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Tabu Anthology boxes offer bonus content and remastered sound

Alexander O'Neal / Tabu Anthology box set

Alexander O’Neal is the first Tabu box out in November

Demon Music will release an album collection box set from Alexander O’Neal in November 2013. This is the first of two artist specific Anthology box sets (The S.O.S. Band is due in March next year) with a multi-artist larger Tabu box also due in Spring 2013.

Since the Anthology boxes were first announced way back in February, there has been some confusion over the content. Would the boxes simply hold a set of the expanded reissues that were released individually during the year, or could we expect a straightforward set of album-only reissues in card sleeves (like those Original Album Series collections)?

Perhaps surprisingly, the sets are neither of those things. The Alexander O’Neal Anthology box is an eight CD box set that does indeed include all six albums without bonus tracks (Alexander O’Neal to Love Makes No Sense) but it also comes with two additional bonus CDs, one that collects seven-inch edits and one containing 12-inch mixes. The bonus CDs include some tracks not included with the individual reissues.

Even better, these new sets contains brand new remasters of the albums and bonus tracks. Yes, different to the individual releases that are less than a year old.

“On all these Tabu box sets, what we actually did was we gathered all the masters that were available, so even if something had been issued on CD three or four times before, and literally did a comparison” Demon Product Manager Ian Dewhirst told us. He added, “We used A.R. Digital Mastering in Holland who are particularly good at this kind of work”.

Fans had previously voiced some criticism when so-called ‘vinyl rips’ (where the audio is taken from an original vinyl, rather than a master tape) were discovered amongst some of the bonus offerings on the individual Tabu deluxe reissues. Rather than simply replicate those remasters, it seems that Demon have gone the extra mile to try improve the audio for these new boxes.

The Alexander O’Neal Anthology comes packaged in a sturdy bespoke box and includes a comprehensive 40-page book containing an intro from Ralph Tee and sleeve notes courtesy of A. Scott Galloway and Christian John Wikane.

Demon will release an S.O.S. Band Anthology in March next year, along with a multi-disc Tabu Box Set. Like Alexander O’Neal, both will feature all new remasters.

The Alexander O’Neal Anthology is released on 18 November and full track listing can be found below.

Alexander O'Neal / Tabu Anthology box set

Alexander O’Neal

Tabu / The S.O.S. Band anthology box set

SOS Band

Tabu boxsets explained / Alexander O'Neal / S.O.S. Band

Tabu Box

Full track listing for Alexander O’Neal:

CD1 Alexander O’Neal

  • 1 A Broken Heart Can Mend
  • 2 If You Were Here Tonight
  • 3 Do You Wanna Like I Do
  • 4 Look At Us Now
  • 5 Medley: Innocent / Alex 9000 / Innocent II
  • 6 What’s Missing
  • 7 You Were Meant To Be My Lady (Not My Girl)

CD2 Hearsay

  • 1 Intro
  • 2 (What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me
  • 3 Intro
  • 4 Hearsay
  • 5 Intro
  • 6 The Lovers
  • 7 Intro
  • 8 Fake
  • 9 Intro
  • 10 Criticize
  • 11 Intro
  • 12 Never Knew Love Like This
  • 13 Interlude
  • 14 Sunshine
  • 15 Crying Overtime
  • 16 Intro
  • 17 When The Party’s Over

CD3 All Mixed Up

  • 1 Fake ‘88 [House Mix]
  • 2 (What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me [Hateful Club Mix]
  • 3 Never Knew Love Like This [Extended Version]
  • 4 Criticize [Ben Liebrand Remix]
  • 5 The Lovers (Extended Version)
  • 6 Criticize [Remix]
  • 7 (What Can I Say) To Make You Love Me
  • [Ben Liebrand Remix]
  • 8 Fake [Extended Remix]
  • 9 You Were Meant To Be My Lady
  • [88 Keith Cohen Extended Remix]
  • 10 Innocent [88 Keith Cohen House Mix]

CD4 My Gift To You

  • 1 My Gift To You
  • 2 Sleigh Ride
  • 3 Our First Christmas
  • 4 Remember Why (It’s Christmas)
  • 5 The Little Drummer Boy
  • 6 The Christmas Song
  • 7 This Christmas
  • 8 Winter Wonderland
  • 9 Thank You For A Good Year
  • 10 Remember Why (It’s Christmas) [reprise]

