UMC acknowledge Richard and Linda Thompson box set disc errors

Replacement discs and downloads promised

Universal Music Catalogue (UMC) have made a statement after some fans complained about defective discs in the Richard and Linda Thompson Hard Luck Stories 1972-1982 box set.

Some people have had issues with the CDs in this box set where ‘ripping’ them successfully (i.e. copying the files to a computer from a CD drive) is not possible. The process gets ‘stuck’ at various points on some discs. Others have reported playback issues from some discs, too. This is by no means a blanket problem, since SDE has checked its set and all seems fine.

The label are blaming the “hand-packing” process for these errors. This rang a bell with SDE and we then recalled that back in September 2018 the same label blamed the same ‘hand-packing’ issues for DVD errors on the Soft Cell Keychains and Snowstorms box set.

Anyway, the good news is they are offering a download code for the full box set contents to anyone who emails proof of purchase (presumably aimed at those with the ripping issues) but significantly will also offer replacement discs to those who request them. They do not make it clear if they are getting a new batch manufactured or are just supplying replacements from existing stock with the hope that they will be okay. UMC do, however, emphasise that this box set is now SOLD OUT, so no one will be getting a replacement box from their favourite retailer.

The full statement (which is posted on the uDiscoverMusic Store above the product listing for the box) is as follows:

We are aware of issues affecting some CDs in a small number of the Richard & Linda Thompson 8CD boxed set, ‘Hard Luck Stories 1972-1982’. Having spoken to the manufacturer, it appears likely that these were caused during the hand-packing process. If you have been affected please email, including proof of purchase, and we will send you a download code for the full contents of the package. If you request them, we will also arrange to send replacement discs to you. Please note, this box set is now sold out. If you return your box to the store you purchased from it will only be possible to get a refund.

SDE summary of the situation:

  • Any box that you buy online right now MAY have the issue, but you can subsequently contact UMC for a download or replacement discs.
  • There are no boxes in the marketplace right now guaranteed to be perfect.
  • Since this box is now sold out, the best advice is to hang on to it and simply go through the process of requesting the download (if you only have ripping problems), or replacement discs (if you have experienced playback issues).
  • If you don’t have any issues, ignore all this and enjoy what is a fabulous box set!

94 responses to UMC acknowledge Richard and Linda Thompson box set disc errors

  1. Dan Rourke says:

    Has anybody actually received their replacement discs yet? Like many others, my initial e-mails were ignored, and eventually I was asked to enter my address details on their website (irritatingly, the e-mail says “You should have received an email to supply us with your full address”, suggesting that a previous e-mail had been sent – not that I can tell). Anyway, this was October 12th – no confirmation or subsequent e-mails received. Does anybody have an update?

    • Dave Bain says:

      Still not heard a thing regarding replacement discs. Since there are no posts to the contrary I assume that nobody has received them as yet.

  2. John Felton says:

    Well….I thought I’d got away with it but was unsure as I hadn’t got round to listening ALL of the discs in the set (too much good stuff to get through of late….I blame that Paul Sinclair for ‘alerting’ us to all these deals!!)
    Oh dear…what was a brilliant box set is let down at the manufacturing stage by skipping CD’s…though at first I thought it was Richard Thompson’s fluid guitar solo….alas no.
    Hoping for replacement discs…..we’ll see……

  3. Robert Lett says:

    Mine played fine all the way through and there were no mixed up or wrong tracks that a few people mentioned so maybe they corrected things in the middle of the run and I got lucky. My outer box was slightly damaged alas, if anyone ends up with an extra outer box in good shape give me a holler and we can work something out.

  4. Ian Stafford says:

    Just had an email to say replacement disc are ready to send out & thanking me for my patience. All I had to do was register my address, quick and easy. I must say I’ve been impressed with how this has been handled, a few other companies should take note and learn from them!

    • David Bain says:

      After many ignored emails I sent yet another yesterday, and received a reply this morning. I am informed that replacement discs will be sent soon. In the meantime I have been given a code which I have used to download the full album. Unfortunately I can’t get iTunes to recognise the files. However, as an old timer who doesn’t really do technology I’m not too concerned about that as it’s a set of CDs that play properly that I am after, and hopefully will get very soon. I’m now a happy man who will be even happier when my 8 shiny new and playable discs arrive.

