Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hounds Of Love (Remastered 1997)

In 1997, EMI re-released remastered albums by certain artists to celebrate their first centenary. Hounds of Love was one of those albums. Here's where it gets a little tricky. There's lots of things I like about this special release, and a couple I don't.

I like the packaging on this one. I also like that six bonus tracks were included with this release, but why ‘Be Kind To My Mistakes’ was included as one of those extra tracks is beyond me. The extra tracks were b-sides and remixes that all came out at the time HOL was originally released. However, ‘Not This Time’, ‘The Handsome Cabin Boy’ and the alternate version of ‘Hounds of Love’, just to name a few, were somehow overlooked for this release. Why these tracks weren't included, or at least one used in place of ‘Be Kind To My Mistakes’ is beyond me. ‘Be Kind To My Mistakes’ wasn't even part of the HOL era, so why even use it? But since they did, it would have been a nice opportunity if they had used the Castaway version. But no. We get the same heavily edited down version here that’s found everywhere else.

Supposedly this is a digitally remastered version of HOL, but that’s very debatable in my view. There is absolutely no difference in sound quality to this release and the original CD release. Seriously! It’s a very disappointing aspect to this release. If you want to hear how this album is supposed to sound, or any of Kate’s other albums, I suggest picking up the original UK vinyl releases instead.

As I briefly mentioned before, I do like the packaging on this one. I like how the CD booklet comes with “new” added photos. The photos were originally released during the HOL era, but this is the first time any of them have been included as part of the album.

The CD itself is white with purple coloured writing. It probably doesn't show very well in my new scan, so I've left one of my original photos up underneath it. Personally, I think it might have been a little more interesting had they made it a picture disc. I do really like the sturdy cardboard slipcase the CD comes in, although I don't like the angled sort of built-in cuts they made along the edge just to make it easier to get the CD out... it's not like you're fighting to get the CD out to begin with, so this was really pointless and mars the presentation of the slipcase in my view.

This release also comes with an additional booklet about EMI's first centenary. It contains a back history on EMI, as well as short bios and photos on selected artists, including Kate.

All in all, it's a nice release and a nice effort. However, regardless of whether or not it was truly remastered, there is absolutely no difference in sound quality to this and the original CD release, and that's a slight letdown for me.


  1. Really interesting review. But it is strange to read you don't hear any difference between the first edition and the remastered one. I was really pleased with the clarity of the sound the first time I hear it. I think Running up that hill is a good exemple : the drum parts are far better mixed. They were too pushy on the first edition. I never read what kate thought about it and if she was pleased with it anyway...

  2. I've had this thing since it first came out in '97 and I've been extremely disappointed with it. It just sounds like a straight transfer of the original to me with absolutely no sound difference at all... unlike the original Japanese CD release, where there is a clear difference.


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