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Prince’s Sign O’ The Times 8CD+DVD super deluxe edition unboxed

Prince / Sign O' The Times unboxing

Unboxing video for the new Sign O’ The Times super deluxe edition

Out today is the long-awaited reissue of Prince‘s 1987 album Sign O’ The Times. SDE lifts the lid on the 8CD+DVD super deluxe and 2LP peach vinyl with this unboxing video…

The Sign O’ The Times reissue is out now.

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Sign O The Times - 8CD+DVD super deluxe

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Sign O The Times - 13LP+DVD vinyl super deluxe

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Sign O The Times - 2LP peach vinyl

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Sign O The Times - 4LP vinyl edition

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Sign O The Times - 3CD edition

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Sign O The Times - 2CD remaster

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CD1 / LP1: Remastered Album (Disc 1)

1 Sign O’ The Times
2 Play In The Sunshine
3 Housequake
4 The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker
5 It
6 Starfish And Coffee
7 Slow Love
8 Hot Thing
9 Forever In My Life

CD2 / LP2: Remastered Album (Disc 2)

1 U Got The Look
2 If I Was Your Girlfriend
3 Strange Relationship
4 I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
5 The Cross
6 It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night
7 Adore

CD3 / LP3&4: Single Mixes & Edits

1 Sign O’ The Times (7” single edit)
2 La, La, La, He, He, Hee (7” single edit)
3 La, La, La, He, He, Hee (Highly Explosive) (12” version)
4 If I Was Your Girlfriend (7” single edit)
5 Shockadelica (“If I Was Your Girlfriend” B-side)
6 Shockadelica (12” long version)
7 U Got the Look (Long Look) (12” edit)
8 Housequake (7” edit)
9 Housequake (7 Minutes MoQuake) (12” edit)
10 I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (Fade 7” edit)
11 Hot Thing (7” single edit)
12 Hot Thing (Extended Remix)
13 Hot Thing (Dub Version)

CD4 / LP5&6: Vault, Part 1

1 I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man (1979 version)
2 Teacher, Teacher (1985 version)
3 All My Dreams
4 Can I Play With U? (featuring Miles Davis)
5 Wonderful Day (original version)
6 Strange Relationship (original version)
7 Visions
8 The Ballad Of Dorothy Parker (with horns)
9 Witness 4 The Prosecution (version 1)
10 Power Fantastic (live in studio)
11 And That Says What?
12 Love And Sex
13 A Place In Heaven (Prince vocal)
14 Colors
15 Crystal Ball (7” mix)
16 Big Tall Wall (version 1)
17 Nevaeh Ni Ecalp A
18 In A Large Room With No Light

All tracks previously unreleased

CD5 / LP7&8: Vault, Part 2

1 Train
2 It Ain’t Over ‘Til The Fat Lady Sings
3 Eggplant (Prince vocal)
4 Everybody Want What They Don’t Got
5 Blanche
6 Soul Psychodelicide
7 The Ball
8 Adonis And Bathsheba
9 Forever In My Life (early vocal studio run-through)
10 Crucial (alternate lyrics)
11 The Cocoa Boys
12 When The Dawn Of The Morning Comes
13 Witness 4 The Prosecution (version 2)
14 It Be’s Like That Sometimes

All tracks previously unreleased

CD6 / LP9&10: Vault, Part 3

1 Emotional Pump
2 Rebirth Of The Flesh (with original outro)
3 Cosmic Day
4 Walkin’ In Glory
5 Wally
6 I Need A Man
7 Promise To Be True
8 Jealous Girl (version 2)
9 There’s Something I Like About Being Your Fool
10 Big Tall Wall (version 2)
11 A Place In Heaven (Lisa vocal)
12 Wonderful Day (12” mix)
13 Strange Relationship (1987 Shep Pettibone Club Mix)

All tracks previously unreleased

CD7&8 / LP11-13: Live In Utrecht – June 20, 1987

1 Intro/Sign O’ The Times
2 Play In The Sunshine
3 Little Red Corvette
4 Housequake
5 Girls & Boys
6 Slow Love
7 Take The “A” Train/Pacemaker/I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
8 Hot Thing
9 Four
10 If I Was Your Girlfriend
11 Let’s Go Crazy
12 When Doves Cry
13 Purple Rain
14 1999
15 Forever In My Life
16 Kiss
17 The Cross
18 It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night

All tracks previously unreleased

DVD: Live At Paisley Park – December 31, 1987

1 Sign O’ The Times
2 Play In The Sunshine
3 Little Red Corvette
4 Erotic City
5 Housequake
6 Slow Love
7 Do Me, Baby
8 Adore
9 I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man
10 What’s Your Name Jam
11 Let’s Pretend We’re Married
12 Delirious
13 Jack U Off
14 Drum Solo
15 Twelve
16 Hot Thing
17 If I Was Your Girlfriend
18 Let’s Go Crazy
19 When Doves Cry
20 Purple Rain
21 1999
22 U Got The Look
23 It’s Gonna Be A Beautiful Night Medley (featuring Miles Davis)

 

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Nigel D Day
SDE Reader

Finally caved in and bought one of these before it disappears. Wow ! What a joy ! So much music to explore. This is what a Super Deluxe Edition should be like. Thankfully my disks are all present and correct. I can see why people are a bit peeved about the CD slots but I think as long as you treat the disks carefully when taking them out and slotting them back in then there should be little problem. Or buy some CD covers and store them in those.
I would be very keen on similar reissues of the Parade and Around The World albums.
If only one of my favourite bands, Queen, would bring out all their albums in this kind of format :(

[…] Watch the SDEtv unboxing video […]

[…] so I kind of understand what I want from a kind of deluxe edition box set. I mean, I want the Sign O’ the Times type of box set, you know, which I guess, is a real exception, isn’t it, to the rule.  I don’t […]

John

Belatedly going through my 8CD version bought from Amazon Italy and have found I have 2 CD3’s and no CD6.
Any advice on who best to contact/how best to address this problem?

