Features

Saturday Deluxe / 19 Dec 2015

SDE Editor Paul Sinclair eases you into the weekend with the last Saturday Deluxe before Christmas…

Garbage / 20th anniversary reissue 3LP vinyl box

Garbage: How not to reissue an album

I love Garbage. They make grown-up pop music and Shirley Manson’s voice is a thing of beauty. I actually think their second album, Version 2.0, is significantly better than their self-titled debut, but logically enough it’s the first album the band chose to reissue, er, first. However, they’ve made some significant mistakes with the re-release of Garbage which they should reflect on if/when they come around to reissuing Version 2.0. Even if they don’t reflect on them, SDE will do it for them now…

Inform people about the reissue!

The band were telling fans that they were celebrating ’20 Years Queer’ way back in June, but all the focus was on the tour, not the reissue. It seemed obvious there would be a deluxe edition of their debut, but it wasn’t officially confirmed until early September, even though ‘placeholder’ listings had been up on Amazon UK for ages.

Garbage / 20th anniversary reissue 2CD Deluxe

2CD – No unreleased material, no remixes

Think about what fans might want from a reissue

If you don’t buy vinyl, the two-CD reissue of Garbage was a bit of a let-down. The packaging was a bit average and you got nine so-called ‘G-sides’ (i.e. previously issued B-sides) on the bonus disc, and that’s it. Meanwhile a ‘digital-only’ super deluxe edition (surely a contradiction in terms) offered 41 bonus tracks in addition to what was on the 21-track double CD. Arguably, it would have been overkill to issue everything physically (10 remixes of Stupid Girl, 13 versions of Milk..) but what really upset fans was that the digital SDE also contained 11 unreleased tracks that featured half a dozen “early demo mixes”. Not including the unreleased material on the physical CD deluxe along with a selection of the rarer, or more interesting remixes was a serious misjudgement. I have no doubt this would have affected sales, negatively.

There were two vinyl editions; an album-only 2LP on pink vinyl, and a limited 3LP box set which included the nine ‘G-sides’ on a third record. Again, the remixes and the unreleased material was considered out-of-scope for the vinyl editions. Why?

Availability

Call me old-fashioned, but at least try to release everything together. The two-CD deluxe of Garbage came out in early October, the 2LP in late October (late November in the USA for Black Friday) and the 3LP was eventually issued in early December. A veritable dribble of a release. Not only that, but availability outside the Garbage store was dismal. ‘Currently Unavailable’ were the buzz words on many of the global Amazon stores when you tried to put in a pre-order (not just recently, but for months!).

Garbage / 20th anniversary reissue 2LP Vinyl

2LP set – spot the six-panel gatefold

Lack of clarity and confused specifications

Coloured vinyl is normally considered ‘premium’ for collectors and enthusiasts but the £20 double LP offered pink vinyl while the £55+ limited edition came with three black vinyl records. That’s what we here at SDE call arse-about-face. Even worse than that, the cheaper 2LP comes in more lavish six-panel gatefold sleeve. The album is packaged in a reduced four-panel gatefold when included in the 3LP box set. That’s bordering on ridiculous.

Also the 2LP is pressed at 45RPM something that should have probably been ‘saved’ for the for the 3LP box set (which is also 45RPM). Finally, the Garbage store states that the 3LP set “will include a 10 x 10 autographed photo of the band” (which you assume justifies the price) but fails to point out that this is only exclusive to their store and if you pay £55 on Amazon (or elsewhere), you don’t get the signed photo. The 3LP box was already poor value but without the signed photo a bit of a rip-off – you’re paying a £35 premium for the ‘G-sides’ LP a slim fanzine and the box.

Garbage / 20th anniversary reissue 3LP vinyl box

3LP set – spot the reduced packaging on the gatefold vinyl

Conclusions

In summary, even if you put all the packaging foibles to one side, the track listing of this reissue was dull and uninspired. Chucking all the B-sides on to one CD and then throwing everything-else-you-can-find on a digital SDE was just lazy and suggests delighting the physical-buying 40-something Garbage fan (who was there first time around) wasn’t on anyone’s agenda. It seems that most of the energy went in to the anniversary tour which had wrapped even before the 3LP box had been released.


