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FIRST PICTURES: The Jesus And Mary Chain / The Vinyl Collection

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A week before Christmas Demon Music Group released The Vinyl Collection, their Jesus And Mary Chain vinyl box.

In total, this hefty set contains nine individual albums consisting of the six studio long players and three compilations which can only be found on vinyl within this box (one is totally exclusive). Three double LPs means 12 heavyweight vinyl records in total.

The design of the box is curious. Demon have ditched the (elegant) lift-off lid style used for the Suede vinyl box and opted for an overlapping outer box/cover which slides down over the ‘inner’ box which contains the 12LPs. However, it doesn’t slide down all the way and ends up resembling a pair of 3/4 length trousers with the bottom narrower than the top. This also means that when the box is on the floor and you go to pick it up, you are quite likely to inadvertently come away with the lid in your hands rather than the whole box.

Despite this quirkiness, it’s an attractive looking set with the cover boasting bold chunky white typography set on top of a dark black wash of Mary Chain headlines and magazine clippings.

The box contains all six albums; Psychocandy (1985), Darklands (1987), Automatic (1989), Honey’s Dead (1992), Stoned & Dethroned (1994), and Munki (1998). Munki is the only studio record that is a 2LP set.The BBC Sessions is another double with a collection of John Peel and Radio 1 Evening sessions spanning 1984 to 1998. Live In Concert was originally released in 2003 but is new-to-vinyl here (2LP) and boasts a fresh (and improved) cover design.

One of the most exciting components of this box is the bespoke 30th Anniversary B-Sides and Rarities Collection. For once there can be no complaining, since the track listing (configured in order of popularity) was decided by a fan poll, organised specifically for this box set. This is what made it onto the single 180g record:

  1. Upside Down
  2. Just Like Honey (demo ’84)
  3. Kill Surf City
  4. Vegetable Man
  5. Everything’s Alright When You’re Down
  6. Up Too High (demo ’83)
  7. Walk And Crawl
  8. Who Do You Love
  9. Terminal Beach
  10. Something I Can’t Have
  11. Sidewalking
  12. Taste Of Cindy (Acoustic Version)
  13. Happy Place
  14. Head

We would liked to have seen the use of high quality anti-static inner sleeves for all the records within this set. If you are going to the effort of half-speed remastering and putting an emphasis on sound quality then why not protect the records properly?

As well as the actual music, The Vinyl Collection comes with a large softcover booklet and a poster with a selection of postcards. Like the Suede box (which sold out very quickly) only 1500 of these sets have been created.

At the time of writing The Vinyl Collection is available on Amazon UK for £135 (having recently dropped from £150). This is a good option for international fans since the official Jesus And Mary Chain online store doesn’t ship outside of Europe.

Take a look at the photos below to get a feel for how The Vinyl Collection shapes up.



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12LPs (across 9 individual albums) in this box set
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darklands
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BBC sessions presented chronologically on vinyl for the first time
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rarities
Unique ‘B-sides and Rarities’ compilation with track listing chosen by fans
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Live in Concert – a 2003 compilation on 2LP for the first time
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Front cover of booklet (click to enlarge)
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Booklet (click to enlarge)
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Large poster and postcards (click to enlarge)

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6 Comments

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Brenez Alain

I received the box set last week from Amazon UK. I haven’t listened to any of the records yet but I would agree with Paul about the anti-static sleeves. It’s a shame they’re not systematically used, certainly for a high value box set. When I removed the ‘Psychocandy’ lp from its sleeve, it was full of traces (dust?) and small paper residues. Also disappointed there’s no digital download coupon.

Gary

The thing is there’s nothing on the B-sides collection that hasn’t been released already.

Stevie Dal

I look forward to getting the B Sides & Rarities album when it’s inevitably released on it’s own , just like Suede’s Sci Fi Lullabies.

David

The lack of digital downloads was a deal-breaker for me, leading to me returning one of the S.D.E. discount codes back to Paul.
I’ll never understand why Demon failed to include these, especially seeing as they were part of the Suede set.

Gary

It would have been a smart move to have put Barbed Wire Kisses in there too. But maybe that would have been a little too many records?