Tragically Hip Fully Completely

[Music] Fully Completely Deluxe Edition (…Mostly) – The Tragically Hip (2014)

Collaboration post! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on The Tragically Hip, Canada’s National band! Each week, we will travel through the history of releases by The Tragically Hip, going through EVERYTHING they’ve ever released in audio and video form – studio album, live show, video releases. So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!

Need to catch up? Previously:

Now, before you say, “Hey Sarca, I’ve heard from you about Fully Completely already. Do we really need a rehash?” No, no we don’t. I gave this album in its original release 5/5 (Read more here!). What I’m reviewing today is the 2 CD Fully Completely Deluxe Edition – mostly, lol. I’ve already covered the album proper elsewhere. I’ll be touching on the rest of the Deluxe Edition, m’kay?

In November 2014, the Tragically Hip released two versions of their reissued Fully Completely album: there is a 2 CD Deluxe Edition set, and a bigger Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set. Full disclosure, I had the Limited Edition Box Set, but it’s now with Aaron at the KMA HQ; Aaron and I did a swap, and I now have his Deluxe Edition in my collection. I have my reasons why…If you want to read my review of the Fully Completely Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, please read my take here!

As for the Deluxe Edition of Fully Completely, it is a two-CD collection that includes Fully Completely, remastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig. Additionally, two unreleased songs were added to the album line-up. Radio Show is a great rockin’ bar-room tune. The song sounds like old school Hip! Toe-tapping is very necessary here. The second song, Hard Done By is very familiar lyrically, as it’s actually the tune found on Day For Night, only sped up with a rock spin. The version we are all used to is so brooding in its own right, setting off a different vibe. This new version is an interesting take and more upbeat. I like it.

The second CD included in the Deluxe set is worth its weight. It’s the Tragically Hip performing every track from Fully Completely (plus a performance of Twist My Arm), September 13, 1992, at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, a few weeks ahead of the release of the album. In three words: it is AWESOME. I’ve listened to this at least half a dozen times in the last two days, and it never gets old. The band was well-prepared that evening – tight – and the mix is tops. Gord Downie is hilarious, playing up the affected straight man. Each song gets a Gord introduction, and they are at times really funny. I LOL’d at him when he introduced Courage (For Hugh MacLennon) by saying like it was a slogan in a commercial for life insurance, “Courage. It couldn’t come at a worst time.”

The packaging to the Deluxe Edition is a standard gatefold 2-CD set. Tucked away in one of the sleeves is the original folded page from the original CD that displays liner notes and credits on one side, and the album cover artwork from Lieve Prins on the other side. A totally serviceable collection that fits well with the other Hip CDs in your collection.

I 100% recommend including the Deluxe Edition of Fully Completely. Not only do you get to hear a great album, but hearing the Hip in top form performing their songs live BEFORE they were actually released, is quite novel. It’s a 5/5 for the set.

Fully Completely 2-CD Deluxe Edition
The Tragically Hip

Please check out my review of the Fully Completely Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set here!

And lastly, please check out Kevin’s take!

[Music] Fully Completely – The Tragically Hip (1992)

Collaboration post! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on The Tragically Hip, Canada’s National band! Each week, we will travel through the history of releases by The Tragically Hip, going through EVERYTHING they’ve ever released in audio and video form – studio album, live show, video releases. So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!

Need to catch up? Previously:

Fully Completely, the Tragically Hip’s third studio album, was the first album I was “woke” to the Hip. I was very aware of Courage (For Hugh MacLennan), the first song on the album that began scorching the charts in 1993. Its catchy lyrics of “Courage, my word. It didn’t come, it doesn’t matter,” ear-wormed easily. You could hear people hum along randomly on the street, in restaurants…and it certainly didn’t stop: six singles were released from this album alone, so ear-worms abound!

If the entire Fully Completely album in and of itself is an ear-worm, then it’s one that I never get tired listening to. This is the full Hip package, folks – great rock tracks and some thought-provoking lyrics that touch on Canadian life, news, politics and sports. Gord Downie was obviously well-read. My mom always said that if I learned school subjects as well as I learn song lyrics, I’d be set. I struggled in History as a subject in school (memorizing dates was boring), but I am positive I could sit still and learn in Mr. Downie’s class!

It’s not just the lyrics. The tunes, man, those tunes are nothing but pure rock.

Courage (for Hugh MacLennan) starts us off with that familiar rock sound that only the Hip can muster. Gord Downie’s voice: strong and familiar. Looking For a Place to Happen, and its follow-up, At the Hundredth Meridian keep up the rock pace until the album’s fourth song, my personal favourite, Pigeon Camera; a great road trip song, gentle with its own ear-worm lyrics.

