Parlophone hold its hands up to Bowie box ‘Heroes’ issue and takes action

Replacement discs coming •  “We have listened to fans” – Parlophone

After the events of last week, when Parlophone/Warner Music defended the mastering and the ‘loss of energy’ issue with Heroes on the new David Bowie A New Career In A New Town box set, the label have now adjusted their position – in light of ongoing criticism from some fans – and in a statement have confirmed that new discs for Heroes will be made available.

The statement from Parlophone is as follows:

“While we attempted to maintain the integrity of the issue that existed on the original master tape of the ‘Heroes’ album, we have also listened to fans’ concerns. As soon as a new master is available the digital versions will be changed and those who would like a replacement ‘Heroes’ album (CD or vinyl) will be eligible for one, further details on how to obtain such a replacement will follow in due course so please hang onto your proof of purchase”

Since the Heroes issue was the primary concern for most, this should satisfy the majority of box set buyers. While criticisms, in some quarters, of the mastering in general aren’t going to go away, that’s a much more subjective debate, as the 400+ comments in last week’s post will attest. But there was no getting around the problem on Heroes. If you take their comments last week at face value, the record label were aiming for maximum authenticity in an attempt to please fans, but ironically ended up delivering an imperfect version of one of Bowie’s most iconic tracks – a song that is at the heart and soul of the ‘Berlin Trilogy’. The label may regret not nipping this in the bud a bit earlier, and making the replacement discs decision a week ago, but they’ve got there in the end.

Incidentally, there’s a very interesting and insightful commentary on this situation from Jeff Rougvie, who worked with David Bowie on the Rykodisc reissues in the early 1990s. You can read the full text on his website, but the passage below stood out for me:

I’ve been on both sides of this equation, so before I go deeper, let me say that a project of this scale, by an artist of this stature – especially when it features music many of Bowie’s hardcore fans hold particularly dear – is an enterprise not undertaken lightly or without fear of fan wrath. These boxes have been coming at a steady rate and there’s no doubt many inside the walls of Parlophone – no matter how big a Bowie fan they may be – are human, and may be, at this point, somewhat Bowie-fatigued. After going through so many reels listening to and cataloging the vault, I certainly was.

In short, I’m sympathetic. The Ryko titles contained mistakes. We were lucky – when the Ryko releases were prepared, David was alive. He signed off on all the re-masters we created, so we could safely deflect to him, regardless of who was initially responsible for any slip-ups. And, thank God, they came out before the internet was a thing, or I might’ve offed myself while reading comments.”

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David Bowie

A new career in a new town - 13LP vinyl box


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David Bowie

A new career in a new town - 11CD box



13LP Box Set:

84 Page hardback book

Low (remastered) (1LP)
(remastered) (1LP)
“Heroes” E.P. 
(remastered) (12” Single)*
(remastered) (2LP Yellow Vinyl) *
Stage (2017) 
(remastered)  (3LP)
(remastered) (1LP)
(Tony Visconti 2017 Mix) (1LP)*
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Re:Call 3 
(non-album singles, single versions and b-sides) (remastered) (2LP)*

* Exclusive to ‘A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)’

11 CD Box Set:

128 Page hardback book

Low (remastered) (1CD)
(remastered) (1CD)
“Heroes” E.P. 
(remastered) (CD EP)*
(remastered) (2CD)*
Stage (2017) 
(remastered) (2CD)
(remastered) (1CD)
(Tony Visconti 2017 Mix) (1CD)*
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) 

Re:Call 3 (non-album singles, single versions and b-sides) (remastered) (1CD)*

* Exclusive to ‘A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)’

Detailed CD & Vinyl Tracklistings (showing Vinyl side breaks)



Released on RCA PL 12030 (U.K.) / CPL1-2030 (U.S.) on 14thJanuary, 1977.

Side 1
1. Speed Of Life
2. Breaking Glass
3. What In The World
4. Sound And Vision
5. Always Crashing In The Same Car
6. Be My Wife
7. A New Career In A New Town

Side 2
1. Warszawa
2. Art Decade
3. Weeping Wall
4. Subterraneans


Released on RCA PL 12522 (U.K.) / AFL1-2522 (U.S.) on 14th October, 1977.

Side 1
1. Beauty And The Beast
2. Joe The Lion
3. “Heroes”
4. Sons Of The Silent Age
5. Blackout

Side 2
1. V-2 Schneider
2. Sense Of Doubt
3. Moss Garden
4. Neuköln
5. The Secret Life Of Arabia

Side 1
1. “Heroes”/”Helden” (German album version)
2. “Helden” (German single version)

Side 2
1. “Heroes”/”Héros” (French album version)
2. “Héros” (French single version)

STAGE (Original)

Released on RCA PL 02913 (U.K.) / CPL2-2913 (U.S.) on 8thSeptember, 1978.

Side 1
1. Hang On To Yourself
2. Ziggy Stardust
3. Five Years
4. Soul Love
5. Star

Side 2
1. Station To Station
2. Fame
3. TVC 15

Side 3
1. Warszawa
2. Speed Of Life
3. Art Decade
4. Sense Of Doubt
5. Breaking Glass

Side 4
1. “Heroes”
2. What In The World
3. Blackout
4. Beauty And The Beast

STAGE (2017)
Side 1
1. Warszawa
2. “Heroes”
3. What In The World

Side 2
1. Be My Wife
2. The Jean Genie *
3. Blackout
4. Sense Of Doubt

Side 3
1. Speed Of Life
2. Breaking Glass
3. Beauty And The Beast
4. Fame

Side 4
1. Five Years
2. Soul Love
3. Star
4. Hang On To Yourself
5. Ziggy Stardust
6. Suffragette City *

Side 5
1. Art Decade
2. Alabama Song
3. Station To Station

Side 6
1. Stay
2. TVC 15

* Previously unreleased


Released on RCA PL 13254 (U.K.) / APL1-3254 (U.S.) on 18th May, 1979.

LODGER (2017 Tony Visconti mix)
Side 1
1. Fantastic Voyage
2. African Night Flight
3. Move On
4. Yassassin (Turkish for: Long Live)
5. Red Sails

Side 2
1. D.J.
2. Look Back In Anger
3. Boys Keep Swinging
4. Repetition
5. Red Money


Released on RCA BOWLP 2 (PL 13647) (U.K.) / AQL1-3647 (U.S.) on 12th September, 1980.

