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Category: Blu-Ray Audio

Rush – A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary (2017) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Title: Rush – A Farewell To Kings – 40th Anniversary
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Rock
Artist: Geddy Lee (vocals, bass and twelve-string guitar, Mini Moog, bass pedal synthesizers), Alex Lifeson (electric and acoustic six- and twelve-string guitars, classical guitar, bass pedal synthesizers), Neil Peart (drums, orchestra bells, wind chimes, bell tree, vibraslap, triangle, tubular bells, temple blocks), With Terry Brown (spoken intro on “Cygnus X-1”)

Production/Label: Burning Shed
Duration: 01:09:16
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Container: BDMV
Video codec: AVC
Audio codec: LPCM, DTS-HD MA, Dolby True-HD
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 7974 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 6498 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio#3: Dolby TrueHD 5.1 / 96 kHz / 6410 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / 24-bit)
Size: 14.54 GB

A 40th Anniversary super deluxe edition of Rush’s enduring Progressive classic A Farewell To Kings.
Contains three CDs, one Blu-ray Audio disc and four 180g LPs.
The CDs and LPs feature a 2015 Abbey Road remaster of the album, a complete concert recorded in February 1978 at London’s Hammersmith Odeon (mixed by original AFTK producer Terry Brown from multi-track live tapes), four cover versions of songs from the original album (by Dream Theater, Big Wreck, The Trews and Alain Johannes), and an instrumental studio outtake of spacey sound effects called Cygnus X-2 Eh.
The Blu-ray disc contains a 2017 5.1 surround mix of the album by Steven Wilson, along with three 1977 promo videos.
The Super Deluxe package features an elaborate 40th anniversary cover treatment by longtime Rush creative director Hugh Syme, who has created a new artwork for each of the album’s six songs, and an extensive 12,000-word essay by Rock historian Rob Bowman. Also included are several exclusive items: a unique King’s Ring (with custom velvet pouch and neck chain); two lithographs with original artwork by Hugh Syme; a special 12-inch turntable mat (with distinctive artwork by Hugh Syme); a reproduction of the 1978 A Farewell To Kings tour programme.

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Yes – Tales from Topographic Oceans (2016) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: Yes
Title: Tales from Topographic Oceans
Genre: Progressive rock
Label: © Panegyric/Rhino/Atlantic
Release Date: 1973/2016
Recorded: Late summer – early autumn 1973, Morgan Studios, Willesden, London, England
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: ~
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 3000 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 8399 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: English LPCM 5.1 / 96 kHz / 13824 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 / 192 kHz / 5516 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Tales From Topographic Oceans is the fifth in a series of remixed and expanded Yes classics. The album has been remixed in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound from the original studio masters by Steven Wilson, and is fully approved by Yes. Also includes the original mix in high resolution, and bonus material, including a complete alternate version of the album using live tracks and studio run throughs.
The Blu-Ray features:
– 5.1 PCM Surround Sound (24bit/96khz) and in DTS-HD MA 5.1 (24bit/96khz)
– Hi-res (24bit/96khz) 2016 stereo mix
– Original album mix in a hi-res flat transfer from an original stereo master tape source (24bit/192khz). We believe this is the earliest master of the original mix to be issued in the digital era.
– Extended Dance of the Dawn in stereo and 5.1 surround sound + 5 single edits (stereo only), all mixed from the multi-track tapes by Steven Wilson.
– Instrumental mixes
– Full alternate album featuring: sides 1 and 3 from the 2003 Rhino CD, a previously unreleased studio run-through of Side 2 and previously unreleased live version of Side 4.
– full album needle-drops of an original UK vinyl pressing and US banded promo pressing.

