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Parlophone hold its hands up to Bowie box ‘Heroes’ issue and takes action

Replacement discs coming •  “We have listened to fans” – Parlophone

After the events of last week, when Parlophone/Warner Music defended the mastering and the ‘loss of energy’ issue with Heroes on the new David Bowie A New Career In A New Town box set, the label have now adjusted their position – in light of ongoing criticism from some fans – and in a statement have confirmed that new discs for Heroes will be made available.

The statement from Parlophone is as follows:

“While we attempted to maintain the integrity of the issue that existed on the original master tape of the ‘Heroes’ album, we have also listened to fans’ concerns. As soon as a new master is available the digital versions will be changed and those who would like a replacement ‘Heroes’ album (CD or vinyl) will be eligible for one, further details on how to obtain such a replacement will follow in due course so please hang onto your proof of purchase”

Since the Heroes issue was the primary concern for most, this should satisfy the majority of box set buyers. While criticisms, in some quarters, of the mastering in general aren’t going to go away, that’s a much more subjective debate, as the 400+ comments in last week’s post will attest. But there was no getting around the problem on Heroes. If you take their comments last week at face value, the record label were aiming for maximum authenticity in an attempt to please fans, but ironically ended up delivering an imperfect version of one of Bowie’s most iconic tracks – a song that is at the heart and soul of the ‘Berlin Trilogy’. The label may regret not nipping this in the bud a bit earlier, and making the replacement discs decision a week ago, but they’ve got there in the end.

Incidentally, there’s a very interesting and insightful commentary on this situation from Jeff Rougvie, who worked with David Bowie on the Rykodisc reissues in the early 1990s. You can read the full text on his website, but the passage below stood out for me:

I’ve been on both sides of this equation, so before I go deeper, let me say that a project of this scale, by an artist of this stature – especially when it features music many of Bowie’s hardcore fans hold particularly dear – is an enterprise not undertaken lightly or without fear of fan wrath. These boxes have been coming at a steady rate and there’s no doubt many inside the walls of Parlophone – no matter how big a Bowie fan they may be – are human, and may be, at this point, somewhat Bowie-fatigued. After going through so many reels listening to and cataloging the vault, I certainly was.

In short, I’m sympathetic. The Ryko titles contained mistakes. We were lucky – when the Ryko releases were prepared, David was alive. He signed off on all the re-masters we created, so we could safely deflect to him, regardless of who was initially responsible for any slip-ups. And, thank God, they came out before the internet was a thing, or I might’ve offed myself while reading comments.”

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David Bowie

A new career in a new town - 13LP vinyl box

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A new career in a new town - 11CD box

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DAVID BOWIE / A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (1977-1982)

13LP Box Set:

84 Page hardback book

Low (remastered) (1LP)
“Heroes” 
(remastered) (1LP)
“Heroes” E.P. 
(remastered) (12” Single)*
Stage 
(remastered) (2LP Yellow Vinyl) *
Stage (2017) 
(remastered)  (3LP)
Lodger 
(remastered) (1LP)
Lodger 
(Tony Visconti 2017 Mix) (1LP)*
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
 (1LP)
Re:Call 3 
(non-album singles, single versions and b-sides) (remastered) (2LP)*

* Exclusive to ‘A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)’

11 CD Box Set:

128 Page hardback book

Low (remastered) (1CD)
“Heroes” 
(remastered) (1CD)
“Heroes” E.P. 
(remastered) (CD EP)*
Stage 
(remastered) (2CD)*
Stage (2017) 
(remastered) (2CD)
Lodger 
(remastered) (1CD)
Lodger 
(Tony Visconti 2017 Mix) (1CD)*
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) 
(1CD)

Re:Call 3 (non-album singles, single versions and b-sides) (remastered) (1CD)*

* Exclusive to ‘A New Career In A New Town (1977-1982)’


Detailed CD & Vinyl Tracklistings (showing Vinyl side breaks)

A NEW CAREER IN A NEW TOWN (1977-1982)

LOW

Released on RCA PL 12030 (U.K.) / CPL1-2030 (U.S.) on 14thJanuary, 1977.

Side 1
1. Speed Of Life
2. Breaking Glass
3. What In The World
4. Sound And Vision
5. Always Crashing In The Same Car
6. Be My Wife
7. A New Career In A New Town

Side 2
1. Warszawa
2. Art Decade
3. Weeping Wall
4. Subterraneans

“HEROES”

Released on RCA PL 12522 (U.K.) / AFL1-2522 (U.S.) on 14th October, 1977.