Side 1
1. It’s No Game (Part 1)
2. Up The Hill Backwards
3. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
4. Ashes To Ashes
5. Fashion

Side 2
1. Teenage Wildlife
2. Scream Like A Baby
3. Kingdom Come
4. Because You’re Young
5. It’s No Game (Part 2)

Side 1
1. “Heroes” (single version)
2. Beauty And The Beast (extended version)
3. Breaking Glass (Australian single version)
4. Yassassin (single version)
5. D.J. (single version)

Side 2
1. Alabama Song
2. Space Oddity (1979 version)
3. Ashes To Ashes (single version)
4. Fashion (single version)
5. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)

Side 3
1. Crystal Japan
2. Under Pressure (single version) – Queen and David Bowie
3. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (soundtrack album version)
4. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy * – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
* mono

Side 4
Bertolt Brecht’s Baal
1. Baal’s Hymn
2. Remembering Marie A.
3. Ballad Of The Adventurers
4. The Drowned Girl
5. The Dirty Song

The running order for Re:Call 3 CD differs from the vinyl version

1. “Heroes” (single version)
2. Beauty And The Beast (extended version)
3. Breaking Glass (Australian single version)
4. Yassassin (single version)
5. D.J. (single version)
6. Alabama Song
7. Space Oddity (1979 version)
8. Ashes To Ashes (single version)
9. Fashion (single version)
10.Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)
11.Crystal Japan
12.Under Pressure (single version) – Queen and David Bowie

Bertolt Brecht’s Baal
13.Baal’s Hymn
14.Remembering Marie A.
15.Ballad Of The Adventurers
16.The Drowned Girl
17.The Dirty Song
18.Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (soundtrack album version)

19.Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy * – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
* mono

216 responses to Parlophone hold its hands up to Bowie box ‘Heroes’ issue and takes action

  1. Gerbrand says:

    Received my replacement disc today.

  2. Arr Gee says:

    Thanks for the notification of the price drop. Was in two minds about the CD box, but this sealed the deal!

  3. Arr Gee says:

    Just ordered the vinyl box set for £149.99; I guess this has the flawed disc. Anyone know what is happening with replacement discs?

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  6. Jim Kearns says:

    The new, individual album, available for download or streaming on Tidal, is fixed. Therefore, the question remains, why haven’t those of us who spent real money on actual products, been made aware of when this egregious oversight will be corrected for all of us?

  7. Pete Murs says:

    Any NEWS when the new replacement CD Disc & Vinyl gonna be available……Just Asking

  8. Murray Robbins says:

    Well done for chasing Parlophone Paul!

  9. Pingback:David Bowie “A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)” 13 LP box – Part-Time Audiophile

  10. John Kent says:

    Nearly two months down the road and still no news on when the replacement discs will be available. Have Parlophone hoped that we’ve all forgotten?

  11. phlmarie says:


    Sorry for my bad english, I’m French…

    I’ld like to buy the CD Box for Christmas.
    But, for the matter, I would prefer to receive the “good” release without errors.

    Do you think that the new sold boxes are ok ? (for example, those sold by Amazon)
    Is it a way to make the difference between the two versions ?

    Thanks for your help,

  12. Mattt says:

    Is there an update regarding when replacement discs will be ready to be shipped and/or the process to send in sales receipt? Thanks Paul. Would make a great follow-up post.

  13. R.Naud says:

    Really should have owned up from day one…

    Now what can we expect for the next box. I don’t think Tin Machine should be part of the box. It was never released under Bowie’s name but as a group effort so it’s not a ‘solo career’ project, however that doesn’t make much for a box. I tried to think what was there to be added in that box…

    Let’s Dance album – 1983

    Serious Moonlight film concert soundtrack – 1983

    Tonight album – 1984

    Film songs 1985/1986 (9 tracks):
    The Falcon & The Snowman soundtrack: This is Not America
    Labyrinth soundtrack: Magic Dance/As the World Falls Down/Within You/Underground
    Absolute Beginners soundtrack: Absolute Beginners/That’s Motivation/Volare
    When the Wind Blows soundtrack: When the Wind Blows

    Never Let Me Down album – 1987

    Glass Spider film concert soundtrack – 1987

    Recall-4 compilation: Remixes of singles from the Album Let’s Dance/Tonight/Never Let Me Down, including b sides ‘Julie’ and ‘Girls’, and Time Will Crawl (MM mix) from the iSelect compilation + Live Aid Performance 1985 (TVC15/Rebel Rebel/Modern Love/Heroes)

    Would love some demos to be released. I always heard Bowie saying that the demo for Loving the Alien was fantastic and superior to the officially released studio version…

    • Matthew Hudson says:

      There are also 3 non-album tracks on the 1981 Christiane F. soundtrack that would belong on the film songs disc: TVC15 (Single Version), Heroes/Helden (a mix of the English full-length version and the German single edit) and Stay (US Single Version)

  14. William_M says:

    very bizarrely but certainly most appreciated and unexpected… I contacted amazon about the issues sometime ago and kept up a dialogue with them on and off over a period of a month or so.

    Basically i was unhappy at spending my £100 and all the issues with the set. I was exasperated being passed around from one customer service assistant to another, retelling what it was all about time and again.

    The alarming thing is although the set has been withdrawn from sale by amazon a few times, the reviews are damning and so on, they seemed blissfully unaware of the whole drama surrounding the release. Anyhoo the upshot of all of this contact was a full refund without returning the set, I have to admit i was only expecting a cheeky little £10 refund but this has pretty much left me speechless. I can only assume they were sick of me going on about loss of energy and lost the will to use any more energy on my moaning and quest for updates etc.

  15. Mark Porter says:

    It’s a bit after the fact now but did you have the opportunity Paul to ask about the next box set in the series or the next RSD releases?

  16. Ben says:

    Well, nice to see Parlophone is big enough to admit a mistake, even if it took a week to do so. It’s always good to see the positive side of fan/creator interactions, especially with archival stuff like this.

  17. Bruno says:

    Not sure if this has already been reported but, interestingly, both the CD and the vinyl box sets have been withdrawn from the David Bowie / Parlophone website… There is just a link to the HMV store but the boxes are not available directly from the DB store anymore. Maybe Parlophone is waiting for the new version of “Heroes” to be issued before they put the boxes back on their store?

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Most likely rather than have Parlophone have people return more books and complain. My guess–they will package it on the outside or repackage it.

  18. Marc says:

    Do we allready know when the replacements will be ready?

  19. Hans says:

    Phew… Read all the comments… Interesting. I still think the box is worth every penny. I love the artwork, the details. Low includes the fanclub flyer and the inner sleeve has even 12/76 printed on it. Sure the heroes thing was unfortunate but they are replacing it now. And for the next box… Tonight is probably the least of all great albums bowie did simply because Bowie himself made one big mistake. How can anyone think of rerecording the Beach boys “God only knows”…..

  20. gwynogue says:

    I was hoping the complaints/bad reviews would cause Amazon to lower the price, but alas, tis still 100 squid (CD version). It might sound strange that I want a box set that is soon to be revised and ‘corrected’, but I have a very limited budget so price is just as important as quality. If it’s cheaper to buy an ‘error’ and get a free replacement rather than buy ‘correct’ at a higher price, that is the path I will take. Perhaps when the boxes with revised “Heroes” come in, the old boxes will become more affordable.

    Unfortunately, I am a ‘completeist’, so since I bought the “Five Years” box, I MUST have the others! I still haven’t got “WCIBN?” yet, I’ve been waiting for a deal alert but it hasn’t happened yet!

  21. Shawn says:

    I love music and I love David Bowie. I understand some people are audiophiles – but most aren’t. I find the level of furor over New Career in a New Town to be way over the top. That said, when they offer the replacement disc, I’ll get one.

