A strange package indeed. The "cds" are slotted into hard cardboard which in my case (and many others - check amazon.co.uk) has resulted in scratched discs (two in my case). The box indicates that there are "collector badges" but there was only one in the box. amazon.ca cannot be faulted for what is clearly shoddy packaging on the part of "Polydor / Umgd".
The guitar scratch plate is just silly. The ticket reproductions are quite flimsy and appear to be cheaply done (not mention that they are not in an envelope).
On the plus side, the hardcover book looks nice, even if it does not contain anything new. The 3D popup of the cover is interesting.
More later when I can get replacement discs.
(The original amazon.ca listing mentioned a 7 inch single - there is not one in the set and this mention has been removed from the listing.)
UPDATE: APRIL 4th, 2011
Just opened the second set from amazon.ca (replacing the first one - amazon was very prompt). It is even worse! This time 3 of the 5 discs are scratched (including the same ones as in the first set) and the reproduction tickets and the badge are missing. Third time lucky?
UPDATE: APRIL 5th, 2011
amazon.ca will not send out another set because the item is currently "under review" and therefore it is not for sale at this date.
UPDATE: August 12th, 2011
The item is back on the website. Hopefully all packaging issues have been resolved.
Update September 2011
Flailin' and wailin' and that piano part...
The sound of the new release is excellent, even if it is a different mix to the 20th anniversary edition. Once again this is a classic album that has been returned (more or less) to its' original form. Curiously "Tell the truth (Spector/"All things Must Pass" version) sounds harsh and distorted. The live bonus tracks from tv are no better or worse than the dvd but are welcome for those times when you do not want to see the video. The "Live" album sounds great but may not be necessary if you have the 90's Filmore cd set.
If you have the previous box set of this album YOU NEED TO KEEP IT as the mixes are different. Parts that were highlighted in the previous mix (or newly included) are not in the current version.
It is hard to sit back and listen to "Layla" the album in an objective fashion. It is certainly of its' time and therefore may not appeal to those who did not listen to it originally. The record certainly has some great moments and it is a classic but is it truly great? It is better viewed as part of a series of albums starting with Delaney and Bonnies' s "... and Friends" through, "All Things Must Pass (especially the jam part ", "Layla", "Blind Faith" and perhaps "John Barleycorn must die". They all share great, impassioned ensemble playing but not always the strongest songs of the era (in this case "Roll it over" comes to mind).
If you already have the live album already, consider buying the "Deluxe" 2 cd version which will give you a nice package without the problems that this edition has experienced.