Paul Sinclair is Editor of SuperDeluxeEdition and has consulted on a number of archival reissue projects in recent years including Tears For Fears’ reissue of Songs From The Big Chair, Thompson Twins Remixes and Rarities and Paul Young’s Tomb of Memories: The CBS Years 1982-1994.

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51 responses to Saturday Deluxe / 19 Dec 2015

  1. Jeremy says:

    Brilliant Paul! I agree 100%. I’ve been watching this reissue for months and waiting for the various versions to become available. The only comment I would add is that the delay in issuing the vinyl was probably beyond the band’s control. It doubtless relates more to pressing plant over-demand which has caused a lot of vinyl albums to come out later than originally planned. But the lack of promotion was just plain stupid.

  2. Sal says:

    What’s annoying about many of the originally released Garbage remixes is that they were vinyl only or promo vinyl only.

    I really like Todd Terry as a remixer and I enjoyed his remix of Stupid Girl. Unfortunately the only CD version that I ever manage to find is the edit version of the remix.

    I managed to get Stupid Girl (Tee’s Freeze Club) on reissued vinyl with the black sleeve and I thought finally I’ll be able to get this on the CD reissue without the crackles of vinyl. Of course the CD reissue didn’t have any remixes.

    After ordering the CD reissue on Amazon, the free mp3 was the super deluxe version although only at 270kbs. Last time I looked the mp3 on Amazon was £35 and the CD £11.

    What I didn’t realise at the time was that a hi-res 24 bit flac was also available of the super deluxe version on 7digital and HD Tracks.

  3. Mikael says:

    I guess they wanted to do something related to their name.

    Good read, this is a failed box of a failed anniversary.

  4. TJ Martinez says:

    I cannot believe the amount of money I spent for the triple vinyl on the German Amazon site, and it doesn’t even have the autographed photo that I really wanted. I am really peeved about this, what a rip-off! Not spending another dime on this Garbage!

  5. Adam says:

    Great piece Paul. It’s really quite difficult to understand the reasoning behind those decisions. Personally I’d held off buying any of the reissues as I was having trouble determining the optimum product, and as a huge Garbage fan that’s saying something.

  6. Thom says:

    What’s also irritating is that the original issues of the 7″s and the album were an obvious labour of love – the different material for the single sleeves, and the box set of the LP over six 7″s showed they’d had put some thought into it. If this reissue had reflected that original level of care, I think we’d all be a lot happier. As it is, this might be the only occasion I can think of where the original releases have trumped the anniverary reissue in terms of presentation.

  7. Dennis says:

    Excellent artcile + very much how I feel about the re-release.
    Plus, it would have been nice to have a dvd added. There is pro-shot material out there, that could have easily been licensed for this edition (Rockpalast etc).

  8. Daran says:

    Plus why the absurd pricing variances for the d/l, not just between stores but between the regions (that’s you BTW Amazon….). Any reason for $9 in the US and about $50 in the UK?

  9. Michael says:

    I agree on all counts. I was interested to hear about a reissue, then after seeing all of the good stuff only put on the digital version, I never bought any version. I’ll just stick with my original cd and the couple singles I had from back then.

  10. Michael Fortin says:

    I agree Paul, this was a very poor reissue. I made my own playlist on Spotify with the G-Sides, Original Mix of #1 Crush, and the Early Demo Mixes. This is what the 2-cd deluxe should have been at the very least.

  11. eric slangen says:

    Hi Paul,

    as you have many connections to recordcompanys is there any statement at all on this failure from the band Garbage or the recordcompany??

