Label : “Eye” Records / Purple Underground
Catalogue : #46-47-48-49-50-51
5Disc Length : 88:17 / 90:07 / 88:24 / 89:26 / 90:54
Source : Audience Recordings
Date/Venue : O2 Arena, London 9th September 2007
Sound Quality : EX
Year Of Release : 2008
Fink's Comments (rates this release 4.75/5.0)
A combination CD/DVD release, however it should be noted the DVD and CD's are packaged together and are the same release - not available separately. The DVD is listed HERE. Week #6 of the London residency and we have 1 complete main show, highlights from 2 others, 2 complete aftershows and highlights from the third - not to mention 2 complete video recordings on the accompanying dual layered DVD and some extra's. A veritable feast, and Disc 2 must win some kind of award for containing an astonishing 58 tracks.
Disc 1 and part of Disc 2 contain the 9th September main concert and the recording is one of the best on this set, and certainly the best circulating containing that particular show. I could have done with a little more bass in the recording, but it's my only complaint of the entire recording - which is no bad thing. The audience are inaudible for large stretches of the show besides a few vocal members joining in the synth and piano sets (no big deal, I like atmosphere) and the recording is complete, free of any problems and really rather superb. The shows not too shabby either opening with a run-through of the Super Bowl set before normal Earth Tour service is resumed. The piano medley contains a rare outing for both 'Adore' and 'Strange Relationship' - the latter segueing into a bluesy jam centering around a "Do you want this body / do you want this love" lyric. The sampler set contains the "rarity of the night" award for a brief performance of 'She's Always In My Hair' along with a brief snippet of 'Soft And Wet', and an even more surprising intro of 'Lady Cab Driver' before the show is brought to an end with the usual duo of 'I Feel For You / Controversy'. Short of the spectacular, but a lot of fun and whilst people bemoan the London shows, this is a genuinely good concert - greatest hits show or not. Disc 2 also features highlights of 2 other main shows from the same week. A little over 30 minutes from both the 12th and 13th September concerts, however both these 30 minute segments are sourced from the O2verload releases, which is a pity as the majority have already had these recordings for almost a year prior to this - and complete, and free. Moving on. Disc 2 ends with 8 minutes from the NPG/Raiyn aftershow, however with zero Prince involvement, and lasting only 8 minutes it's barely worthy of inclusion - the entire aftershow can be found on Sabotage's 'The Indigo Chronicles Chapter 2'.
Next up we move onto the Prince aftershows, and begin on Disc 3 and part of Disc 4 with the 10th September (am) show. Prior to this release, the Sabotage version on 'The Indigo Chronicles Chapter 6' was the best, however this is superior and a really solid, impressive recording. It has a nice depth and quality, and it would be unwarranted for me to say anything detrimental about it, so I'll shut my (cutie) pie-hole. A slightly disjointed show, and the first half especially features one too many lengthy NPG instrumental jams which just go on and on and on - a 14 minute 'Mind In 7' anyone? As good as the beginning is, the show really takes off from 'Joy In Repetition' onwards, with a special nod to the 'Record Sales Groove' which features an instrumental 'Peach' with Prince bemoaning the internet/record industry over the top and including some funky guitar licks. "Kathy, you know you want to dance".
The remainder of Disc 4 and the majority of Disc 5 concentrates on the 14th September (am) aftershow, and it's a beauty both in terms of the recording and the show. Previous to this release, the Sabotage 'The Indigo Chronicles Chapter 5' would have been considered the best quality, and whilst this is of a similar excellence, I think this particular recording slightly edges it due to it having less audience noise. The Sabotage version had a little, this has some too, but less. A particularly loud, annoying bitch who has a conversation with her friend during 'Whole Lotta Love' is the main culprit, but zone her out and there's very little else. My pussy drips with excitement at this show (it doesn't really, as I don't have one, but you get the idea), so having it in this quality is a pleasure. The graceful, beautiful opening instrumental 'The Dance', the pounding exotica of 'Around The World In A Day', the guitar distortion of 'Beautiful Strange', and an extraordinarily rare performance of 'Partyup' all make this one of the finest aftershows in recent years. the artwork and 14 page booklet are to the usual high standard and are in keeping with the previous releases in this gigantic '7 Weeks In London' set with highly detailed setlists, 3121.com spy reports and a handful of pictures culled from the official 21 Nights In London book.
As if the booklet wasn't enough, there is also a double-sided
concertina fold-out setlist overview of the entire 21 night residency called
"The Matrix"...which is completely pointless...impossible to understand...but I
love the fact a bootleg label would think of it and go to the trouble of
printing it up. Overall I really enjoy this combination CD/DVD release. I could
have lived without them rehashing previously available fan releases on both the
audio and video sections, but some of the recordings here are so good, that I
can overlook it. The DVD is less impressive, but it is what it is.