The Running Wild 2017 Remaster Reissues – Should You Get Them?

Posted on August 16, 2017

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Just a couple of weeks ago I was shocked to see that one of my absolute favorite bands, Running Wild, where about to re-release all their classic Noise-era albums from Gates To Purgatory in 1984 all the way up to Masquerade in 95.
And this is something that I’ve been wanting and hoping for SO many years to happen, since basically the full Running Wild discography is a total bitch to hunt down. If you manage to find them, they are used and often demands ridiculous prices.
According to Rock ‘n’ Rolf in an older interview, someone (I think it was Universal) bought the rights to all the Noise Running Wild albums and just put them away and denied anyone to release them.
Rolf himself couldn’t even buy them back and was only hoping to get back the rights to a couple of songs that he would do remakes of, that eventually were suppose to end up on a compilation album which never happened.
But instead boom! We got all this instead on CD and Vinyl :)

Especially the older classics Under Jolly Roger and Port Royal, from what I’ve seen, never got proper CD releases.
Yeah they are listed on Discogs but honestly.. I’ve never seen them anywhere to buy. I have seen bootlegs though.
So even though those two albums aren’t my favorites, I’ve wanted them to get a proper release and a nice remaster as well since the originals are pretty crappy, in particular Port Royal where the sound quality is low and the album cover is utter shite and differs from the original LP.

These releases also contains some bonus material, and even though it’s super fucking awesome we finally are able to buy these albums new there are some flaws here.
My first reaction was that this was NOT a remaster at all, but yeah they kinda are.. but they has to be the most careful remasters I’ve ever heard, and I was kinda hoping for something more than that.
But then I got thinking.. hey, these sound great and they didn’t destroy them like so many others tend to do, so these are pretty faithful to the LPs I suppose.

The bonus material was nothing special really, bonus tracks and such that already have been released on other CDs before, but then again… all these CDs are so fucking hard to get so in a way, this is pretty nice for those who haven’t managed to catch them.

So the big question: Should you get them?
Short answer: Yes.
Long Answer: If you already have the originals or the older remasters, then you should really think if you need all of them.
And of course if you want to support the group so that we don’t have to hunt down used albums for insane prices yet again, then I’d say get them right now!
I own all the originals and all the remasters, and for me it was important to get at least Port Royal and Under Jolly Roger as stated earlier in this post, but I will also get my favorites that are Black Hand Inn and Pile of Skulls just because.. well they are my favorites.
The rest I’m not sure if I will get any joy out of owning, but we’ll see. If I had enough money I would buy them all to support Running Wild and to finally be able to own these albums as NEW!
It could be worth getting all of them just for the sake of IF they will become rare once they get out of print.
Let’s just hope it will not come to that..

But I think we should do a pros and cons list for those who don’t really want to sit thru and read all my bullshit, so here we go!

Cons:

  • The remastering seems to be very careful, so might just be worth it only for Port Royal and Under Jolly Roger.
  • The bonus material is not too interesting, and has been released before, with an exception from maybe the Rolf interview that is also featured.
  • The 2003 re-recording bonus tracks are NOT re-recorded. They are taken from the compilation album 20 Years In History, where only an additional guitar is added for a more powerful sound.
  • They come as Digipacks. Digipacks are nice but they are very easy to damage and then they become ugly really fast.
  • They scratched the “Loud sound effects” sticker that was on the original Under Jolly Roger LP and CD. For shame..
  • The live album Ready For Boarding is for some reason not being released.

Pros:

  • The price. These are pretty cheap, somewhere around 12-15 Euros, but under 20 and you can’t beat that when it comes to RW.
  • The attention to detail. The artwork seems to have been restored pretty faithful to the LPs, if we can see pass the Under Jolly Roger sticker they decided to remove.
  • The sound is a step up from the originals. The remaster is nothing huge but it doesn’t destroy anything so that’s a big plus.
  • It’s fucking Running Wild classics! They are nothing short but awesome!

For me, this is a very welcome addition to my collection as I’ve been wanting and hoping for so long to be able to get proper releases for these two albums.
The Running Wild Noise albums are nothing but classics, all of them, and they deserve to be out there on the market for every fan to buy. And I bet there are a lot of Running Wild fans who doesn’t own many of their CDs or LPs because they are simply too expensive or hard to find on the second hand market.

It is a bit sad though that they couldn’t cram in the remaining albums, The Rivalry, Victory and The Brotherhood since they are a bit tough to get your hands on too. But they are actually available out there as new, if you know where to look of course but it would still have been nice.

If you don’t have the originals, then go out and buy these with confident. You will not be disappointed!
If you already have the old ones, you may wanna reconsider unless you want to buy them for the collecting purpose or simply to support the band.

Get ready for boarding ye scallywaggers!

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