Label : “Eye” Records
Catalogue : #67-68
2Disc Length : 74:20 / 74:45
Source : Audience Recording
Date/Venue : Empire Polo Field (Main Stage), Indio 26th April 2008
Sound Quality : EX-
Year Of Release : 2008
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.5/5.0)
It should come as no surprise to anyone that this has been sourced from the freely circulating original release 'Coachella The Coolest Place On Earth'. "Eye" Records have had a stab at audio mastering to justify you spending your hard earned cash on it, thrown on some bonus material (I say bonus, but the quality of some of the bonus recordings is anything but a bonus), dressed it all up in some pretty packaging, and given it a simplistic title. Normally, I'm no fan of labels ripping off free releases, however very occasionally there is an event which really deserves a pressed release - ethics of pressing a fan release aside, I believe the Coachella Festival deserved it. As of August 2008 there are 4 releases circulating of the show all sourced from the same recording. The original release 'Coachella The Coolest Place On Earth', 4DaFunk's 'Purple Storm In The Coachella Valley', Sabotage's 'The New Golden Age', and this one. There's no doubt that this release is superior to the original, however I'd really struggle to find the better version of the remaining three, and I'd say all are of an equally high standard and it's down to personal taste as to which you hunt down.
As to the bonus material included, there are some nice little oddities, but the quality of the recordings leaves a fair amount to be desired on a few, and presumably they have been included purely for the sake of completeness. The Tamar / Prince Atlanta show is circulating in it's complete form, so we'll skip past that one (although it's one of the highlights of the entire release, and shouldn't be overlooked). Prince's guest appearance with Maceo is something of a rarity and a welcome inclusion, and it's not a bad recording by any means. Unfortunately the next two bonus tracks (both the Stevie Wonder appearance and the guesting with the Escovedo family) are woeful and suffer from crowd screaming, shouting and interference - nice rarities to have, but not for their audio quality. The release ends with two soundboard broadcasts in the shape of The Time's live appearance at The Grammy's with Rihanna (yawn), and Prince's Coachella plug on The Tonight Show.
The release includes a 14 page booklet with various reports of the Coachella gig and numerous pics from the show along with The Tonight Show appearance and various others from the period. Overall this is a pretty solid, impressive release if we look past the fact the main show has been swiped from a fan release. Sure, it's not cool. Sure, it's a disgrace that "Eye" couldn't source their own material and can profit from someone else's work without even crediting their source on the artwork, but this it's par for the course - unfortunately. If you don't like it, there's always the 4DaFunk release which lacks the bonus material, but is of equal excellence in terms of the Coachella recording.