    I’m thrilled with all three of the box sets and am anxiously awaiting the next with Let’s Dance and the underrated Tonight. Tonight had some truly rough spots, but also contained one of Bowie’s best, “Time Will Crawl.”

    Paul, do you have any info at all on the next set?

  22. Warren says:

    How are going to actually receive the replacement disc ? Do we need to apply for them ? Will we be contacted and if so how or will there be an announcement,does anyone know or have any information please.


    • Paul Sinclair says:

      There are no details as yet.

      • Warren says:

        Thanks Paul ,I suspect that I shall hear first via your good self as usual.


        Dear Paul

        Do you know the reason for pr that did not include the following songs or rarities in this box?
        *Joe The Lion (Remixed Version, 1991)

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Because they weren’t commercially released between 1977 and 1982.

        • Marc G. says:

          They need to save some stuff for the inevitable upcoming “Deluxe Editions” for these albums.

          • Punk Anderson says:

            The ‘rule’ is a really odd thing. The remade live albums were obviously not made commercially available in the relevant periods, but somehow they are still up for inclusion.
            Whereas gems like ‘Candidate’ or ‘Some Are’, which have been every bit as commercially available after the event as Stage 2005 has, are missing from here. I’ll stick my neck out and boldly claim that ‘Some Are’ is rather more essential than the mangled remains of ‘Fashion’ that is the 7″ version ;-)

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Presumably they are ‘saving’ these rarities for 50th anniversary editions. Space Oddity/David Bowie is 50 in 2019.

          • Punk Anderson says:

            True, but the Diamond Dogs anniversary 2cd version (for instance) has already been and gone, so it wouldn’t have been outlandish for Re:Call 2 to pick up stuff like ‘Candidate’.

            Anyway, fingers are certainly crossed for a Low deluxe edition that really opens up the vaults. The mere thought of just one song of the same quality as the divine ‘Some Are’ … here’s hoping :-)

  23. Iain McDermott says:

    All sounding good from Parlophone. Thanks again Paul. Do we know if the individual albums are being h released on CD as with previous box sets?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      More than likely, yes.

      • Iain McDermott says:

        Thanks Paul. Good to be able to cherry pick LPs across vinyl and CD out with the boxes, as great as they are – hoping that the new Visconti Lodger is available individually too.

        • Chris S. says:

          “hoping that the new Visconti Lodger is available individually too.”

          It won’t be, it is/always has been exclusive to the box set.

  24. Nigel Bevan says:

    Email from Amazon states this is how the remasters were intended as stated by Tony Visconti and they will not be replaced. Has anyone else received this email?

  25. Wayne Klein says:

    Great comment from Jeff Rougvie. You could argue about the mastering (it isn’t as good as the previous sets) but the drop outs, warts and all approach here do, indeed, did a disservice to fans just as not including the previous bonus mastering on a separate disc was a disservice as well.

    For me to possibly even consider purchasing the next box set, they better do something awfully special. Heck, for fans if I were the label, I would replace the Heroes disc and also give fans the choice of getting a remastered Scary Monsters, Low with various issues fixed.

    Taking your fans for granted and then correcting the issue is still taking advantage of fans and, when caught, fixing the problem. It’s dishonest and disengenous.

  26. voxstarstream says:

    As for myself, I hope the next box is a rarities/unreleased tracks box from the RCA era (the years covered by the last 3 box sets). That would pretty much do it for me! I have also heard rumours that an unreleased show from the “Isolar II” tour will be next year’s RSD release.

  27. Paul Wren says:

    Paul, this demonstrates people power as co-ordinated by your site. And this is on top of providing us with early “heads up” info on releases and associated pricing. Take a bow, sir!

  28. Mic Smith says:

    Finally listened to Low from the box today and in places – especially Speed of Life – I can see why the work on that album is getting a fair amount of criticism. I enjoyed most of it but Speed of Life does sound pretty dreadful. I need to listen to my Ryko/EMI which I got from ASDA for £6.99 but I suspect that sounds nothing like this remaster and will be my default copy.

  29. fish says:

    nice to see a record company doing something. I hope you all get a good copy! good luck!

  30. Uncle Arthur says:

    Sure, an 80s Box must have some chance.. we all have our own personal favourite Bowie era…

    I was a teenager at the start of Glam Rock.
    My Bowie is the classic 70s, and embryonic 60s creative output…

    So Chart Success Pop Bowie of the 80s is bound to have sufficient fans for a Box set of their own…

    Even if us older ‘fans’ consider the 80s as mainly Bowie getting up for work in the mornings
    and going through the motions,
    he still produced plenty of excellent singles far better than most other artists of that decade.

  31. Nico says:

    Parlophone is doing the right thing here.

    It’s time to stop complaining and to start enjoying the music itself. My boxset has just arrived. It’s a beautiful package. I did not have any previous version of those albums (or any early bowie albums). Those boxset are a great way for me to own this piece of history.

    That said, if the next boxset is from 83 to 88 or so, good luck selling these…

    • Neil says:

      Why would they need good luck selling the albums from 83 onwards ? He never had any problems selling those albums first time around and Let’s Dance was his biggest ever selling album.

      • Nico says:

        keep in mind that this is just my opinion.

        but appart form Let’s Dance this is not Bowie’s best period, to say the least.

  32. Mad Earwig says:

    Now that the hysteria (and blame and arrogance) has died down a bit, it was excellent hearing these albums anew.

    It is a brilliantly presented box set, even the sleeves have inner sleeves, and I really like the packaging/box/book

    I work in the hi-fi industry but trust my ears more than spec sheets and ‘Low’ sounds more upfront to me, not just louder and despite the enhanced bass – Dennis Davis’ drums sound clearer and less muddy.

    But my main point is how brilliant ‘Low’ was an album of music and atmosphere and I have never tired of it over many years.

    and tonight, it will be ‘Heroes’ glitch and all…

    • Trash says:

      @Mad Earwig
      Totally agree. A really nicely produced set with great attention to detail in the packaging.
      I brought the Roxy Music vinyl box and had to return it – the sleeve artwork was badly reproduced and the sleeves themselves were so badly made that it was actually difficult getting the records out of the them.
      This in comparison is a masterpiece (and I refuse to let the crapstorm of complaints ruin my enjoyment of what is some of the most interesting and rewarding music made in the Rock/Pop genre).
      Other people’s mileage may vary :-)

      • Wayne Klein says:

        That’s too bad because, aside from not including the intended high re discs, the cD and SACd editions of the box for Roxy were really really good quality.

    • Robert Todd says:

      Absolutely. Overall the set is very good. The bass on Low was always there. On first listen to the current LP in the box I was taken aback, convinced that there was a tracking error. A quick listen to my old flimsy copy dispelled that notion. All that clutter and noise was there in the first place. I’m one of the complainers. I wrote to Amazon about Heroes in an effort to raise the issue and request a replacement if one was available. To my surprise I was offered a 10% refund which I was happy to accept. What I am pleased about is Parlophone’s acknowledgement, despite the earlier “this isn’t a problem” statement.