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Eagles – Hotel California – 40th Anniversary (2017) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Title: Eagles – Hotel California – 40th Anniversary
Release Date: 2017
Recorded Date: March – October 1976, Criteria Studios, Miami, FL; Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Genre: Rock
Artist: Don Henley – lead and backing vocals, drums, percussion, synthesizer; Glenn Frey – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals; Randy Meisner – bass guitar, backing vocals, lead vocals, guitarrón; Don Felder – guitars, backing vocals; Joe Walsh – guitars, keyboards, backing vocals, lead vocals

Production/Label: Elektra/Asylum Records
Duration: 00:43:33
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Container: BDMV
Video codec: AVC
Audio codec: DTS, PCM
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 8245 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio#1: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 8477 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio#2: LPCM 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
Size: 8.41 GB

The Eagles’ Hotel California was a critical and commercial phenomenon when it was released in December 1976. The album topped the Billboard charts for eight weeks in the U.S., won two GRAMMY® Awards, sold more than 32 million copies around the world, and featured two Billboard #1 hit singles. 40 years later, it still ranks as one of the best-selling albums of all time.
The set also marks the debut of ten live tracks that were recorded during the band’s three-night stand at the Los Angeles Forum in October 1976. The concert recordings — which were recorded about a month before the album came out — feature one of the first ever live performances of “Hotel California” and “New Kid In Town” along with other Eagles classics including  “Already Gone,” “Take It To the Limit,” and “Witchy Woman.”
The Eagles made their triumphant return to the stage this summer at the Classic East/West festivals, earning raves from critics and fans alike. More live dates are planned for this fall, with the band being joined on stage once again by country superstar Vince Gill and Deacon Frey, son of Eagles founder, Glenn Frey.

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Gentle Giant – Octopus (1972/2015) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: Gentle Giant
Title: Octopus
Genre: Rock, Prog Rock, Sympho Rock
Artist: Gary Green (Electric guitars, maracas), Kerry Minnear (Piano, Hammond, Minimoog, electric piano, Mellotron, Clavinet, harpsichord, regal, vibraphone, tambourine, cello, lead vocals and backing vocals), Derek Shulman (Lead vocals, alto saxophone), Phil Shulman (Trumpet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, mellophone, lead vocals and backing vocals), Ray Shulman (Bass, violin, viola, electric violin, acoustic guitar, tambourine, backing vocals), John Weathers (Drums, bongos, varispeed cymbal, xylophone)

Label: © Alucard Publishing/Universal
Release Date: 1972/2015
Recorded: July 24 – August 5, 1972, Advision Studios, London, England
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 14948 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 7753 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

UK prog rockers Gentle Giant‘s fourth album, Octopus has been remixed (in part) by Steven Wilson for an expanded CD+Blu-ray audio reissue. The new edition of the 1972 album sees Wilson remix five of the eight tracks for stereo and 5.1 surround sound (this is due to missing multi-tracks). The remaining three tracks (Advent of Panurge, Raconteur Troubadour and The Boys in the Band) are the original stereo remixes on the CD and on the blu-ray have been processed through Penteo upmix software for 5.1 surround sound. Steven did this for Broken on Tears For Fears‘ Songs From The Big Chair, if you remember. Both discs also include a bonus track of a 16 minute live version of Extracts from Octopus, again newly mixed into stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
As well as the album tracks in 96/24 Stereo LPCM & DTS 5.1 Master Audio, the blu-ray element of this set contains a flat transfer of the original 1972 mix, and instrumental versions of the five stereo remixes, all in high resolution.

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Serge Gainsbourg – Histoire De Melody Nelson (1971/2013) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: Serge Gainsbourg
Title: Histoire De Melody Nelson
Genre: Rock, Pop, French Chanson
Label: © Mercury Records | Universal Music France
Release Date: 1971/2013
Recorded: (rythm section playbacks): 21 to 23 April 1970 at Studio Marble Arch, London 21 to 23 April 1970; (orchestra): 4, 5, 8 & 11 May 1970 at Studio des Dames, Paris; (vocals): 11 to 14 January 1971 at Studio des Dames, Paris; (overdubs): 1st, 2 et 4 February 1971 at Studio des Dames, Paris.
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Length: 01:01:56
Size: 9.19 GB

Video: MPEG-4 AVC 3134 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: DTS-HD MA 2.0 / 96 kHz / 3583 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: LPCM 5.1 / 96 kHz / 13824 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 5750 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 6.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