Tom Williams

Hi there,

I have exactly the same problem (two CD4s and no CD5). Did you find out a way of getting them replaced at all?

Chris Bennett

I received my 8CD/DVD SDE a couple of days ago in Hong Kong ordered from Amazon UK. It’s a German pressing. As well as the custom peace-symbol cardboard packaging, Amazon had put this in their own packaging so it arrived intact with no damage whatsoever – so no complaints there.
I agree with previous comments about the actual CD housing being tight and difficult to access the discs. Usually I rip my CD’s to FLAC so mostly only use them once so not that big a deal. On balance I too prefer ‘1999’ SDE packaging.
Unfortunately in the case of ‘Sign ‘O’ The Times’ my Disc 4 kept jumping during the last two tracks so I couldn’t get a clean rip which is really annoying. If anyone has lossless FLACS for those two tracks, I’d appreciate it.

Steve Marine

I can’t seem to stop being angry about the 8CD/DVD packaging.
The tracklistings are almost nonexistant. You either have to refer to a disposable sheet of paper that was stuck to the back of the slipcase, or flip through the book to find the exact pages that reference the tracks. And the book option is horrible for the vault discs because the songs are not fully listed in order, nor are they separated by disc number.
There are no card sleeves for the discs, which is a horrendous mistake. The discs would have been better protected and easier to transport without having to bring the entire book with you. Plus, the card sleeves would have had the tracklisings on them so you could actually know what you’re listening to.
I own three other book-type deluxe editions (David Bowie’s “Conversation Piece” and The Beatles’ “Abbey Road” & the white album) and all of them were manufactured with enough respect to the consumer that the discs are protected in card sleeves with printed tracklistings for each disc.
Also, the original album cover does not exist in its complete form anywhere in the package. (A cropped version appears on one page inside the book.) This was annoying on the George Michael “Listen Without Prejudice” boxed set as well.
One last gripe: Could it have killed them to actually print an official (proposed) tracklisting for the “Dream Factory,” “Crystal Ball,” and Camille albums? I just can’t fathom why they failed to do that.

CDM

RE tour comment: Could it have killed them to actually print an official (proposed) tracklisting for the “Dream Factory,” “Crystal Ball,” and Camille albums?

This SDE was probably the most anticipated since the Beach Boys ‘Smile’ and of course (tens
of?) thousands of Prince fans, who ‘know too much’ due to widely available bootlegs and the excellent Prince Vault website, already had their expectations of what tracks should have been included. To properly list the proposed configurations in the book would have drawn attention to the missing tracks so simply categorising all unreleased tracks as from the ‘Vault’ avoided truthfully explaining their omission. I agree with all your comments and the poorly designed disc pockets in the book is an inexcusable fiasco. The one big plus and revelation is there is still enough new unheard material (to me) to compile another 80 minute album that notionally would sit between ‘Crystal Ball’ and the ‘Black Album’. Prince’s 1986/87 era recordings must be the most prolific by any artist in modern music history.

Chickenscratchin’

The omitted tracks are the ones which have already been released though right? Though I’m doubtful that all the versions included here are the exact same versions that appeared on the various original cuts of Dream Factory, Camille and Crystal Ball.

Most annoying is that Rockhard In A Funky Place (The Black Album) seems to have dropped off the streaming services, so I can’t make a Camille playlist for example.

Alan m

Chicken… just buy a cd of The Black Album. They’re cheap enough.

Has anyone else put their boxset on to the shelf now, only to be played once in a blue moon? I think I buy too much music :)

Richard S

Just been reading a few comments on amazon about the packaging of the discs.
But yes those style of CD holders aren’t great. If ever I get those I just take them out and put them in seperate CD wallets. Although it sounds like these have been damaged as they were put in? I thought they (CDs) were supposed to be pretty hard wearing?
I wonder if people will now start reducing the price just to get rid of them?

Kauwgompie

Agreed with pretty much all your arguments. Most of the stuff is annoying but except for the packaging of the discs, I can get over it. The packaging is indeed inexcusable and a sad attempt to save a few pennies with potentially highly annoying consequences.
Lastly I cannot overstate the brilliance of the music. I have been listening over and over to the Vault discs and most of the songs are brilliant. Many (not all) of the songs could have been put on SOTT without dragging down its quality. And that says a lot. So despite the packing mistake, it remains a must have.

Trent Jakubec

For those that got damaged copies of their 8 CD + DVD, at least it arrived. My Amazon.ca version was shipped Sept 25, CanadaPost tracking number, etc. A few days went by and the tracking still said item not found. Checking today sees no change in tracking data but Amazon is now reporting I am getting a refund. So what was CAD 161.74 is now looking like at least CAD 230 from Sunrise Records (assuming I can believe their on order statement) since Amazon no longer has any copies to order. Frustrating.

gwynogue

It looks like I’m getting TWO copies of the 8CD/1DVD box set. Unfortunately that wasn’t my plan, so I’m not thrilled about it. I can’t really afford 2 copies (I can’t really afford ONE if I’m honest) which means I’ve lost $230AUD that could have gone to household expenses. Or towards The Divine Comedy or Tears For Fears or Dead Or Alive or the ‘Shakeys’ (Sister or Stevens, LOL) or…

“How did it happen?”, I hear no-one ask. Well…I placed an order on the day of release, then decided to change the shipping address. I noticed the order was already being prepared so I worried that it might have been too late to change the address. So I decided to just cancel the order and create a new one. I got the message that Amazon were in the process of ‘attempting’ to cancel the order so I decided to wait before re-ordering.

