Reviews

Bag of Shite: Overpriced Oasis “Definitely Maybe” box filled with tat

BAG

Clockwise from bottom, left: Badges, keyring, seven-inch single, five photos, one bigger photo, tote bag – yours for around £50

Blur famously beat Oasis to the UK number one spot back in the summer of 1995 and almost 20 years down the road from *that* chart battle, Blur again have the upper hand when it comes to presenting their output via reissues and deluxe box sets. The Blur 21 box from 2012 was an embarrassment of riches, while the Oasis Definitely Maybe ‘Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxset’ is simply an embarrassment.

Blur offered their fans a 21-disc box that contained ALL of their studio albums as new and expanded two-CD deluxe editions, then added four bonus CDs full of unreleased rarities (a further 70 tracks!) and on top of that, fans got three DVDs with unreleased promos, and concert performances. Blur 21 also came with a seven-inch vinyl and a book.

FOR THE SAME MONEY (£110) Oasis offer you a box that contains the three-CD version of Definitely Maybe, a 2LP vinyl version of the standard album and what can only politely be described as a load of crap that you’d hesitate to purchase from a ‘pound shop’. We are talking about a ‘tote bag'; two badges and a key ring; and a big photo and five little photos. On top of that you get a book and a seven-inch single, same as in the Blur box.

sealed

Front of the box has the same design as front of the book

It really is quite incredible. Apart from a couple of live songs on the seven-inch single (two similar tracks are being given away on Amazon), there is no exclusive audio content in this set and no video content at all. A couple of unique bonus tracks (Shakermaker (Slide Up Mix) and Bring It On Down (Monnow Valley) were saved for the Japanese three-CD edition and are not included here.

This box appears to be treating the fans who can afford it with disdain, exhibiting a ‘fuck it, if they’ll pay £75, they’ll probably pay over £100′ mentality. Using the Amazon prices as a yardstick, the three-CD and vinyl sets can be bought separately for less than £33 (at the time of writing). That leaves a 60-page book and all that aforementioned junk to justify the extra £77. It’s not even worth a third of that. Despite the fact that the book isn’t bad at all, the price tag is surely (in the words of Elvis Costello, when describing his own Spectacular Spinning Songbook box) either “a misprint or a satire”.

open

In the box… 3CD bottom, right (also available separately)

The box isn’t even that well designed. The Blur set had nooks and crannies for the content to slot into, whereas Oasis go for the Pink Floyd ‘Immersion Edition’ approach – chuck everything in a big box. Smaller items (like the CD) just float around without a ‘home’.

The bad news is that we have more of these so-called ‘Chasing The Sun’ super deluxe sets to come, later this year. No doubt Oasis will be looking for another £100+ for (What’s The Story) Morning Glory and Be Here Now super deluxe sets. That will be approaching £350 for less than half their career – The career-spanning Beatles Mono vinyl box (due later this year) will be around that price!

vinyl

Double vinyl (also available separately)

There will of course be plenty of people who ‘just want’ this set, even if it is overpriced and under-spec’d. That’s fair enough (and presumably that is what band and management are relying on), but if you are in two minds about it, then it is best avoided. It really isn’t worth it. Or at least hold off for a while, since despite the ‘limited edition’ tag there’s a reasonable chance you’ll be able to pick-up one cheap if it under performs (which it deserves to).

In the end, there is nothing ‘super’ or ‘deluxe’ about this box set. It is a lazy, greedy attempt to fill the coffers. Putting your weekly shopping in a plastic bag doesn’t double the value of the goods inside, and the same goes for the individual components that have been collected and put in a black box with a magnetic clasp.

A serious and considered attempt to present an deluxe expanded archive of the band’s activities in the studio, on stage and on TV circa 1993-1994 would have been worth paying a premium for. This isn’t.


