Update 5: Guess what, u2.com has REMOVED the word remastered. Yes, it must be true after all. Does anyone, anywhere with the band care to explain why the story keeps changing. This is beyond stupid and unprofessional. You can see for yourself by clicking the package details link a few lines down.
Update 4: New price list from u2.com update on Oct 5, 2011
Super Deluxe: $167.95US
Vinyl Box: $119.95
Deluxe 2CD: $ 29.95
Standard 1CD: $ 13.95
Details on all packages here.
Update 3: Someone on interference.com asked Universal Music via their ‘ask questions’ page about the remastering. Here is their response:
Universal Music Issue Resolved: (UMDS-47380) Product enquiry
Thanks for your message.
We can confirm that both albums are the original not re-mastered versions.
Universal Music Direct Support Team
I can honestly say I have never been so confused about a release. Amazon is showing remaster. But nothing in the original information indicated it was remastered (nor Zooropa). And lots of people are saying it was recorded in digital but I don’t think that’s true. I will try and confirm. (Updated – I can confirm that AB was indeed recorded in analogue, not digital – which begs the question – why – if they didn’t remaster).
Update 2: It looks like the music has indeed been remastered after all! Good news and makes me feel somewhat better. It appears Amazon has changed their pricing as well. So at least the lowest options have something new to them! Thanks Joe for the information (see link in the comments section below).
So I just got another e-mail from U2.com which linked me to the Universal Music store. I have updated the prices below. I will keep the original prices I got from Amazon there for reference.
I still wonder about why they didn’t bother to remaster the music. Just seems odd. Ran out of time? Decided they wanted out for the 20th anniversary and with the tour, just couldn’t? Who knows. Major disappointment anyway.
Okay, it wasn’t without some measure of excitement that I opened my e-mail from u2.com tonight and saw the pre-sale information on the deluxe reissue of Achtung Baby. Achtung Baby and Zooropa really defined U2 for me even though I had been a fan much, much longer.
I knew I would never be able to afford the box sets but I was hoping for some decent goodies in the bottom pricing. I was hoping the new documentary would be included in all the pricing levels. I was hoping maybe Zooropa might be available as well.
So here’s the various packages. I went to the preorder pages on Amazon.com to get the prices:
Five physical editions of the anniversary edition of Achtung Baby will be available alongside digital only editions.
1. A limited, numbered Uber Deluxe Edition is a magnetic puzzle tiled box which will contain: 6 CDs including the original Achtung Baby album, the follow-up album, Zooropa, B-sides, remixes and re-workings of previously unheard material recorded during the Achtung Baby sessions. 4 DVDs including ‘From The Sky Down’, ‘Zoo TV:Live From Sydney’, all the videos from Achtung Baby plus bonus material. There will also be the Achtung Baby double vinyl album plus 5 clear 7″ vinyl singles in their original sleeves, 16 art prints taken from the original album sleeve, an 84-page hardback book, a copy of Propaganda magazine, 4 badges, a sticker sheet, and a pair of Bono’s trademark ‘The Fly’ sunglasses.
Pre-order Amazon: [UK | US] 385 pounds (US price not listed)
Updated Universal Music Store: 275 pounds ($450 USD)
Updated Amazon Canada price $308 CAD
2. The Super Deluxe Edition will contain the 6CDs and 4 DVDs, in addition to a 92 page hardback book and 16 art prints in a wallet.
Pre-order Amazon: [UK | US] 105.99 pounds (US price not listed)
Updated Universal Music Store: 75 pounds ($123 USD)
Updated Amazon Canada price $115.99
3. The Vinyl Box Set is a limited release containing 4 LPs, two of which are pressed on translucent blue vinyl containing remixes and B-sides. The box includes a 16 page booklet. No prices listed
Pre-order Amazon: not available
Updated Universal Music Store: 55 pounds ($90 USD)
Updated Amazon Canada price $159.99
4. The Deluxe Edition is a 2xCD set containing the reissue of the original album plus B-sides and rarities.
Pre-order Amazon: [UK | US] $35.49 US
Updated Universal Music Store: 12.99 pounds ($21 USD)
5. The Standard CD is the original album.
Pre-order Amazon: [UK | US] $32.99 US
Updated Universal Music Store: 9.99 pounds ($16 USD)
So the pricing looks a lot more reasonable here now. I really think it is unfortunate, given the remasters of all the previous re-releases, that they didn’t bother with this one. Despite the ongoing question of whether The Joshua Tree or Achtung Baby is the greatest of their career, to not remaster it for the anniversary after doing all the others is really disappointing.
I found myself ever more incredulous as I looked at this. Easily the richest band in the world. My favourite band of all time. And they are charging me $33 for a single cd???? Why? And Zooropa is ONLY available in the Uber sets?? After coming off the most successful tour ever, they need some pocket cash? Is there tab at the pub coming due? Are they buying Africa so they can feed them all? Sorry, I’m beng pissy but I can’t help it.
Bottom line? I won’t buy any of it. I can live with my original cd.
I also posted the following on the u2.com community page:
“I have been a fan forever. I was looking forward to this. But the pricing? Okay I can see some of this for the uber sets. Sorry boys, $36 US for the album plus b-sides, $33 for just the cd? Not in my price range – no documentary included in the lower items? This is really disgusting me price-wise and value-wise. I guess I’ll have to pass on my favourite U2 album.
Unless proceeds from this will end famine in Somalia, I think the band may have forgotten their fans come from ALL walks of life. And with the economies everywhere in a tailspin, how about something fantastic at a fantasticly LOW price? This after a $736 million dollar gross tour? Is it me? Or is this way over the line?”
Was that too much? I hope more people will cry fowl. Of course if you are happy forking it over as we face a possible second recession, European country foreclosures and massive famines, feel free. I’d rather take the $20 I thought I would pay for the cd and give it to the Red Cross.
Let me know if you agree or if you think I’m way out of line. I can’t help it. I really believe this is too much.