French icon and national treasure Serge Gainsbourg is no stranger to sexual proclivities, and with his 1971 release Histoire De Melody Nelson he shared an erotic tale as seductive today as the day it was released. With help from actress, amour, and inspiration Jane Birkin, arranger/conductor and co-conspirator Jean-Claude Vannier (L’Enfant Assassins Des Mouches), not to mention a tight hand picked crew of top shelf U.K. session musicians, Histoire De Melody Nelson is often cited as Gainsbourg’s master work, an essential album for the discerning music lover.
You don’t need to speak a word of French to understand Histoire de Melody Nelson — one needs only to look at the front cover (with its nearly pornographic portrait of a half-naked nymphet clutching a rag doll) or hear the lechery virtually dripping from Serge Gainsbourg’s sleazily seductive voice to realize that this is the record your mother always warned you about, a masterpiece of perversion and corruption. A concept record exploring the story of — and Gainsbourg’s lust for — the titular teen heroine, Histoire de Melody Nelson is arguably his most coherent and perfectly realized studio album, with the lush arrangements which characterize the majority of his work often mixed here with funky rhythm lines which underscore the musky allure of the music. Perhaps best described as a dirty old bastard’s attempt to make his own R&B love-man’s record along the lines of a Let’s Get It On (itself still two years away from release), it’s by turns fascinating and repellent, hilarious and grim, but never dull — which, in Gainsbourg’s world, would be the ultimate (and quite possibly the only) sin. –Jason Ankeny

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The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (45th Anniversary Remaster) (1967/2012) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

The Velvet Underground – The Velvet Underground & Nico (45th Anniversary Remaster) (1967/2012) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc] | 8.81 GB

#1: LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
#2: DTS-HD Master Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 6336 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 3.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
#3: Dolby TrueHD Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 5795 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

The incredibly influential 1967 debut from The Velvet Underground & Nico weaves its unique brand of dreamy pop, garage rock, stripped-down R&B and love songs with intrigue and style. It’s one of rocks most significant debuts and one that still sounds ahead of its time to this day. Reading like a greatest hits collection, the 11-song set and its ever famous Andy Warhol-designed banana cover features such VU all-time classics as “Sunday Morning,” “I’m Waiting for the Man,” “Femme Fatale,” “All Tomorrow’s Parties” and “Heroin.”

Universal Music Group has gone back to the original master tapes to deliver fully uncompressed, high-resolution versions of many of your favorite albums on Blu-ray Pure Audio Disc. Mastered at 24bit/96kHz, Blu-Ray Pure Audio Discs deliver the sound the artists originally heard in the studio when these classic albums were recorded. Recordings are transferred from the original master tapes and delivered in high-resolution 24-bit/96kHz audio. No compression is utilized, and the sound quality is vastly superior to MP3 or standard CD. Features three separate choices of audio file format for playback: PCM 2.0, Dolby True HD, or DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1 available where noted). Your preferred audio format is chosen either by pressing the ‘Audio’ button on your Blu-Ray remote or via your onscreen menu display.

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The Velvet Underground – White Light/White Heat (1968/2013) [45th Anniversary Remaster] [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Genre: Experimental Rock, Protopunk, Art Rock, Avant-Gard

Year: 1968/2013
Publisher (label): Universal Music
Catalog Number: —
Country: USA
Audio Codec: 96Khz / 24Bit
Rip type: BDMV
Audio Bitrate: lossless
Duration: 40:22
Source (releaser): HDCLUB

LPCM 2.0 (96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS-HD MA 2.0 (96 kHz / 3728 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Dolby Digital 2.0 (640 kbps)

When Lou Reed died on October 27, 2013, most of his obituaries at least paid lip service to his work with The Velvet Underground, though my hunch is most of those writing these epitaphs had never actually heard the band. The Velvet Underground never achieved much commercial success, and yet they are routinely named among the most influential rock bands of all time. A lot of bands experience what’s known in the recording industry as the “sophomore slump”, but The Velvet Underground seemed positively intent on not going gently into that sophomoric night, and 1968’s White Light/White Heat remains one of the most confrontational discs of its era. As The Velvet Underground’s John Cale himself averred, White Light/White Heat was “consciously anti-beauty”. While that may have been at odds with the late sixties flowering of the so-called Love Generation, it certainly is much more in line with what ultimately became movements like punk and grunge, which may be at least one reason why the band’s renown has only grown since the original releases of its albums.