    • Dave Bain says:

      I have also registered for replacement discs, which in itself was quick and easy. However I have not been as impressed by universals’ overall handling of this situation. My first half dozen emails over a couple of weeks duration were all ignored. I was eventually sent a registration form about 5 days ago, but have not had any information regarding a timeline for despatch of replacement discs. It is now over 5 weeks since I bought this box set and am still unable to play a set of problem-free discs. Don’t get me wrong, I am happy that this situation is looking like it is about to be resolved, but I would have been happier still had universal taken some small effort to let people know what was happening. Their tardy response to emails and paucity of information has been a source of frustration to me and I assume to others. Has anyone out there received their new discs yet?

  5. Robin says:

    Just received an email from Umusic stating that replacement discs are being prepared a s asking for contact/mailing info. Also noted: “Please note that there is a cut-off date for supplying any replacement discs which is Sunday 15th November.”

  6. Danny says:

    Despite having emailed Universal twice over the last couple of weeks, I haven’t had a reply. Is anyone else in the same position? (And as a follow up, should I be worried? ;) )

    • Dave Bain says:

      I returned my original box set to Amazon only to receive another dodgy set of discs. I emailed communications dept’ at universal on the 24th September and the infoumc site on the 26th September after reading on this forum that the faults have been acknowledged and that universal would issue downloads/new discs to buyers on provision of proof of purchase. No reply from either. I re-sent my email on October 1st and again on October 3rd, no reply. I emailed both of these universal departments yet again on the 9th October. No reply as yet, but in all honesty I am no longer expecting to receive one. This should have been a great product, a lot of work has obviously gone into it. Let down by shoddy manufacturing of the most important part of the set, the discs. Very poor quality control, extremely poor after-sales service. I feel that universal have treated their customers as well as their artists with absolute contempt.

    • John C says:

      Hi Danny,
      Same thing here. Emailed Universal 12 days ago and nothing yet.

  7. Bongo says:

    Is there already more information about the replacement discs? I now have my second boxset at home with the same problems ….. I am very disappointed with this, because for the rest it is a beautiful box.

  8. John says:

    Hello..back again!

    Having gone through all the discs on a Linn,I can confirm that ,on this particular player,my problem was limited to the penultimate track on disc 4…Shame but too much hassle to fight for a replacement..

    It certainly is a great set..hats off to Andrew Batt!

    For our sake and theirs I hope there are no pressing problems with Universal’s imminent Lizzy set…I am pretty nervous!

  9. Dave Bain says:

    Very frustrated with this. Pre-ordered from amazon Got it for just over £56. Package is great some of discs unplayable right through, most can’t be ripped to computer. Sent back, got replacement which is an improvement but still ripping/playback problems with some discs. Item becomes unavailable from amazon. Universal acknowledge there is a problem and will offer new discs to customers on proof of purchase, great. I had already emailed universal on 24th September (no reply) so now I email them again (26th September) with proof of purchase (no reply). Sent another email a couple of days later asking for acknowledgement – no reply. Amazon have just contacted me with the news that this set will be back in stock later this month (October) price £76, superb I can now return my duff set to amazon for a replacement. Tried to do that and the only option given by amazon is a refund, i.e. get my £56 back and re-order it at £76. This is indeed ‘a strange affair’, and a very frustrating one at that Universal Music comes out of this in a very poor light it has not treated its artists or its customers with any respect at all.

  10. Steve Benson says:

    Obviously wasn’t going to be easy to get a copy in or to NZ but I see both Amazon UK and HMV store saying back in stock mid October. Does that mean there will be another run? (Amazon UK no longer shipping physical product to NZ)

  11. Neil says:

    Hi Paul ,
    I ordered the box set from my local record store in Melbourne ages ago – told today that it is no longer available and I have missed out (not the shops fault). Apparently Universal has grossly underestimated the demand with most copies satisfying orders in the UK and Europe. Very few export copies available for shops in countries like Australia. Very annoying!!

  12. Uncle Meat says:

    In case someone is still interested…. Received the set 24.09. and finished listening today 28.09. The cd discs played perfectly. Great set, great music, great mastering. In fact I had forgotten how good First Light and Sunnyvista were. Checked with two of my oldest players, an 18-year-old Sony DVD-player and my 21-year-old trusty JVC BoomBlaster. My more “modern” players hopefully perform the same. I don’t do ripping though.

