Published on March 27th, 2019 | by Justin G.
Pretty Maids: Blast From The Past (Frontiers, 2019)
Danish hard rock/heavy metal legends Pretty Maids have a back catalog going back to the early ‘80s, but so many of their albums have been out of print that they decided to remedy that not with just another reissue campaign, but with a massive 12-disc box set. Titled Blast From The Past, this deluxe box set skips the band’s more readily available early work in favor of the albums they’ve released since 1994; basically the Massacre and Frontiers years.
Let’s break out what you do (and don’t) get in Blast From The Past. Unlike the recent Jorn Lande box set (50 Years On Earth), which left off way too many tracks, Pretty Maids gets (almost) everything right with this set. Here’s what we get:
Disc 1: Scream – We get the full 1994 album, newly remastered. Of all the discs in the set, this is the one where the remastering is most noticeable. It also includes the bonus track “When It All Comes Down,” which originally appeared on the Walk Away single (and on the 1995 Massacre pressing of Scream).
Disc 2: Spooked – We get the full 1997 album, newly remastered. There were three possible bonus tracks from this album, and we get ‘em all. “A Love And A Fiction” was originally on the Hard Luck Woman single, and “Crazy Horses” (an Osmonds cover) and “Where The Blood Runs Deep” both came from the Japanese pressing of Spooked.
Disc 3: Anything Worth Doing Is Worth Overdoing– We get the full 1999 album, newly remastered. No bonus tracks this time around, but there weren’t any from that era anyway.
Disc 4: Carpe Diem – We get the full 2000 album, newly remastered. Again, no bonus tracks because there weren’t any in the first place.
Disc 5: Planet Panic – We get the full 2002 album, newly remastered. Again, there weren’t any bonus tracks on this one back in 2002, so there aren’t any now.
Disc 6: Wake Up To The Real World – We get the full 2006 album, newly remastered. Again, there weren’t any bonus tracks on this one back in 2006, so there aren’t any now.
Disc 7: Pandemonium– We get the full 2010 album, newly remastered. The album sounded flawless already, so the remastering isn’t really noticeable. The remixed version of “It Comes At Night” that was a bonus track on most versions of the original album is also included here. What we don’t get is the cover of Shania Twain’s “Ka-Ching” that originally appeared on the Japanese pressing of Pandemonium. That’s unfortunate for collectors.
Disc 8: Motherland– We get the full 2013 album, newly remastered. Again, not noticeable and not necessary, but it doesn’t do any harm to this already perfect album. The remixed version of “Mother of All Lies” from the Japanese pressing of Motherland is included as a bonus track.
Disc 9: Louder Than Ever– This 2014 collection of rerecordings (plus a few new gems) is an interesting addition, but it’s also a worthwhile one. It’s been remastered as well, but does not include the extended version of “Deranged” from the Japanese pressing, nor does it have the bonus DVD from the original release. That’s not a big loss.
Disc 10: Kingmaker – Pretty Maids’ most recent album is still readily available, but we get it again in this set. It’s been remastered, but it didn’t need it and you won’t notice it. It does include the extended versions of “Kingmaker” and “Humanize Me” from the Japanese pressing of Kingmaker, which is a plus.
Disc 11: Screamin’ Live – Now we get into the band’s live material. Screamin’ Live was originally released in 1995. It has been remastered, but there are no bonus tracks. The only bonus track from the Japanese pressing was the studio song “When It All Comes Down,” and that was already included on the Scream disc.
Disc 12: Alive At Least – Previously only available in Japan, this 2003 live album is newly remastered for this set. One version of Alive At Least had the bonus track “Rodeo,” but that is not included here.
As far as the albums and bonus tracks go, you get almost everything the band recorded since 1994. It’s a bit frustrating that a couple of bonus tracks were left off, and the absence of the It Comes Alive set is kind of curious considering that was a Frontiers release, but those are minor gripes (especially if you already own It Comes Alive).
A big part of this set’s appeal is its packaging. In an era when the average box set is tiny and each disc gets a cardboard sleeve, it’s so cool to see this big, beautiful box with its LP-sized booklet. Then you open it up and find each album in its own jewel case with updated booklets. That’s just the icing on the cake. This set is worth 5-stars for the packaging alone.
As noted earlier, these albums have all been remastered, though most of them didn’t need it. It’s more noticeable on the ‘90s material, but it is nice to have all of these albums on the same sonic level.
The price point (as of the release date) was around $75, which is a total bargain given the number of discs and the packaging. It’s also a heck of a lot cheaper than what the original pressings of these albums are going for. It looks to have sold out quickly though, so expect prices to increase.
Blast From The Past is just about everything a Pretty Maids fan could ask for, at least when it comes to the band’s 1994 and beyond discography. It may not have quite everything, but what it has looks and sounds amazing. Even if you have all (or most) of the albums in this set, you’ll find it really hard to resist.
Summary: A giant box of awesome