I checked a day later and they were still ‘attempting’. But I didn’t want to wait any longer in case I missed out altogether, so I placed a new order. My first order had been placed, changed and cancelled all within the space of 5 minutes so SURELY it was stoppable and the ‘attempting’ was just a formality, right?

Wrong. A few days later I received 2 e-mails that my order had been dispatched. Each e-mail had a different order number so I checked my Amazon account and sure enough, both boxes.

I know, I know, ‘First World problems’ and all that…

On a much brighter note, I finally managed to snag a ‘1999’ box set (5CD/1DVD)! Just over a week ago, I noticed JB-HiFi were selling it for under $140AUD – a helluva lot cheaper than anywhere else – so I decided to order it and see what happened. The listing said ‘on order’ so I didn’t really expect anything, but lo and behold I received a dispatch notification and it landed on my doorstep yesterday.

So if anyone in Australia still wants a copy and doesn’t want to pay the RIDICULOUS eBay/Discogs prices, try JB HiFi:

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/products/cd-prince-do-not-order-1999-limited-superdeluxe-edition-5cddvd

I cannot – repeat – CANNOT guarantee your order will be filled, but try it. At worst, you’ll just get a refund.

Ryk

Gwynogue,

You should be able to sell your second copy, and possibly for more than you paid for it. And congrats on getting the 1999 box set. On another note, despite your financial situation, if you feel like forgoing more food you can get Divine Comedy’s box set for £100 on Amazon UK (if you can find a way to get it shipped to Australia).

CJ

I started to panic when I read all the comments on here last night about people having messed up discs in their sets. Finally had a chance to open mine this morning to rip it so I can listen in the car (oh for the old days when there were CD players in vehicles, no that I would have wanted to take something as big and beautiful as this on the road with me). Fortunately, my discs all seem pristine. Looking forward to getting to listen to it in fits and starts over the next few days of running errands. (I also miss the days when I had the time to just sit down and listen to discs from front to back in the comfort of my home.)

Guy.S

Paul, you mention that a download code comes with the vinyl options, does this include the 13Lp box set?

Guy.S

Thanks Paul, I’ve tried looking through the box set and cannot find mine. Is it supposed to be in a particular place? The box set was bought from What Records and arrived sealed, if I cannot find It do you know who is the best to get in contact to get a replacement?

Phil Fogel

Got my peach vinyl. It’s quie pretty, the sleeve has a beautiful spot varnish with the album title on the front and the “O” symbol on the back. This is my first time owning a vinyl record by Prince. I’ve been avoiding Amazon, my local record store saved me a copy and it was $10 cheaper then any Amazon seller. Amazon Canada now wants $460 for the full set which is crazy. The sounds of the vinyl sounds fab to my ears. I’m so happy it comes with a download code.

Larry Davis

Well I think I got seriously lucky…got the word from Amazon Italy that the Prince SOTT box arrived…a day earlier than they said…great, I get home, I see not one but TWO packages on my front porch…thought at first it was 1 huge package, nope, two identical big packages!! I was like, could it be?? Yep, they sent me 2 boxes instead of 1 and yes I only paid for 1…both had the outer cardboard King Nelson packaging, 1 was from France, the other Germany…I opened the French one & hype heart sticker partly in French…perfect & no prob getting discs out, discs all fine but yes gotta be careful…as for the German copy, leaving it unopened King Nelson cardboard…looking to trade it for something equal or almost equal value, like the Supergrass box…bonus bday gift for me, woohoo!!

Kauwgompie

I got my 3 cd boxes from Italy today. They were sent from England and have French hype stickers. The carton outer boxes with the SOTT symbol were in great shape and look beautiful. The way the cd’s are jammed in the booklet is of course asking for problems. I took them out as carefully as humanly possible and most of them had surface scratches from however they were put into the booklet (machine or human). One disc even had a small, deeper scratch. Very disappointing. Just not enough to send back. For collection purposes I bought 3 extra boxes. Do I now have to open all 3 other boxes to double check?
The vinyl box from Canada also arrived. It doesn’t even have a carton outer box so the hype sticker is damaged. Not enough to return but disappointing again.

Paul E.

– it would be interesting to see if you could assemble a “scuff free” set from opening all three of your CD SDE sets. I’ve read comments already on Amazon from folks that have received replacement boxes just to open them and find damaged discs in the second round.

This kind of thing really hurts the value of reselling in the future (like to trade up to a new edition down the road [insert U2’s “Joshua Tree” here where I was considering selling off my 2007 box for the 2017 box (but didn’t)]. Condition immediately downgrades from “Unsealed/Mint” to “Very Good” or “Good” depending on the how many discs are impacted and/or how severe the scratches are. (I guess I’ll need to hope that the few used record stores near by are still open in the future and have services that include CD resurfacing.)

