Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness 4xLP box set

Well, here it is after all. The reissue that so many have been waiting for so long. Let me get straight to the cheese. It's remastered to four LPs where the original version came on three LPs with bonus tracks (these are gone on the reissue). Each one of the LPs has an inner sleeve and an outer sleeve, there is the orginal lyric book and another book with liner notes, all packed in a sturdy box. In my opinion the outer sleeves are unnecessary, the art could have gone on the inner sleeves. Well, in my opinion this release is quite badly executed. The booklet lists all the bonus tracks that are on the CD version – which obviously comes in the same box – hence the LP tracklist is printed on a big sheet that is glued on the back of the box. The liner notes are worth reading, but then there are screenshots of the videos that, back in the mid 90s, were all shot in a traditional 4:3 ratio – no widescreen here. So if you watch them on your widescreen TV there would be black stripes on the sides. But why did they print the screenshots with the black stripes? Forgive me but this is extremely stupid. Next, the remaster. Huge discussions abound on forums around the issue that there is clearly audible distortion on the end of some of the LP sides. Obviously a mistake in the cutting process (as performed by an apparently quite arrogant guy who calls himself Stan Getz and who entioned in an interview once that he doesn't even own a turntable at home. See the problem here?). So we have these heavy 180g records that sound worse than the orginal, standard weight LPs, not only this: they are partly inaudible! Then this version is also very expensive, at least in Europe where it sells above 100 Euros! I am lucky I preordered it and double lucky because Amazon sent me two copies instead of the one I ordered and only made me pay for one. But at the regular price, this is just bollocks. I suggest getting the illegal repress of the original instead. The original artwork is also more beautiful than the redone cover (again: why?) that we have here. Not very well done, Billy.

Alright, now to the music: I just had to own these songs on vinyl. Not all of them though. Of the 28 tracks in total around half are incredibly wonderful timeless pop tunes, but most of the heavy songs sounded pretty lame to me then and still do now. There are miles between the quality of a song like 33 and one like Where Boys Fear to Tread. I have no idea what kind of point Corgan wanted to prove – that he is the best tennis AND football player? So, to sum this up, the perfect reissue would have been a double LP of the best 15 songs of Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, along with the original lyric book and artwork, on thin vinyl, sold for 15 Euros. Anything else? Oh yeah, the tracklist:

1 comment:

  1. Is there something with this band that I don't understand? Because I didn't like it than. And I don't like it now.
    Really nice summary though.x