More photos below:

book3

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book1

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book2

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cd2

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cd3

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sticker

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77 responses to Bag of Shite: Overpriced Oasis “Definitely Maybe” box filled with tat

  1. DaveDogFacedBoy says:

    To fit in with the nineties vibe the headline really should be in Steve Coogan’s Paul Calf character catchphrase – “Bag O’ Shite” *burps & swigs lager*

    It does look a load of old tat. Anyone got the vinyl yet? Any subtler than the original. Ok, it’s Oasis, I know, I know

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Yes, needed to leave off the ‘f’ :)

      • Jim says:

        I still laughed audibly when I clicked on the page and saw that title at the top. It was so unexpected when I clicked onto the page but it immediately said everything about this box in three succinct and accurate words.

        I hope you continue calling out the bad apples that purport to be ‘super deluxe’ box sets in no uncertain terms.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Glad you enjoyed it Jim. Sometimes you just have to cut through the niceties and tell it as it is. It’s not big and clever to use bad language, of course, but hopefully we’ll be forgiven this once :)

  2. Rogerio says:

    Ok, but how about the cds and lps themselves? are there booklets, pictures, lyrics, essays, liner notes…?

  3. bob says:

    Disgraceful. I often read Noel Gallagher interviews were he is keen to brag about how much money he has made from his records. Lets hope he makes nothing from this. Fantastic review Paul, and an important one if you are an Oasis fan.

  4. Steve Burke says:

    It’s also hyper-compressed even more than the original, well done Ian Cooper and Oasis for proving people wrong who thought the album couldn’t sound worse than it already does. Thank fuck we have a couple tracks from the singles and some .mp3 files of the “Safety Copies” floating around to hear what Oasis might actually sound like were someone to do remix the album from the original analogue multitracks nice and open.

    • Nick Watson says:

      Wow. This album pretty much started the loudness war and they’ve made it even louder? Incredible.

      If the unmastered mixes are overcooked already – which I do suspect – then you’re probably right. A new mix would have been very interesting, and might even have gone some small way towards justifying that price tag.

  5. Such foul language! It’s like I wrote it!

  6. Jim says:

    It really is disgraceful what they are trying to flog here and you have to say buyer beware. Anybody paying out for this needs their head looked at.

    The comparison with the Blur set is very apt and Blur 21, as a reissue campaign / career overview, makes this Oasis debacle look truly embarrassing and everyone involved with it should be ashamed.

    I have to say the novelty of the big ‘super deluxe’ boxes has worn off for me somewhat due to their being more overpriced and badly designed sets than excellent ones that have clearly had time and effort spent on them. I am increasingly buying the cheaper versions and going without the tat that many are being bulked out with.

  7. Phil Wilson says:

    I thought the two live tracks on the 7″ were on CD3 as well? Which makes it pointless as an exclusive? I have ordered the japanese version, but having listenened to the sound quality of the tracks on CD3 last night as an autorip, they sounded very poor quality. Nice to finally have Sad Song on CD though, in its studio version. Very underwhelmed by this though, and was always a huge fan.

  8. A justifiably scathing review. That’s a whole lot of tat for £110.

    Guess I shan’t be using my über generous £2 off voucher from HMV then ;-)

  9. Phil Wilson says:

    The live version of Supersonic on CD3 even has Jo Whiley speaking at the end, and sounds exactly like someone ripped it to tape at home before putting it on the CD. The demos I can understand having less sound quality but the Manchester Academy live tracks seem to be taken from Bootlegs, when they must have recorded live shows as they released some live tracks a b-sides (Glastonbury for example). The live tracks from the Royal Albert Hall where Noel took vocals as Liam was “ill” would have been good, awesome version of Live Forever from there. I think it was some sort of Creation artists night

  10. Phil Wilson says:

    Undrugged (It’s all coming back to me now, excellent Ride acoustic set that night too)

    • Presley Spigot says:

      Now a huge Ride career retrospective on vinyl with a couple of LPs worth of outtakes, a live album or two, would be wonderful. Yes, even with Tarantula, and I’ll say it loud and say it proud, I dig Carnival of Light. It would mean the original copies of Nowhere & GBA I bought for insane prices a few years ago would be redundant, but I could take that hit if the set was suitably expansive.