  33. Richard says:

    So, what if i purchase a new box next month … will it contain the proper cd … or


  34. russell finch says:

    Let’s hope the record company(ies) have also picked up on reaction to the loudness / brickwalling of this box set and realised that it’s not what buyers of back catalogue reissues want.

  35. RJS says:

    There was an error on one of the CDs from the Complete Bob Dylan Vol. 1 box set a few years ago. I can’t remember where I got it from, but there was an email address set up to deal with the issue. All I had to do was email my name, address along with the number of my Amazon order/receipt.

  36. Barry Scotland says:

    Paul, to save reading umpteen pages on web sites can I assume you will post the updates for instructions to obtain the corrected Heroes disc ? I know many purchased through Thanks for all the updates.

  37. Charles says:

    Thanks to Parlophone for making the right decision to replace, but gods help them if the vocal track on Shining Star (Makin’ My Love) in the next set goes from right to left instead of left to right. A touch too far indeed.

    Name the next box set “Too Dizzy”!

  38. Armidge says:

    Too bad the record companies didn’t have this kind of response when the awful Duran Duran “remasters” came out in 2010. Good content, but many of the albums were rendered completely unlistenable. I remember there being a fair amount of uproar, especially about the tape damage at the beginning of Girls on Film, but EMI did nothing.

  39. Adey says:

    I know Bowie spoke of nlmd actually sounding quite good before it was “destroyed” by production. I wonder if the next boxset will have an alternate version of the full album, made up of earlier demos/ outtakes? After all, they’re gonna have to pull out all the stops to make the next boxset appealing, even to Bowie completists like myself.

  40. Paul says:

    Thanks for your part in raising awareness of this issue Paul! In the early days of CD’s, I used to enjoy Rock ‘n Roll Disc and ICE magazines which would regularly point out discrepancies in versions of master tapes and sound quality issues as LP’s were quickly being remastered for CD. Good to know there are still people paying attention to these issues!

  41. Will says:

    Well I just took a quick look and I can’t find my proof of purchase! But I do have an original copy of “Heroes” on Parlophone vinyl and CD. I hope that’s proof enough!

  42. Brian says:

    I reckon as of 2019 they will start doing 50th anniversary boxsets of each album, with rarities and 5.1 of each album. It’s bound to happen. And a Bluray of his greatest videos in 5.1. They can call it TVC15.1 (see what I did there?)

  43. Paul D says:

    Was the Heroes ‘error’ also replicated on the Heroes/Helden/Heros EP.?

    Or was there another reason why those tracks sound so bad?

    • Mark Borland says:

      Not the same error, those are different problems, poor and inaccurate recreation of the edits….. Same with the previous 2 boxes.
      Unfortunately the Heroes issue is only the most obvious of many issues that won’t be corrected.

  44. Larry David says:

    Ok I’ve listened to the new Heroes, Low and Scary Monsters remasters and all of them sounds great to my ears! Listened to them on two different systems and I found them much better than any of the previous masters I’ve heard.
    To be honest I’m starting to get REALLY tired of the audiophile crybabies who tell me not to buy the box set with my three favourite Bowie albums just because one so called “error” that I didn’t even notice at first. It’s bullshit. This set looks amazing and sounds great.

    • Punk Anderson says:

      I’d left Low in the box since it arrived, partly because I was terrified to hear it after seeing how the mastering had been panned, and partly because I’d been listening non stop to Scary Monsters, Stage and the ace new Lodger mix.

      So I finally stuck it on, excpecting it to basically sound distorted. It did nothing of the sort. Sure, I could hear that the bass range had been given a bit of oomph, but the whole thing just sounded alive and vibrant. Not boomy or lifeless at all.

      The “Heroes” error was still pretty damn easy to hear at first listen, though ;-) Good job they’re doing the right thing after that embarrassing first reaction. Amazon were kind enough to give a big partial refund, so I’d have bought the fixed “Heroes” instead. Now I just hope they’ll fix the glitch on Lodger’s ‘Red Sails’ as well, and I’ll buy that one too. It messes with my OCD …

  45. David Whiting says:

    Well done Paul. Clearly your crusade and your willingness to discuss with Parlophone on behalf of the fans has made a significant impact. Perhaps you will be a trusted reference for future releases.

    I may have missed it however are they replacing both CDs and vinyl?

  46. LeBaron says:

    Everybody should be aware that you’ve played such an important role in Parlophone’s decision, Paul, thank you for that !

  47. Daniel Wylie says:

    The name the Ryko guys have chosen for their new CD label, Supermegabot, has to be one of the worst label names of all time. It’s absolutely uncool.

    • Mark says:

      Heh, indeed! Although I’d also nominate “BMG Rights Management” which has to be the most unimaginative label name ever.

    • Jeff Rougvie says:

      Sorry so many of you are put off by the label name. We’ll try harder next time.

      I don’t know about you, but the reason I buy music is because I LIKE IT. I EVEN LOVE IT. I think this is the best reason to buy anything!

      That said, I have bought albums unheard because it is on a great label. Stiff, 4AD, Creation, Sire, Island, Vertigo, Virgin, Omnivore and all the great labels of the past all earned their reputations as labels of quality, even if not al of their releases hit the target.

      There have been plenty of stupid, meaningless label names that say nothing about the music they release; Fat Possum, Blind Pig, BMG Rights Management, SONY, Bong Load, Universal, Geffen (the ego!), Cavity Search, Delicious Bowels Agency, Edsel, Anal Log, Don’t Fall Of The Mountain, and my one of my favorites, Funded By Mom Records (all real, BTW). There are literally hundreds more, equally stupid, equally nonsensical. Some of them have put out incredible records, others have not.

      Supermegbaot will strive to earn a reputation as a quality label. You may not like the name, but you’ll probably remember it!

      Good luck to all humans! Thank you to all SDE readers! Always remember, music is the best!

      • Jeff Rougvie says:


        Maybe you guys have a point, as apparently even I cannot spell Supermegabot! I blame spellcheck.

      • SimonH says:

        Regardless of what the label is called, I’m so pleased someone is showing love for the much maligned CD…!

      • Jonathan Smith says:

        Hi Jeff,

        If you are looking for potential release ideas, I would like to put forward the third Big Country album, The Seer that has never been released in its original mix. There is a 1500 strong online petition for it’s release that can be found on the podcast page on This release is a kind of holy grail for BC fans. In 1986 the band were interested in recording sounds in a more organic and natural way than before. They worked with Sade’s producer which is a good indication the less bombastic approach they were after. But when they thought they had finished the Mercury records remixed the songs with an outside mixer adding lashings of reverb, delay and compression for a commercial sheen. This was all to the disappointment and of the band, and producer and eventually the fans. This release would also be of interest to Kate Bush fans who sang on the title track. Apparently she was not pleased with the released mix.


        I have really enjoyed your guided tour of making the Sound and Vision collection.
        As someone who takes care in making home made collections I appreciated the pain and effort into the making of the box set. Not really improved by the four disc version.

