Earlier this year one of my favorite albums of 2012 was re-released in a Deluxe Edition. Typically an after-the-fact re-release like this is put out there for one of a couple main reasons. Sometimes an unlikely one-off single by an artist is released *after* the album, and the record company tacks the song on in hopes that you will buy the full album. This happened for Maroon 5’s Hands All Over. Sometimes an artist has an EP’s worth of new material but doesn’t want to create filler to make a new album. See Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj. Sometimes it is to include hit single versions, remixes, or simply just a repackaging to get the hardcore fans to buy it again one year later after the biggest singles have already made it onto the radio. Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream re-release fits both of the latter.
In this case, Imagine Dragons’ Night Visions new Deluxe Edition doesn’t seem so opportunistic. Yes the re-release came a couple days after Grammy week, a time when the industry tries to remind us of the great releases we missed. Mumford and Sons got the royal treatment on their latest as well. But in the Dragons’ case the release wasn’t padded. Instead, some of the best material from the band’s pre-debut EP’s. These are not merely throwaway tracks. In fact in my original review I outlined how several of the tracks on the original album are culled from these EPs and given a slight audio tweak.
If you get this at Best Buy, you get five bonus tracks. If you get it at Target, you get seven. Better yet, on the week of release, Target has this $2 cheaper, and at $9.99 is a steal for 18 tracks. First we get the two excellent tracks from the Continued Silence EP, “My Fault” and “Round and Round”. My guess is that by adding them here, the record company can now delete the EP, as the rest of the tracks made it to the album’s first cut. Next we have “The River” and “America” from 2011’s It’s Time EP, the same EP from which “Amsterdam” was culled. These tracks are before the band had an electronic edge added to the production, but they still shine alongside the others. Next we have “Selene” from 2010’2 Hell and Silence EP (hence Continued Silence... a-ha! now it makes sense). this one features more keyboards than some of the other songs but still has a smooth catchy chorus. Next is the oldest track from their first EP Imagine Dragons, “Cover Up”. Even in 2009 this band showed all the promise of being something great. Lastly is the excellent “I Don’t Mind”, also from 2010’s Hell and Silence. The latter two tracks are only available on the Target edition.
I definitely would recommend this release as an easy way to get your hands on many of the tracks that are otherwise only available on mp3 in the dark corners of the internet. I seem to recall a time when I would pay around $12 to get an import single to get a couple great rare tracks as b-sides, so I have no problem paying $10 to get this excellent album again with seven extra songs and then pass my original copy on to a new listener. If you don’t have this album, now is definitely the time to pick it up, as even without the bonus tracks this album is worthy of actually owning. (This article has been slightly retweaked since my original posting in February. I reposted due to its popularity.)
Pick up the deluxe edition of Night Visions on CD or MP3 for only $6.99 HERE:
Check out the original video the band made in 2011 for “America”:
and one they made for “The River”:
and some fan footage of the band playing “Cover Up” in 2009:
“On Top Of the World”
and a full show from the Lowlands festival 2013: