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FIRST PICTURES / Bjork : Anniversary coloured vinyl reissues

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Some Björk anniversary vinyl has arrived at SDE and as you will be able to see from our photo gallery (below) it’s something of a mixed bag…

Of the three albums ordered, Vespertine is the star of the show. The glossy gatefold sleeve for the 2001 album is pin-sharp in terms of both the photography and artwork and it’s very, very beautiful. The inner sleeves are printed on uncoated card and contain lyrics and further artwork. No surprise that the coloured vinyl is a blissful pure white. One of our records had a small brown blemish on it, however this didn’t seem to affect playback.

Homogenic (1997) and Debut from 1993 are both single albums and come in top-loading sleeves. Homogenic looks reasonable on the front, but the back has the tell-tale signs of scanned artwork with some rather ‘soft’ text. The vinyl is bright green.

Disappointingly, for an anniversary reissue, Debut is rather awful to look at. The front cover is far too yellowy and the contrast of the original is lacking. The rear is even worse. The text is so far out of focus it hurts to look at it. It’s hard to understand why One Little Indian thought this was adequate. Major labels get regularly accused of being lazy with this kind of thing, but you don’t expect it from an ‘indie’. They could have recreated the design (just text and a logo after all) and re-typeset everything. The inner sleeve is plain black and the vinyl is an attractive sandy colour. There is also no sign of the booklet that came with some early vinyl pressings, so unlike the other two albums there are no lyrics and you will find none of the other photographs of Björk from the Debut era.

All of the records come with a bespoke sticker that have words that summarise the nature and tone of the record, so for Homogenic these include ‘cosmopolitan’, ‘contrast’, ‘warrior’, ‘volcanic beats’ etc. For Vespertine you get ‘celestial’, ‘whispered vocals’, ‘loyal swans’ etc. All come with a download card.

The coloured vinyl is very nice of course, but why go to the effort of pressing coloured vinyl without sorting out reproduction issues with photographs and graphics? Bjork has remained with the same record label for 22 years, so you’d think maintaining negatives and an archive of artwork wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. Out of the three SDE has seen Vespertine is highly recommended but proceed with caution with the other two, or at least manage your expectations!

The anniversary coloured vinyl reissues are limited to 5,000 for each album. Click on the photos below to enlarge, and then click again to carry on viewing the gallery.

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debut

Debut (limited edition coloured vinyl)

post

Post (limited edition coloured vinyl)

homogenic

Homogenic (limited edition coloured vinyl)

verspertine

Vespertine (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)

medulla

Medúlla (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)

volta

Volta (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)

biophilia

Biophilia (2LP limited edition coloured vinyl)

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27 responses to FIRST PICTURES / Bjork : Anniversary coloured vinyl reissues

  1. gary c says:

    Happy Birthday, SDE!

  2. Hmmm… I had thought about picking all of these up but the fact I have the Surrounded box set, which IMHO, is as definitive a set as you can get of her work up till Medúlla, I held back. Maybe as well that I did :-(

  3. DJ Control says:

    Yeah I have Surrounded too. Think I’ll stick with that and I’ve bought all the albums since Surrounded was released as limited editions. That cover for the Debut lp looks wrong.

  4. Andy says:

    They’ll have to go a long way to top the DMM remasters from a few years ago.

  5. Gareth says:

    I only bought ‘Vespertine’ and ‘Homogenic’ but the vinyl pressings weren’t great for either. Odd noise on the run in, various pop and crackle and various low level surface noise. Shonkily done cash ins for people who want bright trinkets not records to play. Avoid.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Vespertine’s got so many ‘clicks’ and static-y sounds as part of the record it’s quite hard to ascertain how ‘good’ the vinyl is!!

  6. Ron says:

    The SACD editions for both Medúlla and Vespertine are still the ones to own.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yeah… got both of those. In fact I also have the DVD-A of Vespertine although don’t think it sounds any different to the SACD. 5.1 of Vespertine is ‘immersive’ as they say.

  7. BRENEZ Alain says:

    Funny you have them already as I ordered mine from Rise Music and I have been told there’s a 2 week delay !

  8. Shane says:

    I wonder if it would be a good idea to return them to OLI with a complaint.

  9. trash says:

    I *had* the original of Debut and got the reissue to replace it.