  12. Danny says:

    I was a huge fan of Garbage for their first couple of albums so should have been target market for the reissue but when I saw the content on them I bailed. What was even more disconcerting was finding out that the photographer who took some of their earlier promo shots was being expected to licence those photos for free. If you hunt around on the web you’ll find the email trails easily enough. It added to the sour taste in my mouth.

  13. Charles K. says:

    Good rant Paul, nothing about this release made sense to me. They should have just released an album box set similar to the recent Simple Minds and TFF with everything and a 180G vinyl edition of the album proper and been done with it. This just felt like a failed attempt at getting fans to buy several versions to get what they want. I don’t understand that approach. It’s one thing if you’re Pink Floyd or Bruce and have a large fan base that will by anything you release regardless of true value but as much as I love Garbage they don’t have said fan base so this just alienates people (and their wallets).

  14. Glenn says:

    What is striking to me is why the labels don’t solicit fan input on the tracklisting for reissues. With the internet and peoples’ willingness to provide free advice input what would the cost be? Nothing. Obvious benefit would be additional sales and avoiding the ire of the fans on the message boards, blogs etc.

    I too was disappointed in the track list for the CD version of this release. Not a fan of digital-only tracks so nothing for me here.

  15. probablyrustin says:

    Well stated summary of the major frustrations with it. Paul, and others reading, definitely try and get this piece seen by the band however possible! They’re very responsive social media wise, and while criticism is rarely preferred to praise, I’m sure it’d be helpful feedback for any future version 2.0 set.

    I’d have to say the one good thing to come out of the mess is the standard edition pink vinyl. Great packaging, great sound, good value. The other pieces of the campaign faltered though.

  16. Ken Moore says:

    I think the deluxe 2 CD version was playing it safe. They were probably concerned that a pricey super deluxe would not sell well, except to the obsessed fan. I consider myself a casual Garbage fan and feel that I got all that I wanted from the deluxe 2 CD version. I am not a huge fan of demos or remixes, so I only really need the original album, plus the b-sides. I agree though, that they could have made a limited super deluxe version, available online, like some other bands have done.

  17. Jim Galvin says:

    I just bought the 3LP set and the $95+shipping was a bit ridiculous. I didn’t care about autographs and that shouldn’t have raised the price that high anyway. I mean the last Iron Maiden was 3LP and only $39. The lenticular cover is pretty cool as well, still not worth all that money. Plus if i want the Pink vinyl or the bonus remixes etc it’s more money out of my pocket so I guess you can keep it, i’m poor enough.

  18. Troy says:

    The whole point of a ReIssue is fans will buy this same album again. Don’t be fooled they do not want a reissue digitally, most want a physical collectors edition it’s kinda the point. This release sounds like it has been messed up.

    I think Demon Music are one of my personal favorite in regards to reissues. Their Belinda Carlisle ones were exceptional as least they gave you all they could license, no matter if remixes were doubled up on. Some fans want B-Sides, some the remixes and some remastering or some all of it. But don’t leave stuff off that can be used…that is just pointless.

  19. probablyrustin says:

    Ken, I agree that it was a safe move for the 2CD edition, but had they filled up the G Sides disc with demos and unreleased bits, it would have appealed to both the most casual buyers like yourself, and longtime fans as well. I agree that a super deluxe physical edition would have been unnecessary and probably wouldn’t justify the cost.

  20. Wax Monster X says:

    Hence my non-purchase all around. Spot on again Paul! Cheers.

  21. Paul E. says:

    Outstanding as usual Paul! My personally interpretation of “Super Deluxe Edition” always includes the following, although most sets fall short: Every A-Side (remastered), the inclusion of all proper B-Sides + Remixes (and perhaps, some unreleased gems), along with decent presentation with regard to the CD packaging, booklet, etc. Please note the compact disc reference as this is the camp I hang out it in. Vinyl can certainly be an option but shouldn’t be force fed to the consumer at order time when CDs are desired. I think the ability to download FLAC as a reasonable option VS CD/Vinyl is fine as long as it doesn’t contain extra content not listed on the physical format. In fact, FLAC downloads should now be in Hi Res format [love what New Order did with their latest as I grabbed the CD and Hi Res Download in a single purchase]. I always “pay up” for box sets that reach or come near my expectations and feel most consumers would follow suit if the industry put forth the effort. I look at a box set as a single source to house the artist’s particular album (all music from that release, time period, etc.). I still hang onto CD singles, previous deluxe versions, etc. as a collector and mainly because the SDE versions fail to deliver on content. What’s worse is trying to reassemble a digital SDE with the box set offering, songs left off earlier CD singles, etc. and having to recalibrate loudness, mastering (or lack thereof), etc. My two cents anyway.

