Deluxe Versions Worth Buying?

tiggerlion's picture

I'm a bit of an album purist. When CDs came along with their spare time, it wasn't long before 'bonus' material was added. Now, this is a mixed blessing. A lot of the time, the 'bonus' proved that the artist or their people were right the first time. It had been shelved for good reason. Worse, when it was tacked on the end of a great album, it spoiled the listening experience.

Now, with the ease of editing available on iPods, it becomes a boon. I can play producer and correct blatant errors, substituting neglected gems for duff originals. Suddenly, I find myself wanting more. The extras no longer prickle my sensibilities, I welcome them.

For example, I love the Jamaican mix of The Wailers' Catch A Fire, the one without the 'rock' guitar, the original Detroit mix of Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On is even more sensual and Chic's vision for Diana before Motown popped it up is funkier than anything they ever did.

So are there other deluxe versions where the addition material truly is hidden treasure?

1 user has voted.


you have the Deluxe version of The Next Day? Course you do. Plan is particularly good.

& I reckon there is a lot more to come!

I accept that "Sweet Head" is somewhat Ziggy-lite. But I like to have it in place of "It Ain't Easy" in the running order because [a] it's a Bowie original and [b] its loucheness is just such a better fit with the album.

I'll try it out.

My favourite Bowie to fiddle with is Young Americans. Fame and Across The Universe simply don't fit. Who Can I Be Now? and It's Gonna Be Me (the version with strings from 2007) render the album a complete intimate soul experience that is amongst the most personal of his albums.

is a fine track, and of the Bowie/Lennon collaborations most deserves a hearing. If Bowie had had any commercial sense he'd have wiped Across the Universe and held Fame back until Station to Station. Young Americans would have benefited from being re-recorded too as Carlos Alomar's guitar is painfully out of tune despite Tony Visconti's best efforts to hide the fact. Visconti is also said to have been disappointed with the changes to the track listing.

I see it as a stand alone single with Universe as the B-side. Mind you, now you mention it, it does 'fit' better with Station To Station but what would you drop? TVC15?

At just over 38 minutes there's plenty of room for Fame's 4 minutes or so. TVC15 always seemed a bit lightweight but was clearly been inspired by The Man Who Fell to Earth so it's a tough call to take it out.

1. Young Americans
2. Win
3. Fascination
4. Can You Hear Me
5. Somebody Up There Likes Me
6. Who Can I Be Now?
7. Right
8. It's Gonna Be Me

is a perfect, smooth, gorgeous soul album from beginning to end, with a torch song to finish. It feels intimate and personally revealing. Fame is a cracking single but is arch in its concept & delivery. It doesn't 'fit' because it is not in the same style. Where in the above sequencing would you put it?

If you don't believe me, just use the 2007 edition as you need It's Gonna Be Me with strings, and put together the playlist. Then, play on repeat until convinced!

the strings version on YouTube, and what a difference they make - turns a fairly run-of-the-mill track into something else entirely.

... I quite like the funkiness of "After Today" but Bowie's vocal on the 1st chorus is a bit of a strain.

that isn't obviously unfinished. Do you?

... the version off the Sound + Vision Box Set (2003 Remaster on iTunes). It sounds better than a demo but I can see why it never got on the album.

...none of the YA outtakes cut it for me. None of the songs are strong enough, none of the performances are good enough. As a whole, I find it a weak album - I really don't feel Bowie sounds comfortable writing or singing in that style. Best song on the collection is "Win", then "Fame". I reckon this is one deluxe edition you don't need.

as I think it's one of his very best. Can You Hear Me & Right are simply superb to my ears.

Now, what order would you put the tracks in for Station to Station, given Fame, and freed from the original constraints of being shoehorned onto a slab of vinyl/cassette/8 track cartridge?

I'm off to work on that now!

Shaking things up always makes me hear things in a different light. I decided to keep to vinyl rules, just a smidge over 20 minutes a side.

