October 10, 2010

Soundgarden: Telephantasm

The moment I saw the youtube video of the 3LP Telephantasm being pressed & packaged, I knew I'd soon be forking over about 40 bucks.  THEN I saw this unboxing video of the even nicer COLORED 3LP / CD / DVD set, and the hunt for a set cheaper than the suggested $125 retail began!  ImportCDs.com has it for $85 shipped, but with three heavy-weight, spine-splitting LPs, a set this big isn't likely to be in the best shape once the USPS has bounced it across the country.  I was ecstatic to find it in person at Everybody's Record Store in Cincinnati for $89! 

Rather than photo each piece, I'll post an excellent youtube unboxing video by recordgeek1968, and post photos of what you don't see, or catch little of, in the video.

The set is limited to 5000 pressings, the 180 gram colored vinyl is ONLY in this 'super deluxe' set.  The separate 3LP set is standard black vinyl in what looks like a tri-fold jacket (some of the same artwork but not 3 separate jackets like the box set).  Very heavy, very large, now the biggest box set on my shelf. It's two slip boxes, bound together by 2 layers- 1 inside, 1 outside- that make a 'gatefold box'.  I suspect that no matter how delicately handled, in time these binding layers will tear and fray. The sleeves are all very stiff cardboard with graphic sheets printed and glued on, like older records. All the artwork/covers are printed on NON-GLOSSY covers, so there's little worry of finger prints mucking it up- very nice!

The vinyl is semi-transparent, with a beautiful glow when held up to the light, making them look very different from when laying flat on a surface.

Not shown in the video is an additional 45 single of the previously unreleased and excellent Black Rain, also on colored vinyl. It's in a matching non-glossy thick cover with paper inner sleeve.  ALSO not shown in this video- because it's not part of the set, is an additional unreleased track- The Telephantasm.  It's a 3 minute instrumental mix by Steve Fisk of an outtake that would have been the PERFECT b-side for the Black Rain single. INSTEAD, they gave the TITLE TRACK exclusively to iTunes, only available as part of the entire $14.99 album download, and nevermind the SUPER DELUXE BOX RETAILING FOR 125 FUCKING BUCKS!  MAN I hate iTunes / music industry GIMMICKS!  Even better than a 45 b-side, this cut would be awesome as a 12" picture disc as designed by the guy that made this video!

A note about numbered editions: People get wrapped up in getting a 'low numbered edition', but typically with numbered editions of any kind, because your foil sticker says #25, doesn't mean you have the 25th copy off the press or even the 25th copy assembled.  It means your sticker was the 25th printed (after a ton of #0000's or simply unnumbered stickers used as promos).  Numbered editions are very misleading and shouldn't be considered in a purchasing decision unless a solid confirmation can be made by the manufacturer that the product was pressed/assembled/sealed/numbered in sequential order.
Below is the real back, with numbered sticker.

This is only a false backing sheet with track list and contents.  

The 20 page book is HUGE! This is the kinda thing that has brought me back to vinyl!  A 5" CD booklet just cannot compare to this thing!

Review @ pitchfork.com


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