Lionized, a song with a sharper edge roars into gear, beginning with the provocative lyrics, “Cold wind blowing over your private parts”. Track 6 happens to be the actual first single from Fully Completely, a Hip fan favourite, titled Locked in the Trunk of a Car.

We’ll Go Too, a more upbeat tune that I interpret to be about life and death, rounds out at track 7, then the title track, Fully Completely, amps up the vibe of the album. The Bill Barilko-themed Fifty Mission Cap is next, a proud anthem that doesn’t rhyme much but tells an important tale of the Former Maple Leafs hockey player who “disappeared…on a fishing trip…”; another personal favourite. I mean, I’m not a hockey fan at all, but I learned something from this song!

Wheat Kings slows things down respectfully, again pulling from the Canadian headlines of the day, telling the tale of David Milgaard, wrongfully convicted of murder, and later exonerated. Things then jack up with the Wherewithal, only to be slowed down by the final song, Elderado.

I would be remiss if I didn’t bring up the album design: that cover is gorgeous. They say the band wanted something that represented decadence. Yes, there are naked bewbs. But, is it in poor taste? I say no, but, let’s not debate it. Let’s talk about the artistry of it! Artist Lieve Prins created this work of art using a Canon copier! Is the medium the message? I really love the colour scheme and how intricate the image is.

Fully Completely is another 5/5 album for me, in case you were wondering…

Fully Completely (1992)
The Tragically Hip

Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Kevin’s blog for his take!

A Box of Goodies and Some ‘Fee

It’s a blog link-up today! After reading this post, please join my friend, Aaron at Keeps Me Alive, where he shares what he got from me this week! Read about it here!

This past Monday I went to the post box and was happy to find a parcel addressed to me! It was sent by Aaron from the Keeps Me Alive HQ!

As much as I would like to say I wasn’t expecting this package, I’d be lying. But I am surprised with its contents, which were unexpected and AWESOME!

First, some context.


This past Christmas 2014, some of you may recall me gifting myself the Tragically Hip Fully Completely Limited Edition Super Deluxe Boxed Set, which contained a book about this awesome album, the full remastered album, a live CD of them performing Fully Completely live at the Horseshoe Tavern in the Fall of 1993, a DVD of Heksenketel, which was a glimpse into the Hip on the road during their 1993 Another Roadside Attraction tour and 5 lithographs. I recall Aaron commenting on that post about how awesome this set looked, and as a collector, how cool it would be to have it. I wish I shared his enthusiasm for it…although I love this particular album, top to bottom, the Super Deluxe set was great to peruse, but it wasn’t something I wanted keep in my collection for a lifetime.

At the same time, Aaron had received the smaller Fully Completely Deluxe Edition for Christmas. This one only contains the remastered album and live CD in one package. One day, I had a thought…why not ask Aaron to swap deluxe sets? He’d wind up with what he wants (the book and CDs), and I’d still have my album, which is really what I should have bought in the first place. I broached the subject with the hubs in January, and he supported me, but I decided I would sit on the idea for a spell.

A couple of weeks ago, I emailed Aaron to ask if he wanted to do the swap, which he excitedly said YES. And thus, the parcel swap was born.

Aaron’s parcel to me arrived on Monday. I don’t get home mail delivery – I pick up my mail from a community super mailbox up the street. Thus, Canada Post crammed Aaron’s package into the smaller thinner locked parcel mail box that is meant for much smaller parcels. As a result, I had to bend the box to get it out. Thankfully, nothing got damaged!

So, I opened the package to discover…the Fully Completely Deluxe Edition inside!! Yes!…along with some other surprises!

devils brew

…How about some COFFEE!! The minute I managed to unwedge the box, I could smell the amazing aroma of roasted beans! Aaron’s recent trip to Taranna provided him access to his favourite beans and brew retailer, Moonbean. He was generous enough to send along a one-pound bag of Devil’s Brew coffee beans for me to review on a future ‘Fee post! Yay!


…Next up, Andrew Cash’s Boomtown on cassette! Currently, the CD version of this album is one of my grail list items on the KMA! Aaron said he had this cassette in his collection, and decided to send it to me! Finally, the universe is how it should be!

Sony walkman aaron

…A Sony Sports Walkman! Aaron wanted to send me what he thought was the same model Walkman I had but broke years ago (read here for context). Alas, it is not the same model. However, I am still the proud owner of a half-decent Walkman! Now, let’s listen to some Andrew Cash!

Helen troy

…An odd action figure of …Helen of Troy?! Looking a little manish, this action figure is part of a diorama, and comes complete with concrete pillar. Helen stands with a shocked look on her face. I guess the fake pillar is so she has something to hang on to so she doesn’t pass out. Aaron says he had this stored away, and it recently surfaced. He thought that I should have it for some reason. 🙂  Helen will live on my desk at work, next to my Super Grover figurine.


