News

Peter Gabriel to release 1987 Live in Athens concert on blu-ray

athens_bluray

Eleven months ago we robustly criticised Peter Gabriel‘s overpriced and under-spec’d So 25th anniversary box set. Like many fans, we could not understand why Gabriel would completely ignore B-sides and remixes, and not offer the album in surround sound.

One of the issues that perplexed us the most, was having gone to the trouble of restoring and re-editing the 1987 Live In Athens / POV concert film, it was included within the box only as a DVD and not a blu-ray disc. Fans would end up having to buy it again, because – as we pointed out at the time – “Live In Athens will inevitably get a Blu-ray reissue”. Not so, according to Peter Gabriel who personally responded to the open letter posted on this blog. He admitted he and his team ‘got this wrong’ by only including a DVD, but rejected our suggestion of a cynical marketing ploy to make people buy the same content twice – “There are no plans at present for a standalone version” he said.

Box set content made available separately, in better quality

I’m sure he meant that when he said it, but it seemed almost unthinkable that Live In Athens wouldn’t be issued on Blu-ray at some point. So we can announce the at with crushing predictability, Eagle Vision have put a Live In Athens blu-ray on the schedule, with a release date slated for the 16 September 2013, less than a year after fans paid £100 for a ‘deluxe’ box set containing the same concert on DVD.

Gabriel himself said in his letter that “if there is real demand for it in the future, we will try to make sure that it has enough different elements for anyone who buys the box set”. Well, they have not done that. A close look at the spec for the blu-ray release reveals that Eagle Vision are simply bundling a DVD of Play – Peter Gabriel’s 2004 video collection – in with this release. Anyone seeking out this blu-ray surely has a high chance of owning the nine year old video compilation already.

So what to make of all this? There is no doubt that by coming out and explicitly stating there are ‘no plans’ to release the Athens film as a standalone release, Peter Gabriel was  encouraging fans to buy the So deluxe box set, to get this content. To then do exactly what he announced they were not going to do, with the box less than a year old, seems rather exploitative.

We suggest that any Peter Gabriel fan who would like to upgrade their DVD copy of Live In Athens, and who can provide proof of purchase of a So deluxe box, should – on request – be supplied with a single Live In Athens Blu-ray disc FREE OF CHARGE to slot into their So deluxe box set. Gabriel himself admitted it was a mistake to not include the concert in the box set on blu-ray, but he – and Eagle Vision – are set to profit from this mistake. Fans need to shell out a further £16 on top of the £100 they may have already spent, to get a premium version of the concert film.

Join our campaign

In fact, we feel so strongly about this, we’ve set up a facebook campaign, to encourage Peter and his team to do the right thing. Please visit the facebook page and support this campaign.

So come on, Peter, RealWorld, EMI, Eagle Vision – do the right thing and offer fans the free ‘upgrade’. Give them what they should have had when the paid for the box set – Live In Athens in stunning high definition blu-ray quality.

If you are a Peter Gabriel fan who bought the So deluxe box set, we’d love to know your feelings on this subject – leave a comment and let us know.

You might also like…

48 responses to Peter Gabriel to release 1987 Live in Athens concert on blu-ray

  1. Philip Guest says:

    “Red mist is coming down, red mist…”

  2. Mike Fisher says:

    Shoddy. The 5.1 mix is shoddy too.

    • Daniel says:

      Agreed. If I could be granted one wish with this blu-ray, it’s that the original sound mix be included in stereo LPCM as an option for those of us who prefer it to the surround. It’ll never happen, though. But I’d LOVE to be proven wrong.

  3. Metal Mickey says:

    I’m frankly not in the market for this item, and not on Facebook either, but I’d like to think this campaign will get some sort of traction, it’s ridiculous that a major artist like Gabriel either thinks he can get away with this so blatantly, and/or that he has so little control over his output that he can’t stop it happening… any fan shelling out these kinds of prices for these “legacy” products these days should have a reasonable expectation of completeness/finality… good luck!

