Catching Up with the Kiosk Collection (Portugal Edition)
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2017-02-16)
In the last two years Universal has been re-releasing U2’s catalog throughout Europe. They partner up with a news organization in a country, and then each week release one release from the bands discography. The first week includes a box set large enough to hold all releases, and in each case the set has included 14 albums on CD and 4 concerts on DVD. Each release is packaged in a gate fold card sleeve. None of these releases contain any new material, and in each case the release is the most recent version from the band, so “Boy” was the 2008 remaster release of the CD.
The first of these was done in Spain, and the releases started October 4, 2015 and released weekly until January 31, 2016. In Spain it was called “The Kiosk Collection“. The collection in Spain was done in conjunction with El Pais, a Spanish newspaper. The second collection was done in Italy, where the box was called “The Italian Collection“ and the releases started August 26, 2016 and just finished on December 23, 2016. “The Italian Collection” was done in conjunction with Corriere Della Sera, an Italian newspaper. “The Italian Collection” featured a different box design and narrower CD sleeves.
Back on November 10, 2016 we reported that a third country was also releasing one of these box sets, with Portugal starting to issue CDs in the collection that day. In Portugal the set is being issued in conjunction with Correio da Manhã, a Portugal based newspaper. The box was once again being called “The Kiosk Collection” in Portugal. A website for the releases was set up to promote the release on the Correio da Manhã website.
Examination of the initial releases in the set lead to some disappointment as the releases appear to be the same as the Spanish releases. For The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and Songs of Innocence, the first three releases in the set, each came on a large backing board promoting the release. The Joshua Tree was packaged with the box for the collection. The three CDs were identical to the Spanish releases in their “Kiosk Collection” – the sleeves were the same thickness and were identical in print and quality. They even mentioned the Spanish newspaper El Pais on the back, which was a surprise. But the backing boards were unique. In Spain they had also been released in a similar manner, but in Portugal the information on the backing boards was in Portuguese. So although the CDs were identical the packaging did vary a bit with these backing boards. The box set released with The Joshua Tree was also identical to the box issued in the Spanish set in 2015.
Like Spain, after the first three CDs, the CDs started to be released with no backing board. In Spain the CDs were released in stretch wrap with a UPC (barcode) on the stretch wrap on the back of the CD. in Portugal, a second sticker has been added with some further information, but otherwise they are released in the same manner, and the UPC stickers are even the same as what was used in Spain. The CDs released starting out were the same as the Spanish collection, with the same references to El Pais that was made on the Spanish pressings, and identical matrix numbers showing that these were the same pressings. It looked like there might not have been any differences from the Spanish set, but more recently a few CDs have shown up that are unique to these Portuguese pressings.
Both All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Zooropa have been unique to the set. The sleeve is the most obvious difference from the Spanish box set. In Portugal for both of these releases, the card sleeve uses the artwork from “The Italian Collection” box set and not the artwork from the Spanish “The Kiosk Collection” box set. This means that the spelling error on All That You Can’t Leave Behind on the Spanish set did not make it into the Portuguese set. But these sleeves for All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Zooropa are not the same as the sleeves in “The Italian Collection” – instead they are printed with a thicker spine, like the other releases in the Spanish and Portuguese sets and are printed so that there are openings inside the gatefold as well as at the edges, something which was not present in “The Italian Collection”. But catalog numbers, fine print, placement of information, etc all matches “The Italian Collection” otherwise.
The CDs inside the sleeves for All That You Can’t Leave Behind and Zooropa are also different. They are printed to appear to look like the CDs from “The Italian Collection” and not like the ones from the original Spanish Box. But they are also unique pressings for this set. The Spanish box set used a Universal plant in Germany to press the CDs for the box set. The Italian box set used a Sony plant in Austria to press the CDs for the box set. These two CDs however, are pressed by MPO in Spain. The matrix number for “All That You Can’t Leave Behind” reads “U2 ALL THAT YOU N9 WWW.MPO.ES 19-12-16/01” and the matrix number for “Zooropa” reads “U2 ZOOROPA NS WWW.MPO.ES 19-12-16/01”. Both of these are unique to the Portugal release. Both were released back to back in the set, with Zooropa being released on December 29, 2016, and All That You Can’t Leave Behind being released on January 5, 2017. But after the release of these two CDs, October was released and that release once again is the same as the release from the Spanish box set, right down to the matrix. The only difference is the extra sticker on the back of the stretch wrap. How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb and Under a Blood Red Sky, released next in the Portugal set, are both identical to the Spanish releases as well. At this point we have not been able to examine Pop or No Line on the Horizon, or any of the DVDs but we will update this article as information becomes available.
There is one other unique pressing in the set that we are aware of at this time.
When they were releasing “The Kiosk Collection” in Spain there was a production issue with the Boy CD that delayed the release of that album. Instead of being pressed with the music from Boy, the CD was pressed with Pocta Jarovi Filipovi: Jarove Pesnicky, a tribute album from Slovakia although the paint design on the surface of the CD was that for the U2 album. In Spain this error was caught in advance and retailers were asked to return the CD for replacements. A small handful of CDs made it into the collector market at that time.
The same error occurred in Portugal. The Boy release was identical to these error releases in Spain. Pocta Jarovi Filipovi: Jarove Pesnicky was pressed to the CD, and indeed these CDs are the exact same as the ones that were intended for Spain in the earlier collection right down to the matrix number. The difference in Portugal? This error was not caught at the retailer stage. Instead, the CD pressed in error was sold at newsstands throughout the country. Anyone who bought Boy on December 22, 2016 received this mispress. The next issue in the collection, Zooropa, was printed with stickers on the front of the package stating in Portuguese, ““Dear reader, an anomaly has been detected in the recording of some of the CDs of the album, U2 – Boy. The publisher will proceed to totally replace these CDs. If you purchased this album, present it at your usual point of sale from January 16, 2017, and pick up the correct CD”.
Retailers were asked to collect the original CD as proof of original sale of the Boy album, and to replace it free of charge with a new pressing of Boy. The new pressing of Boy was distributed in a paper envelope that has a UPC printed on the back as well as the album title. In Spain the replacement CDs for Boy had been pressed by MPO and contained the matrix number “0600753639955 http://WWW.MPO.ES 12-11-15/01 “. In Portugal the replacement CDs for Boy was also pressed by MPO, and carried the matrix number “U2 BOY N Z WWW.MPO.ES 16-1-17/01 1600 4062 “ making it the third unique pressing for this collection in Portugal. Users were expected to keep the original packaging for the CD, and just received the replacement in a paper envelope. A number of retailers did not ask for the mispress to be returned, so a number of these have started to appear on the secondary market now.
The website at Correio da Manhã points users to http://loja.xl.pt to purchase these releases online. Users who have ordered Boy from this website report that in most cases they have received the mispressed copy in the original sleeve for the album, as well as the replacement CD in the paper sleeve. At this time it is unknown how long they may ship out both copies together, or if they have already discontinued this.
Today is the release date for the first DVD in the collection, and the set will continue being released until March 9. As previously mentioned we are still waiting for our copies of Pop and No Line on the Horizon, as well as the four DVD releases, but we will update this article as any new anomalies are found with the releases, and our discography entry for the Portuguese Edition of “The Kiosk Collection” will be ready soon.