The Second Disc

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Rarities Editions, Round Three (UPDATED 11/1)

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Remember Universal’s Rarities Edition sets? The sets that issue the bonus material of a previously-released Deluxe Edition on its own? A trio of new Rarities Edition titles will street on Tuesday, November 2, and like the last two batches, The Second Disc wants to give a clear perspective to you, the reader, as to whether they’re worth getting if you never upgraded to the original Deluxe Edition in the first place.

Luckily, unlike the last two batches of Rarities Editions (which had some clunkers alongside some worthy purchases), most of these are worth your money if you don’t own the respective deluxe editions. Take a look at the rare tracks of Eric Clapton, Marvin Gaye and 3 Doors Down after the jump!

Eric Clapton, Eric Clapton (Atco/Polydor, 1970)

The Deluxe Edition of Slowhand’s solo debut had a multitude of bonuses, namely the original mix of the LP by Delaney Bramlett (replaced on the final product by a mix from Tom Dowd), some session outtakes and tracks Clapton guested on at the time with King Curtis and Delaney & Bonnie and Friends. Those guest tracks are nowhere to be found on the Rarities Edition (they were licensed from other labels), but the disc will include the Delaney mix as well as all four of the outtakes included on both discs. Given that the D&B and King Curtis tracks can be found elsewhere (and aren’t as central to Clapton as a solo artist, anyway), this might be a set to get if you haven’t upgraded before.

Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen (A&M, 1971)

There’s always got to be a bizarre Rarities Edition in each batch, and this is the one. This disc features all the extras from the Deluxe Edition of Cocker’s classic live album from 2005, including the eight bonus tracks from the Fillmore show and some studio outtakes and single sides. All strong bonus material, sure, but the live tracks were integrated into the Deluxe Edition’s setlist (to better reflect how the show originally happened), so the highlights approach might not be the best way to experience the bonus content.

Marvin Gaye, Let’s Get It On (Tamla, 1973)

The second disc of this delightful, romantic Motown classic was loaded to the teeth – it had 20 alternate mixes, demos, live cuts, outtakes and versions from other acts on the label – but getting this rarities edition means you’re going to miss out on the additional nine outtakes appended to the original album on Disc 1 of the Deluxe Edition. (And even the two-disc set isn’t the complete picture – the single-disc remaster, released not long after the Deluxe Edition in 2001, included the single versions of “Let’s Get It On” and “You Sure Love to Ball,” neither of which are on the bigger version.)

3 Doors Down, The Better Life (Republic, 2000)

The deluxe edition of The Better Life was sort of a blink-and-you-miss it set back in 2007, and all it added was a live show that didn’t even match the time period of the album (the set list included all the hit singles from follow-up album Away from the Sun in 2002). So if you’re a fan, this is going to be a must-buy – although, as with previous titles, you wonder why UMe doesn’t market this as its own standalone live release.

Written by Mike Duquette

November 1, 2010 at 00:00

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