Kauwgompie

Yes good idea. I went thru a similar thing with the Dark Side Of The Moon Immersion Box. Amazon would tell me to keep the old box and send me a new box twice because the CD’s in the next box were just as scratched up. Eventually I picked the least scratched discs from all 3 boxes and came to one sort of acceptable box set.

The Prince cd’s are not as badly scratched, they are just scuffed (mostly). I’m going to go thru the other boxes to see how bad it is but the design is such that at minimum there will be some light scuffs. If anyone has the Edsel Bananarama 2CD/DVD’s, it’s like that more or less. No chance to get the discs out without scuffing or even scratching them. I immediately put each disc in a Japanese plastic inner sleeve. So it was just a matter of taking them out once with the least amount of damage.

The music is incredible. I’m super happy with it. After listening to each disc a few times, you discover new things in each song because they are so layered. It’s incredible.
The only other thing is that each unreleased song comes with a story in the book but they don’t talk about the songs on the original album at all. That’s a shame. I would love to know the story behind a song like “It”, one of my favorite songs on the album. That got lost in the shuffle somehow.

SimonH

Each to their own but why on earth would you buy three boxes?
Of course it’s your money, I just
don’t get it.

Ben

Ordered my Super Deluxe CD/DVD Box from amazon.it on 2nd july for 106,77 EUR incl. postage. Got delivery on Saturday, 26. September, shipped from a warehouse in germany with peace-sign-cardboard in amazon-packaging. Immaculate condition, no double discs, no missing discs, no scratched discs, no book printed upside down, no glue-points. The hypesticker is in english and the heartsticker shows only light scruffmarks. Soooo happy about this. Got the peach 12“, the 3-CD-Set and both Rolling Stone Magazines also, all of them in mint condition.

Richard John

my SDE deal also arrived from Amazon Italy in wonderful condition.

My only question is does the SDE CD version come with a download code? I know in the unboxing video Paul showed one, but I think that was for the vinyl.

Jason

Hi Paul,

Maybe you addressed this somewhere and I just missed it. Maybe it came up in your discussion with Michael, but I was just curious as to why some tracks were chosen and others left off. Not complaining at all, but multiple versions of some songs while we only get the truncated edit of “Crystal Ball”, a song Prince thought so highly of that one of the projects was originally titled such (not to mention naming the 4CD rarities collection a decade later with the same name), no “Dream Factory” (I know this was also on the Crystal Ball CD package, but come on…it was also the working title of one of these albums), no “Good Love”, a song rather hard to find on the Bright Lights Big City soundtrack, “Last Heart” (intended for Dream Factory), etc. I would assume “Rock Hard in a Funky Place” will end up on a Lovesexy/Black Album box set at some point, but these seem like obvious omissions when we get stuff like “Visions”, “Colors”, and 2 minutes of backward singing on “Neveah…”. Were they trying to present as many rarities as possible keeping those aside for a later project a la Originals (but maybe songs so good they should have been album tracks…one could say that about several tracks in this set actually). I know it’s tough including EVERYTHING he did for these albums, but these just seemed a bit glaring when we get 12+ minute jams in their place.

Maybe a question as a follow-up interview or something (if the guy ever has time…I’m sure he’s been working on the next set already. Here’s hoping for Parade, Around the World in a Day, or Lovesexy. Thanks for all you do! Your involvement has been a gift for those of us who are interested!

Andrew Edwards

Read the interview Jason from June 2020…and the choices made were clearly explained and the ways the archivist, the Prince estate and the record label had to collaborate and come up with a final product. As Paul says so many on this site simply don’t understand there are so many things that go into a reissue like this: limited money, finding masters, licensing, etc.

Guy.S

My order of the 8 cd box set from Italy is on its way but the tracking so far has shown from Italy arriving in Kent then onto Surrey then up to Swindon. I live in Portsmouth, Surrey was the closest it got to me and that’s 48 miles away, why it’s gone up to Swindon I have no idea but the tracking at this point has ‘In Consegna’ – Delivering, which is a worry. I double checked the delivery address online and that’s all ok, then I checked to see if any road names or anything else would be in Swindon but nothing turned up so I don’t know how they have managed this. If it does get back to me I’ll hate to see what the box or anything inside will look like. The information doesn’t give any idea to what company is doing the delivery.

Neil

– the Hoffman forums have potentially found a playback speed issue with the live album set, running at the wrong pitch? Is there anyway you could get the lowdown from Michael Howe direct?

Steve

So sorry to see so many issues with people’s sets. My Amazon UK vinyl SDE delivery arrived in the peace box, undamaged. The only thing of note was that the sticker on the front was in French rather than English, which looking at everyone else’s problems seems trivial!!

Bruce Nicholson

I have a slightly daft question – in the cd version where is the download code?

Paul E.

I’ve just received my CD version of “Sign ‘O’ The Times” SDE box from ImportCDs (one day earlier than expected :) [I paid a grand total of $126.76 includes all taxes + shipping.]

It was sent to me in the same “peace symbol” box the distributor sent ImportCDs -they just stacked a new shipping label on the front. I think the multiple trips took their toll and it’s probably not worth saving and can’t complain as shipping was only $3.99. Good news is the actual box set was well protected in this carton.

Unfortunately, that’s where the design accolades end. While all 8 CDs and the DVD were included (no duplicates nor any missing discs to report) about half the CD set showed scuffs and battle scars from the round pockets they were “sandwiched” in. The size/tolerance of the cut outs is more or less reckless in my opinion- just inviting these kinds of scratches and other uninvited cosmetic damage to the disc’s playing surface. No production machinery or human can insert media into pockets like these without causing scratches…so why choose this format for a set that retails on the plus side of $150.00?