  13. Steve Reid says:

    Was the problem scratching due to rough handling as UMC post would suggest or some intrinsic pressing fault ie the discs look pristine…have one in transit to Australia so hoping it is the former rather than the latter…a polish should remove any offending scratches…hopefully

  14. Mike Villano says:

    Well, so far, I’ve only played disc 8 on a five-year-old Sony Blu-ray player and all was well until track 11. It stopped playing about halfway through and rendered the remaining tracks unplayable. I tried again today, starting with track 11. This time, it and track 12 played fine, then more stopping and pausing.
    So for fun, I tried it on the 27-year-old Sony five-disc changer, again starting with track 11. And the whole thing played just fine! Huh? Guess I’ll have to use the old workhorse for this set.

    • Bart says:

      Hi Mike,

      Seems you don’t bother this mess, or am I not right? Ripping only succeeded with discs 1, 3 and 5. And I have problems with playing some discs. I hope to get the download code and replacement discs.

      • Mike Villano says:

        Discs 6 and 7 also experiencing playback problems. All the trouble seems to be with the bonus material. Very frustrating!

  15. Galley says:

    FYI: The downloads are 16/44.1 WAV files.

  16. Hedley says:

    Some good news from Detroit, so here is a positive experience

    There are some fault free copies of Richard and Linda Thompson’s Hard Luck Stories 1972-1982

    Delivery – The box set shipped from amazon uk to the USA, arrived two weeks early and the amazon box looked as though the amazon elephant had sat on it. BUT, the box set has its own separate case and a bubble wrap cover inside => Perfect, no dents bends stupid stuff

    Play – 8 discs averaging about an hour, mine played straight through (been busy) without problems

    Rip – stuffed all of them in to the iTunes library without an issue

    Sound and Content – Incredible, just a fantastic set of discs and extras from the dynamic duo. On my long ride it revealed just how diverse and talented they were. Songs like Dimming of the Day still stop me dead in my tracks. And yes there are plenty of cuts where Richard let’s it fly

    The SDE – 8 x 8 format, decent book, two cardboard sleeves each holding 4 discs

    Fear and Trepidation – armed with my purchase confirmations, I waited anxiously for my $67.00 purchase to arrive, anticipating all sorts of agro. It didn’t happen instead it’s the most marvelous SDE and SO if you are waiting for it, even if you face some lumpiness you are the in for something really special

    My Error : Why the heck didn’t I buy Richard and Linda Thompson Live at the BBC

    Salutations and thanks as always Paul for letting our music voices be heard

  17. Brad B. says:

    “I’m sorry for the things I’ve said, the things I’ve done,
    I’m sorry for the restless thief I’ve been,
    Please don’t make me pay for my deceiving heart…”

    Case in point why i visit Mr. Sinclair’s site at least every other day.

  18. Simon Stokes says:

    I have emailed umusic several times now regarding this problem and have had no response at all. Anybody else received a response?

    • CJ Feeney says:

      Got an email today with a download code. I’m not at home sobhaventvhsdca chance to use it.

      It was pretty much 48 hours after I emailed in response to their notice. Lots of Hoffman forumites have hit theirs.

    • Gary Fowles says:

      It took three or four days for my download code to arrive. So just sit tight.

      • Philip John Birtwistle says:

        Took a second email, but that one got a response of :

        Hello Philip,
        Apologies for the inconvenience.
        We are currently working with the manufacturer on a solution to the issues with the discs and will be in touch with you shortly to let you know about replacements.
        In the meantime, please accept this unique code to download the box set:
        The URL is

        within minutes.

  19. Larry Davis says:

    Well I must be one of the lucky ones because I had zero ripping problems, not one, all 8 discs read fine too…there were points where it looked like certain discs were getting stuck ripping, so I hung on and they all continued, no problems…as for playback, I’m sure that will not be an issue because all 8 discs ripped fine & no scratches at all…I did send an email to UMC for the download code & replacement discs just in case, before the ripping, as I thought for sure, mine was among the bad batch (70%??) and odds were not in my favour…so my only sorta bad thing was that ding on the back cover bottom centre edge, which I can cover up with duct tape…I do feel awful for everyone who got a problematic copy because this is a nice set indeed…

  20. bob says:

    If it is “Sold Out”, then how do UMC still have enough replacement copies for all the individual faulty discs that are already out there?