CD5 All True Man

  • 1 Time Is Running Out
  • 2 The Yoke (G.U.O.T.R.)
  • 3 Every Time I Get Up
  • 4 Somebody (Changed Your Mind)
  • 5 Midnight Run
  • 6 Used
  • 7 All True Man
  • 8 Sentimental
  • 9 What Is This Thing Called Love?
  • 10 The Morning After
  • 11 Hang On
  • 12 Shame On Me

CD6 Love Makes No Sense

  • 1 In The Middle
  • 2 If U Let It
  • 3 Aphrodisia
  • 4 Love Makes No Sense
  • 5 Home Is Where The Heart Is
  • 6 Change Of Heart
  • 7 Lady
  • 8 All That Matters To Me
  • 9 Since I’ve Been Lovin’ You
  • 10 Your Precious Love
  • 11 What A Wonderful World

CD7 Bonus: The 7” Single Versions

  • 1 If You Were Here Tonight (Remix)
  • 2 What’s Missing
  • 3 Are You The One?
  • 4 Innocent
  • 5 Saturday Love
  • 6 Never Knew Love Like This
  • 7 Fake (Patty Mix)
  • 8 Criticize (Critical Edit)
  • 9 The Lovers
  • 10 Sunshine (Edit)
  • 11 Hearsay ‘89 (Remix)
  • 12 All True Man
  • 13 Sentimental
  • 14 What Is This Thing Called Love
  • 15 The Yoke (G.U.O.T.R.)
  • 16 Aphrodisia
  • 17 In The Middle
  • 18 All That Matters To Me
  • 19 Love Makes No Sense

CD8 Bonus: The 12” Mixes

  • 1 If You Were Here Tonight [Soft Version]
  • 2 What’s Missing? [Extended Remix]
  • 3 Innocent [Extended Dance Remix]
  • 4 You Were Meant To Be My Lady (Not My Girl) [Extended Mix]
  • 5 Saturday Love [Extended Version]
  • 6 Hearsay ’89 [Extended Remix]
  • 7 All True Man [Classic Club Mix]
  • 8 What Is This Thing Called Love [Dee Classic Club Mix]
  • 9 Aphrodisia [Moire Palma Mix]

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27 responses to Tabu Anthology boxes offer bonus content and remastered sound

  1. Eric says:

    Hmm….this could be a chance for Demon to put right the unholy mess that’s been the Tabu deluxe series? If they say they’ve gone back for new masters, then theoretically they could/should re-press the individual titles where possible. And it wasn’t just the bonus material that was found to be from vinyl…whole albums, especially the rarer ones, were also from vinyl/inferior sources. In the end, some Tabu fans (myself included) would have settled for the main albums of the hardest-to-find titles to be CD-quality, and have the bonus content from vinyl, but even that wasn’t the case with, for example, “Just The Way You Like It”.

    I’d like to think there is some chance that Demon will rectify some of the issues with the already-issued titles.

  2. PaulB says:

    I haven’t bought any of these CDs up to now -and now I’m glad I didn’t.

    Surely Demon owe it to people who bought the original re-issues the chance to replace them with the “superior” version for,at least, a greatly reduced cost? Then again, they’ll probably become “collectors’ items”!

  3. Quincy says:

    Demon should have mastered the albums properly first time round. The Alexander O’Neal LP bonus tracks were poor. All from vinyl. They also duplicated the Medley album track onto disc 2 and incorrectly called it Innocent extended dance remix. I later picked up the 2013 Japanese remaster (CDSOL-5201) and it’s far superior to Demon’s effort.

    • Rick says:

      Wow, I always thought the Japanese releases were mainly repackaged UK releases, especially since the inlay reads: licensed from Demon. So the sound is clearer and better? I have the 2003 Right Stuff remasters and was disappointed that the Demon cd’s used the exact same mastering…
      So yes, I feel ripped off now having to buy the box sets to have better quality cd’s…

  4. Simon says:

    Disappointing and confusing. I think buyers could reasonably have expected the box set would replicate the individual releases plus have some additional material, but that’s not going to be the case. Completists will have to buy both the box set and each re-release to get everything.

    I appreciate re-releasing a whole label’s output was never going to be easy, but the Tabu re-releases do seem to have been particularly troubled from an audience point of view.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think most people expected these boxes to be just a collection of single disc versions of the albums. So two bonus discs of 7″ and 12″ versions plus the whole thing being remastered is better than what we might have expected, for me.

  5. Marc Acermon says:

    This is too little too late, in my opinion. Had Demon insisted on using master tapes instead of vinyl from the beginning, this PR disaster could have been avoided. It was a lazy half-arsed job lacking in transparency that was a complete disservice to this great music.