  4. Mike says:

    I didnt buy it, but shameful.

  5. Tobias says:

    I am a PG fan since his soundtrack for BIRDY. Being too young I missed his earlier records and didn´t even know he was the frontman of GENESIS at this time.
    I loved his music as much as his attitude and political beliefs. I admired his work for REAL WORLD to give unknown musicians from all ober the world a chance to be heard.
    Some of his visions were crap for sure, but I still believed in his integrity.
    I did not like the whole NEW BLOOD stuff and activities… but hey, maybe we was looking for praise from the classical crowd, too.
    The SO deluxe box was a complete failure from my POV and the BR release of Athens tops it. I already have tickets for his concerts in autumn but really think about boycotting them.
    An free gift of the BR for all buyers of the Deluxe Box would be the least he could do to keep bis integrity.

  6. chdx says:

    2013: “Live In Athens” Blu-ray with the “Play” DVD
    2014: “Play” Blu-ray with the “Growing Up On Tour: A Family Portrait” DVD
    2015: “Growing Up On Tour: A Family Portrait” Blu-ray with the “Growing Up Live” DVD…
    2016: “Growing Up Live” Blu-ray with “So” [30th anniversary Deluxe edition in surround sound]

  7. The Kollektionist says:

    Quite frankly, I think we’re getting ripped off on a daily basis basically. Vinyl becomes a CD, which then gets remastered and then bonus tracks are added. Then someone thinks it’s a good idea to add a second disc and maybe even make it a deluxe box. And for good measure one- and two-CD compilations get extracted. So what’s the big whoop here ?! A rip-off ? Sure, but nothing worse than what has been done many, many times before and is surely gonna happen many, many times again.
    And yes, I do have the So box. I didn’t even need to break the seal to know it sucks, but even as such it’s no different from most of the other boxes thrown at us. The whole industry has become a disgraceful place where incompetence, stupidity and greed rule. So is it fair to make Peter Gabriel the fall guy here…?

  8. HR85 says:

    People don’t have to buy the sets. To seemingly view a badly judged, potentially money-making (shock horror), reissue programme as some sort of insult is nonsense.

    Artists can choose the compile the sets they want, labels then choose to price and schedule them and then we can choose to buy them or not.

    I wanted the extra material in the Wings Over America set but didn’t want to pay the extra for the books, so I didn’t pick it up and yet the world still turns.

    • Marko says:

      Agree. If you don’t like don’t buy it. I think this is a good offer. Live In Athens blu-ray + ‘Play’ dvd for reasonable price.

  9. Herby_05 says:

    Once again it’s written “The full recorded concert”. It would be quite funny if the Blu-Ray includes “Red Rain” and “Big Time”, that are not present on the CD release…

  10. baward says:

    Shameful, Mr.Gabriel et al. I have no interest in buying these releases but its still a major f*ck-*p from a marketing POV (I think the exchange your DVD for a BD is great, by the way.)

    Surely the number of real fans who buy super deluxe editions is vanishingly small in the first place – and shrinking quite possibly if this mess is anything to go by!

    Hindsight = a wonderful thing

  11. Justin says:

    I also boycotted the SO25 box after the backlash. It was the first time since the early Eighties that I haven’t bought a PG official release. One of the reasons was this missing blu-ray. The others were a lack of surround mix, and not owning a turntable at the time. I will be buying this bluray, but I feel sorry for those who shelled out for the box.
    If the ‘Play’ videos have been upgraded, I suppose that’s a bonus, as it’s the only 5.1 mixes of some of these tunes available.

  12. Leemer says:

    Well, PG I am a bit peeved also. I bought the SO25 box set and I also bought PLAY when it came out. I am not sure where that would leave me with the BD release other than purchasing the same material again. It’d be cool if he offered a BD quality download of the entire concert, I’d be into that as an alternative option. Or an “at cost” special copy of the BluRay disc or BD for DVD swap as discussed.

