Editor's note: Here's a review of that Brick-business published in the Winninpeg Sun...one more word out of you and we're turning this blog around and going back to Toronto...
DISCS: Eight DualDiscs, which is like eight CDs and eight DVDs.
TRACKS: 205, counting all the different mixes and videos.
YEARS: 1977 - 1988.
DETAILS: It's what Talking Heads fans have been waiting for -- all eight of the seminal New York new wavers' studio albums, properly remastered for CD. But on the aptly named eight-disc box set Brick, remastering is just the start. Everything has been refurbished, expanded, supplemented, revamped and upgraded with enough goodies to keep fans occupied for hours. No fooling; to get the full Brick experience, you're gonna need a CD player, a DVD player, a home theatre and a couple of days. Every CD comes in DualDisc format. On one side, you get the original album, augmented with a handful of high-quality B-sides, outtakes, working tracks and alternate versions (an acoustic version of Psycho Killer with tons o' cello? Killer indeed). On the other side you get the same album remixed in stunning 5.1 Surround Sound by guitarist Jerry Harrison, who recasts the cuts as widescreen cinematic epics, with stabbing guitars that ping-pong from corner to corner and keyboards that swirl around you. From the edgy early discs like Talking Heads 77 to overlooked later works like True Stories and Naked, Harrison's expansive mixes make you hear the Heads with new ears. (Best of the batch: 1983's African-influenced, percussion-laced, Eno-produced funk freakout Remain in Light, which drops you smack into the middle of a psychedelic drum circle.) Every disc also comes with a couple of video clips, including early live performances, German TV footage and latter-day music vids. Toss in booklets with full lyrics, liner notes, plenty of pictures, blurbs by Harrison on the 5.1 mixes, art-print cards -- then put all the discs in white-backed jewel cases that fit snugly inside a white moulded-plastic box covered in raised song titles -- and you've got a box that's exhaustive, entertaining and extremely arty. The kind of box that comes along ... well, once in a band's lifetime.
QUIBBLES: 1) The CDs have cover art but no song titles on their all-white backs, so you have to pull out the booklets again and again, which is a pain.
2) Exhaustive as Brick is, it's missing a few no-brainers. Like the video for Once in a Lifetime. 3) Not all the CD bonus tracks are remixed for 5.1. What gives, Jer? 4) We got two copies of one art card -- which means there's at least one other buyer out there with the same complaint.
DAMAGE: About $200. But if that's too much, be patient; individual discs are due in a few months.
SUN RATING: 4.5 (out of 5)