It’s like performing an operation each time an SDE set arrives these days: cross fingers, short prayer, hold breath, steady the hands, gently grip the discs by the edges, slowly slide but minimize the sliding until it’s out, inspect the disc number (for duplication), and then hyper-analyze the media surface for scratches. The “patient” needs even more care however- as the Richard & Linda Thompson Box has shown…next, move over to your CD player/drive/network streamer/weapon of choice, insert media: Does it play? Will it rip?

Will it stop?

Jacques

My 2LP peach amazon vinyl has turned up… standard black vinyl, but with the same barcode and catalogue number as the peach? Has this happened to anyone else?

noyoucmon

Almost worse than the damaged product many of us have received are the people with no sense of design integrity, institutional effectiveness, or good business practices who are chiming in here to say we’re too picky, we’re whiners, etc. Next time you buy a new car we’ll deliver you one with the side door smashed in. The car still runs, the door still opens, what are you whining about?

CAB

The car analogy is a very good one for SDE’s – I’ve used it here myself when Bowie’s Heroes album was released with dropouts “‘cos authentic”.
An SDE by definition is a first world product on every level, and therefore encourages first world expectations. There is nothing but capitalism going on in SDE land. In my view, there’s nothing wrong with capitalism, but for it to work it must be based on a tacit agreement between producer and consumer that requires the producer to provide quality in exchange for the consumer’s cash, and that the product should do all that it can to meet expectation.
One hundred and fifty quid is a lot of expectation in CD land.
With re-releases of music, we all-too-often buy blind with an expectation that the product will come up to scratch. There’s no reason it shouldn’t, which is why I agree with you, even though you’re just actually moaning about glue, or the lack thereof.

Prince Fan

And the paint work’s scuffed and scratched!

ING

love it!

Brennan

Mine arrived Sunday (both the vinyl and Cds). No issues at all. Btw – Thanks Paul for all of the hard work you put into this site everyday. It makes the days go by faster sometimes :)

Derek

Checked mine last night, no glue issues, all the discs present and correct and none were scratched either. Its not a cheap boxset, but given what a rubbish year this is decided to treat myself this time

Prince Fan

Received my copy from Amazon Italy today and was surprised to see that the blurb on the two gold hype stickers is in French. I just assumed they’d be in English. I now have a sealed spare copy (kept my Amazon UK order open) but it might not be easy to sell for too much given the reported errors of missing and duplicate discs, not to mentioned scuffed and scratched discs. I might have to open the seal to check!

Mark W

Damaged discs? My sealed box set turned up with no discs in at all! Anyone else had that?

noyoucmon

Good god, I’m so sorry. What a fiasco. Sadly, I’m mad all over again like I was with the Crystal Ball fiasco of 1998.

My second copy will allegedly be here Tuesday. Fingers are crossed that I can cobble together an acceptable box out of all the parts before I return one set. I wish you luck in getting some discs in your next copy.

noyoucmon

Regarding my previous comment about my damaged disc, I think my set suffers from a larger problem: the page of the book holding discs one through four seems like it’s not glued down properly, it’s a little loose (not to mention the pockets/slots for the discs feel a little too big) and I believe disc four rolled into disc three’s slot during shipping. Is anyone else’s set kind of loose on the pages where the discs are? Looks like I get to send back yet another expensive box set and hope they have replacements. This kind of problem is precisely why I use Amazon for expensive items, because returns are admittedly a breeze, but it feels so wasteful. And pretty much ALL of this would be avoided if record companies used sleeves for compact discs instead of shoving them bare in slots where the playing surface is so easily compromised.

blink

“Is anyone else’s set kind of loose on the pages where the discs are?”

Yes, the glue on the top of the page (where discs 1 and 2 sit) is nonexistent. Disc 1 can roll out of the book when you turn it on the side. Pretty sure disc 2 can also roll into disc 1s slot that way (or vice versa). Not a problem for discs 3 through 8 though.

Received both my US and Canada copies today (US had better packaging), so for those wondering whether Amazon Canada ships to the US, they did.

noyoucmon

I just opened and inspected my super-deluxe CD box, which I ordered from Amazon. Discs three and four were both jammed into the same slot, leaving the slot where disc four belonged empty. It was jammed in there on top of disc three so tightly that I could barely get them out, and of course disc four is now scratched, somewhat significantly. I have never seen such a thing. I’m very tired of there being something wrong almost every single time I order an expensive item like this. I hate to return it, that is the only thing wrong with it. I wish I could just get a replacement disc.

Robert Fitzpatrick

I can’t believe All My Dreams was not released on cd until now! great song!

ING

Oh my that is a great track, I first got it on a bootleg vinyl of Parade alternate versions called Charade decades ago and used it on my first post-humous Prince compilation before the Estate issued Prince 4Ever. Definitely awesome it officially sees the light of day!

ALAN C

I really dislike how the CD’s are housed in slots at the back. Although the book is lovely and the music perfect, I personally would have preferred not to have a book I will hardly ever look at and instead have the 8cd/1dvd set be a mini version of the vinyl box just like they did with 1999 SDE which was perfect packaging. The price of which would have been a more affordable £75-£80 having just 3 more cds than 1999 SDE which was £55 for 5cd/ dvd. The book is basically £70 doubling the price. It would also be easier to protect the discs from damage with individual sleeves. Hopefully the Prince Estate will consider issuing a mini version of the vinyl set without the big book when the book version sells out. Its a very big jump from £20 for the 3cd deluxe set to £150 for a big bulky book just to get the extra cds.& dvd.

