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Lagwagon - Putting Music In Its Place [Box Set] (Cover Artwork)

Lagwagon

Lagwagon: Putting Music In Its Place [Box Set]Putting Music In Its Place [Box Set] (2011)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
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Contributed by: swankswank
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FULL DISCLOSURE:: In buying the Putting Music in Its Place box set, it was in many cases my third time buying each album across different formats. Which is to say, I'm a pretty big Lagwagon fan (or, I'm pretty bad with money. Perhaps both). But, that's really who this collection is for--big Lagwagon.
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FULL DISCLOSURE:: In buying the Putting Music in Its Place box set, it was in many cases my third time buying each album across different formats. Which is to say, I'm a pretty big Lagwagon fan (or, I'm pretty bad with money. Perhaps both). But, that's really who this collection is for--big Lagwagon fans. I can't conceive of a scenario where a novice or even casual listener would want to dive so deeply into a band's catalogue as to buy such a set, save for maybe one of those generational music bequeathings as seen in the film Almost Famous (or as suggested on the band's last proper release I Think My Older Brother Used to Listen to...). Either way, Lagwagon's first five albums, all remixed and remastered with about a dozen or so bonus tracks each, have never been more conveniently packaged than in this handsome box set.

If you were into punk in the '90s, chances are you've heard these records. From Lagwagon's speedy skate punk beginnings with Duh and Trashed, to what many people consider their best work in Hoss, to their more somber, moody turn with Double Plaidinum and the late '90s classic Let's Talk About Feelings, their style only got refined and nuanced as time went on, while never losing its intensity.

The bonus material includes demos and alternate takes, but is largely padded out with previously released songs heard on the Let's Talk About Leftovers collection. But, it is completely in line with the re-issue aspect of this collection and actually benefits from being divided into the context of their respective albums and time frames. That's not to say there aren't a handful gems here, such as the acoustic EP that accompanies Feelings, or the band's first demo as "Section 8."

I'm generally not a fan of bands giving their music the George Lucas treatment: re-recording, remixing, remastering--any meddling with songs I already love. "Remixed and Remastered" usually means either "made slightly louder" or revisionist history "tweaks" that are more for the performers' benefit and rarely improve the song. Which is why I'm happy to report that while many of the songs are noticeably polished, very few are jarringly so. It's done tastefully and doesn't compromise the originals.

I opted for the colored vinyl version of the set, which really got the deluxe treatment. Every album has a gatefold sleeve, with one record containing the album and another containing the bonus tracks, and each record colored to match the color scheme of the albums artwork. Also included is a repressing of the band's first seven-inch for Fat and a DVD of live footage. Perhaps the highlight is 1997's Double Plaidinum, which is pressed on an amazing picture disc that re-creates the record from the commemorative plaque on the original back cover. It's this sort of attention to detail that makes this package worthwhile to fans and collectors.

If you're in the market for a Lagwagon box set, chances are you've already heard or own the majority of what's here. But, if you're the type of person who will replace a VHS with a Blu-ray of the same movie, something like this isn't much different. That said, classic or not, with a CD, 10-inch, mp3s and now gatefold LP in my collection, I don't need any more copies of Let's Talk About Feelings, ever.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
paulrulzdood (January 12, 2012)

@Bababooey; while I agree re-releases are, in general, a grab at cash for bands & labels, from what I hear, there's more to this than just some remastered albums with bonus tracks. Apparantly the packaging is really nice, detailed liner notes, etc.

And the cost is basically $8/album with a free live DVD, so the pricing seems fair. And with 36 non-album tracks being included as bonus tracks accross their first 5 albums, it seems like they're giving you a lot for your money. Two albums worth of bonus tracks, live DVD, nice pacakging, extensive liner notes, 5 remasterd albums...for $40.

And while I agree remastering 90s albums might not be such a huge sonic improvement, clearly their first 3 albums would benefit tremendously. I know it was the early 90s and recording technology was pretty solid, but these guys were recording on a tiny budget and not taking advantage of the latest early 90s technology. They weren't Bad REligion or the Offspring...they had like $1,000 and 3 days to record "Duh". They were, i believe, the first band on FAT and weren't exactly given the hook up by Mike. So those first few albums don't really sound all that great, even if they were a product of the 90s.

Bababooey (January 11, 2012)

Fuck this remastering bullshit. Wanna release a nicely packaged collection? Fine. But either remix that stuff or just leave it alone. Those Bad Religion and The Offspring remastered albums were the biggest con jobs ever and the same goes for this thing.

"The technology wasn't as good back then". We aren't talking about 1976 here.. Double Plaidinum is from 1997! "Let's put some extra compression there.. some hard limiting and... remastering DONE!".

irish_punk_is_gimmickry (January 11, 2012)

cool........................

half_head (January 10, 2012)

i love this!!!!

hayman (January 10, 2012)

Sold! Can't wait to hear what Duh and Trashed sound like remastered.
I'd like to hear some old Good Riddance albums remastered too.

bastardized (January 10, 2012)

remastered, not remixed.

SilentStorms (January 10, 2012)

"One of the very few bands that was an introduction to punk that I can still listen to. So glad they got the reissue treatment."

I couldn't agree more. Well, I could try. Ahhh, fuck that.

Lysdexia (January 10, 2012)

/ Because NUFAN suck.

EchosMyron (January 10, 2012)

Why listen to this when you can listen to No Use for a Name?

MN_DrNick (January 10, 2012)

One of the very few bands that was an introduction to punk that I can still listen to. So glad they got the reissue treatment.

paulrulzdood (January 10, 2012)

I'm really on the fence about buying this one. I personally don't see how "feelings" would benefit at all from remastering, that album already sounded like gold.

On the other hand, I can totally see how Duh/Trashed/Hoss would really benefit from better production values.

But I've already bought all these damn albums...and everything that came after...and the "leftovers" collection CD.

Damn i'll probably just buy the damn thing. I actually don't have a copy of Duh come to think of it...

hashbrowns (January 10, 2012)

i was pretty bummed i couldn't get my hands on the colored LPs but the black ones are just fine. I enjoyed reading the added commentary on each record but I don't understand why they weren't included on "feelings". Also, I wish they could have lumped Status Pools onto one of them, even if it was a b-side for Blaze. It's one of my favorite lagwagon songs.

hubitcherkokov (January 10, 2012)

I got the CD box set release. I love all of the little details they included with it, including new CD-face art (while still referencing the old CD-face art), the liner notes, and the embossed cover for "Double Plaidinum." My only minor gripe is that I wish the DVD was released with its own case instead of a cardboard sleeve. And, what is it, 36 previously unreleased tracks? Totally worth the $42 right there.

TahoeJeff (January 10, 2012)

This collection is so fucking good.

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