I must admit I am a bit of a sucker for limited editions of things, those two words giving a sometimes illusory feeling of exclusivity and rarity value. Except nowadays, where even the most successful of bands sell hundreds maybe thousands instead of hundreds of thousands of albums the super groups of the past could shift, the rarity and collectors value of these ‘limited editions’ has been somewhat undermined. So I am fully aware that ‘sucker’ is often the appropriate word here, “look Rich, you could be one of just a 1,000 people to own this particular album”, all the while (almost wilfully) ignoring the fact that the album in question may only be expected to sell seven or eight hundred units in total! A fact that critics of the annual Record Store Day scrum to buy limited releases of stuff delight in repeating around April time.
But so what, in reality I know that most of these records are not bought thinking they will be worth anything to anyone in the future, I’m not planning on selling them or bequeathing them to my non-existent offspring. However in these days of austerity one has to think a bit carefully around the aspect of price. So when Killing Joke announced they were going to release a ‘super deluxe box set’ version of their upcoming 3CD singles retrospective at a rather eye watering price I initially discounted it as folly.
Then I read a bit more of what was to be included, instead of 3 CDs the box set would include 33 individual CDs of each single (adorned with its original artwork) with its respective b-side (the 3 disc album released in the shops contains no b-sides) plus a disc of rarities and unreleased studio recordings. All of this would be presented in a custom made hinged ‘cigar box’, a certificate signed by all the band, a 32 page bound full colour book, a poster designed and signed by long time Killing Joke artist Mike Coles and, bizarrely, an aluminium cigar tube containing the wrapper of a cigar smoked by Jaz Coleman during the recordings of 2006’s Hosannas From The Basements of Hell.
Even so the price was still rather steep but I decided that it was no more than a couple of tanks of petrol for the car and, unlike a lot of the more obscure bands and releases I listen to, Killing Joke are a pretty major name and this could well be an investment as there will only be around 300 of them, so I thought fuck it, and ordered one.
And here it is;
It is a really nicely put together collection, the box is solid and weighty with a really classy finish. Ribbons set into the box allow you access to all the individual CDs easily.
As I am unfamiliar with the B sides (and indeed some of the singles!) I am looking forward to ploughing through them all. I was initially thinking of blogging my first listen but as there are 64 tracks, not including the disc of rarities I think I will make do with showing a picture of all the discs that are included to give you an idea why I decided to not write about them all!
I will attempt to do another post to review the actual content once I have listened to it all, watch this space!
Track List –
Nervous System / Turn To Red
Wardance / Pssyche
Requiem / Change
Follow The Leaders / Tension
Empire Song / Brilliant
Chop-Chop / Good Samaritan
Birds of A Feather / Flock The BSide
Let’s All Go (To The Fire Dances) / Dominator
Me Or You? / Wilful Days
Eighties / Eighties (Coming Mix)
A New Day / Dance Day
Love Like Blood / Blue Feather (Version)
Kings And Queens / The Madding Crowd (Remixed By Killing Joke)
Adorations / Exile
Sanity / Goodbye To The Village
America / Jihad
My Love Of This Land / Darkness Before Dawn
The Beautiful Dead
Money Is Not Our God / North Of the Border
Exorcism (Live In King’s Chamber Cairo, Aug 1993 Mix) / Whiteout (The Intellect Is Ugly Remix) (Mandragora Edit
Millennium (Cybersank Edit) / Millennium (Cybersank Extended Remix)
Pandemonium (Cybersank Edit) / Pandemonium (Cybersank Extended Remix)
Jana / Jana (Dragonfly Mix)
Democracy (Album Mix) / Mass
Loose Cannon / Wardance (ultimate version)
Seeing Red (edit) / Seeing Red (Jagz Kooner Remix w/vox)
Hosannas From The Basements Of Hell (Radio Edit) / Afterburner (Alternative Version)
In Excelsis / Kali Yuga
European Super State (edit) / European Super State (Youth Remix)
Fresh Fever From The Skies (Record Store Day Exclusive)
Ghosts of Ladbroke Grove (Dub Edit)
In Cythera (Edit) / Penny Drops
Corporate Elect / New Uprising / In Cythera (Bloody Beetroots Remix)
Rarities Disc –
‘Drug’ From the ‘Mortal Kombat’ soundtrack.
‘Hollywood Babylon’ (longer intro mix) From the ‘Showgirls’ soundtrack.
‘Our Last Goodbye’ From the ‘Free The Memphis 3’ album.
‘Sixth Sun’ Unreleased track from the ‘Absolute Dissent’ sessions.
‘Timewave’ (rough mix) Unreleased track from the ‘Absolute Dissent’ sessions.
’Feast Of Fools’ (rough mix) Unreleased track from the ‘Absolute Dissent’ sessions.
‘Zennon’ B-side of ‘Loose Cannon’ single.
‘Four Stations Of The Sun’ Studio version.
‘Wardance’ (Naval Mix).
‘Intellect’ (feat. Aboud Abdel Al) Track from ‘Democracy’ (previously unreleased version featuring this celebrated violin player).
Jaz & Youth Shamanic Ritual Live in the King’s Chamber Giza Pyramid (Pre-recording vocals for Pandemonium).
‘Ravings of Jaz’ (A conversation on philosophy between Youth & Jaz circa 2003).