        Thank you. Jon

  48. Uncle Arthur says:

    If Diamond Dogs had been included on the 1st Box set, I probably wouldn’t have bought the 2nd.
    Now I’m in so far, the 3rd completed the 1970s for me.

    Scary Monsters is my stop off point anyway.

    So I never intended buying more boxes after this one.
    Just individual CD re-releases of the less disappointing later LPs…

    Can’t think of any post ‘Scary’ rarities that would be enticing enough…

    Though a budget price Tin Machine Box would be a good move…

  49. Jeff Rougvie says:

    Personally, I think this is a solid result – they listened, they’re replacing. As many have noted, “ask 100 fans, get 100 different opinions” – no mastering job will never satisfy everyone (proof can be obtained by reading message boards; it’s CLEARLY impossible).

    I don’t think Paul misrepresented what I said. After all, there’s a link to the whole piece for those who want to click through (spelling mistakes and all!) but the comments he posted are the most germane to the crux of the story – Parlophone have heard the complaints and responded positively.

    This will not satisfy everyone (again, impossible!), but it’s the right thing to do and a win for owners of the set. This will be a costly and time-consuming action for Parlophone, and they’re doing it. The battle is over. Put the knives away. Be happy.

    PS: have been thinking about an 80’s box; I doubt it. David tended to let the things that he acknowledged as missteps lay in the corner while shining a spotlight on the legend-builders. That said, a “Let’s Dance” SDE box seems like a thing.

    PPS: Fame ’90: let us never speak of this again.

  50. Dean says:

    Low sounds fine, especially Side Two.

    The label can’t act without the retailers really. Only the retailers know who they sold too.

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Low doesn’t sound fine IMHO. I don’t think that Bowie intended peak limiting, brickwalled mastering for that album but it is was it is. Thank god I have my Ryko and RCA wg

  51. Maslov says:

    Finally good start. But I think they need to redo LOW as it sounds terrible. Then I would buy back the box again. Everything else is passable. Otherwise I still have to pass.

  52. Paul says:

    If there’s another box I hope it’s just Let’s Dance, Tonight and Never Let Me Down plus single edits, 12” remixes and the various non- Bowie album tracks from the era (quite a lot). Include the Fame 90 and Sound & Vision remixes which sit better with the 80s catalogue than anywhere else. Add in a Serious Moonlight show, and possibly a Glass Spider and that would be enough. No Tin Machine please. Get Nile Rodgers to supervise, his live shows sound fantastic and I hear he knows a thing or two about mastering.

  53. SimonP says:

    Just had a listen on my favoured streaming service and cannot believe the few folks on here who say they can’t hear it. Even in lowly MP3 you can hear the tape start to wobble just after the 2:40 mark and then it goes completely off the rails 10 seconds later!

  54. Uncle Arthur says:

    I’d hope Amazon opts for automatically posting out replacements to purchasers like myself who pre-ordered the box;
    and not expect us to faff about with the inconvenience of requesting replacements,
    or sending back the bad batch of CDs.

    That’d be the most reasonable way of maintaining good customer relations…

    • Fan-tastic! says:

      I don’t think amazon should have to do anything – they’ve already issued refunds for things which out of their hands. The record label needs to deal with this themselves and not pass the buck.

      • Uncle Arthur says:

        Amazon has the logistics for the most effective distribution of replacement discs to their purchasers of this box set.
        You seriously suggest I and who knows how many others who preordered from them
        should have to deal direct with Parlophone or their sub agents instead…!!!???

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          The normal method of replacing discs is that the label send them out direct. It’s normally very straightforward.

  55. Fan-tastic! says:

    People should read the whole Jeff Rougvie article!
    That bit Paul highlighted is very much at odds with the overall jist of what Rougvie is saying – it definitely should be put into context by reading everything he’s said. Only reading those paragraphs paints a very different picture to what the rest of the article says.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I know they should read the whole article, that’s why I PUT A LINK TO THE ARTICLE IN THE POST AND ENCOURAGED PEOPLE TO READ IT by saying it was “interesting and insightful”. Jeez! A new conspiracy theory.. “Paul is trying to make us think Jeff is saying something different to what he is actually saying”.

      • Klaus says:

        Might make it into “The X-Files”, Season 11: How Aliens Try To Take Over The World Via A David Bowie Glitch.

  56. Dave says:

    Jeff Rougvie also said:”But the “Heroes” dropout? That’s a mistake, plain and simple. You can fix that within minutes in a digital studio while still maintaining the integrity of using the original source tape barring a few seconds. WHO WOULD NOTICE? WOULD VISCOUNT BE UP AT NIGHT TOSSING AND TURNIG BECAUSE OF THREE SECONDS FLOWN IN FROM ANOTHER SOURCE? HAVE WE FALLEN SO FAR THAT FANS WANT TO HEAR ALL THE DAMAGED TAPES? Of course not. For Parlophone to insist otherwise is a little insulting.”

  57. regan judson says:

    I assume those that received a slight refund after the fact from Amazon will still be eligible for the replacement disc?

  58. Clive says:

    great of them to do this but I couldn’t hear the problem in the first place.

  59. danmac says:

    This is good news – though presumably everyone who muttered about the “whiners” will hang onto their original discs given how perfectly satisfied they were with them

  60. Uncle Arthur says:

    “Heroes” has it’s respectful place in the Bowie legacy,
    but imagine the hysterical fan uproar if this remastering fiasco had been inflicted on one of the truly great tracks
    – like the Electronically Reprocessed Stereo mix of “Laughing Gnome”…???

    Still, I look forward to Parlophone following through their ‘promise’ to fix this box set.

    Nevertheless, I stubbornly maintain, that at the asking price for all 3 box sets so far,
    HD tracks should have been included on a disc or by download voucher..

  61. Kevin P. says:

    Does this mean newer releases of the set will include the new discs?

  62. Schu says:

    The record company made the right decision to correct the most glaring error in this set. While some believe the biggest issue is actually the mastering compression, I applaud the label for stepping up to correct what was most definitely an error in the original set.
    Thank you Parlophone for accepting responsibility.

    As has been suggested previously, since these types of releases are really targeting a specific more hardcore fan, it would probably be beneficial to poll, survey, trade study, etc., the fan base on sites such as SDE to get buying public feedback before undertaking these types of projects. Not only for content reasons but for situations like this where you have to make tough decisions on what to include and how to include it. You will probably find that preferences will generally trend in a certain direction that will satisfy the majority of buyers. This is both easy to do and may give the label and those involved valuable insight into making these compilations better in the end.

  63. John Barleycorn says:

    Can’t say I am surprised by this but a shame it has taken this long. When the biggest online retailer Amazon is only offering such a marquee box set it via third party sellers and no doubt stocking up the returns then it would become an unacceptable situation. I wonder how that conversation went when they rang Parlaphone up and asked what they were going to do about it? Money talks and BS walks as they say… Parlaphone have egg on their face after this but it’s the right thing to do at least.

  64. Bobby's Dad says:

    What this has done, is make the original ‘faulty’ copy a “collector’s item” and will eventually make it a very sought after item, which inevitably will now increase it’s value somewhat……

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Yeah…I don’t think so not because of the volume of these produced and the fact that they are faulty.