  21. Heath Peek says:

    Are they really resolving the issue with the R&L Thompson release? Or will they just pack up and send out leftover discs that were pressed at the same time/place as these and stored at the warehouse as “breakage” replacements?

    The UMC statement infers that they think the issue is that the discs are too scratched to play. Mine look pristine, no real scratches at all but will neither play nor rip. It is a problem with the silver layer of the discs being unreadable for some reason. Replacement discs from the same manufacturing run are likely to have *exactly* the same issues.

    I’m thinking UMe is setting themselves up for a slate of not only having to pay for one round of mass-replacements sent out, but then a separate manufacturing run and a second round of mass-replacements once we get yet more defective discs to replace these.

    I would be happy to be proven wrong…

  22. Steve Benson says:

    What a shame this is. I do hope they do a second edition and one of NZ’s few remaining music stores gets one in (getting boxed sets sent from UK or US almost inevitably means damaged packaging). I hesitated ordering also because I wanted to see reviews – of the quality of sound principally but also the whole thing. (Also friends would fairly ask me why I would need the set when I have almost everything RT/R&LT/LT have ever issued already.) Do the CDs sound good when they play? Not sure I buy the ‘hand-packing’ line from UMC or card slots in the book-set being cause of tracking problems as I have similar, by the Band and Eric Clapton for example, and no problems with those playing or ripping. Sounds more like pressing faults – maybe they used the same cheap method/factory as UNCUT magazine uses for its cover-mount CDs which always grind/stick at some point when ripping.

    • Alan Blevin says:

      There is not going to be a second run.Universal say this clearly in this release.This is not going to be released in Australia or New Zealand and was never going to be.As for your packing concerns I suggest you try packaging is outstanding.
      In their email reply to me Universal said they have no date for shipping of replacement discs as they are still arranging the production run.They will not be left over discs from the first run.My theory for the warped discs is that they were stacked incorrectly at some time between production and placing into packaging.
      The only way to ever get this will be to buy it from somewhere that might still have stock right now and as soon as you get your shipping notice/invoice email that to Universal for replacement discs.
      I really think Universal deserve praise for the way they have responded to this.

  23. Rick Kay says:

    Intriguing, since I ordered the set from Amazon US on the release date, and am now being promised a delivery date between October 13 & November 4. Wonder why that would be the case if there’s not to be a second pressing.

  24. Larry Davis says:

    My copy of the Richard & Linda box arrived today from Amazon UK, great timing as it originally said it would arrive October 7 & today is September 24!! As I thought, being Andrew Batt is behind this set, it’s on UMC & is also 8 discs, it is identically packaged as the Bobbie Gentry box, an 8-inch square, hardcover book (beautiful photography from just a quick look, had no idea Linda was such a looker, but that’s just tip of the iceberg), and 2 folders with 4 discs in each, in not-tight pockets…nice touch that one has Richard on the front, and the other, Linda…I’m happy that UMC has a solution for the ripping problem & faulty discs, and it’s posted the same day as I got my box, so I will test it tonight by ripping onto Apple Music & my iTunes library…and then will play them to see if any playback problems…hope not, hope for the best but expect the worst…yet I am an optimist…just 1 quibble and this is minor, my copy came with a slight ding of damage, the bottom edge in the middle had a slight rip/crush thing, but it’s so minor that it’s no big deal…and the fact that UMC are not making anymore of them, I am not bummed that I am stuck with the copy I have…I may just take a small piece of duct tape and put it over the ding…as for there not being any plastic jewel cases or trays, good!! I hate those things, they break too easily & get ugly when they get old…I prefer pockets or cardboard digipacks…with plastic trays on cardboard packaging, if the teeth break, you are stuck cuz you would have to rip it out which would ruin the packaging…so for me, cardboard all around is best AND best for the environment too…but based on looks and packaging alone, the Richard & Linda box gets too marks from me…as for my copy with the music?? Fingers crossed…

  25. John says:

    First of all I would like to thank Paul for his great efforts and Andrew Batt for producing a magnificent sounding and beautiful set.I hadn’t been sure if I ‘needed’ it as I have all of the original cds and the beautiful BBC set..all signed by Richard.I have a rather nasty illness and not sure how long I have to play with my pretty large music collection..however I am not letting go of this beauty!