Steve Bliss

My 8CD+DVD set was just delivered from Amazon US. SO EXCITED!

It was shipped just in the Peace Box container, not in an additional Amazon box. The PBx was in good condition, just the protruding wings were a bit bent. It did its job and got the SDE to me safely and well-protected! I’m torn whether to consider these custom boxes as part of the product or not. So far, on prior purchases, I’ve managed to restrain my inner OCD and discard the cardboard. We’ll see about this one, that peace symbol is tugging at me.

The condition of the discs was good, there were some minor scuffs on the business side that I normally wouldn’t have even noticed except from other people commenting on their discs.

The book is gorgeous, just had a flip through it to look at the pictures.

The one issue my copy has is insufficient glue in the disc holder pages, the CDs keep trying to disappear into the inner reaches of the holder. Maybe someone who had excess glue could loan me some?

I love that they went with the 12×12 format on this release. It’s so much more immersive than a CD-size book! Did I mention the book is gorgeous?

I’m a bit over the “box set as book in a slipcase” approach. It’s practical, and we make fun of SDEs with excessive “stuff”, but having no stuff is missing out, too. Back in the day, who didn’t appreciate it when your new LP came with a bonus poster, or 4 photos of the Beatles or something? Nude bicycle race, Prince in a shower, the Cranberries on a couch, bonus pins, whatever.

I don’t like discs stored directly in the book, not really a fan of the “slot in a page” storage solution at all. The discs should at least have their own “inner sleeves” so I can take them out and about. Actually, something that’s a step up from “inner sleeve” is preferred, like the wallet sleeves in the Simple Minds’ New Gold Dream SDE. I don’t want digi-pack style trays (the teeth holding the discs tend to break) or individual jewel cases, either. Digging the discs out of the big book every time I want a listen is a pain. I recognize disc storage is a packaging challenge, nearly all solutions I’ve seen have some shortcomings. In this release, the discs seems to be picking up scratches, and getting discs in and out is going to eventually wear on the book itself.

If you’re going to stick the discs in a slot in the book, please make sure the “disc X” printing is visible when the CD is put away!

So good so far on the CD-text front, I just did a quick check to make sure it exists. Proofing CD-text for errors is a pain in the production process, so I’m just happy it’s included.

It’s a minor thing, but I appreciate the back cover track listing insert is sized to fit inside the book/slipcase. The back insert being too large for easy storage has been an issue on other SDEs.

The biggest omission with this set is the lack of a Blu-Ray with the music in hi-res. All of the CD content would fit on a single BD disc in 24/96 stereo. Put a decent navigation on it, I’d be very happy!

With box sets, the devil is in the packaging details. Little design decisions really impact the “value” of the product. If holding the music in our hands wasn’t important to us, we’d all just buy it online in hi-res format and be done with it. Previous Prince releases had really great packaging, I’m a little let down with this set on a few points. Primarily QA issues and some fine points of design decisions. We are firmly in the top-end SDE pricing with this set (not over-the-top-end!), it shouldn’t have any packaging shortcomings or shortcuts.

Anyway, enough critique – I’m going to go enjoy the music! I hope you all get maximum pleasure out of this release!

Rumour

My order from amazon.it is on its way through Germany, but they did already charge the price of 138 euros instead of the lowest price guarantee. Have e-mailed them, but have not made a screenprint of a lower price. We’ll see, my main concern is the state the discs will be in. What a cheap solution for an expensive boxset. Oh, and amazon.it has the cd boxset in stock again for € 141,55, for those who still dare…

Andrew Edwards

Here in the U.S. Amazon shipped the Super Deluxe CD Edition in the original WB packaging. They shipped mine by USPS and it arrived securely and safely. No damage, no scuffs on the discs and all 9 discs are present. Visually and amazing package

CAB

I ordered 2 copies of the CD Super Deluxe from Amazon It and they arrived today. Due to comments both here and on Hoffmann, I thought I’d better check both sets out thoroughly.

Both sets arrived together in one outer box that had been slightly damaged. The individual sets were delivered in their peace sign outer boxes within the outer box and the boxes had very little damage. Sigh of relief one.

I prepared an area where I could forensically remove the disks to prove to myself that removal of the disks wasn’t the cause of the reported scuffs and scratches.
With my lab coat and goggles I approached the boxes.

The first set I opened :
The outer sleeve – immaculate.
The book had damage (dinks in the cover and various peel backs) in 4 places, and some print defects.
Every disk was scuffed, some to a great degree.

The second set :
The outer sleeve – immaculate.
The book – very good to near perfect.
The disks – mostly good, but the DVD is very scuffed.

So there have obviously been some quality control issues in the assembly plant. I can imagine facilitating a perfect product with this kind of design was very tricky, but I do find it bizarre that the designer didn’t ‘road test’ the disk pouches. If the disks were in thin plastic inner sleeves, the damage reported by some wouldn’t have happened.

For any budding SDE designers out there, it’s lovely to have these editions, but some of us don’t want to go through the rigmarole of opening up a box, then a book to listen to a track on every occasion. Personally I would prefer individual sleeves for the CD’s that can be stored with my other CD’s (Tears For Fears SFTBC for instance), and the book and box can be stored elsewhere. I realise this is absolutely a first world whinge, but I can’t understand why the meat of the product (the disks and their individual presentation) are not given more prominence and Ta-Da!! in the overall package. It is, afterall, a set of disks.