Station To Station
Golden Years
Word On A Wing

It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Wild Is The Wind

I always thought TVC15 was a bit daft, although it was 'light relief'! His singing on Bruce Springsteen's song is phenomenal, with strings and everything. Fame features all the same musicians except for Lennon (barely noticeable) and the bassist.

The more I listen to It's Hard To Be A Saint In The City, the more I think it was mainly recorded with a different band. The vocals fit, funnily enough, and are superb. It also makes Station To Station relentlessly intense.

Replace it with TVC15 again please!

version of Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Its Blitz contains gorgeous acoustic versions of four of the tracks - definitely worth paying a bit extra for.

I thought it was Cat Power & that's a serious complement from me!

The Blood & Fire double CD with the dub versions on CD2.


So I've 'obtained' it elsewhere. You've advocated this before & I trust your musical judgement (bar Rod's latest!).

But you seem like an open-minded chap and it could be you get some pleasure from the New Rodney, so don't dismiss it yet!

(A bit off-topic, but Culture's Production-Something is absolute bliss: check it out here: http://www.*taxdodgers*.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dpopular&...)

Is that your 'basket'? I knew you liked Carly for some inexplicable reason but Funky Divas?

I've done some bad shit in my time, dude, but I never gave money to the taxdodgers. I just looked - that's the result of the search. No idea.

You are a man of principle! There's no way you'd buy En Vogue!

The music is .... erm... not bad! (I think that's the best I can do for you).


Thanks for letting me off the hook. Now. Let me play it again so I can gaze at those legs without a bloody great arrow getting in the way!

a while back that's worth getting. Best reggae gig I ever saw was Culture back in Joseph Hill days. Astonishing.

You bastard!

The deluxe Two Sevens Clash only has two bonus tracks, so it's not that essential, it's just that it's one of my all-time favourite albums.

The gig was at Trinity Church in St. Pauls in Bristol, and it would have been 1979, so International Herb was either fresh out or about to get a release, and Two Sevens Clash was still relatively fresh on everyone's mind as their classic moment of greatness thus far. I should think that almost all of the Rastas in the south of England were in the hall that night, and the band were absolutely on fire. They started around 8:30 and were still playing at 11.... when the details begin to get a little hazy. In order to become intoxicated, all that was required was to breathe, as the skank fug was deep and impenetrable. My abiding memory is watching Joseph Hill, stalking the audience from the front of the stage like a huge demented boggle-eyed sprite, only a few yards away through a forest of flailing dreads. If ever a gig deserved the soubriquet "awesome", that was the one for me.

and he was spot on. I saw them a few times and they were never less than awesome.
Particular highlights were seeing them at the Albany Empire in Deptford in 82 or so backed by the Soul Defenders which was so 'fuggtastic' that non smokers must have been high as kites & at the Phoenix Club in Chapeltown, Leeds in about '84 where I arrived so early that I was able to briefly chat to Joseph Hill who signed my ticket, gave me a couple of tokes & instructed me to ' live up' - I can tell you, I did my best!
Without doubt, easily the best reggae band I ever saw, & he was the greatest vocalist in a very strong field IMHO.

Acoustic versions, alternative versions, extra tracks, all for a tenner from the tax dodgers.


are truly wonderful. If only they'd finished Stranger in a strange land.....

...and the expanded "No Other" - the demos are so good it's almost like having the impossible live album ("No Other" wasn't toured).

they're the original album recordings as produced by (IMS) Thomas Jefferson Kaye. And they are righteously fabulous, a whole other album going on. No Other is right up there with Astral Weeks for me, one of those on-another-level-entirely albums.

Also worth mentioning are the Spirit re-releases with xtry trx, much in the same mould as the Byrds.

I'm struggling enough with Van Dyke Parkes's Song Cycle. I'm finding it, well, disjointed. Now, you are drawing me to listen again to another album I normally find *difficult* and I speak as a man who loves free jazz! Still, it good for the soul to re-explore the nether regions of one's record collection.