    I don’t download so only interested in the CDs playing properly…I have five CD players of various vintage in the house.I started off with an ancient Aiwa I frequently do..never,ever any problems with this…It did everything but vomit the first CD up…I kid ye not!!

    I then moved on to a LINN player…I thought that I was in the clear until track 13 of disc 4… stuffs up in different ways every time…I am now into disc 7 and so far so good although pretty nervous! If no other problems I will keep and think myself lucky…

    It seems to me that without a second pressing any return is a bit of a ‘lucky/ unlucky dip!’

    For what it is worth I believe this to be a pressing problem at the Czech plant and nothing at all to do with the packing..For the sake of everyone I hope that this plant is not used for the imminent and shockingly titled Thin Lizzy set ‘Rock Legends!..Blush and groan!

    The worst packaging for any CD Box Set that I have come across for ages was the Allman Brothers Band one earlier in the year..impossible…Oh for the ancient days when such items were in real CD packaging within a 12 x 12 box…I have most of the significant originals and was upset when such items were superseded by 12 x6 boxes!

    If anyone has not previously come across the Gerry Rafferty / Hugh Murphy version of For Shame Of Doing Wrong..previously legally available on the excellent triple set ‘ Watching The Dark’ they are in for a wonderful treat!!

    Good luck all!


    • Tim says:

      Keep playing the music John. There’s always that song you missed the first time, a band you didn’t know existed. Hope you feel better.

      • John says:

        Many thanks for the encouragement Tim!..Yes ,music is absolutely crucial for me..both my daft collecting habit and live gigs..At last count I have good tickets for ten gigs rolled over to next year…all things being equal!

        The postman has just brought the signed Steve Hackett set…and the Nick Mason package ,ordered in January, arrived last week!

        Neither will be opened until I have played disc 8 of the Richard and Linda set…fingers crossed!

  26. Don says:

    I guess not enough people bothered to buy the Simple Minds/Street Fighting Years box set and complain about it. Because the live discs in that set had serious problems and Universal made zero effort to correct.

  27. Seth Hollander says:

    My box is still on the way to me, but I am already dreading it. I have been reading the Hoffman threads on it daily. So I have emailed UMC today for replacement discs (I would like to ENJOY this box as soon as possible!).
    I included this in my requesting email: “I am thankful for your endeavoring to fix this problem, but I strongly feel that your organization should change your attention to the actual storage of CDs in your box sets. The current proclivity to place CDs in book pages/covers is much more prone to damaging the discs than is the older practice of placing the discs in protective plastic trays. Your current box sets seem to be “coffeetable” books that include CDs, not music sets that include books!”
    It is my practice to jewelbox the discs from boxsets whenever the discs are not in boxes/sleeves that fit my CD shelves, so as to both properly protect the discs and place them where they “belong” in my collection. It takes at least an hour to properly assemble art for the jewelboxes, plus the additional purchasing of boxes, paper, ink. For me, a box set purchase comes with chores!
    I miss the 80s…. No chores when I bought Biograph or Crossroads…

    • Jeepster says:

      yes i was just thinking the same thing about rethinking they’re packaging as the problems with the soft cell box really sucked. just got my box and started ripping it, so far no problems okay disc 7 track 17 caused a little problem but restarting the process on that disc let me rip it fine. my fingers crossed.okay just ripped completly. only the afore mentioned hiccup.

  28. adam shaw says:

    Hi Paul .
    Looks like the “The Second Disc “ site in the USA has published your story about this without an acknowledgement to you .

    • JK says:

      Both sites had been covering the issue so it’s not surprising they would both post articles the day that UMC finally sent out a press release about it.

  29. eric says:

    The unfortunate part is this forces everyone to test and not hold onto a set sealed.

    • Mike M says:

      Why would you want to hold onto a sealed set Eric? You bought it the npkay it surely? Or are waiting to sell it on for a profit, mmm.

      • Jarmo Keranen says:

        I have at least 30 packages from last 10 years that i haven’t opened them at all. They’re still in cardboard boxes. Not sure if every package contains the right cd’s that i ordered!

    • CJ Feeney says:

      I’ve not got much sympathy if people are buying this purely for resale value, which must be the only reason for having an unwrapped copy.