Last, but certainly not least…the reason for the sending of the package: the Fully Completely Deluxe Edition! It is a simple set that folds out to reveal two CDs. The liner notes are reminiscent of the original album’s liner notes – songs with lyrics on one side, and the album cover on the other! Fantastic! I am very happy with this set!

As mentioned, I have sent along a package to Aaron. Be sure to check out his version!

Thanks again, Aaron, for the package full of awesomeness! Now go and read his post!!

[Book / Music / DVD / Art] The Tragically Hip: Fully Completely Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set

I have to tell you, I was excited when I learned the Tragically Hip remastered their 1992 album, Fully Completely, and were packaging it up in a box set that would include a DVD and a book! I am not one to buy music box sets…I have a couple of Led Zeppelin sets…but there was just something about this one that made me want it, probably because Fully Completely is one of my favourite albums. Not a day goes by that one of the songs from that album isn’t playing in my head (today, it’s Pigeon Camera). I still have my Fully Completely t-shirt from 1994 that I still wear proudly today, in all its bewbly glory. I love Fully Completely, fully and completely. Every song is a gem. The album artwork is glorious, unique and intricate. The whole album stands the test of time, and brings me back to my university days. I wound up buying the Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set, and it arrived in the mail on December 23 – just in time for the Christmas Holidays.

Calling this a “box set” is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually a book, with the CDs and DVD tucked away in pockets situated inside the book. The cover of the book is emblazoned with the recognizable album cover artwork of the bewbly woman dancing front and centre. A piece of gloss paper with a description of what the set contains was oddly affixed to the back of the book with a loonie-sized dollop of rubber cement. The set’s contents: 2 CDs, a DVD, 5 lithographs and of course, the book (acting as the box).

When I opened up the book, five 8.5 by 12 inch cardstock pages fell out of the book and slid across my living room floor. Guess I found the lithographs…These were images taken from the original album’s liner notes. I find those a little disturbing in small scale – imagine Gord Downie’s big screeching mug, blown up onto 8.5 by 12 cardstock! At any rate, I was a bit bothered by the contents of the box set falling out as soon as I opened the book for the first time. Why are these loose? Why aren’t they tucked away like the CDs and DVD were?

The book itself is short (about 40 pages), and is called, “An Oral History of Fully Completely.” Printed on a sturdy cardstock, the stories told on these pages are, for the most part informative, if a little dry. Going song by song, the book gives a history on how a song’s music and lyrics came to be from the vantage point of every member of the band. What you read here is basically a longform interview with the band. The publication includes pics, newspaper clippings from the time, concert posters and images from the album cover. Not a bad keepsake, really, but not something I would buy on its own. What I enjoyed reading about here was artist Lieve Prins’s process in creating the Fully Completely album cover. Of particular interest to me was finding an image of a news article from July 1993, from the Globe and Mail, reviewing the Markham, Ontario leg of The Tragically Hip’s own nine-date touring event, Another Roadside Attraction, which happened to be the very same two day concert extravaganza my sister and I attended July 23 and 24, 1993. What good fortune!

Let’s talk about the music! The Fully Completely CD, was remastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig. What can be said? I don’t have the most sophisticated hearing by any means, but this album sounded crisp and clear. Included are two bonus tracks – a song called Radio Show, and another called So Hard Done By which integrated well with the original album.

Disc 2 is a previously unreleased live CD recording of the Hip performing in Toronto, Ontario at the Horseshoe Tavern, September 13, 1992. They performed their entire Fully Completely album pre-release, also performing the hit, Twist My Arm for good measure. The performance was well mixed – I could hear all instruments clearly. This, my friends, was excellent, and really showcases how good the Hip are live.

The most disappointing piece in the limited edition package was the DVD, titled Heksenketel, which was old footage of the Hip on their tour bus as they crossed the country to perform for Another Roadside Attraction. Initially, when I learned this was from ARA, I thought maybe I’d see some footage of the concert I attended. How exciting that would have been! To see a very young Sarca staring back at me from my TV! Ha! Alas, Heksenketel didn’t show my concert…and barely showed any live concert footage! I mean, there was some. But, barely did we get a full song of the Hip performing before the video would transition to the interior of their tour bus. The ONE FULL song we saw them perform, Blow At High Dough, isn’t even from Fully Completely! The quality of the video was… for a lack of a better term, shite. Terrible sound and video. I recognize this footage is from 1993 and that they were likely using shitty video cameras…but no effort was made to clean the tape up in post production. It looked like one of the guys took the original Maxell VHS tape to Walmart and asked them to dub it to DVD…and what the hell? Let’s put it in the box set and raise the price another 10 bucks!

(No, let’s not, and act like we know better…)

The DVD just looks cheap and awful…The whole time I was watching this I kept thinking: “Where is the Hip in CONCERT?!” followed by, “I could have watched this on YouTube!”

