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Audio CD, Box set, CD+DVD, 21 November 2011
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- Is Discontinued By Manufacturer : No
- Product Dimensions : 14.91 x 14.3 x 5 cm; 422.12 Grams
- Manufacturer : MERCURY
- Manufacturer reference : 2777923
- Original Release Date : 2011
- Label : MERCURY
- ASIN : B005ORVMT2
- Country of origin : USA
- Number of discs : 6
- Customer Reviews:
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Limited six disc (five CDs + DVD) box set from the Canadian Rock trio. Contains the albums Rush, Fly By Night, Caress Of Steel, 2112 and All The World's A Stage plus the DVD-Audio mix of Fly By Night. Each Sector contains five of their 15 Mercury albums in chronological order, all transferred to high resolution 96kHz/24-bit and digitally premastered for optimal quality. In addition, each volume includes an exclusive booklet packed with unpublished photos, original album lyrics and credits, and features one album specifically remixed on DVD in high resolution 96 kHz/24-bit, 5.1 surround sound and stereo, compatible with both DVD Audio players and DVD-Video players. Each album is packaged in a replica vinyl mini-jacket of the original album release with all 3 sets forming a Rush CD road case.
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Had most of these as LPs on original release, Hi Fi buff too, so since been chasing the 'best' sounding CD reissues for my 'must have' discs whether they be 'remastered', 'SHM', Japanese pressings or whatever. Have dabbled with SACD but without mega expenditure I can't justify the minimal improvements (if any). Strictly stereo 2 channel, so DVD-A is of no value here either. All Cyrus CD system through 15" Tannoys, Michell/Mission/Garrott Decca Gold the vinyl standard back in the day.
Box set first impressions? Price now excellent (£31), but of the six discs here one had no polythene inner slip, one had it NEXT to the disc, one was torn, and another so cramped up the disc was marked by the cardboard sleeve. A return?? Possibly, but for me at the price if they all performed okay I'd be happy...
Debut album... Good and lively, a rocker and sounds the part too. 'Fly By Night'... NO dropouts here, and the best I've heard it since vinyl, with added 'quiet' of course (no vinyl 'roar'). AS mentioned, my fave Rush album ('A Farewell To Kings' is next in line) and for the cost here I may well forgo trying the Jap SHM issue. (I have 'AFTK' on SHM but the recent reissue trumps it)
'Caress Of Steel'... A few good riffs, but they're starting to wander, IMHO. I know many prefer that, the sound again is spot on and I didn't feel the urge to turn it off.
Alas '2112' I just don't 'get', and never will. Fell asleep on first listen, stayed awake next try but could see why I dozed off! DULL!! To me it sounds nothing like a band with three albums already under their belt. It's too formulaic, sounds cheap, and the contrasts aren't sharp enough. I know I'm in the minority, but I doubt it'll see daylight again.
'All The World's A Stage' is a good snapshot but limited by what it is, a live recording of a three piece band. 'For fans only' perhaps?
YES.... Glad I bought for the price, 'Fly By Night' alone for me justified that, though sound wise it's a good set for those to whom that matters.
One small niggle, though... On the only two pages in the booklet devoted to the debut album, why a band photo with Neil Peart? (I think). A bit disingenuous, no?
I had bought the vinyl , I had replaced it with the '97 remasters which weren't bad but I'm always looking for improvements in the sound so when I saw these were being released I was interested. But, due to previous encounters with so called remasters that sounded the exactly the same as the previous issues, I was cautious. As has been well documented here the first editions to come out had flaws on some of the discs so I held fire and waited until they had been sorted. The reviews on Amazon.com indicated that there were definite aural improvments, so I took the plunge, afterall there was also the DVD of Fly By Night.
Was it worth it? Oh yes, these do sound better than the '97 discs but are not louder. The difference is not night and day, but like the recent Pink Floyd remasters it's more a matter of texture. Neils drums sound more alive, as does the bass. I can hear no problems with the FBN CD and the DVD sounds incredible, just plonk yourself in the middle of your room and surround yourself with classic Rush. One reviewer has reported problems with the All The Worlds A Stage disc, I have found nothing similar on my disc.
The packaging? There have been plenty of grumbles about the packaging. I like it, it's definately better than the packaging on the Floyd remasters, which are a bit tight to say the least. But here you get wonderful reproductions of the original album sleeves and the discs come in their own mini dust sleeve, just like the '70's.
Grumbles? yes two. Well, a question and a grumble really. Firstly, the question, much as I love Fly By Night, surely the obvious candidate in this package for the 5.1 treatment was 2112, widely acknowledged as their 'Classic' and certainly their breakthrough moment. Does this mean that in the not so distant future we will be asked to fork out again for a similar package to Moving Pictures. Our pockets only run so deep, especially at the moment. And the grumble, much as the booklet is useful with all the relevent production details and lyrics an essy on the production of the albums would have been appreciated. Many bands include them these days, with Deep Purple and The Band being two excellent examples. Surely it wouldn't have been too much to ask for some scribe to interview the band for their memories of these albums. Perhaps they just want us to go out and buy Beyond The Lighted Stage.
So,is this package worth investing in? If, like me, you love these albums the answer is cerainly Yes.
The first album is absolute balls out rock and the sound quality is fabulous. I was quite taken aback by this, it is sonic bliss. Even the umpteenth Zeppelin remasters sound thin compared to this album. The others carry on in the same vein. Fly By Night with new drummer Neil Peart's lyrics and seemingly endlessly limbed drum fills, is particularly noteworthy. Anthem is such a seering opener! Although Caress of Steel is seen as something of a dip after that (which it is), it is a definite statement of intentions, culminating in the epic 2112. The last studio album of the box, it shows the band on top, inventive form. The final disc, as in all three Sectors, is live. All The World's A Stage is a fair, heavy rock summary of the group up until that point. A decent selection of well recorded early classics.
That aside, this is a fantastic collection. The Fly By Night DVD (which in my box set at least, didn't seem to suffer any flaws) is worth the money alone for the incredible surround sound mix.