  22. Gordon says:

    What pisses me off the most about ‘digital-only’ (and this is in general, not just Garbage specifically) is how restrictive it is. Physical releases can be purchased from (almost) any online retailer regardless of your country of residence, but try to buy digital format and the ‘geolocking’ kicks in and you’re pretty much shut down. You can only order from your own country which is frustrating if it’s unavailable to you…..or available but at a ridiculous price far higher than other countries. (And living in Australia, these problems are very common.) And then there’s the quality…..I’d be quite happy to go digital if there’s a FLAC option, but that’s incredibly rare.

    I had a look for the FLAC Garbage but the only place I saw it available to Australians was $AUD60-70!!!!! If any Australian SDE readers know of a good LEGAL offer at a great price, please post (with Paul’s permission of course!)

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes, of course no problem for people to direct Gordon (or anyone else) to legal places to download things. It goes without saying that this isn’t the place to share any tips on illegal downloading.

    • Daran says:

      Consider a VPN connection Gordon with the ability to choose a location of a country where low price d/l is available. That will spoof your location, and should allow download. Try a UK VPN location and go to 7 digital UK for FLAC download @ 30 Aus $.

  23. Jack MPLS says:

    Great article. I was so mad over how the physical edition was handled not only did I not buy any variation of the discs, but I passed on the digital versions also. Epic fail. super deluxe should have all been on CD also. Pass

  24. Lanny says:

    I honestly believe we (the buyers and collectors) have to start boycotting these downright almost offensive joke ‘deluxe’ versions and reissues. We fork out our hard earned money year after year to these ‘artists’ and deserve much better.

  25. Michael59 says:

    Fully agree too. I ended up buying the 2CD, 2LP, 3LP and digital download (as you may have guessed, I am a huge Garbage fan) but hey, it’s one of my all time favourite albums.

    See your point with the unreleased demos not being on CD, this is a huge letdown.

  26. Robert van Diggele says:

    The different sample rates of the downloads don’t make sense either. qobuz offers 24/44.1 and hdtracks offers 24/96. Does this mean Qobuz is downsampled or Hdtracks is upsampled?

  27. colm47 says:

    Hello Paul

    I ordered from Sandbag on the 14th. My order arrived today, the 19th.
    I was not expecting it as it was “processing” on my status update.

    Anyway, there is no signed photo of the band as advertised.
    Really annoyed about that as it was my main reason for ordering through the official store.
    The courier alone cost 34 euro when the box was 85!!!
    I have contacted Sandbag who are closed today so I will see what happens.

    If you advertise something, i.e. the photo, and it is not included, it is basically false advertising and should not be allowed.

    I would have got the box far cheaper from Amazon if I had known.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      You certainly should have got the photo, so I imagine they will sort you out. Good luck.

      • colm47 says:

        Thanks Paul.

        I mailed them again and pointed them in the direction of your blog! Just in case they didn’t already know!

        Merry Christmas Paul and looking forward to 2016 and your great blog!

  28. eric says:

    i see the point, but i don’t care. i went to see the queer anniversary tour in Tilburg (Netherlands) a month ago and had fun from the first note until the end of the concert. Not one record will top this. One of the greatest bands of their era.

