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Saturday Deluxe / 30 January 2021

Watch the unboxing video of the £10k Steven Wilson box

The one-off ‘Ultra Deluxe Music Product On Obsolete Media Limited Edition of One’ version of Steven Wilson‘s The Future Bitesas previously covered on SDE – cost its buyer, Alan Lastufka, £10,000. The physical item has now been delivered and true to his word, Alan has posted a really good unboxing video of the package. Have a watch, below:


Just why would someone pay so much for this box set and what does he plan to do with it? SDE will put these and other questions to Alan very soon, so if you have a question for him, post it in the comments below and we’ll collate and put forward a selection of some of the best.

Taschen sale (this weekend only)
Book publishers Taschen have a sale on right now for this weekend only. There’s some great reductions on music books, film books, and more. Sadly that big Depeche Mode book sold out, but I think a cheaper version will be released later this year (more on that when we get it).

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.

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[…] Late last year music fan Alan Lastufka pre-ordered the ‘Ultra Deluxe’ box set edition of Steven Wilson‘s new album The Future Bites. It was a limited edition of one and cost a cool ten thousand pounds. He has recently taken delivery of the package and wasted no time in filming an unboxing video. […]

Klaus

@Arthur O’Brien:
If you have another hour of spare time try “The Raven That Refused To Sing” which not only but also IMO is one of the best albums of the … well, how do you call the years from 2010 up until 2019 in English… the Tenners?
I’m certain you know what i mean…

StevieT

Alan could have also bought a deluxe box set for £75, and kept the no 1 of 5000 sealed.

Erik

I mostly want to thank Alan for sharing all of this with us and I truly enjoyed his joy with opening and exploring the box.
I also thank him for opening the #1 of 5,000 box set. He is obviously a collector, but also a LOVER of music, and what good is said music if it stays packed away, never to be listened too? Reminds me of a scene from the show “Firefly” where they were transporting a herd of cows to another planet. The character River was saying how, while on the ship, they were not cows, because they were not where they belonged but once back on ground, under the blue sky they were cows again. I feel the same way with collections like this. If you don’t open it and listen to the music, it’s just a box. And if you don’t plan on selling it (as I do not with my collection), why keep it locked up? And it truly comes down to the preference of the owner. If you want to keep it sealed away forever in hopes of one day selling it for a profit, great, but if you want to open and enjoy it, also great, we do with our property what we wish.
My one question for Alan is can I become your friend so I can come by and look at your stuff? (kidding…not really)

Jamie

Nice Firefly reference Erik…

Dean

I really don’t understand any of the negative comments. This is not a highly priced wide release – it’s a one of a kind product. Not only that, but it was created to help a good cause.
Any other art form would have gotten a free pass from criticism. If this were a painting, people wouldn’t be commenting on the brush strokes, or the cost.
And then it turns out, the guy who bought it wasn’t some Hedge Fund owner, banker, or investor – it was someone like you and I. Result! I say, people should lighten up. Wilson did a good deed, the buyer got something of value, and you and I got as close to it via a Youtube video than we were ever likely to get. And apparently, all fans will get to hear the unique track.
I will say, the music industry has moved into being a collectables market. I hate that it’s gone this way. I love music, and too often these days things are ridiculously limited in a move that actually hurts fans of the performer/music. For example, Bowie’s latest Brilliant Adventures release sold out in less than 18 hours in all formats. Why? There is no good reason for it being so limited other than to keep prices high. It’s a disgusting practice that I abhor. However, this isn’t such a case. This is a unique piece of art, a one-off. It’s in a completely different category, imo.
Did it halve in value now it’s opened? No, imo. It’s one of a kind. It’s not like there’s an unopened copy out there.
So people should lighten up, imo. I’m in the group that will never be able to justify spending 10K on a single box of music. Not going to happen. Hell, if I did I’d be afraid to touch the damn thing, let alone do an unboxing. But in this case, the guy who got it seems like the guy next door who, in a moment of madness, took the plunge, and he’s very happy he did. Can’t we just be happy for someone else?