Side 1
1. Beauty And The Beast
2. Joe The Lion
3. “Heroes”
4. Sons Of The Silent Age
5. Blackout

Side 2
1. V-2 Schneider
2. Sense Of Doubt
3. Moss Garden
4. Neuköln
5. The Secret Life Of Arabia

“HEROES” E.P.
Side 1
1. “Heroes”/”Helden” (German album version)
2. “Helden” (German single version)

Side 2
1. “Heroes”/”Héros” (French album version)
2. “Héros” (French single version)

STAGE (Original)

Released on RCA PL 02913 (U.K.) / CPL2-2913 (U.S.) on 8thSeptember, 1978.

Side 1
1. Hang On To Yourself
2. Ziggy Stardust
3. Five Years
4. Soul Love
5. Star

Side 2
1. Station To Station
2. Fame
3. TVC 15

Side 3
1. Warszawa
2. Speed Of Life
3. Art Decade
4. Sense Of Doubt
5. Breaking Glass

Side 4
1. “Heroes”
2. What In The World
3. Blackout
4. Beauty And The Beast

STAGE (2017)
Side 1
1. Warszawa
2. “Heroes”
3. What In The World

Side 2
1. Be My Wife
2. The Jean Genie *
3. Blackout
4. Sense Of Doubt

Side 3
1. Speed Of Life
2. Breaking Glass
3. Beauty And The Beast
4. Fame

Side 4
1. Five Years
2. Soul Love
3. Star
4. Hang On To Yourself
5. Ziggy Stardust
6. Suffragette City *

Side 5
1. Art Decade
2. Alabama Song
3. Station To Station

Side 6
1. Stay
2. TVC 15

* Previously unreleased

LODGER

Released on RCA PL 13254 (U.K.) / APL1-3254 (U.S.) on 18th May, 1979.

LODGER (2017 Tony Visconti mix)
Side 1
1. Fantastic Voyage
2. African Night Flight
3. Move On
4. Yassassin (Turkish for: Long Live)
5. Red Sails

Side 2
1. D.J.
2. Look Back In Anger
3. Boys Keep Swinging
4. Repetition
5. Red Money

SCARY MONSTERS (AND SUPER CREEPS)

Released on RCA BOWLP 2 (PL 13647) (U.K.) / AQL1-3647 (U.S.) on 12th September, 1980.

Side 1
1. It’s No Game (Part 1)
2. Up The Hill Backwards
3. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
4. Ashes To Ashes
5. Fashion

Side 2
1. Teenage Wildlife
2. Scream Like A Baby
3. Kingdom Come
4. Because You’re Young
5. It’s No Game (Part 2)

RE:CALL 3
Side 1
1. “Heroes” (single version)
2. Beauty And The Beast (extended version)
3. Breaking Glass (Australian single version)
4. Yassassin (single version)
5. D.J. (single version)

Side 2
1. Alabama Song
2. Space Oddity (1979 version)
3. Ashes To Ashes (single version)
4. Fashion (single version)
5. Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)

Side 3
1. Crystal Japan
2. Under Pressure (single version) – Queen and David Bowie
3. Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (soundtrack album version)
4. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy * – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
* mono

Side 4
Bertolt Brecht’s Baal
1. Baal’s Hymn
2. Remembering Marie A.
3. Ballad Of The Adventurers
4. The Drowned Girl
5. The Dirty Song

The running order for Re:Call 3 CD differs from the vinyl version

1. “Heroes” (single version)
2. Beauty And The Beast (extended version)
3. Breaking Glass (Australian single version)
4. Yassassin (single version)
5. D.J. (single version)
6. Alabama Song
7. Space Oddity (1979 version)
8. Ashes To Ashes (single version)
9. Fashion (single version)
10.Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) (single version)
11.Crystal Japan
12.Under Pressure (single version) – Queen and David Bowie

Bertolt Brecht’s Baal
13.Baal’s Hymn
14.Remembering Marie A.
15.Ballad Of The Adventurers
16.The Drowned Girl
17.The Dirty Song
18.Cat People (Putting Out Fire) (soundtrack album version)

19.Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy * – David Bowie and Bing Crosby
* mono

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