  30. Paul E. says:

    Although I vividly recall the Soft Cell UMC issues…we’ve had a fairly long run of problem free box sets. I personally have five multi CD box sets on order that I’m awaiting and remain confident they’ll be just fine.

    That said, if any of these “hand-packing” issues can be traced back to the cardstock sleeves the discs are inserted/housed in than I’d argue that the industry just do away with that type of packaging all together. I’ve always hated those and my tolerance is strictly limited to Japan’s approach that includes poly inner sleeves for discs that protect the CD surface when inserting/removing from the course cardstock jackets [an approach that would limit these kind of issues in my opinion]. I’ve ordered hundreds of these inner sleeves from and they cost about $.15 each- well worth the peace of mind for handling/storing the media.

    If the above isn’t possible, manufacturers should at least package the discs into the jackets to ensure the play surface faces the “smoother” side without the protruding inner edges and glue! I apologize in advance as I know I’m guilty of asking way too much here.

  31. Richard koloda says:

    Thanks for the tip off –just ordered a copy from amazon –not much into ripping –just want it to play –so better now than never

  32. Gareth Jones says:

    They should’ve taken a leaf out of Neil Hannon’s book. The forthcoming Divine Comedy CD box set also comes with downloads!

  33. Sam Tennent says:

    I have to say reading this prompted me to immediately order the set from Amazon.
    I was holding out hoping that the issues would be fixed but I really don’t want to miss out completely and it seems like UMC are not planning a re-run.

    I’ve been listening to it over the last couple of weeks on Tidal and that might have satisfied me until I realized that they don’t have everything – Shoot Out The Lights is missing (even though the Gerry Rafferty versions are included) and that means I can’t listen to my favourite R&L song “Just the Motion”.

    I guess the “Sold Out” statement is from UMC’s perspective – retailers seem still to have stock so with the offer of replacement discs and downloads it seems a good time to grab one!

  34. Matt R says:

    Off topic

    My Sign O’ The Times SDE’s arrived this lunchtime.
    Superb service. Thank you

    The outer cardboard LP box is very tight in the main box. Took an age to release it.
    I haven’t opened it yet, but the CD box looks lovely.

    Also I have to go back to work this afternoon. Which is disappointing.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Thanks for the order, Matt! Hope you enjoy.

      • Kauwgompie says:

        Wow, nice service! I got an email from Amazon Canada and Amazon Italy that my Sign Of The Times box sets are not arriving till mid October. Well, I guess that’s what happens when you go for cheap. It saves a lot but it comes at a price :-)

  35. Aidan says:

    Thanks for the update Paul. I had placed a return with Amazon after finding playback problems with at least 2 discs (jittering and knocking). But since then I’ve told them I will work it out with UMC. They seemed quiet happy with that!

  36. Timothy Ricketts says:

    Thanks for the heads-up – requested

  37. That Wort says:

    I suppose if UMC are doing a recall of the existing box set, it would make sense to label it SOLD OUT. Then they can hopefully set up a new ‘improved’ 2nd edition going forward.

  38. Lee Realgone says:

    “Affecting a small number of discs” — Nope.
    “Hand packing process” — Nope.
    “We will send a download code” — Nope.
    “Replacement discs available upon request” — with no guarantee that they haven’t come from the same shonky batch, that’s another hard no from us.

    I get the feeling that UMC are trying to buy a few people off with a download code and hoping that having a beautiful thing to look at will be enough.

    This whole thing has been unsatisfactory. It’s made me nervous about Tears For Fears in a few weeks, Presumably those discs were “hand packed” too…

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      I think you are being a little bit harsh here, Lee. The major issue seemed to be ripping the discs, and so the download solves that. Fewer people had problems with playback (it seems) but they are still offering you replacement discs, if needed. I’m sure if the replacement discs are problematic then you can always go back. I agree that a determination to properly work out root cause is worrying. This happened with Soft Cell and lessons don’t appear to have been lessons learnt and so it’s happened again.

  39. Steve Peatchey says:

    Hi Paul, what’s the email address I need to use to get my replacement?

  40. Rare Glam says:

    Amazon UK saying ‘ready to ship in 1-2 days’ (on 24th Sept) so must be some physical product still around, presumably newer stock?