Jim

I’d probably be the “Lastufka” on earth to buy that..I’ll get my coat!

Mike T

As a person who is not really a fan, the sentiment here is the donation to indie venues. I think Alan should charge a quid for a download of the unique song, then donate those funds to indie venues so we could all help a little? Just a thought .

Nick

Seems like a genuine fan. Nice one Alan.
My question: I struggle to tell me wife about the number of $200-$300 box sets I buy. Does he have a significant other and how on earth did he get USD$13k over the line?

Cédric B.

Great unboxing video. Very generous of you Alan to share this with so much details. And glad the person who bought it really enjoys it and knows what he bought. Thanks a lot.

Seikotsi

I loved watching both unboxing videos and reading the discussions despite having complete no interest in Steven Wilson’s music.

Dr Volume

I was cynical but the video is very disarming watch – the guy is delighted with his purchase and has something he’ll treasure, and the charitable cause is a very worthwhile one indeed. Sharing the exclusive audio and taking the shrink wrap off the box set technically makes it less valuable but I don’t think you can compare the price to an SDE -this is collection of unique memorabilia – and things like original lyric sheets, test pressings and unreleased recordings sell for way more than 10k at auction all the time. Will it retain it’s worth when the time comes for it be to sold – who knows?! Will a unique Steven Wilson box have any resale value in a few generations time? Quite possibly – who would have guessed how collectable obscure, home made punk 7″ singles with photocopied sleeves, or privately pressed 1970s folk rock albums would be today?

J Douglas

As I see it, Steven Wilson had an album of music that lends itself to a valid multi-format conceptualization and he worked that into the presentation and marketing. Successfully, I thought when announced in March 2020. Then a lot changed in the world and the album release was deferred to January 2021.
During this period, there are hundreds of people prevented from earning a living in the music industry and Steven sees an opportunity to help them by leveraging the concept a bit further and essentially seek a large donation to assist those hundreds of people in exchange for the deluxe box and a few more unique items. There was never any claim the contents would justify the price. This is totally consistent with the overall concept. To personalize any items or offer exclusive access to the purchaser would actually take the ultra deluxe out of the concept.
A self-described “uber-fan” with the financial means to do so and Internet connection to achieve it, buys the box and wants to discuss and share with others. This is the best possible outcome for the ultra deluxe version. My compliments to Alan Lastufka and Steven.
All media is obsolete.

Ex-Oligarch

Well said.

Sandy

Great video Alan , thanks for sharing .

Adrian

I own everything Steven Wilson has done since Raven. I am not a fan of the recent music direction. This box set to me is an absolute joke.

John MC cann

Happy birthday Johnny rotten,65 today!

Quante

I really like that a release can cause such a strong reaction, both negative and positive. If I was Steven Wilson I’d be delighted with the comments here questioning the worth, style, packaging and music of The Future Bites. It’s better to be loved and loathed than ignored.
There aren’t many ‘older’ – sorry but the fifties is old in any industry, and don’t I know it – artists who are as active and interesting as Steven Wilson is, and thank heavens he is.
I’m super impressed that Alan Lastufka has been as generous with his unpackaging video, as he has been with his charitable donation; and well done to Steven Wilson for the package. I don’t really care that the contents components aren’t worth £10,000; it’s just a fabulous gesture on both their parts.
My The Future Bites box set is sitting waiting to be opened. It’s now turned into my birthday present in a week’s time – if I’ve waited this long, another week won’t matter to open it.
My favourite birthday present to myself was buying Joan Armatrading’s Secret Secrets album on my 18th birthday – I still love that album and am looking forward to her new album, due out this year.

