Tommy Bolin • Ultimate Teaser 3CD / 5CD

Tommy Bolin Teaser Definitive EditionWhere to start?!…
I purchased the 3 CD version (actually downloaded it from iTunes) not really knowing what to expect as there was much confusion prior to release as to how much of it was new and how much was repackaging of previous material.
Of the 3 CDs, the first is the one we were all waiting for, the remixed original ‘Teaser’ in all it’s glory. Greg Hampton has done a wonderful job, the sound is crisp, clear and does the original recording a superb justice. Not that I had any complaints with the original vinyl release, but this brings what is one of Tommy’s finest moments alive for today’s digital audience, the technology enhances as opposed to dominating the proceedings.
CDs 2 & 3 are alternative versions and outtakes, and this is where I get confused. It appears that most of the material has already seen the light of day on ‘Whips & Roses’ and ‘Teaser Deluxe’. The ‘Teaser’ alternative may be new, but let’s face it, with all of the duplication it’s getting hard (even for the trainspotters like me) to tell the difference. Much of the material including ‘People People’, ‘Marching Powder’ and ‘Wild Dogs’ appear to be exactly the same as on the recently released ‘Teaser Deluxe’ release. I have heard that they may have been remixed, but I for one can’t spot any significant difference. ‘Flyin’ Fingers’ and ‘Cookoo’ do sound better than before, the latter being an extended version of the (obviously edited) one on ‘Whips & Roses’. It’s possibly one of my favourite Bolin moments. Also on the plus side is the never heard before (by me, at least) ‘Chameleon’, a nice slow jazzy blues instrumental that builds in intensity. It really is a hidden gem and almost justifies my dissapointment re the other duplications. However, we then have issues with ‘Smooth Fandango’ being the exact same track as ‘Crazed Fandango’ on ‘Teaser Deluxe’ and I’m always cynical when vocals are omitted over what appears to be previously released tracks, this is evident in the case of ‘Oriental Sky’ which is, in my opinion, the version of ‘Lotus’ that appeared on ‘Teaser Deluxe’ with the vocals wiped off. Luckily, the brilliant ‘Chameleon’ and revitalised ‘Cookoo’ and ‘Flyin Fingers’ help ease the pain somewhat.
Us Tommy Bolin fans are a loyal bunch, but communicating as we do, there certainly does appear to be a feeling that there is just too much confusion about this release – which should’ve been avoided. People are asking what the difference is between this and the 5-CD boxed set – from what I can work out, the 5CD set includes the VERY recently released ‘Great Gypsy Soul’ 2CD version, which is bewildering considering most of us have already forked out the dosh for this only a few months ago. I’m sure it’s not intentional, but some of us are feeling a bit taken for granted to be honest, the duplication on ‘Whips & Roses’, ‘Teaser Deluxe’ and the ‘Ultimate Teaser’ is a serious issue. I can’t now see the need for me to play the previous releases (especially Teaser Deluxe) ever again. It’s a case of ‘too much too soon’ and also ‘an old bottle of wine in a new label’. OK, as a dedicated fan, I love the remixed original, but why couldn’t they have just released that with a couple of bonus tracks, that way it would be far more legitimate – to pay more for recently released material is not a clever idea in my book!
Again, having spoken to other fans, the artwork and packaging is just plain awful. I can’t vouch for the 5CD version, but my digibook on my download (which I assume is printed for the physical release?) is a shocker. Cover and back cover aside we have 14 pages of photoshopping gone terribly wrong. There are some great shots which have been absolutely ‘butchered’. If the Bolin camp are going to charge top dollar for packages such as this, they should pay more attention to the overall packaging. I remember when ‘The Ultimate’ came out in ‘89 and most of the material was already available, and yet, the wonderful packaging and booklet made up for it. I really feel the graphics on the recent releases cheapen what is quality product.
Mel Brown.

This set is available from the DTB Online Store. But NOT as a download!

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18 Responses to “Tommy Bolin • Ultimate Teaser 3CD / 5CD”

  1. Ian Douglas Says:

    Good that in the latest issue of Classic Rock Geoff Barton gave this 9/10! My thoughts exactly…. “oh how we need it!” Also in that Issue I might note some good insights from Glenn on BCC Afterglow(ed?) and David on Coverdale and Page – I do hope that lost material re-surfaces!!!

  2. Ian Douglas Says:

    I think the 3-cd set (real not virtual) is fine – nicely packaged if I may say the inner booklet appeared to me good quality so not sure why people are bagging this. But the music is to behold and whether or not it has been released before is not the issue for me. The strength and lasting quality of the Original album is proven by all the jams/demos/extensions that merely heighten the enjoyment of the whole thing. Ace Tommy!

