The Truth Will Set You Free: Flower Kings, A KINGDOM OF COLOURS

The Flower Kings: THE KINGDOM OF COLOURS boxset (InsideOut, 2017).

Music: A

Physical Packaging: C/C+

Thanks to the great folks at LaserCD, my copy–no. 215 out 3000–of A KINGDOM OF COLOURS by the majestic FLOWER KINGS–arrived just this afternoon in the mail.

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No. 215 of 3000.

Strangely enough, despite a 20-year love of the band, I didn’t realize this boxset had even come out until I received the advertisement for the second boxset, KINGDOM OF COLOURS 2.

The box is constructed well and quite attractive.  Inside, one finds the numbered certificate, a booklet, the first seven Flower King studio albums (no, The Flower King (1994), however), and an InsideOut advertisement.  Each of the studio albums, it should be noted, is packed in a very thin cardboard sleeve.

For the boxset, bandleader Roine Stolt has remastered the band’s 2002 release, UNFOLD THE FUTURE.  It does sound spectacular in its new form, but, then, I’ve always loved this album.  The individual instruments and vocals are much more distinctive on the 2017 remaster than on the original 2002 release.

The booklet that accompanies the boxset is only ok in terms of its content, but certainly nothing great.  The few new liner notes at the beginning of it are really good–featuring an interview of Roine Stolt by Dom Lawson–but the booklet is mainly a reprint previous liner notes, photos, and lyrics from the first seven albums.  Nothing has been done to make these consistent for this 2017 release, and the booklet suffers for it.

Even though my box set came wrapped in its original wrapping from InsideOut, the booklet has seen better days.  Despite being “new,” it arrived bent, crumpled, and dog-eared.  Too bad.  Whoever packed it did a terribly sloppy job.

I will admit, this is a minor frustration, but a frustration, nonetheless.  I expect better of InsideOut.

I’ve already pre-ordered KINGDOM OF COLOURS 2, but I very much hope the band and label put a bit more effort into the packaging.

As it is, this first boxset from The Flower Kings is nice, but I can’t–in good conscience–recommend anyone purchase it.  It would be better to purchase each of the first seven albums individually.  Sad, but true.

9 thoughts on “The Truth Will Set You Free: Flower Kings, A KINGDOM OF COLOURS

  1. I very much think the box set may have been damaged on its way to you via the post rather than the guys at Inside Out Records bashing it about a bit :))))) and doing a shoddy job. Personally if it was mine I would of sent it back and got a replacement, it’s a bit of a bummer when things like this happen and I am sorry you had this misfortune.

    I always use Amazon myself basically because I am a Prime member and things like this can be sorted out in no time at all. Also down to the fact that it’s cheaper to get from Amazon because the postage & packing is free. Places like Burning Shed and other places charge too much just to send it to you I am afraid. The only time I use those places is if I cannot get the product from Amazon.

    I not so long ago purchased this box set myself and was quite chuffed with it to be honest. I like the way it’s been boxed and that for me is a lot better than the way these Clamshell Box Sets have been packaged and looks far more neater.
    I also done a full review of it here https://leespeaksoutaboutmusic.wordpress.com/2018/02/09/lee-speaks-about-music-58/

    I have pre-ordered the 2nd Box Set myself the other day from Amazon UK and shall be looking well forward to getting that and giving it a review as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Bryan Morey

      I’ll warn you that Amazon (even Amazon fulfillment) is notorious for selling fake Chinese pirated CDs and passing them off as the real deal. Obviously when this happens the artists get no revenue from the sale. I’ve switched to buying directly from bands, labels, or reputable sellers (i.e., laser cd, merch desk). Amazon has just about lost me as a customer over issues like this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Bryan I can assure you that many artists themselves sell their music on Amazon and I would know a fake from the real thing straight away I have been buying music since I was 10 years old and it’s very rare I use third parties on Amazon. I basically use Amazon Prime because they can get it to you the next day and in some cases on the same day and this is not gonna cost me what a lot of bands websites will.

        I do use some artists websites to order my albums from and Robert Reed of Magenta is by far one of the best of them. He sells his albums at a great price and they are cheaper from his website than what they are on Amazon. I can also tell you that he never used to charge postage & package either and it’s only down to the fact that I have just pre-ordered his latest solo album Sanctuary 3 from there, that I have noticed that he himself is now started to charge postage & Packaging. But he only charges £1 for those who live in the UK and not something ridiculous like £2.99 – £3.99 to which most artists are charging. It does not cost that to send a CD or DVD & Blu Ray. So who’s the real rip off merchants here I would like to know.

        The one thing that’s excellent about Amazon is that their service is superb. Because it’s a lot bigger company than the artists themselves, is one of the reasons why many artists use it in the first place. They can do in many cases what your artists cannot do themselves, and that is get the product to you within a day. They can also get you a new product that’s been pre-ordered to you on the day of its release or even a day or so before. This is also something many artists cannot do I am afraid.