And guess what, the tax dodgers (yeah, ok Burt, mea culpa) are doing the expanded CD version for three quid. THREE QUID. There is no excuse for anyone not buying it.

I'm thinking the bonus tracks might help me through my listener's block.

Is there anyone who can help with Terry Reid's The River?

your email.

Nothing as yet.

if nothing's arrived maybe you've got the wrong email address in your profile?

I owe you a favour (Van & The Chieftains, remember?) and I can help out with the above, but I need your postal address.


or either of the Johnny Rogan doorsteps to hand, so I'll just believe you ! Certainly are stripped down version compared to the final album, but as you say very fine in their own right.

It's going to be a dull day for Kirsty the day I do Desert Island discs.

"And so - to your eighth choice"

"Yes Kirsty, well as I mentioned for choices one to seven, No Other is an album that stands head and shoulders over all but a very few albums, it's a timeless classic. So my eighth choice is of course - Lady Of The North "

she does that show naked? Makes you think ...

much too hot ?

...'all but a very few albums" suggests there are other albums that are just as good! It depends on the percentages. In my house, that could be hundreds of albums and still be classified as 'very few'!

I've played it once & it's worth every penny!

by Radiohead.

1. The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy
2. Trans-Atlantic Drawl
3. Fast-Track
4. Kinetic
5. Worrywort
6. Fog
7. Cuttooth
8. Life In A Glasshouse (Full Length Version)

Excuse me, but any Radiohead album consists entirely of penalty tracks anyway. "Bonus tracks"? Please not.

are continental plates, slowly drifting apart. Kid A is like Astral Weeks to me, utterly unique, jazzy and engrossing in a strange, beautiful world entirely of its own. Amnesiac isn't far behind, a bit like Moondance.

Tho' more dulux than deluxe as it is, shhhh, Mr Interweb that provides. I'm thinking Raffertys Folly, the "original" Gerry Rafferty produced "Shoot Out the Lights", and the Gurf Morlix production, also jettisoned, version of "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road". Both interesting alternatives to the later more polished official releases by Richard & Linda Thompson and by Lucinda Williams respectively. (OK, I might come to the London mingle. Then you are accomplices.)

hasn't been much in evidence at the sliders recently - anybody know why?

I'd have said that the Joe Boyd version of Shoot Out the Lights was *less* polished than Gerry Rafferty's - to my ears - over-produced versions.

Who's Next is OK but Live At Leeds is just too much. I yearn for the old LP. It was much more fun, even if one side was much shorter than the other.

is The Real Alternate Who's Next Album, a 4 CD version of alternate takes, demos and a live rehearsal of the Old Vic gig.

...My Generation is amazing, though.

I suspect you are right!

for the added performance of Tommy. I wouldn't listen to both CDs in one sitting; right enough, it's too much.

The contemporary live recording that comes with 461 Ocean Blvd is well worth the investment. Great versions of Let It Rain, Badge etc

Extended 1 disc version is really good.

Was a great deluxe edition, some superb bonus tracks and mixes.

All the Suede deluxe reissues (if they're your bag), barring 'A New Morning' are highly recommended and well worth the extra few quid.

a chap who's teeth grate at the mere rattle of Costello's adenoids, who replies to your honest enquiry. The only Costello I still have (and I have had most of them, in a failed attempt to break through my personal dislike into a zone of artistic appreciation) is the two-disc version of My Aim Is True, which contains only very slightly more Costello than I will ever need.

I really, really, really like This Year's Model and Get Happy!! From your recollection of your collection when the 2cd versions were in it, are they worth buying too?

It's the Demon/Edsel reissue from 2003. Disc one has the original album, disc two has an extra 30 tracks, including b-sides, demos, alternate takes and a few live tracks.

Totally contradicting my late post I think it's chock full of great stuff!

I'll excavate the second Get Happy!! disc, whilst you explore one of the three I mention in the OP. At the moment, I'm really grooving to the Chic mix of Diana but you choose. All three are well worth the extra money.

Lots of demos and B-sides but, most promising, early takes of songs later released on Trust.