  65. Auntie Sabrina says:

    colm47, I’d take a print out of the Parlophone statement to the shop and ask to speak to the manager about it. Maybe the remaster will have a different catologue number? DBX 3-22 or something? I

  66. Adriano Cristino says:

    What to do if you have not bought the cd set yet and want to buy it with the corrected disc inside it of HEROES??? Any ideas???

  67. colm47 says:

    What about the people, like myself, who bought the boxes in an actual physical record shop?

    People trying to support record shops and the staff that work in them!

    Before the behemoth that is Amazon consumes everything before it……

  68. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Richard Lamming, the Heroes 40th Anniversary is the single edit so should be fine.

  69. Phil says:

    This is a good result. I’ve always wanted a vinyl copy of ‘Heroes’ to frame and it sounds like I’m now going to get one for free! :-)

    It’s the right answer, to be fair. The dip in volume is noticeable enough to detract from the whole song (and by extension the whole album).

    Now to give the other LPs a good spin. I’ve only had these albums on CD and MP3 before so that’s my comparison but I’ve liked what I’ve heard of the vinyl so far. The bass on Low is very high, but I always thought that was one of its features anyway. I like the TV remix of Lodger too.

    • Maslov says:

      My guess is that they will send out just the LP or CD in a plain sleeve. I doubt you will get a totally new record with a new cover. But stranger things have happened.

      When Rhino sent replacement LPs for the defective Doors Weird Scenes LP, they just sent the record in a plain white inner sleeve.

  70. Howie says:

    Listened to the fans?, more like listened to the accountants. Parlaphone have acted like a garage trying to do everything possible to get out of doing warranty work on a car.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Slightly mean-spirited comment methinks. They are now doing what people wanted but still let’s stick the knife it a bit more…

      • Simon says:

        I would like to think they’ve listened to fans, but the commercial reality must have been a major consideration – Amazon, likely their biggest retailer, pulled copies in the U.K. so that must’ve heavily dented revenues. Faced with that situation, their hand may well have been forced.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          Maybe, but whatever the motivation, the end result is the same. Now they’ve done what people want, but not for the right reason! Hey! Let’s get worked up all over again…

          • Simon says:

            No, I’m delighted! A replacement disc is exactly what I’d hoped for. I’m thrilled they’ve made this decision, I’m just always cynical when it comes to businesses claiming they listen to fans/consumers – especially when they stood firm after so many people called for action at the outset.
            It’s great that you highlighted it so prominently last week and followed it along. Many thanks!

  71. Marc says:

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks for bothering and this good news!
    Maybe you could suggest to Parlophone that they should actively approach all Amazon buyers and offer them a replacement. Or maybe it would be possible to make this known through this website. I would like to have my “Heroes” vinyl disc replaced.

  72. Runicen says:

    I have to say, while it’s nice that Parlophone acknowledge a problem based on fan responses and are taking action to correct it, it’s also the smallest (though most visible) of the issues with this release.

    Then again, short of someone saying, “We accidentally released the wrong finished masters and will be re-pressing the set entirely,” I’m not sure how the sonics could be addressed as a whole.

    The set is still kind of a disappointment, but points to Parlophone for at least showing that they are listening (somewhat).

  73. Richard Lamming says:

    Does anybody know? Since the Heroes 40 anniversary picture disc is also a 2017 remaster, is this also affected by ‘the gap’ and should be repressed? I haven’t opened mine up to play!!!!

  74. adam shaw says:

    Well done Paul.
    Your meeting must have helped them to think again .

  75. Auntie Sabrina says:

    Albums from both the previoys boxsets were released as 2015/2016 remasters. Parlophone probably had plans to do the same for this boxset too so had to do right by the paying customer.

  76. Keith Brittain says:

    I like Bowie’s EMI albums. Even Tonight has it’s good moments (such as the “Tumble and Twirl” track). And to say that the Nile Rodgers abetted classic, “Let’s Dance” is “horrid’ is mind boggling. Shall we all engage in a chant of “Disco Sucks,” circa 1980?

  77. John says:

    Hey Parlophone: On the next box, can you volume drop Mickey Rourke on Shining Star? That would be great. Thanks.

  78. Mr. Stick says:

    The gaff in “Heroes” doesn’t bother me all that much, at least now that I’ve heard the origin of it. It would be more enjoyable without the level drop, but considering how easy it is to listen to the song via other releases (and the varied versions in this box), it hasn’t cost me any sleep. That doesn’t mean I won’t take the replacement, of course. But, it’s surprising that Parlophone are acquiescing to actually providing discs. Since a ‘flaw’ is not acknowledged here, one might expect them to create a free digital download at CD resolution, maybe just of the “Heroes” track, and provide that to the public until such time as the original physical copies are out of the channel. Seems to me that would placate a lot of people, and let the label and Visconti save a little face at the least amount of cost. Of course, as collectors, we want the object, but looking at it from their point of view, a download would be more cost-effective. So, points to them, I guess, but higher marks to those who squawked loudly on the buyers’ behalf. Way to go.

  79. baward says:

    It’s getting confusing; the version signed off by the man himself is to be superceded by a version that wasn’t/isn’t! I am still waiting for a good deal on the first two boxes – one day (I hope)

    • Peter says:


      I think you’ll wait a long time to get a good deal on Five Years Vinyl, it’s like hens teeth, globally. None available.

  80. Kevin says:

    Now I’m curious as to what the mistakes in the Ryko editions were. I don’t remember hearing any problems with the albums I originally owned on vinyl or 8-track.

    Either way, based on my listens to ‘”Heroes”‘ on Spotify (after the initial post, and then a few days ago), I think they have already fixed the mastering problem with that song, and have now decided to make the physical and digital editions consistent.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think some of the tracks on Young Americans were the ‘Gouster’ versions. Pretty cool in some ways, since they are the only place to officially own them on CD.

      • Mark Borland says:

        Win, Fascination and Right are alternate mixes on the Ryko. Only Win appear on Parlophones the Gouster and that was a different mix? So either Jeff’s incorrect or Parolphone is.

        • Paul Sinclair says:

          So you saying that Fascination and Right are alternate mixes that are *different* to the Gouster mixes released very recently for RSD?

          • Mark Borland says:

            That’s correct, the Ryko mixes are unique to that edition and not what Parlophone have released as the ‘Gouster’ mixes.

      • Wayne Klein says:

        Well. Or anymore. ;)

  81. Aaron says:

    I got a 25 credit back from amazon. Do you think I will still be able to request a new disc? I hope this doesn’t impact any plans for future boxes…if it was up to me next one would include

    Let’s dance
    Serious moonlight live
    Never let me down
    Glass spider live
    Tin Machine
    Tin machine ii
    Oy vey, baby
    Recall 4

  82. Keith Brittain says:

    I just printed my order from the website (wasn’t Amazon). Easy peasy. Next should be a box of the three albums on EMI (Let’s Dance, Tonight, Never Let Me Down) with a bonus disc of 12 inch versions. Maybe throw in the two 12 inches from Labyrinth for good measure.