White Light/White Heat is an intentionally noisy album, one which pushed the limits of recording technology at the time and which can’t escape the fact that the band was obsessed with distortion and things like white noise. The album was recorded in a rush of activity, reportedly being finished in barely two days, and that offers a visceral though chaotic view of a group of guys who had divorced themselves from both Andy Warhol and Nico and were almost frenetically searching for a new direction. The album is certainly outré by any standards, including such odd tracks as “The Gift”, which features John Cale reciting a short story while a cacophonous rock solo plays simultaneously. Avant-garde musicians have often cited The Velvet Underground as perfect examples of a so-called rock band refusing to be a prefab cog in an industry machine. It’s that spirit which not only informs White Light/White Heat but continues to propel a lot of what is best about non-traditional contemporary music.

My reviews of these Universal Music Group High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-ray have become a bit repetitive, but instead of launching into my usual diatribe, may I repeat a quote I’ve used in previous reviews, a quote by that legendary analyst of audio Scooby-Doo: “Rah-roh”. While I haven’t been shy about discussing the debatable decision to use three more or less interchangeable audio codecs on these releases, someone in the QC chain on this particular release had better be updating their resumé, for a really shoddy mistake has been made. As with previous HFPA releases, there is both an LPCM 2.0 (96/24) track streaming at 4.6 Mbps and a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (96/24) track, streaming in the high 3’s, but what should be a Dolby TrueHD 2.0 (96/24) track is instead a standard Dolby Digital 2.0 track, despite being listed as a Dolby TrueHD track. How this could have happened is anyone’s guess, but it’s unfortunate, to say the least. This actually is one of the rare releases where I actually preferred the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track over the LPCM 2.0 track; it provides slightly greater clarity in what is often a very noisy and distorted set of tracks, especially in an exceptionally crowded midrange. Stereo separation is exceptional, but neither of the lossless tracks can overcome the limitations of the source elements nor the rushed and pushed engineering of the original recording.

White Light/White Heat is not an “easy” listen, but it’s often viscerally compelling. This is energetic, undeniably angry music that reaches out and grabs the listener by the throat. Once again an HFPA release squanders the “vast storage space” of a Blu-ray disc by not including any supplements, and this release is further marginally hampered by audio that only further reveals the warts of the original recording.

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Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – CSNY 1974 (2014) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Name: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY
Released: 1974
Genre: Folk Rock, Soft Rock
Artist: David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, Neil Young
Issued: United States | Rhino Entertainment

Technical Specs
Blu-ray
BD-25 Single-Layer Disc
Video Resolution/Codec
1080i/AVC MPEG-4
Aspect Ratio(s)
TBA
Audio Formats
English LPCM 2.0 (192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit)