Tonight I shall start the listening fest.

Andy V

This morning I finally received my eagerly awaited CD box from Amazon Italy. I live in Germany, and they sent it from Lonate Pozzolo (North Italy) on Friday 25th September at 4:00 am (release day). It was already here in North Germany on Saturday morning 2:15 am, so I expected it to be delivered that day. But strangely enough, they kept it over the weekend, until this morning when it was finally delivered to me.
I ordered from Amazon Italy because of the fantastic price (thanks again for the price alert, Paul!!!!), and was quite worried after reading all the problems with Amazon deliveries on here. I was saying to myself: Ok, you “only” paid 111,77 Euro for the package, so if it goes a bit wrong, whatever. Amazon Germany wants 146,99 Euro!
BUT: When I received the delivery, it was a big Amazon box. I immediately opened it, and there it was, surrounded by a lot of stuffed paper to keep it from bumping around in the box: The special cardboard box with the peace sign! It was absolutely undamaged, and when I opened it, the inside CD box was in perfect condition, with shrink wrap and stickers.
I checked the CD’s, and yes, most people are right, they have some scuffs on it. There was also a litte bit of glue from the CD “holders” in the box (glued cardboard).But I could remove this glue. All CD’s play fine, I just made a quick check by skipping through them. Also the DVD is running perfectly, although there are some minor scratches on it.
All in all I can say, this was a great bargain, the music is absolutely out of this world, and Amazon Italy did a great job in packing it (and not removing the special cardboard box!). Yes, I don’t like those CD/DVD book “holders” either, because I always worry about scratched CD’s. I had some in the past that were unplayable, because it also depends on the CD player you use and the correction rate. So for the next super deluxe editions I would prefer some paper inner sleeves or those plastic ones in Japanese mini lp’s. Or put real trays in.
I’m happy with my delivery. Thank you Amazon Italy, and thank you Paul for sending that alert, although it might have lost you some customers in your own store!

Tim

Ordered my CD box from Rough Trade, arrived on time in a really sturdy box, undamaged and I’m listening to it now, loving it. BUT I seem to have 2 disc 5’s and am missing disc 4 :-(.

For £150 you do expect better quality control (OK mistakes will happen), so just contacted Rough Trade to see what happens next, fingers crossed this won’t be a drawn out process…

Anyone else with missing discs, wanna spot a spare 4 with a 5?

Paul, great website and anyone reading this the SDE shop is spot on (bye bye Amazon EU SARL – at least SDE deliver on time).

Tom Williams

Hi there – did you get this sorted in the end? I do actually have two CD4s and no CD5 in mine….so if by any mad chance all these months later you A) happen to see this and B) didn’t get it sorted, then let me know!

It really is abysmal that given the cost of the box this seems to be a common issue.

Mike

Hi, I ordered from Amazon France and I received the outter box with the Peace sign and styrofoam protection inside. Amazon package oustide was OK. Amazon France does always respect the packaging. In the past, Amazon.co.uk has sent LP’s without box, so no more amazon uk for me.

David T-W

My 8CD/DVD box came Friday, from Amazon. Beautifully packed (and packaged). The SOTT outer cardboard box was present, all well packed in a bigger delivery box.

On seeing all the comments about scuffed discs, I removed and checked all mine this morning. Every one of them shows scuffs.

I know some commenters (mostly elsewhere) will say they are superficial and not affect play. That may well be, but finding time to go through the whole set is not easy. One relies, in part, on how media look until the time to listen comes around, which may be weeks or months later. So now my hand is forced. And that’s where the inconvenience lies.

This kind of packaging design is just completely stupid and so easily fixed for just pennies more.

Paul, any idea where we stand on being able to get exchanges for clean discs, please?

noyoucmon

Agreed all the way. I’m so sorry you’ve had problems too, it’s really unacceptable.

kaycey

Just a note of caution for anyone who may have bought the 8 CD/DVD set from Amazon Italy before it was reduced in price on 2nd of July. I did and expected to get the reduced price with a pre-order price guarantee. This did not happen and I was charged full price. I contacted them yesterday and they refused to accept that I was entitled to the lower price. Fortunately I had taken some screenshots of the lower price with the pre-order price guarantee clearly visible and they are now looking into the matter. I did not cancel and re-order on 2nd of July because I thought they might run out of stock and cancel my second order. I hope they will put things right and refund the difference but please check your invoice if you ordered from Amazon Italy before the price reduction on 2nd July.

Graham Turner

Hi kaycey, I’m in exactly the same position as you.

I was already suspicious as my order was never adjusted to reflect the lower price. 24h after dispatch I queried the higher cost and was told ‘maybe it was offered by a different vendor’. Thankfully, like you, I had a screenshot of the lower price. I pushed back but now their line is that ‘it was a pricing error’ that they do not need to honour.

I don’t know whether to try pushing back again since they seem fairly inflexible on the point.
I might just live with it and enjoy the box set (once it arrives!).

Mijacmad

My order from Amazon Italy was dispatched with final costs to the UK of £108 via them and no reseller, I’m not even sure if Amazon Italy/Spain are just partners to Amazon. I had really bad trouble with Amazon Spain sending me a messed up Aretha Franklin LP Boxset, telling me I had to pay for return costs and then make a claim, not the usual Amazon practice.

Martijn

Thank you for the note. I had already noticed as well that my pre-order price was not reduced. I plan to contact them tomorrow about it (have a bit more time then than I have today). I believe I have a screenshot as well of the lower price but this is a bit frustrating.