  13. Tom N says:

    The inevitability of this Bluray release was one of the main reasons I didn’t pay out for the So box last year… along with the many other reasons that you covered so well at the time. The hours/cost involved in restoring the footage only to release it in SD would have just made no sense.

    If I was to guess, the PG camp will probably defend this new release to the box buyers by saying that the 720p video downloads offered at the time were ample compensation for a lack of HD content – for this reason I wish your campaign good luck but I don’t expect much to come from it.

    Perhaps the box buyers would be placated if the So album was included on this Bluray in hi-res 5.1 as a bonus? Or further disappointed that it took a second release to include it? PG is a big fan of surround mixes but I can’t see how he would get away with *another* release of the album to get a 5.1 version out there – which makes this Athens Bluray the obvious place to put one. Perhaps that’s an angle worth campaigning for too?

    This whole episode is a real shame, up to now I think the quality of releases from the PG camp has been top class – the 5.1 mixes on Play are a great example. I still think PG can redeem himself with the long-awaited ‘odds and sods’ collection (possibly the real reason for a lack of b-sides/remixes on the So box) and potentially amazing reissues of Melt, Security, etc.

  14. Simon Long says:

    Gabriel has basically done nothing but milk the hard-core fanbase for the last five years. It was painfully inevitable that Athens would appear on BD, whatever he was claiming. Other notable rip-offs include the amusing selection of bonus tracks on the New Blood releases, and the double-disc version of Live In London after everyone had paid extra for the deluxe set of New Blood with the single live disc. I have lost all respect for him as an artist, as it is clear that he has no respect for his customers. I support your campaign, and have like the page, but I’d be amazed if it achieves anything – much as it pains me to say it, PG is clearly motivated by money rather than art these days.

  15. Todd R. says:

    Well, this is unfortunate, but I’m not going to lay blame and point fingers here (yet).

    Many times record labels make proposals and plans and the artists only have to sign-off on them. Yes, clearly if this is on the books, cover-art and all, that there is already fore-knowledge at hand (pressing disks, artwork approval etc. notwithstanding). However we have yet to see what Eagle (a fairly respectable company – still putting out great product in the decline of physical discs, many times re-issuing long-lost VHS era shows and collections – see Paul McCartney’s ROCKSHOW) has planned in it’s promotion of this. Was this Geffen/Universal’s push? Was Mr. Gabriel deciding that since everyone had asked him about a BD release that he should give in? (he did decide to cut his 1-year sabbatical down to 11 months in order to answer the need for the BACK TO FRONT tour to continue in Europe this fall).

    As for the inclusion of a “bonus” DVD of a previously released product, if it’s no-longer in print (doubtful) I guess it’s a nice idea – but of course for purists, well, redundant for die-hard fans. (agreed – the GROWING UP tour releases and the stand alone release of FAMILY PORTRAIT was VERY frustrating – especially that the Family Portrait was nothing more than a 40 minute backstage film that could have been a bonus material item, or even stand-alone bonus disc on those sets…).

    I will note that I do not yet own a Blu-Ray player (I’m sure the time will come) but I wanted to pause and take a long hard look at the situation – the same I did for the SO 26th Anniversary Box Set (I eventually relented, and got the box on super-sale, avoiding the $100 price hit, most likely paying double that for a trip to the next state, a concert ticket, parking ((ARGH!)) t-shirt & tourbook on the BACK TO FRONT tour. )

    Thanks for bringing this too light….

  16. don says:

    I didn’t buy the So box, but I have no desire to buy the blu-ray either. I wish this whole campaign would just go away. It just gets more and more frustrating.

    From a business perspective, I wonder if the So25 box can be considered a “success.” I can’t imagine that it sold very many copies…

  17. Tom N says:

    Aside from the main story, what about this Athens Bluray release itself? Assuming it’s just the concert and no more, is there *really* nothing they could have added to the disc from the period? So-era TV spots, modern day interview with PG, details on the restoration process, etc? Adding a few extras would add more value.

