sun 24/10/2021

Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space; Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World | reviews, news & interviews

Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space; Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World

Reissue CDs Weekly: Spiritualized - Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space; Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World

Wallet-friendly new editions deliver an alternative to £250 original pressings

Super Furry Animals in Ibiza, 2001Frederike Helwig

Looking for answers to what qualifies an album for a makeover and its attendant return to record shop racks can cause heads to spin. Multiple variables are at play but, still, it merits pondering. Market factors come into consideration, including the prices fetched by original pressings, even if the album isn’t obscure.

Take Spiritualized’s Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space, originally released in June 1997. The band’s third album was then issued in a collector-friendly range of formats and packages. The double-album version currently sells for around £260. The CD edition – with the disc in a blister pack inside a medication-type box – now fetches around £15, yet it was marketed as a limited edition. A version with 12 discs in a multi-blister pack – what’d on the face of it seem the most desirable original version – fetches about £150 if unopened. The vinyl appears to be it. A new edition has appeared as part of a Spiritualized reissue campaign. On black or blue vinyl, it has a newly designed sleeve (pictured below right). The promotional material does not mention if the lively market in orginal pressings was considered while preparing the reissue.

Spiritualized Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in SpaceAnniversaries are a standard peg for remarketing an album. Super Furry Animals’ fifth album, their first for major label Epic, came out in July 2001. Rings Around the World is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The orginal double album with the bonus seven-inch usually sells for £250. One has sold for £600. Up to 2013, the price was no more than £40. A 20-year-old CD with the additional DVD of films for each track can be picked up for less than £5. Rings Around the World is out again as a double album, bonus-loaded triple CD and as a single CD too.

Little needs saying about Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space and Rings Around the World. They were and remain wonderful albums, each capturing a band firing on all creative cylinders. The Spiritualized is still breathtakingly moody. The Super Furry Animals’ album is a pop-infused wonder, immediate yet imbued with depth and a reflectiveness.

Super Furry Animals Rings Around The WorldEach album was issued when CDs ruled. But these are not obscure and £250 or £260 is a lot of money for the original vinyl. Offering some context, a first-press of the debut Big Star album can sell for the same price. It has had a lot more collector-market traction than the Spiritualized and Super Furry Animals’ albums. A UK Odessey and Oracle by The Zombies is around £400. Going back further, around £1500 would be needed to secure a copy of the Johnny Burnette and the Rock 'n Roll Trio album. Getting closer to Spiritualized and Super Furry Animals. a vinyl double of Definitely Maybe, the 1994 first Oasis album, can be taken home for around £200. Buyers obviously want this indie-era stuff on record.

Does this mean that Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space and Rings Around the World have achieved myth-like pantheon status akin to the Big Star and Zombies albums? Will prices for the two orginal albums increase? Answers? Postcards please.

Whatever the ripostes to these head-scratchers and the related question of whether the reissues will bring the two albums to new ears, the reissues are out. As it says something new, the three-disc version of Rings Around the World is the most interesting of the three formats. It includes related B-sides, plus previously unheard album session outtakes and 16 demos. There are fine liner notes and a disc of new remixes of all the album tracks. For no given reason, the DVD which accompanied the original CD does not reappear. The Ladies and Gentleman We Are Floating in Space is vinyl only, has the new sleeve (using an image taken in 1997: photos of the original blister pack being manufactured are also included) and no liner notes. The remastering has made the album sound huger than ever. Both albums are winners and – in whatever edition or format suits the wallet – each won’t fail to please.

@MrKieronTyler

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