  11. Adey.uk says:

    I’m SOOOOOO glad I avoided this boxset now!!! Its such a shame they actually offered less value in the expensive boxset than the standard release- doesn’t make any sense at all!
    I might buy it if it turns up at £16 like the doys boxset did on zavvi a while back.

  12. Galley says:

    The 3-CD version comes in a nice little hardbound book for less than $20 in the U.S. I haven’t opened mine yet. I was waiting for reviews of the sound quality.

  13. Adey.uk says:

    Imagine how bad morning glory is gonna sound!!!!

  14. Adey.uk says:

    I have the first press Japan issue cd just wondering if anyone knows how the new remastered cd compares?

  15. Albais says:

    Being toally clear: Get the CD or even the Double LP could be the point. But obviously then if u’re a “true fan” have to go for Japanese edition for get two different tracks and even if want more then get the Box for a 7″ with more new stuff (and of course the Demos tape if wanna go to the top).

    That’s serious? Nope, is a truly shame that for get all have to spend a lotof money specially with this so called Deluxe Edition (not first case of course, just there’s another Oasis álbum or even first Coldplay record that got different editions on different countries so as again want to kepp all let your bucks free and don’t dare to ask).

    My hope, one day all of this would end and those ones who wanna possess 100% of their fav artists can do it but all in a single thing and don’t get about end almost crazy trying to find it around the World.

    And finally a short question in case could get some help: Here in my place, Barcelona, found on a record shop the doublé vinyl with the download code but as well a single inside but there’s any info of which one could be. So if someone can get a clue would thanks a lot any information.

    Once again great job with this place and Ole Mr. Sinclair for being that damn clear, that’s how should be done…

  16. Orig80'saddict says:

    I also got the 3 cd US version for under $20.00. That will work fine for me. Love the little hardback book.

  17. Phil Wilson says:

    The two tracks on the 7″ are:

    Side A – Supersonic (Live At Glasgow Tramshed) 5:43
    Side B – Cigarettes & Alcohol (Live At Manchester Academy) 3:59

    That version of Supersonic is track 1 on CD3, C & A is track 8 . I note they are marketing that as “The 7” single will not be available for purchase anywhere else”. But the tracks are not exclusive to the format.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hadn’t realised that – even worse if it duplicates content. Why not put the Japan-only CD bonus tracks on this vinyl? Still remains exclusive to CD for the Japanese, so it might have worked…

  18. Robert says:

    What a shame.
    I really wanted to like this box set but I could not pull the trigger and buy it. Either I get the box set or I feel like the worlds biggest idiot.
    The re-issue campaigns from Blur and Suede are way above what Oasis is doing. I’m still a huge Oasis fan but Blur has shown which band remains the classiest.

  19. Phil Wilson says:

    Albais are you saying the double LP has a bonus single inside 7″ or 12″? I see it has a download code for all 33 tracks off CD2 and CD3 of the 3 disc set, and has Sad Song as a bonus track on the LP itself

    • Albais says:

      As the label with the prize says 2LP+7″ so that is what supposed to have but on new Eels álbum says got 2 LP and 2 CD but there’s other one saying only got Download Code and one of workers here told me that Compacts weren’t included.

      Probably will have to ask him but right now is what i know at the moment, as long as can get any other info will post here asap.

    • Albais says:

      Well seesm that ginallt mistery has been solved and the “supposed” extra single inside the álbum was a false alarm caused by a bad info from somebody somewhere as it seems, just like Mr. E new álbum was naming as well.
      But there’s another thing i found too: A vinyl copy of the original demos cassette that was released as a limited edition as well just before the first special editions, and since the label behind that was Independent Records not sure if could be talking of a posible bootleg lp case…

  20. Russell says:

    Has anyone tried using Clip Fix in Audacity to improve the cd audio?

  21. Rich says:

    Oasis have obviously been taken lessons from “The Masters of Overpriced Tat”, The Rolling Stones.

  22. Alan Fenwick says:

    We need to see more of these honest reviews of sets like this that completely miss the mark in terms of content, quality and are well and truly overpriced.

