Catalog # SAB 310/311
Release Year 2009
2CD Length 80:02 / 77:51
Date/Venue Hit N Run Oakland, 28th April 2001
Source Soundboard Recordings
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
Sourced from the same soundboard/ALD (assisted listening device) source recording as the fan release 'Oakland 28th April 2001' and the 'Oakland So Divine' pressed disc, this is Sabotage's effort to present the Oakland 2001 soundboard recording in the best possible quality, and in truth they do a pretty decent job all things considered.
The recording itself was already something of a beauty excluding some annoying crackling interference in certain tracks, and Sabotage have replaced the majority of the glitches with portions lifted from the excellent quality audience recording (circulating on the 'Oakland 2001' fan release) to minimise any annoyance. The results are varied and whilst it works well in places, and the lack of any crackling is a major positive, the difference between the audience recording (excellent as it is) and this soundboard recording are really rather vast and one can easily notice the corrections made. It's not necessarily a bad thing, and I certainly don't mention it in a negative way - I simply mention it to point to the fact Sabotage have done some work on the recording and this isn't simply a straight-rip of what many of us already have. The bonus material differs from track to track in terms of quality varying from EX+ to VG+. For instance the opening 'DAT Intro / Controversy / Mutiny' are crisp and clear, whilst the following 'Bambi / If I Was Your Girlfriend' sounds compressed, tinny and woeful in comparison. No doubt due to the quality they were made available on the NPG Music Club video files, but damn. Still, it's a small portion of the release, and they are superior to the horrendous quality versions release on the Oak Tree pressed release.
The remainder of bonus material contains audio downloads made available by either NPG Online or NPG Music Club and all are rather exceptionally impressive, clear and sharp - no complaints from me on these. The fact this is the only (almost) complete soundboard recording to exist from the Hit N Run tour made it inevitable it would appear on a pressed release, and rightly so as recordings of this nature deserve to be pressed onto a disc, and I'm glad Sabotage have turned their hand to improving/tweaking the audio in an attempt to make it sound as good as possible - whether they have achieved it with using passages from an EX audience recording is up to the listener, but I like it. The accompanying artwork and packaging is, as one would expect from these guys, rather pleasing to the eye with a 14 page booklet documenting the content of the discs, along with a nice 10 page review of Prince's schedule from 2000 and 2001. Whether this is the best release (pressed or otherwise) documenting the Oakland 2001 soundboard is a matter of taste, however it's unquestionably a very high quality product presented in very high quality packaging with some (but not all!) high quality bonus extra's.