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Roxy Music / Complete Studio Recordings 10 disc box set

Roxy Music / The Complete Studio Recordings Box Set
Roxy Music: The Complete Studio Recordings gathers together all eight of the art-rock band’s studio albums and was recently released after numerous delays.

Originally this 10CD set was to be a 12-disc affair, with eight CDs and four hi-res audio DVDs, to appeal to general collectors and audiophiles alike. The DVDs were quietly dropped and the bonus tracks were relocated. Rather than being tacked on the end of each album they were collected together on two bonus CDs. The lack of hi-res audio is a big blow to those looking for a reason to repurchase albums they might own many times over, although having unspoiled albums free of appended bonus audio can be regarded as good thing.

The packaging is curious. Virgin have gone the cost and effort of reproducing the gatefold sleeves of the first three albums using very thick high quality card, so at first this looks like a Beatles Mono Box-type celebration of the original vinyl packaging. This proves not to be the case, since the final five albums are also packaged in gatefold sleeves, and – nice though these are – none of the original vinyl issues were in this format. Also, while the outer sleeves look great, the inner sleeves are plain coloured content-free items that do not reflect original inner sleeves from the 1970s. Country Life, Manifesto, Flesh + Blood and Avalon all had bespoke inner sleeves with full lyrics. Virgin Records either ran out of budget, or lacked the inclination to follow through with these details.

Roxy Music / Complete Studio Recordings / Box Set Photos

Plain inner sleeves do not match originals, many of which had lyrics

There is also no booklet with this set, or with any of the individual CDs. Surely some kind of annotation or biography should have been included, particularly to help people navigate through the bonus discs of singles, B-sides and alternative mixes.

What saves this set is the quality of the audio remastering. Although there is no indication who is responsible for this new mastering, it is far superior to the 1999 HDCD discs which are still available. There is much more dynamic range and less compression on these new discs. There is talk of the audio on these CDs being close to so-called ‘flat transfers’ where the original master tapes are copied without a busy-fingered engineer tweaking the sound with unwanted EQ. Although we cannot confirm this, the quality of the audio reproduction certainly suggests a more respectful, audiophile approach to the remastering that has been evident in many recent releases from David Bowie‘s superb 40th Anniversary Ziggy Stardust reissue to Paul McCartney‘s RAM box.

Roxy Music / Complete Studio Recordings / Box Set Photos

The box and mini-LP CDs are excellent quality

While we did not welcome the unwanted specification change to this box while it was in development, at least the price changed to reflect the fact that you are getting less for your money. This can be picked up for around the £55 mark.

Despite the record label considering it perfectly acceptable to omit any kind of booklet or annotation to sit alongside the career output of Roxy Music, the quality of the mini-LP sleeves and the quality of the audio makes this box worth buying. It is a beautiful package, despite a few compromises along the way. Recommended.

Order the Roxy Music box here (UK) or here (US)

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10 responses to Roxy Music / Complete Studio Recordings 10 disc box set

  1. Hedley says:

    My set arrived yesterday from Amazon.co.uk, which,with careful buying, was 42 pounds including shipping.
    Although I would have preferred more attention to the packaging, the significantly improved sound quality especially on the early albums makes this worth considering.

  2. Hedley says:

    Ok, it’s easy to pile drive EMI, but they really should take a bow for the Roxy Boxset. I have had a little more time to listen and the sound from the remaster is quite stunning. As significant as the Beatles box. The packaging is fine as well. Gatefold sleeves for everything either with the original art work or alternative photography for the single folds.
    The price is fine and the sound a revelation

  3. Pingback:High Resolution Blues: how the industry is failing with hi-res audio | superdeluxeedition

  4. wim says:

    Well that’s funny… I think these remasters are a load of crap, I prefer the older ones… they are much brighter…
    And for the cover art work, they are much too bright when you compare them with the original vinyl sleeves…
    I brought my Roxy Music Box back to the shop…

    • Francis says:

      You should have said “I ‘took’ my Roxy Music Box back to the shop”. If you ‘brought’ it back, you were bringing it back from the shop.

  5. Hugh Jakhoff says:

    Absolutely the best remasters I’ve ever heard.

  6. Paolo Meccano says:

    Currently £37 and change at Amazon.

  7. Rick Cordisco says:

    Well if seen Bryan Ferry in concert the box set is quite the same…. To the point no extras……. The music…….. But would have liked a book…..

  8. Pingback:Roxy Music box sets coming in 2015 | superdeluxeedition

  9. Philip says:

    Roll on August 2nd, I get my copy for my birthday!!!

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