Catalog # 256/257/258
Release Year 1997
3CD Length 74:05 | 73:17 | 69:58
Date/Venue Studio Outakes 1985 -1997
Source Soundboard Recordings
Quality EX- / EX+
Deane's Comments (rates this release 4/5.0)
Although it is nice to have all these tracks with good sound quality in a beautiful package, a lot of these have been on many other releases. The inclusion of the Madhouse tracks and the cuts from Promo 12" releases really piss me off. Much like Fantasia, also from Moonraker, this could have been a great 2CD set if some of the filler was removed. Anyway, it is nice to have listenable copies of Uh Huh and God Is Alive.
Dale's Comments (rates this release 4/5.0)
One of Moonraker's best outtake releases. Excellent sound quality on the whole, and jammed with great outtake selections. This is a very popular outtake set and should be rather easy to track down. A great choice if you are new to outtakes and want to see what the big deal is. Disc one is truly superb and still gets played in my stereo on a frequent basis.
Mike's Comments (rates this release 4.5/5.0)
A classy compilation of outtakes including several that had not been available before turning up on here. As with the other sets in this series (Fantasia, H2O etc.) one disc is devoted to Prince's side-projects, including the first version of the unreleased Madhouse album 24 from 1989. Many of the tracks here are now to be found on various volumes of The work but there are a few tracks that are still unique to this set.
Fink's Comments (rates this release
An excellent collection of mainly studio outtakes dating from 1985-1997 with the majority of emphasis being on the late 80's / early 90's period. The sound quality throughout is consistently high and only a small handful of the tracks could realistically be described as being EX-.
Disc 1 contains 2 of these in the form of 'What's My Name' (which is identical to the released version - however it was unreleased at the time of this set) and 'The Grand Progression'. The quality of these two whilst being excellent is slightly more gritty than the remainder of the tracks. Disc 1 also contains the stunning 'I Wonder' and Prince's version of 'A Place In Heaven' (complete with the outro to 'Movie Star').
Disc 2 is a strange mix of tracks dating from 1986 through to 1996 with very little in common (aside from the remixes). The opening 'Come' is the extended version of the 'Beautiful Experience' version of the song. 'Kiss' is the acoustic demo version and seems slightly out of place on here as it pre-dates everything on this particular disc by at least 3 years. The remainder of the disc is made up of various remixes of both 'Face Down' and 'Gangster Glam'. Whilst the quality of these tracks is exceptionally good, the content is extremely repetitive. The only small highlight during these is the lyric "Getting face down in them panties like I should" from the 'Face Down Money Mix'. The remix tracks aside, the quality on Disc 2 consistently excellent again. There are a few small dips during both Martika tracks, however it is very minimal. Unfortunately Disc 3 doesn't begin so well and the opening 3 tracks intended for the New Power Generation maxi-single run far too slowly due to being pitched incorrectly. It is slightly obvious during 'Oobey Doop' but even more so on both 'My Tree' and 'A Positive Place'. It's a real pity this appears to have slipped past Moonraker's quality control and not been picked up on before the set was released as it spoils what is otherwise an enjoyable third disc. The packaging is amongst the best of any outtake set and includes a mammoth 24 page booklet. It is lacking any detailed info on the tracks and is evidently a triumph of style over substance - however there's no doubting it has been beautifully done.
Even with the flaws on a number of tracks on Disc 3 this is still an exceptionally good outtake set and has stood the test of time. Released in 1997 this could still be viewed as a very valid release nearly 10 years later and that is an impressive achievement indeed.