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The Smashing Pumpkins and The English Beat

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The Smashing Pumpkins
Pisces Iscariot

Virgin

Pisces Iscariot was the third Smashing Pumpkins release but it was not conceived as an album; Billy Corgan calls the effort a "mix tape" and "a collection of odds and orphans from the dusky realms of Pumpkinland." That mix tape just happened to go platinum based mostly on the success of the band's remake of Fleetwood Mac's "Landslide."

How it's packaged: In a CD-size box with a lift-off lid.

What's inside: Three discs: The original CD remastered, a second CD with more odds and ends like Gish session outtakes "Jesus Loves His Babies" and "Crawl" and 15 other rarities or previously unreleased cuts including covers of "Cinnamon Girl" and the Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs," and a DVD featuring a 1988 low-fi show for Chicago public access television that was recorded 2 ½ years before the band released their first album. Also included is a cassette featuring the band's original 1989 demo material with "Jennifer Ever," "East," "Sun" and three other cuts, a set of seven postcards and a booklet with updated liner notes.

The English Beat
The Complete Beat

Shout! Factory

Never as big in the States as they were in England, the English Beat nevertheless racked up lots of airplay on American college and alternative radio, especially with "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Save it for Later," "I Confess" and their remake of "Tears of a Clown." All of those and just about everything else you could want is contained in this career retrospective.

How it's packaged: Four individual jewel case boxes in a CD-size slipcase.

What's inside: All three of the band's studio albums, I Just Can't Stop It, Wha'ppen and Special Beat Service packaged as individual CDs, each with at least two bonus tracks plus a 2-CD set where one disc features extended and/or dub mixes of favorites like "Hands Off…She's Mine" and "Which Side of the Bed" while the other comprises three John Peel Sessions and a live performance from Boston with spirited takes on "Ranking Full Stop," "Psychedelic Rockers," "Monkey Murders" and 16 others. The included 24-page booklet contains a new essay by music scholar Alex Ogg.


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