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A brief history of 'Tour Edition' albums


Fugazi

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The pending release of Human :II: Nature 'Tour Edition' reminded me that for some time every Nightwish album has been followed closely by an upgraded version called 'Tour Edition' -- which was generally a misnomer because it had no relation to the tour promoting the album except perhaps that it was released during the tour. 😁

So let's see what the previous 'Tour Edition' albums had to offer.

As far as I know, there were no 'Tour Editions' before Dark Passion Play. Of course there were a number of special releases and re-releases but they were just not called 'Tour Edition'.

 

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So the story begins with Dark Passion Play Tour Edition. This was released in February 2008, five months after the normal album. Next to the full album CD was included a DVD with the following:

  1. Bye Bye Beautiful (video)
  2. In Between The Bye Byes - Making Of "Bye Bye Beautiful" (video)
  3. Amaranth (video)
  4. While Your Lips Are Still Red (video)
  5. Bye Bye Beautiful (audio)
  6. The Poet And The Pendulum (audio; demo version sung by Marko)
  7. Escapist (audio)
  8. Bye Bye Beautiful (audio; DJ Orkidea remix)

Interestingly, this supplementary DVD was also released as a stand-alone by Nuclear Blast on the same day as the 'Tour Edition', packaged as a Bye Bye Beautiful maxi-single, which goes to explain why there are so many versions of Bye Bye Beautiful on it.

References:

 

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Moving on to Imaginaerum -- the 'Tour Edition' was released in April 2012, again five months after the release of the original album. This digibook edition added a full album orchestral CD (all the tracks except 'I Want My Tears Back' presumably because there was no orchestra on that song). Also included was a DVD containing two tracks:

  1. Making Of 'Imaginaerum' documentary
  2. Storytime (video)

This is how the documentary was described on the official Webshop:

Quote

See how one of the most ambitious projects in rock history was made! This spectacular hour and a half long "Making of Imaginaerum" documentary gives you an inside look to the recordings of the album and the movie. Documentary includes loads of never before seen Nightwish footage!

So all in all an interesting package, I don't think that the orchestral album has been released as a CD elsewhere (it has been available on vinyl though) and the documentary appears to be exclusive as well. Of course, again the 'Tour Edition' name is confusing because there's nothing even remotely related to the tour here.

Reference:

 

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This brings us to the Endless Forms Most Beautiful Tour Edition, released in October 2015 and therefore seven months after the original album. This package included an extra DVD with plenty of material, including live music for a change! The track list is copied from the EMFB album page:

  1. Yours Is An Empty Hope (live at Masters of Rock Festival, Vizovice Czech Republic July 12 2015)
  2. Stargazers (live at Baltic Princess Cruise June 8-9 2015)
  3. Planet Hell 🎞️ (special documentary live clip) (Note 1)
  4. Last Of The Wilds 🎞️ (special documentary live clip) (Note 2)
  5. Storytime 🎞️ (special documentary live clip) (Note 3)
  6. Arabesque 🎞️ (special documentary live clip) (Note 4)
  7. Last Ride Of The Day 🎞️ (special documentary live clip) (Note 5)
  8. Making of Endless Forms Most Beautiful documentary
  9. Élan  🎞️ (official video)
  10. Endless Forms Most Beautiful  🎞️ (official lyrical video)
  11. Photo gallery

Notes:

  1. Planet Hell special clip: touring footage from the "Please Learn The Setlist in 48 Hours" documentary (released in 2013 on Showtime, Storytime DVD) combined with live footage from Floor's first show (Showbox SODO Seattle USA Oct 1st 2012) and audio track from an unidentified later performance on the Imaginaerum tour.
  2. Last Of The Wilds special clip: live footage from various locations during the Imaginaerum tour (2012-13) combined with audio track from an unidentified performance on the Imaginaerum tour.
  3. Storytime special clip: touring footage from the "Please Learn The Setlist in 48 Hours" documentary (released in 2013 on Showtime, Storytime DVD) combined with live footage of Floor Jansen from various locations during the Imaginaerum tour (2012-13) and audio track from an unidentified performance on the Imaginaerum tour.
  4. Arabesque special clip: live footage of Polte's artistic performance filmed November 10 2012 at Hartwall Arena Helsinki.
  5. Last Ride Of The Day special clip: live footage from an unidentified performance on the Imaginaerum tour.

So we actually have two exclusive live tracks recorded during the EMFB tour! The five 'special clips' are from the previous tour, and were released on YouTube in 2014 -- therefore well before this album.

From the label:

Quote

On October 30th [2015], Nuclear Blast released the special tour edition of Endless Forms Most Beautiful in Europe. The set comes with a bonus DVD containing all 21 making-of episodes, which came along before, during and after the album release. Besides those, the DVD includes two new, unreleased live clips for “Yours Is An Empty Hope” and “Stargazers” as well as five special clips incl. documentary scenes for the songs “Planet Hell”, “Last Of The Wilds”, “Storytime”, “Arabesque” and “Last Ride Of The Day”. On top, there will be a huge photo gallery with more than 400 pictures, taken on the road and during the promotional period of Endless Forms Most Beautiful.

Reference:

 

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Finally, we have the upcoming Human :II: Nature Tour Edition scheduled for a November 2022 release, a full two years and a half after the original album -- thanks to the pandemic. This one includes the previously released 'Virtual Live Show From The Islanders Arms 2021' (it's a mouthful) on Blu-ray. The Blu-ray was a Japan exclusive while global markets only had access to a DVD. There's no other extra material unfortunately.

From the band website:

Quote

As a special, limited release right on time with tour start, on November 18th, NIGHTWISH present the Human. :II: Nature. (Tour Edition) as luxurious 2CD plus Blu-ray Digipak including the recent album alongside the Virtual Live Show From The Islanders Arms 2021 on Blu-ray - region code free for the first time - to cater their gigantic global audience! Originally available just as DVD release, and on Blu-ray in Japan, this new edition is the ultimate version to re-experience this unique and magical show NIGHTWISH created after their world tour had to be cancelled.

https://www.nightwish.com/news/nightwish-announce-human-ii-nature-tour-edition

 

Have you got any of those albums? Which ones do you think are worth the expense? I have EMFB Tour Edition and I find it convenient to have all those making-of capsules and special clips in a tidy package instead of YouTube. The Human :II: Nature Tour Edition will be of interest to those who haven't bought the virtual show DVD, but it's a harder sell otherwise.

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