! In the back of this book are the 3 CD's and DVD. The DVD is a great, hour-long documentary on Queen, behind the scenes on their NotW tour. The doc has been aired around on the BBC for a little while now, but it's very nice to have it in physical form.
The CD's also have a newly remastered copy of the original album, a CD packed full of alternate takes and edits, and a third with bonus material - such as demos, outtakes and early takes. There's plenty of bonus material here, from an album that's already amazing. Pretty much every installment on the track listing is a great tune here, for sure.
Overall, is it worth £80? Maybe not, but somewhere around £60-£70 and I think it certainly is. Plus, you do get a lot for your money, and whether you love Queen, or just this album, it certainly fills that appetite for more of it.
The guys behind this took so much energy and harnessed it into one awesome box. I am very pleased with this purchase.
Strictly for die hard fans.
Il vinile dell'album non è stato realizzato da Ludwig e non è il master 2011, bensì un nuovo master realizzato da Magee a Abbey Road (!) ed è derivato dalle bobine analogiche dell'epoca (ne ho parlato in dettaglio sulla mia pagina web, ma non è possibile pubblicare il link). Il contenuto è tutto sommato completo, fose pure troppo visto che ci sono delle cose ridondanti rispetto al passato (vedi gli audio dei live e le BBC Sessions già pubblicate fino a un anno fa). Un punto a sfavore è la mancanza di un DVD o CD completo di un live del tour 1977-78. Chissà che non arrivi come pubblicazione a parte. Il documentario è ben fatto e contiene anche diverse scene inedite. Certo, a disposizione c'era almeno il triplo di video girati all'epoca rispetto a quanto pubblicato qui, ma dobbiamo tener conto che bisognava dare un filo logico al montaggio finale e in questo è stato fatto un buonissimo lavoro.
La perla di questa uscita è il CD con la versione RAW SESSIONS dell'album, un disco completamente alternativo che stupisce ed emoziona di continuo. Da solo varrebbe metà del prezzo; è davvero bellissimo è C'E' NUOVA MUSICA!.
Tutto il materiale contenuto nel box è di qualità eccelsa. Come già segnalato da altri, purtroppo il badge con la parte metallica ha rovinato tutte o quasi le copie del press kit, fra l'altro con una foderina fatta molto bene. Peccato. Andava progettato meglio l'imballo del badge e magari utilizzata una molletta in plastica, senza la vite incriminata. In ogni caso Amazon è stata con me molto disponibile per assecondare il mio reclamo. Se fosse costato sui 70€ non avrei disturbato, ma visto che ne costa più di 100€ non è accettabile (e il venditore lo capisce bene). L'imballo doveva essere il medesimo dei due cofanetti precedenti (Rainbow e Odeon) e in quel modo non ci sarebbero stati i problemi con la scatola del box..
Pecca di Amazon è invece stavolta il cronico ritardo con cui ha consegnato una settimana dopo la data di pubblicazione. A me non è stato offerto nessun buono purtroppo... Ma fa niente.