Aside from the face-melting live performances delivered during their marathon touring schedule and the growing catalog of evolving studio albums, one aspect of Chicago band Umphrey’s McGee that continues to amaze me is their ability to constantly keep their finger on the pulse of their fanbase and use that to deliver performances and products that are tailored to the fans.
Back in March, the band asked the fans via a survey which songs performed during 2010 they should include in a “Hall of Fame” release. On Tuesday the band announced the results of the survey, which culminated in an impressive release bundle titled Hall of Fame: Class of 2010.
From the announcement:
We asked our fans to weigh in on their favorite live versions of the year and this lengthy record showcases their best of the best. Caressed and remastered into a seamless two set show format, this album contains many of the definitive UMLive moments of 2010. These versions are the essence of live: raw, inspired and imperfect. Available in digital, vinyl and uber fan bundles, this release has something for everyone.
Pre order now to get your hands on the first live vinyl we have ever pressed or snag an extremely limited copy of a hand drawn, customized test pressing from Jake Cinninger. Crank it up and get after it.
The fans have the choice of three (well, at this moment two…) options of purchasing Hall of Fame : Class of 2010:
- Analog remastered download of 16 live tracks (3+ hours), available in premium DRM-free 320kbps MP3s ($11.99), Apple Lossless or FLAC formats ($14.99).
- 2 LP Analog Remastered Limited Edition Black Vinyl featuring the best of the best of the best of the Hall of Fame selections. Which also includes the analog remastered download of 16 live tracks (3+ hours), available in premium DRM-free 320kbps MP3s ($29.99), Apple Lossless or FLAC formats ($33.99).
- (SOLD OUT) One of 25 Vinyl test pressings with Jake Cinninger personalized, one-of-a-kind hand drawn sleeve. Plus the 2 LP Analog Remastered Limited Edition Black Vinyl featuring the best of the best of the best of the Hall of Fame selections, and Analog remastered download of 16 live tracks (3+ hours), available in premium DRM-free 320kbps MP3s, Apple Lossless or FLAC formats. $99.
For the pre-order, all three bundles include an immediate download of “Partyin’ Peeps” from the Huey Lewis & the rUMors Summer Camp rehearsals + Hall of Fame Artwork PDF PLUS the new, unreleased UM original song “A.M.” (Read about this new track HERE)
Automatic digital delivery will happen on street date 6/28/2011, with the standard vinyl shipping on or around 7/11. The test-pressings with the Cinninger sleeves will ship later and the uber-fans will be contacted about a special customized note to be included.
This release should not be confused with the other “Hall of Fame: Class of 2010” release the band did earlier this year which is a culmination of fan-picked performances from 2006-2009 presented as full live shows on a DVD.
There are some interesting things to note about this release. First, there is no CD version! Only digital download and vinyl. UM has provided digital content for a long time and for most of their releases will provide a lossless version. The band further supports this by providing the nifty USB Stick of their entire catalog. Secondly, VINYL!! This is the third vinyl release from the band– Safety In Numbers and Mantis are also vinyl releases.
Analog purists in the crowd might take exception to the “analog remastered” description of Hall of Fame : Class of 2010, since the band records every show digitally as a matrix from the soundboard and house mics to be able to offer the shows for sale. This is technically accurate as they would have had to take the higher-resolution digital recordings and master them to analog to make the resulting LPs which have loudness limitations that digital does not. But, it isn’t like they were rolling tape to record the shows. The digital downloads are also referred to as “analog mastered” which must mean that the digital downloads are a different mastering than what you would get from downloading the individual shows from UMLive.
I would be very interested to hear about the process used to master the LPs and the downloads– maybe Kevin Browning could do a post on the band’s blog– or I’d be happy to include his comments here, if he reads this.
Update 6/28/2011: Kevin Posted an article on The Floor about the process which resulted in the analog mastering of the album as well as how he approached editing the pieces into the album.
I have my order in for the vinyl and I’m extremely excited to drop a needle on it!
Here is the tracklisting for the vinyl (with links to archive.org recordings!):
Side B: All In Time (Part II), Girlfriend is Better – 20:02
The Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL 12/31/10 > The Lawn at White River State Park, Indianapolis, IN 7/17/10
Side C: JaJunk – 16:45
The Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL 12/30/10 (This track is only 11:47 on archive.org?)
Side D: Utopian Fir> Night Nurse > Utopian Fir – 19:38
The Orange Peel, Asheville, NC 2/11/10
While you’re at it you can look at the 3+ hour version tracklist (click on the tracklist links towards the bottom of the page.