  41. Guy.S says:

    I see they are blaming whoever did the hand packing but to be honest the discs that I had problems with didn’t have any marks on at all. I feel sorry for the people who work there who are obviously going to get a bollicking. Never had this problem from discs in other box sets (Imagine/Red Rose Speedway/Wild Life) If this is as they say what caused the problem are UMC going to learn from it and have the discs inserted in antistatic plastic sleeves before placing in the folders, as I have pointed out these can cost very little to the public to buy, so for UMC the price would be next to nothing compared to replacing box sets.

    • Stan Butler says:

      I agree with Guy. There were no marks on mine and they played fine. Sliding the bare disc into a thin carboard slot isn’t ideal though.
      It was the ripping of the discs that presented all the problems.
      I shall be asking for a set of discs as I want to rip them properly myself.

      • Scott Smith says:

        Yeah, this has nothing to do with hand packing. When the first disc went wonky, I immediately took it out and looked at it. It was pristine, not a mark on it. Then I checked the other discs. They were all fine. This was a manufacturing defect whether UMC wants to admit it or not. I am dubious about the replacement discs if they were from the same plant.

  42. Graeme ewan says:

    Check out the Steve Hoffman forum for more of the discussions about this set and issues. I think we should all be very pleased that we all pushed this and most folk will be more than pleased with the outcome.

  43. Nico says:

    Will have to check when we pick it up at my father-in-law’s in late October. I’m glad that actually did send it out for 30€!

    • Chiel says:

      Unfortunately my order hasn’t been shipped to me from
      And now I read that they don’t manufacture new boxes,
      I do fear that I will never own this box.

  44. Pablo says:

    Paul, many thanks for sharing this and also for your intervention in bringing this up to the attention of Universal. The set is really nice and the mastering is top notch so it was really a shame that some of the tracks skipped and is a relief to hear that we will get replacement cds. Thanks again

  45. Quante says:

    No one likes a problem, but resolving one is always the right thing to do, so well done to all involved in responding and correctly choosing to rectify the issue.

    I intended keeping this back as a Christmas present to myself, but will need to check for issues ahead of waiting for Santa’s surprise.

    I’d be surprised if they don’t do a second pressing now they have the initial sell out, and are having to remake the replacement discs. Bobbie Gentry was reprinted once it sold out.

  46. CJ Feeney says:

    Forgot to say thanks to Paul Sinclair and Andrew Batt for pushing through this ssue with UMC.

    Good job, guys.

  47. p britten says:

    Hi Paul,
    I received the R & L Thompson box yesterday. Perfect packaging as usual. Thank you. I’m listening right now to the third disc (Hokey Pokey). It’s a little bit nerve-wrecking, I must admit – I’ve heard so many complaints – but so far so good. No problem at all, though it must be said I don’t use my computer to play music .
    But just in case, do you happen to know if the sheet you included in the package, with the order number and a bar code, constitutes a valid “proof of purchase”?
    Anyway, how come the set is already sold out? How many copies did they print? The Bobbie Gentry box, from last year and also on Universal, is still available at a very reasonable price on Amazon Canada.
    Thank you again and have a nice day.

    • Paul Sinclair says:

      Hi there. That sheet may not constitute ‘proof of purchase’. But if you paid by paypal then you may have something there, or on request we can send you a proper invoice. P

    • David says:

      Oh my goodness, p.britten, you’re right… there are a plethora of Bobbie Gentry box sets available at Amazon Canada!

  48. Steven Campbell says:

    I didnt order this box set because it wasnt of interest to me but the one thing that strikes me is how hard can it be especially given that folks are shelling out plenty of their hard earned cash these box sets, for the folk making them to do it right? It’s not the first time with any of the box sets and won’t be the last as I had to and eventually got a replacement blu ray long after the window had closed for the same for my Dark Side Of The Moon box set. I think whoever’s behind quality control needs a quick slap upside the head!

  49. David Crozier says:

    Yes, I agree with David Davies. It’s not a numbered limited edition is it? If not, why not press some more that are correct? I too held back when I heard of the ripping issues, with the intention of buying one when that was all sorted out. Now it seems I can’t do that. I’m sure mine is not the only lost sale.

  50. puptonbluton says:

    Thanks for bringing this to wider attention Paul, as it had completely passed me by. I bought the boxset and so far have had no playback issues, but I’ve only played half of the discs. Do you know if there are particular discs that are affected?

