Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Legacy’

Bob Dylan and Miles Davis: Sony’s big box sets compared

November 13, 2009

As far as Bob Dylan and Miles Davis, its major assets, are concerned, Sony does a creditable job managing the treasures locked away in its priceless vaults.

However much hardcore fans might moan about the slow drip-feed of the unreleased Dylan legacy, Columbia Legacy is to be commended on its Bootleg Series.

Columbia Legacy also manages its Miles Davis assets pretty astutely, though some Miles aficionados whinge that Sony has released too much inconsequential blathering by the Prince Of Darkness!

But the imminent release of the Complete Miles Davis Columbia Album Collection will leave Bobfans drawing unfavourable comparisons with the Zim equivalent, 2003’s Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series.

The two reissue projects are similar in key respects – all the albums in both collections have remarkable upgraded sound and both boxes reintroduce the original album artwork, in seductive digipak format.

But, in other ways, the new Miles box is more compelling:

* it pulls together all of the label’s Miles albums – Bob Dylan Revisited: The Reissues Series was selective, with only 15 titles, against the Miles box’s whopping 52, many of them double albums!

* many of the Miles albums carry worthwhile bonus tracks – the Dylan reissues eschewed any.

* even if you already own most of the original recordings, the incentives to buy the Miles box are persuasive – a newly released live DVD, a couple of previously unreleased CDs-worth of music, a substantial 250 page book by two leading Miles experts, and striking packaging.

* value: the “street” launch prices of the two boxes are similar, but the Miles box gives you far more bang for your buck.

Bottom line: I already had virtually all releases by both musicians. I passed on the Dylan box; I’ve ordered the Miles box.

Gerry Smith