Friso Pas

Hey Paul, the 2016 reissue on vinyl wasn’t an exact replica of the original, because that reissue was cut by Kevin Gray, a well known mastering engineer, who also cut lacquers for previous great sounding Prince records, the Purple Rain 2009 pressing being a good example.
Although I’m not sure what source he used for the cutting of the 2016 pressing.

Wayne C

I received my 13Lp boxed set from an independent and it came in a outer cardboard box with the Peace sign on the box. Inside of this was the box in cellophane supported by two side cheek polystyrene inserts. This Amazon issue seems very bizarre to me!. What are they doing with this outer cardboard box?, if people are receiving theirs with dinks and wrapped in the cellophane and then presumably placed in another cardboard box of lesser quality to the official Peace Box?. Mine did only come in this outer box with my address label on it but that’s acceptable it did have a couple of dinks to the outer box but that’s to be expected I guess.

Ken Barkway

I got mine from Amazon and it had the peace sign cardboard box and stickered shrink wrap.

Richard

So no disputing it’s a gorgeous package but i can’t help feeling a little disappointed that all those keys tracks from the 1998 compilation Crystal Ball weren’t included, tracks like Dream Factory, Last Heart, the long Witness etc really should have been on here, one extra disc would have done it.
Yes i know they are already “out there” but on a cd that is v much out of print and going for silly money, plus the mastering is terrible, a fresh remaster to match the rest of this box was sorely needed.
So one point taken off for a missed opportunity to really make this wonderful set complete.
p.s the Wendy sung version of Eggplant is much better than the one on here and really should have been on too given several other songs got multiple versions,

Tom m hans

I received my 122.00 USD order from bullmoose.com yesterday. It had an address label attached to the original outer cardboard box that has a huge Peace symbol on the back. (A keeper). All 8 CDs are there, no scratches or scuffs, no dents, pristine condition. They are now officially me heroes and my go to option for SDEs here in the US. Excellent. http://Www.bullmoose.com, small chain of stores out of Maine, USA. Peace.
Bezos.com no longer seen to care.
Btw, I did receive my Fleetwood Mac CD box from amazon.co.uk in good condition.
The box had water damage inside the shrink wrap which was bone dry… weird. CS gave me som 7 quid credit that I applied to Steel Wheels live cd dvd and bluray box. #mixedemotions

noyoucmon

I’ve been using Bull Moose more and more, going with Amazon only for expensive boxes due to their easy return policy. But I may shift to Bull Moose all the way. Glad they’ve been good to you. I’ve visited the Portsmouth, NH, and Portland, ME, locations, though it’s been 16 years. Good little stores.

Derek

My 8 cd/DVD box arrived Friday from Amazon, no issues with packaging, had the SOTT outer cardboard box and was securely packed in a bigger box. Only had a quick look through it, will look in more detail over the next few days

Adolfo Franco

paul

so i sit down to enjoy another fabulous unboxing video from you, knowing you’re going to be very thorough and show us everything down to the glue used in the manufacturing of the book, when lo and behold……you accidentally covered up the digital download code when you were showing the download card!

NOW how are we supposed to know what the code should look like?

i mean, honestly!

i will expect better of you in the future!!!

;-p

PS yes, kids, i’m kidding!!!

Bob

Wow Paul …. you sure do like that varnish lol .

John B

My vinyl box arrived from Amazon in a similar condition to previously reported.
So surprised it didn’t have its own cardboard box. Very poor indeed

Keith S

Inside my Amazon box was another protective box with peace symbol obviously made specifically for the box set. The label on the box reads King Nelson!
Also when I put discs three onwards the auto track list on Windows Media Player is populated in Japanese! All the tracks are also sung in Japanese by Prince, what a perfectionist ;)

Keith S

Sorry Label reads ‘Slipcase Lord Nelson’

Alan

Looks like my Prince box from Italy is spending the night at Castel San Giovanni, PIACENZA IT

Massimiliano - Bologna (Italy)

My 13-LP box set arrived today from Amazon Italy. I live in Italy, I originally ordered it from Amazon France because of the lower price, then switched to Amazon Italy thanks to Paul’s deal alert a few days back. Big Amazon outer box in very good condition, brown paper inside probably useless, the inner brown cardboard box in perfect condition (with Sign O The Times symbol on it). As usual, the box containing the vinyls is secured inside the inner cardboard box with two plastic / polistyrene style pieces. Everything seems to be in order. Really stunning to see.
The box, the sleeves themselves, the books: black is the dominant colour, so I agree with previous readers who advised handling with gloves in order to avoid fingerprints (if you are a maniac like me). No doubt, the best purchase this year. I hope Lovesexy gets a similar treatment next. I am a casual Prince fan but this is a no brainer.
I should receive the 8-CD box on Monday… I hope it will be flawless as well.
A big thank you to Paul for this excellent, entertaining, intelligent site.

Thierry O

Thanks a lot for this unboxing video !
I have canceled my order from Amazon Italy at the last minute & I don’t regret it…
Too big & too expensive : I also regret it’s not the same format (& price) than the 1999 box which was perfect for me (as I don’t really need all this very similar big Prince pictures) : music first !
The Vaults cds is alternating hot and cold with a lot of genius tracks but also boring ones.
I suppose they are in chronological order but it would be more digest if they were grouped in a more thematic way…
Of course it’s just a personal opinion & we all know Prince fans are never satisfied !!!