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How to buy: Roger Waters' Amused to Death vinyl and hi-res reissues

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As announced back in April Roger Waters‘ 1992 album Amused to Death is to be reissued in July.

If you’ve browsed for the title on Amazon recently you may have noticed that there are a multitude of options for the buyer, including three double vinyl editions, a CD+Blu-ray deluxe and a hybrid SACD. So what’s going on, and which edition should the discerning music fan go for?

Let’s tackle the vinyl first. Sony are releasing a 200g double vinyl edition “in collaboration” with Analogue Productions. What that means is that the vinyl is being pressed at Quality Record Pressings, the highly regarded Kansas-based pressing plant that is owned by AP. This is for the world, so wherever you buy it, you’ll have a QRP pressed vinyl.

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All black vinyl is being pressed at QRP

Analogue Productions are also releasing their own 200g double vinyl edition that is (in theory) only available in America. So what’s the difference between AP’s own version and the Sony version? In a word, packaging. Both editions will come in gatefold sleeves and have the new updated Sean Evans artwork, but AP really pride themselves in putting their own products in the VERY best sleeves, so these will be top-of-the-line, old-style tip-on jackets – on thickest board that Stoughton Printing makes. I know they are good because I’ve seen them. Check out the SDE reviews of the Analogue Productions Doors and Norah Jones vinyl boxes.

This is not to say that there will be anything ‘low grade’ about Sony’s vinyl packaging, but it certainly sounds as if the AP product will have the edge in terms of presentation. That said, if you are outside the USA, is it really worth the hassle and expense of trying to get hold of the AP version? This is where Amazon UK is your friend, because they are listing the AP import 2LP vinyl for LESS than the standard domestic Sony version.

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Double picture disc looks stunning but won’t sound stunning!

There is also a double vinyl picture disc edition. This is a bit more about hanging on your wall than placing on your turntable. It does look stunning though, so if you want to pick this up the best advice is to shop at Amazon France where it is significantly cheaper than in the UK (and the USA for that matter).

Hi-res surround sound fans are well catered for with this release. The product most should (and will) opt for is the CD+Blu-ray edition. This is both cheap (less than £18 in the UK at present) and offers the best of both worlds, the flexibility of CD to play in your car, or around the house, and the high resolution blu-ray with the full 5.1 surround experience for ‘serious’ listening sessions.

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CD+Blu-ray packaging

Analogue Productions are producing a Super Audio CD (SACD) Amused to Death – mirroring what they did for Pink Floyd‘s Wish You Were Here which had been issued on blu-ray as part of EMI’s Immersion Box but still got the standalone SACD treatment a while after. Like the blu-ray this will have a hi-res 5.1 surround mix. There’s no denying the attraction of SACD sound with it’s analogue-y DSD mastering, but problem here is that even if you have an SACD set-up, outside of America it’s not cheap. It’s over £40 on Amazon UK. And although it’s a hybrid disc (meaning it will play on a normal CD player if you don’t want hi-res or 5.1) having a separate CD is simply better. For most, the blu-ray+CD will tick all the boxes. As a postscript, the packaging for the Wish You Were Here SACD was lovely, so AP will undoubtedly do a great job again for Amused to Death.

In summary, all black vinyl and both hi-res editions will undoubtedly sound stunning. Assuming you’re in the market for the Amused to Death reissue, which edition(s) you decide to purchase will depend on a number of factors, including which side of the Atlantic you live, whether you have already invested significant funds audiophile hardware and the budget constraints you have at this present time.

Good luck! Amused to Death is reissued on 24 July 2015.

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CD+Blu-ray deluxe with hi-res 5.1 surround mix

Hybrid SACD edition (Analogue Productions)

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2LP Black Vinyl Edition (Sony version)

2LP Black Vinyl Edition (Analogue Productions version)

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2LP Limited Vinyl Picture Disc Edition

 

 

Track listing

1. The Ballad Of Bill Hubbard
2. What God Wants, Part I
3. Perfect Sense, Part I
4. Perfect Sense, Part II
5. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range
6. Late Home Tonight, Part I
7. Late Home Tonight, Part II
8. Too Much Rope
9. What God Wants, Part II
10. What God Wants, Part III
11. Watching TV
12. Three Wishes
13. It’s A Miracle
14. Amused To Death

 

 

 

 

 

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40 responses to How to buy: Roger Waters' Amused to Death vinyl and hi-res reissues

  1. I plumped for the CD/Blu Ray and vinyl picture disc as they were both great prices (as highlighted by your good self!) :-)

  2. CJ Feeney says:

    It may be the photo, but the CD/BluRay packaging looks a bit cheap to me. I have the SACD on pre-order in case the price drops (though it’s gone up in price since). I await further details on packaging to see if it’s worth more than the BluRay.