Take this from someone who never blows at high dough: honestly, for what I paid for this set ($49.99), I have to admit, although the CDs kicked ass and the book wasn’t bad, I was still a bit disappointed in the Tragically Hip’s release of this deluxe box set. It’s the lousy DVD and lithos that cheapen the set for me, I think. The Hip lacked attention to detail in the finished product (case in point, the sloppy presentation of the loose-leaf lithos). They really could have done a lot more with this package than they did.

What I would have done in creating a super deluxe package is charge more money and create a documentary…a la Classic Albums, where you see and hear the band discuss the making of Fully Completely with the master tapes, and show them remastering the album. That would have been freaking awesome! They could also include their work with Lieve Prins. And instead of having to read a transcript of the interview (as it is in the book) we see an actual taped interview with the guys talking. Put it out on Blu-Ray, package it up in a 3-Disc set with a little booklet, leave out the lithos and Bob’s your uncle! I’d pay to have that in my collection!

That said, if you are a mega fan and need to have this set, then give ‘er! But, if I were to do it again, I would skip this Super Deluxe box set, and just buy the Fully Completely 2-CD Deluxe package instead, which includes the choice remastered album and live CD for $9.99. It is, after all, about this incredible album.

2 CDs – 5/5

Book – 3/5

DVD and lithos – 1/5

Overall package – 9/15

Tragically Hip: Fully Completely Limited Edition Super Deluxe Box Set
Released: November 2014

CODA, May 28, 2015: I have since done a swap of this Box Set with Aaron from Keeps Me Alive, who had the Deluxe 2-CD set. Read all the details here!


Merry Christmas, Sarca!

Christmas came early to the house of Sim…my Christmas Amazon order came in today!

The hubs and I did something a little different and unconventional this year. We decided to allow ourselves to buy our own Christmas presents. We had a price limit imposed, and we each went to town…virtually-speaking – he on eBay, me on my wish list on Amazon. I know it doesn’t sound very romantic to some people, but the hubs wanted retro video games and knows what he wants and where to get them from…and I knew what I wanted, so there. The holidays can be so stressful, and this is the perfect solution to the spousal gift-giving problem. Seriously, it was perfect for us!

And look at all the loot!

Corner Gas Full Tank (Complete Series)
NYPD Blue Seasons 6 and 7 (YES!!)
Graphic novels, New York Drawings and Sleepwalk and Other Stories by Adrian Tomine
As well, I added Quebecois graphic novelist Michel Rabagliati’s Paul Joins the Scouts (from the “Paul Got a Summer Job” series)
Last, but not least, The Tragically Hip’s Fully Completely Limited Edition CD, DVD and booklet! (Drool!)


So good!

One little snafu, though. My copy of New York Drawings arrived damaged, so now I get to exchange it. Looks like I have a bit of a procedure to go through with Amazon. Wish me luck on that adventure!


And on a different note, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank a couple of peeps from my WP email circle that graciously gifted me some great stuff:

Thank you to Brian Z for sending me Ray Lyell’s Desert Winds on CD. It was very nice of him to think of me when he found it. He sent it to me without wanting anything in return. Thank you so much!

Then, a couple of weeks ago I got a package in the mail – full of smurfs!


Aaron from keepsmealive caught wind that I have a smurf figurine collection from the 80s…and found me a whole box full of more smurf figurines! These are Happy Meal Smurfs released to promote the new Smurf movie that came out a few years ago, so they are bigger in size than my vintage smurf figurines. Some of the smurfs Aaron sent are pretty rough looking, and we joked between us how he sent me dirty smurfs, haha! (I’ve since washed some of them). A big thank you to Aaron for this surprising and thoughtful gift.

At any rate, I am officially on my Christmas vacation. I will be doing some traveling up to Sudbury and hopefully get to spend some quality time with my Mom, Step-Dad and the rest of my fam whom I haven’t seen in a year. That said, I am going to take much needed time off to recharge and renew for the New Year.

To my good WP friends: Mike, Aaron, Heavy Metal Overlord, 1537, Deke, Geoff, and Brian – it’s been fun (and hilarious!) getting to know you guys. Best wishes to you and your families this Christmas! Give ‘Er x-mas-style! \m/ \m/

To the gamer guys on YouTube: The Cartridge Bros, Ram Vox, Duke and his kidlets from Retro Nonsense, Dean Lasagna, JRock, Lo, and anyone else I missed…Merry Christmas!! See you on Twitter!

And to my followers and faithful readers of Caught Me Gaming: Janna, Donna P, Jen, Gretchen, Angie, Bradley, Yvonne and anyone else I missed – thanks for your support. Merry Christmas!

See you all soon! Now I’m off to drink some coffee and Baileys!