Gareth Pugh

It’s the box that mocks! The items you carefully and considerately keep secret from your own unboxing, Paul, raised a massive smile when I finally opened my set on Friday night after a long hard week. It’s very clever, and everything has clearly been thought through – yes, it makes you question the worth of limited editions, collectibles, whether you are getting value etc. – he cites ‘deluxe box sets’ in his list of non-essential luxuries in ‘Personal Shopper’ – and yet I buy one, and he as an artist offers it. We’re all ‘guilty’ of it here, him and us – or does there come a point where you think – actually, this is great musical content (and I think it really is with TFB, the album, bonus tracks and extended remixes are all terrific IMHO) and I’m really enjoying all the items, so it’s worth it to me personally- I think Mr Wilson carefully poses a lot of questions and perspectives with this set and I *do* feel, on balance, he’s very self-aware of all the questions about artist and consumer this set poses, and encouraging us to think a bit too. If he’s laughing at anyone, he’s slightly including himself too, I’d say. I’m very late to the Steven Wilson party- have known his name for years but Personal Shopper was the first song of his I actually heard and loved it. Have now bought a ticket for his Hammersmith show, when it can happen, and I can’t wait to see what he’s like live. This album has me very optimistic on that score!

Frank

For 10K they couldn’t give him a silver CD instead of a CD-R?
For 10K Steven Wilson couldn’t at least sign the test pressing sleeves? include a hand-written thank you note?

Michael

Frank, not that I could afford to spend 10K on a box set, but I agree having Steven Wilson’s signature or initials on the test records and the posters, and a personal hand-written note would have been nice.
For such a large price tag, I would have liked to have seen a metallic outer package, perhaps with debossed lettering so the box itself becomes durable sculpture (and of course a set of white cotton gloves enclosed for safe handling of materials inside). Heck, for £10,000, the inclusion of a personal invitation card from Mr. Wilson to the recipient of the ultra deluxe box set to join him for dinner in London, or a free VIP front row pass to one of his concerts would have made this interesting marketing concept even more thrilling :-)

Klaus

@Frank and Michael:
If i have this right then Alan Lastufka was fully aware of what he was getting for 10K £ and what not.
If HE is happy with what he received then why can’t you just be happy for him too?

Michael

Hi Klaus. Of course I’m happy for Alan — we all are. We are all very grateful to Alan for being kind enough to provide a video of his initial opening of the ultra box set so we could share in the excitement.
I was just speaking for myself, if I had the willingness to buy such an item, what I would be looking for. In this instance, I understand were talking about recorded music, but I believe Steven Wilson’s intention was to present the TFB ultra box as a conceptual fine art piece. So as the late American artist, Robert Rauschenberg, told me during his opening reception at the Bass Art Museum, “The signature should be the last master stroke to any artwork.”

mark browne

Superb unboxing…just saved myself £10,000….im just waiting for amazon to deliver the bluray and I will be happy with that.

Elizabeth Hirst

What a wonderful item – I admire Alan’s decision to share the song with everyone. It must be very tempting to keep it to yourself, and I suspect many would have, so it is a good thing the box went to someone who understands what it is to be a fan.
Please convey thanks to Alan when you speak to him Paul.
I completely understand someone spending this much on a piece of artwork like this, and if I had the money, I may well have done so. Everything about The Future Bites is so considered in every way, and the humour shines through without making the whole concept and execution “just a joke”.
Oh and the music is amazing too.

Rich A.

A great unboxing video by Alan. The item clearly a piece of modern art – as it is both aestheticly interesting, for many the music is beautiful (or at least pleasure giving), it makes a statement, and it creates debate / discussion / reflection – like all the best pieces of modern art do. And it’s got to see the album SDE elevated to this lofty position. As for the price, well if can afford it, plus it is something you really want and you’re not disappointed when you get it, (clearly ticking all these boxes for Alan), then it is worth it. And I bet Alan gets more joy from it than the person who bought that Banksy picture that was then instantly shredded recently! As for me, I’m happy with the 10 quid CD. (Though I’ve also bought the Eminant Sleeze cd single, and the limited edition red vinyl that comes with this month’s Electronic Sound magazine).

