The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

So…Peter Gabriel to Release “Live in Athens” on Blu-Ray

with 16 comments

Live in Athens BDPeter Gabriel’s So box set, released last year, was the subject of much controversy. Many fans wondered why Gabriel’s team would offer “DNA” tracks of the songs from the album coming together instead of the many B-sides and remixes that have yet to be anthologized on CD. They bemoaned the lack of 5.1 surround mixes and questioned the decision to not release the accompanying Live in Athens concert – remixed and re-edited from live footage recorded for the P.O.V. documentary – on Blu-Ray, but DVD only.

The unfortunate dull roar that permeated the atmosphere after the box’s release looks to surface once more with the appearance of Live in Athens as a pre-order on standalone Blu-Ray. The disc will be accompanied by a DVD reissue of Gabriel’s 2004 video compilation Play. The Athens program itself looks to be a straight reissue of what was in the box, albeit on Blu-Ray.

Pre-order links are live only at Amazon U.K. so far, with a release date of September 16 slated.

We at The Second Disc often shy away from pre-judgments of product before its release. We only slightly violate that guideline to remind our dear readers – all of whom are doubtlessly familiar with the concept of purchasing content multiple times across multiple formats – that there’s no obligation to buy the disc if you’ve already bought the (actually pretty satisfying) box set. Again: there is no obligation to buy this if you’re bummed out about it.

Written by Mike Duquette

July 9, 2013 at 15:00

16 Responses

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  1. In the famous SuperDeluxeEdition statement, Gabriel stated that it was “probably a mistake” to issue the concert on DVD rather than Blu-Ray. And, as SDE has now pointed out, he’s going to benefit from that mistake.

    As for the box being “pretty satisfying”… sure, if you enjoy paying for two copies of most of the content (the original album on CD and vinyl and the Athens concert on CD and DVD). Ouch.

    I’m not bitter, though! I didn’t buy the box and I have no interest in the Blu Ray, so I can invest my music dollars elsewhere. Carry on PG. I still love the guy.

    Don

    July 9, 2013 at 15:25

    • Well, paying for two copies has been par for the course for awhile. Last year’s also-awesome BAD 25 box had the Wembley show on CD and DVD.

      And, for what it’s worth, while PG’s camp did send SDE that letter, the bulk of it was also included in the So: Back to Front tour program. I imagine it was drafted some time in advance.

      Mike Duquette

      July 9, 2013 at 15:39

      • I see what you’re saying, but comparing So25 to Bad25 is apples and oranges. The Bad set was about 1/3 of the price of the So box, it contained a full disc of b-sides and unreleased material (something sorely missing from So, although the DNA disc is interesting), and the redundant vinyl was sold separately, instead of with the box. As an anniversary release, the Bad set is far superior in every way.

        Don

        July 9, 2013 at 17:13

  2. Did not buy the box set,or the three disc set with the Athens concert not even the single disc remaster,I have the original remaster from a few years ago.And now my patience has paid off

    greg

    July 9, 2013 at 15:56

  3. “Red Rain” is missing from this Blu Ray version too. I saw him twice in 1986 (Madison Square Garden) and 1987 (Meadowlands Arena) and “Red Rain” was the 2nd song played each night. This song was the best performed song IMO and was a “staple” for this long tour.

    I wonder why PG decided to omit it from both the standard DVD and Blu Ray discs. Any ideas?

    Bill

    July 9, 2013 at 22:39

  4. I am going to go out on a limb and say… I actually quite like the deluxe box set. It really is a beautiful package (despite the white box which will eventually diminish). But there is much to enjoy. I don’t have a Blu ray so it wasn’t a big deal that I got a standard DVD. I wanted the B-sides, remixes, et cetera but i did enjoy what I got.

    Tom

    July 9, 2013 at 23:02

  5. this is so very disappointing. i spent like $120 for the box set and now i have to spend additional $30 to $40 for this new set. i’ve been a Peter Gabriel fan for as long as i can remember. i wish he would put out all the many unreleased songs in his repertoire instead.

    christian matthews

    July 10, 2013 at 05:38

  6. Dear Peter Gabriel,
    Since you are already making people (rightfully) mad who bought the steeply priced So box set by releasing this Blu Ray, how about a stand alone release of the DNA disc?
    Thanks in advance

    mij grebso

    July 10, 2013 at 09:48

  7. I love your site. I drop by at least once a day to check out what I will likely be buying in a few months. And this Gabriel release doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. I followed him religiously through Genesis and his early solo material, but “So” lost me and I haven’t cared much for anything after. So I have no personal stake in this release, and I think my previous posts here have been generally polite and well-considered But I have to comment on this paragraph in your news:
    “We at The Second Disc often shy away from pre-judgments of product before its release. We only slightly violate that guideline to remind our dear readers – all of whom are doubtlessly familiar with the concept of purchasing content multiple times across multiple formats – that there’s no obligation to buy the disc if you’ve already bought the (actually pretty satisfying) box set. Again: there is no obligation to buy this if you’re bummed out about it.”
    When I read the first sentence, I thought you WERE going to prejudge this release, but in fact you are prejudging your audience. It appears as though you are trying to appease the record companies by stifling valid criticism. Now it’s your site, and you can run it any way you see fit, and close comments or delete posts that go beyond whatever criteria you choose, but it seems that a site such as yours is the best way for record companies and artists to see how their choices are received. I know the constant whining on-line can be exasperating, but it’s the only way fans have of being heard.
    Sorry if that wasn’t the intent of that paragraph, but that’s how it came across to me and it really rubbed me the wrong way. Thanks again for the great site!