English Dolby Digital 2.0 (640 kbps)
Subtitles/Captions
None
Supplements
None

David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Graham Nash, and Neil Young announce the release of CSNY 1974, the long awaited boxed set from their historic 1974 tour will be available July 7/8. The forty (40) previously unreleased tracks recorded forty (40) years ago will be packaged in several formats and configurations and released July 7 in international territories, and July 8 in the United States. The box set includes all 40 tracks, a 188-page booklet of never before seen tour photos, and a bonus DVD of previously unreleased concert footage; the box is available as a 3CD/DVD set or Pure Audio Blu-Ray (192kHz/24-bit)/DVD set.
Long-rumored and highly anticipated, CSNY 1974 captures the band’s one-of-a-kind harmonic alchemy during its remarkable outdoor stadium tour, a trek that spanned more than two months, and included 31 concerts, in 24 cities, with combined audiences of over a million people. Produced by Graham Nash and Joel Bernstein, the box set mirrors the electric/acoustic/electric format that the band followed each night on stage, representing an idealized version of a show from the tour.
“This project has been the most difficult, yet rewarding work I’ve ever done in my 50 years of recording,” says Graham Nash. “It rekindled the love I have for my partners and the music we have made together.”
The box set includes some of CSNY’s best-known music; songs like “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes,” “Helpless,” “Wooden Ships,” and “Teach Your Children.” During the 1974 tour, CSNY also introduced new songs that emerged later on various albums, like Crosby’s “Time After Time,” and Nash’s “Fieldworker. Several songs by Young are previously unreleased, including “Traces,” “Love/Art Blues,” “Goodbye Dick,” and “Hawaiian Sunrise.”
CSNY 1974 will be available from CSNY and Rhino in several different configurations listed below, on July 7/8, nearly 40 years to the date after the tour’s first show on July 9, 1974.

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XTC – Skylarking: 30th anniversary (2016) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: XTC
Title: Skylarking
Genre: Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Art Rock, Psychedelic Pop, New Wave, Neo-Psychedelia, Post Punk
Label: © Ape House Ltd.
Release Date: 2016
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: ~
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 2999 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English LPCM 2.0 / 96 kHz / 4608 kbps / 24-bit
Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1 / 96 kHz / 8243 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: English LPCM 5.1 / 96 kHz / 13824 kbps / 24-bit
Size: 30.99 GB

Skylarking is the fourth in a series of remixed and expanded XTC albums. For many music fans, the band’s Todd Rundgren produced 8th album is *the* classic XTC album, and therefore the one for which there has been the most demand for a 5.1 surround mix. The album has been remixed in both new stereo and 5.1 surround sound by Steven Wilson with input from Andy Partridge, and is fully approved by XTC.

Blu-Ray features:
– 5.1 surround album mix in 24bit/96khz in LPCM and DTS HD MA
– The new stereo album mix in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio
– The four additional songs from the album sessions in both stereo and 5.1
– The original (uncorrected polarity) stereo album mix hi-res stereo
– The original (corrected polarity) stereo album mix in hi-res stereo
– Instrumental versions of all new mixes in 24bit/96khz LPCM audio
– A complete alternate album in demo form based on Todd Rundgren’s original sequence
– Numerous additional demo & work tape sessions showing the evolution of the album and associated recordings
– Promo films for “Dear God and “Grass”

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XTC – Oranges & Lemons (2015) [High Fidelity Pure Audio Blu-Ray Disc]

Artist: XTC
Title: Oranges & Lemons
Genre: New Wave, Pop Rock
Label: © Ape House ‎– APEBD109
Release Date: 1989/2015
Quality: Blu-ray Audio
Duration: 06:42:38 + 00:25:16 (Video)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC 2749 kbps / 1080p / 23,976 fps / 16:9 / High Profile 4.1
Audio: English / DTS-HD Master Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 6006 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 2.0 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Audio: English / LPCM Audio / 2.0 / 192 kHz / 9216 kbps / 24-bit
Size: 37,5 GB

Oranges And Lemons is the third in a series of expanded XTC album reissues, including 5.1 Surround mixes, new stereo mixes and High-Resolution stereo mixes by Steven Wilson, along with a wealth of extra audio and visual material.

Steven Wilson produced the mixes with the input of founder band member Andy Partridge and the full approval of the band.

* Blu-ray (Region 0, NTSC) features:

Presented in 24bit/96khz LPCM Audio:

– Album mixed in 5.1 Surround.

– Steven Wilson stereo mix and original album mix in High Resolution stereo.

Blu-Ray exclusive material includes:

* Two separate sets of demo and work tape sessions showing the evolution of the album and associated recordings; one set of pre-recording rehearsals, promos and ID links for radio stations and record companies; a collection of single mixes and XTC’s version of Captain Beefhearts Ella Guru.

* Promo films for The Mayor of Simpleton (3 versions), King for a Day and a Road to Oranges & Lemons, a rarely seen home-made film by the band explaining the album (and themselves!) to Geffen Records USA.

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