Friday, March 16, 2007

Santa's Boots (BigOWorldwide)

Here it is - our final comp we found online. If I've missed any, I'm sorry - I'm just one Captain trying his best.

(If there are any comps I've missed, feel free to leave a comment / link in the comments and I'll investigate eventually.)

This came to us from the Singapore clearing house known as BigO Worldwide. If you dig deep enough at this site, you will find oodles and oodles of (in their words) "records of indeterminate origin (ROIO)".

In other words, bootlegs.

Last December, this comp was featured as its "ROIO of the Week". It began placing a limited amount of MP3s by various artists online between December 6 - 17.

They also posted original artwork so you can print it up, burn it, and PRESTO! Instant collection.


(inside booklet)

(Back tray cover)

Not bad artwork - however, in both covers they failed to put a song to an artist and vice versa. You'll be doing a lot of flipping between covers to find out information. Not good artwork.

I created this cover so all the info is on one spot:

(Click on image to enlarge)

This 2-CD set was online at BigO Worldwide throughout December - the MP3s were gone in January. For good reason, too.

Bootlegs are always a dicey proposition - Who is it? Is it really the artist in question? When and where was this recorded? Was it recorded from the soundboard or from the audience? How's the sound quality? Will I overpay for a recording I shouldn't be buying in the first place?

Unconsciously, I've probably held off on this one because it is a bootleg. I purposely pushed it back. It has remained on my hard drive, untouched and unlistened, awaiting a moment when I can give it my full attention.

Yesterday afternoon that moment finally came. Getting a look at that lineup of artists and the rare Christmas song performances did give me a momentary thrill. For one hour, I flipped between the artwork, and actually listened to this comp for the first time, coming up with a quick and definite conclusion.

Most of these songs aren't worth the hard drive space it now occupies. Several of the tracks cut off in mid performance and the sound quality is good to poor on all the tracks (lots of bad tape transfers). Horrible sounding stuff.

Add to the fact that a great majority of these are live in concert and I have a batch of amazing, rare Christmas songs that I will can never use. Or will ever use. Or will ever listen to again.

This entire folder (artwork and MP3s) was deleted yesterday at 2:38 PM EDT. No copies were burned, not a single MP3 was pulled and saved elsewhere on my computer, and the only backup copy was destroyed as well. Nothing remains. Don't even ask about it.

Would have I saved this if these MP3s were in pristine condition? Probably not. Creating a mix CD with live material never works and always sounds out of place. I try not to use live versions of songs on my annual Christmas comps.

If I kept this comp, it would have taken up space (more like expensive real estate) on my shelves, never to be used. I have far too many of those CDs in my collection now and don't want any more.

I would have never have even put this on the schedule had I known what I know now. A disappointment from beginning to end. Caveat emptor...



Anonymous said...

Back in 2003 when I first came up with the idea for this compilation it was meant for a group of fellow music traders. We culled our collections and put out requests to other groups for any unreleased Christmas music they might have. It was originally distributed by snail mail in a trading tree (this was before the days of bit torrent)
I'm not sure how this compilation wound up in Singapore with a 128 mp3 bit rate, but I can assure you when it was made it was sent out as lossless shn files with no cuts.
Most all bootlegs are live music so obviously that is why this compilation is live songs.Sound quality varied from track to track, but all in all most sounded quite nice.
Tom Waits version of Silent Night -> Xmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis -> Silent Night is one of my all time favorite Christmas songs.

Dave said...

You are right about the titles though. I was working with a limited amount of space and it was hard to fit it all in.