        Now out of the two other sellers besides the label company you mentioned. Laser CD I have never heard of. But I recently came across Merch Desk via ordering a DVD/CD of the band The Tangent.

        Now this so called DVD/CD I ordered from them, they had not even got and it was out of print. They still took my money and I heard nothing from them for near enough 2 weeks, and in the end I went to the website to email them. Only to find out that their actual email does not even exist, so there was no way I could contact them that way.

        So I eventually I found the contact telephone number and phoned them a couple of times. No reply, though the phone was ringing and I tried again a few hours later and eventually got through. It was obvious that this so called Merch Desk is a one man operation, well in this case it was actually a woman, and by the sound in the background it was fairly obvious to me that this woman was operating from her own home and not in any office.

        I told her about my order to which she did explain the situation of how they could not no longer get hold of it and it was out of print and she refunded my money. Which by the way took 3 days to get back in my bank account.

        Now I do believe in supporting the artist 100% and I do not know whose making these so called allegations about Amazon. But I myself have never ever come across a fake from there. If I did I would send it back and get it replaced for the real thing, or get a refund. I can assure you the products I get from Amazon are the genuine real deal and not fakes at all.

        Now there maybe some third parties doing exactly what you say, but one thing Amazon would never do from a third party. That is buy from them in bulk like they would do with a genuine artist. So there is no way on this earth Amazon would even put a product that’s coming from China as a Prime product. Simply because you would be waiting for a slow boat from China to get the thing to you and that is not what Amazon Prime is all about I am afraid.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. richierwalker

        In reply to Lee buying mainly from Amazon, I too tend to use the site (hundreds of orders every year!) a lot. However when I can and my budget allows I try to buy from the bands/artist own site especcially when buying my beloved Prog albums as opposed to buying The Beatles for example. Buying the fab four it`s the cheapest outlet, Macca and Ringo are rich enough.

        Replying to Bryans assertion about Chinese fakes being sold by China,I believe Trump is behind this in a deal with the bootleggers in his attempt to rival Putin`s bank balance.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Brad, if the booklet is in a shabby condition the box you have must be used and as Lee says you should return it. I have had this box since the day of release and although I own the CDs prior to buying the box. The box itself is great, nice and sturdy and althogh the replica sleeves are thin they are fine for storage in this box.
      I`m looking forward to the second box set, ordered from China, hur hur, I mean Amazon.
      Cheers Richie.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Same here Richie I have been using Amazon for years and never had a problem with them at all their service is impeccable as long as you avoid some of the 3rd parties. Though I have used some of those in the past and also they have been fine too.

        But no doubt there is some doggy people on there and I have even seen with my own eyes people selling DVD’s and CD’s that are not official releases and bootlegs. But I avoid those sellers.

        Now if Bryan was talking about a website called Flubit I could understand the concern because they are right dodgy and I would not trust them at all, and they would send you Chinese rip offs without a doubt. This is a site that does not even carry much stock at all and tries to outdo Amazon by using its links to direct you to it and offering you a price that is better than Amazon’s.

        Hers is a typical example of good Amazon’s service is. The other month I was buying the Led Zeppelin Deluxe Editions on CD that came out a few years ago. They was £9.99 for a double CD which is quite a bargain. I sent for their debut album first, and having got it the next day and played it. It was marvellous. So a few days later I sent for the Led Zeppelin 2 Deluxe Edition but by mistake I had somehow sent for their debut album again.

        Now I only noticed my mistake when I checked my email later and seen the invoice from Amazon with the debut album. So I immediately went on Amazon to cancel the order so I could send for the right album. But by then it had been dispatched.

        So the next day when it arrived I left still sealed and phoned up Amazon to tell them about my foolish mistake. I knew that if I sent it back for a refund it would take a week or so to get my money refunded back into my account. So I asked the woman on the phone if there was some way I could send the CD back and if she could send me out Led Zeppelin 2 as a replacement.

        She told me straight that she could not do that as you can only replace the item with the same item you originally sent for. But then she had a look at my account and told me not to worry.

        She then said I can see you’re a good customer and could see I ordered the same CD twice. Then she told me to keep the CD they had just sent me and give it to one of your friends and I will give you a refund straight away in the form of a gift voucher so I could order the right CD.

        She did all this within about 20 minutes and I ordered the right CD this time and got it the next day. And I ended up with 3 CD’s for the price of 2.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. richierwalker

    Yeah, I find Amazon`s customer relations great despite a tax dodging hierarchy! I have had a similar experience to yourself. I ordered the special edition of Roxy Music`s 1st album from Amazon USA. When it arrived it had a tiny dint at one corner but a dints a dint. So I messaged Am US and explained the dint saying I expect that for the price I want the item in perfect condition. The customer service person asked what could they do regarding this, I explained that I was prepared to keep the box set but not for the price I have paid. They said OK, you can keep it and we will refund you in full! Now that`s what I call customer service!

    Liked by 1 person

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