    It’s frustrating to spend what, for me, is a large sum and get these sort of issues, but at least UMC are addressing the problem straight away.

    However, problems aside, it’s a superb set!

  51. Chris says:

    Mine is en route. I guess I’ll see how it turns out. I will hope and hope and hope it’s OK. If I need replacement discs, I’ll hope and hope and hope they’re OK. If they’re messed up too, I guess I can only mourn what should have been one of my favorite box sets of all time but ended up being a drag.

    • Chris says:

      Follow-up: I wonder what format of downloads they’ll be offering? I normally rip to FLACs because the whole point of ripping for me is having a backup, and an MP3 is not a backup.

    • Alan Blevin says:

      I am in Australia.Our borders are basically sealed due to COVID and this has slowed air freight to a near stop.Companies like Warner’s are now receiving their product via ship from the other side of the world.I ordered this from JPC and it is sitting in a warehouse in Frankfurt and I will be lucky to receive it by Christmas.Because of this I emailed Universal and asked for the replacement discs.It may be many months until I can play them and see if they are ok.A poll on another web site suggests about 40% of the boxes have all discs playing ok and less than this have no ripping problems.So my advice is to order the replacement discs now.
      For people wondering about proof of purchase a shipping confirmation email should also work.As for a second production run Andy did mention it as a possibility at one stage.I think they were surprised by the demand and existing European retailers had a lot of demand because they can’t release it in the US due to label issues around the Shoot Out The Lights album.They seem to have had a change of mind but producing another run of the book and packaging looks expensive when you are uncertain about how many customers are still out there.

      • David Bly says:

        Alan Blevin…

        Regarding not able to ‘release’ in it the US die to label issues with “Shoot Out The Lights”. there are a couple of reasons why this is likely not so.

        First of all, virtually ALL of the box set releases of items from the three majors now – Sony Music, Universal Music, and Warner Music – are ‘international’ releases.
        There are only manufactured in one country, usually Germany, Austria, or Czechia (the new name of the Czech Republic since January 2019).

        A good example of what I am talking about is that virtually all of the singles that were relased by Warner Music for Record Store Day worldwide, were pressed in Czechia, as are many coulored vinyl albums on both majors and indies in the US. Plus, in the US there are NO record pressing plants nor CD plants owned by the majors.

        In very few cases now are there issues of who owns the rights.
        In the case of “Shoot Out The Lights”, the rights were originally owned by Hannibal Rec0rds, an indie run and owned by producer Joe Boyd, through which it was released wordwide. In the box set, I note that the rights are now owned by WEA International Inc., which would be part of Warner Music.
        My guess is that Joe Boyd must’ve sold the Hannibal rights as he’s getting on in years, and sold it to Warner as he worked for Warner Bros. Records in Los Angeles for a few years. This is how Richard Thompson’s “Henry the Human Fly” was relased on WB in the US and Canada, and became what RT likes to boast sold less copies that any other album on the WB label (which at one point was apparently true, and still may be).

        Anyway, if Warner in the UK, and the EU, and elswhere had no problem with “Shoot Out The Lights” material being released, there is no reason it would be a problem in North America, as Warner Music is an international company now, owned by Access Industries, run and partly owned by a Ukrainian businessman now based in the UK, with dual British-American citizenship.

        What many people may now realise is the NONE of the major labels are now based in the US. Sony is of course based in Japan, Universal is based in France, and Warner is based in the UK.

        The only cases where box sets of these sorts could not be released wordwide, would be if the rights were owned completely by different major labels in different areas. As all but the Hannibal recordings on the box set are owned by Universal, I can’t see any reason that would’ve stopped them.

  52. David Davies says:

    Many thanks for the update. I had been about to buy this when details of the disc problems first surfaced. Re: the UMC statement, does this mean they have no plans for further pressings? Seems odd given that it has been so popular and well-received. I would love to have bought a version of this with all the problems resolved. Thanks for a great site Paul.

    • CJ Feeney says:

      Andrew Batt suggested not long after it was announced that furter pressings would happen, but that may have been in response to pre orders.

      I’d go by the UMC statement and assume that no further pressings will be done. I’d advise you to buy it if you can find it at a decent price. SDEs £75 was a decent price, I consider the £56 I paid to be a bargain. If you have issues, you know the fix is available.

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