This new reissue comes in a rigid lift-off lid box with a slightly bizarre front image of a sealed version of the album complete with a ‘Record Tape & Video Exchange’ sticker on the front (not an actual sticker).
Inside resides a large folded replica of a ‘shop poster’ (the item shown in white below) as well as facsimiles of NEMS concert listing sheet and a handwritten set-list. The credits and mastering notes are printed on a circular card representation of the master tape, which is a nice touch, and it is here you will also find a download code for the album in the following formats: MP3 of remastered 24/96 files, FLAC of remastered 24/96 files and MP3 of the vinyl album dubbed from an original pressing “recorded from the Drake’s family gramophone player”.
John Wood who remastered this edition (he was the original engineer) points out that the original masters to Bryter Layter have been lost, so he used his personal safety copy made at the time of the original mixes.
The star of the show is the record itself which features a fantastic textured sleeve. The inner sleeve has an original inner sleeve printed on it. Cute, but why not actually re-create the original sleeve properly, with the correct paper (instead of printing an image on modern paper), OR being an audiophile product forget about ‘recreating’ something old and provide a high quality anti-static inner sleeve to help look after the LP (see Analogue Productions’ Doors reissues)
Quibbles aside, the vinyl sounds very quiet, and the music sounds fantastic, with a lot of detail and warmth. Hard to imagine any Drake fans with turntables will be disappointed with this set. Whether the box element is really necessary is up for debate (there’s not that much in it), but hey, we like boxes around here and the care and attention with the presentation is self evident. Out now.