  83. johnny feathers says:

    I have to say, this all makes me think maybe the trend for remaster/reissue/repackaging is reaching a point where the cons are starting to out-weigh the pros. I know this is the wrong website to even posit this, but is there any real improvement on the sound in a lot of these sets? I’ve been content with my Ryko versions, complete with bonus tracks, for years. The amount of “new” content is minimal–2 versions of Stage, really?–and the emphasis starts focusing on replica packaging. Then you start adding mistakes to the mastering, which is theoretically the whole point of these.

    I’d be happy to see some of the stuff (Lodger remix, Baal, etc.) be given its own release down the line, but it’s not critical enough for me to worry about.

    I don’t mean to say others can’t/shouldn’t enjoy this set, but so far I’m fine without it.

    • Randy Metro says:

      I agree. I am a big T.Rex & Tyrannosaurus Rex fan – Visconti has been the gate keeper of most of the catalog. The one disc deluxe packages were nice. The two CD deluxe series – except for Electric Warrior – added nothing of importance and only a fleeting interest.

    • Dean says:

      In truth, the packaging with these is no big deal. They’re simply issuing Japanese mini-Lp’s in the rest of the world. The boxes my Japanese releases came in where better, imo. One is the cover of Ziggy, one Heroes, and the third was Low.

      These are cheaper than buying the Japanese releases, which is really the only draw. The Recall discs aren’t up to much, although this set does have the excellent Baal material. The book is okay, but there’s nothing earth-shattering in it.

  84. Daniel Wylie says:

    A safety copy doesn’t necessarily mean an inferior copy. It usually just means that two or more copies were made from the final master onto 1/4″ tape (pre digital days when these records were originally released) before going to press. One or more would be kept in the vault for “safety” reasons in case the other was accidentally damaged. These would all have been digitally transferred, so there really shouldn’t be any audio loss.

  85. Sean says:

    Well done Paul.. without your, and others, voice we would all be worse off and unhappy. Great work, great web page… and thank you.

  86. Leemer says:

    This is welcome news indeed!

  87. Dean says:

    As a Bowie fan – this doesn’t bode well. While this set is the highlight of Bowie’s career, the next contains his worst work. Let’s Dance is a horrid album, Tonight is worse. Never Let Me Down has a decent album hidden until terrible, dated, production (a candidate for a remix, imo). I like the Tin Machine material, but there are questions over whether they’ll be included.

    I have each of these boxes, but even for me the next one needs to do something exciting. Following on from this debacle isn’t going to help any (although I’m not sure Visconti will be involved, since he didn’t produce the albums in the next box.

    I don’t think this current box will ever recover now. It’s lost. With the next box containing some poor material, they’ve got to be worried.

    • daveid76 says:

      Side One of NLMD is actually very strong, despite its date-stamped production. It is a bit maligned. It would be interesting to see what tweaking can be done to soften the bombastic production.

      • Trash says:

        Have to beg to differ. Let’s Dance is actually a decent straight up pop album (given that is what Bowie wanted to do at that time), Tonight has some strong songs but awful production. NLD has one decent song (the title track).
        Tin Machine – Just ‘No’ (and I say that as a Bowie fan since Station to Station and someone that has really tried to get into both Tin Machine albums).

        • Dean says:

          Different strokes. There’s no saving Let’s Dance, it’s a terrible record. Tonight is just…… there are no words, and Bowie’s writing had pretty much dried up by then too. NLMD has a side worth of good stuff – Day In Day Out, Time Will Crawl, Beat of Your Drum, 87 and Cry, and Bang Bang. The rest is dodgy.

          Tin Machine though were pretty good, although the live album is poor. Heaven’s in Here is a monster.

          Of course, for members of this site (SDE) there’s a lot of love for 80’s and 90’s pop, so it’s no surprise most here like those albums. In Bowie’s discography it’s easily the most disposable. Bowie aimed for a commercial record, and he made it. But even live he couldn’t make Let’s Dance material worth hearing. The Glass Spider live material is equally horrid. IMO.

          • Paul Sinclair says:

            Woah… “Let’s Dance” is not a ‘terrible record’. I don’t think any album that has three pop singles as strong as Let’s Dance, Modern Love and China Girl can be called ‘terrible’ even if the rest of it was rubbish (which isn’t the case for Let’s Dance, anyway).

          • Klaus says:


            Just to give you another pov: I discovered Bowie with “Let’s Dance” and still think it’s a brilliant record concerning pop-music. I was too young to acknowledge Ziggy Stardust or the Berlin Trilogy when they were first released, so i discovered those and other earlier Bowie-records later, but my base for that always was the “terrible” “Let’s Dance” record. I still even know the lyrics of it by heart. ;-))

    • pinkfloyd says:

      “Let’s dance” ain’t horrid!

    • fantailfan says:

      Don’t assume there will be a next box. I can’t think of any reason anyone would buy it. I bought used copies of all of Bowie’s 1983-1992 output for about US$30 a few years ago.

      • Paul Sinclair says:

        Bowie’s 80s work – putting aside whether you think it is any good or not – is his most neglected period in terms of reissues, and contains his best selling album. So there’s two reasons why it might happen.

        • Alan Blevin says:

          I think they will start to put more unreleased stuff in future boxes as an inducement to purchase.The easy sell period of his career is now covered.The 80’s and beyond will take a bit more work.

      • Edward Bates says:

        I recently read, I think it was in Long Live Vinyl, that this box concludes the re-issue campaign so doubt if there will be any more. But then again…

        • Mark Porter says:

          That intro to the write up was an edit of what the writer put in his draft.
          It isn’t the last box set. It started out as a ‘career spanning campaign’.
          Nothing has changed.

    • Wayne Klein says:

      Let’s Dance horrible? In some weird alternate universe perhaps. It’s Bowie going for the brass ring and he does a very good job. Stevie Ray Vaughn’s support helps as does Rodger’s production. It’s exactly as he intended. Now the albums after that, I won’t argue, were not so good.

  88. Michael says:

    There is no problem with the record. People are deluded. That said, if they are giving out free extra copies, I will accept one.

  89. paolo says:

    That’s cool, I don’t have a physical copy of “Heroes” ever since I sold my EMI CD around a decade ago, and being one of my top 3 Bowie albums it’s about time I get it back in my collection once and for all. Great Bowie reissue campaing so far!

  90. 7 says:

    As Mastering Engineer Ray Staff & Producer Tony Visconti would have done there very best to repair the 1st generation master tape decay/damage, the obvious next course of action would be to use a 2nd generation safety tape copy, made at the time. This would of course be of slightly lower fidelity, and have a little more tape hiss and unwanted distortion. With a little luck this copy wouldn’t have the same dropout of the 1st generation master tape?

    • Fan-tastic! says:

      I doubt it. They can “fix” the problem with what they’ve got – they just need to do a far better job of correcting the “loss in energy” (what they did wasn’t very good at all), and then not forget to process the rest of the track like they did to the start – resulting in a volume drop as well as the volume going up due to “the fix”.
      They should have just been honest to begin with, but I personally don’t feel they are really being honest now, either.