  3. Roy Watson-Davis Says:

    Well the remaster has clearly been done with the mass high fi market in mind. On my slightly higher end system the vocals are far too toppy, very sybiliant, and the overall sound is very trebly. Nice to hear more space around the instruments though.

  4. Grecam Says:

    I thought the original tapes of Teaser were missing. From what source was the original album remixed / remastered from? An amazing artist but looks a bit like overkill.

  5. John Hassett Says:

    I would much prefer a remaster or remix of Private Eyes to be released. What for me has become a money making exercise reissuing Teaser in different guises with dodgy packaging. The Whips and Roses sets, the Definitive Edition and now this a 3 or 5 CD set. We can hope that this latest package will be the last Teaser issued. Sorry, it sounds negative, but I feel the fans are being milked.

  6. Chris Says:

    “Of the 3 CDs, the first is the one we were all waiting for, the remixed original ‘Teaser’” – Shouldn’t it read “remastered”?

  7. Horace Cordier Says:

    Agreed this is a bit of a mess. Crazily right now the 5cd version is LESS than the 3cd on Amazon USA. The 2 extra cds are just the 2cd “Great Gypsy Soul” set slapped into a basic slipcase. Made my buying “Great Gypsy Soul” a bit pointless really – though I suppose I can cash it in for a buck and a half at the trade-in store!
    Between this and the Redux 3cd set, “Great Gypsy Soul” and the alternate “Teaser” the whole thing is a complete ball of confusion. Still great to have “Teaser” properly remastered at last though.

  8. Roy Says:

    Much what I feared. What started as a way to recover Bolin’s legacy in the mid 90’s (aka The Bolin Archives) is becoming a scam of ever constant re-release of his works only under a different title. Tommy Bolin was an artist too great to be going through this. Why don’t they remaster “Private Eyes” and leave him alone….

  9. Darren Brock Says:

    Actually, Dennis Mackay confirms there is NO such recording of Post Toastee.
    All this talk of Private Eyes Deluxe editions has just prompted a post over at the Bolin Archives and Dennis says it never existed, ever!
    Sorry to disappoint.

  10. Jon Kirkman Says:

    I am a huge Tommy Bolin fan going back to the seventies and probably just before he joined Purple. My in to Bolin was through the Billy Cobham album Spectrum and I have been hooked ever since. I got Teaser on vinyl and then on CD. I also got The Ultimate boxed set when it came out and whilst it was only a double CD it came in a large format box and the packaging was very impressive making the then rather expensive import worth the money.
    I also got a great many of the subsequent releases of the Tommy Bolin Archives but if I am honest I am beginning to lose the plot with the various releases coming from the Bolin Family archives.
    Whilst I am a sucker for the deluxe editions and boxed sets I am still totally confused by the family’s seemingly shove everything out at least three times marketing strategy. Would it not have been better to just follow the template set down by Universal with their deluxe editions or Sony/BMG with the Legacy editions in that you get a double album. The first disc is usually the original album remastered and then a couple of bonus cuts and then on the second disc you could have had either the remixed album and or other outtakes. Maybe it is me over simplifying the matter but I do think the fans would appreciate the “keep it simple stupid” philosophy.
    While I still love Tommy Bolin I would have appreciated a more formulated approach to the obviously vast archive in terms of releases. I am sure it would have been more appreciated by the long time fans and also easier to co ordinate.
    Having said all that this 5 disc release does look incredibly attractive…

    • simon robinson Says:

      With you on this Jon. If the idea was to get Tommy across to a new generation, then it has a real struggle on. I remember getting my sample copy of that Geffen box set for contributing to the text. The sods sent me the cassette edition! It was years before I was able to upgrade. But the thing was it looked so good you really wanted it, even with only a couple of rarities.

      • Paul May Says:

        I remember when you grasped at every opportunity to rip into Tommy. I found it ironic that you started to like him once there was earning opportunities. Have you ever revealed that you originally hated everything he did and you were one of the main perpetrators who spread the rumour that he was unable to play at the Budokan in ’76 due to a “paralysed” arm due to heroin abuse?

        Paul May

      • simon robinson Says:

        I’ll give anyone a good review for a bunch of fivers in a brown envelope, it’s well known.

  11. dyeatribal Says:

    Should’ve been the one CD with bonus tracks, Chameleon and Cookoo. Most Bolin collectors will have everything else. The reworked Teaser sounds great, pity the design doesn’t match it.

  12. Dave Says:

    Wouldn’t mind seeing Private Eyes remastered, hopefully with the extended original Post Toastee. Has ANYONE actually heard this before?

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