A "9" for me. I was so excited to find a used copy of this set at a nearby brick-and-mortar, only to walk out in disgust at the $150 price tag. Fortunately, the repress was announced not long after. I’ve now got all the reissues save for Futurama and this might be my favorite of the bunch: it retains the glam style of Axe Victim while also introducing some of the new-wave elements that become more prominent throughout Modern Music and especially Drastic Plastic.
Tonally, I think this is the best-sounding of the remixes. There’s an edginess to the high-end on the other three titles (most noticeably throughout Drastic Plastic on my system) that isn’t really present here, though I agree the bass is a little thin at times.
The 5.1 mix is very adventurous to my ears, with lots of activity in the rear speakers: backing vocals, acoustic guitars, keys, percussion, and some very cool delays that give the instruments positioned upfront a more ‘3-D’ feel even in the sparsest passages. Bill Nelson's vocals are mostly isolated in the center speaker here, whereas on the other three titles there's more diffusion between the center and front channels.
I particularly enjoyed the surround effects in “Sleep That Burns” and “Life In The Air Age”. There’s a fun moment towards the end of “Fair Exchange” where the military-style drums appear directly behind the listener. The backing vocals throughout “Ships In The Night” sound great coming from the rears, as do the thunderstorm effects and acoustic guitars in “Crying To The Sky”. Highly recommended if you missed out the first time!