  18. Simon Long says:

    I’d also add that I’m not convinced by the value of an HD release of Athens, given the quality of the Secret World Live BD. The video quality of that disc is really poor, presumably due to them having blown up 16mm (?) film so they could letterbox it to make it look widescreen – the quality improvement over the DVD is barely noticeable, if any. Plus it has a ludicrous 5.1 mix that puts the drums and other percussion in the rear channels and everything else in the fronts; it was so badly done that I ended up having to listen to the stereo mix instead.

    If the Athens BluRay is of comparable “quality” – and I fear it might be – I’m not sure I’d even want a free copy!

    • Daniel says:

      I have to *completely* disagree with your assessment of “Secret World Live” on blu-ray. That disc is AMAZING considering the 16mm elements they were working with. The widescreen, by the way, was a compromise struck due to the show being filmed *partially* with 16:9 cameras and partially with 4:3 cameras. The original VHS version cropped all of the 16:9 footage to 4:3. The initial DVD took THAT image and cropped IT to make a 16:9 image that was cropped on ALL sides from the original. For the blu-ray, the restoration team went back to the original 16mm film and rescanned the footage, cropping ONLY the 4:3 footage to 16:9 where necessary, and restoring the full negative for the native wide material. Due to this process and the (unavoidable) zooming that was done on some of the 4:3 shots, the image was always going to look soft. But it absolutely BURIES the horrid DVD release. As for the surround mix, I found it wonderfully done. Granted, it still contains all of Gabriel’s signature, revisionist dubs and “corrected” audio (which he does on every release), but I took no issue with the mix itself. They also corrected the sync issues that were present on the DTS track on the DVD. Been reviewing DVD’s and blu-rays for 15 years and I definitely didn’t hear the “drums in the surround channels” phenomenon you describe. May want to exchange your disc. Maybe you got a bad copy. It’s rare, but it happens.

  19. Stephen O'Leary says:

    I intended boycotting the So box but got it for a good price. I’m glad Live In Athens included as a DVD rather than a BD. Why? I don’t own a Blu Ray player.

  20. Peter Gabriel says:

    Why don’t you just stop being Peter Gabriel fans then? Or is that too simple?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I guess it’s *because* we’re PG fans, that this stuff ends up mattering to us. Pretty foolish of his team and EMI to ignore the what the fans (ie customers) want. This Blu-ray release seems to demonstrate that they haven’t learnt anything from the “So” box set debacle. In fact they are rubbing salt into that particular wound, to be honest.

  21. Joey d'Entremont says:

    Although I did not buy the super deluxe boxset because of the aforementioned exorbitant price, I did however purchase the deluxe 3CD version. Being a huge Peter Gabriel fan, I looked long and hard at the super deluxe set but decided against it because of the high price and the fact that it did not include the bluray. I have the audio of the concert on the 3CD set and found that both the performance and the recording were great, so for me the new bluray release will be a great companion piece to the set I own. With hindsight, I am glad I didn’t buy the super deluxe set because I will now have what I wanted for a fraction of the price. If I had bought it, I would certainly be in agreement that I would deserve a complimentary bluray disc at this point.

  22. Mike says:

    Its not about the choice whether to buy or not, that is taken for granted, we all have free choice.

    Its the ‘ever got the feeling that youve been had? ‘…

  23. Andy Jenkinson says:

    Box set (~£100) gave you

    ‘So’ album [CD].
    Live in Athens 1987 [2-CD]
    Live in Athens 1987 [DVD]
    So: Classic Album [DVD]
    So DNA [CD]
    An 180grm So LP [Vinyl]
    Double A side 12″ [Vinyl]
    Picture Book

    But you could now buy these instead:

    ‘So’ album [3CD]. Includes So CD and Live in Athens 1987 [2-CD]
    £14
    So: Classic Album [BluRay]
    £14
    Live in Athens 1987 [BluRay]
    ~£20?