    • Jim says:

      As long as the packaging gets to me undamaged then that’s fine because I can’t say I will ever look at it again with a critical eye. It’s only a means of storing the discs within.

  3. Dave Jakubowski says:

    Why is the Sony vinyl not available in the US on Amazon?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Probably something to do with Analogue Productions getting an online exclusive in that territory – that’s my guess.

  4. ENGLAND says:

    Although I won’t be buying this reissue… I really do appreciate these “how to buy” articles – they are immensely useful to those of us that don’t want to buy every variation but do want the best deal for our hard-earned cash.
    Thank you Mr Sinclair

  5. RussTCB says:

    This might be my favorite album of all time, so I pre-ordered the pic disc directly from Roger’s site specifically to display.

    I’ll be picking up the AP, black LP the moment my local store gets it in stock.

    So glad to finally see this album get the treatment it deserves!

  6. Hub Hamers says:

    I go for the CD/Blu-ray combo.

    To be honest, I was hoping for some extra tracks or a bonus CD from that period. Unfortunately it didn’t…

  7. Mark says:

    If you live in the USA Bullmoose has the Acoustic Sounds vinyl and SACD for less that Acoustic Sounds is selling it. Plus free shipping and no sales tax. Their price on the blu-ray/CD was about the same as Amazon US so I just got all three shipped for $108 out the door.

    Amazon France still has best price for picture disc even for us Yanks.

  8. Eric says:

    Has Roger got over his hatred of playing music on computers yet? Flickering Flame is still a “will NOT play on PC/Mac” edition, and the mp3 edition was removed as well.

  9. LostTurntable says:

    Shame all of them include the same music.

    Such a horrid record.

  10. Rogerio says:

    sorry for the off-topic comment, but I don’t know where to ask for news not avalaible in the website, so… no words on the new Grateful Dead box, 30 Trips Around The Sun?

    • Julian H says:

      You can always email Paul. On the upper right corner of the site, there’s a button called “Get in touch” :)

  11. Kenneth says:

    Paul,
    Any news on the SACD for Amazon in the United States? I pre-ordered this as so many others did back in September 2013. It still shows up as an open order…but no longer has a page for the SACD. I knew I should have ordered AP.

  12. Chris Gunn says:

    Many thanks for this very informative review
    Really appreciate the effort
    The only thing I would stress is that the AP version on Amazon says 1 disk. Sure this is wrong but after the issues I had with them about the recent Yes 3 lp set it does concern me.
    Great work again though – cheers

  13. steve says:

    HD WOW- $NZ 25.99 cd and blu ray. free shipping (about 12 pounds)

    • Lennie says:

      Bigger WOW. Got it for $20.84 CAD on Amazon Canada. That’s about 10 GBP. Free shipping because I live in Canada. . But the price is much higher now.

  14. Chris Gunn says:

    For those in the UK

    THE CD / Blu Ray combo is no 17.99

  15. Mark says:

    Hi Paul
    My order for the LP version has just been cancelled by Amazon. Com?
    I have the pre order for the AP vinyl version and picture disc from amazon. Co.uk are these likely to be cancelled as well?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi Mark – I really don’t know. I have a feeling that Acoustic Sounds / Analogue productions *may* have had some kind of US exclusive on the vinyl edition, and maybe that is why Amazon.com have had to cancel, because they aren’t going to be supplied the product. But ‘overseas’ like the UK and Europe may be very different and they are happy to export for Amazon UK because they have less international customers buying at their Acoustic Sounds website. This is all guess work on my part. I’ll see if I can find out more through official channels.

  16. Will Cullen says:

    Is the picture disc vinyl pressed from the original master tapes just like the 200 gram audiophile version?

  17. Kenneth says:

    I knew it was coming, but Amazon USA can kiss my a$$. I ore-ordered this SACD years ago and now they’ve cancelled because the item is “unavailable”. It was less than $25.00 when I ordered, and now it is over $45.oo including the cheapest S&H from AP. I also have the bluray on order, but this blows.