Hey Tigger! sorry this is a few days late but only just catching up with blog. I have all the Costello deluxe albums and they are magnificent. Loads of demos and outtakes and Ive created Alternate takes of each album using bonus material, it certainly improves the Punch The Clock and Goodbye Cruel World albums!
One more to mention is Billy Braggs Mr Love and Justice which came with a "band" disc and a "solo" disc, some great songs well worth checking out

Does it really work?

Mr. Costello himself explains it at length in the liner notes.

His liner notes to "Goodbye Cruel World" open with "Congratulations! You just bought the worst album of my career."

The Costello deluxe doubles were my first ever £50 splurge in Fopp: they were a fiver each!!

was an interesting archaeological dig into the Dame's past, but the original 2000 release (was it really that long ago?) included a CD which had recently been recorded live at the BBC Radio Theatre. A must have for the Bowiephile, as it's one of his best live recordings, and features a great backing band too.

Finest version of "I'm Afraid Of Americans" I've ever heard. Gail-Ann Dorsey on bass, Earl Slick's guitar, Mike Garson's demented piano. What's not to like?

The live show was on youtube for a long while but has recently been taken down. 'I'm Afraid of Americans' from it is quite quite brilliant.

is a great album but has its flaws. The 2cd+DVD set includes lots of fantastic B-sides, so one can 'correct' those flaws.

1. The Amazing Sounds Of Orgy
2. Trans-Atlantic Drawl
3. Fast-Track
4. Kinetic
5. Worrywort
6. Fog
7. Cuttooth
8. Life In A Glasshouse (Full Length Version)

*pesky gremlins*

  • New Boots and Panties! has an excellent second disc of early demos.
  • Dare is now packaged with Fascination!, which makes it an essential purchase.
  • The reissue of London Calling which came with the "Vanilla" tapes is worth hearing.

The extras are arguably better than the original album. I Want To Be Straight should be the opening track, for starters!

I have come to the conclusion that its just padding.

I don't mind having a few rare b-sides tacked on, provided they are actually good. But I can do without the demo versions, the alternate takes, the rehearsal tapes and all the other bollocks that gets played once and forgotten about.

Nobody needs a 7 CD deluxe version of an album that originally contained maybe 12 tracks. It's just marketing bullshit to fleece the punters.

But the suggestions on this thread all feature extra tracks that are well worth the extra price and are way beyond 'padding'.

And that's the kind of extras I like!

Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue is a brilliant package. Plenty of extra tracks and you get Bambu as well, some of which is as good as POB.

£42.74 on Amazon at the moment I'm afraid, though the MP3s are a lot cheaper.

but I can'l. Love POB but Bambu is indulgent tosh.
Has anyone got/listened to the new re-release of Broken English, with the original mixes? Marianne Faithfull. Just seen it on spotty, so I'll shoot over for a gander.

It's just uncompleted. In a very early stage. And - thanks to drink - destined to remain that way. I like to think he would have managed to get a decent album out of the material eventually. If he hadn't been such a goddamned mess. Burt angry! Dennis really did have it all - looks, talent, Christine McVie - no part of the enchilada was a stranger to him. And he pissed it all away.

a near Websterian definition of indulgent tosh with your spirited defence. Dennis was, too, for me, the Beach Boy. Until I learnt he wrote that ghastly You are beautiful (to me)* song. Then I went right off him.
(*AKA Others say you're a right dog. Gizza shag)

You're right. he did indulge himself. To death. But I don't hear musical self-indulgence on Bambu. It sounds like very rough, early attempts to get himself back on track, if anything.

I like the instrumental. I have very rough, early attempts to get myself back on track but I wouldn't publish them. (And, to be fair, neither did he.)

I enjoy disc one. Have only played disc two once. Am I missing anything?