  29. Shane says:

    Review was spot on. Even though I bought the CD version, it came all squased with that stupid spine that was three times the width it should have been. Even bought two 2LP versions, as it was dirt-cheap, and the SDE. I cancelled my order of the box on amazon as I thought I was gonna be able to get it cheaper in my store but as it turns out it wont arrive, so I guess I made the right decision there.

  30. Kiki says:

    I can only agree with this statement !
    Only thing is when TFF do a super deluxe edition of their albums, they put nearly everything on CD! So the reissue of the 1st garvage album should have been available as a 2 CD “only” with B-sides and unreleased track and could have come along a limited fan box including all the mixes on CD as bonus…

    I don’t care that much nowadays on vinyle reissue, simply beacuse the industry mainly think only of releasing the “original” album and nothing else ! C’mon, if we want the original pressing with no bonus as an LP form, we buy the original pressing!

  31. probablyrustin says:

    Except that buying the original pressings for many albums is often prohibitively expensive, especially late 90s to mid 00s when albums didn’t get large pressing runs (if at all). So many reissues, done right, are worth it for that alone.

  32. andrew R says:

    The whole vinyl is supercool thing is ok but you must make the reissue as good/better than the original.It is obvious that the once mighty pressing /manufacturing industry is a shadow of its former self and can’t keep up with demand. The reason there isn’t (yet) a backlash against all this vinyl is, i suspect due to the fact that quite a lot of it goes unplayed and is simply collected .The new black crowes vinyl’s are currently being slated for thin cardboard and digital/brickwalling problems .I expect more trouble ahead!

  33. Robert McCallum says:

    Sandbag replied today to my email, where i asked if even amazon customers were entitled to get the signed photo.
    They stated that the signed photo was a Sandbag exclusive.
    This is simply unconceivable, amazon customers have been treated like second class customers!

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I don’t mind them doing a Sandbag exclusive, but they just needed to make it clear that it IS exclusive to them. The listing still doesn’t do that
      http://garbage.sandbaghq.com/home/garbage-20th-anniversary-deluxe-edition-3lp-box-set.html

      • Robert McCallum says:

        Paul, i am among one of the many customers who purchased this box set on Amazon, convinced that i’d get the photo within the package: when i saw the price on amazon, i thought it was out of any logic to pay a lot more on sandbag to get the SAME box. The gyus at sandbag should have been much more clear about their so-called exclusive.

      • Dale A says:

        Not just the listing on the Sandbag page, which they could at least argue was meant to be an exclusive, but the press release issued to all media outlets on September 2 by Murry Chalmers PR contained a clear description of all versions, and it was clear that the box set included an autographed photo. This is clearly deceitful and I am tempted to post on all of their social media just as a matter of principle, but it’s just not worth my time.

  34. Dale A says:

    That’s misleading. I am going to complain to Sandbag as well, and then I will return the box. It’s of no interest to me without the print.

  35. Dale A says:

    OK, I just received the box and that lenticular cover is beautiful. Looked at the receipt, and I paid about $85 for it, and if I want the signed photo it would be another $50+ from Sandbag. I guess I’ll just keep this box but wow, what a misleading promotional campaign. Will still register a complaint with the website.

  36. jim says:

    one more amusing note… I bought the box from the band website… the signed print is advertised to be 10″x10″… it is not… it is 9″x12″

  37. colm47 says:

    As I said above, my print was not in the box from Sandbag.

    They eventually got back to me and are sending it by Royal Mail first class!

    So it might arrive before the new year!

    Would have saved a lot of hassle if it was in the box in the first place!

  38. Ex-Oligarch says:

    “It seems that most of the energy went in to the anniversary tour which had wrapped even before the 3LP box had been released.”

    Perhaps because the band itself is only making money off the tour, while proceeds of the reissue sales are going to the label that owns the masters?

  39. jason says:

    Amen Paul. I was a huge Garbage fan and passed on this completely. Very mishandled and overpriced, and strange how the super deluxe version seemed to offer less benefits than the regular edition. Do these guys really need the money? Hopefully they put out a more average release of this at a later date for the more average record buyer who loves their work.

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