    So by buying the box set I’ve basically paid an extra £50 for:

    So DNA [CD] – the most interesting item here.
    An 180grm So LP [Vinyl] + 12″ [Vinyl] (only of appeal to vinyl collectors)
    A picture Book
    And the video material presented in LOWER quality.

    It’s pretty disgusting and overtly money grabbing.
    Unhappy.

  24. Dean says:

    It’s a shame people bought the box set. The ONLY way the fans could win this is if they had refused to buy the box in the first place. Seems as though a fair few of you decided to buy it any way. Pity.

    Yes, the whole thing is shoddy. Yes, PG wasn’t truthful. Yes, the marketing department runs the show.

    But until the fans can withhold their cash, nothing will change.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      This is very true. However I do think the box probably failed to meet their sales targets by a fair margin. Enough people couldn’t afford it or didn’t like the offering to not bother. It’s unbelievable that they haven’t reached out to fans, or even this blog, to try and help with how to spec future releases.

  25. Artyom Yakovlev says:

    I don’t know who’s responsible for that or who’s behind all of this, but the whole thing is disgusting and shameful.
    Unlike most of you guys who bought the set in local stores or with domestic shipping rates, I’m from Russia, and I had to buy the “So” box set from Amazon with huge international shipping costs – paying some extra 30$ for courier shipping.
    Now I’ll have to buy the bluray, which will cost the price of this bluray plus another 30$ for courier shipping from Amazon.
    This is sick. And I really don’t understand why I have to pay so much money in order to correct something which was officially confirmed as a mistake – by Gabriel himself.
    Unfortunately I don’t have a Facebook account but if someone could copy my message to the facebook page, I would be very grateful.

  26. Paul English says:

    The box wasn’t always £100 – it did drop to around the £60 / €70 price point for a brief period. The Athens concert should have been included on DVD and BD – not one or the other.

  27. Pingback:Peter Gabriel to release 1987 Live in Athens concert on blu-ray … | Blueray-Newreleases

  28. william says:

    I bet the BR wont even be 4K ready…it had better be

    This is getting crazy…..cue another letter from PG in 3…2…..1….

    • Daniel says:

      And just what the heck is a “4K-ready” blu-ray? Blu-ray is 1080p, or 1920×1080 resolution. The end. There’s no such thing as a “4K-ready” blu-ray disc. And even if there were, tell me what the difference would be between it and a “non-4K-ready” blu-ray. ACTUAL 4K blu-ray doesn’t even have a finalized spec yet. So I guess I’m not seeing your point at all. Buy the blu-ray or wait for 4K blu-ray if 4K is what matters to you. Because I can promise you that this release is 1080p. And I know that because 1080p blu-ray is the only kind of blu-ray available at present.

  29. Mic Smith says:

    When So 25 was issued fans could choose to buy the box, wait for a blu ray edition if they prefer that format (it’s actually quite restrictive to only have a Blu Ray disc when you have other options than a BluRay player already) or ignore the BluRay should one arrive.
    So for me having a DVD and BluRay wouldn’t be a problem. I spend a lot on Peter’s music on many formats and to suddenly moan about a duplication on this release would be churlish in the extreme.
    Gabriel has been pretty honest with his fans over the years and I for one allow him to get things wrong occasionally, if indeed you consider releasing something in different formats a mistake.

  30. Geter Patriel says:

    I suppose it has been said before: PG and his Real World-team on the whole were a bit of a downer since the release of UP. I am pretty sure that the SO-Deluxe-madness didn’t sell well at all. To make up for that they’re about to release all the nifty little ingredients again and again and again. The soullessness of all that sucks big time and I am still wondering about his “we were not having done certain things right”-nonsense. Real World Ltd. is owned by him, he has the final saying and the big question is why he has such low interest in quality control. I for one can clearly state, that I had lost interest in his output due to that.

  31. Steven Roberts says:

    Much as I *despise* this double dipping by a once great artist (let’s be honest, PG has been a legacy for the past 10 years or so), I’d almost be tempted to spring the Athens BD if the included Play disc had also been blu-ray.

