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21 May, 2005

Arriving Somewhere... HERE!

Following delays for which the band apologised (a distributor let them down), my copy of the special edition of Porcupine Tree's 'Deadwing' arrived this morning, so, a mere seven weeks after the CD was released in the UK, and three weeks after the European tour ended, I'm currently hearing the album for the very first time.

To restate a couple of points which seem to have evaded other purchasers and led to unfair, downright vicious criticism of the band: the Special Edition comprises:

  • the US version of the CD (i.e. with the re-recorded 'Shesmovedon' as a bonus)
  • the DTS 5.1 surround sound mix of the same tracks on a DVD. This has been described as 'DVD-V' to distinguish it from the DVD-A edition of the album, which is an entirely different release, from a different company. The Special Edition DVD contains no bonus material, and no videos.
presented in a 72-page hardback book. Note that 90% of the book's content is artwork, in the style of the Deadwing promo website*. Most (not all) song lyrics are provided (unlike in the standard, retail edition of the CD), and album credits, but that's it – some fans wishfully elevated fantasies to 'fact' in expecting an extensive band biography (sensu 'Stars Die') or the complete film script, but there was never an official suggestion that they'd be present, and they're not.

So long as you're clear that the Special Edition is the standard CD in enhanced packaging with an opportunity to hear the same material in surround sound, for a lower price than a feature film DVD (I paid £18.80 + £2.06 P&P; the standard retail CD costs £9.99), but not an all-in 'Ultimate Edition' (I've previously explained why), I'd say this is the one to go for, unless you've already bought the standard retail CD and plan to buy the DVD-A (which contains several bonus tracks and videos). That'd be needless duplication, and explains why it's taken so long for me to hear the latest album from probably my favourite band – I like them, but didn't want to buy the same thing twice.

*: [Update 22/10/07: the Deadwing.com domain expired on 23/09/07.]

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