According to posts above yes and no!

sad and elderly shut-ins with a slender grasp on reality, drifting through their twilight years in a foggy haze of confused reminiscence. The Afterword, in a word.

as I have found. I also think the generation(s) who appear to populate this site in the majority, were more familiar with listening to albums as a body of work rather than individual tracks. The recent fad for 'deluxe' reissues and 'bonus' tracks detract from the collective impact of the original albums and more often than not reveal why these additions were omitted first time round.

My only exception appears on this remaster:

(Sorry, can't get link to work - Solid Air Remaster by John Martyn)

The remaster includes 'In The Evening' - an absolutely stunning song (if you like JM). I've no idea why it did not make the final or subsequent album.

Loads of good extras there.

ran this recently, the top 10 deluxe editions of the 90s, which may of interest:


issue of the Velvet Underground's Loaded is definitely worth checking out.

because I love the mono version, which sounds wonderful.

*goes off to look at Loaded, not my favourite VU but full of potential, thinking, maybe it well be 'better'*

is my bestest Undies album, and Brookster is so very un-wrong in singing the praises of the deluxe version. Ocean!!

I bought the LP in 1972. It was cheap. It was my first VU album. I wasn't impressed, apart from Sweet Jane (a shorter version than here, without the change of tone for the last minute) and Rock & Roll. It put me off VU for quite a while.

Fully Loaded sounds ace. There's all sorts of stuff I've never even noticed before (eg, the opening grumpy riposte to Here Comes The Sun). And that's before I hit he bonus tracks.

I guess, I wasn't ready for it in my young teens. Sometimes, you have to wait until you catch up with an album, so you can fully appreciate it.

Thanks, Burt.

Pretty much all of their 60s albums are improved in their extended versions. Village Green Preservation Society is even more essential in the 3CD version, I think I got it for less than a tenner too :

Disc one (stereo)
Original stereo album. Released in the UK as Pye NSPL 18233, 22 Nov. 1968
"The Village Green Preservation Society" - 2:54
"Do You Remember Walter?" - 2:28
"Picture Book" - 2:36
"Johnny Thunder" - 2:32
"Last of the Steam Powered Trains" - 4:11
"Big Sky" - 2:52
"Sitting by the Riverside" - 2:24
"Animal Farm" - 3:02
"Village Green" - 2:12
"Starstruck" - 2:27
"Phenomenal Cat" - 2:39
"All of My Friends Were There" - 2:26
"Wicked Annabella" - 2:44
"Monica" - 2:21
"People Take Pictures of Each Other" - 2:20
Stereo mixes from original 12-track editions released in France, Norway and Sweden, 27 Sept. 1968
"Mr. Songbird"
"Do You Remember Walter?"
"People Take Pictures of Each Other"

Disc two (mono)
Original mono album. Released in the UK as Pye NPL 18233, 22 Nov. 1968
"The Village Green Preservation Society" - 2:54
"Do You Remember Walter?" - 2:28
"Picture Book" - 2:36
"Johnny Thunder" - 2:32
"Last of the Steam Powered Trains" - 4:11
"Big Sky" - 2:52
"Sitting by the Riverside" - 2:24
"Animal Farm" - 3:02
"Village Green" - 2:12
"Starstruck" - 2:27
"Phenomenal Cat" - 2:39
"All of My Friends Were There" - 2:26
"Wicked Annabella" - 2:44
"Monica" - 2:21
"People Take Pictures of Each Other" - 2:20
Bonus tracks [edit]
"Days" - 2:55 (version also used for single)
"Mr. Songbird" (previously unreleased mono mix) - 2:25
"Polly" - 2:51
"Wonderboy" - 2:49
"Berkeley Mews" - 2:36
"Village Green" (no strings version, previously unreleased) - 2:13

