“I hear you’ve got a new girlfriend, how’s the wife taking it?”

cdsAs the 1,468 posts on this and the original Google Blogspot Uncle E’s Musical Nightmares may suggest, I like music. No, that’s not the whole enchilada, I should expand on that: I dig the history, the formats, the packaging, the hype, the blogger/friend/rock snob community, the genres, the sub-genres, the micro sub-genres, the critics, the minutia of album details and credits, the discussions…everything. My fanaticism is so complete, in fact, that I fall for a lot of things I probably shouldn’t, get ‘taken’ as it were, quite often and more than I’d like to admit.

For instance, I am very susceptible to the siren call of so-called “Deluxe Editions”, their promise of ‘remastered sounds’, ‘bonus tunes’, ‘DVD’s’ and ‘Superior packaging and copious liner notes and credits’ gets my blood boiling. I went through a rabid ‘buy all you can grab’ phase a while back, but have since calmed down and now only purchase “Deluxe Editions” of my most precious and treasured albums. Sure, that’s half of my collection, which is ample, but it’s better than 100%. I also decided to limit my habit to 1 per month. That last self inflicted regulation is not based on financial reasons whatsoever, as you can purchase most of them on Amazon for a song; it’s based on the fact I am so overwhelmed with music at the moment that quite a few of these “Deluxe Editions” are being neglected as soon as I buy them.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason albums from my youth have stuck with me over the years is mostly due and directly related to the vast amount of time I spent listening to them. Nowadays, I just don’t give the new guys much of a chance. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part only a few new CD’s a decade will enter that hallowed hall I call “E’s Classic Albums”. I am sure a lot deserve it, too, which makes me sad. So much so that I swear here and now to slow down and take my time with each and every purchase.

prefab-sprout-steve-mcqueenThe last thing I purchased was the 2006 Legacy Edition of Prefab Sprout’s Steve McQueen. The album itself is breathtaking pop music, every song an absolute winner, and is one of those special albums that I reckon will stay with me for the rest of my life. The Pet Sounds Of The 1980’s, as they say. The lush production is courtesy of one Thomas Dolby who adds space and air to songwriter Paddy McAloon’s dense, sometimes obtuse pretensions. He was tapped to handle the remastering here, and like the original it’s stunning; a little louder, a little crisper. The original was great for its time, all Dolby does here is put on a fresh coat of paint. The liner notes are long and detailed, and entertaining. My only complaint would be the miniscule size of the type (2 point?). They should have added 8 pages to the booklet; it would have made a huge difference. The real ‘bonus’ here is Disk 2, which offer new acoustic versions of 8 out of the original 11 tracks. It’s just Paddy and a guitar, and they are breathtaking. More poignant due to the 21 years that have passed since he first sang these songs.

Overall, a solid 9.5/10 (half a point taken off for the teeny liner notes!)