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Paperlate: A Pause For Quiet Reflection

A reader asks if lavish box sets are really worth splashing out on

Along with the LP revival we’re now being offered all these limited edition box sets to eat into our (limited) shelf space. So I have to ask: are they worth it?

There’s no doubt that there are some wonderful (and thoughtfully-produced) sets out there, but some, to me, are blatant cash-ins. All this music has been sitting in the record company’s vaults earning next-to-nothing, sometimes for decades, before someone realises what an asset/goldmine/ka-ching they’ve got on their hands. They turn up the volume a bit (calling it a remaster), maybe bung in a few rare photos, a few work-in-progress tracks, possibly a live track or three, and put everything into an expensive and lavish-looking box that they charge the earth for. Take, for example, the Yes 16-disc High Vibration SACD set which was only released in Japan and, at the time of writing, could be found on Amazon for almost £530. Thanks, but no thanks, I have all the albums on CD anyway.


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