Catching up with the Kiosk Collection
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2016-01-21)
In September a special collection of U2 albums and videos was announced through the Spanish newspaper El Pais. To celebrate U2 returning to Spain, they would be issuing eighteen releases in new gatefold card sleeve packaging. Each release would retail for 9.99 Euro and would be available at El Pais kiosks. The first week of the promotion included the release of a box to hold the entire set in. Now that we are nearing the end of the collection, we wanted to take a look back at the last few months and discuss this collection that made many collectors happy.
The full set included the full length albums from Boy all the way through Songs of Innocence. It also included four DVD releases, “Live from Red Rocks”, “Zoo TV Live from Sydney”, “U2 Go Home: Live from Slane Castle” and “U2360 at the Rose Bowl”. The first release on October 4, 2015 was The Joshua Tree and came complete with a box to store the entire collection in. The first DVD was made available on January 10, 2016. As of this writing there are only two DVDs left to be released before the collection is complete. “Zoo TV” is due on Sunday, and “Live from Red Rocks” will follow on January 31.
The first three weeks came with newspaper sized inserts, with the CD attached to the front. Starting with the fourth week however, the releases were simply stretch wrapped with a UPC sticker attached to the back of the release, on the outside of the stretch wrap. Each release is in a gatefold cardboard sleeve, which opens to a large piece of artwork in the centre. There is room for a CD on one side of the packaging, and a booklet on the other side of the package. Each CD has been marked as being part of the promotion on the back of the sleeve where it mentions “Distributed by Ediciones El Pais S.L. under license of Universal Music Spain S. L. Ejemplar distribuido con publicacion impresa. Prohibida su venta por separado.” The last part translate roughly to “Copy distributed with print publication, not for sale separately”.
In most cases, the CDs have all been given their own catalog number, a seven digit number starting with 536. Some CDs do still retain their earlier catalog numbers from previous releases. Rattle and Hum contains the CID 027 number, Pop contains the CIDU210 number, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb contains the CIDU214 number, and Zooropa contains the CIDU29 numbers. It is unknown why these four retain references to past releases. Rattle and Hum on CD has a unique art addition, the cover from the album can now be seen on the front of the CD itself, something that never appeared on the original release of this album.
Where a remastered / re-released edition exists, it is that version that was used. The Joshua Tree is the 2007 version. Boy, October, War and Under a Blood Red Sky are the versions from 2008. The Unforgettable Fire is the version from 2009. And Achtung Baby is the version from 2011. In most cases these are the basic albums, without any bonus tracks included in various regions such as Japan. The exception is How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb which does come complete with “Fast Cars” and All That You Can’t Leave Behind which contains “The Ground Beneath Her Feet”.
A few errors did creep into the set during the release. The first may not have been an error but a choice when designing the artwork for the release of War. Instead of the bright red lettering and accents that fans have become used to over the years, the CD in the Kiosk Collection featured a muted brown / gold colour instead. It is used on both the back and the front of the sleeve, and gives the album a very different look than we are used to. The booklet inside containing information on the release however has the usual dark red colour in place.
Another interesting error comes on the release of All That You Can’t Leave Behind. The CD is a faithful reproduction of the 2001 release, until you look carefully at the track listing on the back of the sleeve. There it reveals “Stuck in a Moment Which You Can’t Get Out Of” – which adds “Which” to the title. The original song was known simply as “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of”. The track listing also omits “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” which is included on the CD but not included on the track listing.
The final mistake was likely the biggest in the set. Boy was due for release on November 15, 2015. The week of the release however, many retailers received Zooropa instead. It is known that some copies of Boy did ship in the seventh week, but retailers who received these were asked to return all copies of the release just two days before they were due to be put on sale. Universal notified that there were technical difficulties with the disc but did not provide any further detail. However, some copies of Boy produced that week did make it on eBay. Those copies show what the technical difficulty was — instead of Boy the album contained on the CD was Pocta Jarovi Filipovi: Jarove Pesnicky a Slovakian compilation CD that was a tribute to Jarove Persnicky.
Boy was repressed for a January 3, 2016 release at the end of the audio discs. The release was identical externally, the gatefold sleeve cannot be distinguished from the original. The only distinguishing mark externally is a different UPC on the back of the CD, it is different than the initial disc with the problem (8 425536 002052 00007 on the new instead of 8 425536 001994 00007 on the mispress). The new pressing also shows a different matrix from the original mispressing. All of the discs in the Kiosk Collection, including the mispressed Boy have been produced by EDC in Germany. This is identified in the matrix on the underside of the CD, however, the replacement CD for Boy was produced in Spain at MPO, and it contains the web address www.mpo.es in the matrix.
El Pais advertisement for Collection
Throughout the release of the collection El Pais supported the release with a number of promotional initiatives including the television advertisement embedded above courtesy of u2spain.es. El Pais have also launched a website to support the collection which can still be viewed at http://elpais.com/especiales/2015/u2/ – the site, in Spanish, focuses on U2 and featured four downloadable posters for the first four releases in pdf format. There were also a number of posters produced to support the individual releases delivered throughout Spain.
The collection is beautiful – the sleeves have a richness to them for just being a cardboard case, and the box looks beautiful – it is nice and sturdy and holds all of the releases nicely. At 179.10 Euro for the entire collection, many would probably pass as there is no new material here. But releasing these at 9.95 Euro a week over a period of 19 weeks was a smart move, making this seem like a much affordable set. I know I for one am looking forward to having a full collection of these items.
More information is available in our U2 discography entry for The Kiosk Collection.