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Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD)

Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD)

4CD’s – Face Value & Both Sides remastered audio of original albums

List Price: $ 32.42

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3 Responses to Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD)

  • R. Maurer says:
    40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Not what I was hoping for…, February 5, 2016
    By 
    R. Maurer
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD) (Audio CD)
    Huge Phil Collins fan here, and though you’ll read glowing reviews above and below I can’t go higher than 3 stars. The music on the albums proper is 5 star material – even on “Both Sides” which I kind of dismissed at the time of release, yet have rediscovered here. But the mastering is not an improvement on any previous remasterings, IMHO. They’re just louder, with more bass and treble. Most people love loud and bassy/bright, so there go the rave reviews. (The original CDs of “Both Sides” and “Face Value” are very good as they were, IMO. And “Face Value” got even better on two Gold disc remasterings from Atlantic and Audio Fidelity.)

    The bonus discs are where my real disappointment lie. No attempt seems to have been made to find decent, master tape or multi-track tape quality versions of this material. Some of the live material sounds like they were taken off VHS soundtracks, some sound like they actually might have been sourced from mp3 files. (Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of live tracks as bonuses, but at least if they sound good I can get some enjoyment out of them. Not here.) And much of the live performances seem to come from the ’90s – yet great live performances exist from the era of these albums. I can’t say for sure when/where the live tracks were actually recorded – because there is NO SIGN OF CREDITS for them in the liner notes! Demos are largely scratch versions, so I don’t expect those to sound great. But live and studio tracks are a different story.

    It just feels as if the music portion of these sets were an afterthought. More thought seems to have been put into the packaging than the content. I’m hedging on the future releases now. (And if “The Man With The Horn” doesn’t show up as a bonus on “No Jacket Required,” that will be a total dealbreaker for me.)

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  • Leif Sheppard says:
    14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Phil Collins Solo Remasters, January 30, 2016
    By 
    Leif Sheppard (United States) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD) (Audio CD)
    I’ve been waiting years for high quality remasters of Phil Collins solo catalog and now that the first two have arrived I can say they’re virtually everything I’d hoped them to be. The album tracks sound better than ever and the extra tracks are a nice, if inessential, bonus. As evidenced by the product photos, each album is packaged in a fold-out digibook. I generally prefer standard jewel cases as they can be replaced when damaged (and I have several digibook CDs from the 90s in rather sad shape just from average use) but these digibooks are so beautifully done it’s difficult to complain. The original liner notes and lyrics are included as well as new essays from Collins that give a bit of detail on the album and the extra tracks – though as fellow reviewer David Hennessy pointed out, it would have been nice to get details on when and where the live tracks were recorded.

    At least one reviewer has complained that the remastering was poorly done, trotting out the tired loudness war accusation that plagues nearly every remaster for the past decade. That hasn’t been my experience here. The first thing I did with the MP3 files was open them on a sound editor using tracks from both from the original release and the remaster and the remaster is only slightly louder than the original – and listening to these songs I’m unable to find a downside to this. I’m sure a self-styled audiophile can breathlessly explain why it’s hopelessly detrimental to the sound quality, but when I’m analyzing a remaster I take care to listen for the highs and lows being brought out in finer fashion and that’s precisely what I’ve found with these remasters. Of course, audiophiles are a notoriously finicky bunch, so your mileage may vary!

    I think anyone considering this set is likely already well familiar with the original albums, so I’ll focus on the extra tracks. Generally the live ones are best while the demos are odd curiosities at best. For instance, the Against All Odds demo is instrumental only while the Misunderstanding demo sounds much like the album version except Collins is singing what sounds like “no” repeatedly in place of the lyrics. Frankly I don’t really see the point of including these as they’re not something I’d listen to more than once. On the other hand, there’s very good live versions of Misunderstanding and If Leaving Me is Easy. The live version of In the Air Tonight is solid but I still consider the definitive live recording is from the Serious Hits Live album. Most of the other live tracks are good though some are either too close to the album version or marred by excessive crowd noise. It would’ve been nice to see more outtakes instead of demos though, which is something I hope Collins has considered for the rest of the catalog. For instance, But Seriously is my personal favorite and I hope to see remastered versions of b-sides like You’ve Been in Love (That Little Bit Too Long) and That’s How I Feel.

    The included box that has space to accommodate the rest of the remasters is a nice touch. The only album I’m not wild about is Going Back, because while I respect that it was a pet project of Collins and I’m pleased he was at a point in his career where he could release an entire album of the motown songs he’s always loved, I was left underwhelmed by it. Still, I fully intend to buy a copy because after all, that’s what these reissues are all about. The conceptual title is “Take a Look at Me Now”, and though certainly a line taken from Against All Odds, it’s also a conscious request by Collins inviting us all to reevaluate his work.

    Up next are Hello I Must Be Going and Dance Into the Light coming near the end of February. I can’t wait!

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  • Nathan L says:
    3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The Old Drummer’s Retirement Fund, February 8, 2016
    By 
    Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Take A Look At Me Now Collector’s Edition (4CD) (Audio CD)
    You will buy this because you know Phil’s music. It is an album that has stood the test of time. The songs you know word for word, you play the imaginary drums when “In the Air Tonight” crescendos. You feel the emotion in “You Know What I Mean” and you can hear homage to the Beatles in “Tomorrow Never Knows”.

    You will buy this because you want the extras, the live versions, the demos. You need to listen to the demo of “The Roof is Leaking”, with Eric Clapton on slide guitar, the song is very raw and unpolished & is worth listening to again & again.

    Sure you have the album already, but it has been tweaked & you will like it. The updated photo of Phil on front may show that he has aged over time but the music he creates still holds well today.

    You will buy this album, you will buy the others when they are released you will enjoy the works of Mr Phil Collins.

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