Wayne C

Could you kindly ask Paul if Alan was tempted to not open anything and leave it in the cardboard fed ex package?, does he consider that he got value for money in this purchase and does he think that the item has indeed decreased in value since opening the main box?, would he sell it if some other collector came and offered him his £10,000 plus a further amount for the charity?. There must be someone out there!. Would this have equally been an art statement if left unopened in some gallery on a plinth?.

Ex-Oligarch

Schroedinger’s superdeluxe edition!

WayneUK

Is it just me or is Steven Wilson over rated? I don’t get the fuss with him.

Erik

No, he is not over rated.

Arthur O'Brien

Not just you. Never heard of the guy until visiting this site. Listened to “12 Things I Forgot” after Mr. Lastufka mentioned it. Pleasant enough song, but nothing spectacular to my ears. I thought, “At least it’s not rap or electronica” though. Kind of was expecting the latter.
Oh, well. I have my favorites and others have theirs.
Enjoy it, SW fans. I’ll pass.

john millington

great i would sooner have any promo /DJ copy , on stiff , Chiswick .by the great DAMNED

Paul Wren

Hats off to the old boy. He may well have played a blinder here on the investment front alone for this box set. We all know that vinyl and box sets have been monetised/commoditised to the nth degree and this is more of this. Taking the shrink wrap off will definitely have knocked a few hundred £’s off the worth of it as the contents can no longer be described as mint.

Peter Muscutt

I admit to thinking the minimal cover art echoed that of mid-noughties cack pedellers Hard Fi, with that disastrous NO COVER ART debacle on their album that everyone rightly slated them for.

Daveyman 1968 (Daveyman19)

Artwork which in itself was earlier done by PiL with their 80s album ‘Album’ – and think that idea was pilfered form somewhere else (american artist early 80s?) too… and to be honest Yoko Ono was pedalling that kind of ‘art’ way back in the later 60s/70s with Lennon… must admit its nothing new and it think it will date rather badly… as for future value of the one off itself, ask Jean Michel Jarre about his ‘music for supermarkets’ one off album auction from 1983, wonder who owns that now and whats it worth?

Antonio Fernández

By the way… I don’t think opening the box halves its price… it all depends on how cool this stuff became through the years…. obviously, shrinkwrapped will always sell more expensive than open, but….. we’ll see the prices of this box set in ebay in a few years’ time

Ex-Oligarch

Agreed. It’s not as if there is another copy of this set in better condition out there in the world.

Antonio Fernández

Hi Paul, thanks a lot for bringing to us this amazing story. I’m a 60 years old collector, purchasing vinyl records since I was 15 an CDs since I was 25. I don’t remember to have enjoyed so much a deluxe boxset release as I am doing with this one. I ordered my box back in March 2020 and it is expected to arrive on Wednesday to Spain. Needless to say I look forward to it!!!!

Caroline

I’ll be honest – I find all this “obsolete media” and black text on white pointing out how daft the whole thing is insufferably smug. I’m happy for Alan – his money has gone to a good cause, he’s the only person who had to decide if it was worth that money, he’s sharing the exclusive audio and he’s clearly absolutely satisfied with what he’s bought so bless him and good luck to the guy. But I absolutely hate this type of arch “haw haw isn’t everything just SO consumerist???” stuff. Those inserts on the standard box set are some of the worst things I’ve ever seen in 39 years of buying physical music media and all of it just makes me wants to avoid Steven Wilson as if he had scabies, nits AND amoebic dysentery. (PS – RIP SOPHIE. Yeah, I wrote this while I was upset)