    I would like to think that this review would go some way to making a difference for the next 2 sets in the series that will be re-issued later in the year.

    Some record companies have been keen to listen to comments on this blog and have adjusted some of the re-issues accordingly, only time will tell if the same will happen with this series.

    Hopefully the uptake on the box set in particular was very low and it’s hit them where it hurts. Let’s see how long before this set get’s sold for sub £30 (I bet it’s quicker than you think)

  23. Paul Benny says:

    Yet another example of the record companies trying to get us to buy stuff already have. This is just an attempt at exploitation that sadly will succeed. A few die hards will pay the inflated price, the unsold stock will be remaindered at half that and the other fans will buy it because it seems like a bargain.

    Don’t buy.

  24. Michel says:

    Thank God for this blog, not buying this box (I really was on the fence at first), the 3 cd it will be then!!!

  25. Paolo Meccano says:

    While the box represents poor value for money, no-one is being forced to buy it: indeed, Oasis are being very generous in making all the audio available via less-expensive formats. I really hope any backlash over this first release doesn’t lead to future ones containing exclusive audio in an effort to justify the price.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Just because no one is being forced to buy it doesn’t mean it’s okay to make it overpriced and under spec’d. The 3CD set has great packaging and is good value. Why is this ethos abandoned for the expensive box? Not good enough.

  26. Richie -`Dig Out Your Money` says:

    I bought the `Dig Out Your Soul` box set for £24 – 4 x 180g 12 ” vinyl, 2 CD`s & a DVD. Throw in a nice book and a very sturdy box to hold them all, probably one of the best bargains ever after the John Martin Box for £38 after a tip from S.D.E.`s Paul (cheers mate). You can still get DOYS for £34. But this pile of SHITE, GALLAGHERS – “YOU CAN SHOVE IT UP YOUR ARSES”

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      They did something like 30,000 units of that Dig Out Your Soul box, which goes some way to explaining why it dropped like a stone in price. I think I got mine for £17.99!

      I’d love to know how many of the Definitely Maybe box they’ve produced. May have over-estimated again (ego etc.)

  27. Tim H says:

    Oasis have been taking the p**s out of their fans for years…one listen to their music can tell u that! Well done Paul for an honest, spades a spade review…heartening to read and the reason this site ‘stands (above) the shoulder of giants’…see what I did there?!?..

  28. auteur55 says:

    I really like some of the box set reissue campaigns when they contain the band’s entire discography. Like buying that Bob Dylan one that had every album he every he ever made plus a rarities for like $200 bucks. Tremendous value and I now, in one shot, own everything by Dylan in a great, compact box (all remastered too). What I don’t understand is spending $100 plus bucks on one album. So if you buy all three of these reissues you’ll have 3 giant, useless, cumbersome box sets lying around. I would definitely buy a set with all their albums, rarities and b-sides that didn’t take up half the room.

    I’m going to buy the 3 disc version of this but no thanks on this paying 77 bucks for some boring stickers.

    • bob says:

      I agree. For me that Bob Dylan set was box set of year, great content together with fantastic shelf friendly packaging at a very reasonable price. I was hoping that other similar box sets by other artists might follow…..

  29. noyoucmon says:

    I truly laffed at the headline. The funniest thing I’ve read all week!

  30. Mike says:

    Great review, Paul. This site is really doing a service to us fans/consumers by calling out sets like this one. Frankly, I have so many Oasis boots circa ’94-02, I really only want (or need) the cheaper three-disc set.

    I also wonder “who in their right mind is gonna pay a 100 quid for the deluxe “Be Here Now”? Maybe if it came with an ounce of charlie so the listener can simulate the aura under which the album was created…

  31. Daran says:

    I was going to say that the Gallaghers will be laughing all the way to the bank again, having pulled a fast one over the Oasis fans. But to be fair to them I think one of the brothers did say not to buy this release due to the price (so perhaps he had seen the content?).

    IMO Blur always aced Oasis. No contest. Better music, morals and respect for their fans.

  32. Chris says:

    What do they envisage you will do with that bag? A bag in a music box set, who comes up with such masterstrokes of marketing savvy?

