drop out barracudas cvrDrop Out With The Barracudas Deluxe Edition – Barracudas (Lemon Records)

Increasingly, the recording companies attempt to milk the last of the boomer dollars before retirement homes steal the last of our bank accounts.  They’ve already worked out that there's bugger all money in new recordings.  Even dependable old cash cows like KISS and The Who have made public statements to that end.

So record companies have learnt to spew out deluxe editions of the familiar, the obscure and the criminally ignored.  And, if someone is going to put out a multi disc collection of every taped concert on Sunset Strip, well oops.  My finger slipped on the buy button before I read about the goddamn postage.

But what was new is getting old. Pop has been eating itself at such a savage rate that the snake's tail is about to vanish down the old fang hole.

Let's face it.  Who is going to fork out another hundred bucks or two for one more recently found demo of "Belsen is a Gas"? Just how many Stooges bootlegs can you shuffle and pour out with an alternate title?

That doesn't mean these trips down nostalgia street cannot prove eye-opening. The Blondie three disc box, for example, is stunning, creating an alternate history of the band.

Tangentially, but still linked by nostalgia, the recent Alice Cooper Band reformation run-through at the record shop is nothing short of a revelation.

And now onto "Drop Out With the Barracudas": an essential garage punk gem that should be a compulsory addition to the collection of any I-94 Bar visitor.  Well, here's a disc with more reissues and repackaging (complete EMI recordings) than perhaps any in human history.

How does this new deluxe packaging stand?

The amount of Barracudas goodness on display here is overwhelming.  I tried working out what was new and what I already had.  It made my brain hurt so I just soaked into the garage greatness.

I'm not even going to talk about Disc 1.  Original album plus singles and B-sides. If you don't already have these, there is clearly something wrong with you at a genetic level.  You might know something is happening, Mr Jones, but you are still nothing but homosapien scum, pre trans-evolutionary.  Leave this review, now.

Or redeem yourself with this purchase.

We get down to the other discs.  Number two is probably the second best Barracudas album ever but, warning Will Robinson, a whole lot of this stuff is scattered over a range of other compilations and singles.  It is, however, nice to have them all in one place and with this kind of coherent  curation by guitarist Robin Wills.

The final disc is just pure gold, particularly if you love to hear a band in their raw and purest form recorded by strategically placed cassette recorders, the glorious sound of punk rock adolescence.

This is what they sounded like in the basement of London and if you loved that, it is captured again in its low fi glory.  So, if you just picked up a “Dark Side of the Moon” 50-year anniversary cow pat vinyl, disc three is not going to be a selling point.

So here's the low down.  A classic album.  Five Bottles plus.  A lovely package.  Five Bottles. 

I bought it despite my rather large pile of Barracudas discs.  The less rabid may want to cross reference their existing collection.