    Received it today and it seemed wrong to me:
    – didn’t look right colour-wise
    – Stock seemed too thin
    – My original had a booklet
    – The type on the rear seems out of focus

    I presumed I was just misremembering the quality of my original but having read the above…
    I have to echo your sentiments Paul – I would have expected better from One Little Indian. This seems cheaply and shoddily done!

    I’ve also just received the Roxy vinyl boxed set so it will be interesting to see what the quality of those reissues is like.

  10. probablyrustin says:

    I’m expecting the first four in the mail but after hearing these complaints around the web am rather disappointed. After spending $100 on the set, I’d expect better. Hopefully once more have their copies, we can mass complain to OLI or something. I know it’s not unheard of to do repressings (Boards of Canada sent out replacement discs for their recent campaign) but something tells me they aren’t that worried about the quality of the product in this case.

  11. trash says:

    By the way further to my comment above – I’ve just opened my Roxy boxed set and it is even worse than the Bjork reissues. Roxy is going straight back.
    I’ll explain more as a comment under the original Roxy SDE post (if I can locate it).

  12. Jut says:

    Hmm. Bit poor this. I pre ordered the whole lot from OLI, no news from them on the delay, (I found out via amazon) and now this. Hopefully the rest are better quality.

    Wish they had just reissued all the cubes DMM releases!

  13. Alan Fenwick says:

    I ordered the first 3 albums, they came last week but I wasn’t around to collect the delivery, so I’ve just got them today and having a little look and listen.

    I’m going to echo some of the comments already adding a few of my own observations also.

    Covers very thin – cheap cardboard

    Very blurry cover (back of Debut)

    Inner sleeve on Post – Wafer thin, it’s crumpling already after just one play

    I though Debut sounded very quiet and had a lot of surface noise

    Post sounded a bit louder, however still plenty of surface noise plus a few suspect marks on the vinyl (I got those for free, I didn’t have to pay extra)

    Homogenic – doesn’t seem to have as much surface noise, but sounds awful anyway – sounds a bit distorted in places.

    All 3 of the records when you hold them up to the light look very patchy and uneven.

    Apart from all of the above they’re great, well done One Little Indian.

  14. Alex says:

    I received the Debut LP from OLI store just yesterday. The reissue is a total disappointment. The sleeve is made from cheap (very cheap) cardboard and it is super thin, almost flimsy. The colors are blurry and the booklet is not included. The colored vinyl is beautiful, but is it enough to make a reissue worth buying?

  15. Jens says:

    Paul – based on what I read here and what I have experienced lately with certain “new” vinyl re-issues of my own (Killing Joke’s LTEV back Catalogue , Dead Can Dance’s Anastasis etc), it would be interesting if You could do an editorial on the obvious Audiophile Scam. What, apart from fast money is behind this step backward. Are all Vinyl pressing plants without maintenance? Or has the paper and vinyl quality been drained by environmental recycling. You get my point – shed some fresh light on why we are paying more and getting less.

  16. Howie says:

    I have been toying with the idea of getting these since first announced and now reading this I am glad I didn’t take the plunge. I totally agree on the above sentiment regarding the quality control of new releases and find it increasingly hard to justify the £20+ price tag of vinyl these days which more often than not has serious flaws.
    There is some serious pissing up people’s backs going on.

  17. gary c says:

    If you want something beautiful relating to Bjork artwork wise, and you all seem to have the music already in better quality, go for the Bjork Book/Catalogue from the MOMA show in NYC.

  18. Wim says:

    These are The colors:

    Debut _ Grey
    Post _ Pink
    Homogenic _ Bright Green
    Vespertine _ White [2]
    Medulla _ Cherrie Dark Red [2]
    Volta _ Fluorescent Yellow + Red
    Biophilia _ Orange + Transparent Dark Blue

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  20. Jon shaw says:

    I hope the delay will fix these issues though I doubt it. According tot he OLI website they’re expecting all the coloured albums to ship on Friday 20th, Vulnicura will follow on March 30th.

  21. Neo says:

    I can’t believe how many times they have to re-issue Bjorks albums in various different formats. At least do a good job about it! Otherwise don’t bother.

    Why didn’t they re-release the DMM versions? Why didn’t they take care with the artwork? I suppose its all done to the budget of £20, but Im sure fans would pay another £10 if they know it will be fantastic with superior sound quality and artwork.

    The coloured vinyl is a gimmick and like picture discs, I don’t think the sound is great.

    One little indian love to cash in on Bjork – she must be their best selling artist. But at least do it brilliantly and give her the respect she deserves, not cheap rubbishy imitations.

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