    Jason Michael

    July 10, 2013 at 12:34

    • Hey Jason,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad you like the site, and I do apologize to you and anyone else who was put off by the phrasing of that paragraph. (As is so often the case, I probably could’ve written it better.)

      Joe and I are certainly sympathetic to the concerns of everyone about this product and any other that seems like a “missed opportunity” – especially considering that we buy at least half of what we cover. (I paid $110 for the So box at my favorite local record store, and I still say it was worth every penny.)

      One thing I’ve wanted to stress since Day 1 of TSD’s lifespan, though, was that catalogue labels are actually relatively light on “suits.” In 99% of cases where we ask ourselves, “Man, wouldn’t it have been cool to include X-Y-Z on this package?” most producers have tried their damnedest to make that dream a reality. Because it’s a dream for them, too. Every producer, compiler, mixer and writer I’ve come into contact with whose done something for a reissue or box set has dreamed of these moments the way some of us dreamed of being rock stars.

      Maybe using “So” as an example was a bad choice – PG was far more invested in this set than most artists, as he owns the work outright. But, as with most major label sets, I don’t believe there was any malicious intent in repackaging “Live in Athens” as a Blu-Ray so soon after the “So” box came out. As a buyer of the “So” box, I’m happily not going to buy the BD: I love my Blu-Ray collection, but I just don’t need it twice, once in slightly better quality that my weak eyes and semi-trained ears can only sort of perceive.

      What irks me is the notion that fans are being ripped off in some way. Sure, maybe Blu-Ray should’ve been an option in the box set. But if you have the box, you have the show. If you buy this new product, you have the show. The bottom line should be less about who’s profiting off of what and more that we have a show like this – a show featuring a rock legend becoming a global superstar by synthesizing pop, rock, soul and world music. We spend a lot of time speculating on packaging and all the external flair, but I hope we spend as much on the music. (And yes, one often precludes the other – “we complain because we care” and all that – but in certain circles I wish we talked more about what we’re hearing instead of how. I like to think Joe and I do a decent job in that regard, and we invite you always to sound off on that.)

      And while I know for certain that sites like TSD and SuperDeluxeEdition are being read by people in the majors, the best metric to gauge our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with product is not by joining a Facebook page or asking for free things, but opening or closing our wallets outright.

      Mike Duquette

      July 10, 2013 at 12:59

      • Thanks for the reply. I know that permission to include everything that would make these boxes as complete as we fans would like can be withheld by many different stakeholders and that the producer/compiler’s original vision can be as encompassing as we want but stymied by a less than cooperative management or original producer or artist. I know in the case of Miles Davis’s material that things have been kiboshed due to extended family members. But it’s still frustrating to fans. And I am not always sure that “opening or closing our wallets” will send the right message. If we just don’t buy the product, I don’t think that means next time we will get a better product. In these days of dwindling sales I fear we will get NO product at all.

        Jason Michael

        July 10, 2013 at 22:19

    • You lost me at: “So” lost me and I haven’t cared much for anything after.”

      Shaun

      July 10, 2013 at 20:56

      • It’s true. I loved all his prior albums, saw him on the “Security” tour and was amazed by his performance, but “So” was very disappointing to me. Bland and watered down compared to his earlier work. For me, his peak was the second and third LPs.

        Jason Michael

        July 10, 2013 at 22:13

    • “I know the constant whining on-line can be exasperating, but it’s the only way fans have of being heard.”

      So true.
      If they didn’t get my cash on this one, it’s not that I don’t like the guy (I do), not that I did search for a way to get it for free or second-hand (I didn’t), it’s just that after being wildly excited by this project, I got extremely disappointed by the look of the final product.
      While we know that record companies & artists are often blaming piracy for under-performing sales , they should know that in some cases THEY are the ones to blame for missed opportunities.

      chdx

      July 11, 2013 at 04:39

    • Fair enough. I like those earlier albums too, I just don’t think I’ve ever heard a PG fan say they didn’t like “So.” In spite of its massive success, I’ve never heard of any backlash towards it. Until now.

      Shaun

      July 11, 2013 at 20:28

  8. “The best metric to gauge our satisfaction or dissatisfaction with product is… opening or closing our wallets outright.” I think that’s exactly what happened with the So box. There’s no other explanation for amazon.com scrambling to unload it for less than $50 at one point over the holidays. I think PopMarket had a similar deal. These retailers weren’t being generous; they were trying to unload a product that they had way too many copies of because people weren’t buying it for the asking price.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this Blu-Ray release was, at least in part, an attempt for the label to recoup it’s losses…

    Don

    July 10, 2013 at 17:49


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