      • 7 says:

        I agree that the result by Staff & Visconti to repair the 1st generation master tape damage wasn’t very good. Especially on the out going edit. I am shocked though, by how many people have so dramatically underestimated their skill & talent, based on their attempt at fixing that problem. They couldn’t have done any better with the reel of tape they had to work with. That’s why they should now abandon that 1st gen tape, & try the next best thing.

        • grantgrantgrant123 says:

          Adding too much compression, limiting & make suspect eqing choices to tape that is supposedly not in very good condition is only going to make the tape sound worse. For example – tape hiss: all analogue tape has hiss, but what you don’t want to do is compress the sound to the point that the noise floor is raised signifcantly enough to the point where it is very audible. Their entire approach to the project could (and, as it happened, did) throw up far more issues than solving “perceived” inadequacies of the master tapes – they have been way too heavy handed with everything they’ve done, and the result it that the master tapes are being blamed, rather than the processing of the tapes. As the old adage goes: A bad workman always blames his tools.

  91. Stephen Leigh says:

    The power of SDE, wow…

  92. paolo says:

    So Parlophone will remaster only “Heroes”, taking the most recent remastered source, and then press replacement discs?

    It’s safe to assume that when the album will be released on its own next year it will be the fixed version.

  93. Tony Orwell says:

    is it worth now buying the box set to have a withdrawn copy i wonder?

  94. Stuart says:

    I had held off buying this set (nothing to do with the mastering issues, just not got round to it yet), so I’m now wondering when it will be ‘safe’/possible to pick up a box set that already includes the replacement disc?

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      That’s not clear as yet. Could be a while. There isn’t really a downside to just buying and claiming the free disc at a later date.


        Please Sinclair, Do You Know…When Parlophone will recognize us David Bowie’s Heoroes vinyl whose mix is defective? This has been too frustrating for David Bowie fans that we bought the box set with such enthusiasm. Please we need a sign and the guide of how to acquire a new replacement vinyl of “Heroes”. Why so much silence?

    • Maslov says:

      I doubt any box will have the improvement for a year or more-if at all. So if you want it, just buy it and then wait for the replacement offer.

      I assume the individual release sometime next year will be fixed.

  95. Ron Martin says:

    It seems that most of these people making these decisions about how to clean-up, mix, remix, re-edit, package, price, etc. NEVER just ask the fans first. Many of them could save the record companies lots of money if they would just ask fans what they wanted first. Some people call it “market research”.

    • EW99 says:

      Hmmmm…. I really don’t think I agree. If you ask 100 fans what they want you’ll get 100 different answers. and they’ll probably all be things that only about 10 people in the mass market would be interested in.

      I do sometimes wonder though if they should send out some test pressings to fans in order to catch errors like wrong versions of songs being used.

      • BDY says:

        I think Ron Martin has a very good point. What fans of this sort of box-set want (in my opinion) are masters that sound as close to the best vinyl pressing available made at the time of the original release. That’s it really. A re-release shouldn’t come with an initial feeling of dread.
        Tinkering with dynamics and EQ should be a big no-no in re-mastering world.
        Step away from the plug-ins.

        There is no-body that actually cares if the original master tape is damaged… ‘and here it is – your damaged product. Enjoy’.
        Most people just want a copy of the enjoyable facsimile of the original master tape they heard many moons ago. Nobody buys a crashed car because it looked great last week.

        It strikes me that some re-mastering is done in an egotistical way without regard to the spirit of the original, or that it’s done by someone that has to overtly prove the remaster is different (and therefore somehow better) to the untrained ears of marketers and record execs.
        Steven Wilson, again in my opinion, gets it right because he tips his massive hat to the original production and sprinkles magic without his ego taking over. His work on the King Crimson LP’s Red and Discipline was subtle and brilliant.
        He’s old school because he’s confident in his skill.

        • Jonathan says:

          “Most people just want a copy of the enjoyable facsimile of the original master tape they heard many moons ago. Nobody buys a crashed car because it looked great last week.”

          Spot on! Genuinely made me chuckle

  96. Kauwgompie says:

    The only right thing to do. You can’t mess around with one of Bowie’s most critically acclaimed and signature songs.

  97. chris says:

    A little late but at least they decided to do the right thing in the end! Glad I held off purchasing this one until a correction was issued. Thanks to SDE and it’s members for the insight!

  98. Fan-tastic! says:

    Paul. Seeing as how you have their ear somewhat – can you tell them to remove the compression etc.. and just do the damn thing right – I think lots of people will be very happy if they do this, and not just the heroes fix, seeing as how they now have the chance to do it right. It will also mean that people can still have their heavily compressed “Tony Visconti version” (can’t think of another term – and it’s not meant to be derogatory), as well as a less compressed version to choose between. That will go a very long way to making lots of people happy who just want a more authentic sounding album than what they were given here.
    It’s a great way to wipe the slate clean and do it like fans want (and the fans who don’t want that will still have the other version to listen to anyway).

  99. Shaun says:

    I’m glad they are making this right but I feel the tape warble/damage on African Night Flights (Lodger) has been overshadowed a bit. This is also very annoying if you are a fan of this song/album and know it well. It would be nice if Parlophone looked into that problem as well.

  100. Fan-tastic! says:

    Listened to the fans? Is “fans” a record industry term for “album”. It still doesn’t address the poor mastering job in terms of peak limiting/compression, but it’s better than nothing.

  101. Jan says:

    What a f*ck up, but good decision.

  102. Can’t blame parlophone for trying to argue it off, but while the track doesn’t bother me too much, it’s obvious that they have realised that using “degraded” tape, whether original master or not, doesn’t cut it. Better to use the best sources available.

  103. Steve W says:

    This is great news. I’m still not sure about some of their sonic choices but the set itself looks great.

    I assume that a copy of the Amazon order will suffice as they no longer send delivery notes apparently.

    On a side note I wonder if the faulty cds will become rare & sought after (lol).

  104. Trash says:

    Interesting, particularly the comments from Jeff.

    I’m sure that many people will still moan despite the offer of replacement discs.
    Am I fine with the discs as they are? Yes!
    Will I still try to get replacements? Probably!
    Do I hope this whole ANCIANT-Gate thing will now quietly die a death? God yes!

    I do wonder if this is going to make Parlophone think very carefully about whether it is worth doing another Bowie box. The losers would be us, the fans (although given that the next box would likely include Never Let me Down and maybe even Tin Machine maybe its not such a great loss :-) )

  105. Paul says:

    One problem: what constitutes “Proof of Purchase” from Amazon US? They don’t include packing slips most of the time. Would a printout from your Order History work?

  106. pinkfloyd says:

    it’s about time…

    • David Palmer says:

      Good to hear that Parlophone are willing to do the ‘decent thing’.

      Power to the people!

      • Tom of FIN says:

        Power of social media at its best with positive result (to paying customers).

        Paul and other insistent fans have spoken! Cheers for that.

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