V/A – XL Recordings: Pay Close Attention

Posted: March 18, 2015 in Vinyl
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XL Recordings: Pay Close Attention is a four LP box set compilation paying tribute to everything that has contributed to XL Recordings getting to where they are today. It’s also the sixth and latest release in a commercial series of compilations that highlight their roster. The Comp features 34 songs from artists ranging from Vampire Weekend to The Prodigy to M.I.A. to Radiohead to The White Stripes to Adele. Also accompanying this four LP box set is a DVD featuring music videos and live performances.

The vinyl version of this comp was released in both the U.S. and UK, with no difference in pressings. All four records in the set are pressed on black vinyl and are housed in stock XL Recordings glossy paper dust sleeves, which are die-cut only in the front. The front of the dust sleeves has an X printed on it while the back has an L, which when joined together (obviously need to use two of the four sleeves) form the XL logo. This combination theme continues with the lid of the box set and the box itself, as the lid has an X on it and the back/bottom of the box has an L on it. The box is a slip lid box make of sturdy cardboard. On the inside of the box the liner notes are printed. The sleeve for the DVD has info about each of the videos appearing on it written by label founder Richard Russell. Along with the aforementioned DVD, the box set also comes with a huge double-sided fold out poster.

When XL Recordings: Pay Close Attention first came out in late August 2014, it was very pricey, coming in at over $50 directly from XL Recordings; even more if you bought it from a record store or distro, around $65 if you were lucky. A release like this is the perfect example of having patience. Fast forward over six months from release date and these box sets are popping up on ebay, brand new, for half the original price. Which is when I bought it. I paid $23 shipped for this box set, which is less than the price some scrupulous labels are now charging for single LP releases.

Track listing:

A1 SL2 DJs Take Control
A2 The Prodigy Out Of Space
A3 Awesome 3 Don’t Go (Kicks Like A Mule Mix)


A4 Liquid Sweet Harmony
B1 Jonny L Piper
B2 Roy Davis Jr. Gabriel (Live Garage Version)


B3 Dem 2 Destiny
C1 Nu-Birth Anytime
C2 Basement Jaxx Jump N Shout
C3 Dizzee Rascal I Luv U
C4 Wiley Igloo
D1 Various Production Hater
D2 Giggs Talkin The Hardest
D3 Sbtrkt Wildfire (Ft. Little Dragon)


D4 Jamie XX All Under One Roof Raving
E1 The Prodigy Firestarter
E2 Peaches Fuck The Pain Away
E3 The White Stripes Seven Nation Army
E4 Devendra Banhart I Feel Just Like A Child
E5 Badly Drawn Boy Once Around The Block
F1 Ratatat Seventeen Years
F2 M.I.A. Paper Planes
F3 Thom Yorke The Eraser
F4 Gil Scott-Heron New York Is Killing Me
G1 Radiohead Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
G2 Tyler, The Creator Yonkers
G3 Horrors, The Sea Within A Sea
G4 Jai Paul BTSTU (Edit)
H1 Bobby Womack Please Forgive My Heart
H2 The XX Angels
H3 Sampha Too Much
H4 Vampire Weekend Step


DVD track listing

1 The Prodigy Firestarter
2 Basement Jaxx Where’s Your Head At
3 The White Stripes Fell In Love With A Girl
4 Dizzee Rascal Fix Up, Look Sharp
5 M.I.A. Birdflu
6 Vampire Weekend A-Punk
7 Radiohead Lotus Flower
8 Gil Scott-Heron I’m New Here
9 Tyler, The Creator Yonkers
10 Adele Someone Like You [live from The Brits (British Award Show) TV appearance]


Some notes about some of the videos on the DVD. All of them except for the Adele video are music videos. Adele’s video is the only live performance video on the DVD, which is taken from her Brits TV appearance. The Brit Awards is a British award show akin to The Grammy’s. The video for The Prodigy’s “Firestarter” is actually the second take of the video. They scraped the first version and went back to re-do it because “it wasn’t right.” For The White Stripes video, XL apparently thought LEGO would pay to make it, and a quote from the DVD sleeve regarding it; “We thought LEGO would pay for this video but they didn’t want anything to do with it.”

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