  33. jcarr73729 says:

    Thank you for the forthright and honest review. The over-heated compression on the music and the tat being sold as exclusive content needs to be highlighted as much as possible. I hope they lose out on this ‘bag of shite’ (as a weegie I can use the extra ‘e’), but I suspect, as you do, that there’s enough idiots out there to buy the lot. Shame? I doubt it.

  34. James says:

    @Daran Blur respecting their fans? Is this the same Blur that at the start of this year pulled out of festivals in Australia and New Zealand a month or two beforehand, after fans had already spent hundreds or thousands for flights, accommodation and tickets? Because they felt a bad aura or some nonsense.

    I don’t really get the outrage over the set, considering it’s all available much cheaper on the 3cd set. Just buy that instead! If you don’t have the brains to check out what you’re buying beforehand and feel ripped off by the deluxe edition then you deserve to lose your money.

    I’ve just ordered the Japan 3cd edition to get the two extra bonus tracks as well, can’t wait!

  35. Adey.uk says:

    Hi Paul thanks for warning us potential buyers of this boxset before we ended up disappointed!
    Is the oasis tote bag quality on par with the asda “bag for life” or the tesco version? (I think both can be bought for around 70 pence each!!)

  36. Adey.uk says:

    Is it any wonder many diehard oasis fans now turn to torrent sites to fill their collections?

  37. Daran says:

    @ James. What utter tosh. It’s not uncommon for major artists gigs to get cancelled for various reasons. What’s your point? That a cancellation = fan disrespect? Often the contrary. And when you book tickets for a gig or the associated accomodation and travel you do so AT YOUR OWN RISK. If you don’t take out insurance to cover that last minute cancellation, then whose fault is that? But these things happen. Blur’s statement for the cancellation you mentioned shows me that thay did not want to proceed with a promoter who was jerking them about and risked the shows being substandard. They could have just turned up, take the money and be done with it.

    “Only 8 weeks to go, the band feels that with the constantly shifting goalposts and challenging conditions of the organisers, they can’t let it drag on any longer and want to make this announcement, to be clear to Blur fans that they won’t be there. We’ve done our very best to work with the organisers and considered every option to make it happen, but they’ve let us down and let everyone else down too.”

  38. James says:

    Albarn: “But I was genuinely concerned that the whole [Big Day Out] thing wouldn’t be quite as spiritually conclusive as we hoped it would be, because we weren’t sure if the organisation was quite right, or supportive of our ambitions.”

    What a trooper.

  39. Paul Sinclair says:

    James and Daran… let’s stick to talking about the deluxe sets.

    Daran, when it comes to reasonably priced deluxe editions Blur and Oasis are roughly on a par. The 3CD of DM is great, as were the 2CDs in boxes that blur put out. BUT if we are talking about box sets the Blur one blows the Oasis set out of the water. I do not understand this ‘so what if it’s crap, just get the cheaper one’ argument. Having a cheaper, good value option does not mean it’s okay to produce an overpriced monstrosity.

  40. Gary C says:

    Argumentative Daran strikes again! And he’s a terrible bread head, always accusing bands of grand larceny. On this point he is right, but he’s still an argumentative so and so…

  41. Alan Fenwick says:

    The new Frankie Goes To Hollywood box set on PledgeMusic for £85 delivered completely puts this Oasis set to shame, and just shows the comparison of good and bad box sets.

  42. Daran says:

    @ Gary C

    Stirring, mis-quoting Gary C strikes again! Classy.

  43. Daran says:

    Apologies Paul, but I’m not letting that one go. Gary C is well out of order with that slight on my perfectly reasonable ZTT Frankie posts.

  44. PC says:

    Well said Paul. Best review you’ve done yet. Tote bag o’ shite.

  45. DJ Control says:

    Thanks for the great “Bag of Shite” review! Order cancelled!

  46. Northern Monkey says:

    The Be Here Now deluxe comes with the tote bag filled vomit and a replica Yaya Toure birthday cake.