Ex-Oligarch

I kind of agree, though might not have put this in such strong terms.
As a unique artifact for an uberfan, and a charitable exercise, it’s all well and good. I hope Alan is truly pleased, and commend Steve’s generosity with the proceeds.
But like you I’m not real impressed by the impersonal packaging design either, which isn’t aesthetically pleasing or conceptually engaging. I’m having much the same response as I did to Jonathan Barnbrook’s graphic design for Bowie’s “The Next Day.” It’s not clever enough to offset its pedestrian ugliness, and weighted down with pretensions to meaning that don’t seem to relate at all to the musical contents.
As an antidote to all that conceptualist minimalism, let me recommend to SDE readers two beautiful and massive tomes from the Taschen sale: George Herriman’s complete color “Krazy Kat” Sunday pages (formerly $200, now $75); and Windsor McKay’s Complete “Little Nemo” (formerly $80, now $40). These newspaper comics were artistic and intellectual landmarks that had a profound impact still felt to this day, and sparkle with warmth, wit, invention and joie de vivre.
On the other hand, if you want to see just what can be accomplished with just black type on white paper, “Type: a Visual History of Typefaces and Graphic Styles 1628-1938” is a total steal at $40 (marked down from $80). It’s 700-odd pages of sample layouts from antique type foundry catalogs, and is one of my all time favorite books.

John MC cann

I remember queuing up to see the nit woman at st Roch’s in the 70s,
Nothing a steel comb couldn’t sort out,
But I agree John lydon did that packaging stuff better ,40 years ago, remember the metal box?and yes 34 was too young to be taken so rip Sophie indeed!

EW99

Ditto. Mainly on the Sophie front but yeah, also agree on your other point.

Wim

Overrated artist but a shrewed business man. But to each his own. Flooding the world with negativity is not my thing. But, ehm now I am doing it myself haha.

Trash

Is he overrated? That is a genuine question…
Just becuase we are talking about him a lot on here doesn’t actually reflect the person in the street. I would bet money that the average person has no idea who Mr Wilson is.
His success with 5.1 mixes must be based on something, people genuinely seem to enjoy them and he has made a successful stream of work from doing them. If they weren’t good and enjoyed I’m sure that line of work would dry up pretty quickly. I’ve not heard any of his 5.1 mixes so I can’t comment on them.
As an artist I was a real fan of his No-Man work but that hardly dented the mainstream consciousness. Never got into Porcupine Tree or his solo work. However, as a musician he is clearly talented (in that he plays well and seems to be able to craft decent songs) so I’m not sure where the claim of ‘over-rated’ comes from. One may not like his work but that hardly makes him over-rated.
As for the whole wry observations on consumerism – PIL did it (as pointed out already) but I prefer XTC’s version on the GO2 album. A great Hipgnosis design. I see TFB as a more up to date version of the same thread. No reason to go into apoplexy about it :-)
I do like the bold type/white background look (I think it works on this and it worked well on the Sade box). Give me minimalism rather than overwrought concept covers any day.

Matthew

Caroline – I guess we all have different views on this type of thing; I found the concept and items very self-effecting on his part and very, very funny … and I’m more pleased with the boxset than most I’ve bought. I guess it is like a lot of art in that it seems to be very Marmite! I would suggest it is worth listening to the music with an open mind – if you don’t like it then avoid it as thoroughly as you suggest you will, but not listening to the music because you don’t like the marketing concept seems a bit OTT – if I didn’t listen to music by people who (for example) I disagree with their politics then I’d have less enjoyment in my life. A good example is Morrissey; an objectionable person these days but I’ll still listen to the Smiths gladly as it is just plain good music.

Joe Blogs

First time I’ve heard of Steven Wilson, like a sort of modern Bowie on first listen. The box set is fantastic but not a huge thing of the ultra minimal style personally.

JulesRules

Steven’s dog is named “Bowie” :D :D :D

Wayne C

A great video and thanks for sharing, my partner and I watched it and as you got to the box set at the bottom we both looked at one another as we saw 0001/5000 and said don’t says he’s going to open it surely not !. We frankly couldn’t believe it!. Would that box indeed have been worth a fortune intact in say 5 years, a debate in itself?. Now that’s an interesting quandary!. Excellently though. It brings to mind having one of the first Beatle White albums in shrink wrap (if they did it back in those days) . Is it art to keep things sealed or is it art playing them or both!.