    It’s going to take more than a press blurb to convince me to part with my hard earned money on this company.

  6. Mike says:

    Yep, seems bad to charge fans twice for the same product!

  7. Michael says:

    Ooh that SOS Band box is mine!!!!!!

  8. Killian Scott says:

    Are the SOS Band Irish?

  9. Psv1 says:

    Wow what a major disappointment!! I had held off on buying the Alexander O’Neal reissues because they were vinyl rips and because I figured I’ll buy the box set at a reduced price at some point because that will have everything in it. But now some genius has decided that the bonus tracks are not in the box set!! WTF??? Now I simply won’t buy either one. The extra cd with 7″ versions is entirely ridiculous. Who is waiting to have a full disc of the radio versions? As bonus tracks, I want unreleased songs and extended remixes, not short (boring) versions of the songs. And the bonus disc of extended versions is a joke. It only has 9 songs on it. The first 4 songs from the 9 are the extended bonus tracks from the first album. The other 5 songs are on the other albums so this box set contains nothing interesting other than a disc of 7″ versions which is entirely UNINTERESTING!

    • Pete says:

      Who is waiting to have a full disc of the radio versions?

      I, for one. Of course the album versions have their place and I can’t get enough of extended remixes and so on. But sometimes, probably usually if I’m honest, I just crave the 7″ versions, the ones I had on my singles, the ones I heard on the radio and taped off the top 40. I am not alone.

      • DLG says:

        I suspect you’re far from alone; most people want either the radio versions or album versions – they’re the ones we all heard on the radio and MTV.

        I like extended versions and especially remixes, but so many of the 1980s 12-inchers simply extend a song designed to be 3-5 minutes into 7-9 minutes via repetition, plus padding with drum machine breakdowns and breakbeats designed for the dancefloor of the 1980s – not your mind/ears of 2013.

        Everything has its place, but as most songs are written/produced for the album and cut for radio, those versions are the artist’s primary design, and as a result are *far* more important.

        Remixes/extendeds deserve preservation for posterity too. Some are indeed essential, when their unique elements create a different listening experience, or the artist is actively involved in creating something distinct. But let’s get the entree right first…then see if there’s room for dessert.

  10. SimonP says:

    The 7″ mix disc is essentially a greatest hits, so pretty good from my point of view. Won’t be buying it, though, but will keep an eye out for the SOS Band set next year.

  11. Psv1 says:

    So they took all the bonus tracks away and replaced them with a lame single disc of 9 remixes and a disc of radio versions. Sorry, doesn’t cut it for me. But to each their own.

  12. Steve says:

    The “single edits” disc has non single mixes instead of the actual single versions

  13. lee3010 says:

    I bought 4 of the re-issue digipaks and will be buying this box set too. £30 seems pretty reasonable to me. I know some people have/had issues with the audio quality on the re-issues but I was happy with them. Nice to get a ‘edits’ disc and 12″ remixes disc thrown into the mix – happy Alex fan here!!

  14. Pingback:QUICK LOOK: Alexander O’Neal / “Tabu Anthology” 8CD box set | superdeluxeedition

  15. Fred Smith says:

    What a cheek Demon;mugs like me buy the reissues,which to my chagrin left off certain extended mixes [not due to time restrictions]and now you release this boxset with ‘superior sound’ which they should have been anyway.

  16. Stefano says:

    I am VERY happy to get a second chance on a better mastering. The bonus remixes on the individual first reissues were vinyl rips anyway, so I don’t want these on this second edition.

    I assume that the upcoming Tabu anthology set will contain a lot of mixes remastered from the original masters.

    Demon has made a big mess of the Tabu reissue programme. Hopefully these new box sets will meet the quality as desired.

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  19. Ian says:

    Does anyone know or can confirm whether the remastered tracks (rather than vinyl rips) actually made it into this edition?

  20. Dorian says:

    Hello everyone. I have been listening to Hearsay and My Gift To You from the box set. I have to say that they sound excellent. Still listening, but I can write that the two sound great and certainly not vinyl rips.
    One really big difference between the box set and even the great sounding Japanese released albums comes from “Are You the One” which was a bonus track on the Japanese CD of the Alexander O’Neal album. The Japanese bonus track is definitely a vinyl rip. The 7″ cd on the box set of the same track sounds a lot better.

  21. Antmo says:

    Damn, I guess Cherrelle didn’t have enough content for a box set lol… PS they should have had the video /audio versions of A Broken Heat and innocent. That would have been worth buying.

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