  47. John says:

    Well I have to admit I DID buy this on pre-order (fully aware of the contents!) via the official Oasis website to get the exclusive Whatever heavyweight 12″. But I did find this review very funny and honest. IT IS overpriced when you consider the only real bonus for the price was the book, the 7″ and the box (and the bonus 12″ in my case) which is a really excessive over-spend but if you’re an oasis fan and completist collector then you are gonna buy it. The box is really lovely as is the book, the 7″ is a nice touch. The badges and bag i really couldn’t give a tuppeny f*** about. I don’t get the whole ‘tote’ bag phenomena. They’re awkward to carry, feel like shite and don’t exactly hold much plus I have these things called pockets. The badges aren’t exactly unique and the 12″x12″ print and postcards are standard. What would have been nice is something like a replica of the Slide Away promo CD single or the french Rock N Roll Star live promo, a different version of the double LP, ie. coloured vinyl (cos some dick like me would then buy the normal black re-issue version on top!). Bonus CD content is great but not enough that’s properly new or unheard but the Whatever strings are a great touch. Personally I love my copy but I know I’ve overpaid by about £50 but it will be at home in already large oasis collection. Would be nice if the Morning Glory and Be Here Now versions get a bit more effort, but I doubt it. Bear in mind that the Complete Vinyl album box set from a few years back was only about £100-£110 and that really WAS worth the money (8 albums 7 of which were double LPs) and it was properly limited. I fear this will go the way of the Dig Out Your Soul box which properly wasn’t.

    • Andy says:

      The main problem is, as in your case, they know genuine fans/collectors of a particular band will spend the money regardless as collecting is an obsessive hobby. You deserve better exclusives and much, much more when being asked to spend that amount of money.

      There is also the dilemma of whether the box actually is limited in many cases and should you get it quick before it achieves silly pricing on the second hand market due to rarity or wait and see if it sticks around and drops dramatically in price.

      • John says:

        yeah exactly. Those arseholes at EIL.com have already got it on there for £150 and they were quick off the mark with this years RSD release too (in fact i got sent an email about before the day itself) so, dealers know theres a market for it too. I love buying deluxe editions and variants etc but this release really deserved more effort.

  48. Mark Stubbs says:

    Soooo disappointing…feel like I should send it all back…but I need to ask Lyla..

  49. fisonic says:

    kudos for this review

  50. Robert says:

    This is a load of claptrap.
    Usually I fall for box sets like this of the albums I love. But with this I put the hammer down and refused.
    Their first two albums are some of the best of the era so I guess they figure they’ll make it for what its worth. No way will they have any of this after the second album.
    Ironically, I did buy the 3 cd set and I must say its one of the best packages and deals out there. I got mine for $20 on Amazon and the case is similar to a hard cover book, much like the S.E. Ride “Going Blank Again”. So you don’t have to worry about the spines becoming bent and creased, like the Suede special editions- and that was really the only thing bad about this . I’ll get the vinyl for $28 on Amazon so for $48 I’ll have the 3 cd set and 2 disc vinyl. Much better deal than paying $120 and the only difference is the book and a cheap tote bag.

  51. Adey.uk says:

    From comments made by liam i dont think this boxset was a decision made by the band. Just like the masterplan or stop the clocks it seems like the record company is the one in control not the actual artists

  52. Mark says:

    As a mad Oasis fan I’d agree with everything John said. Feel ripped off but I was always going to get it. I’ll be keeping a very close eye on whether the price changes on this box set over the next couple of months before deciding whether to pre-order the next 2.
    At the very least, the box set should have had the demo tape and the 2 tracks which are appearing on the Japanese release.

  53. Adrian Bok says:

    just saw the price at amazon uk had dropped to 80.60 pounds today. still pricey though

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  55. Andy says:

    You have looked at this product with a logical analytical approach, which makes me think you are not an Oasis fan, or indeed you are a peculiar Oasis fan, in that your head contains brains.

  56. fan says:

    I bought it,and the thing I’m the most dissapointed with is the fact that the double LP DOESN’T reproduce the original artwork !!! BASTARDS

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