Mike M

The boxset is to be enjoyed pal, not sat in shrink for a few years to sell on later for a little profit. Glad this box has gone to a “music lover” and not just a “music collector”. Made up for Alan, proper fan who’s enjoying his purchase. As it should be.

Wayne C

I understand all that and all my box sets have been opened and played , I think this though, if you can buy the same box set at £75 as is in the bottom of this expensive item why not spend the £75 and buy that one as well!. It’s purely a personal opinion of mine but If you can afford £10,000 for this another £75 for the normal box set id personally leave the expensive one sealed – but seen as I’ll never be buying anything over £300 , having £10,000 to spend on this is dream land for me!. But all power to Alan for sharing it and buying it in the first place a very generous act. I guess though he did open it to see if there was anything under the tray, it would play on my mind as well!. But Steve may have said the deluxe box set is exactly the same if asked I guess?.

Thomas Staudt

Cool video. Paul, I’m taking back my comment about your “unboxing all formats” not being complete ;-)

smorrissey

On obsolete media…lovely. Sad but true.

Andrew R

Excellent unboxing video and thanks for sharing it. Very nice gesture to make it and buy it, it looks great.
Hope your happy with it and enjoy it – good luck.

Francois

bought 5 books for 75€ inckuding shipping, those two Bowie books were too good to resist among others..
thanks for the tip Paul!!

Christophe

Great contents. I wish i would have had the guts to buy it. You really have a unique and unavalaible elsewhere item. Congratulations.

Frank Sidebottom

just listened to the album, its average, to say the least !

John Orr

The guy is clearly a super fan, and loaded!
But it was a cool unboxing nonetheless.

Arjan

Thanks Paul for the alert on the Taschen sale!
Wanted the Peter Beard book End of The Game for a while but found 75 Euro a bit expensive. Now bought it for 45 Euro, shipping costs included.

McK

Very cool video. Enjoy the box Alan.

Arcweld

Great video thanks Alan. I like how you sound genuinely thrilled with it. Seems likes it’s gone to a good home. My questions; When you realised you had got it, was excitement or panic the first emotion? And how much did you tell your wife/partner you paid for it! Which may be a dilemma many SDE readers face!

Michael

Alan, although all proceeds from the purchase of the TFB Ultra Deluxe box set go to charity, my understanding is that if a person receives something of value in exchange for a ‘donation’, then the cost/donation made by the person is not tax deductible. Do you have plans to re-sell or auction off the box set at some future point to recoup your investment (after you have digitally downloaded all media from the discs), or hold on to the box set indefinitely so that it becomes an heirloom for your family or beneficiary? BTW, congratulations on your purchase, it is a one of a kind work of art.

KC

Normally I stick to music comments but: I would assume that the donation would be made by Steve Wilson / his incorporated entity to which the donation receipt would have been made out to (SW/SW Co. could not issue a tax receipt to the purchaser). The sales proceeds would be income, the donation should offset SW/SW net proceeds after the costs (or be carried forward until such time as there is sufficient taxable income to offset). The original purchaser in this instance would have his Ultra Deluxe box set and a lighter wallet. If he were to sell the set for $ in excess of his original 10K price, rest assured the tax-man would be looking for its share of the gain on sale.

Mark

Alan’s previous video has accrued 71 views in a month; his unboxing video has picked up 12k in less than a day. The box may well easily pay for itself – and some – in ways the taxman can’t reach.

Tim

Some see beauty in art, you see inspiration for a tax assessment!

Mike

Incredible!
Can’t understand why he doesn’t wear protective gloves while holding this precious content :)

Mike M

Great unboxing video from Alan and such a great boxset. Enjoy your purchase Alan it’s beautiful, looking forward to the needle drop