Disc three (rarities)
"Village Green" (orchestra overdub, previously unreleased) - 2:22
"Misty Water" (stereo) - 3:05
"Berkeley Mews" (stereo) - 2:40
"Easy Come, There You Went" (stereo, previously unreleased) - 2:25
"Polly" (stereo) - 2:52
"Animal Farm" (alternate stereo mix, previously unreleased) - 3:02
"Phenomenal Cat" (mono instrumental, previously unreleased) - 2:50
"Johnny Thunder" (stereo remix from the original multi-track tapes, previously unreleased) - 2:36
"Did You See His Name" (mono mix, previously unreleased) - 2:00
"Mick Avory's Underpants" (previously unreleased) - 2:19
"Lavender Hill" - 2:56
"Rosemary Rose" - 1:44
"Wonderboy" (stereo mix with the vocals buried) - 2:44
"Spotty Grotty Anna" - 2:07
"Where Did My Spring Go" - 2:11
"Groovie Movies" - 2:34
"Creeping Jean" (Dave Davies) (previously unreleased longer stereo mix with some minor overdubbing missing) - 3:12
"King Kong" - 3:26
"Misty Water" (mono, previously unreleased) - 3:12
"Do You Remember Walter" (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) - 2:17
"Animal Farm" (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) - 2:56
"Days" (BBC session remix, previously unreleased) - 3:02

I prefer the original twelve track version, including Days, rather than the better-known fifteen track one! ;-)

The bonus disc. First two tracks are better than anything that features on the original album.

John Martyn One World bonus disc is very good and so too is the Fishermans Blues deluxe addition. Much of the Costello bonus disc stuff is pretty essential.

However my favourite bonus edition cd ever is Green on Red's Here come the snakes which is absolutely essential.

That Green On Red looks good, too.

and give `em a try Burt, they did some great stuff `onest.

and buy some Chuck Prophet albums? They're the real deal. I bought The Best Of Green On Red and realised how lucky I'd been not to have paid any money for the stuff that didn't make the greatest hits collection.

but they lost that dark psych edge the ep had, completely. I still have Gravity Talks, innit.

is not essential Green on Red - Here come the snakes is the only essential Green on Red album although there are a couple of great songs after that.We were talking about deluxe albums and as much as I like Chuck Prophet (a lot)I don't believe he yet has any deluxe albums although they would be welcome in this house.

You tell 'im!

No album is essential.

is for me the GoR album to own, followed by mini-album No Free Lunch. The casette version of NFL had an extended version of Smokestack Lightning.

I'n not knocking Here Come The Snakes being a happy owner of the DeLuxe version being debated.

1. I was going to write something like "The remastered version of Soft Machine Third has a GREAT bonus live disc from the Royal Albert Hall Proms concert", but do you know what, my Afterword chums? I've never even listened to it. It probably is pretty good, but I've only ever listened to the standard studio disc.

2. So, moving on to a bonus disc that I have actually heard, I can certainly recommend the disc of studio demos that comes with the Triffids "Calenture" CD. In many ways I prefer these raw, spontaneous versions to the rather overproduced tracks that finally made up the album.

I also like your style with regard to bonus live material. I tend to skip that too with a few notable exceptions.

(No, not David Hepworth's group - the other one)

I have just downloaded a four-disc "fan deluxe" version of Party Time, and it is a thing of very great wonder (and all out of print). If you'd like it, you could do worse that Google sweetrarereggaemusic. There's also a great accompanying text - this guy is nah pop, no style, he strictly roots. Leave a nice comment whydoncha.

There goes the weekend.

of (f'rinstance) Blackheart Man and Marcus Garvey, which I never thought I'd get to hear. Wowsers!

Definately worth looking into, GCW especially has some great songs that were spoiled by a poor 80s production, the demo versions are big improvements

- The deluxe 4-disc version of Macca's 1980 album includes all the songs he recorded by himself for the sessions and so allows you to put together the alternative/lost McCartney II record:
...which I fully recommend doing. It makes the album more madly experimental.

- The two-disc version of Fleetwood Mac's Tusk offers up a really coherent alternative-Tusk on disc two wherein the Stevie and Christine tracks are a bit rougher around the edges and the Lindsey tracks, oddly, are more detailed, making the alternative version less bumpy overall than the real Tusk.

with getting or shall I just stick with the single disc remasters?

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