  18. Zongadude says:

    I just went my local supermarket here in France and the vinyl edition they are selling is the one by Analogue Productions. They also had the picture disc edition.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Analogue Productions are producing the LP for the world, however the US version has better packaging, as I hope I explained in the post.

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  20. peter van noort says:

    Just got my copy today by mail. Great package and sound. What i do not understand is that the audio CD is inserted into the cover directly and the bluray is inserted into a separate slip case. Would have been nicer to have both discs into separate slip cases.

    • Kenneth says:

      Yes. And mine must have gotten scratched trying to pry it out. Would not rip completely. So back to Amazon it goes. I wonder how much these people swallow in return shipping with the digipak type packages?

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  22. Paul Wren says:

    I ordered my Analogue Productions vinyl LP from Amazon here in the UK and I’ve just received an e.mail from Amazon telling me that delivery /production of the LP has been delayed till 17th – 24th August. Further evidence of demand at vinyl pressing plants outstripping the ability of plants to keep up with demand, I feel.

  23. Rob says:

    Released in Japan on August 5th: CD(blu-spec CD2)/ Blu-ray combo. I believe there’s also a blu-spec CD2 standalone release. Ordered through cdjapan.co.jp

  24. Matt S says:

    I’m a completionist, so I love this article as I intend to buy the U.S version and the overseas version. In trying to order one from RogerWaters.com, they are also out of stock currently. I think this is becoming a better seller than they anticipated.

  25. Gavin Hallesy says:

    My Amazon uk pre-order of the USA Analogue Productions vinyl came this morning. I’ve expected the cancellation email since the ‘delayed shipping’ notice but it was honoured. In the meantime, I couldn’t wait so I bought the UK one as well.
    There is a difference in the quality of the cardstock as previously described. The cover is much, much thicker than the UK edition and is very glossy (almost laminated type effect). Mine had to be spoiled with a dent in the spine but if I sent it back for that, I’ll almost certainly get something worse with my luck!
    The vinyl looks the same otherwise, same weight, same inner sleeves but comes with an additional printed ‘Analogue Productions’ insert.
    It does overall look and feel much better than the UK release (like a deluxe version) and will just keep them both now they’re here.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks Gavin. Good to hear there is a difference, as I was told there would be. Mine is stuck in ‘awaiting availability’ hell. Hopefully I’ll get one in the end!

    • Justin Campbell (UK) says:

      Hi Gavin- that is good to hear! I finally received the USA AP version in the post this morning but at a glance it looks identical to the UK version that I saw in HMV yesterday. I didn’t have time to inspect properly so it is good to hear that there are a couple of demonstrable differences as it cost quite a bit more money (£42.99 instead of £34.99)

  26. Justin Campbell (UK) says:

    Thanks for an enlightening article Paul. I’ve had a mixed experience of buying the re-release of this classic album. Although not my favourite Waters release (that honour goes to Pros and Cons, although I’m desperate for a 5.1 release of it!), ATD is a fantastic album and it is so good to see it getting the credit it deserves. It is a rare treat to see a Waters release in the charts (number 33 in HMV yesterday), and to see at least two people pick up copies of the vinyl whilst I was in the shop! I initially plumped for the picture disc via Paul’s deal alert. However, it arrived damaged (vinyl had split both sides of the PVC cover), so back it went and I lost money in the return postage. I then went for the USA Analogue 2LP and SACD from http://www.snvinyl.co.uk (for £42.99 and £28.99 respectively). The latter is a particularly good price as the SACD has been unavailable or over £40 wherever else I have looked online. They finally arrived this morning and I’m looking forward to an extended listening session this evening. One gripe I do have is that there is no bonus content- I’d love to hear “Fallen Angel” (demo that became “What God Wants”) and also the “fast” version of “It’s A Miracle” (which I believe featured Flea on bass).

  27. Paul Wren says:

    My Analogue Productions copy arrived with me here in the UK today. Re quality differences: The sticker on the front clearly states that “no more than 1,000 records pressed per stamper” So, new stampers are made/used every 1,000 pressings to ensure best possible quality sound throughout the pressing runs.
    It also mentions “released in limited quantities” although doesn’t specify how many. Maybe Paul can find this out at soem future point?
    And yes, the sleeve quality is clearly very good from what I can make out through the sealed plastic sleeve.

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