Sarah Brightman’s “Fly” – Japanese Edition
I would like to assume that you’re looking at this page because you already know the album Fly in its original format, and simply want to know if forking out extra money for this new edition is worth it. This review is simply about this edition, not to the actual Fly album, which I think is a complete and utter classic that epitomises perfection.
This is the fourth edition of Fly (yes, that’s right, the fourth of her least successful studio album), but it is the first release for Japan. Perhaps Sarah Brightman and team really want to drum into the world what they missed back in 1995 when this gem was originally released, and I do not blame them – the world did miss something. The first edition is pretty much the tracklisting of this edition being reviewed without the bonus tracks. The second tried to cash in on the success of the single ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ in 1997, and re-issued the album with the seriously out of place song as the album’s opener. The third edition is one you’ll probably never see unless you have hundreds of pounds to spare and frequent eBay a hell of a lot, and that is known as Fly II, and was only available on Merchandise stores on her La Luna tour (for more information on Fly II, see my post about it. It included a second disc of thirteen never before released tracks, or otherwise very rare. Until now, and that is where this fourth edition gets its appeal. No, it’s not a glorious second disc full of goodies, but four bonus tracks, two of which did come from the rare second disc of Fly II. The other two “bonus” tracks? Complete waste of time.
So this is what this fourth edition has. It has a brand spanking new album sleeve full of sparkly bits that try to revamp old, unflattering photos that were used for the original release. It also has a Japanese booklet and a pretty OBI strip as, let’s not forget, this edition was only released in Japan. If you are unfamiliar with Japanese imports, the Japanese booklet is basically pages of translations from English to Japanese, and a biography. The OBI strip is also written in Japanese. The main album booklet is still in English.
This edition does not include ‘Time to Say Goodbye’ but it does have four bonus tracks: ‘Do You Wanna Be Loved’, ‘How Can Heaven Love Me (Video Version)’, A Question of Honour (Alternative Radio Edition)’ and ‘On the Nile’. ‘Do You Wanna Be Loved’ and ‘On the Nile’ are the rare songs that come from Fly II and are the songs you will be spending your money on. ‘Do You Wanna Be Loved’ is a fun pop song with heavy euro influence. It is purely nineties. ‘On The Nile’ is a very short song (a minute and ten seconds long!) and lacks any kind of substance as it just does not have the time to develop. Adding the video version of ‘How Can Heaven Love Me’ and stamping it with BONUS TRACK is a very bad joke. Why? Because most shockingly, the record company made the mistake of adding the video version already as track three, when it is supposed to be the original version. Therefore, you have the exact same track on this album twice. You read that correctly. How they made such an error is beyond me. The alternative radio version of ‘A Question of Honour’ (because we need another version on top of the ten that are already out there) is simply the track as usual, but without the prologue and epilogue of ‘La Wally’.
This edition’s worst crime? It uses its own software to play on your computer, and this software is all in Japanese. You cannot copy it over to your Windows Media Player or whatever software you use to listen to music, because the disc will not be compatible with it.
Is this worth it? I have Fly II, and I would say that this disc is a complete waste of time. But for someone without Fly II, you may want to grasp whatever tracks from it that you can get your hands on, but the two tracks given are simply not worth it. The first reason is that ‘On the Nile’ is more a novelty than a song. Come on. It is a minute long! As for ‘Do You Wanna Be Loved’? It has been covered by another artist called Princessa and Sarah does the backing vocals for the track, not to mention other tracks on the same album that are written by Sarah and vocally backed by her. If you can find a copy of that album (look here), I suggest you get that, if not, then go ahead with this one, but it is a real waste.
1. The Fly
3. Murder in Mairyland Park
4. How Can Heaven Love Me (wrongly credited as the original – it’s the video version)
5. Question of Honour
6. Ghost in the Machinery
7. You Take My Breath Away
8. Something in the Air
9. Heaven Is Here
10. I Love You
12. Do You Wanna Be Loved
13. How Can Heaven Love Me (Video Version) (exactly the same as track three. Exactly.)
14. A Question of Honour (Alternative Radio Version)
15. On the Nile