    I mean, why have the live disc as a BD, and include Play only as a DVD. Do they have a warehouse of Play DVDs to shift, or something?

    Maybe they’re (as chdx suggests above) planning to launch a Play blu-ray sometime next year?

    At least tell me the included Play DVD reinstates the original videos and doesn’t feature the PG special ‘dicked around with’ versions on the Play release from a few years ago.

  32. johan says:

    I really enjoyed the box set and appreciate the work that has been done to rescan the Athens footage.
    The In your eyes special mix is missing, that was a pity. I don’t care about the rest, I’m a collector but not a completist.
    I have been wondering why I have not read on the internet about the exclusion of the stunning demo This is the road, instead of the complaints about missing b-sides.

  33. johan says:

    And I don’t get the complaints about the Blu Ray. There is ‘compensation’ because you get PLAY for free.

  34. johan says:

    I’m not into surround, but I recall people regretting there were no 5.1 mixes of So tracks on Blu Ray in the box set, while pointing out that a good portion (6/8 or 9) of these already existed: on the PLAY dvd.

    Maybe one should look at it the other way around:

    there was never a ‘promise’ or something like that about inclusion of 5.1 mixes of So material on Blu Ray in the box set.

    PG releases PLAY on Blu Ray, charges a fair price and we get the Athens material on Blu Ray for free !

  35. johan says:

    Sorry, my point flew out of the window, I missed that it’s PLAY on dvd not Blu Ray.
    +1 for the petition

  36. Daniel says:

    Maybe Peter wouldn’t have to gouge his fans with things like this blatant and insulting money grab if he charged reasonable prices for his concerts so that the rapidly aging demographic that makes up his fan base could actually afford to attend and fill his venues.

    And why are his fans aging so rapidly? Probably because the man NEEDS NEW MATERIAL. I love So as much as the next Gabriel fan, but for the love of God, Peter, release some new songs! I can only hear regurgitated renditions of tracks from 11, 21 and 27-year-old albums so many freaking times before I start wondering why I’m still listening (and, by the way, re-orchestrations do NOT count as new).

    I’ll buy this blu-ray, but only because I knew from the beginning to be a smart consumer and save my money instead of buying that stupid box set last year. This was what should have been released from the get-go. The added Youssou N’Dour material is an even bigger slap in the face to those who were suckered in with the box. Unreal.

    But can I make one request (that’ll be ignored)? Give us the OPTION of the original sound mix, for heaven’s sake. The 5.1 surround remix is an absolute ABOMINATION. Fade outs, fade ins, omissions of about half of the cries at the end of Mercy Street. It’s unfathomable why so many arbitrary changes were inflicted upon a perfectly LEGENDARY concert performance.

  37. pinkfloyd says:

    Daniel,
    Agree SO much: *stu*pid*box*set*

  38. johan says:

    I agree the original mix is superior. The version of Mercy Street on the 4-track Secret World live EP from 1993 sound better and – as Daniel pointed out – is complete. The version of In Your Eyes from the Before US Geffen promo is also way better than the new mix. The version issues on the Sunday on Times sampler is inferior too. Don’t know from what source that one came. Anyone?

  39. Steve says:

    I bought the deluxe box recently, but only because it was cheaper than the original price a year ago. I also recently bought the Blu-Ray of the Athens concert that just arrived today. Haven’t checked it out as of yet.

    One question that I was looking for an answer to is where do you get the download code for the 720P videos of the Athens concert referenced at https://petergabriel.com/offers/so-24bit-download/video/ ? No where can I find this code in my box set, although I did find the code to download the 24-bit audio files.

  40. Pingback:Peter Gabriel releases “Courage”: a newly remixed “So” outtake | superdeluxeedition

  41. SomethingAnything says:

    Just bought this blu-ray for half-price in a store bargain bin. It had been there for days. In the end, I went back and got it. Guess that’s saying something. I’ll pass on my old Play DVD to a friend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>